Runners Corner

This is a blog which is mostly focused on nerdy stuff, so I understand that not everyone who turns up here is interested in hearing anything which involves going outside, sweating, and blisters on anything other than thumbs. But I love running. It makes me appreciate the…interior entertainments even more. It makes life feel fulfilling. If I get to sit down and drink a beer and play a game at the end of the day, it feels all the better for me having battled my way through a run as well as a day at work. And since this is a blog which basically revolves around me jotting down some words (hence the name) about things that I like, I’m going to write about running too. Besides, I like having eclectic tastes. Keeps me broad minded.

At the least, perhaps I can serve up a bit of inspiration and if not, know that I’m having fun talking about my sport of choice.

I may as well start with myself. I ran with a club through the latter stages of my teenage years but consistent injuries plagued me and any running I did became casual and irregular throughout my university years in Norwich. Now however, I’m back on it. I’ve not re-joined a club as of yet, as I’m slightly afraid of more intense training dragging to light some of my old niggles, but the truth is that I’m enjoying my running more than ever and knocking out more mileage than I ever did when I achieved any of my PB’s. At the moment I’m revolving around 30 miles a week, usually going over a few extra as my Sunday runs grow longer and longer. For my comeback 5k I ran 20:44, but I intend to get as close as possible to a flat 20 at the same slow, but also slightly short course (a Parkrun) this coming Saturday before I go to work.

I’m not exactly a natural runner, what with the flat feet and massive over-pronation and all, but for all the problems I had as a track athlete it did teach me to get up on my toes and for the most part my wonky feet don’t give me too much trouble. I did work in a shop which performed gait analysis so although I understand the potential benefits of supportive running trainers…I don’t really subscribe to the idea. I wear trainers which are light, and most importantly comfortable. Currently that is the Adidas Pure Boost DPR.

I’ve tried plenty of other trainers (previous benefits of working in a running shop) but the Pure Boost range tends to fit my wide hoofs pretty well, and being specifically tailored towards road running and the up and down of city pavements and curbs, they suit the uneven country lanes which make up most of my routes pretty well.  

Going forward I intend to make the Runners Corner blogs focused on three things, stories from my own training, any big news in the running world, and highlighting interesting races going on in the UK and further afield. Since I’ve talked about myself plenty already, let’s take a gander at one of the more interesting stories of the week.

Ultimate limit of human endurance found

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48527798

advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/6/eaaw0341

A study analysed the resting metabolic rates, and calorie burn during activity, of elite athletes engaging in extreme endurance events, including the Race Across the USA – a race from California to Washington D.C, a distance of 3,080 miles across 140 days.

Although the scientists found that in the short term the body can use energy much faster than the average, it levelled out to 2.5 times the resting metabolic rate of the average athlete.

Although for short bouts of exercise this limit can be exceeded, it is not sustainable in the long term. Scientists believe this is due to the rate of calorie absorption through the digestive system.

What does that mean? It means you’re going to struggle to run more than 20-22 miles a day for a sustained period. Personally I didn’t need to be told that, I’m a way off managing to run 20 miles once. But it is interesting that there is a genuine physiological limit to what we can achieve.

To allow the study to speak for itself: ‘Whatever the physiological mechanism, the strong relationship between SusMS [maximum sustained metabolic scope] and duration reveals a common underlying framework uniting the full range of protracted endurance endeavors among humans, from exploration to sport and reproduction.’

Race Focus // Isle of Skye Half Marathon

Our race focus this weekend is probably one of the most scenic half-marathons in the world.

Why? Well, this is where the Isle of Skye is:

The event began in 1984 and was competed by 140 runners. It was won by Michael McCulloch in 1 hour and 16 minutes.

Last year there were just a few more runners. 1000 athletes chased Cameron Milne’s winning 66 minutes.

Unsurprisingly the undulating course offers up supreme views of the Isle.

If a serene, scenic half marathon in the Hebrides doesn’t quite sound your cup of tea, perhaps consider the Talisker Malt Whisky which is being offered up in the prize section before you make your final decision.

If you fancy making the journey to the Isle of Skye in 2020, you can find more information on how to enter on the race’s official website www.skyehalfmarathon.com

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