Friday, April 29, 2011

Life goes on...

I just realized that I did not post anything since a very long time. My marathon was fine, but the weather absolutely awful: wind, rain, too few runners, got all the wind in my face, that really slowed me down. I crossed the finish line in 3h19. This was above the initial goal, but I was very happy with it, I am sure that I can make a marathon in 3h10 with good weather conditions.

One month later I applied for the O'rigole. This is one of the rudest Night Trail Runs in France. It occurs every December: 75km in the forest, departure during a cold night. Every year brought new surprises: cold, heavy rain, snow. You have to be well trained if you want to finish. The marathon was only 4 weeks behind, my legs really hurt after the first set of three loops (28km), so I decided to stop the race.

In January I joined a group of 5 runners for a night orientation raid of 90km: the Raid 28. This is absolutely insane. The starting line is revealed 1 week before the race. Is it always located in a very small town with poor means of transportation, so we had to make our  own way to get to the departure.
Then the race might be compared to the Spartan race in many points. We had to cross rivers during the night sank to the waist into a cold water, etc. Great memories! On the Sunday evening, I was running down a muddy slide and badly twisted my right ankle. By chance, at 200 meters there was an aid station. They strapped my ankle on,  but 5 hours later I was not able even to walk! The two knees were terribly painful. We had to give up at 9km from the finish line. Too bad.

I had never recovered. I cancelled all my running schedule in February, then March and April... I was really upset. Mid April, I decided to start again training and forgot the pain. My concern is that I can run very fast, perform split interval training, but I am upset that I might not be able to keep the pace on a long race.

My next challenge is the 24h of Yvelines on May the 21th. I would really be pleased to run a good distance (I need it to prevent me falling insane!) The last months were very difficult, next months cannot be worse, life goes on...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My 6 weeks marathon plan

I would like to share with you my 6 weeks marathon plan. I know that 6 weeks is very short, but I had first of all to recover during September from a knee injury that happened late August at a 100km race. And I had been sick for 6 days during week 3. So it was not the ideal training, but I feel strong and confident. The hard part will be the weather, here is the forecast: 60% precipitation chance, 23km/h winds and 12°C. Not too bad :-D

This plan was designed by Philippe CALVARIN (France Elite Duathlon champion in 1993 and many other titles).

WEEK 1 50' jogging Compex

30' jog + 2 x (10 x 30''/30''), rest=4' jog + 10' jog OK


50' jog (empty stomach) OK


1:20 jog (last 20' @12km/h) OK

40' jog + 8km (marathon pace) + 3km (half marathon pace) + 2km (10km pace) + 10' jog OK

20' jog + 15 x 400m @15.6km/h, rest 200m jog + 10' jog OK


1:30 jog (last 30' @12km/h) OK

40' jog + 12 x 1000m @12km/h, rest 200m jog + 10' jog OK

REST or 50' jog OK

Bike 2h + 1h jog 1h30+30'
WEEK 3 1:15 jog (last 15' @12km/h) Compex

20' jog + 20 x 500m @14km/h, rest 200m jog + 10' jog OK


1:30 jog (last 30' @12km/h) 1h05

30' jog + 4 x 3000m @13km/h, rest 3' jog + 10' jog SICK

REST or 50' jog SICK

Bike 2h + 1h jog SICK
WEEK 4 1:15 jog (last 15' @12km/h) SICK

20' jog + 20 x 400m @17.6km/h, rest 100m jog + 10' jog SICK


1:30 jog (last 30' @12km/h) Try the 20 x 400m training => too hard

50' jog OK


30' jog + 30' @ 12km/h + 10km (marathon pace) + 5km (half marathon pace) + 1km (10km pace) + 5' jog OK

1h jog OK


20' jog + 3km @ 13km/h + 3' jog + 2km @ 13km/h + 10' jog OK




30' jog + 3km @ 13km/h TIRED + RAIN SHOWERS


REST 1h10

30' jog +5 straight lines OK



Disk crash on Ubuntu: the rescue guide

Here is a geek post that will not deal with running.
My personal laptop is running on Ubuntu. I always used to be a Linux geek and I made the complete switch to gnu/Linux after trying to use Windows Vista on my brand new laptop: a nightmare. Nothing available by default to burn an ISO CD, to watch a DVD, etc. The transition had not been painful, Ubuntu is very impressive and can run all my hardware.

The hard part came when my hard drive began to get bad sectors a few weeks ago. I was not able to compact my Thunderbird Inbox, and neither to backup it to a usb drive. I was really upset. How will I fix my drive? Nothing seemed available in the system. So I decided to run it "old school" way, using the shell with the command line fsck.

This post is a comprehensive guide that aims to help people who are using Ubuntu and who do not have a deep knowledge of Linux.

Step 1: download a Ubuntu Live CD image, go to:
Step 2: burn it using Brasero Disc Burner.
Step 3: reboot from the live CD.
Step 4: open the disk utility (Sytem / Administration / Disk Utility)
Step 5: find the path to your partition (e.g. /dev/sda3), do not mount it.
Step 6: open a shell (applications / accessories / terminal)
Step 7: get the root grant
type: sudo su -
Step 8: check & repair the partition
type: fsck -cf /dev/sda3
-c is looking for the bad blocks and add them to the bas blocks inode.
-f force the search & repair.
Step 9: answer yes to all the questions (by typing "y")
Step 10: reboot
Step 11: backup immediately your data (it was not possible before, due to the bad blocks)
Step 12: enjoy a safe computer.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quick update: marathon in 4 days

Hi everybody, my last boy is born 5 months ago. He is an amazing little boy full of energy and a great joy for his parents. This left me no time for posting on this blog. Training is getting hard, with an hectic schedule, short nights, and my job. Hopefully, I was able to run some pretty nice races but was really tired on the start line:
- end of June: Le Raid du Morbihan (178km), I gave up at km 144, I was able to finish the race, be without any pleasure, tiredness was TOO painful
- end August : 100km des étangs de Sologne. A great race but my bike injury on the left knee (accident happened in April) came back after 35km. At km 45, I had to slow down, then I switched running & walking. I finished with a strong mental in 13h50, my initial goal was 10h! One month of rest was required to be able to start running again.

Then, I decided that I need to change dramatically the way I train. Speed was currently an option in my ultra running races. Back to the basics! My next race will be a marathon. I asked to my friend Philippe to design a 6 weeks marathon training plan for a 3:15 goal. The D day is approaching, it will be Sunday the 14th of November in Orléans (France) :
Orléans is closed to my home, about 1h by car, it is convenient. 259 registered runners so far. The weather forecast is terrible, cold and rain shower. Should be fun.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Son, Santa Claus does not exist - For real dad?

Hi there, I did not post anything for a long time. But I have so many stories to tell.
Today, I want to share a short piece of my life. I was running in the forest, trying to convince my 6 years old boy to become a running warrior :) Then, he suggested:
"- let's play to Santa Claus. I'll do a reindeer, and you'll be Santa. Dad, what makes the sleigh fly?".
"- Magic" I replied, followed by these terrible words: "- Do you think that Santa Claus really exists?". His face turns to white:
"- For real? No, you're kidding dad".
"- No, son. He really does not exist".
"- What about the presents? Where are they coming from?"
"- Family does".
I was annoyed for revealing the terrible truth without asking the green light to the family council (my wife & I). But I wanted deeply inside of me to prevent my son from a total disgrace in front of his school mates: "look at this baby, he's still believing in Santa Claus".

I promise I will try to write more often posts on this blog. We are expecting a new boy soon, so I will do my best between family, job, training and blog!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

May I introduce you... CrossFit!

CrossFit is a general fitness program focuses on improving health and physical condition. CrossFit is stated as “fitness for the elites”! Let's have a look to several CrossFit definitions:

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing.

CrossFit is the trademarked name for a physical fitness program that is marketed by CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit Inc. certifies CrossFit trainers and licenses the CrossFit name to gyms.
CrossFit promotes overall physical fitness in terms of cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. It uses powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, kettlebells, dumbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, and bodyweight and calisthenics exercises. CrossFit practitioners perform a variety of activities including running, rowing, skipping, rope climbing, jumping, carrying objects, and quickly moving large loads over long distances.
The CrossFit regimen, which combines weightlifting, sprinting and gymnastics, is used in gyms and by various fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and by military organizations such as the Royal Danish Life Guards.

So CrossFit is an overall method to improve your performance when you practice your sport.

When you google for CrossFit, you will find out some weird readings regarding the clubs. The number of affiliated gyms has grown from 18 in 2005 to over 1,600 in 2010.(Wikipedia). The videos on YouTube show a bunch of dumb guys who are training rudely and quickly in a garage turned into a gym, with bucket to let them puke when required! Have a look to this video: “Andy Petranek: LA Task force ».
After watching it, I thought “Wow, this is like Fight Club!” ( ).

So, how did I get involved into this nightmare? Luis did! Luis is a running buddy from San Francisco ; he is an ultrarunner and an Ironman. He started CrossFit training one year ago and posted trainings and videos on his Facebook wall. Amazing. I thought he had lost his mind! Luis is tough, shaped for rude workouts. I thought that only Luis can practice CrossFit. I asked him for training suggestions, without weight lift, because I was afraid to hurt my back. He gave me a lot of advices and tips.

Now, I am still a CrossFit beginner, but I am feeling stronger and better. The progression is amazing. You can dramatically improve your strength when you begin. So good.

Useful links
Web sites:

Annie (explained by Andy Petranek):
Angie (explained by Andy Petranek):

Andy Petranek: LA Task force

Petranek Crossfit WOD Nasty Girls

What WOD stands for? Workout of the day.

Crossfit Games:

Crossfit for Kids:

Luis' blog:
Luis' CrossFit club:


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fuel for trainings: an ultra play list

I want to share with you one of my best training tips: music! I do not listen to music when I am running in the forest or on the road. Music player is not autorized on many races, and on the Spartathlon as well.
But since I have to train at the gym, I like to listen something stimulating, tired of commercial electro craps that you may usually listen in any gym club.

I have grown with heavy metal and still enjoy to listen some. But not every hard rock song is suitable for the gym. In the last months, I had a huge crush on two Symphonic metal nordics bands: Nightwish (Finland) and Epica (The Netherlands).

I am listening music for: treadmill, interval training on a treadmill, crossfit, etc.

Here is my playlist: Nightwish (Once, Wishmaster), Epica (The Divine Conspiracy), Crucified Barbara (In distortion we trust, 'til death do us play), Metallica (Death Magnetic), the black eyed peas (for situps) and other commercial crap that I am too shame to confess...