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THE HARRIERS HERALD No. 240, February 2013 Editor: Sue Francis

Contents, features, reports, results • Thursday night schedules for February and March • Race results and reports for: Oxford Mail x-country – Sus reports on her first experience of an all-ladies xc; Woodcote 10K – Harriers team is 3rd; Rough ‘n Tumble – four Harriers take up the challenge • Handicap Race – a record 15 runners, a very close race, and a victory for Dick • Webmaster’s article – Mo features the effects of exercise on the immune system, and lists forthcoming races • Thanks to Sus and Mo for this month’s contributions • Copy date for next Harriers Herald – 1st March

Thursday night schedule for February Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

7th 14th 21st 28th

Terry to lead Handicap Race Martin to lead Pete O to lead

Thursday night schedule for March Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

7th 14th 21st 28th

Mo to lead Handicap Race Richard to lead Sue to lead

Correspondence received Subject matter

Sender City of Lincoln Council England Athletics

City of Lincoln 10K (07-04-13) ‘Setting the Pace’ magazine

Action Notice board Ask Sue if you’d like to read it

Race Reports & Results Rough ‘n Tumble, 13th January Sue Four Harriers completed this testing 10-mile multi-terrain race near Pewsey. The sun and light breeze were pleasant, despite the sub-zero air temperature. However the conditions underfoot were, according to race organiser Steve Goulding, the worst in the race’s history. We set off from Milton Lilbourne Village Hall along a narrow tarmac road but, after 400m, the road was under water for a long stretch so we embarked on the slanting hill with cold wet feet. This side of the hill, being in shadow, was still firm underfoot. After a further 4 miles of thick sticky mud, waterlogged fields, icy farm roads and the occasional firm dry section, we reached the bottom of the big hill. Here, Pewsey RC’s Mark Anderson was marshalling and encouraging all with ‘enjoy the hill…’ For all but the race leaders, this hill is tackled as a climb, rather than a run – looking for foot and hand-holds! I was looking forward to miles 7–10, which are relatively flat and were fairly good underfoot in 2012’s race. Not this year! More thick mud, waterlogged fields and a wooded path which had become a stream. Now our shoes and socks felt wet and cold and, when my feet started to come back to life, I realised they 1


were also full of grit. I had managed to stay upright for 8 miles but then tripped over some stubble in a wet field, and landed hands first in a (fortunately fairly clean) puddle – but no injuries other than very cold hands. Colin was a bit less fortunate. He fell over at least twice – he lost count – and cut his knee and elbow. Meanwhile, Ryan had a fantastic race, bettering his 2012 time by 2.5 minutes. The race was as always very well organised, with a feeling of satisfaction and achievement after crossing the line. Philomena and I both felt we’d like to have a go at it in better conditions when we could get into a proper running rhythm, but maybe we are expecting too much of a January race! At least we did not have to battle heavy rain or strong winds. As our finishers’ medals stated, we had all been truly ‘Roughed and Tumbled’.

Ryan 24th 1:18:21 Sue 114th 1:32:47 Colin 228th 1:44:47 Philomena 1:57:53 1st man Charles Pennington (1:07:43) 1st lady Fay Scripps (1:21:35) 504 survivors

Photos (by Mo) • Ryan running well at 8 ½ miles • Sue on one of the very wet roads • Colin sliding into a sprint finish • Philomena happy to reach the last hurdle

Woodcote & Goring Lions 10K, 13th January

Three Harriers enjoyed this local 10K on a bright and sunny but cold winter’s morning. Martin was 39th in 41:57, Lucy 83rd in 46:01, and Richard D (who admitted to having too much fun at a wine-tasting event the previous evening) in 47:00. Their performances earned them the accolade of 3rd team overall. The race was won by Nick Jones (Newbury) in 34:37, with regular ladies winner Samantha Amend (Belgrave) defending her title – 38:16. 2


Oxford Mail x-country race 3, Horspath, 6th January Sus XC races have never really appealed to me mainly because they are so short and, since they always take place on a Sunday, they are my last choice of race as there are several other more favourable races I would rather do. But Colin is a gently persistent man, assuring me he would not harass me anymore if I just attempted to do one XC race for Team Kennet. I agreed to take up his offer so I could finally get some peace! My choice fell on Horspath XC on January 6th. I turned up feeling a bit like a fish out of water in a yellow team shirt and promptly announced my participation to Colin as it stated in the instructions. Helen from Team Kennet, Lucy, Sue, Phil and I formed the team and at 11 o’clock we were off. Mo, Dick and Martin cheered us on at different places on route and it was so lovely to at long last see men among all these female runners! It was much muddier than anticipated and I figured out instead of running around the porridge mud it would be quicker to run through it but, having said that, you never know what is lurking beneath and I soon realized my idea wasn’t as good as I thought as something caught my feet and I landed softly on all fours. I quickly got up and continued now reaching a short stretch of road where not wearing spikes came to my advantage, catching up with a few ladies. The finish came quicker than the 6K announced but I didn’t mind at all; all I knew was I had done it, hopefully to the captain’s satisfaction. Helen opened the door by finishing in 25:16 (15th), Sue and I followed soon after in 25:46 (20th) and 25:56 (22nd) respectively, then Lucy in 27:22 (43rd) and Phil closed the gate in 32:41 (118th). The team was 2nd in Division 2. One thing it does not describe in the instructions on how to do an all-female XC is that it is very vital to give a little “uhh” as the gun goes off, this is very important to learn for the next race – did I say next race??????? Four Harriers were part of the 7-man Kennet team, which finished 9th in Division 3: Martin (148th, 41:45), Jonathan (178th, 43:32), Dick (187th, 44:28) and Colin (190th, 44:37).

Handicap Race Sue The promise of a fish ‘n chip takeaway at the AGM brought a record 15 runners out for a chilly January Handicap Race round the Village Lap. It was nice to see Dick’s ‘3 miles each day in December’ regime come to fruition, as he ran considerably faster than last month to win the monthly handicap trophy. Behind Dick positions changed rapidly and there were some exceptionally close finishes which, along with the dark night and large number of parked cars near our finish line, made Jan’s job very difficult. Of course, the idea of a perfect handicap race is that (if the handicapping is accurate and if everyone finishes in their predicted time) all should finish together. So well done to everyone for finishing so close to prediction, and to me for some expert handicapping! Lucy recorded a good time to secure 2nd place. Next to finish was Piers, running in his first Harriers handicap race. Piers had set off with his Dad, but Pete let him go at the top of Shepherd’s Mount and Piers unleashed a sprint finish to set a very good sub-13 time. The runners’ finish order from 4th to 8th was a bit of a grey area. But thanks to those who self-timed and to those who remembered who they’d overtaken / been overtaken by (I think Colin lost sleep over it!) the correct order has been worked out. Thanks to Jan for timing in difficult circumstances and also for arranging our take-away suppers, and well done Dick. The next Handicap Race is scheduled for Thursday 14th February – how else would you want to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day? 3


Finish Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Position on handicap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 12

Name

Start time

Finish time

Actual time

Dick Lucy Piers

3:12 3:40 3:50 2:23 4:06 3:37 4:13 3:50 2:57 3:45 4:56 4:40 3:28 5:08 0:37

16:36 16:45 16:46 16:47 16:48 16:53 16:57 17:04 17:07 17:09 17:11 17:18 17:28 ? 20:20

13:24 13:05 12:56 14:24 12:42 13:16 12:44 13:14 14:10 13:24 12:15 12:38 14:00 ? 19:43

Philomena

Neil Colin Terry Pete O Aaron Richard D Sue Jonathan Pete H Martin Mags

Handicap Beaten? -0:24 -0:15 New Runner -0:13 -0:12 -0:07 -0:03 +0:04 +0:07 +0:09 +0:11 +0:18 +0:28 ? +0:20

Handicap Championship Pos.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11= 11= 11= 11= 11=

Name

Dick Lucy Philomena

Neil Colin Terry Pete O Aaron Richard Sue Jonathan Pete H Piers Martin Mags

Race 1 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 1 1 1

Race 2 -

Race 3 -

Race 4 -

Race points Race Race Race 5 6 7 -

4

Race 8 -

Race 9 -

Total of best 5 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 1 1 1


Website update… http://www.comptonharriers.org.uk Mo Links of interest this month: Finding time to fit in additional work-outs during the working week can be quite a challenge for most of us who are still engaged in the world of work. So on receiving the latest email from Runners World I was intrigued to see how this could be seamlessly introduced alongside a busy workload. The link for the article on this is http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/staying-healthy/the-9-5-workout/9044.html - well worth a read! My article this month: How is your immune system affected by training and exercise? Both Sue and I have suffered the effects of unwelcome colds and flu-like viral infections recently with Sue in particular experiencing extreme frustration in the feeling of listlessness and lack of ability to carry out her usual training and exercise sessions. All was going well until a URI (Upper Respiratory Infection) struck and it seemed evident to me that the annoying little virus Sue was carrying (probably passed on by me) took full advantage when Sue’s defences were lowered, to develop into a particularly evil presence. Sue had taken part in several tough events with very little recovery time in between, culminating in the 10 mile off-road ‘Rough & Tumble’ and it seems the cumulative effort resulted in a marked lowering of her immune system. I therefore decided to find out what the health and fitness professionals had to say about exercise and how it affects the immune system. Of course most people believe they become healthier after starting an exercise program and most medical experts tell us that exercise promotes good health, but is exercise good or bad for the immune system? It seems that frequent URIs are one of the signs that your body is being pushed too hard, and therefore the immune system is unable to function at its best. Before jumping to any conclusions, we need to understand how our immune system works and how it deals with unwanted intrusions. Don’t forget that just by getting cold or wet we will not be more susceptible to virus infection. Viruses are transmitted from person-to-person through atomised droplets in the air from coughing and sneezing or by direct contact. Antibiotics are not useful in treating viral infections and any given viral infection may behave differently in different people as each individual’s immune system is unique. What is the immune system? It is a complex, active and wonderfully arranged mechanism that defends us against foreign invasion by unwanted micro organisms. The system adapts itself as we grow and modifies how we interact with our environment. When it malfunctions we become prone to various diseases so understanding how it works will help us to stay healthy. In a similar way to other areas of physiology (cardiovascular, muscular) various scientific studies have shown that a balanced training program of exercise and rest leads to better performance of the immune system and it appears that regular exercise can also help in slowing age-related decline in immune function. On the other hand, too much exercise can lead to an increased risk of lowering immune function and increasing the likelihood of viral infection. It is believed that the stress of strenuous exercise briefly suppresses immune function which in turn can provide an "open window" for a variety of infectious diseases, especially viral illnesses. It has been observed that, in general, as many as two-thirds of participants completing an ultramarathon have developed URIs shortly afterwards. Similarly it has also 5


been observed that cumulative overtraining weakens the athlete's immune system, leading to frequent illness and injury. A graph to illustrate the summary of clinical observations and laboratory experiments is shown by the "J"-curve below. It is also important to note that the actual curve is different for each individual; what is moderate training for some is overtraining for others.

However, strenuous exercise is not the only stress factor an athlete has to consider; there are job responsibilities, family obligations, social interactions, financial concerns and other components that shape our lives. Stress is cumulative so the sum of all of these stress factors ultimately affects our immune function. Factors such as exercise are under our direct control, but others may only be partially under our control or not at all. Recognising when excess stress occurs is easier if it just comes from one source. However, all too often it is the sum of many small, difficult to recognise changes that tips the scales and sends the athlete into the whirlpool of overtraining and immuno-suppression. Alone and in isolation the various stress factors would be manageable, but combined they can overwhelm. The overall stress factors can be summarised in the diagram below:

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How can we improve our immune function and stay healthy? The best way to stay healthy is to ‘listen to your body’ by identifying the early warning signs and adapting your training schedule accordingly. Here are some points to consider together with a few recommendations:  Keep a training log. In addition to recording workouts, keep a fatigue score (scale 0-5). It is expected that a hard workout will make you tired, so it is more important to note the cumulative "feel" during the day. Although the scale is individualised and subjective, this simple tool is very useful. If you notice that your fatigue is progressively increasing over days or weeks, then it is time to add more rest into your training schedule.  A properly constructed training program that allows for rest and recovery will help head off problems before they start.  Record your resting morning heart rate. A progressive increase may tip you off that you are exceeding your ability to recover.  Anticipate added stress in advance (e.g. new job) and adjust the workout schedule correspondingly. A small amount of rest early will prevent a bigger problem later.  To make sure your anti-oxidant defence system is tuned up, eat five servings of fruit or vegetables per day. Note: vitamin supplements do not appear to have the same benefits as fruits and vegetables.  Heed your body's early warning signs: o Disordered sleep patterns (too much or insomnia) o Loss of interest in pleasurable activities o Moodiness or depression o Excessive muscle soreness o Poor concentration o Lack of mental energy o Change in appetite o Frequent injury or illness o Lack of physical energy  Get an annual influenza vaccination (usually available each year starting in October).  If you are suffering frequent URIs or unrelenting fatigue, it could be a sign of an underlying illness, so you should consult your doctor.  Nutritional strategies to maintain immunity o Ensure energy balance and adequate carbohydrate and protein intake o Avoid micronutrient deficiencies (daily multivitamin tablet) o Avoid dehydration and a dry mouth (drink plenty) o Ingest carbohydrate during exercise (30-60 g/hour) o High antioxidant intake (lots of fruit and veg) o Dietary immunostimulants that might work for athletes:  Flavonoids/Polyphenols (about 1 g/day)  Vitamin C (500 – 1000 mg/day)  Probiotics (daily according to manufacturer’s recommendation)

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Forthcoming Events – see Website Events Calendar for full details and listing Sat 2 Feb Sun 3 Feb Sun 10 Feb

Sat 16 Feb Sun 17 Feb Sun 24 Feb

Sun 3 Mar

Sat 9 Mar Sun 10 Mar Sun 17 Mar Sun 24 Mar Fri 29 Mar Sun 31 Mar Sat 6 Apr Sun 7 Apr Sun 21 Apr Sun 28 Apr Mon 6 May Sun 26 May Sun 9 Jun Sun 16 Jun Sat 20 Jul Sun 25 Aug Sat 14 Sep Sun 15 Sep

Thames Trot Ultra 50 Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon 2013 - Northampton Oxford Mail X-C, Swindon th The 4 Reading 5 Meon Valley Plod Dursley Dozen Wokingham Half Marathon - Cantley Park, Wokingham SEAA XC Championships - Parliament Hill Bramley 20/10 Dalwood 3 Hills Challegne - Dalwood, between Axminster and Honiton. The Terminator 2013 - Pewsey Vale School “The SMaRTT Smasher” 10k Run & 1 Mile Fun Run - Calne Goring 10K Oxford Mail X-C, Rutherford Laboratory Run Eton Dorney (20k, 10k, 5k - Road) National inter-counties XC - Cofton Park, Birmingham MK Half Marathon & Festival of Running Salisbury 10Mile - Five Rivers Leisure Centre, Salisbury The Flying Monk 10, Fearless 5 Fun Run and Muddy Mile - Malmesbury Reading Half Marathon - Green Park / Madejski Stadium Water of Life 10k & Half Marathon - National Sports Centre, Bisham Abbey, Marlow Ringwood Rabbitrun 10k & 5k Maidenhead Easter 10 - Maidenhead Office Park, Westacott Way, Maidenhead Northampton Running Festival 10k - Delapre Abbey, Northampton Compton Downland Challenge 40/20 Coombe Gibbett to Overton 16 White Horse Half Marathon The Bluebell Run (Approximately 12k) - Collingbourne Ducis London Marathon 2013 The Ridge Off-Roader 10k - Bledlow Ridge School Highclere 10K - Highclere Castle, Newbury, Berkshire Milton Keynes Marathon - StadiumMK Bayer Newbury 10K Chippenham Harriers 5 Mile Road Race & Family Fun Runs 2013 - Chippenham Rugby Club Ridgeway Relay 1066 Relay - Hastings Pewsey Great Bustard 5 Mile - Pewsey The Vale of Pewsey Half Marathon - Pewsey Isle of Wight Fell Running Series 2013 - Ventnor, Isle of Wight Isle of Wight Fell Running Series 2013 - Ventnor, Isle of Wight

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Harriers Herald February 2013