Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Whenever I'm in a foreign country I always like to try the local food, in Kenya they have ugali, sukuma wiki, ndengu, chapati and they love their really sweet chai. Here in the Algarve we went to a festival where we tried the Portuguese version of a donut called a farturas, really good especially if you have a sweet tooth as it was dipped in sugar and cinnamon. On visiting a fish restaurant right next to the local fish market we ordered a seafood cataplana and it was absolutely delicious. A cataplana is the name of the recipe and the dish it is cooked and served in, similar to a tagine. In the cataplana we had it was filled with a huge range of seafood including, sardines, sea bass, golden bream, prawns, muscles and clams, plus as you can see from the picture below it was also filled with potatoes.

The Seafood Cataplana

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Still Perfect Weather....

No Internet for a while, hence no blog updates recently. Nearly three weeks in Portugal now and I think I spotted one stray cloud the other day, apart from that it's been perfect weather, in fact yesterday I got a very sun burnt face after relaxing on the beach for too long. Both myself and Tom Bigham, who is out at the moment to keep me company, have nasty panda faces as we both left our sunglasses on, we look quite ridiculous and I'm sure some of the locals have been laughing at us!

Relaxing on the terrace with Mark

Training has been going well, some really good longer sessions but a few below par shorter ones which I put down to a little bit of fatigue. I think one thing that a lot of athletes struggle with is recovery and this has always been one of my problems. I never like to have rest days even though I know how important they are. I took a rest day last week, plus a few days of very easy running and feel much better because of it, you would have thought after running for over 20 years that I would have learnt to take my rest seriously!

Apart from training I have spent my time relaxing on the beach or on the sun terrace at the apartment I have rented, plus maybe a fresh orange juice at Villamoura marina, it's not a bad life being a full time athlete!

Villamoura Marina

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Out of the cold.

All settled in here in Portugal. So far I have been very lucky with the weather as everyday has been blue skies and between 15 and 20 Degrees, perfect for marathon training. On my first full day here I did a marathon distance training run which felt good then three days after that I had a 12km tempo run which although my legs were still a little tired from the long run it went well.

I have been joined out here by my Dutch friend Mark who has been enjoying the good weather as much as I have, before he flew out to meet me he has temperatures of -23 in Amsterdam!

Today we went to the cross country course in Albufiera as there was a local cross country taking place. There were some good competitive races both in the men's and women's divisions.

Most of my morning runs I have been enjoying the long beaches that they have out here, really good for running on when the tide is out. This time of the year down in the Algarve it is really quiet which is nice although it does mean that a lot of places are closed down until the tourist season starts up, at least I don't have to worry about dodging tourists when I'm running around the marina.

The beach, just a few minutes jog from my apartment.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Quick Update

Another stinker of a race at the Chichester 10km on Sunday has left me slightly down in the dumps. When training isn't going too well a bad race result can be explained, but when training is spot on a bad race result is very frustrating.

I've now escaped the freezing UK weather by flying out to Portugal for a month. On arrival I was greeted with blue skies and 20 degrees, and that was more than enough to cheer me up!

I've got myself a nice apartment in Vilamoura and enjoyed a solid marathon distance run this morning along the coast to Albufeira and back.

I will get some photos of the area and do a proper blog update later this week.

A track session on a previous visit to Portugal