Week ending 29th May

46 mpw, 7:41 min/mile

An easier week, with three rest days, but two long runs at the weekend including a run with the emu and tfp on Sunday. Three long runs in nine days have made my legs feel slow again, so I need to inject some more speed into my training when they’re ready.

Still haven’t entered the Wymondham 10m, but the (Yorkshire) Three Peaks run is taking shape once again for the following week.

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Week ending 22nd May

51.5 mpw, 7:45 min/mile

Legs were particularly tired at the start of the week. Took it easy for a couple of days accordingly, then worked harder in the middle, but felt tired by the end of the week. I still question if I’m giving my body enough time to recover.

The Wymondham 10m is next up in three weeks’ time, although I’ll wait a little before entering. My mind is also starting to think about the Swiss Alpine Ultra at the end of July.

Week ending 15th May

31 mpw, 7:31 min/mile

The week started well but, by Wednesday, I was feeling tired and lethargic. I was suffering a cold, which I strongly suspected was a result of overtraining. I was always going to rest Wednesday and Thursday because of work commitments, but my legs were not feeling any less tired. As I had entered the Dereham 10m on Sunday, I reluctantly ran an easy hour on Friday and subsequently rested on Saturday.

When I say rested, what I mean is I went to a friend’s birthday party, took part in a rather physical game of rounders (darting and diving all over the place) and had a typical birthday bbq. Anyway I woke up Sunday morning feeling stiff in all sorts of places thoroughly questioning my decision to run.

Given all of that, I ran the Dereham 10m in 61min 26secs.

Elections

The recent referendum on AV, which caused much debate, provides many mathematical opportunities, and this video shows what happens in the event of a tie.

Personally, I would like to see a tie decided by rock-paper-scissors. This version claims to learn your behaviour and subsequently beat you – note that it is more likely to beat you if you play for a long time (whatever the definition of ‘long’ is). The image below shows how to defeat a human opponent, and maybe this should be shown to both candidates before playing.

Rock-paper-scissors-575x1310

So, how about this for a potential framework for a lesson on experimental probability:

(i) estimate the experimental probability of winning a game against a human
(ii) estimate the experimental probability of winning a game against a human when one player has seen a ‘strategy’ (i.e. has seen the image)
(iii) estimate the experimental probability of winning a game against a human when both players have seen the same ‘strategy’(or indeed a different strategy)
(iv) estimate the experimental probability of winning a game against a computer

Week ending 8th May

49.5 mpw, 7:25 min/mile

Following the bank holidays, this week marked a return to some sort of a routine and, pleasingly, a tougher training week. I was nursing the fringes of a cold at the start of the week, which seemed to weigh down my legs. Some runs were consequently more difficult than anticipated, but as this subsided towards the weekend, I am no longer overly concerned.

A couple of milestones were passed including 1000 miles for the year to date and more than 330 miles for the previous 4 weeks – an all-time maximum.

Some training runs are being run faster than ever, so I need to make sure I don’t take the opportunity to overtrain. Work should sort that out this week, although I’ve entered the Dereham 10m at the end of this week – to gain a feel for where I’m at.

Who cares

Following the first national referendum since 1975, the biggest problem with UK politics has resurfaced once more. A proportionally representative vote for electoral reform resulted in a turnout of close to 40%, highlighting the current level of apathy in the UK.

AV and FPTP both have their flaws, but until the bigger issue of low voting numbers is addressed, there is little point in changing the system. Making it illegal not to vote may be regarded as a little extreme, but consider this slightly radical proposal:

Hold a referendum on whether people should be forced to vote in an election.

This particular proposal is rather ludicrous, but its provocative nature demonstrates an important point. People are more likely to vote if they have a strong viewpoint one way or the other. So, maybe the solution should be to have a controversial referendum alongside every future election, thus tempting people to the polls, rather than forcing them.

Strike one

…to democracy

Following Lord Hutton’s review and the proposals to reform public sector pensions, some teachers’ unions have voted in favour of a ballot for industrial action. The media would make you believe that this is a bad thing. While refraining from stating my opinion as to whether or not I think teachers (and the public sector as a whole) should strike, surely balloting is democracy in action.