Mooreabbey Milers: Summer Solstice Climb, Training and more from Tom Blackburn

Lynda Hynes


Lynda Hynes


Slievereagh Everest Challenge
Raising funds for care bright last Sunday morning was club members Jason Wright and Dariusz Gazdowicz as part of the Glenbrohane take on Everest challenge. Organised by the Glenbrohane community association the idea was people climb slievereagh from sunrise to sunset on summer solstice Sunday with the aim of accumulating the distance to climbing Mount Everest. On a morning that felt more like the winter solstice than the summer solstice, for Jason Wright it was 4am start as he hiked his way to the summit with the sunrise group in his shiny new hiking boots swaped later for the trail runners and round two. At 7.45am it was the turn of Dariusz Gazdowicz not content with running it once, Dariusz took on the task 4 times covering over 27km and 1,000m elevation.

Hill Training
Last Sunday morning Tom Blackburn had 4 club members out of the bed bright and early for a few hours of hill training. Combaun wood near Anglesborough was the classroom for Aoife Courtney, Kevin Lenihan, Willie O Donoghue and Damien Hoilan to learn the techniques of ascending and descending during hill running. This was followed by a 10k run to put their newly learnt techniques to practice. 

Tom Looks At Walking And Running Styles
This week Tom looks at the main differences between running and walking.
There are many coaching points to running and walking. With walking most people figure they can do it, its very simple one leg in front of the other. Yes that is true to an extent but why would someone not be able to walk and why would you need help or a coach to get going properly? A few reasons are our life style nowadays means that we do very little exercise. If you get overweight and want to lose weight by walking the muscles and connective tissue in the body may be weak and unable to support you on a sustained walk. You may have been an avid sports person but may have gotten injured, quit sport and after a long break decide that you want to go back training only to discover that an old injury comes back just as you get going. There are loads of reasons why. The main thing is when something happens to the body like an injury you have to get it sorted it won’t fix itself. Rehab that injury and strengthen the area properly don’t be foolish because it will cost you a lot of freedom as you get older if you don’t. Your body is an amazing piece of equipment, treat it well and in good order and it will last you a life time.  
There are different types of walks. Ordinary walking one foot in front of the other roll from heel through to toe and repeat. Race walking is very specific where the leg has to be perfectly straight as the heel meets the ground the toe has to be pointing up and as you roll through the foot. The foot leaves the ground as the toe pushes it off as the ankle is fully extended. Race walkers also use their hips and as they rotate their hips they walk a single line. Arm movement adds momentum and helps with balance. There is hill walking and mountaineering, there is also Norwegian pole walking which is a very tough exercise as arms and legs work in tandem and comes from cross country skiing. There is also power walking, yes this is the one that the lady’s do in the TV programme Killnaskully. So don’t let anyone tell you walking is very straightforward.

Running is just as complicated, we have sprinters who are the fastest humans on earth but may not be fit enough to run more than a hundred meters, as sprinting is anaerobic. These runners need not be fit to be the best in their sport. Strength and skill as well as fast twitch muscle and perfect technique. Middle distance and long distance running are aerobic which means that fitness and a lot of mileage counts for a lot. Jogging was so named in the 70’s and sparked a running boom in the 80's but purist runners don’t consider jogging as proper running as the coaching points are more similar to walking as it is heel toe. There are different skills in other types of running like, hill running, mountain running/fell running, orienteering, steeple chasing, cross country and so on. Most running is very similar in that the mid foot or ball of the foot meets the ground first and works as a spring to propel the body forward. As the foot meets the ground it should be under the hip and the shoulder directly above the knee is bent but the ankle creates the pace. Speed is controlled by a few factors, the strength of the legs, the length of the legs, leg speed, the fitness of the athlete, their technical ability, the surface they are on and the footwear being worn during the event.     

We are currently back at training on Tuesday and Thursday nights between 7 and 8 pm for adults only. Our set up has a new framework that we have to incorporate into our training schedule. 
After carrying out our meticulous risk assessment our plan going forward now involves having 3 coaches available each Tuesday and Thursday night to have availability for up to 14 athletes per the 3 coaches pods with pre booking essential. Should you have interest in joining us at our training sessions please message us via our social media page Mooreabbey Milers AC on facebook and we will point your running shoes in the right direction. All welcome.