Bob Williams

Torn. Stopped in My Tracks.

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Muscles of lower extremity
Muscles of lower extremity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was down at Bondi just after Christmas teaching some friends how to surf. It has been a while since I had been back in the water. Too long. I was running in the soft sand in thigh deep water when my heel gave way due to the softness of the surface as I pushed off to stride.

You know that moment when you have torn something? You can feel it. Unmistakable. Your body almost assesses the damage, and you know instinctively how bad the tear might be. In this case, I had torn my right calf muscle (gastocnemius torn through excessive dorsi flexion). I think I tore more than a few fibres because there was a significant loss of mobility.

Needless to say, the tear put paid to my plans to commence this running stunt towards the end of February. I spoke this over with my running coach, Bob Williams from Portland, Oregon. Bob has been particularly helpful in reviewing exactly what I hope to achieve by running, and how I intend to do that. So there will be some changes, but the concept remains intact.

Meanwhile, the journey continues. The conversation continues to build, albeit slowly. This is more than just about running. And maybe the injury from that perspective is a welcome development. It has given me good cause to focus more intently on the issue itself: child mortality, and how together we might influence a reduction.

So where to from here? To start, the last couple of weeks I have taken the opportunity to step back and get some perspective. That has been helpful, and more on that in the coming blog posts.

First step: begin by designing the ‘Design Forum’. This is not something for me to do on my own, but is an invitation for many to come together in helping to address where we might take this conversation. It is about us, not about me.

Secondly: towards the end of this month, I will return to Seoul by invitation of our Ambassador to attend a number of activities coinciding with Australia Day in my work helping others to strengthen their connections between Australia and Korea. While I am there, I will be visiting the publisher for the book ‘Life Bridge’ to commence making the book which funds this journey a reality. For many of you, this book has been a long time coming, and I want to thank you especially for your patience and encouragement. Publishing the book first I think is a good move to better communicate the central idea behind all of this. I would hope to have the book published around April.

Thirdly: in terms of running, that is on hold until I am better recovered. I responded well to physio, and am back in the pool deep water running and swimming. It is likely that the running will focus on the UN General Assembly to take place in New York at the end of September. It is also worth noting that the UN has moved the dialogue onto a post-Millenium Develop Goals agenda, which is a welcome development although it takes the pressure off the hook for the next three years.

Stopped in my tracks, but only briefly. The body has amazing restorative ability, and I will come back stronger and fresh ready for the road ahead. In the meantime, there is work to do. Thanks for being part of the journey.

Training Schedule: Preparing for 10 October Start Date

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Olympic Torch, Sydney Olympic Park

Here it is. This is the final training schedule. The dates have changed a little bit since first hatching the idea in March 2010, and there have been many failed attempts along the way. Plenty of lessons learnt, but for now what remains is to do the work and focus on training.

If you want to run together any night (or morning), let me know, and we can meet up and go for a team run together.

The schedule is taken from Tim Noakes’ book Lore of Running, and is the marathon preparation used by veteran coach Bob Williams from Portland, Oregon. The key his training is twice-weekly speed sessions.

Date Running
Training Schedule
Training Week 1/12
Fri, Jul 20, 2012 8 km
Sat, Jul 21, 2012 5 x 800 m
Sun, Jul 22, 2012 8 km
Mon, Jul 23, 2012 5 km on machine
Tue, Jul 24, 2012 Rest
Wed, Jul 25, 2012 24 km
Thu, Jul 26, 2012 Rest
Training Week 2/12
Fri, Jul 27, 2012 8 km
Sat, Jul 28, 2012 3 x 1600 m
Sun, Jul 29, 2012 8 km
Mon, Jul 30, 2012 16 km
Tue, Jul 31, 2012 Rest
Wed, Aug 1, 2012 20 km
Thu, Aug 2, 2012 Rest
Training Week 3/12
Fri, Aug 3, 2012 8 km
Sat, Aug 4, 2012 4 km on machine
Sun, Aug 5, 2012 8 km
Mon, Aug 6, 2012 8 x 200 m
Tue, Aug 7, 2012 Rest
Wed, Aug 8, 2012 24 km
Thu, Aug 9, 2012 Rest
Training Week 4/12
Fri, Aug 10, 2012 8 km
Sat, Aug 11, 2012 4 x 1600 m
Sun, Aug 12, 2012 8 km
Mon, Aug 13, 2012 9 km on machine
Tue, Aug 14, 2012 Rest
Wed, Aug 15, 2012 24 km
Thu, Aug 16, 2012 Rest
Training Week 5/12
Fri, Aug 17, 2012 8 km
Sat, Aug 18, 2012 6 x 200 m
Sun, Aug 19, 2012 8 km
Mon, Aug 20, 2012 5 x 1000 m
Tue, Aug 21, 2012 Rest
Wed, Aug 22, 2012 24 km
Thu, Aug 23, 2012 Rest
Training Week 6/12
Fri, Aug 24, 2012 8 km
Sat, Aug 25, 2012 8 x 400 m
Sun, Aug 26, 2012 8 km
Mon, Aug 27, 2012 7 km on machine
Tue, Aug 28, 2012 Rest
Wed, Aug 29, 2012 20 km
Thu, Aug 30, 2012 Rest
Training Week 7/12
Fri, Aug 31, 2012 8 km
Sat, Sep 1, 2012 5 x 1600 m
Sun, Sep 2, 2012 8 km
Mon, Sep 3, 2012 16 km
Tue, Sep 4, 2012 Rest
Wed, Sep 5, 2012 24 km
Thu, Sep 6, 2012 Rest
Training Week 8/12
Fri, Sep 7, 2012 8 km
Sat, Sep 8, 2012 8 km on machine
Sun, Sep 9, 2012 8 km
Mon, Sep 10, 2012 8 x 200 m
Tue, Sep 11, 2012 Rest
Wed, Sep 12, 2012 24 km
Thu, Sep 13, 2012 Rest
Training Week 9/12
Fri, Sep 14, 2012 8 km
Sat, Sep 15, 2012 6 x 200 m
Sun, Sep 16, 2012 8 km
Mon, Sep 17, 2012 5 x 1600 m
Tue, Sep 18, 2012 Rest
Wed, Sep 19, 2012 24 km
Thu, Sep 20, 2012 Rest
Training Week 10/12
Fri, Sep 21, 2012 8 km
Sat, Sep 22, 2012 8 km
Sun, Sep 23, 2012 8 km
Mon, Sep 24, 2012 6 x 800 m
Tue, Sep 25, 2012 Rest
Wed, Sep 26, 2012 10 km on machine
Thu, Sep 27, 2012 Rest
Training Week 11/12
Fri, Sep 28, 2012 8 km
Sat, Sep 29, 2012 5 x 1600 m
Sun, Sep 30, 2012 8 km
Mon, Oct 1, 2012 16 km
Tue, Oct 2, 2012 Rest
Wed, Oct 3, 2012 20 km
Thu, Oct 4, 2012 Rest
Training Week 12/12
Fri, Oct 5, 2012 8 km
Sat, Oct 6, 2012 5 x 1600 m
Sun, Oct 7, 2012 8 km
Mon, Oct 8, 2012 5 km
Tue, Oct 9, 2012 Rest

Coach Bob Williams

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Portland Oregon from the east. By User:Fcb981
Portland Oregon

Training for the 10 City Bridge Run, I have been following a program designed for marathon runners by veteran running coach Bob Williams from Portland, Oregon.

I wrote to him with details of my training and how everything was progressing, mentioning how I had experienced some discomfort and loss of range of movement particularly in the ankles before increasing my stretching regime.

He wrote back with great advice. I am passing it on here so you too might benefit from what he had to say about The Dynamic Warm Up

I’d definitely employ dynamic stretching to enhance your flexibility.
Coach Bob Williams, Team Oregon

Engaging in a dynamic (constantly moving) warm-up procedure is the most effective method of getting the body ready for vigorous athletic play. This warm up procedure encompasses dynamic movements that will:

  • Stretch important soft tissues while priming the body’s central nervous system;
  • Increase tissue and core temperature;
  • Stimulate balance, coordination and ankle/foot proprioception;
  • Facilitate neuromuscular movement patterns that ultimately enhance movement efficiency, power and economy.

Repeat 4-5 times per week.

Before you begin:

  • Warm up with light aerobic activity for  5-10 minutes
  • Performing the exercises detailed below for 10 m, walk and jog for 10 m to slowly stimulate your heart rate, repeat  the exercise, jog for 10 m.

The Exercises
Knee Grabs–knee and hip flexibility
Come up high on toes while brining one knee to the chest and pull knee tightly to chest with the foot dorsi flexed-  to stretch the hip flexors, alternate legs as you walk in a straight line, stay tall, land quietly and keep the foot /toe cocked up; Gradually pick up your tempo as you become proficient.

Prisoner Walks–hip mobility
With hands together on the head, take a step forward, bend the knee, bring right leg up to waist level, drop toe to ground and bring bended knee up and swing right leg out to side while keeping the shoulders square and don’t turn the hips. In same motion while leg is coming down, step with the same leg, bring opposite leg up and repeat.

Russian Kicks–Dynamic hamstring flexibility
Arms out straight out to the side, kick right leg up straight and reach to toe with left hand as leg is kicked up and straight–don’t bend knee, keep back straight while twisting to reach the toe, each arm swings back.

Dyno Walks–dynamic and proprioceptive ability
Start standing tall, take a step with left foot and with right hand, slowly bend down to touch near the foot with right leg coming off ground and extend straight out; come back up to tall position while taking another step with right foot and continue the process of touching the toe with left hand and right leg extends straight out behind.

Toe Touches–Sacrum and active hamstring flexibility
Take a step with right foot and then left foot comes together, slowly bend over, locking knees, and reach to touch the toes. With good rhythm, step with opposite foot and bend to touch toes; continue forward with goal of gradually bending further with each step, hands going farther down.

Over and Under the Hurdle–hip mobility
Standing tall, step to the right high over a pretend hurdle, Once over it with right leg, bring the other leg over the same hurdle but do not let the feet cross. Feet must be straight ahead and landing perfectly in alignment; next, step again to the right, drop your butt and the hips low and pretend to step under and through the hurdle. Do not let the feet cross.

Open Hip Skip Reverse–hip mobility and overall coordination
Hands on hips, step backwards while bringing the leg up and out and down while skipping on the toe of the opposite leg that was brought up and out. Bring leg way up and out and down and keep shoulder square.

High Knee Karaoke–body symmetry
Moving the side, step with the right foot over the left and bring the left foot behind the right leg and throw the right leg as high up as possible over the left leg and repeat in a skipping motion.

Lunge and Twist–thoracic spine mobility & chest stretch
With your arms held straight out and hands together, take a big step and lunge by dropping the knee to the ground and twist the body around to the same side with arms extended outward. Keep arms extended out the entire time. Watch hands.

Toe Flickers–ankle linear mobility
Hands on hips, flicking the feet out in front, bouncing on the toes in a straight line.

Ankle Flickers–lateral ankle mobility
Hands on hips, flicking the ankles to the side and feet landing straight out, feet not coming together, bouncing legs straight out.

Crab Walk–shoulder, rotators and patella activation and conditioning
While sitting down extend legs with arms behind you, extend legs out and “walk” forward.

Inch Worm–core strength activation, dynamic Achilles tendon flexibility
Start in push-up position with arms extended, knees locked, and gradually “inch” your fee towards the hands. Keep the legs straight.

Good Mornings (Arm Rolls)–shoulder and body symmetry
Come up on toe with the arms swinging up high and backward with each step.

Go Steps–dynamic body symmetry and coordination
Short sprint movements like the A skips with knees brought up to 90 degrees, moving knees quickly and arms moving at 90 degrees like a sprint position.

Thanks Coach Williams!