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!