Sunday, 28 December 2008

Ribble Valley 10k - Race Report

With Cold but near perfect conditions, I made the journey into Lancashire and the Borough of Ribble Valley for the Ribble Valley 10k. I have never done this run before, so I set off in good time to arrive at least 1 hour before. I had pre-entered this one so there wasn't a serious worry about arriving too late.

After browsing through previous years results I came to the conclusion that this race was fairly flat. If a race is won in something near 29mins - you can assume it is reasonably flat.

I was hoping to do the lower end of 34 minutes for this run, so I was rather disappointed today.

I am trying hard and training almost every day. I am trying to work on my strength and doing weight training on my legs. As the course was flat this maybe like doing track sessions whilst training for the worlds strongest man....who knows?. I do feel that trying to strenthen my legs will help when I do some faster work early next year.

I think Helen Clitheroe should get a extra large prize for doing a superb run and having the same name as the place of the run!!. Where's that entry form for the Bradford 10k?

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Denby Dale 6 + bit - Race Report

I decided to make the short trip to Denby Dale this week. The idea was to blast away some cobwebs and burn off some mince pies(only 4 so far). With a limit of 250, I was taking no chances and pre-entered this time. Just as well, the race was full before the closing date - and there were no entries on the day.

At the start line I began to study the other runners - and mentally try and work out my position in the race. When the race started my legs felt stiff, although I seemed to be holding my own in the race itself. It seemed clear that after about 1 mile that Kev lilley(Sheffield) and Steve Roebuck from Penistone were opening up a sizable gap. I did notice that the uphills were not as taxing, and I put this down to the recent gym work that I had been doing. The last 2 miles I began to struggle, and was aware that the runners behind were closing the gap. Andrew guiseley(Dewsbury) caught me at about the 5 mile point. I finished in fourth position and 1st in my catergory(over 40).

When the race finished I met up with Dave Lancaster(york) and we went for a short cool down run. Afterwards we joined the gathering of runners in the 'Pie Hall' for free sandwiches, buns and cakes etc.

I do find it hard to take these 'pie and pea runs' seriously and rarely rest or taper for them, treating them more like a training runs, although I try my hardest during the race itself.

Monday, 8 December 2008

7th December - No race -Training Report.

There was a Cross Country this week at Thornes Park. There were 2 reasons why I didn't do it- 1. - I couldn't get a number, and 2 - I couldn't convince the wife it was a better idea than a 2 for 1 pub lunch.

Forced myself out of a warm bed at my later than usual time of 8-15am. I decided to do a 17 mile long run, which starts at Wrenthorpe and runs along Bradford road at Batley, and then up towards Drighlington, inco-operating part of the Dewsbury 10k course. The conditions were near perfect(after a few miles warming up). As I left the our street a dog started to follow me. I thought that this was perfect as I hadn't done much 'farleking'(speed play) for a while and I started to increase the pace to around 5-30 per mile- in the hope that the dog would loose interest and wander back. I thought that would easily do it, but the dog came sprinting past me. As I left the residential area onto the main Batley Road, towards the village of Kirkhamgate I started to think this was not a good idea, as the dog didn't seem to have much 'traffic sence'. As I passed through kirkhamgate, by a sheer stroke of good luck a 'dog patrol type' police car was coming towards me. I flagged down the car and thought that would be the end of it. The van driver would not take the dog in his van - he said this was due to cross contamination with his own dogs. After quibling for a while and explaining how important the long run was to a seasoned runner he decided to contact base and wait for assistance from a dog warden. My run then continued un-eventfull towards Birstall and Drighlington and then back home to Wrenthorpe.

Generally speaking I try to maintain a pace of 7 to 7-30 minutes per mile for the long runs. In my opinion there is little point in going out like a bullet for 17 miles and not been able to train for the next few days. I feel I need to do one of these every week(when i'm not racing) to balance out my excesses(overeating).

I have entered the Denby Dale 'Pie and Pea run' which takes place on 21st December. I am also thinking of entering the Ribble Valley 10k, which is the week after, and possibly the Pennine 10k.

So all in all the training is going not too bad, trying to do weight training as opposed to the Cross Country's this time. I am also preparing myself for a cold which I always manage to get at this time of year.

Training Xtra's -Tips for the over 40's

As I am fast approaching the age of 45 and about to leave the 40-44 age group for ever. I can share my experiences with other runners of a similar age to help them(hopefully) in their quest for running longevity.

1. Never believe people who tell you ''age is just a number''. Yes, it is a number, but not just a number. If this were the case people would carry on breaking records well into their 70's and 80's and would be running shoulder to shoulder with teenages in races.

2. Don't think it cannot be done because you are over 40. It is harder than it was - but not impossible.

3. Allow extra days for recovery. Your mind will still feel young and you will still remember what it felt like to run faster. So resist the temptation to train every day and allow one rest day(at least per week). Limit your speed training if you feel tired. Maintain your strength, this will reduce your chances of injury.

4. Don't get obsessed with previous pb's. You are racing against a different 'field' now . Reset your pb's to start from age 40. You will very soon learn who is over 40 and who is not. I have known good runners give up altogether because they couldn't improve on their times.

5. Don't think that you will have an easy time in your new age group. Other good runners may also be moving up into your catergory.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Thirsk 10 - A Race From A Race Course - 30th November 2008

Decided to do the Thirsk 10 today having pre-entered a few weeks before. Arrived at Thirsk at my usual 1 hour before the race start and parked up in the grassy car park, which was approximately 400 yards from the race course itself. I didn't start to warm up straight away and walked to the main area where the main bulk of runners were gathered, then started to have a banter with the Rothwell crowd. They had hired a coach for all their runners. With about 30 minutes to go I started to do a jog round and warm up, mainly to see the other runners, see who is there and have a chat if I saw anybody I knew.

All of us(the runners) made our way to the start. When we walked up to the start I had the awful feeling it was going to be off road -not a good idea in racing flats. They were some familiar faces at the front, with Ian fisher(Otley), Darren Bilton(Leeds), Matt Pearson(Holmfirth) and Stephen Hepples(Loftus and Whitby). Also Paul Marchant(Rothwell) who seems to be improving in leaps and bounds. I glanced round again and saw Julian Mawson(Otley), I then knew that this was going to be a gritty race, whether I like it or not. Julian is not at his best, but he is good at long distance and usually does well over the longer courses. We have had some running tussles in the past and our current form shows we are fairly well matched. We always shake hands and have a chat whoever wins.

When the race started, as expected, the fast lads showed no mercy and set off at blistering pace. Very soon a chasing group developed consisting of me, Craig Keedy(S.T.A.C), Kevin Ogden(Spen), Will Kerr(St Bedes), Julian Mawson(Otley) and Tony Hazell(Horsforth),
plus another two unknown runners. The pace felt comfortable and glancing at my garmin we seemed to be averaging about 5-23 per mile pace. From an early point I decided to lead the group, mainly because it felt comfortable, and I wanted to open a gap between me and the other Spen runner(Kevin Ogden). I Was also Aware Tony Hazell was in my catorgory(Over 40). This group kept together for around 7 miles to just before the turn round point, where we 'met' the front runners coming the other way. Leading was Stephen Hepples with Matt Pearson, Ian Fisher, Darren Bilton following on. I was expecting Ian to be in the lead, closely followed by Darren Bilton. I now know Ian was suffering from a cold the last week, so as to be expected he was not in peak form. The trouble with colds is they don't always show as runny nose, cough etc. They can affect any part, and you may feel fine... until you start running hard of course. They can also linger longer than you think(I speak from experience on this one). Our group kept together for a further mile and then a keithley and Craven runner(I think) put in a burst and broke away, chased by Craig Keedy and Julian. I didn't have the legs to get them, but I did start to pull Julian back towards the finish. Will Kerr put in his usual sprint finish to pip me at the end. I finished in 57-27, which was my fastest time for a few years. Not bad, 2nd over 40, 2nd only to the famous Darren Bilton!! Went to collect my prize and re-fuelled on 2 cups of pea and ham soup and 2 egg and cress sandwiches.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Abbey Dash 23rd November 2008

Wasn't feeling too good about doing the Abbey Dash today. Weather forcast was atrocious but in the end was not too bad. Managed to just dip under the 35 minute mark(if chip time counts that is). Legs felt alot better after recent weight training on them at the local gym.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Miserable Months Ahead - 6th November 2008

It's this time of year that really sorts out dedicated runners from the fun and recreational runners. On these cold, wet and dark mornings the need to pound pavements gets pushed down the prioity list.

My milage is usually consistent all year round, mainly due to me running to work and back. I sometimes do an extended run on the way back to make the milage for the day around 11 miles. I usually do this around 3 or 4 times per week.

Dissapointed to note that I missed out on the Brass Monkey run this year. Having done this run in 2004, I really fancied another go at it as it is fast and flat, although it can be very windy at that time of year.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Guy Fawkes 10 Another race missed - 2nd November 2008.

Was hoping to do the Guy fawkes 10 mile at Ripley(Harrogate) today. Logged onto the Nidd Valley Road Runners site last night and found out the race is full!! I have done this race on and off for the last 10 years at least. I wish there was someone to blame, but really there isn't... I should have pre-entered plain and simple. It is a consequence of the modern age i.e online entering and the ease of availability of entry forms(down loading e.t.c).

Not to be too dis - heartened, I decided to go to the local Gym and do some weights and treadmill work instead. It is the first time I have been to that gym, even though it is a mere 10 minutes walk from home. It is that sort of gym that resembles a torture chamber -just the sort of gym I like. Did some leg curls, squats and some upper body work. I will see how I feel tomorrow, that is always a good indicator of what you have put in.