The boys have been preparing
since September for this race (Jim will assure you he started in January!). Training
has been a mixture of running (tempo, hills, sprints and a specific focus on long
runs of 15+ miles at the weekend) mixed with gym strength work and other forms
of cardio like rowing and biking.
Researching and evaluating kit is also a very important part of the preparation
process! Understanding what you need and how much it weighs is critical. It's
not easy. Go light and make life easier, but risk getting cold and hungry. Or
take the comfort option knowing the heavier load will keep you out in the 40 degree
desert heat for longer. Never underestimate the importance of kit.
page is designed to give you the latest updates from the boys:
Sep 2010 - Desert Camp|
and I spent the weekend on the coast just west of Cardiff. MdS veterans Rory and
Jen of UltraRace put on a weekend to inform and advise the runners of the 2011
race. Ben and I eagerly sucked it all up and then spent Sunday morning completing
20 laps of a 1k circuit up and down Europe's largest sand dune finishing equal
second. Neither of us have really started training in earnest, but this has been
a good wakeup call. Lots to do, training plans, kit research and testing, food
and calorie plans, fundraising
the list goes on.
Nov 2010 - Kingston University Sports Science Department|
a great session at Kingston University with Dr Chris Easton who tortured me on
a treadmill to calculate my maximum HR and VO2 Max.
interesting results and definitely good data to assist with training.
Dec 2010 - Injury scare|
usually consist of long run training and I complete short runs and strength work
during the week. This weekend was no exception with 12 miles on Saturday and 17
on Sunday. In general things have been going quite well, or at least should I
say I am training more than I have ever done before for this kind of challenge.
Sunday was not so good. My left knee has started to become quite painful after
getting to about the 13 mile mark - time to seek help.|
Dec 2010 - Specialist Appointment|
the physician today at Wimbledon Clinics, a specialist centre for sports injuries.
He seems to think I have generated a condition called Illiotibial Band Friction
Syndrome (ITBFS). The ITB is the muscle that runs from your butt to your knee.
He thinks the distances I have covered in training, coupled with my running gait
(bow legs!), causes the muscle to rub on the lateral femoral epicondyle which
is the boney protrusion on the outside of your knee.
booked me an MRI scan to rule out anything more sinister and an appointment with
a Sports Podiatrist to check out my gait.|
Dec 2010 - MRI Scan|
to Wimbledon clinics for an MRI. Sat on a chair with my leg stuck in a long hole
within a strange electronic machine called an extremity scanner. The strange noises
of the machine were tempered by classical music being pumped into the room. First
peace and quiet I've had in ages and I proceeded to fall asleep for 30mins! The
photo is misleading, the nurse was nowhere to be seen.
Jan 2011 - Boxhill Knacker Cracker|
most of the country were suffering hangovers, Ben and I met up on Boxhill in Surrey
to compete in the UK's hardest 10k. It's a favourite of mine, having done it for
the last four years. And it's a race with a twist - fancy dress is 'de rigour'.
Ben and I planned to don what has become the Golden Joggers team kit - the morph
suit, but a last minute hitch meant I had to don a token Fr Christmas hat - not
so impressive. It takes the runners up Boxhill four times from different directions
, so is good training for dunes within the MdS.
I stretched my quads on the start line, Ben suggested that I was taking the race
too seriously - which is obviously frowned upon. But as the gun went off for the
start of the race, he galloped off down the hill like a racehorse in the lead
pack. All in all a tough race. I came in 15th position in 00:52:40 cutting four
minutes off my course PB - did someone say I was taking this too seriously?!|
Jan 2011 - Sports Podiatrist|
man with bow legs like yours who runs these kind of distances are prone to shin
splints and ITB issues". Wasn't expecting him to be quite so frank! Anyway,
the pain seems to have subsided, so we agreed probably don't need to do anything
at the moment.
Jan 2011 - Follow-up appointment|
MRI shows a healthy knee in
terms of cartilage and the rest of the main infrastructure (my own medical term).
The physician confirms I have ITBFS suggesting I vary the terrain I run on, continue
stretching religiously, and come back if it flares up again. Good that it we have
identified the problem and it seems to have gone away, bad that its there and
Jan 2011 - Run to work|
Haven't managed to run much
in the last week. Felt guilty last night, so ran the 22 miles into work today.
Cobham - Esher - Kingston - Wandsworth - Fulham - Chelsea - Millbank - Strand,
not particularly picturesque and looked a right plonker with my front loading
drinking bottles, but managed the distance carrying 9kg in 02:58:00 so pretty
happy with that.
Jan 2011 - New Toy!|
My new Garmin GPS arrived
in the week. Took it for a spin around Boxhill. It tells me everything, heart
rate, distance speed etc. Geeky stuff gives me stats that I have no idea what
to do with. A massive case of 'all the gear'.
2 knacker cracker courses, which is just under a half marathon with a massive
1km of ascent and descent with 7kgs of kit in 2hrs - bring it on!
Jan 2011 - 45 mile ultra |
Met Ben on Saturday evening
after he had completed 45miles from Northampton to Tring along the Grand Union
Canal - he'd cruised it and held back knowing he was going back to do the same
in the other direction on the Sunday - 90 miles across 2 days - nutter. I on the
other hand had opted for the one day and I have to admit feeling a fraud as I
realised that a large number of the runners on the start line on Sunday had completed
the previous day.
the started under the pretence that I just wanted to finish the distance to give
me the confidence I can finish the longest day in the desert. That was until I
hit checkpoint 2 at 17 miles and the marshall told me, to my utter astonishment
that I was in 3rd place and only 10 minutes behind the leader. No longer was the
mission to complete - this was now a race. Soon after the second checkpoint I
realised that my knee was starting to hurt again. It became incredibly painful
whenever I tried to start running again after stopping at the remaining checkpoints
or stopping to check the map. The ITBFS was back. None-the-less I continued to
pursue the leaders for the remaining 30miles, but was unable to close them down,
finishing in 3rd place in 7hrs11minutes, 11 minutes behind 2nd place and 25 behind
the winner. Getting a trophy was great, but the return of the injury is concerning.
Massive shout to Ben who completed
the Sunday in another solid performance to complete 90miles in 2 days - no mean
feat. Since then I have been consistently reminded that "real men run both
days"! Thanks to Jen and Rory at UltraRace who organised the run and have
proven fantastic MdS advisors to both Ben and I.
Jan 2011 - Stairs; the ultrarunners nemesis|
Tired and stiff. Never has
anyone looked quite so stupid descending 22 steps. Lets hope the lifts work at
March 2011 - WileyX brand ambassador!|
Proudly announcing my first
endorsement deal! I will be wearing WileyX advanced eyewear during the race to
help protect my eyes from the intense sunlight and keep out the sand should a
storm kick up. Check them out.
March 2011 - Mileage takes a hit|
The knee injury has put a
major halt to all my mileage training. I have therefore had to concentrate on
low-impact training that will not stress the knee. Unfortunately this has meant
my cardio fitness has taken a dive and I hope that the knee will hold out past
the first couple of days.
Jan 2011 - UltraRace 90 mile race|
is fair to say that I've been putting it in over the last few months, and that
training has been quite intense - numerous long runs, early morning gym sessions
and some tasty hill reps. However, due to the laissez faire approach of Price,
and with the annoyingly more natural fitness of Old Man Bruce, I have felt it
necessary to put the hours in so that I am not left behind in the desert.|
In an endeavour to tick a
huge 'physical and mental' box, I recently completed the Ultra 45/90. A 2 day
event, 45 miles each way, running from Northampton to Tring along the Grand Union
Canal, and then back again. If you're a canal boat enthusiast then this is the
event for you. Completing day one was a good result in itself, though knowing
that you had to do it all again was a lot to get the head around. During Day One,
I sporadically received motivating calls from Bruce offering words of encouragement...
why was he not running you ask?... because he was at the Fireman Sam show.
start of Day Two was epic: legs felt rubbish, the delights of Northampton awaiting
45 miles away and the sprightly bow-legged Bruce ready and raring. He literally
dropped me like a hot potato after half a mile, and didn't look back, not even
a goodbye... what a team player. I then spent the rest of the day literally wondering
how/when I was going to finish, and just what is the attraction with canal boat
holidays. A huge low point was fishing in my bag to pull out my ipod... surely
some Bon Jovi could help me home... only to find that the banana I'd been carrying
had burst open and typically wedged itself in the headphone socket and all over
Anyway, 90 odd miles completed
in a cumulative time of about 17.5 hours. A lot also learnt about eating and hydration,
and that the reality of running 50 miles in the desert with sun and sand will
probably be a lot harder.
Feb 2011 - The Golden Joggers First Win!|
this running world it is unlikely that I am ever going to win anything. My preference
for the odd Guinness and lack of Kenyan ancestry have put paid to that. That aside,
and to my utter surprise, you can appreciate my amazement on recently discovering
that having entered a competition whilst purchasing some new trainers that I had
indeed won! It is fair to say that Jen was more delighted with the prize than
I was. Having toiled, sweated and run countless miles over the last few months,
the prospect of putting my feet up after MdS is a great prospect. |
My prize though is a trip
for 2 to run the Amsterdam marathon in October! Great. Another bloody marathon,
and a trip to the diamond capital (amongst other things!) of Europe! Jen is amazingly
supportive and tolerant of this whole debacle, though factoring in a 2 carat diamond
on top of everything else wasn't something I'd thought of. This is costing me
a fortune! Whose stupid idea was it!?!
Feb 2011 - London Ultra|
the epic canal run, training has had its ups and downs. A slight knee twinge resulted
in some lower than intended mileage runs so not to aggravate whatever the cause
This aside I was pleased to polish
off the 50k (31 miles) London Ultra in 4hr 53. My legs have never ached so much
after, though now I can be more considerate and know how Rob feels with his bow
With a few weeks to go, I've
started panic buying kit too. Thankfully with the Golden Joggers kit geek (Rob)
having done PhD level research, decision making is quite straight forward.
Mar 2011 - Grantham Ultra|
Thankfully my last big training
run is complete. Another back to back run, and another bloody canal - 29.3 miles
from Cotgrave (somewhere near Nottingham), to Grantham, and then back again the
following day. This was my first real workout carrying kit, so got a good feel
of what to expect...........yep, I run a lot slower carrying 7.5kg on my bag,
and I ache in more places.
pleased, and completed the cumulative 58 mile distance in 10 hours. Aside from
food and hydration, I also worked on my ipod strategy. Unlike Rob, Kenny G doesn't
really do it for me.....with 6 miles to go tapping into a bit of Linkin Park,
Faithless and Fatboy Slim it was amazing how (or so it seemed), quickly I reached
Event over, I worked
out that I have run over 150 miles of canal in the last 7 weeks. How dull does
Jan 2011 - Dubai Marathon|
As the official "Weakest
Link" in the Tonsley Golden Joggers I have left it late to start proper training,
a shortcoming I blame entirely on the birth of my son Thomas.
decent training run at the Dubai Marathon on 21 Jan. 4hrs 27 with the 11kg I am
planning to start the MDS with - not spectacular but hopefully a pace that could
be kept up on the flatter stretches in the desert. I am also a long way behind
Bruce and Cuttle in the buying stash stakes.
only advice I have to offer the other two thus far is on the one element I have
purchased - some sunglasses... they're very good and keep the sun out of my eyes!
Good enough for your NASA standard test comparisons Brucey?!|
February 2011 - Top Tips from Priceys Maldives Training Camp|
from my desert training camp - I can pass on the following Hot Top Tips:|
- Rum Punches are best served
as a lunchtime beverage when their refreshing qualities can be best appreciated
in the heat of the day without requiring an immediate afternoon snooze on completion.
They are a wasted cocktail as a sundowner when a cold beer is by far the better
Snorkeling is a very tiring activity. On one occasion I had to actually swim AGAINST
a current which quite frankly was more exercise than I was expecting. Snorkeling
should only be undertaken either with the current or after a period of build up
Maldives is a very hot at this time of year, resulting in high sand temperatures.
Should any walking be required then flip flops will prevent bad sand burn injuries,
however my best advice (which I followed religiously) for enjoying a desert training
camp on these beautiful islands is to lie motionless in the sun for as long as
possible and to avoid moving anywhere.
thorough preparation continues!
Mar 2011 - The M&Ms Tests|
Rob heard M&Ms might be
a good source of fuel for the race and asked me to test them out in the heat to
see if they would withstand the rigours of the desert...
Click on the images to watch the video reports.
Mar 2011 - Visualisation Training|
Under pressure from Rob and
Ben to put more work in I went for a run today in order to find some sand to train
on. I found some immediately on the side of the road - it kept getting in my shoes
though which was incredibly annoying, so I came home.
continued my preparation however by carrying out some visualisation training whilst
relaxing on my favourite chair, which I thought would be just as useful as I'm
told mental preparation is half the battle in the MDS. I'm mentally telling myself
that there won't be much sand in the Sahara. Let's hope it works.
Mar 2011 - Jebel Hafeet Time Trial|
First time trial on the raidlight
stash, up and down Jebel Hafeet.
with back and front pack in the heat. Front bottles with tubes did my head in
though. Bog standard bottles for me I think.
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