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Sesamoid Street


Today’s Blog is brought to you by the letters ‘F’ and the number ‘Zero’.

noun: sesamoid bone
  1. a small independent bone or bony nodule developed in a tendon where it passes over an angular structure, typically in the hands and feet. The kneecap is a particularly large sesamoid bone.

So, I’m into week 3 of injury and this time it’s something called my Sesamoid Bone/s which are an issue.  Until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of these bones.  Didn’t even know that they were bones.  In fact, as fate would have it, I actually dealt with a customer recently who explained to me that she was suffering with a ‘Sesamoid thing’ and I joked afterwards, singing,

“Won’t you tell me how to get… to get to Sesamoid Street”.

Well now the joke’s on me, as I fail to put weight on my right foot without wincing.  Culprit – these fellas:

‘Sesamoids act like pulleys, providing a smooth surface for tendons to slide over, increasing the tendon’s ability to transmit muscular forces’.

They also act like ****ing torture devices!

For months, I’ve had a discomfort in my right big toe joint, but all of a sudden, boom!  agony.  So I’ve been off running completely and trying not to use my right big toe, which is easier said than done.  I’ve been too many times in my oh so nice racing shoes, when a high mileage pair with deeper cushion would have saved me when I was running out of steam (most of 2016/17).

Lesson learned.

Making slow progress, largely due to a visit with our resident guru Colin Papworth (Podiatrist) at the Accelerate Performance Centre.

As for recovery and an ETA on the trails….. a few more weeks me thinks.

Posted in Injury, Team Accelerate, Training & Racing | Leave a comment

Lucho Dillitos – a running food review


Stuart Walker of #TeamAccelerateScott recently took off with some of our newly introduced running nutrition.

Here’s what he had to say:


Right then, a food review… This blog is branching out! Well, slightly… the food in question is a new running / cycling snack called a “Lucho Dillitos”.

Lucho whatcha?
First things first –

I’ll save you the Google translation. Lucho Dillitos is Spanish for “I fight little boys” (try it!)

This is surely a strong start.

As you are no doubt aware, energy food has changed over the last few years. Gloopy gels assembled in a laboratory from 57 unpronouncable ingredients have their place, but the discerning runist or cycler now looks for the shortest ingredients list and the most natural products. Here the little boy fighter scores well again. He contains only two things: 85% fruit and 15% sugar.

Guava rating: 5/5


But, with all that health in him, how much energy will he give you? The Lucho contains 88kcal and 22.5g carbs. For comparison, a Nature Valley bar I found in the cupboard contains 143kcal but only 12.9g carbs (and a heck of a lot more ingredients), and a High5 Banana gel gives you 90kcal and 23g carbs. So, the Lucho Dillitos could pretty much be a straight swap for your gels.

Guava rating: 4/5


As you might be aware, I bloody love rubbish. So much so I started a charity to stop people dropping it and encourage people to pick it up. We pick up gel wrappers (and their smaller, even more frustrating tops) waaaaay too often, so anything that can reduce the amount of these left around is a winner with me. This is million dollar baby’s party piece – he’s wrapped in a leaf… a fully disposable, biodegradable, chuck-in-a-hedge-able, leaf! This is a great feature, though if you’re planning to eat it and chuck the wrapper, be aware that they do come with two layers of non-biodegradable packaging to work through at home before you get to the leaf.

For me this slightly ruins the idea. If you’re going for a run/ride and you know you’re going to have the Guava urge then you can get rid of the plastic and take a Lucho Dillitos out just in it’s leaf, but then it’s not going to keep long if you don’t eat it. An alternative is just to take it out in all it’s wrappers and bring ’em all home (and to be honest, if you can it’s probably best to bring the leaf home and compost or bin it anyway), but doing this sort of cancels out the special feature…

Guava rating: 3/5


However, if it tasted amazing, that wouldn’t matter anyway! This is where it gets a bit personal, but I loved it. It’s actually compressed Guava paste rather than a slab of fruit, so it has a dense granular texture to it. It’s pretty sweet, but I enjoyed eating it. I’d definitely rather eat one of these than a gel in most situations.

Guava rating: 4/5

So your honour, in conclusion:
+ Tastes great, natural ingredients, biodegradable packaging
– Lots of other packaging

I would heartily recommend trying one of these, if the flavour (and I understand two new flavours are on the way) is for you I think they are a great alternative to a gel. If you’re very keen and want to know more, have a look at the Lucho Dillitos website. Unfortunately, it seems to suggest that they are named after a Colombian cyclist called Lucho Herrera, and have nothing to do with fighting little boys…

Overall Guavas: 4/5

Stuart Walker – TeamAccelerateScott
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Why Do You Run? It’s Important to Understand…

Many just don’t think about it, yet why do you run?
For the joy of it, a healthy glow? To be with friends, to catch up after work? To reach new racing goals, to run faster for a PB?
The truth probably lies in a mix of the above and will change through the year and most definitely during a life time of running. Yet it is still important to understand the ‘Mix’ as it should then help direct your purpose for training. We all like company when we train, it has been shown to benefit those searching for the pinnacle of their sport, as does the single-mindedness and loneliness of the long distance runner.
The reasons you run could also impact on the group of friends you run with.  If you are more competitive and they more social then there is a good chance you will be running ahead trying to force the pace, whilst those behind you are feeling pressured into keeping up. All they wanted was a nice easy run and catch up. Opps, suddenly there is a little friction in the group. Like wise there is little point in joining a competitive group if you are there for a low level aerobic healthy run. You will not be inclined to keep and get easily dropped.

So getting the ‘Mix’ right and understanding your reason for training is really important.  Every reason you give for training will come back to one of three reasons, blended together to form the whole.

Now here’s the killer… you spend the winter running with a social group. Then you enter a spring 10k and start talking about a PB.  Sometimes they come and sometimes they don’t. So what was your motivation for running through the winter? Clearly social, yet underneath the surface is the longing for a PB or two.  So there’s a ‘Mix’ and in truth you should look back and admit you perhaps could have planned things a little better. Progressive running groups, with a social aspect are not uncommon and in fact perfectly OK. A bit of a weekly push is no bad thing if you want a spring PB, use the warm up and down for the catch up time, use the effort to encourage and help each other along. Sounds like good running buddies to me.

From a coaching point the ‘Mix’ is also important. It has to match the runner you are working with, to be adaptable and flexible. A period of stress in a runners life may mean you have to reprogram things for them. To give them a chance to chill out and be with friends, sociable running. It’s good practice for mental health and also to get them back onto track quickly, when they are ready.

You also as a coach have to ask where your ability lies with this ‘Mix’. If it is lacking and a highly competitive runner wants big improvements do you know what you are doing? So where does you skill set lie within the ‘Mix’. Yes, it can also drive you to become more knowledgeable and experienced to encompass all areas of the ‘Mix’ and that is definitely no bad thing.

On the face of it the reason we run, or the reason we coach all lies within the ‘Mix’ and how that is blended together is important to understand. Not as straightforward as it would first appear.

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The Model of Poor Running Form.


Take a look at the picture below.

Is that a runner……. or a Model?

The collapse through the hips thanks to extremely weak Glutes says ‘Model’.

When this is supposed to be an example of how good a runner should look in the correct shoes (Mizuno Wave Rider 20), why do manufacturers overlook their Marketing Departments habit of recruiting pretty looking non-runners to flap about in their product?



Weak Glutes = TILT!


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OMMbelievably We Survived – by Anna Hoogkamer


Anna Hoogkamer runs for Team Accelerate-inov-8 and is a seasoned Fell Runner.  Equally at home on Cross Country events, or Fell Running competitions (such as Accelerate/inov-8’s Gritstone Series), the 28th & 29th October 2017 marked her first foray into Mountain Marathons, with entry into the now infamous ‘OMM’ (Original Mountain Marathon).  Below is her account:







The Original Mountain Marathon (the OMM to those in the know) is something I’ve wanted to do since the moment I first heard about it – two days of running in the fells, a night of camping and an incredibly fun weekend away with a friend – what more could you ask for?

So this year I decided it was time to take the plunge and enter. My training partner Megan happily agreed to join me having enjoyed her previous experiences at the Mourne Mountain Marathon. The sun was shining in Sheffield as we happily paid our entry and started planning…

And then suddenly it was Autumn and time for the fell relays to take centre stage. Megan and I ran together in paired legs at both the Hodgson and the British Relays and enjoyed ourselves immensely. I think racing in a pair brings out the best or worst in people –  luckily Megan and I work really well together and have our individual strengths which we can use to help motivate the other. Despite a few slight mishaps that ended up with Meg waiting patiently in the ambulance whilst I was patched up, we were both OMM good form and looking forward to the end of October.

Many people were kind enough to impart their wisdom prior to our departure to the Langdales (where the OMM was taking place). We were told everything from “don’t take too much” and “nah you don’t need any thermal layers” to “take plastic bags for your feet at the campsite”. Luckily we ignored the people telling us to take fewer layers, but sadly no one told us that the plastic bags for our feet needed to be good quality (unfortunately Asda bags didn’t cut it as they had holes in so our feet got wet anyway!). But mostly people told us just to go an enjoy it.


So off we went, full of excitement – this was the 50th Anniversary OMM after all!

Our journey up to the lakes was fairly uneventful – we stayed with a Uni friend in Ulverston the night before and then travelled over to the start on the Saturday morning. Our start was from 8:00am – 8:14am and the sun was shining despite the cold. We set off full of oblivious excitement at the thought of a day ahead. It being the 50th year the course map looked super tough but we were unperturbed even as we disappeared into the ever lowering clag. What followed was cold, confusing and at some points pretty frightening. Despite both of us being competent navigators in clear weather, we very quickly found ourselves getting disorientated. Add to that the fact that we had planned on running a lot (and so keeping warm) and were (stupidly) not expecting to have to spend so long wandering around the tops of crags in the 40mph wind and driving rain in shorts and you can perhaps appreciate how un-ideal our situation was. Despite this, we trudged on (mostly in the right direction) but were aware that it was taking us ages to get between check points. Most other people we met on the hill were similarly cold and disorientated so at least we weren’t alone.

Perhaps our lowest moment was after what felt like hours (and may well have been) battling head first into the wind on the top of Crinkle Crags, occasionally being blown off our feet, when we stopped and realised quite how cold we were. At this point I couldn’t even pinch my fingers together to do up a zip or even open a cereal bar. I have to say I was a little bit scared – we had all the kit we needed to pitch camp and spend the night on the hill, but in that state we would have been incapable of using it.


Having spent nearly 6 hours in a state of near hypothermia and still unable to find CP5 and not having seen or heard another team for about 2hours we decided it was getting too dangerous and that we really didn’t want to be caught out in the dark as well as the low visibility. Finally we worked out that we had somehow gotten ourselves onto Grey Friars (which had CP8 on it) although, even now, it confuses me how we managed to find ourselves there without losing any height or passing CP5. Anyway, at this point we had two options: head back and find CP5, go through 5-8 and then be back where we were but almost certainly in the dark and have to retire anyway; or make our way off down to the road and follow it to the campsite. I think we were sensible in choosing the latter.


We made it back to the campsite about an hour later having run for nearly 30km. I felt awful, never having not finished a race before and was expecting to find everyone else happily at camp talking about how it had been tough but they had completed it. Not so. When we finished only 4 teams on the A course had made it to the campsite and only one of those had completed the course. This made us feel slightly better, as did a hot mug of tea and some food. We set up camp in a nice cosy bog and settled down for what can only be described as the worst sleep of my life. Not even my exhaustion or relief at not camping on the mountain could overcome the cold sogginess.

However, Sunday arrived (eventually) and with it renewed motivation. It turns out only 10/70 of the teams who started the A course had completed it so we were definitely in the majority. Many had in fact not even made it to camp and had returned to the start or camped out. Lots of teams seemed to have had enough and didn’t start on the second day but not us – 7:15am saw us on the start line (this time in many, many layers).

The weather could not have been nicer. Beautiful clear, crisp and dry – fair weather navigators such as ourselves sighed with relief. We decided our aim was to complete the day/if the clag came down to make it further than we did the day before. It was much easier to see other teams and we had many nice chats with other pairs and recounted our Saturday story in exchange for theirs. The bond that you feel with someone who has also shared such an incredibly challenging experience is incredible and everyone was so friendly. We were really pleased with our navigation and although there were times when we could have perhaps taken a slightly straighter line, we were never lost and it was much more enjoyable.

I had a little grumble at about half way when it suddenly became apparent that three spoonfuls or porridge do not a sufficient breakfast make. Unfortunately this grump came just as we had to head straight up a rock strewn mountain side but Megan was very encouraging. I got a second wind at the top and we smashed on through the bogs and back up a different hill. At this point we were starting to worry about being timed out (as the course closed earlier on the Sunday and we had started later). So we pushed on and hit the last three controls dead on. Although we’d had a much more enjoyable day, it was such a relief to see the finish tent at the end of the final stretch of track and to realise that we were actually going to complete that day!

Competitive as ever, we decided we wanted to get the fastest final split and so made a real effort to run into the finish, where hot squash awaited us. We finished 14th and the only women’s team to finish either day. In fact, only 16 teams completed the second day and considering how many started I think we can be suitably proud.

WHAT AN EXPEREINCE. So much learned, so much to improve upon and also so much to be proud of.

Bonus: Megan and I are still friends despite such a gruelling experience. Time for a rest now, but we will be back next year to, dare I say it – complete both days!


















Thanks as ever to inov-8 for providing my kit, Stu for coaching/putting up with us both and the team at APC for all their support. Thanks also to SilvaGlobal who have provided both of us with headtorches and compasses (maybe next year we will be able to navigate well in the clag as well!).

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