Paul Weeks's Blog (18)

Slip sliding away

Well, there's another day that just drifted away. They slip past almost unnoticed, one by one by one. And they're busy days, full of work and family and everything else that matters. Until you suddenly sit up and think, hey, it's nearly the end of April, that's another month lost by stealth, another month without running. And you start to realize what it means, that yet another season is just going to pass you by. It's a cold feeling in the pit of your gut, to face up to the fact that all…


Added by Paul Weeks on April 20, 2014 at 3:19pm — 5 Comments

New Knee, New Me?

It was too beautiful a day to resist. Breathless, slightly chilly, but glorious spring sunshine; perfect running weather. And I had to go into town anyway, so I slipped quietly out of work and tried a cautious mile down to the bike shop. And I didn't collapse in agony on the side of the road. My knee held up pretty well, perhaps feeling very slightly sore in the last 100m or so. And I didn't seem to have forgotten running form, and with lots of things to think about it may even have…


Added by Paul Weeks on March 24, 2014 at 2:56pm — 7 Comments

IT Band Pain and Run Form analysis

A query for Eric. I'm trying to stay positive about this knee pain that's stopped me running, and I'm trying to address it by figuring out what is wrong with my run form. In The CI, there's a list of Common Run Form Mistakes, and I'm wondering if my knee pain, tight IT band and tight hip flexors are the result of being a "bender". Just to clarify, is a "bender" someone who runs with excessively bent legs (that do straighten with take-off), or someone who never straightens their legs at…


Added by Paul Weeks on February 22, 2014 at 11:00am — 15 Comments

vintage car

I'm starting to feel that running at 47 is like being the owner of a vintage classic car. I'd like to think that I have an old MG, though it's closer to an Austin 7, but the analogy still holds. Basically, to keep this old banger on the road requires constant maintenance and attention. That's OK as far as it goes, but the problem is that no sooner have I fixed the gear box than the gaskets blow. I sort out the gaskets and the suspension goes. I invest time and effort mending the suspension,…


Added by Paul Weeks on February 21, 2014 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Anatomy lesson

In the French Foreign Legion, new recruits are expected to learn French. More to the point, when disassembling and reassembling a rifle, they are expected to know the French names of all the components. Recruits who cannot instantly recall the correct term, are hit with that part.

I was thinking of this today as I reflected on how much my knowledge of human leg anatomy has advanced in recent years. mainly as a result of particular muscles getting sore or hurt. A lazy…


Added by Paul Weeks on February 18, 2014 at 6:57am — 1 Comment

A Cooler Impossible

So, let's ignore iffy one mile test objectives for the moment. After all, my main CI for this year, and every year, is to run injury free and as often as possible with my wife. But I'm not a miler, I would never run a mile race, it really isn't a major preoccupation of my running aims - apart from some curiosity in whether Lori or I will get there first. In any case, Eric's training programs are about speed and endurance over longer distances.

Which is great, because I do enjoy…


Added by Paul Weeks on February 16, 2014 at 2:30pm — 6 Comments

Mile Test

Thanks Lori and Jason for the encouraging words! I'm planning on taking ten days/2 weeks out to recuperate a bit, do some general running with Kath, my wife, and enjoy the freedom of running without the HRM and GPS keeping me under surveillance... and then I'll launch into Phase 2 when the days will be a bit longer and the trails, maybe, a bit drier. I'm limited to road running at the moment on this drowning island and I'd like some variety.

Anyway, the mile test. This wasn't at the…


Added by Paul Weeks on February 13, 2014 at 2:30pm — 6 Comments

End of Phase 1

Made it. And that in itself is a first. I haven't completed a training program, including 3 of Eric's, in 2 years, as something always breaks down in the 7th or 8th week. The difference? It has to be the slant board. Slavish adherence to the leg strengthening exercises has not quite eliminated tweaks and niggles, but it's a zillion percent better and has kept me running.

And the final run was a joyous way to finish the 12 weeks of running. Setting out into a gale that nearly blew me…


Added by Paul Weeks on February 11, 2014 at 3:16pm — 2 Comments

Pistol Squa... yeeouch!

So, fitball core stuff - sorted. Slant board leg/foot strength - sorted. Time to try those pistol squats. Right leg first... tum ti tum.... OK, not much range of movement, but fine. Down, up, down, up. Left leg.... down....OUCH!!!!! Yikes, that hurt. Tiny little dip and sharp, acute pain on the outside of my knee which feels like it's about to collapse - no strength or support at all. IT band also sore. Something in my left hip also sore. Strange thing is, none of this hurts when I run…


Added by Paul Weeks on January 22, 2014 at 12:00pm — 6 Comments


So I was due for one of those slow, steady mitochondria building Zone 2 30 minute type of runs. But I met an old student on my way out who wanted to come. Now she's seriously talented, super quick, and in the past, well, I've managed to stay with her for about a mile before having to collapse quietly in a ditch and throw up. Only reason I can stay with her at all is that she's 16 and some way off her potential. But after 10 weeks of Phase 1? Hey, I stayed with her for over 3 miles (way out…


Added by Paul Weeks on January 22, 2014 at 11:52am — 1 Comment

Oxford Running

Phase 1 Week 8 Long Run today - I don't have any of that amazing wilderness or bone-achingly cold temperatures - so instead I sploshed my way round the floods of central Oxford, padding down old streets past 15th Century colleges and exploring this beautiful university town for an hour or so. Felt effortless, too (well, for the first 50 minutes at least!).

Added by Paul Weeks on January 7, 2014 at 1:32pm — 1 Comment

Xmas on the slant board

Big party of friends and relatives on Boxing Day. Someone spots the slant board in the corner of the room. Hey, what's that? Can we try? Suddenly, it's a party game - who can hold position for longest (made more fun by the wine/champagne quotient)? End result, two people have ordered the book and asked me to make them a slant board each... I'm doing my bit for getting a runner in every family!

Added by Paul Weeks on December 30, 2013 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Music while you run

Eric's training has had other, unexpected effects.

Do you listen to music when you run? I used to. Fast salsa or French Caribbean music for speed sessions, loud, angry live Bob Dylan for the long runs. The fast stuff was great for setting a brisk rhythm, then loud stuff kept me going through the pain of a long hill, or the pain of the last 2 miles of a 13 mile run. It was a motivation and also a distraction - if I was listening to music then there was less of my brain reporting on the…


Added by Paul Weeks on December 26, 2013 at 2:17am — No Comments

Running coaches

I've tried two different running coaches this year, hoping to get someone with an expert eye to look at my form, and suggest improvements. But finding someone who knows anything about forefoot striking is not easy. My wife eventually found someone styled as the Paleo Runner, and bought me a 2 hour 1 on 1 training session for my birthday. It was certainly interesting. On the one hand, there was a load of stuff I just don't buy - the paleo diet, for one. And as far as running went, he was a…


Added by Paul Weeks on December 23, 2013 at 12:26pm — 2 Comments

Cool Impossibility

These CIs are going to seem terribly tame and mundane compared to some of the inspiring examples already posted. But as Eric says in the book, the real point of the CI is the process of getting there, not the actual accomplishment. So I plan to just concentrate on the process and let the accomplishments take me by surprise (at current rates of speed improvement, in six months I'll be completing a 10K before I've actually started, which would surprise everyone!).

So, for 2014, I want…


Added by Paul Weeks on December 20, 2013 at 3:50pm — 4 Comments

Rest and Recovery

Taking some time out to let my calf muscles relax and unknot after their hour of cadence work. Soft tissue massage this afternoon. But even on the non-running days I get to have fun on the fitball - the children love crawling underneath while I'm doing rockers as they try to avoid being run over by the big white squishy ball...

Added by Paul Weeks on December 19, 2013 at 5:31am — No Comments

Phase 1 running

Phase 1 Week 7 Day 1

Eric, I just want to say thank you. You've made an immeasurable change to the quality of my life. This program is incredible! Running feels so strong, so easy, so fast. My cadence Zone 2 run today was a 7.5 mile zip through the West Oxfordshire countryside, an amazing 35 seconds per mile quicker than exactly the same run just a month ago. My progress is just amazing - I never thought I could run like this. And all the old aches and niggles and stiffness and chronic…


Added by Paul Weeks on December 17, 2013 at 1:07pm — 1 Comment

Couple of questions

Hi Eric,

I'm into my 2nd week of your 6 week progamme, and it's brilliant -I love the variety, the structure, and learning a new form.  2 questions. The "running on hot coals" and the bare foot sessions, really help with forefoot strike... but when will my calves stop hurting? And I see what you're saying about the importance of high cadence, even at low speeds, but what changes when I want to go faster? I can't increase the cadence, I can't lengthen the stride... so what do I…


Added by Paul Weeks on December 19, 2011 at 1:36pm — No Comments

Train With Eric

Foot Core

The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton

The Cool Impossible: Run Beyond Limits

“this is by far one of the best training books of the past decade.” - Competitor Magazine

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