Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Ribble 10k - Last chance to climb the rankings in 2009

After last weeks hilly 6 miler at Denby Dale I was up for trying to better the rankings for M45, 10k (2009). It seems like everybody had the same idea to go to Clitheroe. The bad weather and long journey seemed to put no one off. It's about 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Wakefield to Clitheroe and I set off in good time - mainly in the hope of getting a good parking spot. I would say the course is certainly a PB course - with only some slight inclines.

During the last few weeks I have not been doing much running wise, relying on one race per week to try keep the strength and speed there. Using the treadmill at the gym has been an option to avoid the slippery pavements. I have managed a few 5k workouts on them, trying to do them at around 18 minutes. Other runners seem to swear by using the treadmill and I've read about some killer sessions on them. I hold the view that it's a bit like a boxer punching a punchbag and expecting to win a boxing match; better than doing nothing and OK for training when mixed with other sessions and part of a structured plan. But surely if the road moved instead of the runner in a race it would make for easier running and better times.

My running plan this year will be much the same as last year; which is to try to improve and seek out the most useful sessions. Also to try and climb up the rankings and do the best that I can and most importantly not to overcook it and avoid injury.

Best performances of 2009: Rothwell 10k - 34-29, Esholt 5K - 16-32, Liversedge Half Marathon(Hilly) 79-41, South Leeds 5 mile - 29-13, Norton 9 Mile -52-28.

2009 V45 10k ranking 130th(from September)

A very Happy New Year and all the best for 2010 to all runners, bloggers, followers etc.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Regular Speedwork?

This is now the second Thursday on the trot and tonights session was; 7 x 800 meters with 90 seconds recovery. With the absence of Andy Pearson, there was no need to blast off like a rocket, and all the reps were done at a fast but even pace; 2:34 to 2:37. I tried to match the pace of Kevin(Ogden) and Keith(Magee) on all of the reps. There was a gap between me and Kevin, but not much, and this will gauge my fitness in the coming weeks.

I will be doing the Denby Dale pie eaters six mile race on the 20th December. This will be a low key race and mainly for the nosh up afterwards than the run. Then it is the Ribble Valley 10k, where I will be gunning for a sub 35 minute 10k.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Speedwork Shocker.

There was quite a turn out for last nights session on the track. A group of us mainly veteran runners(again) opted for a 5 x 300 meters + 4 x 600 meters + 5 x 300 meters session. With Longwoods Andy Pearson in attendence coach Dransfield decided on short recoveries. After a long absence from the track the watch was ignored and the rule of a fast even pace to the end was also ignored. After trying for years to disprove the theory of natural talent, I am begining to accept that the hard training route loses. To make sure Andy had a useful session, a plan of a suicidal pace to 200 meters and then agony for 100 meters hopefully helped him. I was surprised how I could outpace him for 200 meters, although I wasn't sure how hard he was trying. Keith Magee saved all the effort for the last 300 meter rep and beat Andy to the line. Kevin Ogden showed some good control of speed and endurance and gave me some idea of what will be needed to get a 34 minute 10k again.

Thanks to all who took part.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A Dash To The Abbey 2009

After 3 months off racing and training I couldn't even begin to predict a time for today. The Abbey Dash has developed into a monster race(8000 entries) and well done to the organisers who really did a good job of making sure this event went smoothly. Also the advances in technology means you can get your results sent by text message or virtually live from the internet. Remember those days waiting for the post to arrive so you could check your paper results!

The race itself was a bit crowded at the start, but as soon as the race started and with the roads closed there was plenty of room for the race to thin out. My race plan was set off at a steady pace and increase it if I felt comfortable. The legs felt good, though the absence of any speed work meant that steady 5-30 miling was unachievable. I tried to get close to Kevin Ogden but he seems to have got that bit extra after doing some usefull track training. I do like races where you get to look at the front runners comeing the other way. The leader looked to have at least a 30 second gap at the turnround point. I finished the race in 35-55 and seventh V45, but only 46 seconds off second V45.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Injury Woe And Race Pull-Out

This Knee injury still hasn't settled down, as a precautionary measure I have decided to give this Sundays Guy Fawkes race a miss. I think it's the first pre-entered race that I have ever missed and it hurts not to take part. I was looking forward to jogging along side Andy Pearson this year.
On instructions from the physio I am still doing loads of gym work, cross trainer and stretching I think I will be OK for the Abbey Dash.
If anybody want's a number for Sunday's race there is a form that they allow you to transfer over. I am not sure if it's too late to do it. Please e-mail if anybodys interested.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Battle Plan Re-starts

Having not raced since the Horsforth 10k I am ever eager to do battle again. A trip to the physio two weeks ago finally convinced me to lay off the running totally for a few weeks and to work on core strength and balance. I'd not heard of this before and I truthfully thought improving your running was just about progressively running harder and harder each session, with adequate rest inbetween. Long runs for stamina, hills for strength and track for speed. A soft tissue knee injury was really telling me something was wrong and I needed to sort it. The orthotics I had fitted seemed to work a bit but didn't cure the problem altogether, and a mix of core strength, balance and flexiblitity excercises needed to be done aswell. I have joined the local Total Fitness Gym and I am trying to build strength all round

I have pre-entered the Guy fawkes 10 mile and may run this as a tempo run. I have also entered the Abbey Dash, which will give me a few weeks prep time.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Horsforth 10k - Good start to new campaign

This Sundays 10k was at Horsforth. Conditions were ideal for running and an early start(10am) was beneficial to running. My first major race as a Vet 45 made me slightly nervous at the start.

The first 2 miles(approx) were uphill and then a slight downhill on the A65 towards the Leeds Outer Ring Road and then more downhill tawards Calverley. The last 2 miles were on the canal tow path and I really enjoyed this section. I was in forth place at one point having overtaken Duncan Clark(Abbey Runners), who is also V45. I was then passed by a young Bingley runner and at this point was in no position to give chase, saving all reserves in case Duncan was holding back for a sprint finish. I finished in fifth place in 35-54.

After the race my knee was a bit sore so I will be taking it steady for the next week or two. Probably doing some gym work and low impact stuff.

Next race will be the Guy Fawkes 10 mile in early November - if sore knee permits .

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

V45 - And The New Campaign

The day has finally arrived and I am now a V45. I will be making an assault on the V45 rankings and trying to get into the top twenty this year, with also a cautionary approach to training/racing and allowing for some recovery days.

I have done some nice and steady running this week(on returning from hols) and quite surprised that I felt quite good. I stuck to my plan of just doing a few runs on holiday with a few sessions of swimming and a lot of walking. Planning to do a steady long run this weekend. I have been offered a number for the Yorkshire Off Road Half Marathon, from my sister(Nicola), who is sidelined with a calf injury. Think I might give this one a miss though.

Next race 5k track race at Spen(20th Sept). Also Horsforth 10k, 27th Sept)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Next Race: V45

I will be heading off to the Costa Brava for a weeks warm weather training and carbo loading(family holiday). I don't feel so burnt out with racing, so I plan to do a few steady early morning runs, with some swimming and gym work.

I won't be doing any races before the 8th September(or after) -when I will be 45.
I will be hoping that the V45 rankings will be much kinder to me than the V40 rankings were. With runners like Carl Thackery and John Convery as V45's there will be no easy pickings. I will have to try as hard as ever to improve on my times.

I have entered the Horsforth 10k and Guy Faukes 10 mile.

Hope to update soon.

Buenas Noches.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Last Wednesdays Vets Meeting: 4 PBs In one Night!

As a change from the regular Thursday nights speed work I decided to do some veteran track races at the new stadium at South Leeds on Wednesday night.

I started off with an 800 meters and staggered over the line in 2 mins 22 seconds. I found this the hardest race of them all and it seemed to take most out of me physically. Two laps of the track doesn't seem to be a lot, but on the last lap I was in sheer agony with legs of lead and absolutely nothing left in the tank. It was a lesson learned that I set off far too fast in this race. Ten minutes later, I was on the line again for the 100 meters and came home third in this. I didn't manage to record a time for this one and I certainly wasn't laughing and talking most of the way. Another ten minutes later it was time for the 3000 meters and I timed this at 10 minutes 16 seconds and managed to win this race fairly comfortably, which did make me realise that the longer distance events suited me most. Soon after this the last race was the 1500 meters, and having been paced stride for stride with another vet runner for the first 2 and half laps, I seemed to have plenty left to out sprint this chap and came home in 4 mins 44 seconds. As I have not raced any of these distances before this will be 4 new pbs for me. a usefull lesson in speed...... and pace judgement.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Tonights Training: 10 x 400m

With only 3 of us down the club tonight for speed work I decided to just race against the clock. I set myself to do each lap in 70 seconds with 1 minute recovery. The first one was done in 72 seconds, which I was happy with because I felt rather tight at first -having raced a 5k on the same track on Sunday. The others were done in roughley 70 seconds. The last one was done in just 69 seconds, thanks to John Gallagher who I needed to chase right to the line to complete the session.

Racing wise I may do the Askern 10 mile on Sunday just for a 10 mile tempo run. I have not pre-entered this one so will not qualify for the Yorkshire Champs or any prizes. I not sure yet and may do a long run instead.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Harrogate: Still Hilly 10k

There seemed to be a large turnout for this Sundays Harrogate 10k. I had heard that the painfull hill had been taken out(not literally), but the course was re-routed and still left as a two lapper. I knew there was going to be hills because the start is like the bottom of a basin and must at some point rise. There was quite a long section of downhill towards the latter part of the first and second lap. I felt sluggish today and knew as soon as I set off that the time was not going to be too good. I have not seen the results but recognised some fast lads at the front as: Andrew Pearson, Stephen Hepples, Darren Bilton, Mike Burrett and Tim Midgely. I did here last night that Ian Fisher was running but didn't see him at the race. Stephen Hepples seems to be back to top form, forcing Andrew Pearson into second place, with Darren Bilton taking third spot. I finished in 35-44 and 22nd overall(I think). Running friend Kevin Erskine(Tadcaster) seemed to have a storming run and must have finished in just over 34 minutes.

I will be doing a 5k track race next Sunday, with plans to do the Askern 10 mile on the 9th August. Must get my entry in for the Guy Faukes 10 mile. I used to enter on the day for this one but missed out last year as it filled up before race day.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Thursday nights training: 5k in 15:30?

Now that i've got your attention. Lasts nights training was a 5 x 1000m track session, with each rep done in 3:15. Admittedly there was a 1:30 mins recovery inbetween reps and I am working on shortening that. I can now feel some fitness is comeing back because I am more eager to get set up for the next rep than I was before. The idea of shortening this to 3 mins per rep by the end of the summer - may prove harder than I first thought.

I have entered the Harrogate 10k on Sunday and will now ease down until then. I did do a steady 6 miler today just to keep the 'legs ticking' over until race day.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Eccup 10 Mile - No Pain - Just Gain

Today was the Eccup 10 mile road race. For a change the run was on a day that was not boiling hot. There was a welcome cool breeze today.

As of late the training as just been steady away with no really intense sessions, only the Thursday nights track workout is moderately painful. I do feel I 'stole' the V40 prize today because my philosophy is you only get rewards for hard work and I do not know of any other sport that requires so much hard work to achieve results as running. Lazy training should not be rewarded - but there you go - funny old sport this running!

With the absense of any Fishers, Biltons or Dunns I was sure I could stay within reasonable sight of the leaders for a good few miles at least. My team mate and training partner from Spen, Kevin Ogden, pulled out late on with a back injury, so the plan of running with him was out of the window. I eventually came in 5th in 1Hr and 7 Seconds, helped by one of the leaders Tim Midgeley, either getting lost or pulling out very late. From memory I think this was some 40 seconds faster than last year.

I have plans to do the Harrogate 10k or Pudsey 10k in July.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Last Nights Session

Thursday nights club session was on the track involving 5 x 1000 meters with 2 minutes recovery.
I still felt a little bit tired from Monday nights Joe Percy 10k. This week I had company of Kevin Ogden and we gave the others 20 seconds start. I was completing the reps in about 3 mins 14 seconds - with kevin slightly in front. I will be hoping to reduce these to round about 3 minutes by the end of the summer.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Back To Training, Racing And Blogging

Still ticking over with the training, just been away in Spain(Majorca) and managed to get in some early morning long runs. This was a welcome change as I enjoyed the solitary running on the beach. I managed to clock about 30 miles for the full week overall. This went some way to compensate for the abuse of the all inclusive menu.

I am not sure what I am doing race wise at the moment. I did think about doing the Leeds 10k on the 21st June.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Esholt 5k - Stay In Sight Of Blue And White

There's nothing in any book that explains why you do a good time after doing a hilly half marathon 4 days before. Mood definitely plays a part. I really was up for a go at the Bingley lads this week and the added rivalry from Kevin Ogden got the fire burning in my belly.

My plan was simply to stay in sight of blue and white - namely Tim Midgeley and John Convery from Bingley. They both seem like nice chaps and a bit of friendly rivalry only helps everybody improve. I felt good on the start line.

As expected Tim Midgeley and John Convery set off with the leaders and shortly after that a gap developed. I was also aware of Kevin Ogden making a break and opening up a gap. I think he had a similar plan - which was to go full out from the gun and try to stay as near to the front as possible. At the turn round point there was only about 15 seconds between the two Bingley lads and me and Kevin. Approaching the 3.5k point I felt strong and tried to push the pace, this was a mistake as there was a further 1.5k to go. I had a few seconds lead on Kevin by then and felt that I had the race all but 'wrapped up'. On this race there is a downhill section to the finish, which is where I was overtaken by Kevin. I tried to respond but was 'spent' by then and this race went to Kevin. I finished in 16-32, which was 31 seconds faster than the previous race and a new 5k P.B.

I have also learnt another valuable lesson; It's not always about what you have done(training and racing) but how you feel that counts.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Leeds Half Marathon - No P.B

It didn't seem like a year since the last Leeds Half, and when I checked it wasn't - last years race was run in September. This was the 3rd(and hardest) race in 6 days, the others were Rothwell 10k and Esholt 5k.

The first half of the course is uphill, so this years plan was to run steady up to the top, this is where the A660 Otley road from Leeds meets with the Leeds ring road at Lawnswood(see photo). The race route then heads steadily downhill for the next 6.5 miles to the Woodside roundabout, then left, and left again on to Kirkstall road.

I Still had memories of last years race having burnt out on the uphill sections. Last year I faded badly and at the end was just 'crawling' along Kirkstall road to the end. This time there was still some energy left and I was still 5-40 miling along some sections of Kirkstall road. I managed to catch up with David Watson of Holmfirth, who appeared to be limping, and was contemplating pulling out altogether.

I finished in 1-19-44 and 4th vet over 40.

Esholt 5k - First of Three.

Last Wednesday night saw quite a turnout of Spen runners at Esholt for the first one of three 5k races. The regular sight of blue and white(Bingley) was somewhat spoilt by the solid red of Spen
(makes a welcome change).

This annual event takes place in the village of Esholt, and involves a series of 3 races over 3 Wednesdays in May. It is named in memory of a St Bedes runner(John Carr), who died suddenly aged 30. The race is run on mainly hard surfaces within the Yorkshire Water Estate. Ideally, I suppose, the aim is to improve on each one over the series, and then achieve an accumulated time for the whole 3.

After doing the Rothwell 10k on the previous Sunday my legs were aching and tired. I was hoping to do somewhere about 16 -40ish - but ended up with 17-03. This doesn't sound too bad and with all things considered I am happy with the time.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Rothwell 10k - Sub 35 Again.

The idea of just 'trotting' round the Rothwell course and using it as a training run for the Leeds Half soon disappeared. The first part of the race was furiously fast and the only thing that was aching was my neck - staring at the Garmin bewilded by the pace. I even tapped it 3 times to see if it was working properly. I did the first mile in 5.08, second mile in 5.11. This was faster than I had raced before and it wasn't long before my legs were telling me that.

Despite the bad weather there was a large turnout for the race. Andrew Pearson(Longwood) and Stephen Hepples(Newham) were this years main challengers. Andrew Wasn't about to run along side Stephen for any of the race and built up a sizable gap right from the start. I lost sight of the leaders when the race route veered right towards Methley. I would say the gap between them was about 30 seconds by then. I had my sights on a group of runners from Bingley Harriers -containing John Convery and Tim Midgley. They are always reliably close to or breaking 33 minutes for 10k. I knew if I kept them in view a possible sub 34 minutes was on the cards.

When the race route turned left onto the main Methley road, that was when the early pace began to tell on me, and my pace began to slow down fairly rapidly. I was aware of Kevin Ogden from Spen and that he would take full advantage of this weakness(rightly so). Every available resource was put into a strong finish and I managed to run through the pain and was rewarded with a 34-29 time.

If there is one lesson I have learned from this race - it is;- never set off too fast even if the race is down hill.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Training Is Back On Track.

Thursday nights track session involved a paramid of 200, 300, 400, 600, and 800 meters, and then back down to 200 again. A group of mainly 'veteran' runners from Spenborough do these track workouts every Thursday night. In recent times I have only done solitary track work on the athletics field at the back of my house, so this was quite a shocker for me and it developed into some short battles between me and John Gallagher. Some of the other lads had done the Three Peaks Race a few days before and I was lucky that my legs were fresh. I didn't want a really hard session because I had entered the Rothwell 10k -which is on tommorow. I have also got the first John Carr 5k race which is on the Wednesday(6th), then the Leeds Half Marathon on the Sunday(10th). I will not be pushing too hard at Rothwell tommorow because of all the races I have entered and will need most of my energy for the Leeds Half.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Long Sunday Run

No marathon to run...... so the question is why do long runs? the answer to this is; on a personal point of view, long runs enable me to train, do speed work, and recover faster.

This weeks long run inco-operated the Rothwell 10k -which I will be running in a few weeks time. The total milage was 16.76 miles in 1:57:31 mins - all done at an average pace of 7-01 minutes per mile. Sounds easy? not for a 35 minute 10k man like me and my legs hurt a lot even today(wednesday).

Because I felt so good after the few days resting up when I hit the road again it felt like I was gliding along. I suppose this is the equivalent of a tapering effect, and is probably how I should feel when I am actually racing.

The Rothwell 10k race is scheduled for bank holiday Monday the 4th of May. I was looking at the entries and once again there are some good runners listed to run. Ian Fisher, Andy Pearson, Carl Thackery, John Convery and Tim Midgeley were some names that stood out. I will not be worried about them, as I will be running my own race trying to beat the 35 minute mark again. This is just to prove the Wakefield 10k was not a one off sub 35.

The Rothwell Harriers really do a good job of organising and increasing the popularity of this event. It is usually a 'book early' race because the numbers have been restricted in previous years. This year they have increased the amount of entries to 1000 and this has helped those who like to leave it to the last minute(like me).

Monday, 20 April 2009

It's Legoland -You're Not Running

This time I was caught red handed, the running trainers were found in the suitcase rapped up in a jumper. The question of why I needed a rather large watch to tell the time(Garmin 305) was also not easy to explain. The thoughts of a full English on the menu were also largely ignored, the search for the hotel gym - and more importantly a treadmill to train on took precedence over all the hotel luxuries.

The seasoned runner needs his(or her) daily 'fix' of running to be able to function. They become impossible to reason with, often miserable and unwilling to help(thats me anyway). I decided the battle with the wife wasn't worth starting and no running was the easier of the two options. Once I had got over the 'cold turkey effect' of not running I began to rather enjoy the break.

The Legoland Adventure was a kids paradise with seventy acres of rides and fun things to do. Power walking between the rides and using the pushchair as an added resistence effect created a kind of active rest for me. The only drawback was the drive down -220 of mostly motorway miles. The use of my brothers Tom Tom Navigation System helped somewhat, and directed us straight to the hotel carpark. Total miles 220, with 4.5 hours travel, 2 stops - average pace 1 minute 20ish per mile.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Wakefield 10k - Out and Back - New V40 P.B.

It's early April and that time again for the annual Wakefield Hospice 10k Road Race, organised by Wakefield Harriers. There was a large turnout for this years race, with a healthy mix of runners running for fun and club runners. Each year they seem to change the course and this year it has been changed to an out and back one. I think they have got it right this year and they have probably copied the format from the Leeds Abbey Dash and Dewsbury 10k, which have proved massively popular, thus raising large amounts of money for good causes.
The conditions were perfect for running, sunny and cool with very little breeze. Amongst the line up at the front(of those I recognised), were: Andrew Pearson(longwood), Carl Thackery(Hallamshire, now V45). There was also Kevin Ogden(Spen), Ricky South(Holmfirth), Andy Whitworth(Meltham), Paul Hallas(Wakefield), and long time no see Duncan Clark(Abbey Runners). The race started on a slight downhill which doesn't suit me as I prefer to start steady whilst not loosing too much sight of the front runners. The race started at the Lawefield Road end of Thornes Park and turned left up Horbury Road to the 5k mark and back down again. As expected Andrew Pearson from Longwood took the lead early on. On the returning 5k he had at least a minute on second place and showing no signs of fading. My battle was between Kevin Ogden from Spen and Ricky South from Holmfirth. I was also aware of Paul Hallas and Andy Whitworth not been too far behind. Me and Kevin Ogden were stride for stride up until about the 8k point. He looked easy and the high mileage weeks, in training for the London Marathon, paid off for him in the final stages of the race. Having caught Ricky South up from having a 20 second lead I thought I would beat him to the line. He seemed to pip me at the finish, and although the results show that I beat him I think they are wrong(Sorry Ricky). I finished in 34-56 and first V40, the first time I have broken 35 mins for 10k(as a V40). There's also no way I can ease back on the training or take an extra day off. With plenty of runners of V45 still regularly breaking 33mins it's no end to the training !

Sunday, 22 March 2009

South Leeds 5 Mile Road Race

Rather than thrash out some mile reps on the grass track at the back of my house, I decided to do the 5 mile run at south Leeds. It was a spur of the moment thing, as I thought I could treat it as speed training - and I always find one rep easier to count than five! I wasn't preparing for this run so there was no tappering or easing off. With this weeks milage of approximately 50 miles, including some fast tempo runs, there wasn't a feeling of rareing to go at the start.

There was quite a turnout for the run, and I had checked out the results from last years race, with the winner coming in at around 29 minutes - there was a possibility of a top five place.

To those who know the area, the run made it's way from the John Charles stadium to the Town Street entrance to Middleton park, and then back through Middleton woods, and then back round again - making 2 laps altogether, finishing in the stadium(on the track). The conditions can be described as cool and windy, with a severe wind at the top of the hill.
Among the recognised runners was Tim Midgeley from Bingley, Craig Keedy from St Theresas, Keith Magee from our club(Spen).

I set of at a conservative pace today and hoped to catch runners up who were fading on the second lap. This plan seemed to work and I managed to catch and overtake some runners who set off too fast or run out of steam.

I achieved a 9th place overall and 2nd vet 40 - not a bad reward and a reasonable workout.

Finishing time approximately 29-18.

This was the first race I had done wearing the new orthotics and everthing seemed to be fine i.e no knee pain or blisters.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Norton 9 Mile - 3 Minutes Faster!

After having a few easy days of running, after the Liversedge Half, It was a trip to Norton this Sunday to do the annual nine mile road race. It's an unusual distance, but certainly can't be classed as a short easy 10 miler. The weather and temp were perfect for running and the rural setting provided excellent scenic running conditions. There were a reasonable mix of quality runners up front, with ex international Andrew Pearson from Longwood Harriers providing this years challenge. Andrew has come back on the running scene after a few years off and gaining a couple of stone in weight. Although probably not yet at his best his historic 10k time of sub 29 minutes shows it would be expected that he is up there with the front runners today. There was also Carl Ryde from Doncaster,Kev Lilley(sheffield),Chris Birchill(Leeds) and Paul Marchant(Rothwell) all ensuring Andrew Pearson couldn't treat this as a steady Sunday run.

I set off very steady today and gradually overtook runners who found the early pace too fast. I feel strong as an ox, and the weight training is helping with my strength on the hills. I now need to convert this strength in to forward motion and speed.

I finished the race in 52-28, which is 3 minutes faster than last year. Once again I was 3rd over 40(discounting Kev Lilley, who is over 45), So I can't complain about todays result, which also provided another training workout in prep for the Leeds Half in May.

The race was won by Andrew Pearson in 46-26

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Orthotics And Pronation Problems

Having had a slight niggle in my right knee for some time now, it has finely dawned on me that this was an worse injury in the making. After several visits to the physio with no luck and several pounds lighter(GB pounds that is). It was off to the the bio-mechanics specialist for an gait assesment. There is a local specialist in nearby Wakefield who specialises in running injuries and the like. Having spent the first few visits just talking about the mechanics of running and how certain injuries can develop and progress-I did initially feel that I was wasting my money.

The problem is my left leg is slightly shorter than my right leg, thus striking the ground first, leading to extra pressure and forces on my right leg and knee. Oddly, (something I have just learnt), we are all asymetrical(not having equal sides). The body can compensate for this and usually it isn't a problem, but when your running a large amount of miles it can create stresses which can lead to injuries.

Pronation is the natural inward rotation of the foot to prevent injuries to the ankle and other joints further up to the legs and even the back. In my case pronation is too excessive and if it is not controlled may lead to other injuries. He thinks this may be partly responsible for the slight knee pain. You can get shoes which control motion(motion control shoes), but these are not precise and will not always work to control the pronation, because eventually the muscles which are controlling pronation will overtake.

A cast was taken of both feet and I was to call back two weeks later for the finished othotics. These are made of hard plastic type material, with a softer rubber type covering them. I will keep you informed of the results in due course.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Liversedge - Hilly Half Marathon

I decided to test out the recent strength training on the Liversedge Half Marathon today. With numbers restricted to 400 I felt smug that I'd entered in good time. The weather was near perfect for me, as I am just about fed up of racing and training in cold conditions -this felt like mid summer by comparison.

Gathered at the start there seemed to be lacking some quality runners up front and I thought I was in for a shot if the race went my way.

When the race started I held back on my pace, because 13 miles is long enough for the pace to even out and I thought my strength would help in the latter miles of the race. I did note that one runner from Ackworth (I think), set off in what can only be described as suicidal pace. He was quickly 'reeled in' after only about 2 miles. I managed to catch the leading pack at 5 miles and managed to run behind the lead car for quite a few miles after that. Then there were 3 of us in the pack, Andrew Guisley(Dewsbury), David Allinson(unattached) and myself. I felt strong on the hills but began to 'brake' on the downhills - which slowed down my pace somewhat. I managed to hold on to second place until the 12 mile point, when the 2 Andrews from Dewsbury, Andrew Guisley and Andrew Cottier began to overtake. My legs felt like jelly at this point and there was nothing left for that extra push to the finish. I finished forth overall with a time of
1-19-41, which averaged out at 6-02 per mile. So with a £25 S.M.K voucher, 2 Edinburgh crystall glasses and a long sleeve T shirt I was happy with the outcome.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Dewsbury 10k - Post Race Report

After over a month off from racing it was time to do the local Dewsbury 10k. With a field of quality runners, a top 30 place was a reasonable position. I managed to achieve 3rd vet 40 today, which I am happy about.

I have come to the conclusion(not just today), that I need some quality speed work if I am to improve my racing pace. When the weather gets better(probably about July!!) I intend to visit a local grass track, which is only about a mile from the rear of my house. I will also try and get back my thursday night 'slot' for a visit down to Spen AC and thrash out some 400's and 800's.

To any Blog followers that are interested my split times for todays race are, 1st mile - 5 mins 24 secs, 2nd mile -5-36, 3rd mile - 5-45, 4th mile - 5-38, 5th mile - 5-44, 6th mile - 5-38. best pace was 4-03 per mile.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Dewsbury 10k

It's February 1st tommorow and the Dewsbury 10k has come round. I was rather hoping for it to be mild weather, but no such luck. The weather forcast for tommorow has given out snow showers with a cold wind. As the race starts early(9am) we might escape the worst.

My training's been going ok, and I did a reasonably paced 11 miler last Sunday(25th) average pace 6-41 per mile, with steady runs of about 8 miles, Monday , Tuesday, Wednesday a rest on Thursday, slow run on Friday and a gym work out today.

I have not raced since the Ribble Valley 10k so it would be difficult to predict a time for me. I would be delighted if I got to the lower end of 34 minutes tommorow.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Training Update

Did a 14 miler yesterday(Sunday 18th), with an average pace of 6-52 per mile. I need to up the pace a little, I am struggling to get the pace down to 6-30 per mile for 14 miles.

With the Garmin 305 it works out your average pace per mile at the end of the run. Sub 7 mins doesn't sound fast but on a undulating course - it's not bad.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New Year...Some changes and new focus

It's back to the drawing board again - in the hope that some improvements can be made.

Looking back on 2008, for me it as been a case of stagnation in the running department. Sometimes it's difficult for me to get my head round this running, I don't know many things that when you do more it can produce less! However, I think I have got the balance better this year ie with the family and kids, work and other things. I have just stuck to early Sunday morning racing(where possible), and then still been able to have some part of the day with the wife and kids. Running to work and back means it's been easier to fit in the running and still have time for other things.

This year I am once again not going to do a marathon. I don't think you can get away with 40-50 miles per week and expect to do a reasonable time in the marathon. I did London in 2001(2hr 41 mins) and 2002(2hr 49 mins), and suffered terribly in the latter stages of the race. When I think of the time I had put in to do that, I do not think I can balance it again, and I don't think I am a good life juggler!! I like running but I don't want to become a slave to it.

My plan this year is to build strength and endurance in the winter and early spring, and then introduce some faster work mid to late spring and early summer. This phase will consist of endurance work and strength work at the gym in winter, followed by some track work and track races in the spring and summer. I have got to admit I was running my best races(half marathons, 10miles and 10k's) whilst training for the marathon, so it is going to be difficult to try to achieve similar results this year.