Yow. My legs have reacted badly to my long run on Sunday, and what was probably an unwise long walk on Monday. On Tuesday I did no more than walk/jog a 4-mile circuit and, whilst today was better than that, it was still a bit of a painful affair. It all goes to show how poorly conditioned I am really. Once my working life settles down again I’m going to consider how I might incorporate some of those things I coach every winter (weights, plyometrics, circuits etc) into my running schedule.

I’ve been listening to Steve Chopper’s ‘A Mile With Me’ podcast recently, the four most recent episodes. Steve is based on the English south coast and produces a show that, although less polished and produced than Phedippidations, nevertheless has its merits. Steve has an interest in local history, a subject that always grabs my attention. He has recently covered industrial construction history in the Potteries, as well as an excellent portrayal of the wartime glider raid to capture Pegasus Bridge, via an ultra run to commemorate the event. Less successful was a well-intentioned run out to Stonehenge to witness the summer solstice, only to impose on us too many minutes of typical English revelry which can only take place with the assistance of cheap lager and whatever choice of drug is de rigeur these days. If I want to listen to garbled drivel I can open my apartment window any night of the week after the pubs shut. Nevertheless I’ll be continuing to tune in as I’m sure there will be better to come.

And Steve Runner has now decided to take on Nike. He says that he pondered for a long time whether or not to include the Nike Is Evil piece but, in the end, he went for it with all guns blazing. The cause of his ire of course is of course far Eastern sweatshops where workers earn something stupid like USD2.50 per day, barely enough to keep them alive, while the Nike Corporation report profits in the billions. Tiger Woods endorses Nike products for annual sums in the many, many millions. This crusade has been led for a number of years by Jim Keady in the US. Now. I’m too old to accept only one side of an argument and I’m sure Nike have plenty of answers. But if you are interested in the whole subject a good place to start is by watching the video Behind The Swoosh that you can find at http://www.teamsweat.org [EDIT – March 2023. I just finished reading the memoir of joint founder of Nike Phil Knight, titled ‘Shoe Dog’. It’s a great read, and in reflective mood towards the end of the book, Knight considers the virulent criticism heaped on Nike over their sweatshop practices. He says that much of the criticism was unfair and uninformed – the company themselves were only a small part in a bigger picture. However the criticism hurt both him and many at Nike. He says that they then took significant steps to improve factory and employment conditions in China, Taiwan etc. How much of that is true I really don’t know but – as said originally above – it’s always best to hear both sides of a story.]

Down at Irishtown the young athletes are starting to drift back after the school holidays. And in a flippin’ holiday mood they still are with the sloppiest set of drills imaginable last night. However this is always the case at any club and once they get a bit of hard work under their belts they will be sharp again. I hesitate to call it winter training when it’s still August but the athletes now need to get fit for cross country. We started late last year but this time they will be fine for the first of the competitions.

And the gang were back from the World Championships with tales of Berlino the Bear as well as all the top-class athletics they had seen. The atmosphere in the stadium was, apparently, wonderful. And I got a little present as well. If, as seems likely, I leave Crusaders shortly it will hurt a great deal.