15 June 2014

To Cheat or Not to Cheat, That is the Question....

Competitive Sport – The Good and The Ugly

A recent event has led my thinking towards the notion of being a good sport, fair play and honesty while competing in races. With competition comes competitiveness and this combined with human nature lends itself towards at times the notion of doing what needs to be done to get a good result no matter what.  Personally I moved away from team sport due to over competitiveness that leads to bad sports, referee abuse, excuses covering up poor play and so on.  This was something that I not only did not like but something I did not want to be associated with, you know the saying “that team are cheats, that team is dirty”. Running to me was an answer for my need to be competitive but in a fair and honest manner, that was the norm but there have been some situations contrary to this.

I like running for fun, but I believe no matter what the race that there are certain expectations of myself as a runner,

-       Try and follow the course,
-       Don’t deliberately impede another runner,
-       If I get an unfair advantage for example covering less distance than the rest of the field due to a wrong turn, do not ever take another runners position, especially on the podium.
-       Be fair to everyone, say hello, allow people past and don’t make anyone feel put off or intimidated by the way I run particularly on narrow or technical trail where passing opportunities can be minimal.

I strongly feel that if these principles can’t be met then I need to give up, I’d be running for the wrong reasons. So when I see it happen it annoys me, it really does need to be addressed, discussed and thought about. By it, I mean people behaving poorly in and after races.  So examples of this, some have been directly involving me some not,

-       People entering an event with multiple distances available on staggered starting times, running stupid and then dropping into a lower distance event and claiming a win. Not fair when the events start at different times and the other runners aren’t aware of the new entrant and are racing those around them.  Tough it out in the race you entered or DNF.
-       Running the course and taking a wrong turn which leads to a shorter run than the rest of the field.  When you finish, claim the win as though you have run the whole course, that’s a victory I couldn’t claim, enjoy the guilt.
-       When there is an opportunity to take a short cut taking it.  If you are coming 17th in a 100km race the pleasure of having a 100km run under your belt is the reward, this would be cheapened when your Garmin says 97.5km because you cut every corner you could. I was shocked to witness someone doing this in a race last year!

These are a few things I have noticed, other things like dropping rubbish on the trails, being rude when passing and whinging about getting lost because “it’s the race director’s fault” are others that can be added but are different questions of character.  If you can’t manage yourself on the trail, run roads!
There has been many examples of great competitive behaviour, so many times I have been called back onto trail by other competitors when taking a wrong turn, allowed to pass and so on.  This is why I continue to run and love trail running so much.

All races have 1st through to last, we all compete for various reasons and enjoy finishing high up the ladder no matter the event.  From fun runs to sky runs, races organised by local running groups to international bodies with prizes from cash to gear, people will turn up trying to do their best.  Most will be honest and in trail events it is rare that I see something to the contrary but I have seen it.  These people ruin it for others, they are the types who would use PEDS, refill their drink more than once at Subway, not turn in money they found and get in a shout and leave before their round…but seriously it is not needed and next time I witness it I will be speaking up.  Because the race director’s trust the competitors on the trails and when this trust is abused it ruins it for all.

So I will leave it at that, lets talk about this issue and when we are on the trails lets be competitive but not overly so, because we don’t want to be that sport… Look at what drugs has done to cycling, seriously!

3 June 2014

Bouncing Back

Bouncing Back

So with my current situation regarding running I have been able to refocus, refresh and redirect my energy towards my running for the back half of the year.  Gone are the macro and micro cycles, peaking and periodisation. I have simplified my approach to getting key sessions done and doing more quality k’s leading into my events and speeding things up to improve the top end.  This program is scheduled to start in full by the end of June with this month being about building time on feet, increasing my typical training load and schedule as well as strengthening my legs.

I have been doing 5+hrs of core and strength working weekly and this will progress in difficulty as the months go by, and then gradually decreasing the time to around 2-3hrs a week once I am able to run more.  I have been riding a lot, well a lot for me anyway!  9hrs last week and 7 the week before, I am trying to replicate hard days and easy days and keep my normal load time wise. As my running increases my riding will decrease but I have been lucky to be able to get some solid rides in without being run over (its been close!)  Running has been introduced in the week just gone and will become more intense as I progress with the injury, the pain has now dampened down and there appears to be no negatives from the introduction of running.
Kel and my new kicks for the back half of the year
thanks to Pace Athletic

I am working in 3 rehab phases with my return to running;

Phase 1 – Day on day off.  All on grass track at an easy pace running within my stride.  Max distance 5km for 7 x 5km runs in the fortnight.  Progress if no pain is present.

Phase 2 – Day on day on day off.  Road/Track then Trail/Track at an easy pace but increasing the stride.  Distance between 5 – 7.5km with 5 runs in total in the week.  Incorporate some hills.  Progress if no pain present.

Phase 3 – Return to normal schedule.  Begin at 50km and increase by 15km a week.  Run 6 days a week and complete normal sessions increasing distance/intensity as week’s progress.  Aim to be at full load by week 4. Progress if no pain is present.

This schedule should have me complete a 100km week by the second week in July. From there I will be back into full training and hopefully free of injury. I want to get my body right and am being very careful to ensure I come back ready and strong.  My back half of the year will now aim towards some targeted events with my prep starting for 2015 in November.

My races for the next while will be;

Kel rocking her "lairy duds"
@ STS Kamay.

Obviously Glow Worm will be a race to how I feel and a bit of fun, but if it is feeling good I will be racing and pushing it along.  The next few weeks are going to be tough, sitting out is something I have never liked doing but it is something that has to happen.  I love the atmosphere at Newnes for the Glow Worm weekend, it was my first trail event where I fell in love with the sport and I am looking forward to being a part of it again.  The next few weeks also marks a return to serious racing for Kel, she has been training well and should put up some races in the coming months.  I can’t wait to watch her at STS and seeing how her year progresses towards her goals that are set down for later in the year.