Tag Archives: Running

Whoops Witch Way are back in training

Off-track exploration by Andrew Gills
Off-track exploration, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

Team Whoops Witch Way took the winter off adventure racing and training. It was a way to keep balance in our lives. I walked The Great North Walk and completed Cycling for Hope. Suwati spent time with her family and did a lot of cycling with her 8yo son (he can ride up to 40km a day and still beg for more).

But the weather is warming back up so it’s time for us to get out into the bush together as a team. I never really left the bush but it’s different hitting it as a team to doing my own thing.

Today we went out for a trail run. Within 500m, Suwati had found us a wallaby track to follow and, before long, we were fighting our way through long matted scratchy reeds and then an eerie she-oak forest. It was grand fun. We just wandered into the bush for about 10 minutes and then decided it was time to find the track again. With just the sun for a compass we tracked east north-east for about twenty minutes to find the track (not the one we started on). Afterwards we checked our path on a GPS and discovered we did a great job walking in an almost dead-straight line.

After our time in the scrub we ran some single tracks and fire trails. It was a grand way to start the day.

Total: 8.2km trail run

Playing tour guide

I love the trails in the bush near my home. They are one of Brisbane’s best kept trail running secrets. I think you can run about 20km of single trails, maybe more. There’s also about 15km of fire trails and six different entry points, making for plenty of running options.

Today I took a group of three runners on a tour of my neck of the woods. We met about 500m from my home and had an easy trot. It was fantastic to have company and to introduce Bayview to other trail runners.

We twisted our way along winding single track. Had a laugh as one of the guys jumped over an MTB jump, ambled up some hills and scooted down a steep loose gravely fire trail.

Total: 10km trail run

Running the single trails

Vegemite Trail by Andrew Gills
Vegemite Trail, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

Spring is for trail running. It’s getting light earlier and the air is not yet heavy with humidity. My run today wasn’t earth-shatteringly fast. In fact, it was quite the opposite. But that just means I got to spend more time enjoying the bush.

I ran a 5km loop from the Days Road end of Bayview Conservation Park. All but about 500m was single trail. There were plenty of wallabies and the bush is alive with flowers.

Here’s a video of the Fluffer trail:

What’s not to like about starting the day like this?

Total: 5km trail run

Mt Cootha trail run

Mt Cootha trails by Andrew Gills
Mt Cootha trails, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I have been following Brisbane Trail Runners through WordPress and Facebook since they were established a year ago. But today was the first time I’ve been able to join them for a run. It certainly won’t be the last.

We met at the Gordon Street entrance to the Mt Cootha bush. This massive bushland area is just 5km (3 miles) from the Brisbane CBD but you could be way out bush; it’s that peaceful and rugged. Our run followed rocky single trails, first up to a ridge and then back down again. There’s been some fuel reduction burns up here in recent months so the bush looks charred in places. This just means it’s going to be stunning after we get some rain because our bush needs fire to regenerate.

It was a fun group run. Everyone could run their own pace knowing that we would regroup at each intersection. Running with a group pushed me to run a little further than I have been on my own and, at times, to run slightly faster. But I could still also walk up the steeper uphill sections when I needed to.

Total: 9.5km trail run

Morning trail run

Benson & Blinkey Trail by Andrew Gills
Benson & Blinkey Trail, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

It’s only 6am but already the world is quietly anticipating the warm day ahead. The birds are quiet and the leaves on the tree branches are still. All I can hear are my footsteps trotting rhythmically along the dry dusty single trail. It’s just glorious.

I made a video of the Grass Trees trail as I ran down it. The quality is not so great (I’ll use my phone camera next time because it’s better than my photo camera’s video) but it should still give a good idea of just how lovely my morning was.

Total: 7-8km trail run

Bayview trail running

Tonight my partner and I went to dinner at my parents’ home. My parents live 7.5km from my house along bush trails. So, instead of driving there with my partner, I ran. The trails end 1.5km from my parents’ home and, as luck would have it, my partner was driving past as I popped out of the bush so she gave me a ride the last section.

It was a slow but delightful 6km run. My calves are quite tight but I’m doing a lot of stretching and am sure they will get used to running again despite the lengthy break from running. All I know is that I love love loved the run and can’t wait to hit the trails again.

I made a short video of my run to share with you. Sorry the quality isn’t great but I used the video setting on a photo camera.

Total: 6km trail run with daypack

Run/walk

Out running by Andrew Gills
Out running, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I’m not quite sure what to do this week. I had a week between finishing the Great North Walk and starting the Cycling for Hope challenge. And it’s only 18 days until the Brisbane Marathon. So I’m caught between wanting to rest and recover, not wanting to lose form and wanting to get some running miles in before the marathon.

This morning I went out for an easy 5km jog. The first 2.5km went well but then my ITB flared up (it’s tight from the hike) and I had to reduce my speed to running two light poles and walking one.

It felt good to be outdoors. And sometimes it’s good to just test where I’m at so that I know what I need to focus on. In this case, it’s stretching, resting and probably an easy bicycle ride tomorrow to get ready for the Cycling for Hope challenge, which starts on Saturday.

Total: 5.2km run/walk

8km to clear my head

I got up this morning feeling rotten. There’s been a lot of stress in my professional life and it’s starting to wear me down. We all go through bad patches in our professional lives but, for some reason, knowing that fact doesn’t make things any easier.

Anyway, when my alarm went off this morning, I didn’t want to get out of bed because that would mean I’d have to go to work. So I lay in bed playing logic games on my mobile phone instead. After half an hour, I got up sullenly to do some work because I thought that might make me feel better.

But, before I had a chance to open the work files, I checked Tribesports.com to complete a few 7-day strength challenges I was working on (they are now complete). While I was logged on, I checked the ‘running on Tuesday’ challenges and found a 5 mile Tuesday run challenge.

I clicked ‘take the challenge’, checked Google maps to find an 8km (5 mile) running loop from home, got dressed and went outside. The 8km loop did me good. At first, I felt frustrated with the world and my running reflected this. But, as my head started to clear in the crisp winter air, I started to make decisions that will help me feel like I have some control of my professional life and my running started to improve.

Total: 8km road run

To follow me on TribeSports, look for @AndrewGills and I’ll follow you back

Six Tips to runPositive – and Injury Free!

I don’t usually reblog posts but these are some wise words from my physio Paul Trevethan of Body Leadership Australia.
As for me, I didn’t do much training today. I did some strength work (pushups, crunches, jumping jacks, plank and squats) but decided that I needed to keep chipping away at painting the walls inside my house so I can be ready to put it on the market when I return from my Great North Walk hike.
Anyway … here’s Paul’s wise words:

runpositive

Group jogging

From heart health, weight loss to mental wellbeing, the benefits of running are well documented. However, it’s all too common that once you really start to feel the benefits of running on a regular basis, an injury can occur and you’re back to square one – or worse!

To assist you in your preparation for your fun run, we’ve asked Brisbane-based running physiotherapist Paul Trevethan of Body Leadership to share his six top tips to prevent injuries to help you runPositive whatever the distance.

1. Warm Up

Sounds simple, but most people just don’t do it. Take a few miPaul Trevethannutes to warm up cold muscles. Remember to use movement and dynamic-type stretches.

2. Don’t Overstride

One of the most common mistakes runners make is reaching forward too far with their stride. If you notice you’re quite noisy with your foot strike, you may be overstriding, so shorten it up!

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Early morning run

Early morning run by Andrew Gills
Early morning run, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

It was cold and drizzly this morning. It would have been easy to stay in bed and enjoy the warmth of my doona.

But I’ve recently signed up to TribeSports.com (I’m @andrewgills) and I had signed up for both the ‘go for an early morning run’ and the ‘go for a run in the rain’ challenges. So I decided to harden up and get outdoors.

By the time I got my shoes on the rain had eased to a drizzle. I still put on my Goretex jacket to keep me warm and to keep the few remaining cold drops off my body. That worked well until about half an hour into my run when my body warmed up and I had to take the jacket off. Fortunately, I was wearing my trusty drink belt on so I could carry my jacket in the external cargo holder.

I ran slowly – taking my new philosophy that it’s better for me to do long miles slowly than to flog myself. Besides, my running goal for the 2013/14 season is to run a 100km trail run on 3-4 May 2014. So I need to get used to running long and slow – with patience. I also know my body’s limits because I’ve pushed them quite a bit in the past 12 months.

So I cruised along the road, walking up the hills and running the rest of the way. The rain just kept drizzling gently and the streetlights just kept glowing their eerie yellow light. They didn’t care how slowly I was running so neither did I.

Total: An oh so liberatingly slow 15km run