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Monday, June 10, 2019

New adventures in Ottawa, ON, Canada

The past year has been quite eventful and I have not spend much time in here, however, here's an update.

Almost a year ago me and my partner-in-crime moved to Ottawa to start a new adventure after having lived in beautiful Oxford (UK) for the past +6 years. We both 
loved (and still do) Oxford and our friends there – and will always have a special place in our hearts!

As this is a blog mostly about running, so I’ll try to stick to that...

Moving to Canada from UK has meant a huge change weather-wise. Especially the winter: here in Ottawa they actually have a proper winter with snow and ice - somewhat different from our years in Oxford where I think we had snow maybe 5 times in total lasting from a few hours to a week at the most. (Don't get me wrong - it could for sure feel very cold outside in UK too!) This - a proper winter - I have been looking very much forward to experience: -35 deg. C, +2.5 metres of snow, skating to work and for fun, snow-storms, freezing rain, ice in the beard, etc. You know: a proper winter - Like when my Dad was a kid ðŸ˜‰

We knew from the start when we moved here, that winter was going to be much longer than what whatever “winter” we had in Oxford (and Denmark for that matter). And we were told we’d have to try and embrace it, otherwise we wouldn’t last one winter here. And just that we did: Embraced it! Used it! And made the best of it!

Instead of complaining about the weather and staying warm inside, we conquered the winter-months (snow from mid-November till somewhat mid-April) by venturing out into the snow and cold. We picked up skating, and I actually started skatting to work on the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway (world’s largest skating rink), which had almost 1.5 million visitors this season. A great experience to actually be able to skate to work, which would not be possible if the winter wasn’t as cold as it is here. Where else can you do that?

Before the skateway opened for the season (or if it was closed due to poor ice conditions) I cycled to work. At the time I had approx. 4km on the shortest path to work (which I only took once, because I was in a hurry). Instead I have been taking the scenic, longer (8km) route to work, which for most of the time would be along the Ottawa River on a walking/cycling path only partly maintained for winter: in some places it was cleared completely and in others not so much! However, it was great fun to plow through the piles of snow, especially on those sub -25 deg. C crispy-air-mornings when nobody had been on the path yet. It sometimes could be tough work to get through the masses, but what the heck: it was great fun 😊

Spiky tires

To be able to conquer the elements on my mountain bike, I invested in spiky tires: +400 spikes on each tire. And they sure came in handy in the those icy conditions – they worked like a charm – even on the world’s largest icerink they were awesome! I found out later that you aren't supposed to be riding your bike on the frozen canal due to many being injured in previous years (those fools: who would ever think of cycling on ice?!😅). However, if the cycle paths were so full of snow that you could literally “park” you bike in the snow and it would still be standing up-right and the roads being nothing but death-traps for cyclists because many cars (drivers) don’t give a flying s**t about your well-being, I’d rather put my faith in those slightly expensive, yet amazing studded tires and take my chances on the frozen canal. And the tires worked beautifully on the ice indeed!

Okay, okay - I said I’d try to stick to running… 

For running in the winter, I found that with temparetures around -30 deg. C and snowy/icy conditions, running is still great fun: You just need to layer up, put your mind to it and get out there. Imagine those crispy -35 deg. C mornings with no wind, icy crystal on every surphase glittering in the sun and you can feel the dry air so fresh in your lungs, and ice-crystals starting to form on every surface of your exposed face: your beard starts growing icicles and your eyelashes and brows start producing fine-structured crystals of their own, and before you know it, you look like King Frost/The Ice Queen. There is no such thing as bad weather for running – only bad excuses. Layer up and get out there…

Layers for -35 deg. C: 
1 x inner no-sleeve top
3 x relatively thick long-sleeved tops
1 x wind proof jacket
2 x buff around neck
1 x hat + 1 x buff (double layered) on head 
1 x short tights on legs
1 x long winter tights on legs
1 x outer wind proof layer on legs
1 x pairs of socks
2 x pairs of gloves
That's about it... 😉
+ shoes of course.

Ottawa Marathon 2019
My training during the winter months was a necessity as I signed up for the Ottawa Marathon (26th May 2019). I know that you can run on a treadmill indoors being warm and comfy, but that’s just not my kind of thing. Anyways, the Ottawa Marathon was quite small compared to the ones I have run previously: Copenhagen Marathon in 2014 (1st Marathon) had approx. 10.000 runners; London Marathon in 2017 had approx. 40.000 runners and approx. 800.000 spectators. Ottawa Marathon had about 3500 and sparsely scattered (yet still enthusiastic) spectator-crowds. However, it was a well organized and structured event with lots of amazing volunteers, who had worked hard to make it a great event. It may be a relatively small event compared to my two previous Marathons, but it’s still one of Canadas largest Marathons. I totally enjoyed it and it provide me with a PB-improvement of over 15 minutes. I ended up with completing it in 3h31m12s. I’ll definitely be back for next years event 😊. And another plus-side to the Ottawa Marathon: I only have a 5 minute walk from home to the start/finish-line 😉.

My next race/running-event will be a 6-hour-loop-run on a 1.8km track on the outskirts of Gatineau Park in the end of July 2019. More on that to follow...

A few days back, I did my first trail-run of the year in Gatineau Park. Weather was perfect for it. Last year I created a trail of somewhat 21.1km (half-marathon) with a +600 metres elevation gain which I named #DragonTrail. It's relatively close to the city, and there's only 10km bike-ride to get there. So a bit of cross training as a bonus. Anyways, it was so beautiful and amazing out there. This is why I love trail running so much... See the photos below!

See ya all out there...
Best M.






Sunday, February 4, 2018

VIVOBAREFOOT Primus Trail SG

This week my new trail shoes arrived: VIVOBAREFOOT Primus Trail SG ðŸ˜Ž

Over the past many months I have been changing my running style towards forefoot running. I must admit that reading Christopher McDougalls "Born To Run" has much to do with it. You can read more about the book here.

I have two other pairs of VIVOBAREFOOT shoes for everyday walking and I love 'em. They are so comfortable - I am forever a changed man regarding shoes. Therefore, I also wanted to get some running shoes and my old trail shoes were getting a bit trashed. I've had my eye on the VIVOBAREFOOT Primus Trail SG for a long time and they simply look awesome! So finally I decided to buy them.

I took the Primus Trail SG for their first run in Shotover, Oxford, which is a great place to put them to the test. It was awesome to wear a pair of trail shoes with room enough for my toes to spread out and feel free, as my old trail shoes (Salomon Speedcross 3), which are probably also a size too small, squeezes my toes together leaving virtually no space for movement. Don't get me wrong - they have served my well and have done a great job on the trails! It's simply time to change! 
I logged 20km in the new Primus Trail SG on hilly and muddy trails and they felt awesome all the way. I have got no negative points besides from them being a bit pricey and that the sizing is different (smaller) compared to my other VIVOBAREFOOT shoes - had to go a full size up.




VIVOBAEFOOT Primus Trail SG:

Their appearance give them away as being real beasts for the trails. They are low (as in no cushioning as they are made for "barefoot" running); Weight is about 285g for my size 9UK(43); They've got large multi-directional lugs on the outsole for improved traction in the mud and on loose ground, and is made from some tough rubber for a sticky grip; They've got a quick-lacing system which works pretty well, however, they do also come with normal laces if you prefer these; The toe-box is as expected large with plenty of room for your toes to spread out and feel free; The upper front-mesh provides great ventilation without letting dirt into the shoe; The structure around the heal/ankle is made as a tight fitted collar keeping dirt from entering the shoe; They are quick draining through the mesh on the sides; And they are relatively quick drying when you have soaked them in your free shoe-wash on your way back home 😎
Bottom line: They are pretty awesome!


I made a small video from my run which can be seen below.
Until we meet again - #HappyRunning

Best M.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Born To Run in SueMe Tree Trunks

Are we born to run?

That's a very good question! Are we? I usually don't read much non-work related, but my daily hours of commuting has given me time to do so - what else to do on the early morning train? And since my commute leaves me literally no time to run during the week, I thought at least I could be reading about it and get some inspiration for when I once again will have time for some proper running...

"Born to run" by Christopher McDougall is not a new book (first published in 2009) and I'm sure many of you have already read it. I don't know if you liked it or not but it definitely puts running into a new light - at least for me.

Before reading it I was of course aware of some people claiming that forefoot running is a better way to run rather than being heel-striking as most runners do. I've been a heel-striker (or probably more like a mid-foot-runner if that's a term?) However, what-ever the term, I would definitely not be a full-blown fore-foot runner as "that's just weird"...

Or at least I thought so. During reading the book, you are presented with more and more evidence suggesting that the human body is in fact born to run - and in the form of fore-foot running.

I was sceptical about fore-foot running (which I guess is the human nature when presented with something new) and the whole bare-footed idea before I read the book. However, in the book there are simply so many points suggesting that this is how we evolved are how we are meant to be running. Moreover, it is kind of suggested that the modern running shoe designed for heel-striking is an over-engineered solution to a problem that didn't exist before it was invented. "Don't fix it if it ain't broke!".

I'm not saying what you as a runner should do, what to believe or how you should run. But if you haven't read the book, read it and think about all the evidence presented on how we evolved back in the days. Of course this book is not a scientific paper, although I'm sure Christopher did some good research on this area, but there might be studies arguing against his theories. Nevertheless it is still a good book to read and I effeminately enjoyed it and worth a read! I haven't properly research the area myself, so I guess the question is still: Are we born to run?

TedTALK by Christopher McDougall - Interesting to watch!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

SueMe Tree Trunks

I've been so lucky to have been given two pairs of SueMe Tree Trunks to test and try. The Tree Trunks are made from 95% beech tree pulp and the manufacturing process is CO2-neutral. It has some of the same qualities as Merino Wool like being anti bacterial. They are super soft and feels great against the skin with seams placed away from chafing points. During my first run in the trunks, there was no chafing and was so comfortable that I didn't noticed them at all. I can highly recommend them if you are on the outlook for some trunks 😃. I like that they are eco-friendly - We need to take care of our planet! 

[NB: I have been given these pairs for free to test and try, however I try my best to not be biased]




Christmas Giveaway ⛄:I've been allowed to give away a pair of  SueMe Underwear which will be sent directly to the lucky winner from SueMe after Christmas. The details of the giveaway will follow on my Twitter account...


Until we meet again, #HappyRunning 😊
Best M.


SueMe#WeAreSueMe, #WhatGoesAroundComesAround, #BornToRun, FreeStak

Monday, May 1, 2017

London Marathon 2017

Had an awesome weekend and marathon in London 😀

A few months ago (27th January '17) I got an email from The Running Bug team, that I had been selected to be a Reebok #FloatrideLondon ambassador with a free place at the "otherwise-sold-out-and-very-hard-to-get-a-place-in"-London Marathon. I'm very pleased and humbled for getting this opportunity!

The last many years I have entered the ballot for the London Marathon but without luck and had sort of given up the idea of participating. And I tried to fool my brain and convincing myself that it's (the marathon) probably just over-rated anyway hence not worth the effort of trying to get a place at. However, I guess deep down in my heart I knew this wasn't true. Truth is I would love to run it!

So I was very very pleased finally standing at the start line with some 40,000 other equally-minded, eager to get going. 😋 Everybody buzzin' and off we went...

A great relief to get going. Crowds of people cheering along from the first few metres and from here only very few places were without huge hordes of enthusiastic and cheerful high-5'ing spectators 😎 What an amazing atmosphere!! Simply AWESOME!!

Of course I brought my camera and took some photos along the route. Who wouldn't! And I also captured some video footage (about 45 minutes in total 😱) which I've compiled into a 5 minute video. 



My training for it (the marathon) has not been optimal. I've mostly been a #WeekendWarrior due to my job allowing only little time during work-days for running, so pretty much all my training has been in the weekends. However, I felt ready for it and managed to get myself a PB in 3:48:55. I really enjoyed it and had an awesome weekend in London! I will definitely recommend anyone to run it.
Ballot sign-up for 2018 is this week!! (1st May '17 and till 5th May '17: LINK).

My Reebok kit and Reebok Floatride running shoes did a great job and my feet or legs was not sore afterwards. My Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR GPS watch also did a good job.

I'm very pleased and thankful that I got the opportunity to participate in the London Marathon 2017, which would not have been possible if it wasn't for Reebok UK Team #FloatrideLondon, SweatshopOnline and The Running Bug. Thank you very much!

I have been out running once since the marathon - a nice and easy 10km run @ 5:20 min/km avg. pace (somewhat a week after) and my legs, feet and body feel great. 😉

I'm not sure what my next target will be, but I'd love to do some more ultras. I was a bit jealous when I passed some runners as they finished TP100 this weekend when cycling along the river in Oxford... 😊

Oh - and remember to give blood if you can! Donated today - my 25th donation in Oxford 😎 #GiveBlood

Until next time - Keep on running and see ya out there!

#VLM2017, #LondonMarathon, Team #FloatrideLondon, SweatshopOnline, The Running Bug, Suunto #Spartan Sport Wrist HR, #GiveBlood

Best M.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Next stop: London Marathon

London Marathon this coming Sunday - Yeah 😀

With less than a week to go, I'm feeling ready for it - Still slightly surreal that I've got the chance to run it though, but I'm looking very much forward to it indeed! Thankful and excited!

A couple of weeks ago I was at a Reebok/Sweatshop training session as a part of the preparation for London Marathon with some great talks by various people including my coach Shaun Dixon (from Let's get Running), a nutritionist and former Marathon World Record holder Steve Jones who won Chicago, London Marathon and New York in the mid-80's and who is also a Reebok Ambassador

All in all a great day with a bit of exercise at the end round the streets of London. Most of the information given is very much in thread with what I have been trying practising over the past years. Here's a few points:
  • Training:
     - Listen to your body!
     - Don't do to much too soon.
     - Don't play catch-up with your training plan if you miss a session - Let it go!
     - Session over 3-ish hours if probably not doing you any good.
     - Rest after a race.
     - Stretch those legs once in a while.
  • Carbs:
     - Don't be carb-phobic! You need carbs to fuel your run.
     - Start carb-loading for a race a maximum of 48h prior to the race. 
  • Proteins:
     - I eat varied and relatively healthy, so I probably already get enough protein, hence no need to top-up with (expensive) protein shakes that does not taste that well after all.
     - Milk/Cocoa flavoured milk is (still) great as a post-run-drink for re-hydration and has a good mixture of proteins and electrolytes that helps the recovering process. Top that up with a banana for some fast carbs. The body can only process so and so much protein at a time, so no need to over-do it.
Almost ready for London Marathon. My new Reebok running kit has been washed and dried. The new Reebok Floatride running shoes has arrived and have been tested. Accommodation has been sorted. My camera is being charged "as we speak" and the memory card emptied to make room for my photo coverage of the streets of London. The new Suunto Spartan Sport WHR multi sport GPS watch has arrived and I thought London Marathon would be a great place to test it and compare it to my old GPS watch. 

And for those who have too much time on their hands can follow me via this link:





See ya at #LondonMarathon ðŸ˜ƒ

Best M.

Team #FloatrideLondon, ReebokUK, SweatshopOnline, The Running Bug
Suunto Spartan Sport WHR
 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR

A new watch - the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR - has arrived just in time for a bit of testing before taking it to London Marathon 😀 

The new watch says April 2017! A little more than 3 weeks till London Marathon and I have just received a new gadget + some other cool stuff from Suunto Team for testing. Thank you very much Sarina for this opportunity to be among the very first to get to use this cool watch with optical wrist-based heart-rate monitoring based on technology from industry leader Valencell. It looks very promising and I'll be spending some time testing it and comparing it to the Suunto Spartan Ultra among others.

As mentioned there's just about 3 weeks till London Marathon, and despite getting less runs done than intended due to my daily commuting during the week, I feel ready. I've had some good long runs in the past couple of weekends with amazing weather with lots of sunshine and plenty of time to enjoy the slowly increasing levels of green in the visual spectrum - Simply love spring time!😁

I've had a cold most of this past week, which, in companionship with late hours at work, lead to no running during work days this week. However, as my cold is bettering - yet not gone - I'll be heading out both today and tomorrow. I cannot not-run with this new gadget sitting perfectly on my wrist measuring my HR in the high fifties writing this. 

I've decided to skip my long run this weekend and hope my cold will approve and leave me alone - at least till after London. I've managed to get 31km in as my longest run in my training so far. And as I have been aiming for about 32km as my longest (as then there's only 10km left to the full marathon 😋) so I feel I'm pretty much there distance-wise. Speed-wise I'm not really sure where I stand. I have had some really good patches over the past couple of week(end)s, which could get me near the time I discussed with Coach Shaun Dixon (from Let's Get Running) before I got a new job requiring a bit of commute leaving less time to run. So I have to see on the day (23 April) how things are and go with my instinct pace-wise. I know I can run the distance - I've got not doubt about that - but I just don't know how fast. But I'm gonna bring my camera and my new Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR watch and my Reebok Floatride running shoes and simply enjoy whatever London has to offer me on the day 😎. 

Accommodation for London Marathon has been book relatively central to the event and I'm looking very much forward to the event and to experience the atmosphere along the course round London. It can only be a great day! Hopefully I'll get a chance to meet some of my fellow members of Team #FloatrideLondon, but I guess chances are slim with some 40,000 other runners! 😮

I'm heading out there now to run while the sun is still shining...
See ya all out there and have a great 1 April 😄

Best M.

#SuuntoSpartan Sport Wrist HR, Team #FloatrideLondon, #VLM2017 #LondonMarathon #SweatshopOnline #ReebokUK

PS: Views are my own! The watch has kindly been provided by Suunto Team.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Restructuring my training plan

Great news - I've got a new job! YAY! 😊 Very happy about that after some months without... However, due to necessary commuting I'll have to rethink and restructure my training plan for 2017.


New gear from Reebok!
As I mentioned in my last post, I've been selected to be a part of the Reebok Floatride Team for this year’s London Marathon and becoming an ambassador for Reebok. I'm very honoured to have been selected for this and I'm looking very much forward to it indeed. It also included some new kit to be used for the marathon and a great Reebok marathon-training-day in London last weekend. A great day indeed! 😁 

However, as my new job requires daily commuting, which then leaves less time for me to run, I've been forced to rethink or restructure my usual weekly training schedule. 

That being said, I'm not complaining! I'm very pleased with what I've got! I have a job to get to every day - many haven't; I've been selected to be a Reebok Ambassador and to participate in an otherwise completely "sold out" and "hard-to-get-to" London Marathon 2017; I just might have some new gadget coming my way for testing which should be the best on the market for HR monitoring on the wrist 😄; I have a house to shelter me; Great family and friends, and I've got the very best partner in life! I couldn't be happier and after all: It is only running, and as running still doesn't pay my bills yet, I'll manage with less, although I'll have to postpone dreams of doing some looong runs for the time being (100 miles and 24h run) and stop my weekly club-runs. However, I'm going to do the best I can with whatever time I've got. Hopefully #LessIsMore 😀 

As a part of my daily commute, I'm gonna ride my bike for some of the distance - both because it helps me being less dependent on co-workers having to pick me up at the train station, but also because it gives me a bit of daily exercise (25km a day). 😉 
Reebok Floatride! LINK

I have to get up quite early in the mornings for my daily commute. After chatting to my coach, Shaun Dixon from Let's Get Running, I hoped to get to run two times of 1 hour during workdays plus weekends. However, it's now been several weeks and I've failed to do this. I've only been out for 5km one or two times a week during the last couple of weeks. However, it's better than nothing. 😃


So, in retrospect of the past couple of weeks, I'm changing my training plans to aim for simply having a jolly time at London Marathon, bringing my camera and setting out to capture my (float)ride through the course in my new gear among thousands of spectators. ðŸ˜‰ 

Oh - And spring seems to be approaching fast by the way 😋


Team #FloatrideLondon #ReebokUK #LondonMarathon #VLM2017


See you all out there!! 
Best M.
 

Friday, February 3, 2017

On-the-juice: Beetroot

The beetroot has been subject to many investigations and claims as a performance enhancing vegetable. I've been digging a bit and found the following:

The beetroot: (copied from this source)
  • Vitamins: Beet juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and folic acid. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 in small amounts. It also contains vitamin A (beta-carotene).
  • Minerals: Beet juice is rich in magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. It also contains small amounts of zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and manganese.
  • Amino acids: Small amounts of amino acids are also found in raw beet juice.
  • Calories: A 5 cm piece of beetroot contains about 35 calories.
  • Antioxidants: The flavonoids and carotenoids in beet juice help slow down LDL cholesterol’s oxidation.
  • Anti-carcinogenic color: Beet has a deep red color that comes from the betacyanin in it, which is a powerful anti-carcinogenic agent.
  • Silica: Beet is rich in silica. This silica makes perfect use of the calcium in the body and is also needed for healthy hair, skin, nails and bones.
The beetroot clearly contains many good things our body needs as listed above (as do most other vegetables). On the performance-enhancing perspective, this recent scientific paper by Domínguez et al. (published Jan. 2017) conclude the following:

  • "Acute supplementation with beetroot juice may have an ergogenic effect on reducing VO2 at less than or equal to VO2max intensity, while improving the relationship between watts required and VO2 level, mechanisms that make it possible to enable increase time-to-exhaustion at less than or equal to VO2max intensity."
     
  • "In addition to improving efficiency and performance in various time trials or increasing time-to-exhaustion at sub-maximal intensities, chronic supplementation with beetroot juice may improve cardio-respiratory performance at the anaerobic threshold and VO2max intensities."
     
  • "Apparently, the effects of supplementation with beetroot juice might not have a positive interaction with caffeine supplementation, mitigating the effects of beetroot juice intake on cardiorespiratory performance, however, more work is needed to confirm the results of these investigations because the number of studies analyzing the effects of the combination of beetroot juice with other supplements, such as caffeine, is limited."
     
  • "Intake of beetroot juice should be initiated within 90 min before athletic effort, since the peak value of NO3− occurs within 2–3 h after ingestion. At least 6–8 mmol of NO3− intake is required, which can be increased in athletes with a high level of training."

So what to make of this? Beetroot does have some great qualities, and is a great of source of various good stuff for our bodies regardless if we are athletes or not. Also, according to the summary of the study by Domínguez et al.it also has some performance improving characteristics as claimed by many over the past years.

However, this is still no miracle-potion giving you wings or solving all your problems as a runner (or athlete) - You still need to put in some effort if you want to get a fast time! 

A quick question: So, say we drink e.g. beetroot juice/shot to become faster, then what do we do when we want to beat that time from while we were "on-the-juice"? Do we drink some more? Drink twice the amount? Or triple it? 

Instead one could be focusing on a genuine healthy diet, the amount and way of training, plus getting some proper rest/sleep, as partly suggested in this article where they state: "We tend to look at easy fixes, and there are a lot of other things that will be more beneficial for amateur athletes than just beet juice". 

Aiming for a healthy nutritious diet (beetroot could add to this) and getting your rest/sleep, is probably a better way to supercharge your run, unless you are a professional runner living off your running and need that extra speed to win a race (and already have ticked off the obvious boxes: a very healthy and controlled nutritious diet; getting all the sleep you need; and getting the right kind of training at the right time).

I'm not a professional athlete but I do have beetroot as a part of my everyday breakfast. I don't consume it because I want a performance boost as described above, and as I often run before I consume it, hence it doesn't have much effect - plus I'm not sure the quantities I consume are large enough to actually have an effect. Instead I drink it as part of a smoothie because it taste good in that way. I started consuming it regularly, because it is healthy in many ways and it is a source of iron as I'm 99% vegetarian (Source). 😃

Morten's beetroot smoothie: makes approx 3 glasses
(This probably does not have the beetroot quantities required for the boosting describe above)
  • 100g of beetroot
  • 1 banana (great if frozen in bits)
  • 1 apple
  • 0.5 cm slice of lemon - organic, without stones
  • 5-10g fresh ginger (to taste - or can be left out)
  • 3-5g fresh turmeric (to taste - or can be left out)
    WARNING! This will colour your whole kitchen orange if you are not careful!!
  • 100g of mixed frozen berries (to taste)
    These give a great taste so that you cannot taste the "funny" taste of beetroot
  • 2 teaspoons of linseed  
  • Add water till it almost covers the rest
  • Blend all till smooth
Try it 😋

Enough said about beetroot - See ya all out there ;-)

#Beetroot 

Best M. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Donating blood and running

A few people have asked me, how donating blood affects my running, so I thought I'd share a few facts on the topic.

I've been donating blood for many years in both Denmark and in the UK. I've also been involved in an interval-study over a couple of years to find out more about, how often one can donate safely. You can read more about the study and how my body reacted here.

I like donating blood and as long as I'm not a professional runner, I'm more than happy to share a pint of blood once in a while to those in need! 

I have found a few links describing how long time a body normally would take to recover from donating a pint of blood. A website from NHS [National Health Service, UK] state that "most people's haemoglobin levels are back to normal after 6 to 12 weeks". So if you have a race coming up, and you are aiming for a PB, then you should probably wait until after the race to donate, as it affects the transport of oxygen in your body, which affects your performance. 

American Red Cross states:
"How long will it take to replenish the pint of blood I donate? The plasma from your donation is replaced within about 24 hours. Red cells need about four to six weeks for complete replacement..."

Another site from RunnersWorld.com state that it takes about 60 days for a full recovery from donating blood (only about a day or two if you donate platelets):

"About one-third of that volume is red blood cells and the rest is mostly water. The water is replaced within the day as long as you get plenty of fluids, but the red blood cell mass replacement can take about two months. If you are well trained, you will not notice the drop in hemoglobin level at rest, or even with light to moderate exercise. When you push toward your training or race threshold, the lower red cell mass will become apparent."
And it also states:

"recommend giving yourself a couple of days off after donating to regain your fluid volume before resuming your training. Wait at least a month before running a serious race, meaning a marathon or fast-paced shorter race. Two months would be safest, especially if you plan to run at an altitude that is higher than where you usually live and train."
So all in all, don't expect to be able to perform your right after donating and give your body time to recover. Every body reacts and recovers differently from donating. Listen to your body - what does is say?

Based on my previous experience of being low in iron levels and the fact that I'm 99% vegetarian, I have started taking iron supplements to ensure that my levels doesn't drop too much and that I have a source of iron to recover after donating.

Some sources of Iron-rich foods include (Source: NHS):
  • dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and curly kale
  • iron-fortified cereals or bread
  • brown rice 
  • pulses and beans
  • nuts and seeds
  • white and red meat
  • fish
  • tofu
  • eggs
  • dried fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins
Some foods/drinks make it harder for you body to absorb iron (Source: NHS):

  • tea and coffee
  • calcium – found in dairy products, such as milk 
  • antacids and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – medications used to relieve indigestion
  • wholegrain cereals – although wholegrains are a good source of iron themselves, they contain phytic acid, which can stop your body absorbing iron from other foods and pills
I'm not saying you should avoid coffee/tea or milk/dairy products completely, but maybe not drink them right before, or as a part of your meal, or right after. Maybe wait an hour or two...

I hope this gave you a bit of insight to how your body reacts to donating blood. I can definitely tell that running after donating is harder, and my heart rate definitely increases as the heart will have to work harder to transport the same amount of oxygen round the body as before donating. Hence I try to keep the first couple of sessions at low intensity to give my body a break and a change to recover, and then pick up speed and/or intensity as it gets back to towards normal levels. 

Until next time - see ya all out there :-)

#GiveBlood 

Best M.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Reebok Ambassador + London Marathon 2017

It seems like I'll be running London Marathon 2017 after all 😀

Friday afternoon (27/1 2017) I got an email saying "You're in!". 
A week prior to receiving this great email, I had filled in an application to become a Reebok Ambassador. This also includes a place at London Marathon in April 2017. How awesome is that! 😎



Now, receiving an email like that is a kind of weird - you don't really believe it at first. However, I replied saying my thanks to the person sending me the message, and got a reply back that more information will follow next week. I'm very pleased and honoured that I've been selected with 3 other runners for this. From the email, it is also mentioned that I get a coach - cool! 😁

So far so good - so unless somebody made a (huge) mistake of sending me that email, I'll be running at London Marathon this year on 23rd April! I'd better get on those trainers and get moving...!

So from a "running" perspective, 2017 doesn't seem so bad after all. However, there are many other things that could be a lot better: The Trump Incident; the several refugee-crises around the world; The Trump Incident; Oh - and Trump has become President of the United States of America! 😱

Right - I guess this means that my focus for 2017 have changed a bit  - a least until after London. I'll be focusing my training on that the next 3 months, so maybe interval-training is back on the weekly running menu? I'll get back to that, when I know a bit more on what is going to happen... 

So until then - See ya all out there 😊

#Reebok #LondonMarathon

Best M.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Year's resolutions

At this time of year many already have or are in the making of their New Year's resolutions.

First things first - I hope you all have a had a lovely Christmas and a great New Years eve, and that you have had a great start on 2017. As mentioned at the start of this post, many - or at least some - make New Year's resolutions. It can be about anything: be better your job, do more sports, make more friends, travel more often, etc. 

Many people make resolutions about wanting to loose weight, do more exercise, or be more fit in the new year, and use the switching between the old and the new year to bind themselves to that challenge or commitment. 

I think it's a great way to commit yourself to do changes in your life and possibly team up with friends or family to stick to the plan. I guess many are waiting for some kind of break or event to commit to do changes in their lives. There's probably a logical reason for this hidden within the human brain, why we tend to wait till Monday, or after the vacation, or after Christmas or New Years to commit ourselves to start doing it.

Personally, I usually don't make New Year's resolutions myself. Instead I try to make the changes and commitments along the way. I find this easier and I don't have to wait until New Year to get started. However, I may wait until Monday though... 😉

I've had a great year of running in 2016 and I'm very pleased with what I've done (See previous post here).

These are my goals for 2017:

  • Attend more club runs:
    Last year I started joining some Thursday-runs with Headington Road Runners, based not far from where I live. I've had some thoughts on joining the club from some time, and I went there 10th of November last year for the first time. It was great fun and I got to run in places I've never been in Oxford with some kind and friendly people 😄
    This year I want to join the club as a member and be attending more of these club-runs to spice up my training a bit.
  • Run more kilometers than in 2016:
    I've had some progressive years regarding my yearly-mileage of running, and I simply want to beat last years mileage-PB of 3722km 
  • 100 mile race:
    I want to do a 100 mile race at some point. I haven't found the right one just yet, but I've got some in my mind, which I could do. I'll get back to that when I've decided. Hopefully I'll get to do a few other races as well.
     
  • 24h race:
    I also want to try a 24 hour race. Again I have some that I would like to do, and I'll get back to it, when I've decided.
     
  • Improve core strength:
    I want to improve my core strength this year, so I have already started doing some exercises during the week to hopefully improve my overall fitness and strength but also my overall endurance in both running and kayaking.
Whether you do use New Years as an excuse to make changes in your life or you just make the changes when needed, I hope you get to do the changes you want. Just remember to have fun while doing it 😊

Here's to great new year!! 😎
See you all out there!!

Best M.