A realization…

…of just how hard the challenge is.

I have been running consistently for a couple of weeks ranging from 26 miles to 15 miles. I had two hard weeks of running 26 and 23 miles and then took a few easier weeks following as I was having some problems with my hamstring. On the 1st week of that I went and thought I would try and see how my 5km time is currently.

PB!

So I ran 23:16 with an average pace of 7:16 miles. So a personal best for me!! Amazing! Just after a couple of hard and committed weeks running. I’m happy with the time but it also dawned upon me the task I’ve taken on. Don’t take it lightly, this run was full 100% effort, I don’t think I could have given anything more. It really took it out of me and I ended up having a low milage week (15 miles) as a result of this. This is still 3 minutes and 17 seconds off the time I need. A mile a minute needs to come off my time. A WHOLE MINUTE PER MILE. My god! Currently I can’t imagine running that much faster.

I always knew it was going to be a long goal and I’m glad that I didn’t think it would be a quick 8 week training session and boom, goal done. But this run really highlighted the years I have of hard running before I can achieve this goal.

Running week 20th April

Here I’m just going to talk about the weeks training, what I did and how I think it went. Maybe setting a plan for next week or changing anything accordingly.

I began the week with an easy run. This consisted of running for 30 minutes at an easy pace. I just ran for 30 minutes trying to keep it nice and easy, as soon as it felt too hard I just slowed down. Although I recorded the run using my watch I wasn’t paying attention to the pace. The goal here was not pace but just time on my pet. To let my body recover but still get some miles in.

Now it was time for my hard run. The goal of this run was to get more miles in my legs (you’ll notice a theme here!) but also let my body feel what it’ll be like to be pushing it for multiple miles. I started off with a 1 mile warm up, this was taken really easily and I ran super comfortably. Then the work begins and I ran at 80% for 2 miles. If you don’t know what 80% is yet, keep running and you’ll get an idea of what they feels like for you. Then because I chose to do a loop I finished the remaining bit off with a slow cool down run.

After a one day rest to let my legs not take a pounding for a day, I went back for a hard run. But this one was all about distance. I made up a nice route and enjoyed the scenery around my lovely village. It didn’t matter how fast I was running I just wanted to build the aerobic endurance and get my body stronger. A lot of strength and endurance is built during these long slow (hard) runs.

The following day I took to an easy familar route. This again was not about the speed, you’ll notice it was slower a slower average pace than the run the previous day. It was just to get more miles in without straining my body too hard and allowing for some amount of recovery.

April 25ths run was a bit different because at this point in the week I had covered 16.76 miles and my right calf was sore. I orginally wasn’t planning to run but after some foam rolling and 24 hours rest I decided to head back out. I had no plans for this run but I knew I just needed miles. Overall I went for a shorter faster run as these will be my most important runs during the challenge. It turned out quite well!

To wrap a hard week but successful week of running I went out again with not too much of an idea of what to do. This one was a different route and very slightly more miles with a bit more speed. Spending more time at a higher speed is going to be really help build that strength required to run at faster paces. These faster runs combine with a longer one during the week should really help round out my running.

This week was amazing for me. I realized that it was my highest milage week ever! Even higher than the weeks I was training for a half marathon. I think this is due to the amount of times I went out. Normally I would run 3-4 times a week and do more milage during the runs. This week I went out and ran less miles but ran more often. I think this meant I was more excited to go out and push myself during each run due to the shorter/faster nature of them. Thanks for wrapping up the week with me and until next time, keep running! 🙂

The Pyramid of esports

I believe for all esports there has to be three tiers, a pyramid if you will. This pyramid can define how successful your title will be. Missing just one of them will be crucial to the development of the scene. I’ll discuss each tier and how the tiers can be used to improve player experience and viewership.Without more delay the pyramid.

The esports Pyramid

To start at the top — the elite tier. These are the players that are better at the game than you ever thought possible. They are doing things in the game that you simply did not think of when you wrote that piece of code. These players are the ones that will provide thousands of hours of entertainment for the adoring fans across the world. This is the 0.1%. Players sat in booths in front of thousands of fans and millions online. While you might overlook these players as there is so few of them they are your ambassadors. This tier will show the rest of the world what your game is about. They will create the stunning moments that make fans jaws drop…

Think these guys:

Evil Genius winning The International 5

The second tier is the grass roots. This is a term that comes mainly from sports but can definitely be applied to esports. Players here are contrived of people that are trying to get to that elite tier. Upcoming talent festers here. But don’t get too obsessed with esports. This is also a place for players who are not that amazing at the game. Grass roots is a place for those folk who love the competitive side and team aspect of the game. But if we’re being honest with ourselves; just aren’t that good at the game. The grass roots tier consists of the most different types of players.

The casual level. This is where those players who love playing the game but due to many circumstances can’t commit many hours to the game or simply don’t want to. Ultimately still able to hop into another world for a few hours to escape. While these won’t be the players participating in your tournaments or leagues there is a reason they sit at the bottom. The majority of your player base will sit at this tier. This knowledge is invaluable to publishers. Striking the balance between the two tiers above and this is crucial. Too many updates and game changing behaviour will leave this tier struggling to keep up. Too few updates will leave the tiers above bored and wanting something else.

If you manage to hit all of these tiers I believe you will have a successful game. Taking a look at current and past esports titles you can apply this ‘pyramid’ theory. Blizzards ‘Heroes of the Storm’ was an example of an excellent casual tier but a lack cluster grass roots scene. The game was so good at being ready to jump in without much prior knowledge or commitment. Largely due to the game time meaning players only required ~20 minutes to spare — compared to other titles in the moba genre such as League of Legends and Dota 2 which require around an hour to play! Dota 2 is an example where the top and bottom tiers (elite and casual respectively) are thriving but the grassroots scene (Tier 2 and 3) are struggling. Valve — publishers of Dota 2, host one of if not the biggest esports event of the year, The International. Pulling in millions of viewers from around the globe and record breaking prize pools. The game its self pulls in around 400–500k unique players each month, staying roughly at this level since the game first came out in 2013. But the grass roots seen has been struggling with many players pulling out because they simply cannot afford to continue. You can read more about the struggles here wrriten by Pandorahttps://www.gosugamers.net/dota2/features/50937-op-ed-dota-2-s-fractured-pipeline

It’s important to remember each tier and who those players are for your game. “Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”.

Where am I at? What’s the plan?

What am I currently capable of running?

So let’s begin. Where am I currently at? What am I currently capable of? I started running in 2016 and ran my first 10k on 1st January 2016.

One of my favourite running locations

Let’s take a look at my yearly milage since I began. In 2016 I ran 90 miles and spent 14 hours running. This was an important year because I building up my milage and actually getting my fitness to the point I could run multiple miles back to back. 2017 saw a big rise to 447 miles at this point I was well and truly into the sport. 2018 would see a slight dip falling short of 400 miles and clocking in at 394.7 miles. The next year, 2019, would see my lowest milage year since I started running. There are some rthym and reasons behind this curve. In 2017 I would run my first half marathon “Hastings Half Marathon” in a time of 2:02:57. Just shy of the 2 hour mark. Also immedaitely after finishing running and stopping the watch, to realize the time. I decided I needed to go sub 2 hours. From there on out this was my running goal. In September of 2018 I would beat the goal with a time of 1:56:33, a whole 18 months after setting the goal. This is because half marathons, for me at least, took a lot out of me.

  1. I needed a month or so after one to rest and let my knees feel free again
  2. It took several months of training to get to 13.1 miles.

With these points in mind it took considerably longer than I thought to break the goal. Although between my first and goal breaking half marathon, I had only ran one other in a time of 2:12:19, quite the disappointment. Then in 2019 I had no goals to run for and let me tell you running is hard! So when I had nothing to go for the motivation dropped. Hence the 230 miles. Hence the sub 20 goal. I always thought it would be cool to run a sub 20 5km but never thought it possible. I’ve decided to at least try!

Now let’s take a look at what sort of times I’ve run.

The only events I have really pushed for a PB have been the 5k and half marathon. Currently my PB for a parkrun(5km timed run weekly!) is 23:44. So I need to shave off 3 minutes and 45 seconds in order to achieve my goal of sub 20. Incase you’re not a runner, that’s a bloody lot of time! At the moment, I have ran at the 24-25 minute mark, so even further off the time.

What’s the plan?

So? The action plan is to first go for a sub 22, still 1:44 off my PB. To start this journey I’m going to just try and get back to regular running. Running anywhere from 3-6 times a week. I’ll always be taking one day to rest. I’ve given myself such a wide range of days to run because I just want to get back into some routine and forcing myself to start with 6 days will probably lead to burnout. The rough idea for my running will be the good old, easy hard easy hard routine. It’s a simple concept but the easy days are ways that you can get some miles under your belt but still recover. Hard days are where you push yourself either through a faster run or a longer run. For now it doesn’t matter which we are doing but I’ll be aiming for a longer(ish) run and a tempo run throughout the week.

Hopefully this gave you a good idea of my current level and a short overview of how I’m going to progress this insane goal. Until next time! Keep running