Sunday, 25 January 2015

Racereport 2015-03 : 48th Fleiner Cross Serie - 1st Race

I do not really count my competitions, but I highly disbelieve that there is no other race I participated more often then the “Fleiner Cross”. It is one of those races you got to love. Since 48 years it is organised by the same crowd. There is no fanciness at all. No huge crowds. No music. No swanky stunts. Pure XC racing at it’s best.

The Haigern is a plateau just a couple of minutes outside my hometown. The local club, TV Flein, are organising a three race series there. Essentially everyone can run. No matter if you just got your first pair of spikes or you just bought your 20th pair. For every age group there is a competition. As they have some nice loop system, they mix it up from the youngsters to the seniors. Starting with 525 meters up to the main events, the 6450 meters (6 loop) battle.

The half in Granollers is just one week away so I played it safe and went for the middle distance race over 3225 meters. As expected it was the so-called “Kotz-Distanz”. I dug in with the youngsters and tried to hold on. The final outcome was an 11:29. Lets see what awaits me next Sunday in Catalonia.

"They shooting – aw, made you look - You a slave to a page in my rhyme book - Getting big money, playboy your time's up Where them gangstas? Where them dimes at?"

Enjoying the outside. Well, hot wine punch certainly helps.
"Thug girl who fly and talks so nicely Put her in the coupe so she can feel the nice breeze"
Herkert wins the 6k - "King of the town? Yeah, I been that You know I click-clack; where you and your mens at?"
Keeping track the oldskool way.
"What up kid? I know shit is rough doing your bid When the cops came you should have slid to my crib"
Tune of the day: Lupe Fiasco - Tetsuo & Youth (LP)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Water’s water!

“Water’s water and that’s why it’s beautiful.” ― Alberto Caeiro

Thursday, 15 January 2015

On point with David Roche

You are interested in running and love to drift around the blogs? You enjoy crisp humor paired with top notch jogging shows? Well, then it is pretty difficult to oversight David Roche. Discover what the Nike Trail Elite Athlete has to reply when I asked him some questions.

Runssel: People, or lets says running nerds, do know you and your achievements quite well. You subscribe a great blog and transfer a good understanding of your racing activities. On the private side you are an attorney with the Environmental Law Institute. How would you describe yourself outside of running?
Roche: Outside of running, I work with coastal communities in the U.S. and abroad to better understand how the law affects them and the places they live. So I have a law degree, but I'm much more comfortable in a pair of shorts in Barbuda or a parka in Alaska talking to people than I'd ever be in a suit talking to a judge. I own 1 tie, and it doesn't match any of my clothes, so that is probably a good thing. Also, I say the word "awesome" a lot, which probably wouldn't be appropriate for the courtroom.

Mr.Roche in full flight. Maybe the most imprtant Nike signing since this rookie B-Ball player back in 1984.
What was the main motivation to invest time and set up a blog about you running?
I started the blog way back when I was but a young pup without much of a clue. I was living in New York City, having moved there from the farm where I grew up. City life was so stifling that writing stupid things ostensibly about running gave me an outlet to a broader world. While my body was trapped in Manhattan, the blog let me interact with people and ideas from everywhere (like Markus!). In retrospect, I guess it all began with hating New York City and missing the simplicity of farm life. From there, it just evolved over time, especially after I met my wife and that need for a creative outlet vanished.

How would you explain yourself as a runner using just 3 verbs?
Go, go, go, poop. That last one is also a noun so I'll count it as bonus.

Team Roche - 3rd overall at the XTERRA Worlds 2014
In the last couple of years you not only competed in a sick amount of races, you also won a good portion of them. For yourself, which was your most important race victory and why?
To be honest, the races I'm most proud of are those I didn't win. At the XTERRA World Championships in Hawaii last month, I was coming off a week in Alaska for work, and had to race the next day in hot and humid conditions. I felt crappy from the start, but went out hard and gave myself a chance (eventually finishing 3rd behind a Nike teammate). I think the good days are usually pretty easy--the crappy days are when we show what we're made of.

If I had to choose a win, it'd be the U.S. National Championship in the Trail 10k. I went out in a 2:44 first kilometer on a rocky trail, which was both stupid and fun. But mostly stupid.

I’m consistently outraged when I check my Strava feed (Check David's Profile). You seem to bang out some bloody fast training jogs on a regular basis. Do you have a certain training routine or plan? How does a standard training week look like?
I am self-coached, and over time I've developed a general philosophy, but I never have a plan. (note: that's a terrible thing for a coach to admit, and the athletes I work with probably will be unhappy to read that!). What works for me is really, really easy recovery days and consistent rest days mixed with hard speed workouts, lots of high-volume fartleks, and consistent strides.

I always begin from the recovery--usually a Monday rest day and a Friday "Kenyan shuffle" (often at 9 min mi pace). Saturday and Sunday are longer days (12-20 miles) on trails with lots of elevation or a race. And Tuesday-Thursday is dictated by work, usually with 12-14 miles relaxed progression on 2 of the days and a tempo/speed session the other. No matter what distance/terrain you race, I think it's important to keep in touch with top-end speed, so I do lots of 20-30 second strides year-round.

Mountain Running Worlds in Italy last year: "Having a strategy was liberating. It was going to be a beautiful victory for Team USA, or a beautiful disaster for me."
You raced the mountain running worlds in Italy last year (...and placed 59th and 6th US man). Besides that you are roaming your home country heavily. Racing all over the place. When do we see you racing abroad on some of the Euro classics?
Last year at the Mountain Running Champs, I went out too hard and was struggling a bit on the upper reaches of the climb. I was huffing and puffing, running with all my might, when I got passed by 3 Italians. While I was running my heart out, they were walking. It looked like they were just on an evening stroll. That was the point I knew I had a lot to learn before committing to a season in Europe.

This year, my wife and I are hoping to do one European mountain race (possibly the Zermatt Marathon or another race that Nike supports) before hopefully qualifying for Worlds again. European racing seems like a different level of intensity and fun--people CARE across the pond. That is really attractive in some ways, and daunting in others. I'd bet that my wife Megan and I will be pooping and/or falling down in the Euro trail racing circuit within a year or two :)

Cashing in: Brazen Championship Race - Two 1sts!
The new season is approaching. What are this years main goals?
Adventure! That is always my first response, because I always think I'll be able to achieve that goal at least.

This year, we're starting the season with our 2nd ultra, the Way Too Cool 50k in California (I finished 4th at the US 50k Champs last year and Megan won). From there, we'll refocus on prep for the US Mountain Running Champs and hopefully Worlds. But like my training, there's never too much of a plan. We usually decide on big races (including races like National Championships) a week or two in advance.

I guess you are into music. What’s your current choice?
Taylor Swift. If anyone gives a different answer, they are probably lying.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Tested: Jabra Sport Rox Wireless

About a year ago I had the chance to exam one of Jabra’s first headsets that were constructed to suit athlete requirements. While the fit of this wireless earpiece was exceptionally good, the sound characteristic of this model didn’t really go together with the positive résumé in the other test-sectors. So here we go again with a new and more developed model.

For me, a perfect fit is the most important character of an earpiece you are going to use while working out. I tested the Jabra Sport Rox Wireless while running and during mountainbike rides. You guys won’t be surprised when I tell you, that again, they did a spotless job when it comes down to the proper fitting. There might one set of earlobes around that are not able to hold these pieces. With all those ear-wings and ear-gels enclosed, it is stress-free to modify the pieces to your particular needs. It didn’t take me too long to find my size and consequently set up these pieces. As experienced before, it’ll took me 2-3 runs and I discovered the best way for me. Since then it is a no brainer and I do not have to touch them during running or biking.

Obviously upright sound is something that is significant with a piece of headphones. While the old model was shocking the Jabra Sport Rox Wireless enhanced a lot. The change is enormous and the sound atmosphere is pretty much down to what you want while running. A fine, crisp and bass sound. This time it is not only fun to wear them, it is also fun to listen. 

Slick training buds minus nasty cables – me likes.
Control music playback, volume, and take calls with a quick tap on the earbuds.
What's in the box? Protective Bag, earwings and an eargel pack. Everything you need to customise your earpiece. 
Want to pause the song? Clip the earbuds together around your neck to save battery. Pull them apart, and they’re ready to run as soon as you are.
Some tech facts: Talk time: up to 5.5 hours, stand-by time: Up to 432 hours and music play time: 5.5 hours. Bluetooth version: 4.0 and Mini-USB to recharge the piece.
The Jabra is an expertly designed Bluetooth earphone pair. Great look and proper quality build. Sweat- and stormproofed on top.
Very simple - just tap Jabra Sport Rox Wireless to pair fast and easily.
They call them „EarWings™“
Tune of the day: Wale - Festivus (Full Mixtape)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Racereport 2015-02: 33rd Rheinzaberner Winterlaufserie -15k

Working on my Yūki Kawauchi mimic.
A fine racing routine is something that gets me going. I do love competing. Without a real training crowd for speed sessions there is no real substitute to racing. I do like the kick and enthusiasm of a race, even when I’m not at a 100% fitness level. My man Uli transcribed a good piece about “Racing lots” on the re-established blog. I haven’t posted yet. I will do so after Uli posts his first sub-36 10k. However, I’m working on getting a slot for NYC ;-)

After Tuesdays 10k and the rest of the week working in Slovenia (including some nasty food poising) my motivation was high. With the 33rd running of the 3-race series, the competition in the south-east of Rhineland-Palatinate is alteady a true classic in the running-schedule. More then 900 racers lined up and a pretty fit field took on the 2-loop course.

A pretty hefty breeze shaped a hard-hitting environment and a true draft fest. I got lost in between groups but could get back from a low point at around 11k. 56:48 (Strava) showed the display of the finish-line chronometer, which is OK for the conditions and the recent fitness. 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Montucky Cold Snacks - Buck-Rake Trucker

Cool kids sport some trucker hats while jogging. I recently got this sweet piece of headwear by the premium lager dudes of Montucky Cold Snacks. Montana represent!

Tune of the day: MB 1000 - Doublette 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Racereport 2015-01: 43rd Dreikönigslauf Dielheim

Anything to do on a Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.? Well, you might race a 10k. Why not?

It is a bank holiday (Dreikönige) here in Germany, at least in certain counties. Fortunately in the share of the country I call home. Similar to the “Silvesterlauf” (New Years Run) it is tradition to race on this day - great ritual.

Jo and I hopped in the car and after a couple of Autobahn kilometres we found ourselves in Dielheim for the 43rd (!) running of their yearly competition. A particularly fair sign-up fee (7 EUR late entry) shared with low-priced coffee and cake couldn’t ask for more really.

The weather could be undoubtedly described as picture-perfect. The sun was out to its broadest and there was no wind. A premium setup for some sincere midweek dashing. Personally I wasn’t sure what was in the legs over that distance. My last competitive 5k weren’t a true benchmark as the winterly conditions made it hard to run properly.

A well-prepared course took us out of town and along the river. I was drifting with the chasing group (…as always). The course was flat and after a couple of kilometres some guys out of my group were gone, some to the front and some to the back. I sticked with the little leftover group and we travelled on during the sun and back into town were the tiny ascent towards the finish was a harsh one for me. On the final stretch the clock showed me a 36:51 (Strava), which is pretty alright for a SwimRunner ;-)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Racereport 2014-12: Tuttlinger Silvesterlauf

"Yo, we runnin wit honors, oh shit, come out here kid..."
„I hope you packed your spikes!“ a friend called when I was on the way to Tuttlingen. It was meant to be a joke. Hefty snowfall and sub-zero temperatures since days shaped an exciting setting. My hopes were high that the local authorities were able to clean the 5k loop from snow and ice.There were no spikes in the bag!

I remembered my friend’s words when I got myself warmed up on the course. Most of the path was not de-iced and not de-snowed. I trampled along with my road flats and the bendy course certainly raised my eyebrows.

Once the gun sounded some guys were gone pretty fast. I was part of the tiny chasing group. Amusing to see how everybody behaved in the snow-covered corners and through the deep-powder portions. At the end I could trail some of the young dudes (…with spikes!) 'til the finale. I lost the sprint for 7th place but the juvenile fellas were fascinated when they told me: “Not bad with these kind of shoes and for your age…” c’mon guys! Are we already talking age-group business? We probably do. I called over to the price giving and got a nice keg of beer. My tiny journey continued and the life spam of the keg did not last too long during NYE festive with good friends down at the lake constance.

shoeporn: Brooks - Green Silence (UK Edition)

These splendours have been hiding in the box for too long. Entirely love the Brooks Green Silence as I ran 60% of my entire road PB’s in it. I can’t understand why it’s not being produced anymore.

I received this distinct GB type quite a while ago and with a nerdish like aim I hold it back and haven’t used it until yet. I just cannot stop looking at it.

Tune of the day: The Cure - Pictures Of You