Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The countdown is on...

The countdown is on…

So, with the London marathon just under 7 weeks away the excitement is starting to build. And to be honest it’s all I can talk about. Training is continuing to go extremely well and the plan over the past few weeks has been to get the balance right between rest days, speed sessions and long runs. Speed sessions are becoming more and more addictive. The thought of running quick really does excite me.

Running has defiantly made me a better person and has defiantly lit a spark that encourages me to push myself to my limits and accomplish the impossible. I have been pushing myself and my body more and more each week and I am really starting to see progress in my times. I truly believe with determination, self belief, patience, persistence, hard work and smart training you can achieve your goals.

Training for a race builds character. Those early morning runs in the cold, wind and rain. The weekends you skip having a lie in so you can go training. The aches and pains you put your body through. But in the end you are stronger for it and it all seems worth while.

Race day/Gosford 10k trail race.

On Saturday 18th January I ran the Born 2 run Gosford Forest Park 10k trail race. Prior to the race I had set myself three goals. To set a new 10k distance pb, run a sub 40 minute race time and finish in the top 30 runners. At the start we where greeted with a typical winters day, lashing rain and close to zero temperatures. Having trained at Gosford a few weeks prior to the race I knew the trails where going to be muddy. The race got underway and I knew after the first mile I was slightly behind my race pace and I was trying to fight my way through the eager runners as best as possible. When I got to mile 3 I had started to get some space to run in and was starting to pull back some of the time I had lost and the start. There was a group of 6 runners ahead of me and I knew if I could get onto someone’s shoulder in that group then this would help me along. The pace was starting to quicken and I had managed to get myself into the group that was ahead of me. Between mile 5 and 6 I must have looked at my Garmin at least 20 times and I knew a sub 40 minute finish wasn’t going to happen. I was running hard in the hope I could take as much time off my current pb as possible. I crossed the finish line and looked at my Garmin. I stopped my watch at 41:39. My initial reaction was one of disappointment. I was gutted I didn’t run a sub 40 minute time. I had taking a few moments to gather my thoughts. I try to take the positives from every training session/training run I do and I was going to take the positives from this race. I had smashed a new pb by nearly 5 minutes. And I found out later that morning that I had finished 28th out of 471 runners. Two out of three goals isn’t bad.

Gosford !0k trail race

Clocking up the miles.

With both marathons fast approaching I have been increasing my distances in my long runs. I had a long run (15 mile) scheduled for Sunday 2nd February. I had no real desire to run it in a good time. My goal was to get some miles on my legs. I was plodding along in my own wee world and I remember looking at my Garmin just before mile 6 and thinking to myself ‘If I can keep running at this pace then there is a chance of running a half marathon distance pb today’, So I decided to push on a bit. As each mile passed I kept checking my pace and was trying to work out in my head if I was on for a pb or not. Just before mile 13 I glanced at my Garmin and it was at that point I realised I was going to smash it. And for a runner there is no better feeling than running a pb, no matter what the distance. I completed the 15 mile run in 1:49:06. Average pace for the run was 7:16 min/mile and a new 13.1 mile (half marathon) pb of 1:35:40. The hard work was now really starting to pay off.

Since then I have increased my long runs by another few miles. Completing 17.15 miles in 2:10:13. Average pace for the run was 7:36 min/mile. I am hoping to run two/three more long distance runs over the coming 5/6 weeks with the aim to take my distance up to around the 20 mile marker. That will take me nicely up to the end of March. On Saturday 29th March I am running the Omagh half marathon, then it’s time to taper.

Having ran a pb for 10k (41:39) and half marathon (1:35:40) distances already this year I am really in the mood to run a fast time at the London marathon. I might never get the chance to run the London marathon again so I want to smash a new pb for this distance as well.

My goal for London is firstly to raise money and awareness for Diabetes UK and secondly, finish in a FAST time. I can feel myself getting faster and quicker in both my short and long distance training runs and I have got my average down to just over 7 min/mile for my long runs I have a race plan/marathon pace set for London and I am running well with in that at the moment. I am hoping to wear a ‘GoPro’ head camera whilst running the London marathon to capture some of the highs and lows of running a marathon. This should be fun as I tend to talk to myself during my long runs, mainly shouting the words ‘relax’, ‘pace’ and ‘discipline’. So yea, it should be fun.

Until next time, keep running.


Monday, 6 January 2014

Training blog

Hey guys, It’s been a while.

Sorry it’s been so long since my last blog but things have been hectic over these past few months.

Since my last blog it seems like I have done so much. I ran a pb of 1:39:37 at the Belfast Half Marathon, had a relaxing week away in sunny Malta, completed the Armagh 10 mile road race and moved into my new house. Oh yea and I got a Golden Bond place for the London marathon.

To be chosen as a Diabetes Golden Bond runner for the London marathon 2014 means the world to me. Charity places at events like these are few and far between and I am extremely proud and grateful to have received a place. And it’s something I plan to complete to the best of my ability.

I think it’s fair to say I have got the hunger and desire back and I love running again. The later months in 2013 proved to be extremely enjoyable. In 2014 I plan to make my goals reality.

Over the past 6 months training has been going extremely well. I have started running with others which I am really enjoying. I am becoming extremely competitive with myself and my running watch and my times and pace is improving every week.

If you are into running and you don’t have a Garmin running watch then you need to invest in one. They are a serious piece kit and you can connect it up to your computer and get a breakdown of every run you do. As sad as it is I spend at least 30 minutes each week on Garmin Connect looking at statistics to see where and how I can improve on my times.

Over these past 6-8 weeks I have been getting 4-5 good training sessions each week. Training is time consuming but I love every second of it. I feel extremely luck to be fit and healthy and able to train as much as I do. Speed sessions, speed runs, gym work and swimming has been my focus over these past few months. Swimming is something that is completely new to me. Most people learn how to swim at a young age but when I was young I just didn’t like the pool. I find it is perfect for recovery but also good for fitness. I can just about swim a length of the pool. But for someone who hated the water a couple of moths ago I feel this is progress. I feel blessed every day of the week to half such caring and supportive people around me constantly give me training tips and advice. Speed runs are awesome. I have been concentrating on a lot of short distance speed runs lately, 3-4 mile runs at a fast pace. I feel it is good to set yourself goals and targets as part of your training. My goal for the last 6 weeks was to run 3 miles in sub 20 minutes. I was always finishing 3 milers in around 21-22 minutes but I knew deep down I could do better. I was contemplating taking a one week break from training over the Christmas period but I knew if I did my training may take a step back so I decided to train as normal over Christmas and New Year. My legs felt fresh so I thought why stop. Just after Christmas I smashed a 3.07 mile run in 19:52. I am now starting to see the rewards of all he speed work in my longer runs. I ran 8 miles at the start of December in just over 1 hour. I ran the exact same route 4 weeks later (5th January) and came in on 56:46. Almost 5 minutes quicker, now that’s progress. If you are not breathing heavy when running then you are not pushing yourself hard enough. Running hard and relaxing at the same time is a challenge by its self but it’s something I’m getting more comfortable with each run. I take the positives from every single session I do.

Marathon training isn’t about running every day of the week. You have to train smart and look after your body. To train for a marathon you need to be extremely focused, strong minded, highly motivated, mentally and physically tough. 70-80 % of your training is in your head. Look in the mirror, that’s your competition. If you can beat the mind games and get focused then you will achieve your goals will ease. Some days you wake up and the wind and rain is bashing off the window, your natural reaction when you hear weather like that is to pull the duvet over your head and go back to sleep. You don’t get fit for marathons lying in bed. You have to suck it up, get the training kit on and head out. I absolutely love running in the rain. Before every training session I take a minute to myself, relax and remind myself the reasons for doing what I do. Yes, I am putting in some decent times in my runs but deep down it’s not about that. It’s about making my family proud, raising awareness of Diabetes, fundraising and inspiring others to achieve their goals.

My training plan for the coming weeks is to continue with the speed sessions/speed runs and up my distances in my longer runs. And with less than 100 days until the London marathon it’s time to get strict with the diet as well. No more chocolate biscuits.

Natalie, a good friend of mine is also running the London marathon this year. Running is something we both love and it is great to get out for training runs together.  Natalie paced me for the majority of the Belfast half marathon so we are used to running at a similar pace. Her constant advice and support is greatly appreciated. And you never know, I may get her out training in a Diabetes UK t shirt soon enough.

I received my DUK race day t shirt in the post just before Christmas. I am quite sentimental when it comes to stuff like that. To know I will be wearing this t shirt representing Diabetes UK at the London marathon completely overwhelms me. And it’s something I will take huge pride in doing.

The challenge has been set and I am completely focused on what’s ahead of me. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far and thanks to my family and friends for their continued support. And a special thanks to my wonderful girlfriend Nic who is continuing to be a complete rock for me. Her constant love and support is overwhelming and it means the world to me. Training hard means spending time away from loved ones and that for me has to be the hardest part of what I do.

I am planning some fundraising events over the coming months so watch this space. In the meantime donations can be made via the link below or text JTDU85 (amount) to 70070.

In the meantime if you want to follow my training progress via Twitter (@jamietomaselli), Instagram (jamietomaselli) or Facebook (Jamie Tomaselli) then please do so.

Happy 2014 everyone.

Until next time. Keep running.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Clocking up the miles during August.

Clocking up the miles...

So with the Belfast half marathon only eleven days away, August brought around a tough but very enjoyable training month. Between the 1st of August and the 10th of September I clocked up nearly 74 running miles, 30 km's on the bike and numerous gym sessions. Up until now my training has consisted of a lot of short distance fast runs, speed/sprint sessions and bike sessions.

On Sunday the 4th of August I headed out for my first long run since I had started back into my training. And to be honest I wasn't really looking forward to it. For me, it wasn't about punching a fast time in, it was all about getting miles on my legs. I managed to clock up 10.1 mile in 1h 28m. For my first long run in over a year I was pretty happy with that. Over the next eleven days I went back to my usual short distance fast runs and speed sessions.

Speed sessions for me normally consist of 200m light jog, 200m sprint, 30 seconds rest (repeat 8 times). Followed by 70m sprints (repeat 8 times). It might not sound like much but it does have its benefits when you head out for a normal run. I will be adding tougher speed sessions to my training program over the winter months.

On Friday the 16th of August I decided to do a repeat of my previous 10 mile run this time I managed to push on and do 10.6 mile in 1h 26m. Further distance, better time. The hard work was finally starting to pay off.
Training four to five times a week does have its effects on the body but its a pain I am willing to go through.

Towards the end of August I treated myself to pair of new running shoes. I headed to Gosford forest park in Markethill to break them in. I had set out with the idea of doing a few mile and ended up running 7.87 mile in 1h 4m, with an average pace of 8:12min/mile. The new running shoes where an instant hit. Trail running is something that is new to me. It offers something different from road running but still has the same excitement and buzz.

I try to space my long runs out to give my body sufficient recovery time. In between each long run I concentrate on short distance runs, speed work and gym sessions.

Sunday the 1st of September brought around my next long run. Gosford forest park was again the location and I smashed 8.65 mile in just under 1h 9m with my average pace for this run coming in at bang on 8min/mile.

In my short runs I have managed to get my pace per mile to under 8min/mile and my long runs are averaging out at just over 8min/mile. And being honest, I am really happy with that.

Marathon training isn't just about getting out and pounding the roads every day of the week. You have to train smart and mix up your sessions as much as possible. Cycling is a perfect way to keep fit and get miles on your legs without the stresses and strains that comes along with road running. A big part of marathon training is down to diet, determination and willpower. 60/70% of training is all about getting into the right frame of mind. If you beat the mind games then you will achieve your goals with ease. I regularly use ice baths. For some, ice baths are grim but I think they are fantastic and recommend it to anyone doing intense exercise.

To give myself the best preparation as possible for next week I decided to treat myself to a deep tissue massage/sports massage. Sports massages are quite painful, but they do you the world of good. They are designed to relieve severe tension in your muscles. Over the next week I will concentrate on a couple of short distance runs then its time to taper down and save some energy and rest my legs for the half marathon on Sunday 22nd September.

My pb for a half marathon distance is 1h 49m. So fingers crossed I can take a few minutes off that time next Sunday.

The support my family and close friends have shown me over the past few months has been over whelming and for that I am truly grateful. Fundraising will be ongoing for the next nine to ten months and I will have a just giving page set up in October time. If anyone is free next Sunday them come along and cheer me on. The finish line is at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast and I would love to see some of you's there.

Until then, keep safe.

August/September training breakdown :-

1/8 - Rest day
2/8 - Rest day
3/8 - Rest day
4/8 - Long run - 10.1 mile run
5/8 - Rest day
6/8 - Rest day
7/8 - Speed session. 3 mile run (double session)
8/8 - Rest day
9/8 - Rest day
10/8 - Rest day
11/8 - 3 mile fast run
12/8 - Rest day
13/8 - Gym session
14/8 - 3 mile run
15/8 - Rest day
16/8 - Long run - 10.6 mile run
17/8 - Rest day
18/8 - Rest day
19/8 - Rest day
20/8 - 30 km bike session
21/8 - Gym session. 3 mile run (double session)
22/8 - Rest day
23/8 - 3 mile run
24/8 - Rest day
25/8 - 3.5 mile run
26/8 - Rest day
27/8 - Rest day
28/8 - Long run - 7.87 mile run
29/8 - 3 mile fast run.
30/8 - 3 mile recovery run
31/8 - Rest day

1/9 - Long run - 8.65 mile run
2/9 - Rest day
3/9 - 3 mile run. Swimming pool (recovery)
4/9 - 3 mile run
5/9 - Rest day
6/9 - 3 mile run
7/9 - Rest day
8/9 - Rest day
9/9 - 3.5 mile run
10/9 - Sports massage

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Reasons for running for Diabetes UK. Training for 26.2

Why run for Diabetes UK??

People always ask me, why run for Diabetes UK. The answer to that is simple. Although I don't suffer from Diabetes my sister however does. Diabetes UK is a charity very close to my heart as my sister has suffered with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 5. She is now 37.  For Julie, to be diagnosed with diabetes at such a young age, had a huge impact on her childhood and on our daily family life.  Julie has been insulin dependent since her diagnosis, and has had to cope with injecting herself up to 4 times a day. In her younger years she found her diabetes really hard to keep under control and from the stories my family have shared with me, I don’t want to see other kids going through the same as what my sister went through. She never has any days off from her condition, she constantly has to manage and monitor it and especially on Christmas Day when she was young, it was extremely difficult for her and my mum!  However, her diabetes is more manageable now as improvement in treatment and support has improved over the last 20 years. I know this is partly down to the fantastic work that Diabetes UK has done in funding millions of pounds of research into the condition and treatment. I read a quote on the Diabetes UK website which was “Although diabetes cannot yet be cured it can be managed very successfully. This is likely to involve lifestyle changes that will have enormous health benefits and allow a person to continue their normal day-to-day life.” And this statement is so true.  Diabetes doesn’t stop your life, you just have to live it in a different way by managing your condition.  
By taking part in events across the country it will allow me to raise awareness of the condition itself, but also the brilliant work which the charity does on behalf of people living with diabetes and their families. I really hope by raising awareness of diabetes that one day someone will read or hear about my story, and this will in turn inspire them too!  
My goal for the next year is to complete the London marathon 2014 (providing I get a golden bond place) and then conquer the Belfast marathon 2014, just two weeks later! I also plan to complete three to four half marathons before April 2014, which are all in aid of raising funds for Diabetes UK. I have my first half marathon in Belfast this year in September and I am already looking forward to wearing the Diabetes UK running vest.  
Training for 26.2...
Training for the 'dreaded' 26.2 is well under way.

I try to vary my training as much as possible including short distance runs, speed/sprints sessions, gym sessions, bike sessions and fartlek runs. Over the past few months I have been concentrating on a lot of speed work and short distance runs but with the Belfast half marathon fast approaching I have now started to add long runs into my training plan. Since I have started back into training I have managed to get my long runs up to the ten mile marker. As much as I love a short fast distance run there is no better feeling than putting the head phones in and heading off for a long slow distance run. I find that training with someone else really does improve your performance in every session.

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing with you a break down of my weekly training and diet to give you an insight of the efforts it takes to get fit for a marathon.

You don't have to suffer from Diabetes to go the extra mile to help such a worthy charity.

Until then, keep running...