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.