Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reed and Cunningham battle in 6-day race

Renowned ultrarunner Pam Reed attempts to run 512 miles (824 km) in a six day race. The current women's world record is 510 miles - set by Australian Dipali Cunningham, who is participating in the same race.

The course of Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Run in New York consists of a one mile loop. There are six and ten day races for both men and women going on at the moment.

After two days and 180 miles Reed is well ahead of her 85,3 miles per day schedule. Her only concern is that Dipali Cunningham leads the race with 189 miles.

It will be interesting to see how this battle ends. You can check out the daily results here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crete runtography

Here's some more snaphots from my Crete beach running holiday in April. I call photography on the run 'runtography'. All photos are taken with a Lumix LX3 compact camera.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MovNat - get out of the zoo

MovNat takes the work out of your next workout. Simply go out and explore.

"We live in a zoo" says Erwan Le Corre, the developer of this creative exercise method.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Adidas Adizero Adios racing flats

Oh yeah, I jumped the "Geb-marathon-World-Record-2:03:59-shoes" bandwagon and bought a pair of Adidas Adizero Adios racing flats.

The shoes are yellow-green and very light. My size (UK 10, US 10.5, EU 44 2/3, JP 28.5) weighs only about 215 g per shoe. That's well under a pound per pair.

The Adios certainly felt very fast and comfortable when I tested them at a 2.93 km fire road loop:
  • lap 1: time 13'30, average speed 4'37/km (HR average 137)
  • lap 2: 13'32, 4'39/km (HR 156)
  • lap 3: 13'42, 4'43/km (HR 157)
  • total 8.79 km, 40'43, average speed 4'38/km.
These shoes feel a bit like running barefoot with thick socks on. I've ran a marathon with Nike Free, and it didn't quite work out as planned. I'd still be tempted to attempt a marathon with Adizero Adios though.

However next I'll run Helsinki City Run half-marathon in a couple of weeks. Based on my test results above, my finish time will be around 1:37. Of course I hope to do even better than that, now that I've got these fast flats. Adios!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dawn running on Crete

When I visited North-Western Crete recently I ran 10-30 km every morning. I like to get up early.

I usually got out to the beach about 30-60 minutes before the sunrise, so I wouldn't need to take my headlight or torch. Just a little bottle of water and an energy bar would do.

I try to run as near to the water as possible, with or without shoes.

I often ran all the way to the town of Chania and back just to have a cup of good coffee (hint: there's a Starbucks at the Old Port).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Born To Run

There's an interesting running book coming out soon: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall.

By the way, Barefoot Ted has already posted his review of the book well before it has been published. Barefoot runners are certainly quick!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Long Distance Runaround & Sole Survivor

I've got a couple of great ultrarunning related progrock songs here. Just kidding of course, but the songs could be interpreted also that way.

First Long Distance Runaround by Yes (In The Present Tour 2008).

And then Sole Survivor by Asia (Phoenix Tour 2008).

Both of these bands have magnificent Steve Howe on guitar. And both of these bands will tour together in 2009. And I'm old enough to like both of these bands (and still young enough to remember them :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

TransEurope Footrace 2009 begins

TransEurope Footrace 2009 begins in Bari, Italy. Finland's ultrastar Janne Kankaansyrjä is 9th after stage 1.

The 68 brave competitors (12 women, 56 men) have still a long way to go through Italy, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Norway before they may reach Nordkapp on June 21st - 4486 km (2787 miles) in 64 stages (longest stage 95 km) to be exact.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Running Route 2000

This weekend we enjoyed a nice cool - some would say cold - but sunny weather, so I decided to run Route 2000, which has been specifically designed for adventurous outdoors people.

I live near dot number 3 on the map below. I decided to run the Route south to dot number 1 (and a little bit further, all the way to the Olympic Stadium) on Saturday afternoon/evening. It was 13.4 km (8 miles) and took me 1 hour 18 minutes.

I went to bed around 11 PM and woke up for a heavy breakfast 3:30 AM on Sunday morning.

Today I ran the remaining longer part of the Route, doing the large loop clockwise and then returning back home.

Before the sunrise I noticed that my water bottles were almost frozen, but the sun warmed them up soon.

I lost the generally well-marked track a couple of times, which meant I had to resort to my map and run a little longer than expected, 99.0 km (61.5 miles). It took me 13 hours and 17 minutes (including all breaks), and due to high winds, dehydration and lack of energy I was quite exhausted towards the end.

The trail was pretty challenging with snow, ice, mud, gravel, roots and lots of hills. The Route goes through protected wilderness areas in large forests. There were not many places where I could find water and food along the way, so I had to carry a relatively heavy backpack.

This is my longest run ever, even if we count only the 99K part done today, as my previously longest ultra distance was Comrades Marathon (uphill 86.7 km).

It was certainly a tough journey and my legs are a little sore, but fortunately there are no blisters and I'm very happy that I could finally make this long-time dream of mine true.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spartathlon 2008 video

Scott Jurek won Spartathlon in September 2008 by running 246 km from Athens to Sparta in 22 hours 20 minutes. I found this video of the event today - better late than never.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beach running on Crete

Just came back from a pleasant beach running holiday on the Mediterranean island of Crete. It was beautiful and not too crowded this time of year. Most of the tourist attractions were still closed, which was just fine for me.

I ran, jogged and walked every day by the seaside, covering probably slightly less than 100 miles per week. No worries, it surely felt challenging enough as beach running requires a lot more energy and concentration than road running.

The weather was perfect with daily high temperature slightly above 30C (70F). The terrain varied greatly from fine sand to gravel, pebbles and rocks. Occasional delights included ice-cold river crossings, ankle deep mud, slimy sea rocks, and sharp volcanic terrain.

I ran mostly in Brooks ST racing flats, or simply barefoot. I saw some sea urchins, but luckily didn't step on any. Post-run cooling down in the sea was great for recovery.

I ran mostly on the wet firm sand close to the sea, between the waves and the soft dry sand. It's a very tricky thing to do because there is always the danger of getting your feet wet and then filling your shoes and socks with sand.

My purpose was to enjoy the sand, sun and the sea while strengthening those small feet muscles that would never get used normally. I achieved all that, but I'm also very proud that I managed to stay media-free (net/phone/TV/iPod/papers) for eight consecutive days!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dr Maffetone: how to lower stress with music

Check out what Dr Phil Maffetone and his partner Dr Coralee Thompson have to say about the brain, stress and music as they were featured on the Renegade Health Show recently.

I reckon listening to my iPod while running might contribute to my health as much as the running itself. It's the exercise that makes me fit of course, but if I go too hard it might actually add to the stress levels in a harmful way. I've certainly been there, done that!

By the way, the fifth edition of Phil's old book In Fitness And In Health should be coming out at the end of this month. I bought my copy about 15 years ago, and even back then it was advertised as the new and revised edition! The book is still highly recommended, so keep your old eyes peeled on it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Strongman Run 2009

Strongman Run seems like fun, but you better be quick if you want to participate next year. This year's contest was sold out on March 30th at Weeze Airport, Germany. 18 km of mud and madness!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A runner's dream come true

I have an important announcement for my readers. I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks to get the latest bio-tech competitive advantage installed.

The Mexican Body Modification Procedure is the bomb for senior has-been triathletes and would-be ultra runners. Getting fast and furious with endless endurance is certainly any runner's dream come true. Imagine being able to cover long distances, laughing all the way.

The exact location is a secret, so please don't tell anyone about this. Just follow the blog below for more clues. See you there!