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Oldschool runner with new training ways.
As an ultra runner it has always been my belief that more is always better. I have touched on this in previous blogs that I have written. Well something amazing happened today, all the training that I have put in finally makes sense. In the past I sometimes struggled with my pace on the longer runs and I think it was due to my approach on how I ran during my training sessions during the week.
If you are using the MPG program you will know that it’s all about personalised target numbers and each individual’s rate of adaptation and recovery . Its no good over exerting yourself on one workout at the expense of those to follow.
Strength work needs to be carefully integrated into your weekly routine ensuring the balance of recovery is correct and doesn't negatively effect your hard workouts. Yes..I think I reached a “Eureka” moment :).
If I am babbling it’s because everything has finally clicked into place. To fine tune my running I must stick to the program and focus on key workouts at the required target pace and include strength routines at the correct time.
Another important point is also not to forget training is a process and to enjoy every step of the journey. The good sessions always outweigh the really tough workouts that we may have battled on. We often forget why we started in the first place and it is always good to take a step back and remember how far we have come.
A huge thanks to an awesome community of like minded athletes and to the coaching team which I am proud to be affiliated with. Onwards and upwards, myprogramgenerator rocks!!
If you are new to MPG and you don’t understand something on your program besides the notes that are provided on your workout, you can always get in touch with your coach. We are here to help..
The New year is upon us
Wow! Another year has begun and for a lot of people new resolutions and new aspirations. To us athletes it’s about being better than we were last year or the year before that..it never ends and for some of us, well we enjoy the christmas period because it’s a time to unwind and relax for a week or two, not to mention indulging in all of the nice food and drink that the festive season has to offer.
Like most athletes I fear putting on weight and feeling like the the Michelin Man, which I have to admit was the case with me. But I’m getting back to normal and training is beginning to feel normal, well...as normal as a “oompa lumpa” can be :). It’s only a minor setback, the body is the most amazing machine, treat it well and you will be amazed. Keep with the program and be consistent, the results will come quicker than you expect.
On another note remember that your partner,friends,family all put up with a lot, especially this time of year when you’re complaining about having eaten too much and made a total pig of yourself:) it’s not their fault. Instead of taking it out on them go for a run, pop into the gym, maybe even have an “argument ” with the road or the punching bag. Believe me you’ll feel a lot better and too tired to have any sort of other arguments.
If you are new to MPG a heartfelt welcome from us all and we hope that you achieve whatever goals you’re aiming for this year. We are totally behind you...Go Get It.
What do you do when things go pear shaped?
I haven’t blogged in ages and that’s due to being exceptionally busy with a bit of part time work on a farm working long hours, having a chest infection from hell and losing a bit of my passion for running. The good thing about being part of an awesome team of athletes and coaches, is that we all go through tough patches, whether it be battling to get training done, getting sick ,injured or due to life challenges where priorities need to change due to circumstances.
As a passionate runner it has been hard to accept that my running has had to take a nosedive in recent weeks. However with myprogramgenerator.com you can use the time off feature or daily logging to ensure the program tracks periods
of limited training and takes them into consideration for your future workouts when you come back to your program. This functionality is awesome and will help me after the rough patch I have been having and I am sure if you are struggling this will help you as well.
As athletes we strive to be the best that we can be and without a support network it is a very difficult feat to attain. MPG have a fantastic support network and this fact alone makes them unique when comparing to other similar generic platforms.
Next week I will get back into my running and knowing that I have a workout program that will monitor and assess my progress to ensure I build up safely and optimally gives me great peace of mind. It is going to be hard getting up at crazy o’clock in the dark and cold of the morning but I know that the buzz we get from the training we do, sets us up for the day ahead.
If you want something bad enough in life you will find a way. Having the right support, structure and guidelines makes it possible.
The choices you make are yours and no one elses...Get out there and enjoy your training. Difficult when you’re doing it, but so rewarding when you’re done :)
Frustrations of injuries and illness
I’m sure that we have all had some kind of injury or illness that has left us frustrated and really bad tempered ? A lot is due to our mindset that says sitting on the sofa or lying in bed doesn’t get our training done, am I right? In this case I will answer my own rhetorical question and say a definite yes!!
So what do we do ? The logical answer is determine how bad you’re injured or illness is and go with it, this is often where we as athletes fall short instead of listening to all our bodies signals and if one of your limbs is positioned in precarious manner, possibly not a good time to head out training…?:):)
We are a really stubborn bunch who can’t always find that balance between overdoing things and getting everything just right. For many of us with kids, work and other responsibilities it’s not easy, unless you have an exceptional support structure or amazing time management skills.
To conclude the most important thing to remember when you have the flu or an injury is to assess and decide whether you can train or whether you’ll have to ease up or ease off completely. Be honest, it's up to all of us to assess and decide what to do and how far to push ourselves...there is absolutely no point in pushing and then end up sidelined for 6 weeks when you could be back in 2 weeks fully recovered.
When in doubt or you have a niggle that won't go away, see a medical professional who can run the necessary tests and make the correct diagnosis. Many of us often play doctor when we shouldn’t. Always remember to chat to your coach for guidance when returning to training as you will need to ease back to training correctly.
(Visit https://myprogramgenerator.com/res/gettingsick.pdf for some great guidlines on assesing whether you should train or race )
To all of our partners,family and friends out there, thankyou for putting up with our early mornings and everything else that comes from being passionate and hooked on achieving our next PB. You all deserve medals:)
The happenings since the last blog was published.
Life is certainly a challenge, and without running, things would probably be hard to deal with. I feel absolutely blessed for being able to run, and appreciate the learning experiences from being part of an awesome team of coaches at MPG Fitness – both the obviously positive things and the seeming negatives which from time to time seep into the positives, but which also serve as good lessons. I suppose as humans we are susceptible to negative thoughts and these can often cloud our judgement and make us forget all the good that we have achieved.
Since my last post I attempted my first ultra training run. The plan was to run 60km. All my training leading up to it felt good and I was fairly confident that I would complete with no real hassle; after all I had run two 50k distances last year no problem... Unfortunately I forgot to take into account the injuries I have had since September last year - I was truly expecting miracles.
I set off at 4am Sunday morning 2 weeks back, feeling out of sorts and achy. As a runner these little niggles normally appear and disappear after a few kms. However after hitting the 25km mark the wheels seemed to come undone and I started walking to see if I could shake my legs out - they were starting to cramp badly. I managed to reach a filling station at 31kms and that’s where I finally realised it wasn’t going to happen.
The lesson learned on the run is that even though I was doing the program (myprogramgenerator) I wasn’t doing it properly. Now, thanks to JP my supportive coach, for the first time in my life I am doing what I am told and listening, because even though I didn’t complete my target of 60km I still completed half the distance and have also gained a few PBs . So onwards and upwards! In a month or so I’ll re-attempt that 60km ????.
In conclusion: if you can stick to the program and do what it - and your coach - tells you, there’s no reason that you won’t be able to achieve the impossible.
Another month working out with Mpg generator
These past few weeks have flown by, with me doing assignments, training ,climbing the great wall of China and being made a member of an awesome team. I have barely had time to think. (Yes - exaggerating just a bit...)
The great thing about being affiliated with like minded people is that most of the time, we get what we need to succeed, whether it be on the road or bike, or in the pool or office. To succeed you need to see outside the box.
When I started with Team MPG and their awesome program I didn’t realise just how effective the program would be. Now? Well, I am hooked; anything that makes me a better, more efficient runner is definitely a “must do”. I love the fact that the support is second to none and that we are like one big family of fitness frea… I mean fitness fanatics????.
The passion and enthusiasm I have for running - and sport in general - is huge, and hopefully that will help with our big venture in Ireland and possibly Europe… Who knows ? The future is looking optimistic and it feels good. I definitely don’t know it all, but I love to share what I do know to help others in any way possible.
Tomorrow is assessment day and I am quietly optimistic and excited. Who is doing their assessment this week? I was chatting to JP the other day and he said something that stuck in this old school, ultra runner’s head “If you don’t see good results or see no results at all, there’s always next month.” Well, it was not exactly what he said, but it was close enough. I am just going to enjoy my run and take it as it comes.
Team MPG rock’s !!
My program generator part 2 (It's late but done:) )
For many years I thought “more” - of everything - was essential to gain fitness and stamina. But, having worked with Team MPG for awhile, I’m now convinced that the science of “do less for more” is the way forwards.
Although one of the principles of the MPG program is “do less to gain more”, there’s nothing easy about it – and don’t get me wrong; I still love pushing myself hard. It keeps me in the right frame of mind.
In my case, though, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
I started a couple of months ago, with loads of healing injuries, and like the over-zealous athlete I was and still am, I just kept trying to run through them. Eventually, enough was enough and I decided to use the option on MPG to take a break. It was definitely the best thing I could have done. If you take a look at my running stats for when I started and then again recently you can see a vast improvement - a 26% improvement to be exact! - and that surely can’t be coincidence?!
I’m running easy this week because I’m heading to China as ambassador for the Great Wall Marathon, and if I get an opportunity to run even 5km on the wall I will literally jump at the chance -It would be the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in along time!
I really want to applaud team MPG on an excellent program for the average to elite athlete. The results are amazing and if you can keep up with the program, these improvements will progress further and further. I’ve found that the program works, even if you don’t follow it in a strict regime. (I did all of my workouts back to front for example, doing my long slow run first, my long slow cycle the next day and so on.) It’s great that you can adapt the workout to suit your particular situation.
In conclusion if you want to do less and see overall improvements, this program with the MPG team is for you. It still means working hard, but getting excellent results by a doing a little less.
Before I go to bed
I thought I might write something before going to bed maybe a bedtime story of an injured runner who has finally come to his senses. I haven't done much running this last while because of nagging injuries. Which I could have avoided if I wasn't so damn pig headed..Just received an email to enter my training program and I chose to take another week off..yes believe it or not , I actually chose to take time out from training..
If touching the wall or running 10k is my fate so be it ..at least I will get, to The Great Wall and at this moment in time my focus is a bit blurred with everything else going on around me. Business and administration class/course ,kids going to school ,daughter getting her confirmation and the list goes on .. For an unemployed man I'm fairly frikken busy.. It probably seems to you, who are reading this that I am making excuses.. I am not at all, my passion for sport and specifically running hasn't changed, its my priorties that have.
I await my running shoes with patience and for my injuries to improve so that I can once again do what I am good at and really passionate about, R..u..n..l..o..n..g!! and maybe or more then likely run my long runs faster and with ease..well as easy as ultra running can be????
As always thanks to an Mpg team for being supportive and really helpful.
The Injury lay off
I think it was just a matter of time before I would give in to a crappy injury/s...We all go through different phases with running and some are luckier then others..guess I literally had a good run of it the last two years. Its really cool that we now get the option to take a break for whatever reason, thanks to the programmer for doing a top job. It now means that if you have things on that you can defer your workout or program until you are ready to commit again.
In my own opinion the program that I was on when I started which was an amateur ultra program and then the injuries escalated and had to change to a duathlon program which seemed to work ..and then lol wasn't able to walk..Feels like all the hard work I had put in had gone to zero..?!!It's seriously frustrating and I'm sure you guys and girls know what I mean..?
An injury can be a big pain in the proverbial or in my circumstance a blessing in disguise. I think once I get back into to training mode, it's going to be conservative for a week or two and then try my damndest to stick to the program until I head to China and the Great Wall Marathon. Team Mpg are awesome and I am really proud to be affiliated with all you dudes and dudettes. I always seem to work really well with like minded people thank you.
My Program Generator
My name is Shawn Crafford and I’m sure you all know who I am by now, I’m South African born and reared in the town where once a year all the runners in South Africa and around the world migrate to Kwa Zulu Natal to run the iconic Comrades marathon from Pietermaritzburg (my town) or from Durban. I am the odd one out in my small town of Ballyjamesduff County Cavan Ireland because I run Ultra distances for fun and I am hoping to complete the comrades one more time. I have completed from Durban to Pietermaritzburg and got a DNF from Pietermaritzburg to Durban so it’s definitely on my to do list but for the time being I have engrossed myself trying to get funding for The Great Wall Of China Marathon and maybe prevent injuries reoccurring by training smarter.
I have only started using Mpg (My program generator) and already find a difference in my speed, even with niggling injuries. I am an Ultra runner and it is difficult for me to give into injury but yes as hard core as I am tearing an abductor in September last year and being immobilised for the guts of more or less three months really sucked. It was after a physio session that I actually felt a little better and knew that I would be on the road soon enough. However my over- zealous nature got the better of me and I started where I left off in September and this time it was my toe that started playing up. I found out that besides having a touch of arthritis my kicks weren’t great either.
I started the program mid -February and was set up with an amateur Ultra program. I actually started off pretty well and found that the program was good but pace settings were a bit slow for me..So I improvised by adding a pace that is within what I deem as slow…However due to the irritating toe injury and inappropriate kicks I had to change the program with more low impact training everyone has been awesome and very helpful. Thanks to the Mpg team and Fred the head coach for the help and advice. I am now on a duathlon program which I am adapting to my own needs. I try to stick to the plan as best as I can but cycling is only a tool for me to recover from my toe problems and oh yes and then get this….. Went back to the physio with a sprained quad..!!!!! and now my abductor is playing up again..
In conclusion , so far with both programs I have benefited with extra speed ,better fitness and my strength training was stagnant for a while this has definitely changed in the last few weeks. I have to admit that I do add in extra sets to my strength workout but it’s nice to play around and see what works as well..