What is the Power of Ten?

After a recent discussion on a couple of Facebook groups about London Marathon results not yet appearing on British Athletics’ Power of Ten website (https://www.thepowerof10.info), I thought it was a good time to write an introduction to this database of athletic performances to anyone who hasn’t yet discovered it. Set up by British Athletics prior to the 2012 Olympics, this is a ranking system for athletes that was started in order to set targets and challenge athletes to improve track and field performances in the run up to the games. 

 

The website lists competitors, coaches and clubs registered in the UK. If you take part in organised races and are a member of UKA (usually through a registered athletics or running club) your performances will usually be listed.

You can view data by individual athlete, club, coach and have a good nosey at others performances. You can also, via RunBritain (https://www.runbritainrankings.com a sister site which specialises in road races rather than track and field), see how you are ranked in the UK for different distances of road race.

 

The most commonly used tool is the athlete search – you can search for anyone you like, including yourself. Just enter the name and any other details in the search box on the homepage, and you should find the relevant athlete.

 

Let’s take my profile… search for Hulbert and you get 23 athletes. Only one Martin so let’s have a closer look by clicking on “show profile”. Here you can see details about me, athletes I coach (just the one, apparently! You can add me as coach through your profile if you want), and my best known performances (spot the hungover parkrun pacing anomaly!).

 

 

On the far right you can see my UK rankings from RunBritain. These vary considerably year by year, especially with COVID meaning not many races have been run of late, but my best ranking is 31st in the UK over 20 miles in the 45-49 age category and 37th V45 in the marathon in 2019 (puts me in the top 0.6% of athletes over the marathon in 2019).

If you click through to RunBritain you get a lot more stats, including a handicap score that is aimed at putting a number on your progress over time, taking into account course difficulty, weather etc.). There’s also a national ladder that ranks you against all the road runners in the UK based on gender, and will even give you your position as a runner in the local area! I’m 7th in my local area overall, but 1st over 45 male.

 

There are a lot of other stats and tools to play with, far too many to go through here, but you can visit either website to find out more.

 

Some of the questions my clients have asked me recently about this include:
Why are only some parkruns included? Because not all courses are officially measured, and not all parkruns submit their results to England Athletics.
Can you add races that aren’t there? Yes, but only ones on an officially measured / registered course.
What does MT mean? Multiterrain (or off road)

When will London 2021 results appear? These have been delayed but are now on there.

Powerof10 have their own FAQs here which are quite useful: https://www.thepowerof10.info/aboutpowerof10/faq.aspx

If you want to know any more, post your questions below and if I can’t answer them, I’m sure some of our more nerdy club members might…enjoy data crunching! (And if you like data crunching, another website you may like is https://www.fetcheveryone.com… I may do a coaching tip on this one day too!

 

Join the Club at MH Runners Club

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

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When can I run again after a marathon?

If you’re asking the question, and are keen to get out, the answer is probably double what you’re thinking! Honestly, you need a good recovery to allow repair (not just muscles but all the way down to cellular levels) and avoid injury, no matter how keen you are.

 

So how long should you rest for?

This is tricky, because it depends on your level of fitness, previous experience, how hard you ran etc. You may have heard the saying “one day of rest for every mile raced”, but for avid runners who have just raced 26.2 miles, that length of time off can be a scary prospect. Really, there isn’t really a one size fits all formula. The best guide has to be listening to your body. And rest doesn’t have to mean no exercise at all – walking, gentle mobilisation, a little low impact body weight S&C and even some gentle running can be fine.

 

You may ache – muscular aches (DOMs) will be caused by microscopic muscle tissue damage from challenging your muscles more than they are used to. Don’t run whilst you still have muscle soreness. Muscles, tendons and ligaments will have been pushed to their limits whether you ran your marathon in 3 or 8 hours, and whether you raced it or cruised in comfortably. You have damaged your body by pushing its limits and it needs time to recover or you risk further damage. In addition, studies have shown that the marathon induces inflammation, damage to muscle fibres and cellular damage that can last for more than 7 days – well beyond the length of time you feel muscle soreness for. Let me repeat that – the damage caused by hard training and racing isn’t always noticeable physically. In addition, your immune system will probably be compromised. So, rest is good, necessary, and protective.

 

But I’ll lose fitness / I want to run / I want to nail a short distance PB….

Resting for 7-10 days will have little impact on your fitness, and will mean you will return a stronger runner. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at the elites…coached by the best coaches in the world, most of them take 2-3 weeks off before running again, with only walks or very short light jogs in that time. Stagger your return to training when you are ready. A timeframe may look like this (bear in mind that this varies considerably from runner to runner):

 

Post marathon:
1-3 days: complete rest (light, short walks, foam rolling etc only)
4-7 days: some light walking, a little conditioning work (without weights)
8-14 days: Come back with a 1-4 x 5 minute runs at a very easy effort within a walk . Check how you are feeling, any niggles or aches? If all good then try an easy effort 1-4 miles at a very easy effort. Take a rest day in between each run and increase slowly. When you feel ready (after 3-4 runs at least), try a few strides in one of your easier runs to see how your legs cope at a slightly harder pace (these should be no longer than 15 seconds).

 

If you follow these rough guidelines, listen to your body and err on the side of caution in the first 14 days, you should then be ready to get back to normal training in the third week after your marathon.

 

So even if you hate putting your training on pause, or you’re desperate to capitalise on your fitness and set some new PBs, or to set the world right after a bad race, take the time to rest and recover fully. Your body (and mind) will thank you for it, and you will return stronger than before, and physically and mentally ready for your next challenge.

 

How long do you take off after a marathon? Are you looking forward to running or racing again? Have you already booked your next race?

 

Join the Club at MH Runners Club

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

Post Marathon Blues? What Next…

You spend months training for the big day. You’ve ticked off the runs, spent time and money on the prep, tapered and now raced. Fabulous – very well done! But what next?

Whether you achieved your marathon goal or not, ticking off a big target race can leave a hole in your life. Post-marathon blues are real and it can be tough to shift back into the routine of every day life. Everyone feels differently about this. For some, it’s business as usual. For others, running loses its appeal altogether and they struggle to get out the door. Some want to fill the hole it has left by signing up for their next race and launching into training immediately. Whatever your approach, be kind to yourself, share your feelings, don’t make big decisions immediately and take it slowly in the hours and days after the race. If you’re one of the many who feel a bit bereft, here’s some ideas of how to move on successfully.

 

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. Your daily routine, diet, sleep patterns and even socialising may have been built around your marathon training, and this will have increased in intensity in the last few weeks. In addition, stress hormones, tiredness and hunger can play a part in the days post marathon. Don’t be hard on yourself, feeling lost or down is normal and will pass. Signs can be a general lethargy, lack of motivation, feeling down, antisocial, or disappointed – even if you hit your goal. Sharing with others who feel the same can help, and this is where social media and online running groups can come in useful.

 

  1. Reflect on your performance. Don’t do this for too long, especially if the race didn’t go your way, but look at what you did right and what you could have done differently, both in training and in the race. Analysing a successful performance may help you replicate it again in future, and if your race didn’t go to plan, writing it down can help you come to terms with your feelings (and not make the same mistakes next time!). Make a note of your thoughts and then put it to one side.

 

  1. Note what you miss about marathon training. Was it the challenge? The sense of achievement? The regimented schedule? Having a big target to motivate you? Identifying what you really want will help you when setting your next goal.

 

  1. Try something new. This will help replace some of the excitement of marathon training – train for shorter distance, start a new exercise class, run with friends who weren’t running at your pace or distance during training, go off-road, cover your watch, take up cross-training or cycling. Or, just enjoy running with no plan.

 

  1. Indulge yourself. Eating after the marathon is a must, but your body will be repairing for several days if not weeks. Relax a little and have that dessert or glass of wine.

 

  1. Parkrun? Spectate or marshal at a local race, help others with their training. There is often nothing better to rekindle your love of running (if you have lost it) than shouting at (cheering on) others runners at a parkrun or race!

 

  1. Embrace another hobby. Finish that book you started months ago, decorate a room in the house, go hiking, bake cakes – whatever you fancy now you have more time.

 

  1. Plan a post-race trip…self-explanatory really. Just try not to plan it around another marathon (yet!)

 

  1. Find another fitness goal: a cycling or swimming race or triathlon, a yoga retreat, focus on strength training goals or like some of my clients did a year ago, sign up with an online coach to keep you motivated, whether or not you have a target race. Please contact me on the details below if you want more information.

 

  1. When you are ready, find your next running goal. Don’t rush into this, your mind and body need time to rest and recover, and constantly moving from race to race will not help alleviate the blues. But when you are ready, decide what you want to achieve and how you’d best get there. Getting faster? Think about training for shorter races. More social running? What about trail running, an ultra, or parkrun? Want to improve your marathon time? Consider the timeframe and building blocks to this carefully.

 

 

Above all, make time for the things you didn’t do whilst marathon training and enjoy them. It’s a great time, once those pesky post-race hormones have passed! When you are ready, embrace your next goal and don’t forget to contact me if you need running support, advice, motivation or even a new training plan for your next target race!

 

Join the Club at MH Runners Club

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners