Sunday, 23 January 2011

Brass Monkey Half Marathon.

It was ideal conditions for the race today and I was prepared to give it a go. Cancelled races and bad training weather created self doubts early on - even before race day. This was only to be a hard pushed tempo session but still as close to max as I could go without blowing up; often called threshold pace. Everybody was in the same boat with the bad training weather so I really couldn't use that as an excuse today. Runners were telling me that they were clocking 60 miles a week on treadmills and others out running on the snowy pavements in trail shoes. No bad weather, just bad excuses.

The early race pace felt good and I seemed to be averaging about 5-45 minutes per mile and still within site of a group, which included team mate Kevin O. This was very close to recent 10k pace and with hindsight was too fast too early on. I stayed with this group for approximately 3 miles. After 5 miles runners were passing me in droves and then it was a case of hanging on to the end. After 8 miles the legs were starting to hurt, my pace then slowed and more runners were overtaking, Some I recognised including Marc T who stormed on for a Vet 40 prize and PB. Will k coasted past me late on too. Fellow blogger Simon A stormed passed just on the line to pip me at the end - well done to him.

I finished in 1-20-28, well down on last year but a useful session and something to build on for the coming season.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Pennine 10k: Slow start to 2011

Seven weeks since my last race - which was the Abbey Dash. I knew I'd lost some fitness even though I was regularly going to the gym and using the treadmill. Four cancelled races wouldn't help things. I needed to do a race to get 'race fit'.

The Pennine 10k seemed ideal, fairly local and an early starter. I entered on-line so it was just a case of turning up and collecting the number. I was a bit worried because last night there was a touch of frost at home. No signs of a cancellation this time, although I joked to some of the other runners that it was cancelled and the look on their faces was quite something.

It seemed like there was not as many runners this time. I just wondered if runners were deciding not to take the risk and abstain from entering because of the unpredictable weather. No entries on the day meant that it was a fairly low turnout for this race. Among the few runners that I recognised were: Shaun Dimilow(Barnsley)Andy May(Abbey Runners), Andy Whitworth(Meltham), David Thomson(Barnsley), Keith Williams(Rotherham), Martin Firth(Queensbury)

With no serious training for quite a few weeks it was a case of easing into the race and seeing how the legs and lungs held up. Shaun set of at a steady pace with a chap from Halifax giving chase. I was happy to follow and run alongside Andy W until I found out just what pace my legs could take. I seemed to cope well with the up hills and gained the advantage over Andy W. Andy M and David Thomson ran ahead and made a small group. I quickly realised I didn't want to join them this time and decided to run my own race. It was a solo effort for me from then on with Andy W falling some way behind, although I got the feeling that he may make a late charge and catch me. I think my time was 37-28 ish, some way short of last years PB of 33-49 but it's a hilly course with a touch of headwind today.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Recovering from rest.

Adapting to rest seems hard for me. The festive period of long lie ins, large breakfasts and lack of endurance work doesn't suit me and is noticeable as I hit the pavements once again. On the way home from work on my regular 7 mile run I was having to slow down to jogging pace in places due to aching legs. The obsessive runner doesn't take to rest and the thought of other rival runners out there training is torture.

Looking forward into 2011 I will continue the successful regime of late 2010; which I would describe as 'batch training' and 'batch racing'. This consists of a full season of hard training(about 13 weeks of 60-70 miles/ week with 1 long run, 1 speed session per week), then reducing the training and doing about four to six races of 10k, 10 miles or half marathon, with a weeks rest between 10k's and two weeks between 10 miles and half marathon. I prefer to train for a season(or part to part) ie spring, summer, autumn and winter. I feel this idea will compartmentalise the training and make it appear to have a definite start and end, where a peak should be reached at the end of the season. The same idea would be to have a key race to aim for and therefore a date to aim for a peak. I personally find this difficult when doing so many races in a short time. It can reduce other options available and also be a massive disappointment if it doesn't pay off and you have no plan B. Last year I misjudged where the peak would be and managed to hold a reasonable fitness level in the 5 races of Horsforth 10k(34-40), Brid Half(1-17-17), Guy Fawkes 10 mile(59-54) Barnsley 10k(34-40) and Leeds Abbey Dash 10k(33-49). The only disappointment was the Brid Half, where I needed a rest and it it didn't feel like it(I felt good on the day), but it was still useful training for the other races.