Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Training for the Ipswich Half marathon on 30 Aug 09

In Half Marathon, Ipswich Half Marathon, Training Schedule on July 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I don’t think I have followed a training schedule for many years. Mainly because it can set you for a fall as unless your time is your own you are likely to miss some sessions. Once you miss a session you then feel you need to play catch up and add in extra runs or longer distances.

However I am going to give this Bruce Tulloh (Runners World) schedule a go as the discipline of set sessions might be just what I need to kick start some improvement in my running times which have been slow and getting slower.

I have adapted slighhty to suit my needs. Firstly I only have 8 weeks so I am 2 weeks short of the 10 week plan suggested by Tulloh. However I do have a good mileage base as I have generally been running 30 miles a week all year.

This plan peaks around 40 miles a week. Not a huge increase in mileage compared to what I am already doing but I have tried to include 2-3 quality sessions each week. The cornerstone being a long run which increases gradually each week.

I don’t know the course at Ipswich but I assume there will be hills and I am hopeless at them. Everyone comes past me going up them, though I tend to pass the same people when going down the hill. So I am including some hill training as part of the quality trining sessions.

Now that the West Suffolk Athletics Track has reopened with the track having been relaid I will include a number of interval track sessions.

This said I am sure I will have problems keeping to this schedule – best laid plans an all ……

Total Miles
Jul 6
hill reps
Warm up, then 16 x 60 secs fast, 60 secs slow
Warm down
Rest 10M slow
Warm up, then 4 x 3 mins, with 3-min recovery jogs 7-8M slow


Jul 13
4M easy 6M,
Repetitions: 4 x 3 mins fast, with 2-min recoveries 5M easy Rest 1M jog, then 5M fairly fast, then 1M jog 10M


Jul 20
5M easy, off
6M, starting slow, finishing faster 3 x 5 mins fast, with 5-min jog recoveries 5M easy, inc 6 x 150m fast strides Rest
2M slow, then 1M fast, then 2M slow 10M


Jul 27
5M easy Rest 5M, inc 16 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow 6M easy Rest
1M easy, then 4-5M fairly fast, then 1M jog 11M steady


Aug 3

5M easy, off
Rest 8M, fairly fast 4M easy Rest or 3M jog 4M on grass, inc 6 x 200m strides 11M


Aug 10
5M easy, off
3 x 1M (or 3 x 5 mins), with 5-min recoveries 5M easy Rest
6-7M, inc 10 x 30 secs fast, 30 secs slow 10-12M steady


Aug 17
5M easy 5M,
16 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow
Warm up, then 2 x 2M (approx), timed, at threshold pace 5-6M easy Rest
1M easy, then 4-5M fairly fast, then 1M jog 10M steady


Aug 24
5M easy 6-7M at a comfortable pace Warm up, then 2M at race pace, then 2M jog 5M easy, inc 6 x 30 secs fast Rest 3M, in race kit Ipswich Half Marathon


Anyone else training for a half and can recomend a schedule that worked for them ?

Ipswich Music Day 2009

In Ipswich Music Festival, Thee Vicars on July 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm

The downside of this years Ipswich Music Festival was the decision not to allow cars to park inside the park although you can understand the decision if this protects the grass in the park. However the event was again very enjoyable and the weather was good and we avoided any rain.

One of the bands to play at the Evening Star stage was Thee Vicars. One of the good things about watching a band at this early stage of their career is the knowledge that a band like Thee Vicars nine times out of ten will vanish and never make it beyond a little local exposure and playing the local scene (which some bands may be happy with ) or just occasionally a band will get what is often a lucky break and achieve national or world wide aclaim.

Who knows what will happen with Thee Vicars but clearly they have image with some reminders of the Beatles and The Jam in what they wear and there enthusium on stage.

Though the music is quite distinctive being a throw back to American garage rock from the 60’s. American bands such as the Sonics, The Seeds and the Kingsmen are largely unknown today certainly by 99% of the population and you don’t here garage music on the radio so credit to Thee Vicars for playing what they like and just maybe there can be a Suffolk Garage Band Scene! When the Clash played in Bury St Edmunds they said we’re a garage band so Thee Vicars are in good company.

Certainly a band to look out for and to go and watch if you see them tour in your area.

Unfortunately they were’t blessed with the best stage at the Ipswich Music Festival as several of the bands playing here seemed to have problems with the initial sound checks and set up. Bands playing at the the 102 FM and CRM stage seemed to fair better with sound quality.

That said Thee Vicars did there best and generated some atmosphere for a crowd several hundred strong that was largely sat on the grassy embankment surrounding the stage.

Ipswich Music Day 2009

In Dancer, Ipswich Music Festival, Micael Jackson on July 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm

You are very lucky if you have stumbled upon this blog entry by chance. Here at no cost to you is possibly the greatest dancer in the world. Every year he puts in an appearance at the free Ipswich Music Festival and never fails to wow the crowds. By close observation you cannot help but notice the many adoring fans looking on at the great unique dance moves being performed. Always the greatest dancer is imitated and in this video you will see two boys try to imitate the worlds greatest dancer and to some extent they manage it but keeping up with the unique moves are frankly just impossible for any mere mortal.

The worlds greatest dancer was spotted in Ipswich at 12pm and was still going strong wowing the crowds at least until 5pm when I was beaten and I had to give up and leave but the worlds greatest dancer was still going strong.

If you haven’t been to Ipswich or Ipswich Christchurch Park then surely this video will make you think about it for 2010. Look out for the IPART festival at Christchurch Park in 2010 . The worlds greatest dancer has no inhibitions as frankly he doesn’t care what you think. With the passing of the great Michael Jackson surely this man in the video is now the worlds greatest dancer. What do you think?

More videos and photos from the great free music festival to follow

Stinging Nettle Run

In Fornham St Genevieve, Parkgate Woodland Walk, Stinging Nettles on July 4, 2009 at 7:57 pm

One of the great things about running in warm weather is to be able to remove the layers and to run in shorts and short sleeved t shirt.

For this morning’s run I thought I would head through the Fornham St Martins Golf course and folow the pathway along the River Lark out to Culford. I haven’t tried this route for a while and running besides a river always makes it sightly cooler.

The run started well, the weather was great and the golfers were out in force and I had managed to duck any flying balls. The pathway through the weeping willow was a bit more difficult than normal as the gap had almost grown over and I had to slow to just check there was a pathway rather than something I had imagined and I was just running into a tree as you do.

Once through the tree the obstacles became a little more daunting and as you can see from the photos it became a bit more of a jungle and my running style became more of a hop as I lifted legs in strange angles to avoid the stinging nettles. It was inevitable that I would get stung and I did but perhaps not where you would imagine first. My hopping had been quite successful and whilst my legs didn’t get stung my left elbow was the first to brush with Urtica Dioica the common stinging nettle.

This perennial has many stinging hairs known as trichomes whose tips come off when touched. The tips turn into into needles that then inject a number of chemicals such as histamine causing a sting. This is all part of a run and I managed to reach the bridge at Fornham St Martin and tried the footpath besides the river on the other side of the road but very quickly gave this up as the overgrown foilage and stingers were slowing me down to a slow jog and sting.

Instead I headed for the Parkgate Woodland Walk at Fornham St Genevieve. This is a small woodland area but worth a visit. there are a number of signboards with information linked to the history of Fornham including the battle that took place here. Running under the canaopy of the trees was nice and cool and I returned home via the road giving the riverside path a miss!

Ipswich Half Marathon

In Ipswich Half Marathon, Ipswich Jaffa on July 3, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Now i’ve gone and done it! I have entered the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon on 30th August 2009. This is the first running of this race and what appeals is a chance to run around around the town centre of Ipswich.

To date there are are only 408 entries and the race can accept 1500 so uptake seems a little slow and I can only see one other entry from a Saint Edmund Pacer my running club. However I am sure the race entries will grow and be sold out by the time of the race.

My worry with the race is hot weather but it is at least an early 9am start so that is very good. My other worry is a switch of the Ipswich Town match due on the previous day Saturday to the same day as the race for tv coverage. Hopefully this won’t happen but if so I am sure I can get a shower and go on to the match after wards.

Now I have a target to build my training through July and August and will need to build up my long runs to get the confidence to complete the distance. Anyone else out there running at this event ? What are you running next ?

Run to Ann Hathaway’s Home

In Stratford on Avon, William Shakespeare on July 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm

After yesterday’s indoor run on the treadmill I was determined to get out doors for a run around the tourist spots of Stratford on Avon. At 7am it was nice,sunny and quiet and I was able to visit the tourist sites and take photos without cars and people in the way as a distraction.

I started of by visting Shakespeare’s birthplace.Wiliam Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Henley Street. Two years ago I did visit his home which you enter though a visitor centre and there are many exhibits depicting his life. There is much to see with original books in glass cabinets. However what you really pay your money for is to see the home where he was brought up as a child. The only disapointment is the feeling of being on a conveyor belt as you are unable to stop and look for too long in any room as so many people visit this house that you just have to keep moving. The floors are worn down by the no of visitors.

I didn’t no where I was going on my run but I found William Shakespeare’home very easily. When you are running in a starnge town I tend to run in straight lines as much as possible so I can find my way back . By chance I came to a place called Shottery a small hamlet outside of Stratford. Here is the the home of Anne Hathaway the wife of William.

It is clearly a major tourist attraction as the hamlet is dominated by the the house and the surrounding car park and a garden walk beside a stream. Hathaway married Shakespeare in 1582. They had three children Susanna, Hamnet and Judith which isn’t a lot compared to many familes of this age but reflects the fact that Shakespeare spent a lot of his time in London whilst Anne stayed in Stratford. The farmhouse that Anne Hatahaway gew up in is an impressive building with 12 bedrooms substantialy larger than Shakespeare’s home.

On my route back into Stratford I visited the Holy Trinity Church church where Shakespeare is buried. Close by is the home of one of Shakespeare’s daughters Susanna who married an eminent doctor John Hall. This looks perhaps to be one of the better homes to visit and an impressive home and garden.

I used up my remaining time to make up to 7 miles bu running along by the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre which is clearly undergoing a lot of refurbishment folowing floods two years ago.

The canal looked inviting for a dip as I ran past it and I was asked for directions and times of the nearest ferry as I ran past.

I returned to the hotel after my run long before many of the other guests at the conference had stirred from their sleep.

Now playing: The Lillingtons – War of the Worlds
via FoxyTunes

Running in Stratford on Avon

In Bury 5, flickr, gym, Stratford on Avon on July 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

This week I have been working in Stratford on Avon which as many of you will know is a huge tourism draw it being the birthplace of one William Shakespeare.

On the first day with time being short I decided to use the gym facilities at the Holiday Inn. Luckily the hotel had a swimming pool and gym and I took full advantage. I did a triathlon not in the usual order as I started with bike doing 11.1 km in 30 minutes, followed by the treadmill doing 4.20 miles in 35 minutes and then a casual swim where I did no more than probably 100 metres. It was really enjoyable having all of the equipment to hand and not something I have done for a long time as I don’t belong to a gym. The workout measurements on the bike and treadmill are useful to know and motivational in that sense for measuring progress.

However that said give me the outdoors anytime. It was hot inside the gym and looking at euro pumped up electro r&b music is a real turn off for me. I noted several others in the gym had obviously come prepared and had ipods eyephones to overcome this.

The Holiday Inn sits on the River Avon Canal and the photo above is a view from the garden.

I have now uploaded all the photos I took at the recent Bury 5 race at Nowton Park Bury St Edmunds, you can view them on my link to flickr here or on the side panel flickr tool.

Now playing: Scott McKenzie – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)
via FoxyTunes