Ask the Coach !

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Seb
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 In this section Sebastien Locteau Endurance coach, will discuss common coaching questions, giving tips and answering queries on various training issues.

Multiple Ironman and Marathon Finisher and with an impressive coaching career.

For more information, please see www.sportsireland.ie

His full profile and article can be found here : http://www.runireland.com/contributors/sebastien-locteau

 

Anonymous (not verified)

Dear Sebastien,
I really enjoy your greatly beneficial articles.
Gdaim

Jessica OC (not verified)

Hi Sebastian,

This is really well-written and I absolutely agree with the articles.

I just found your site and haven’t read extensively (yet). But something that would help me would be some specific posts about creative ways to motivate people in a fitness club environment.

Seb
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 Hi Jessica & Gdaim,
Thank you very much, It is much appreciatied to have some nice comments, thank you.
Very interesting question. "How can you motivate yourself in the Gym"
- I suppose the first thing would be to go with someone so you can motivate each others, so when you think you don't really want to go after work, your partner will tell you to come along...... You will feel great after the session that you came.
 
- You also can make a music playlist on yoru phone or music player. Say you want to do 45min workout, just do a playlist of about 16songs which will make time going faster and will help you to go through the workouts.
 
- You also can plan to watch your favorite TV show, most fitness clubs have their own Tv and earphone system in place, again shows are about 45min so great timing.
- Sign up for some fitness classes, once you paid you will feel obliged to go and the instructor will manage the "entertainment" side of it to keep you going.
I hope this help
Seb

maryshanley2005
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Hi Sebastian,
I have only recently taken up running and yesterday completed my first 5k.  In training once I hit 3k my left foot and sometimes both feet get pins and needles like my foot or feet are asleep.  It gets so bad that I cant feel my foot anymore and have to stop.  When I do stop I shake my feet out it will ease up untill I start running again! Its strange and Ive changed my runners to asics, changed sock type, tried running with my laces looser than normal and tighter! Have you ever encountered it and if so what is the cause or what can I do about it?
Many Thanks, Mary

Seb
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 Hi Mary,
It does sounds like a foot compression problem and if you tried the above I am afraid this would not be my area of expertise.
What I would suggest, would be to run on your bare feet on the grass and see if the same problem happen.
When you are running do you know if you are lending on your front of the foot, mid foot, heel which could be another reason.
If they do I would advice to ask Jenny here :
http://www.runireland.com/forums/running-talk/general-talk/ask-physio
If not then you might have shoes problem.
Sebastien

maryshanley2005
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Hi Sebastian, Thanks for that, I tend to land on my heel and then its mostly the outer side of my foot on the ground and off my toes then. I will drop Jenny a line to see if she has come across it before. Many Thanks, Mary

Anonymous (not verified)

any running activities in monaghan .. also any running teams that go out practicing?

Seb
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 Hi Anonymous,
You need to post in the general forum discussion, this thread is only for coaching queries...... training advices etc....
You also can look at the runireland Club page :
http://www.runireland.com/clubs
Sebastien

idiot triathlete (not verified)

Hi Sebastian,

I 'm a second year triathlete in my late forties. I've done a few sprint triathlons and a couple of olympics this year. I 've done little enough running outside events but I can knock out a 21 min 5k or 43 min 10k as I stand now. I ran eleven miles last night at nine minute pace and entered the Dublin City Marathon at the end of next month. How best can I utilize the four or so weeks I have left til Dublin? I am going up mostly for the experience, I want to give marathon a real go next year so will use this one as a dry run . That said I feel I could run pretty well and want to safely maximise my performance .

Seb
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 Hi,
Your 5 and 10k time are very descent times to be honest.
You have one advantage by doing triathlon, you have build up some endurance fitness.
A sprint triathlon is about a half marathon and a Olympic triathlon is about 3/4 of a marathon.
While they are different type of fitness it will help and I would say you need to a long run once a week for three weeks, so maybe 13mile, then 17 mile and week before the race 15mile.
On the side of yoru main run do a recovery run after each long session and then a few pacing run at marathon pace between 6miles to 8 or even 10 miles if you feel like it. this would be 3 to 4 run a week (1 easy, 1 long and 1 or 2 marathon pace but on a shorter distance about 9mile/h of 8 if you can)
Let me know how you get on
Seb

ponner
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Hi Sebastian,
I am interested in doing some sprint triathlons next year.Myself and two other friends run alot but would like a new challenge.Do you have to be affiliated to any club or organisation to enter races or is it just like running were you can apply for any particular race.Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks ,
Paul.

Seb
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Hi Paul,
1) Triathlon Ireland is the national governing Body.
To enter an event you have two options :
- be a member for about €50 a year and pay the normal price for the event.
- Be a NON member and pay an extra €15 extra for insurance for each events on the top of the event entry fee.
So it is beneficial to be a member if you do minimum 4 races a year.
2) Club memembership
You will pay the Triathlon Ireland fee + the club fee. The benefit are like AAi clubs with access to swim classes, cycling & running sessions, socials etc......
3) Important things to know about events :
- Triathlon Ireland Events : You can NOT enter on the day
- Private / Commercial events (not Triathlon ireland affiliated) You don't need to pay an extra €15 and some accepts entries on the day (example, COPE galway Triathlon)
- Finally Triathlon are most of the time fully bought a few weeks in advance and you need to watch for them.
I hope this help :-)
Sebastien

ponner
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Thanks for the information Sebastian.Its something i'd really like to get in to so im gonna start the swim training in the pool with the weather getting a bit colder now.Can run a fair distance as it is and am going to avail of the bike to work scheme in Janurary through work,so will start to train on the bike then.
Have a view to doing the Howth,Skerries and Balbriggan sprint tri's so will definitly join the Triathlon Ireland.
Just one more question.i work shift and hours are all over the place,would i really need to join a club? As getting to the usual meet times would be a disaster for me.
Thanks again,
Paul

Seb
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 Clubs are good,
A friend of mine and coach called Justin in Pulse triathlon club is alos working shift and he seems to deal well with it.
It's all about finding a regular training schedule and recover/sleep properly
we starting swimming back on tuesday in Tallagh swimming pool if you are interested. 7:50pm

ponner
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Thanks for that Sebastian.I am curently suffering from a back injury so ill have to see how it goes for a few weeks ,but i will definitley consider joing the club as soon as im back to normal.
Thank you again for all your help.
Paul

idiot triathlete (not verified)

Seb,

Thanks for your advice of 30/9/2011. I am glad you didn't say" Don't do it , its too late", as this is what I'm hearing from a lot of other people
. I ran a half marathon , and a couple of eleven mile runs since , and yesterday I did a really long run, 19 miles. I know this was stupid but I am ok after it and I have at least convinced myself that I can go the distance. I did it in 2 hrs 45 mins and only felt really tired in the last mile.
I convinced myself on this run that I could do a marathon and will just spend the next three weeks keeping the engine ticking over, doing the runs you suggested.
Thanks again

Seb
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 That's great news, just make sure you don't do too much too quick !
Seb

idiot triathlete (not verified)

Went for my last long run yesterday. Pulled up at mile fifteen with pain on the outside of my right knee. Will give it complete rest for a few days and see where I stand but it looks at this point as if withdrawal might be the safer option.Never had this type of injury before so don't know what to expect. Up to this the only problems I had were with my feet and they have been fine all this year.

Seb
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 That's bad news. Are you sure you did not do two much too fast ? In the last two weeks you already went running 19miles long runs.
- Don't push yourself too hard physically every session only when it is needed. Don't be to hard on yourslef. Sometimes we are just impatient to achieve  our goals. Athletes are usually high achievers ! During that time plan yoru future sessions : E.g 1 easy sessions, 1 technical sessions, 1 Long, 1 speed interval, 1 recovery during, 1 pacing........  the week)
Anyway just take care of yoru self first, and make sure you are 100% back whn you start training again, ask the physio to help in this. Simetimes been injured is part of the game, but the game is also to recover properly.
Let s know wjen you are back.......

idiot triathlete (not verified)

thanks seb,

Felt better and better as day progressed, now I feel as if maybe I overdramatized things earlier.
I agree that doing too much too soon is part of the problem.

I'll lay off training for at least a week and see from there.

Now at least you know why I call myself idiot

Seb
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 We all are, just in different areas....... (if you knew everything I do wrong :-)
Just get better and come back to us and we will try to set up a small plan and build it slowly.
Seb

Flutered (not verified)

Hi- Just completed Dublin Marathon at a disappointing 4:20- My half marathon in phoenix park september was 1:48 but after that my training took a back seat i'm afraid- Two questions...
1) What should I do now? Should I start training with a 16-18 week plan again from scratch to get me in under 4 hours or should I adjust training somehow given i've just done a marathon
2) Am hoping to do a marathon early next year preferably in ireland- Is Connemarathon the first or is there any one before this in march ?
Many thanks

Seb
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 Hi Flutered,
 
I would suggest to do some nice recovery run this week and next week, nothing high intensity but easy and nice. 4h20 is a long time to be on yoru feet working the joints and muscles.
 
Regarding your half and marathon time, you certianly could have done a little better on the marathon but it depends if you ran enough mileage, train regurlarly etc.....
1) Again I woudl suggest a 6 week block with 2 week nice and easy session with possible one longer run. then you could use yoru previous program and make it better for the next 16 weeks comparing the previous data with the new ones. It will motivate you to improve the previous sessions and will push you to achieve better..... and get better resulst next time.
 
There is a few free training plans here : Free-training-plans
 
2) regarding the next marathon there is a few on the calendar, but yoru best source for marathin would be the Marathon club Ireland, all the dates are there : 
 
http://marathonclubireland.asocion.com/2011-marathons/
 
I hope this help and let me know how you find it.
Seb

donoughf
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I finished my second DCM in 4:14:58, I am gutted. I ran into trouble after 14 mile mark and from there on it was a struggle. I wanted to break 4hr mark but from 15 mile on I knew it was gone. I ran my first marathon last year in 4:32:06, and I had some left in the tank in the end and enjoyed the experience much more. I though I followed a good program. Here is a summary. I was doing 4 runs a week since early June.
1) 5 X 1k Flat out with 1/2 lap recovery walk, on average of 4:04
2) 10 miles snappy average 83 mins
3) Started with 10 miles @ 9 minute miles and work up to 20 miles and did this for 4 week and averaged 3hrs for 20 miles and 1hr 59min for 13.1 miles.
4) Recovery run, 10k in 60 minutes.

I planned to do Dublin next year in 3:30 but after this year I feel this is gone. I feel 3:45 would be more my time. I am only running 2.5 years male and in my mid forties. I have 2 questions.
1) What would be the best schedule out there for me?
2) Prior to starting a 16 week schedule, what could I do between now and then to improve? I want to stay fit over the winter but don't want 4-5 days as I swim and want to start cycling. 2 days running would be ideal until spring.

Appreciate any suggestions.
 

idiot triathlete (not verified)

Seb,
Ran the marathon, in hindsight the setback I got three weeks ago was the best thing that could happen to me. It stopped me running and so I had to taper early.
Also I knew the consequences of stopping for any reason whatsoever. My body locks up . So I ran and was afraid to stop, knowing that a small break or a walking interval was not on the menu, it was run or bust.
Was wrecked afterwards, but fine today , six miles cycled and two miles walked without more than normal soreness.

saint_runner (not verified)

Hi Seb;

I was doing the P&D 55 mile week training plan for Dublin. 3 weeks before Dublin i did a 10k race and legs were very heavy, so i eased up on training in taper and took it easy.

I did the marathon on Monday and the pace was slower than my PMP runs but at 10 miles my legs hit the the heavy feeling again and at half way I had to pull out.

The time i hit 10 miles at was 5 mins slower than my normal race time so not sure what happen to my legs? I did switch runners in Sept. Any idea on what could be the issue for me?

Thanks a million

samsiof
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 hi seb
i've been running for last few months. there's a group of us getting fit enough to row across irish sea next may. we do some circuit training too but recently we've all been focusing on running. some of us did hell and back last month and others the runamuck (2 laps) it was only 10k and we all felt good after it. we run every sunday 10k and during the week twice about 7/8k. anyway i've entered for waterford half marathon as have the others and was wondering any tips to get us into optimal shape to succeed? also i had a very sore left ankle but after missing  Sunday's run it felt a bit better when i did yesterday evenings run. i have difene gel, use a support bandage to help.any exercise which will help? please and thanks, 
siobhan

Seb
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 Hi saint runner,
This is interesting, following a program is a really good idea and it seems you did it well.
The question might be : is the plan was maybe too much for you ? 55 miles is a good mileage, so did you have the essential base preparation when you took on that program, what average mileage were you doing prior the plan ?
I can be wrong but it coul be a over training and sometimes the body can take it and sometimes it can't and you even won't noticed until it is too late. One easy way to know would be : do you remember any sessions you really felt tired and kept doing the plan what ever happened. Training and following the plan was top priority ?
The other possible problem, can just be a nutrition issue, or hydration issue. Did you record your liquid and calories intake ? did you eat enough and good carbs ? Electrolytes are also very important.
The last point could be you are just too hard on yourself, and sometimes, we just got sick tired or just have a bad day. In any case take 2/3 weeks of training now and build up from there. let me know how far i am from the truth, i would like to know.

saint_runner (not verified)

Hi Seb;
Thanks for the reply.

I followed the plan but not to the exact detail as had to give recovery runs a miss but those days became rest days. I have a young child and rotated nights with the wife so she could get out. So i trained 4 times a week and if a session was tough i would take it easy in the next session or give an extra day break, I would let my body decide how i felt Now in August i did make some mistakes, in training too hard the week of a 10 mile race and did a half the weekend after. Half went well as I rested the full week.

My average mileage before the training plan was 25 so think I had a good base as was doing 10k races etc in first half of the year.

Regarding nutrition, I would eat quiet well, alot be pasta, potatoes etc, no takeways. I dont drink tea/coffee but loads of water. Would drink sports drinks when doing LSR's.

Only thing that changed from August was new runners, same brand but a different model. Could this cause something? I am switching my runners now.

Also 4 weeks before the marathon i did a 5 miler and was flat there too, but then i eased off as over-training enter my head, so i took it easy in taper with just 3 sessions a week of recovery runs and one 12 miler the weekend before the marathon.

Also only other thing is a family member took badly ill 4 weeeks ago and is still vey ill, can this have a knock on effect?

Thanks

Seb
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1) Hi Saint runner,
Thanks for the feedback, a few things you might consider in the future :
 
- Lights exercises are very good to recover quicker than a day off.
 
- nigh shift can badly mess your metabolism due the change of physiological clocks, food intake etc....
 
- regarding the food intake, hydration, electrolytes they are specific enough and you might need to check it out, for example if you went from 25miles to 55miles a week you definetly loss over 2.2% of your usual hydration in previosu plan. So if you sweat 1l of water you need to refuel 1.5l after yoru session (what you lost + been hydrated) drinking straight away teh full amount would not help but bit by bit..... vegetable and minerals, salt tablets are definetly something to think about. you can go to hariette in the "ask the nutritionist" as it is her field of expertise.
 
- regarding the runners, I am not sure as you need to check if you are netral, pro or supinator and check if your shoes are. But I would suspect if you can run 10mile in general without any issue there is another problem. Inadequate shoes usually show up very quick usually.
 
But again, in your case so many factors can affect you, as much than anybody else.
 
Sebastien
 
2) Hi Siobhan
 
Congrats on taking such a superb challenge, you run 24km average a week which will is enough to finish a half marathon.
 
I would suggest to keep the 10k & 2x8km each week and you would benefit of adding a longer run building to 1h, then 1h15 to finally 1h30 even if you walk at the start it's all about spending time out than running fast and hard. Not need to go over and no need to take the distance for the long run which should be just easy aerobic endurance. the week before the event no need for this long run long run.
 
I would not includes speed work, as your goal is oviously endurance.
 
Other tips, and you obviously are rower, would be to not neglect your core work, strenght but also fleibility as it will help you to "survive" the condition for the crossing. From my 24h swims or Ironman experience it will also help you to be stronger, better and fitter.
 
Regarding yoru ankel, i would suggest to ask Jennny in "ask the physio" but my first advices are always to rest first for a few days, and then go back running easy on teh grass and avoid roadd running.  Sometimes peopel gets ankle injuries because they are not flexible enough (very important to warm up ankles before running) and Going to jenny's practice I learn as a coach to strenghten the my calf, or injured muscles before going back at them training on them.
 
I can't advice you on anti inflamatories, bandage or exercises as it is not in my area of expertise and I don't really know what happened to you.
 
I hope this will help
 

saint_runner (not verified)

Hi Seb;
Thanks a million for your reply.

Saint

bazzmond
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Training for a ultra marathon
Hi All,
Does any one know where I could get a training program for running a 39 mile ultra marathon.
As I was thinking of running the Connemarathon on the 1st of April, but don’t know if I have enough time to train.
Any help would be great.
Regards
 

samsiof
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 hi seb,
thanks very much for the feed back.it's a relief that we're going down the right path towards the half marathon. will look into exercises for my ankle. looking forward to the 10th of December now :-) thanks, 
siobhan

Paul Gallagher (not verified)

Hi,
I injured my left calf muscle. I did some reverse leg curls (50 Kg) about ten days ago. I then did some intervals of 400 m in 90 seconds about 12 times and I started to feel some pressure on it. I went running a week ago and walked a fair bit when I got sore for 3 km. I then ran a bit faster but it kinda slipped after 1km. Yesterday I went for a walk and it was getting a bit tight after 3 miles. It must have been a micro tear that got worse. I'm ok with it cause its part of learning how to train and hopfully get into shape.

Has anyone had an injury like this? Did it take long to get over and how did you approach getting back to training. So far I have only run 9 miles (slowly) and had meant to get up to 11 or 12 by this weekend. There is still time but I am worried I might make it worse or miss my targets for training.

I am aiming for a 4.30 marathon or maybe as much as 5.00 it will be my first. My best 10km last year was 54.30 and I done a half marathon over 2.21 but it was over the burren and I did not realise it would be off road. I need this marathon regardless of time. It means a lot.

Anyhow any advice?

Thanks,

Paul.

Seb
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1)  Hi Bazzmon,
 
Ultra training is particular to each individual, I am actually working on my next article about a simple Ultra Marathon plan.  what is your running background, injuries, availabity fotr training ?
 
You also can read a good articles about it if you read Mick Rice articles :
 
http://www.runireland.com/contributors/mick-rice
http://runningthroughfog.wordpress.com/
 
2) Hi Siobhan
you are welcome, let us know.
 
3) Hi Paul,
 
Not sure if you are looking for my coaching advise or public advises. if you are looking for similar experiences feel free to post in the forum sections.
 
You can also ask Jenny in "ask the physio" she would have more experience than me on this.
 
My personal insight in this would be you are doing weight with intervals when your marathon time is 5h. if you want to run 4.30 I would advice to do more aerobic runs than anaerobic workout. Improve your endurance first on those 6miles and 10 miles before going too long and run on very tired body. Don't be too hard on yourself, run confortably 10km in less than 53min first then increase distance keeping the same pace only. In the mean time go and get checked with a physio, the longer you wait the more you will get hurt and the longer it will take to heal.
 
Seb

C (not verified)

Hi Seb,
Been back running a year now and have done five 10 ks since the summer, really enjoying running at moment,but all my races come in at between 54 and 58 minites and id really like to improve this, not too much but just need advice on the next steps to improve my time, I basiclly go out and run every second day,8 or 10 k, random routes, just run! no specialised training, so any advice to enhancing this,what to add to training etc would be great, Thanks C

Seb
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 Hi C,
 
Your question is very common, people just go for a run and clock some mileage with no specifics.
 
What I woudl advice would be to have a target to reach in each runs, it does not need to be speed but skills such as 10x100m long stride with 200m rest could be one of them.
 
So if you do 4 runs a week for example, you can do 1 long run, 1 recovery run, 1 pace run and 1 speed work run.
 
then in each session you can add what I called training targets : Example
 
- Long run : 12km with 3km warm up then 5k pacing 10km race pace then 2km pacing 5km race pace finish with 2km cool down with 10x100 long strides
 
 - Recovery run : 5/8km at half marathon pace with 3x4min long strides / heels to glutes / landing mid foot. rest of 4min between
 
- Speed session : 3km warm up then 10x400 max with 20sec rest finishing with 2k cool down (lots of track session out there, becarefull not taking too difficult one at the start as it is a very common mistakes) record splitz and improve them
 
- Pace session : run 5/8km pacing every km minus 15secs compare to yor 10km race pace.
 
It's just about planning your sessions really. Those are just examples but it give you an idea of structuring your week.
 
Few more examples here:
 
https://sites.google.com/a/sebfitness.com/sports-ireland/free-training-p...
 
Sebastien

C (not verified)

Hi Seb,
Brilliant! Thanks for all of that, I am going to avail of local track for a change! I guess planning like that will make training more efficient and Il see some changes and improvements to my running,
excited now to start plan.
thanks again,C

cj (not verified)

Hi Seb,

have a question regarding my running technique,
I do a number of races per year from 4 milers to 15 milers. I am ok without being good, recently just run under 24 mins for 4 m,ile or 1:26 for half marathon. I'm finding it difficult to improve on these and realise that my technique is not the best especially later in runs as I tire. I tend to move my arms a lot and think i swivel my body too much. i tried to stop this but it just doesn't seem natural and takes even more energy. Is there any pointers or activities that might help me improve on this?

Seb
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 Hi C,
 
First well done on running the above distances. 24min for for mile is a very descent time and is about 1h24 half marathon pace and sub 3h marathon pace.
 
It seems you are looking for more technical aspect of the the running than training. People neglect running techniques. I use teh following five guidelines :
 
 -head position
- Body Position
- Arms action
- leg actions
- breathing
 
So every sessions should have skills goal based on the above and then you can make them more specific to your needs to sub skills such as flatten your neck, long strides, feet landing, arms not going under the hips etc.....
 
There are many books about this so I could not explain everything in details, but from reading your post, your arms action need to be coordinate with your hips moving back and forward.
 
Would I be right to assume your arms are pacing your body movement ? It happens you let your body following automatic motions unconciously.
 
I usually use the hips movement as a "metronome" to pace the arms actions and strides. You can use the following drills :
- coordinate left hips forward with right Elbow moving forward or the opposite sides. Only concentrate on one side at the time as monitoring two arms together can be difficult.
- same exercise with the foot and opposite hand
- An other one I like, is while doing "butt kicker" Drill make sure you coordinate your kick with yoru arms actions and is use as a tempo.
 
But I think a professional and qualified Coach would certainly help you, for example Catherina McKiernan would do some video analysis, or Vinny Mulvey or James Nolan would look at yoru techniques. Feel free to contact them.
 
I hope I helped a bit.
Sebastien

cj (not verified)

great thanks Seb, I'll have a look at these drills and do a bit more reading up on techniques

thanks again,

cj

Seb
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 Hi Guys,
 
for the people who asked about a 50km / 100km ultra Marathon training program, I designed one here :
 
https://sites.google.com/a/sebfitness.com/sports-ireland/free-training-p...
 
Sebastien

Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Seb,
A big thanks for the ultra programe.

Seb
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 You are welcome :-)

colm_omaille
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Hi Seb,
 
I'm doing a college assignment on 'training for an adveture race'.
 
Any help woud be great.
 
 
colm

Seb
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 I need more details than this to help you :-)
lots of endurance work with Core and conditioning..........
Give us more details

colm_omaille
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i'd be looking at sports specific training, benefits of goal settings, diet

Seb
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 That's a lot of thing to talk about :-)
Send me an email and will send you some readings...... info@runireland.com
It's all about planning, screening, monitoring you can spend your life talking about it.
If you write about it, it could be a great article for the site !
Sebastien

Anonymous (not verified)

What is a good valve watch for tracking your miles and times

Seb
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Joined: 2007-06-19
Posts: 3985

I suppose you meant a good Value watch :-)

Garmin as a good list, the cheapest I think is the 205 for about €85, then Polar would be the next in line for me. But there is lots out there. And every body have a different idea of what they want.

If you don't need Heart rate monitor, you can use your phone (iphone, nokia) and use the www.sports-tracker.com application. I use it quiet a lot, it even track the music you listen, pictures taken while running (I know..... I do) and give you pace and map etc....
 
But again you have to shop around and ask other runners to make your mind :-)

Sebastien Locteau