Monday, December 14, 2009

Moved to new blog address!

Been playing around and MIGHT start using the following as the new SkiRunnerNZ blog.
Word Press has some very cool features the Blogger does not. Mostly its the cleaner look and better looking and easier to use templates that I like. Please visit for the lastest and leave a comment on the new blog to let me know what you think.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pick of the Week- NZ's Busiest Trail Run Week?, Kepler Report

The week starting on the 28th of November to the 5th of December was possibly the busiest week for trail/mountain running in NZ all year. It started with the Heaphy Five 0 on Saturday the 28th. The race had a turnout similar to a ski mountaineering race in NZ, with only 35 on the start line for the 2nd running of this race. Heavy rain and reports of chest high rivers added to slower times than last year and the race was won by Dave Heatley in 7hr57min.
On the Sunday Mal Law started out on his 7 in 7 Challenge, an epic 360km on the 7 "Great Walks'' of NZ.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Back On Track

Training is slowly getting back on track after my recovery period. I planned on springing out of bed this morning and having a quick bite and getting "after it", but instead I hit the snooze a few times and then dragged myself out of bed and opted for coffee and eggs.
I was feeling sluggish after a steady 90mins around the Port Hills yesterday. I Started at the Sign of the Takehe, and quickly found myself on one of the steep, hot dry trails in the upper Bowenvale area/above Vic park. I then ran out to Witch Rock, headed back via Mt Vernon's tiny summit and finished off with the small figure 8 tracks just south of the Sign of the Kiwi before returning to the car.
Today, after my coffee and omelette, I decide to do the trails between BR and CVSC. My watch is away getting a little TLC, so I didn't set a time for how long I would run, as I would have any idea anyway. Starting at 73 and the bottom of Cheeseman Rd and headed to Jack's Pass on the BR rd via farm land and random roads. I then climbed up to Lyndon Saddle, eating jet planes as I went, and then into Craigieburn Valley. I took the valley track up to the Camp Saddle scree slope and scrambled up it. From here the track is well formed, but pretty steep. I was out of water (I was using a 500ml hand held that I was refilling) and keen to get down to a stream. I got to the BR access rd and headed up hill, filling my bottle at a stream and adding some Nuun electrolytes to it. Up the walking track, pass the BR lodges, down the summer rd and back to the stream for a refill. Then I high tailed it back to the car, retracing my steps and eating the last of my jet planes.
It was a really good run, with really warm weather. A strong wind kind of kept things cool, but I ran mostly with my shirt off, which is always a nice feeling.
It was about 3hr10mins all up, which felt great. It's my longest run in a few weeks and it was nice to jump from a 2hr run on Sunday to a 3hr one today. I have started using Attack Point to keep track of my training. Its pretty cool and worth a look.
Just over 10 hrs running in the last week and I am feeling good, I am back on track. My log is HERE

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Korowai/Torlesse Tussock Lands

Had a great little run around the Korowai/Torlesse Tussock Lands today with Jane and Tim. We started just north of Porters Pass and ran up to the pass (939m) and down the overgrown 4wd track. We popped out on 73 after about 30mins of broom bashing and ran up to the hairpin turn on 73 and started running up the steep farm tracks, eventually arriving at Trig M (1251m). We then cross countried it down to Lake Lyndon and back to the car on 73 via the Lyndon fine weather rd. About 2hr10mins. 

Pick of the Week- Rest & Recover

Rest & Recovery have been the key themes in my training (or lack of) since the Molesworth 2 weeks ago, so I figure I will share a few things I find work well for me in aiding recovery.
I think recovering from a high intensity workout or an ultra run is pretty similar, the big difference is how long it is gonna take and that often is the difference between a good athlete and a great athlete, how long, or how well our body takes to recover from one effort to the next. 
Stretching- I love stretching , it's such a great way to relax your legs and give "new life" to tired, tight muscles. Lately how every I have gotten pretty slack and my daily stretching routine is almost non existent. I did a lot in the first 48hrs after the Molesworth.
Massage- I am pretty lucky to have a massage therapist as a neighbor in Castle Hill, so this is dead easy for me. I also got a massage straight after the race, which did wonders.
Compression- I am pretty new to compression wear, but if you believe the hype it works wonders. I'm not sold, I am also not not sold. I find they work well if you ever get twitchy legs while trying to get to sleep. They do seem to relax them then.
Active Rest- I used to think that a rest day meant doing nothing, but I now think of all my rest days as "active rest". A short bike ride, a walk around the block or a short swim, even an easy 30mins on the CHV trails I all consider active rest, which I think is a key, and sometimes overlooked, part of training. The day after the Molesworth, or any race, I make an effort to get out the door, choosing a short bike ride because of its low impact. I also did a little swimming that week. I still have days were I do nothing (today for example), this is when I feel I really need it. It's a fine line between resting your body and losing fitness.
Post Feast- The post race/workout feast, my favorite part of the recovery process. Sometimes I think the only reason I beat myself up is so I can indulge. Post Molesworth dinner was a burger and fries, but normally it's things like tuna, salad, pasta, Kumara and my all time favorite, a smoothie. I am pretty proud of my smoothie making skills and here's my brew for post run - 1 banana, a generous helping of frozen mixed berries, about one cup of light soy milk (I can't handle drinking a heap of full fat dairy milk, and soy milk tastes pretty good in smoothies), or half cup soy milk, half apple juice, a scoop of protein powder (I use Vanilla Bean CytoSport Whey) and maybe a few blocks of ice. Blend all this up and you have a pretty mean recovery formula! Another nice one is low fat milk, a banana, a scoop of Milo, a little vanilla essence and some ice cubes.
What are some of the things you do for recovery?
The last 2 weeks of recovery has gone well for me, with walks, bike rides and even a few solid runs. It's now time to refocus and get serious about training again!
"The skier who forsakes the lifts to climb under his own power to a mountain summit is a very different person from the downhill only piste basher and is often regarded by the latter as something of a curiosity.
But he was the creator of the sport; and possibly with him lies the future"
-Robin Fedden, The book of Europen Skiing, 1966
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