Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Back to the drawing board

First of all i would like to say a big congratulations to all those athletes that competed at the European Championships. I was there for the first few days, although i wish i'd been able to stay longer, and the performances of the athletes that i saw was 1st class. I was able to watch the 10,000m final and Mo's finish along with Chris Thompson's gutsy finish was inspirational. The performance on the whole bodes well for future championships and here's to the big 2012.

As for me, well, last time i was cutting back and trying to deal with the fatigue that was hindering my races. I raced the England championships at Gateshead and in all honestly i shouldn't have. I felt flat as soon as i started the warm up, the race wasn't much better as i started struggling after 1k. After the race i spoke to fellow Sale Harriers and friend Stuart Stokes and he gave me some advice and kindly offered to sit down and go through things. I decided to call a close to my season i was just digging myself into a deeper hole.

Since then i've not run for 2 weeks, done a lot of sleeping and had many conversations. I'm just getting back into things, doing one steady run a day and will build up towards the end of August.

Sorry it's short and sweet but not much to talk about in the last few months.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Not Again...

It's been a while since my last post and there has been a reason for it... i may have been over doing it again.

I raced in the AAA's for the first time since 2007, and it was a great experience again. The crowds and cameras were different from the usual races, as was my performance. Again i was with the leading group, well chasing group after Luke Gunn shot off after 800. I was hoping to sit in and cover the breaks as they occured. I did that but with 1k to go the wheels fell off again and i struggled home in 9:09. Shocking considering how easy i felt the last time i ran 9:09.

Since then i have been completely drained, i have not been able to barely any running. The following week i was drained i took most of the week off as i was so out of it. I raced in the British league that Saturday and finished 4th in 9:20. The next day as i was walking round i felt physically sick.

I went to see John Rogers, my friend a GB doctor, and he has gone through all the symptoms and ran some blood tests. These tests have come back normal and this in turn has pointed to the overtraining syndrome.

Since then i have been limiting my self to one run a day no more than 25-30 mins. I am starting to feel better and am planning to start doing sessions this week. I am planning on racing at the England champs in Gateshead, depending on how i react will depend on what happens for the rest of the season.

I am not going to record my training for the past few weeks as i think it's in the region of 50 miles for 2 weeks.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Right direction

The ast few weeks have seen 1 race and a bit of training. Last time I updated I was building up to the BMC at Watford. The week had gone well with the sessions and runs feeling strong, i had organised to head down and stay over on the Saturday with Matt Barnes, although there was a change of plans when Matt hadn't recovered from a cold so one Matt was changed to another with Matt Bond jumping in for the journey and night in the hotel.

I was hoping for a fast time, close if not faster than my PB, and the race was certainly set up to do that. Fellow Sale harrier Stuart Stokes was pacing the race in 8:40 ish pace (he was also racing the race!), the race started off well with the first k in 2:52 i was just off the pace in about 4th or 5th and as the race continued i made sure to move up as people moved up. By 2k Stuart, Sam Farah and i went through in about 5:50 so the pace had dropped slightly but we were 25 min clear of the field. However at this stage i was starting to feel the pace and i started to drop back with 2 laps to go. I finished with 9:01, a seasons best but well down on what i expected. However i have to admit that my hurdling throughout was terrible and i was losing a lot of time each lap. Although i was disappointed with the time when i spoke to my coach he highlighted how although the wheels came off they came off later.

You can watch the race here 3000SC With thanks to Athleticos.org.

With these in mind my last few weeks have been focusing on improving the hurdling technique as well as a bit more endurance. i have doe one specific session (which unfortunately was ended early due to cramp) and hurdle drills after every session.

The next race will be the AAA's in Birmingham, i will be aiming to break the 9 minute barrier in this one and then look to build on each race.

The last 2 weeks training in brief.

Sunday 6th June: 10:23 (1hr 13min, 10.55 mi, 6;55min/mi)

Monday 7th June: 8:00 approx 27 min

19:00 (WU 16 min, 2.0mi 4*600 3 min rec (90, 88, 87, 87) WD 15min 1.5mi) Good session unlike the last time i did this where i was lay out on the track for 20 mins.

Tuesday 8th June: 12:54 (29:54, 4.21mi, 7:07 min/mi)

18:25 (31:15, 4.69mi, 6:40 min/mi)

Wednesday 9th June: 7:49 (24:35, 3.43mi, 7:10 min/mi)

19:06 (15:43, 2.13 mi, 6*300 45 sec rec (avg 44) WD 14:22, 1.99 mi) Felt good tonight all ready for the weekend.

Thursday 10th June: 12:40 (20:57, 2.97 mi, 7:03 min/mi)

17:52 (29:15, 4.24 min/mi, 6:54min/mi)

Friday 11th June: Rest day

Saturday 12th June: WU 10 min 3k steeplechase 6th 9:01 WD 10 min)

Week total: Approx 45 miles

Sunday 13th June: 8:35 (1hr 20min, 11:42 mi, 7:04min/mi) stead with Matt in Watford.

Monday 14th June: 8:04 (23:11, 3.20 mi, 7:15 min/mi)

19:08 (WU 16:50 min 2.16 mi, 3*1k 2 min rec 10 min WD including hurdle drills) Tired in the legs after the weekend, had spent nearly 9 hours in the car over 2 days.

Tuesday 15th June: 7:27 ( 24:45, 3.32 mi, 7:27 min/mi) felt tired this moring.

12:35 (32:43, 4.72 mi, 6:56 min/mi)

Wednesday 16th June: 12:11 (25:26, 3.82 mi, 6:40min/mi)

18:24 (WU 15:37, 2.13 mi, 2*800 over hurdles ( had to stop on third due to cramp in my calf) WD 10 min 1.5 mi) Was going well until the i had the cramp, probably a little dehydrated.

Thursday 17th June: 7:45 (21:59, 3.02 mi, 7:17 min/mi)

17:42 ( 36:40, 5.80mi, 6:19 min/mi)

Friday 18th June: 12:55 (47:01, 7.22 mi, 6:31 min/mi)

Saturday 19th June: (WU 16min, 2.0mi, 2*1600, 1*1k, (4:32, 4:31, 2:45) WD 10 min 1.2 mi including hurdling drills) Felt good in the session was leading out the 5k Session of Barnsey, Bond and Gaz Raven.

Week total: Approx 55 miles

Fairly steady couple of weeks including the race, been told to ease off after wednesday for the sunday race. Probably close to 45-50 miles up to the Saturday.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Where is that come from?

Unexpected performances come in two ways, the first is where you will go out and run a huge PB, feel easy and read to do it all again 15 minutes later. The other is where Murphys law comes in (not to be confused with Tuckers law, see Thick of it), everything that could go wrong will go wrong. For everyone, the good unexpected is what we hope for everytime we race, if not you expect to perform close to how you've been training. However when the other happens you'll scratch your head, try and figure out what happened, how it happened and why it happened. In the last 3 weeks although i have not experienced the good side, i have experienced the bad. I had a 3k at Stretford, a follow up to my opener 2 weeks prior, was hoping to go close if not quicker to that previous race. This time there were no pace makers, i was hoping that some one would take the pace on but after a slow opening half lap i had to go to the front and get the pace to around what i wanted. After the first half i was pulling through 4 others at a time i felt comfortable and happy with without feeling too pushed. However after 5 laps everything went wrong, the wheels came off and i went backwards. i ended up finishing in a time of 8:41, a time i will hope to be running quicker than over the steeplechase barriers! My coach and i tried to dissect what could have happened, i had some blood tests and looked at the training. I came to the conclusion it was just one of those days.

Since then i have raced twice and both have been a lot better performances, so that race is definitely one to forget about.

I'll give a quick overview of the last 3 weeks otherwise this will be a very long one!

Sunday 16th May: (1 hr 8 min, 9.27 mi, 7:20 min/mil)

Monday 17th May (32:40, 4.91 mi, 6:39 min/mi)

Tuesday 18th May (WU 10:57, 1.53 mi, 3k stretford 8:41, WD 16:39 2.15 mi)

Wednesday 19th May (25:00, 3.61 mi, 6:56 min/mi) Pm WU 15:53, 2.13 min, Tempo, 2.13 mi, 5:12 min/mi) Felt shattered was thinking of doing speed work but called it a day.

Thursday 20th May (43:10, 6.51 mi, 6:38 min/mi) pm (25.15, No gamin)

Friday 21st May Rest day

Saturday 22nd May (Wu 15:31, 2.13 mi, 3*1k pace making 5k session (2:47, 2:47, 2:44) WD 15:30 2.10 mi)

Week total Approx 40 miles

After the race i felt awful for the next few days and came right off everything. Started to feel better come Saturday.

Sunday 23rd May (1 hr 22min, 11.57 mi, 7:08 min/mi)

Monday 24th May (21:55, 3.03 mi, 7.14min/mi) Pm (WU 16:01, 2.11mi 4*600 (91, 86,87, 88) WD 10 min)

Tuesday 25th May (29:08, 4.23 mi, 6:53 min/mi) pm (31:24, 4.63mi, 6:43 min/mi)

Wednesday 26th May (24:02, 3.57 mi, 6:45 min/mi) pm (WU 15:35, 2:09, 7*300 (avg 44/45) WD 14:06, 1.95mi)

Thursday 27th May (28:59, 4.35 mi, 6:40 min/mi) pm (31:16, 4.74 mi, 6.36 min/mi)

Friday 28th May (28:17, 4.25 mi, 6:40 min/mi)

Saturday 29th May, (WU 13:18, 1.90 mi, BMC 1500 C 3rd 3:48.02 PB, Pace making 1500 E race (2:02) WD 14:12, 1.90 mi) Happy with the race, sat in the first 2 laps and then started to move through the field, with 300 to go was about 5th or 6th, was pushed into lane 3 by some argy bargy around 200 to go. Coming of the final bend the front 2 had got away so just powered home. Felt strong, hopefully more to come.

Week total Approx 54 miles

Feeling so much better than the previous week, happy with the race, hopefully the first of many this season. Looking forward to first chase next week, just going to get back into the rhythm before Watford. On the monday i did something to my left knee in the last rep, had a massage on tuesday and he diagnosed problem as slightly strained knee ligaments and tight IT band, had to do a lot of stretching during the week.

Sunday 30th May (1hr 14 min, 10:03 mi, 7:27 min/mi) Knee was very tight after previous night.

Monday 31st May (24:51, 3:48 mi, 7:09 min/mi) Pm (Wu 15:48 2.11 mi, 4*800 over hurdles (2:15, 2:13, 2:13, 2:11) WD 14:56, 1.62 mi)

Tuesday 1st June (32:19, 4.81 mi, 6:44 min/mi) pm (Approx 30 min, watch dies mid run)

Wednesday 2nd June (Approx 28 min) Pm (WU Approx 16 min 7*300 (avg 44) WD approx 12 min)

Thursday 3rd June (26:14, 3:55 mi, 7:23 min/mi) pm (29:22, 4:29 mi, 6:51 min/mi)

Friday 4th June (26:17, 3:58 mi, 7:21 min/mi)

Saturday 5th June (WU 9:45, 3kSC 2nd 9:09, 1500 6th A 3:54 WD 15:04, 2.01mi) Felt a complete fool after the chase, sat in the first 2k feeling very easy, took it on and opened up a 20m lead coming off the last barrier i was easing down but was shouted at that second place was coming after me by the time i reacted he was besides me and pipped me by 0.11 of a second. This won't happen again! 1500 was a gradual wind up, 2:07 through 800, 2:52 through the bell and winner finished with 3:48.

Weekly milage Approx 50 miles.

Although stupid in the chase i felt really good, lots left in the tank, which bodes well for Watford. Will ease off towards the end of the week and hope for a good time!


Tuesday, 18 May 2010

I'll have confidence to go.

I'm sure i'm not the first person to say this but if you could bottle and sell confidence you would be an overnight millionaire. In all walks of life confidence puts people ahead, be it work, the opposite sex or in my case sport. Being able to go on to your life/sporting arena feeling unbeatable gives you a one up on the competition, it's something people crave.

When i 16 and 17 i oozed confidence, i would go into races feeling unbeatable and in quite a lot of the instances would come out on top. However over the years this confidence has gradually drained away for one reason or another and the self confidence when i come to compete can sometimes be lacking. I openly admit this and it is something i am looking to improve, mainly by having a long conversation with the person staring back from the mirror.

You hear about confidence coaches who give people back their self esteem, what i need to start winning races or running PBs. With these i should get back to level i feel i should be at. If you believe in yourself that's greatest battle overcome.

Last weeks training:

Sunday 9th May: 9:37 (1 hr 13 min, 10:51mi, 6:58min/mi) Out on my own, felt good, pace and distance ok, looking forward to a fairly hard week.

Monday 10th May: 7:33 (23:16, 3.26mi, 7:08min/mi) Steady morning run nothing of note to mention.

Lunch: Light S&C session.

19:07 (WU 15:45, 2.13mi, 1k 3min 600m 10 min pulled out of second set WD 15:54 2.05mi) This was meant to be more of a 1500 session. First set went ok, 2:34 and 91 for reps. Got cramp in calves in first 300 of second set, this is something i seem to suffer from in these sort of sessions. I have tried to overcome it with compression socks but the cramp actually comes above the socks. Looking into new ways of overcoming it.

Tuesday 11th May: 18:26 (47:35, 7.39mi, 6:26min/mi) Just the one run today because i overslept and had a work event stopping me going at lunch. No major effects from previous night.

Wednesday 12th May: 12:38 (24:19, 3.61mi, 6:44min/mi) Steady run, felling fine heart rate normal.

18:27 (WU 15:12, 2.14mi, 8*400 over barriers (avg 64 sec) WD 12:00 1.62mi) First proper hurdle session felt good, although technique still needs a bit of work. Started fairly quick (62) but held them together.

Thursday 13th May: 8:00 (21:09, 2.98mi, 7:07min/mi) Hips and groin a little sore from the night before slightly affected my running style.

13:11 (38.13, 5.89mi, 6:30min/mi) Still a little sore, glad to be having massage in the evening.

Pm Massage.

Friday 14th May: 13:26 (24:41, 3.62mi, 6:49min/mi) Sore and slightly tired.

19:26 (24:54, 3.69mi, 6:45min/mi) Nearly didn't go for this run, felt very tired.

Saturday 15th May : Cycled to and from session 14 miles

10:38 (WU 15.10, 2.14mi, 7*300 (Avg 45), WD 7:47 1.09mi) Felt good in this session was leading the younger group through, feeling ready for Tuesday.

Weekly Mileage: Approx 55 miles running + 14 miles bike

Ok week, annoyed with the session on the Monday. My masseur suggested drinking tonic water before, because of one of its qualities, to help with the cramps. Going to try it next speed session. Will have a steady few days before the 3k at Stretford on the Tuesday.


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Track season!

It's about this time of year i start to get excited, the weather (tries) to pick up, the days become lighter and it's time for the track season. I can honestly say i feel giddy with excitement, it's a weird feeling, but after all, this is what all the work over the previous 6 months has been for.

I prefer the track as i can gauge things that much better. When i started running for Sale my first race was a 3k, although not my finest race, i found it easier to gauge the pace and distance than i would in a cross country race. Although i am finally coming round to surface of cross country, it's never been my favorite. It's also only been in the last 3 years that i have raced consistently over the roads, in fact my first road 10k was at the end of 2008. However i have always looked forward to the end of April when the track season is in sight.

To the training and racing diary...

Sunday 2nd May: 9:48 (59:30, 8.63mi, 6:54 min/mi) steady run on my own.

Monday 3rd May: 8:58 (32:42, 4.71mi, 6:57min/mi) again steady on my own, very steady pace.

15:20 Light drills and strides

Tuesday May 4th: 17:51 (WU 10:06, 1.44 Trafford 3k 5th 8:18.29, WD 11:55, 1.48mi) First race and i was slightly dissappointed, the pace was taken out fairly quick with the first lap at the front in 62, i was off the pace in about 65. Kept the same pace with Matt Barnes and Matt Bond as the rest of the field came back, was going through in about 66's. Came to the bell in 7:10 and felt ok, 300 to go and the wheels fell off. Ran the last 200 in 34 so was the equivalent of a 69. Coach feels that we need to do some more anaerobic work. Plan to race another 3k in 2 weeks time.

Wednesday May 5th 7:31 (23:56, 3.32mi, 7:13min/mi) Steady shake out felt a little tired after race but no real concerns.

18:29 (WU 12:37, 1.74 Norman Poole 5k, 2nd 15:17 WD 12:35, 1.63mi) More of a training run than a race, first mile in 5:27, but the pace then stepped up a bit to a 4:57. After that it went into race mode with the pace picking up to a 4:38 there was 3 of us at the front Niall, Dave Proctor and myself. I was then out kicked by Niall at the finish and was able to hold off Dave. Was a fun race!

Thursday 6th May: 7:22 (21:59, 3.04mi, 7:14min/mi) not too bad after two successive races just a little sluggish.

Lunch: Physio no real problems to report.

18:00 (Approx 35min, 5:21mi) Not sure of pace and exact time, my watch died. Felt ok.

Friday 7th May: 13:00 (33:03, 4.44mi, 7:27mi) Went on a new route which led me up a lot of hills, thus the slow pace. Pretty tiring.

Saturday 8th May: 10:43 (WU 14:09, 1.86mi, 3*5:30 min 2min rec WD 7:42 1.0mi) Good session, was able to push on with each rep, felt strong.

16:55 (21:49, 3.19mi, 6:51min/mi) With the shorter session in the morning felt like an evening run with some strides at the end.

Week total Approx 48 miles

Low miles with the two races and feeling a little jaded towards the end of the week. Know it's early season but wanted a bit more on tuesday, was only 0.27 of a second off my PB. More quality sessions next week and a bit of hurdle week.


Sunday, 2 May 2010

I'll have the carbs please

Running twice a day and doing everything else in between means that i burn through quite a few calories in a day. We are lucky we can eat pretty much what we want although it has to be balanced.

While i was injured in 2007 i put on a little weight, around half a stone, due to inactivity and i was still eating like i was in full training. Once i was back in training although i lost some of the weight i was still a fair amount above my ideal racing weight. After a few months a fellow runner, Steffan North, took a nutritionist course and offered to have a look at what i was eating and make some suggestions. So for a week i weighed my food, noted the drinks i was taking and kept hold of any wrappers or packets that i ate. Steffan then took all the data and performed the analysis. After a week he came back with the results. It seemed that although i was eating enough, the make up of the food wasn't in the right proportions, my fat intake was far too high while my carbohydrate was no where near what it should have been. As an athlete any food that i take in should be less that 20g per 100g, you'd be surprised how high the fat content is in everyday foods. Have a look next time you're wandering around the shops. And my carb in take per day should be the main source of energy, from things such as whole-wheat pasta, potatoes, rices and breads.

With the advice from Steffan, i have since altered my diet to be more suitable and i have the difference. I have dropped to a more acceptable weight, a little more than what i was when i ran my pbs, but i believe this is due to the additional muscle mass i am now carrying.

Right to the training.

Sunday 25th April: 8:29 (1hr 23min, 11:07mi, 7:34min/mi) OUt with Matt early allowing us to get back to watch the marathon. Good runs from the members of the group, Dave and Gaz. Also good to see a lot of the brits doing well.

Monday 26th April: 12:43 (23:32, 3.55mi, 6:38min/mi) Nice steady run, knew there was another tempo coming in the evening.

19:06 (WU 15.25, 2.16min, 6 mile tempo (5:39, 5:24, 5:16, 5:13, 5:06, 4:56) WD 9:17, 1.21mi) Really happy with this session, was supposed to be a gradual build up for the first 3 miles, we were supposed to start with a 5:35 and then speed up by 5 seconds every mile. Matt Barnes, Matt Bond, Dave Proctor and Andy Norman were leading the group and were pushing on 10 seconds every mile. I sat with Tom and after the 3rd mile we held off allowing the rest of the group to get ahead. However in the last 2 miles we picked up the pace and caught Andy and were making ground on the rest of the group by the time we finished.

Tuesday 27th April: 7:30 8 miles on my bike to work.

12:59 (14:47, 2.23mi, 6:38min/mi) Just a steady couple of miles before a short Strength and Conditioning session in the gym.

17:45 (47:10, 7.66mi, 6:09min/mi) Haven't done this run for a while, i get dropped off on the way home from work and run through Poynton and Woodford back home. It's a nice run and a gradual down hill. Felt relaxed and was very surprised at the average pace.

Wednesday 28th April: 7:39 (18:29, 2.64mi, 7.00min/mi) Early run feeling a little sluggish after run day before.

19:03 (WU 15:15, 2.12mi 4*200 15 sec rec, 1 lap jog, 4*300 45 sec rec, 1 lap jog, 4*200 15 sec rec (28, 29, 29, 29, 45,45, 42, 43, 29, 29, 29, 28) WD 16:01, 1.96mi) Speed session, which was oddly enjoyable. Was on my own for this one. Was told off after the second 300 for running within myself and had to push down to the 42/43s.

Thursday 29th April: 17:52 (42:17, 6.17mi, 6:52min/mi) Today was my own fault, overslept and then had a meeting at lunch so only the one run today. Had a massage after and didn't seem to have many tight areas which is always a bonus.

Friday 30th April: 7:52 (20.22, 2.89mi, 7:03min/mi) Made it up this morning, felt fine, a little lethargic after the massage.

Lunch: Strength and conditioning session.

18:41 (35:48, 5.31mi, 6:45min/mi) Steady run after work, no niggles after the gym and feeling relaxed.

Saturday 1st May: 10:35 (WU 15:54, 2.12mi, 7*300 45 sec rec (46, 46, 44, 44, 45, 44, 44) WD 7:17, 0.98mi) last session before opening track race on tuesday. Felt good sharing the load with Matt Barnes and Ryan Worland. After the session did some hurdle work, a little rusty but should be working on it each week until my first chase which is pencilled in on the 5th of June.

Week total: Approx 62 miles + 8 miles on bike.

Another steady week with some good sessions. Coming off the miles for the next few days in preparation for the 3k on Tuesday. Planning on going through in about 65s so 8:08 pace for the first half and then see what we have left in the last half. We'll see what happens.


Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Sorry I don't do marathons...yet

It's about this time of year, every year, i will be asked the same questions and they mainly focus around the trend, Have you/Are you running the London Marathon. Each time i have to grit my teeth, smile and indicate that although i do run a fair amount compared to the average Joe the marathon is a little bit too far.

I'm sure at some stage i will be tempted by the 26.2 miles but while i still have a few fast twitch fibers in my legs I'll stick to the shorter stuff. Although after watching the race on Sunday i may need to keep a few of them just to keep up! The leaders were putting 3 or 4 4:30 minute miles back to back and this was after 15 miles. There were great runs by fellow group members Dave Norman and Gareth Raven with the husband of Donna Jones, Andi Jones, finishing 2nd Brit.

I have a huge amount of respect for marathon runners, those that i know and train with along with the world leading athletes that head up the races around the world. To train for a marathon you have to sacrifice so much more than a normal runner as during the week at some stage you will have to go out for 15 mile runs and Sunday runs will be the same if not further. To focus on a good time weekly mileage has to be around or above 100 miles, sessions are focused on maintaining sustained efforts for longer periods with the same if not less recovery. The race itself pushes your body to the limit, after 18 or so miles the body is virtually drained of glycogen stores or quick energy so it then has to start turning to other sources be it fat or muscle, which are that little more difficult to access.

A big congratulations to all those that competed, it's a monumental effort and i hope you can now just about walk!

To the training diary.

Sunday 18th: 9:39 (58:01, 7.53mi, 7:42 min/mi) Out with Tom and some of the Sale old guard in Center Parcs (I was here for a friends birthday), we were running through the woods twisting and turning thus the slower than normal pace. We were planning on getting out for 20 mins in the evening but after a day of 'activities' Tom and i were pretty shot.

Monday 19th: 8:17 (22:22, 3.16mi, 7:05 min/mi) Out with a steady run with Tom before leaving.

19:03 (WU 15:16 2.10 mi, Tempo 24.24 4.77mi (5:12, 5:06, 5:03, 5.00, 4:02) WD 13:54 1.70) Barnsey, Bondy, Dave and Andy Norman, Tom, Dave Proctor, Niall Brooks. This was supposed to be steady after the race at the weekend, we don't seem to do steady at the moment! In hindsight should probably have gone to 5 miles, but legs felt battered.

Tuesday 20th: 12:43 (25:27, 3.84mi, 6:38min/mi) Still not into a routine plus felt shattered, so steady run at lunch.

17:55 (35:29, 5.23mi, 6:47min/mi) Took it steady in the evening.

Wednesday 21st: 12:51 (22:03, 3.30mi 6:41mini/mi) Feeling ok but legs were not quite all there.

19:03 (WU 15:39 2.10mi, 4*1200 1*800 (3:24, 3:24, 3:24, 3:24, 2:16) 90 sec recovery, WD 15:15 2.12mi) With Barnsey, Bondy, Mike and Steffan. Consistent, which is key, would normally have just done the 4 but decided to do an extra 800 taking out the first lap for the rest of the group. Legs were definitely tired after.

Thursday 22nd: 7:05 (23:45, 3.43mi, 6:56min/mi) Not feeling too bad after the night before.

17:46 (34:35, 5.24mi, 6:36min/mi) Still feeling a little tired but able to clip along at a fair pace.

Friday 23rd: 8:10 (19:38, 2.76mi, 7:06) Not the best of morning runs, cut it short.

Lunch: S&C session.

18:18 (33:26, 5:05, 6:37) Ran from home for a change, different scenery and route helped me get round.

Saturday 24th: 10:45 (WU 12:32 1.67mi, 4*1 mile(4:55, 4:59, 5:01, 5:02) 1 min rec, 10 minutes jog, 3*200 (27, 29, 27) 30 sec recovery WD 12:48 1.64) I was glad to get the session done, Barnsey, Bondy, Tom and Dave all involved. Fairly happy with miles although would have preferred them under 5 mins.

Week total: Approx 64 miles

Although a normal week of miles i hadn't properly recovered after the weekend so was running fairly tired for most of the week. Sessions were good which counts for something. Next week will be fairly similar with Saturdays session a steady one before the first Stretford on the 4th.


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Injuries and the past week

The past week was a bit of a struggle after the time away. Monday morning came far too soon and trying to get back into the routine of things took me a couple of days. However I was still able to get training in as usual although there was a considerable drop off in the amount of miles I did. Being a race week I was tapering down fortunately, this allowed the latter part of the week to be a lot easier. When I taper before a race usually my last session will be the Wednesday night, the following days will be easier runs where I go no faster than 6:30 min/mile and I won't do any strength and conditioning work.
Luckily for the past 8 or so months I have steered clear of injuries and any major illnesses, bar the odd cold, however since 2006 when I made a big jump in performances I was dogged for 3 years with my body breaking down in one way or another.

In 2007 I was coming to the end of the cross country season and was invited to a UKA endurance meeting in Birmingham, part of the session consisted of splitting into your relevant discipline and having some specific coaching. The steeplechase coaching consisted of 'water jumping' into a long jump pit, however we were going over one after the other and leaving holes in the sand. I raised my concerns that it may cause someone to turn their ankle but this was ignored. Needless to say I was the one that turned their ankle and was out for around 8 weeks, wrecking my track season.

2008 was another problematic season this time caused by my choice of footwear. I had been going well at the start of the track season, running a PB in my first race, but over the next few weeks I began developing Achilles pain and by the middle of May I could barely run. I went to my physio who in turn referred me to specialist who identified the problem as tendinitis. I took the necessary advice and started the rehabilitation, after it had improved I returned to training only to find the problem returning. I decided to visit the podiatry department at Salford University. They diagnosed the spikes I had been using as the culprit (a lack of a heel and support coupled with my foot pronation was putting excess pressure on the Achilles tendon), but because of the damage they had caused I had to be fitted with orthotics to counteract my pronation. I wasn't running properly until the end of September.

2009 was looking promising, a PB over 5 miles and highest ever positions in cross country races, but this all began coming unstuck around the end of February. The 2008/2009 winter had seen me up my weekly mileage to around the 80/90 mark, a lot higher than I had ever experienced. I was feeling stronger but at the same time tired, just thinking this was a result of the miles I soldiered on. The first signs of something going wrong was the week after the Northern cross country championships I raced in a 5 mile race in Alsager. I ran 26.22 this was 1 minute 33 seconds slower than the 5 mile race I had done 3 months previously. My coach and I thought this was just the result of 2 races in quick succession. However as time went on sessions were sporadic as was my racing. The final straw came in early May when I raced a flat 3k, I finished in 8:54, 7 seconds slower than my PB in the steeplechase. I asked the advice of my friend and UKA doctor John Rogers, we did some preliminary blood tests and simple mood gauges. Nothing came back from the tests and John indicated that this was pointing to a condition called 'Overtraining syndrome'. The condition is pretty self explanatory, but not only was it affecting me physically mentally I was low and unenthused. I had to stop training and gradually work my way back, I took a week off everything and then gradually had to build back. This took close to 2 months before I was back in full training and by then it was the middle of July and I had missed a lot of training and had lost a lot of endurance.

All these experiences has made me listen to my body more, resting when I was tired, not doing the extra reps in session if I didn't feel like it and cutting back the miles to a level which has allowed me to optimise my training.

Sunday 11th April: 8:42 (1:17:29, 10.95 mi, 7:04 min/mi) Out with Matt Barnes, Dave Norman and Matt Bond. A lot slower than my last Sunday run, grateful of the pace. After run went to bed for an hour was drained!

Monday 12th April: 12:44 ( 24:47, 3.71 mi, 6:40 min/mi) Today was a huge effort, didn't want to get out of bed for the morning run, so went at lunch.

19:11 (WU 15:03, 4*800 (2:10, 2:09, 2:11, 2:10) 3/2 min recovery WD 11:45) Not a good session tonight, felt tired and lethargic. Work had been a daze and had carried through to the evening.

Tuesday 13th April: 8:01 ( 19:17, 2.70 mi, 7:09 min/mi) Still felt tired, out of routine which didn't help.

17:39 ( 38:10, 5.75 mi, 6:39 min/mi) Felt better than the morning, but still not quite right. Had a massage and then an early night!

Wednesday 14th April: 8:05 ( 19:29, 2.74 mi, 7:06 min/mi) starting to feel better, massage definitely helped.

18:53 (WU 15:32, 7*300 (46, 45, 45, 46, 45, 45, 45) 45 sec rec WD 15:25) Felt controlled during the session all fairly consistent and wasn't pushing it.

Thursday 15th April: 12:57 ( 40:01, 6.09 mi, 6:35 min/mi) Starting to ease off for the weekend, felt good during this run up and down middlewood way.

Friday 16th April: 7:56 ( 22:23, 3.28 mi, 6:50 min/mi) Steady morning run after dropping off car, feeling quite relaxed.

13;16 ( 21:13, 3.24 mi, 6:32 min/mi) Run to pick up car after it had been cleaned, same distance but downhill thus the quicker time. Still felt good.

Saturday 17th April: National 12 stage relays 3rd leg (WU approx 10 min, 27:15 (5.4 miles), WD 25min approx 3 miles). Took over in 3rd i was oddly on my own for a majority of the race. Passing second place shortly after the start i then had to aim at Notts in first who were about 100m ahead. Through the stage i worked towards him but was passed by Shettleston after about 2 miles and Dave Norman came past me with about a mile and a half to go. Coming into the final hill i gave it all i had and took the Notts runner and got within 20m of Dave. Happy with the run, although would have liked to have had someone with me to pull me under 27... Next year!

Weekly total Approx 60 miles

Normal-ish mileage for a race week, will be getting a good few weeks in now before my first track race at Stretford!

Should post on time next week!


Sunday, 11 April 2010

Warm Weather Training

Sorry no blog for the last 2 weeks, i have just returned from a bout of warm weather training in Portugal, and to be honest i didn't want to come back!

This was the first time i had experienced the whole warm weather thing, I found if you treat is as training camp rather than a jolly it is the perfect excuse to get some solid training in while getting some much needed Vitamin D (which actually helps with carido endurance, there have been studies, if you don't believe me google it!).

Anyway it all came about after i put out a cry for help on a forum website, eightlane.com, after failing to arrange something within my own group. i was directed to contact Martin Williams, a marathon runner from Tipton, who informed me there was space for one in the apartment he and two others had booked. I took up the offer and a few weeks later i was on the plan to Faro, which is located at almost the southernly point of Portugal. We were staying in the resort of Villamoura, a town more known for it golf than athletics. The crew i was rooming with was Martin 'Quiet man' Williams, Phil 'Primarni' Nicholls and Jason 'Cheetos and Beer' Ward. Jason i knew of through the Altrincham club, i had met Phil before at a few training days but i had never met Martin before. However within hours of getting there i had already settled in and was feeling part of the 'family'. Within the hotel there were also plenty of other athletes from the Trafford club, Liverpool and Loughborough University all of which we mingled with at one point or another.

Our apartment was perfectly placed being 2 miles from the track and just over 3.5 miles from a purpose built cross country course (i think it was a world cross course, can't tell you when) with trails and perfectly maintained roads surrounding the complex.

Although a little boring all i did for the trip was run and relax, but this was just what was i wanted. Due to this i put in probably the most miles i have done in a 7 day period (Approx 92 miles from Saturday to Friday), this is something i wouldn't have been able to do trying to do activities during the day!

Anyway in conclusion, i had a great time, made some great new friends and put in an excellent week of training for me! I will be doing it again next year, but will probably go for a little longer.

I will now try and put together the last 2 weeks of training as concisely as possible!

March 28th: 10:30 Wilmslow half Marathon (1hr 32 mins, 14.4 (including warm up and warm down) approx. 7min/mil) Now although i ran the race i was not competitive, a colleague from work was running and was hoping to break 1 hr 30 mins and i offered to help him pace it correctly. We were on for the time until the last 4 miles where we turned back and there was a gradual rise to the finish which caused him to fade. I found it a fun race although i don't have the half marathon or full marathon bug just yet!

March 29th: 8:03 (21.22 min 3.01 miles, 7:05 min/mil) Steady morning run, no ill effects from the day before luckily!

19:00 (WU 12.39 min 1.73 mi, 4*800 (2:13, 2:10, 2:11, 2:09) 2 min rec WD 13:35 min 1.73 mi) First session back on the track on a monday night, felt good, weather was a bit damp but felt strong and gradually sped up.

March 30th 8:10 (20.29 min 2.90 miles, 7:04 min/mil) felt tired this morning thus the shorter than normal run. Probably the result of the previous 3 days effort

18:26 (34.56 min 5.54 miles, 6:20 min/mil) felt a lot better than the morning and was able to pick it up a bit.

March 31st 8:07 (21:20 min 3.00 miles, 7:07 min/mil) steady run where i stacked it in front of a dog walker when i slipped on some mud, highly embarrassing!

19:04 (WU 12:49 min 1.73 miles, 5 Mile Tempo 25:31, WD 11:23 1.50 mil) Was supposed to be doing a 30 min tempo at a slower pace than the last time, however due to the speed we were running i decided to cut back to 5 miles. ended up running 25:31 4 seconds quicker than the last one!

April 1st 7:59 (20:32 min 2.82 miles, 7:16 min/mil) very tired this morning, so just got through it.

18:23 (37.42 min 5.93 miles, 6:21 min/mil) felt a lot better in the evening again, holiday probably had something to do with it, but happy with the pace and how i felt.

April 2nd 16:32 (52.32 min 7.77 miles, 6:45 min/mil) first run with the lads in Villamoura, ran to the cross course and back along the cliffs next to the sea, very pleasant first run!

April 3rd 10:37 (WU 26.22 min 3.45 miles, 5*5min (1.01mi, 0.99mi, 0.99mi, 0.97mi, 0.97mi) 90 sec rec WD 25:18 3:54 mi) Ran to the Cross course and did session with Martin and Jason, felt good and pushed on from the second rep although was working hard for the last 2 reps. The course although firm had sand traps on corners which made it hard work.

Week total: 71:51 miles

April 4th: 9:00 (Approx 1hr 33 min 14.00 miles) Mid run i deleted my time and distance so not sure of complete details. Quick for me started off at about 7 min/mi but towards the end we were getting down to 5:50's with Jason pushing on!

April 5th: 10:44 (WU 16.41 min 2.11 miles, 5*800 (2:09, 2:11, 2:10, 2:11, 2:09) 90 sec rec WD 16:32 min 2.11 mi) Session with the Trafford lads at the track, was pushing on from the start and with the shortened recovery from the previous week fairly happy with the times although the two 2:11's annoyed me slightly.

17:31 (44:21 min 6.99 miles, 6:21 min/mil) This was a quick run with the lads, Jason and i held off as Martin and Phil were pushing on hard, their third miles was 5:50, i turned back after 3.5 with Lewis Moses, a loughborough student, and we slowed it slightly.

April 6th 8:27 (34:34 min 5:14 miles, 6:45 min/mil) Went out on my own as the lads were doing a session, was told a route to go but being the numpty i am ended up getting lost, when i realised where i was i was about 4 miles away from the hotel so i just walked it in as i had a weights session and run to do later. the half hour run ended up taking an hour and a half.

11:00 walked to the track and did my standard weights session there.

17:14 (37:13 min 5.05 miles, 7:22 min/mil) The lads took me on the route i should have gone that morning!

April 7th 9:20 (12:40 min 1.41 miles, 6*200m 20 sec rec, 5 min, 6*300m 45 sec rec, 5 min 6*200m 20 sec rec WD 13:28, 1.74mi ) This is the session that gets me fit and fast, did it on my on so was tough. Knocked out some good times but in the next few weeks i expect to do the same session quicker.

16:53 (46:33 min 7:08 miles, 6:34 min/mil) Out with the guys in the evening, again turned back at about 3.5 miles, steadier pace than monday.

April 8th 9:28 (49:44 min 7:06 miles, 7:03 min/mil) Jason, Phil and Martin were doing a session at the Cross course so ran down with them, watched them though their first rep and them ran back.

17:56 (35:30 min 5.04 miles, 7:02 min/mil) The 'Cob-on' run, after dropping Martin off in Monte Gordo to join up with his Scottish training camp we came back and went for the run. We then found out that Martin was the glue between the 4 of us with Jason going off and Phil and i running together for 3 miles although running 15m apart!

April 9th 10:43 (WU 25:28 min 3.59 miles, 2*2 miles (10:00 min, 10:11 min) 5 min rec, WD 25:48 min 3.53mi) Session down at the cross course with the Trafford lads, again pushed on and felt good. Last session of the holiday and was pleased with the 4 sessions i had put together while over here.

17:01 (27:53 min 4.25 miles, 6:34 min/mil) Cob-on part Deux, we all went our separate ways with this one, so i went out and did 4 miles to make my 15 mile day.

April 10th Rest day This was forced upon me by the travel arrangements, i was flying at 11:25 so had to be at the airport for just past 9 so no run in the morning. When i get to the airport i found out flight had been delayed by 2 hours so had to entertain myself for 4 hours. To top things off i was sat next to a haribo and kit kat-ed up 4 year old on the plane that was obsessed by me. I never knew kids could be so tiring. When i finally got home i was shattered and decided to call it a rest day.

Week total: Approx. 80 miles.

Two solid weeks with a big 7 days in the middle. Easier week next week before the national 12 stage relays in Birmingham.

Sorry for the longest post ever, next week will be a lot shorter!


Sunday, 28 March 2010

My History

As i said in my last post, i started my running career at around 14. I had been finishing fairy high in the local school district cross countries, but was constantly being beaten by another guy who was younger than me. He told me how he was training down with Sale Harriers and that i should go down. When i first went down i was introduced to the late Alan Robertshaw who was my coach for the first few years until i was passed onto my current coach, John Davies, who groomed me in the ways of a steeplechase. The steeplechase is my main event (the one with the water and the hurdles that don't fall over) although through the year i will run anything from 800m track races to 12k cross country races.

My accomplishments as a junior included a English Schools under-20 silver medal in 2000m steeplechase, Under-17 national 1500m steeplechase silver medal, a National Under-20 team cross country title and various regional and local titles. The step up to the senior ranks has been a slightly tougher transition. From the ages of 18 to 20 i was in a bit of a wilderness, this was my own fault, as during my first two years at Loughborough University i drank...a lot. The kick up the backside i needed was when i was given an athletics scholarship for a year to Mcneese State University in Louisiana in 2003. That year gave me some focus and drive to achieve again and got me back into shape. i made my big break through in 2006, lowering my 3000m steeplechase PB to 8:47 as well as setting all my PBs from 800 to 5k in that year. Since then i have been dogged by injuries and illness, but this year my coach and i have found a good mix of training and my performances are exceeding those of early 2006.

The group i train with is nationally renowned due to its quality in all events, it is coached by Norman Poole, Paul Roden and my coach John Davies. i'll try and give a quick synopsis of as many of the group as possible.

Ben Scarlett, a new member of the group after moving to Manchester from Loughborough, a 1:48 800m man (i think) who is benefiting from joining our group.

Dave Proctor, Dave joined the group last year after finishing university in America, an 800/1500 man who has been showing marked improvements in his winter races.

Matt Barnes, Matt is a former international at modern pentathlon before making the switch to athletics. He has represented GB in the Ekiden relay and races anything from 1500 up to 10k.

Mike Rimmer, 3 time national 800m champion, Olympian not much more i need to say.

Tom Lancashire, Former 1500m national champion, Olympian again not much more i need to say.

Matt Bond, Matt made the switch from triathlon a few years ago, now showing some great form in his events which range from 5k to half marathon (As i write this he has just run 65:53 for Wilmslow half)

Gareth Raven, the oldest member of the group but is showing no signs of slowing down. A marathon specialist who is aiming for the European and commonwealth championships this year.

Dave Norman, another marathon specialist. Dave is the epitome of dedication he's been training since he was 8 and has put himself through pain most us would die from. You can read his blog here

Niall Brooks, a young 18 year old runner who started running 2 years ago, his PBs are now quicker than i will ever run for 800 and 1500!

We also have talented young athletes including Thomas Atkinson, Jamie Roden, Ryan Worland and Charlie Hulson.

We have a few talented 800m women in Donna Jones and Laura Finucane, watch out for these two this year on the track!

Right that was my group, now for this weeks training.

21st - 27th March

Sunday 21st March: Northern 12 stage road relays, Wythenshaw. (WU- 10:58, 1.43mi, Long leg 4.62mi 22:52, WD- 29:14 3.40mi) I was pleased with this performance, i was put on 9th leg at this stage the team were sitting in 4th 200m behind 3rd and a further 100m behind 2nd. I started fairly hard and gradually pulled in 3rd taking them about halfway round the lap. I then targeted 2nd place and took him around 3/4 was round the lap. I then went on to pull out a lead of around 50m before i finished. I felt strong and if i had had someone to run with rather than chase it could have been quicker. The team finished 2nd which was a good result, next will be the national 12 stage on the 17th of April.

21:30 (20:21, 2.90mi, 7:02min/mi) After speaking to my coach he wanted me to to a session the following day rather than a long run, so went out for 20 min to shake out the legs

Monday 22nd March: 8:13 (14:36, 2.04mi, 7:09 min/mi) i felt a little stiff and a little tired this morning which made the run diffiuclt.

19:05 Road loop session sports city (WU - 14:41, 1.91mi 4*1200(3:42, 3:41, 3:40, 3:41) 3:30 min recovery WD- 14.31, 1.90mi) Session went well considering the previous day, my coach asked me to stay relaxed and not to work too hard. Was running times similar to last week when i was fresher.

Tuesday 23rd March: Lunch Strength and conditioning session, no run this morning as i was doing a slightly longer run in the evening. Had to postpone the S&C session from monday due to a work lunch. As asked for my usual S&C session consists of the following (this was given to me by one of the EIS coaches at SportsCity). 10*Body squats, 3*10 overhead squats, 3*10 vertical jumps, 3*10 each leg step ups, 3*10 each leg hamstring raises, 3*90 second planks (30 seconds straight, 30 seconds each side), 3*10 pull downs, 3*10 each leg vertical dips, 3*10 front squats. i have about a minute between reps and sets.

17:58 (47:30, 7.11mi, 6:41min/mi) Steady run to clear the legs.

Wednesday 24th March: 8:04 (22:25, 3.41mi, 6:35 min/mi) Felt a lot better this morning, thus the pace.

19:06 Track session Wythenshaw, (WU- 12:55, 1.73, 8*400 (61/62secs) 1 min recovery, WD- 13:34, 1.71) First track session for a few weeks and felt good, relaxed and strong.

Thursday 25th March: 7:57 (21:34, 3.17mi, 6:48min/mi) Steady run to clear the night before.

12:51 (38:02, 5.87mi, 6:29min/mi) Run at lunch rather than the evening due to massage and evening plans.

18:20 Massage. I have a sports massage every 2 weeks to clear my legs as well as work on my back a shoulders which gather tension from work.

Friday 26th March: 8:07 (20:25, 3:02mi, 6:45min/mi) Again steady morning run.

Lunch, strength and conditioning, same session as tuesday.

18:39, (29.52, 4:54mi, 6:35min/mi) ran from home rather than work for a change. Felt good

Saturday 27th March: 10:35 Grass Session Manchester Uni Playing fields, (WU 14:21, 1.85mi, 4*1mile (4:59, 4:58, 5:01, 5:01) WD- 11:17, 1.43mi) Felt ok, it was tough though, farily windy which had its effect and the surface was sapping. Kept the reps consistent which was the main thing.

Total week: 63.05 miles Good miles seeing i had a race on the Sunday. Will do a few more miles early next week before i head off to Portugal for a week of warm weather training.

Hope this week was interesting, another piece of my back ground next week.


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

An Introduction

Hello to all,

This Blogg is going detail my life, well as much as i'm willing to divulge, to the general public. So where to start, i guess an introduction would be best, for all you people who already know me, please bare with me i'll keep it as brief as possible.

My name is James Bailey, i'm 26 at the time of writing this, i live in Wilmslow which is located in South Manchester, work as a pharmaceutical market researcher in Bollington, Macclesfield and most importantly i run. Some people see running as a hobby or as a way of keeping fit, well to me it's a lifestyle. So much so the running comes first and most other things come a distant second. I began running competitively when i was 14, after excelling at cross country at high school i wanted to take it one step further. Since then i've had my triumphs and disasters, ranging from medals to crippling injuries. I'll not go into too much detail of those right now but i'll touch on one experience in each post.

So what am i going to talk about, mainly it will be about my running i'll try and talk about how i have to juggle my training, work and social life. To put things into perspective i am at work for 42.5 hours a week (including lunch) and i usually train twice a day, sometimes 3 times, sometimes once. On top of that i try and fit in a social life with family, friends from home, work and training group, it can get a little busy at times but i wouldn't want it any other way.

I'll detail my weeks from Sunday to Saturday, indicating my training as i recorded and how i felt. This week will be an overview of my training, i'll try and add in a bit of my social life where possible. Here goes...

Sunday 14th March: 9:30am (1:21:36, 11.11 miles, 7:21 min/mile) Out for long Sunday run with Matt Barnes, one of my training partners. We usually meet near Manchester Airport runway tunnels and then decide our route depending on how we are feeling. The previous day the two of us had competed in the Inter-counties in Birmingham, this is a cross country event which is used to select Team GB's World Cross country team. Cross Country isn't my thing, although i am getting better at it, i had finished 56th in a field of about 300. Felt a little tired and achy after the previous day so glad for a steady pace.

Monday 15th March: 12:52pm (23:35, 3.51mi, 6:43 min/mile) Usually run in the morning and do weights session at lunch but woke up feeling shattered, decided to listen to my body and go back to bed. Run at lunch was steady just another loosener as still a little sore.

19:05 pm Training at Sportcity (Warm up: 14:02 1.93mi, Session 4*1300 loops (3:44, 3:41, 3:39, 3:38) 2 min recovery between reps, Warm down:14:16 1.89mi) Over winter the group goes down to the Sportscity car park in Manchester to do road loops, it's probably the safest place for us to do it in manchester as we don't have to worry about cars or other people. Session went well felt comfortable and gradually wound up each rep.

Tuesday 16th March: 7:49 am (22:50, 3:25mi 7:02min/mi) Steady run in the morning from work, i usually do between 20 an 25 minutes in the morning, this is to get my legs moving and get some miles in. Felt a little stiff after the session but nothing unusual.

12:40 pm Gym for strength and conditioning session. I usually do this sort of session twice a week on a Monday and Friday. but it depends on my race schedule and how i'm feeling on these days.

17:46 pm (41:41, 6.47mi, 6:26min/mi) Evening run, usually do my longer runs in the evening when i have time and my body is fully loosened up, i'm not a morning person. Felt good and was clipping along at good pace.

Wednesday 17th March: 8:03 am (21:10, 3.05mi, 6:57min/mi) Morning run, felt ok nice and steady before the evening session.

19:06 pm Session Wythenshaw park: (Warm up: 14:06, 1.77mi, Session 5 Mile Tempo run 25:35, 5:07min/mi, Warm Down: 10:56, 1.30mi) With a race coming up on the sunday i didn't expect to be doing this sort of session, but my coach though it would be beneficial. It was quick at the start going through the first mile in 5:05min, dropped to 5:00min, then a 5:06 followed by a 5:10 and 5:12 as i dropped of the leading 2. Felt ok but realised i had done a quick session.

Thursday 18th March: 17:41 pm (41:53, 6.43mi, 6:31min/mi) Just the one run today, had started to feel tired due to the past few days and didn't want to drain myself. Again feeling good and a nice speed.

Friday 19th March: 8:01 am (21:45, 3:23mi, 6:45min/mi) Dropped my car off in Macclesfield to get cleaned which tied in nicely with my plans, so ran to work after dropping off my clothes at the gym on the way through.

12:52 pm (22:26, 3:23mi, 6:56min/mi) Back to pick up my car. Was running with a colleague who is planning to run Wilmslow half Marathon so a fairly steady pace for me.

Saturday 20th March: Rest day. I would usually do a half an hour run in the morning but i woke up feeling extremely tired and with a race the following day decided not too. One of the key things is listening to my body, when i feel over tired i rest up. You can only push our body so hard!!

Total Week: 55.79 miles

Fairly steady miles considering the week straddled two races, usually i'll get up to between 60 and 70 miles when i'm not racing and ease down on race weeks.

So this is the end of my first blogg, a little long but you have to start somewhere! Next week i'll tell you about one of the many things i have been through as well as letting you know how the race went!