Enjoy the Good Times

A club teammate made a comment last year that resonated. He said, “Runners tend to focus on what went wrong rather than what went right”.

I have been guilty of this in the past and this time last year I was wallowing in self-pity over a persistent achilles injury.  My pessimistic head voice was chirping at me: you are getting too old for this and you are past your peak, it’s all downhill from here and other similar negative ruminations.

Thankfully, so far 2017 has been largely injury free and I am really enjoying running. Inevitably, a few of my friends and clubmates are injured, some chronically, and I feel for them. All I can offer are trite words of empathy and a hope that things will improve, as they have for me.

The Tuesday session this week was our once a month track session at Leeds Met.  We have simplified the structure of the track sessions recently and now we run a straight forward 8 times 800m off 4 minutes 30 seconds. This means that each interval starts exactly 4 and half minutes after the previous one, so the faster you run, the more rest you can enjoy between efforts.

My standard pace for hard 800m intervals is around 2:45 per effort so I would get 1:45 rest.  I find this a very tough session – in fact, I think it is too tough to complete if you are running max pace intervals – the rest just isn’t long enough to reset the heart rate.  I could complete the session at 5K pace (2:55 for 800m for me), however, when I am at the track, I can’t resist wanting to ‘smash’ myself by running intervals about as hard as I can.

There is an alternative 800/400m option (times four) which I elected to run this week, so the rests were longer. I got into it and managed to run around 2:40s for the 800s and sub 70 seconds for the 400s. On the last one lap effort, I was tired but buried myself to see if I could get near 65 seconds.  I failed miserably, wallowing in a vat of lactic acid in running 68 seconds.

There have been discussions in the club about turning out at track meetings this year. I have offered my services and quietly I fancy having a go at the 400 metres.  I wonder if I could get somewhere near 60 seconds if I was fresh and in a race. Although some way inferior to Wayde van Niekerk, I think that would represent a reasonable standard for a fifty-year-old bloke.

I missed two days running midweek because of work commitments, but I still almost hit my weekly mileage goal.

On Saturday morning, I ventured back to my old stamping ground at Woodhouse Moor to have a proper go at a fast parkrun there for the first time in ages. I usually go to Roundhay these days, because it’s not as busy and many of my Strider mates go there.

I bumped into my teammate and fellow MV50 Tim on the start line and immediately knew I was in for a hard race. Tim and I are similar standards, but he has had the edge on me over the last few weeks.

Whilst not quite Coe v. Ovett, we have a healthy but friendly rivalry and it proved to be a right old ding-dong.  I went out fast, running the first (downhill) kilometre in under 3:30. Tim surged past at the end of the first lap.  I latched on and then had a go on lap two to try and break him (it didn’t work).  At the halfway mark, I was blowing hard but knew we were on for a sub 18 if we kept the pace going.

Tim passed me again with around 1km to go. All I wanted to do was hang on to him grimly and try to take him in a sprint over the final 100m. I think Tim sensed this and he was really gunning it up the final drag. Things weren’t made easier by having to weave through a mass of other parkrunners, many three or four abreast and some wearing headphones.

I was a bit miffed to be branded a ‘knob’ by one girl.  Unfortunately, I’d accidently brushed past her – she was wearing full on Beats headphones and had swerved into me at the very last moment, leaving me nowhere to go.  If only the other runners would maintain a straight path, I would be happy to go around them.

With 500m to go, Tim broke me and eventually beat me by 5 seconds in a 5K PB time of 17:53.

Tim is also running London and has been following the Pfitzinger and Douglas training plan fairly strictly.  P & D are great believers in the benefits of marathon paced training runs, especially incorporating MP sections into longer runs.

I have done very few MP efforts in my training, tending to rely on races for my faster efforts. The problem with running at marathon pace in training is that it is very hard to do this on your own over an extended distance.  When Tim said he was going to run 16 miles on Sunday morning, with the final 12 miles at marathon pace, I asked if I could join him.

We ran it along the Leeds-Liverpool canal towpath. It was a perfect running day – about 7 degrees with only a light breeze. I found the 12 miles at MP hard but not ridiculously so, my heart rate remained below 150.

We averaged 6 mins 32 seconds per mile for the MP section (2:51 marathon pace).  I know that I could not have run that quickly on my own, so it was great to run with Tim and I think it will have done us both a lot of good.

I’ve got an easier week ahead, a mini taper ahead of next Sunday’s Snake Lane 10 mile race.

LM -9 weeks

58.6 miles longest run 18 miles

Parkrun 17:58 (8th, Woodhouse Moor)

Weight 10 St 12.8 lbs

Aerobic-efficiency on LR 956 beats per mile

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The shrinking man…

Only a short update this week.

I ran almost 75 miles,  well over my 60-mile weekly target. The only thing of note is that I weighed the lightest since I started writing the blog over three years ago.

Unsurprisingly, given the volume of miles and the fact that I still had last Sunday’s 10K race in my legs, I felt sluggish during the early part of the week.  Previous marathon campaigns have told me that running miles on tired legs is an aspect of the training that you have to put up with. If you run 70 miles per week and include a few races and hard efforts, you are bound to feel tired.

The race was certainly still in my legs during the Tuesday evening club session and I was off the pace during the 3 x 10-minute intervals.

By Saturday, I felt fresher and gave it a go at Roundhay parkrun for the first time this year.  I led for part of the first lap before a much stronger lad surged past me. I conceded second place on the third ascent of the hill of doom before the finish but was satisfied with a time of 18:53 on a bracing winter morning.

On Sunday morning, a hardy band of Striders ventured up to the Fewston reservoir trails for the Sunday long run. It was a rare old morning with a biting breeze and flecks of snow in the air.

fewston

It was really satisfying to tick off this 20-mile progression run.  We ran the first 6.5 miles lap as a group at a steady 8 minute per mile pace. We accelerated on laps 2 and 3 and Tim and I ran the final 6 miles at close to marathon pace (well under 7-minute miling).  On a biting morning, over the undulating trails, I found that tough.  Tim was definitely the strong one – I was always half a stride behind, hanging on a bit.  Efforts like that are done so much more easily with someone else.

Whisper it quietly, but everything feels nicely on track for London.  I am looking after my body a bit better this year, with no consecutive hard days and more restorative yoga sessions and the occasional sports massage

Next week will be another standard mileage week, with a track session to look forward to on Valentine’s night. I will step the miles back a little during the following week, in preparation for the Snake Lane 10 mile race.

LM -10 weeks

74.6 miles, longest run 20 miles

Parkrun 18.53 (3rd, Roundhay)

Weight 10 st 12.4 lbs

Aerobic-efficiency 1027 beats per mile

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The Revenge of the Nerds

For some reason, geeks and nerds (like me) seem particularly attracted to running as a sport.  Part of the reason may be the immediate data feedback loop.

As the film Moneyball exemplified, coaches and managers in many sports place complete faith in the science and utter truth of hard numbers.

If only our politicians did the same, perhaps we wouldn’t be heading for the impending sh*tstorm with quite as much haste (I digress).

Even average runners like me can gorge on a mass of data extracted from Garmins, Suuntos or other similar gadgets. I confess that I spend an unhealthy amount of time each week looking at the Strava and RunBritainRankings websites.

I think most runners will be aware of Strava. I fully understand why some runners will have nothing to do with it. However, I think it is a brilliant bit of software. (By the way, for a laugh, also have a look at the Twitter feed called StravaWankers – it’s hilarious)

If Strava were the hard drugs of running, then I might be uncomfortably close to being Pete Doherty.

I’ve always enjoyed messing around with data, I do it for my day job – playing with information in order to decide whether to it’s a good idea to bet on whether ships will sink, pirates will steal cargo or warehouses will burn down.

I stumbled across the RunBritain rankings website about six years ago.  For those that don’t know, at its most basic, it records the performances of all athletes in UKA official events (mainly road races, but one or two others seem to sneak in there too). Parkruns are also included.

The really clever bit is an algorithm that grades each performance according to the severity of the course and the conditions on the day in order to arrive at a standard scratch measure. From there, each performance can be compared with a theoretical baseline.

One’s five best recent performances against standard scratch produce a handicap figure, akin to a golf handicap (0 to 36).

Like golf, a scratch or zero handicap would indicate a very high standard, probably in the top 1% in the country. As with golfers, exceptional athletes have a negative handicap.

Mo Farah is ranked No.1 in the National handicaps with -7.4.  I am ranked 6004th overall in the UK (5779 among males) and 115th in my MV50-55 age group (2.2 handicap).  There are just under a quarter of a million athletes on the database.

My ambition this year is to break in the top 100.  Erm, that’s in my age group, not overall. To make the top 100 overall would require a sub 30 minute 10K time.

Aside from measurements of time and comparative performance, I’m also intrigued by physiological data. A couple of years ago, I participated in a study at Leeds Trinity University which aimed to assess the advantage (or not) of drinking beetroot juice before running. As a side benefit from taking part, I was given some physiological data, most interestingly my VO2 max figure, which was 64.

VO2 max is a measurement of the maximal oxygen consumption, often viewed as an indicator of endurance capacity. A high VO2 max doesn’t automatically mean that you will be a superior athlete, but I doubt it would do you any harm.  Some elite athletes (usually cross country skiers or cyclists) have a VO2 max in the 80s or even low 90s.

For example, at the GSK human laboratory a couple of years ago, Chris Froome’s VO2 max was measured at 84.6.

On his excellent running blog, http://marathonmanonamission.blogspot.co.uk/, Jason Cherriman always includes a figure for heart beats per mile, which he terms ‘aerobic efficiency’.

This is not a widely used metric, but Jason views it as a good measure of fitness. I remember being told at school that fitness is a measure of how quickly one can recover from extreme physical exertion, so perhaps beats per mile does have value.

For fun (OK, because I am a total nerd), I have compared my beats per mile figure for this week with Jason’s last week.  Bear in mind that he is a 2:20 marathon runner in his thirties running 120+ miles per week, I am 2:55 runner in my fifties running around half his volume.

Jason’s figure was 978 beats per mile, mine was 1,009. Obviously, he is fitter than me, but there isn’t as big a difference as I thought.

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A solid week – 71.1 miles logged, which is ahead of my nominal target of 60 miles, but I did naff all last week running wise.

My club had one of our semi-regular trips to an away parkrun on Saturday – to Halifax. I ran hard, not totally eyeballs out, but reasonably close to it and I finished fourth in 18:59. It was quite a challenging course, with 272 feet of ascent according to my Garmin. On the back of a higher mileage week and on tired legs, that’s OK.

halifax

Today I ticked off pre-London long run number two (of a series of six). It was a very pleasant group run with some teammates around Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs, 21.5 miles of muddy undulating trails in good company completed in 2:47 (7:50 miling – though we did a few miles at much closer to 7 minute miling).

Next week will be easier – a few work / life events will prevent me from logging a lot of miles. Hopefully this will act as a mini taper for the Dewsbury 10K next Sunday.

LM -12 weeks

71.1 miles longest run 21.5 miles

Parkrun 18:59 (Halifax, 4th)

Weight 11 St 1.8 lbs

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Inverse tapering…

Three weeks before Comrades last year, I was feeling antsy – jaded by the volume of training through the winter and spring, I couldn’t wait to get to the Comrades start line.

This year is very different.  Feeling under-trained, I wish I had an extra month to fit in a few more long runs and hone my speed.

I’ve enjoyed the best week’s training of the whole year – 73.8 miles covered including my longest ever training run of over 31 miles. Thankfully, my injury problems appear to have abated.

I had an appointment to see a specialist sports Doctor on Thursday. Because of a lot of faffing around with the physio and my health insurer, it had taken the best part of five weeks to arrange the visit.

Five weeks ago I was thoroughly injured and not expecting to run Comrades.  By Wednesday I realised that I didn’t feel injured anymore and I saw little point in seeing the Doctor.  The worst he could say was that I shouldn’t be running a hot, hilly 56 mile Ultra with a dodgy achilles. So I cancelled.

To protect my achilles, I have been running very slowly, shuffling around the streets of North Leeds in my voluminous Hoka shoes, my heart rate rarely exceeding 135.  On Saturday, I dared to cast aside the Hokas, put on my Newtons and give it a real go at Woodhouse Moor parkrun.

I didn’t know what to expect, I was hoping to go sub 19, sub 18:45 would be a bonus. I felt a rare prick of nerves on the start line – it’s been a long time since I have ‘raced’ (I know parkrun isn’t a race, but I use it as a verb, not a noun).

Rather than set my Garmin to show time, I left the display on Heart Rate.  I have a lowish heart rate – my maximum HR is in the low 160s. Rather alarmingly, after just 500 metres, the heart rate was already in the low 150s…

I’d almost forgotten how gut wrenchingly hard a full-out 5K is.  Basically it involves catapulting yourself into red threshold territory and holding it there for all you are worth. It was a large field of around 450 and lots of fast lads hared off way too quick in the first two kms.

I simply didn’t have the speed to stay with many of my usual peers. In horse racing parlance, I was off the bridle and couldn’t layup with the pace.

The hectic start started to catch a few out and during the second and third lap I was passing a few runners.

During the final uphill kilometre I could feel a fellow parkrunner sitting right on my shoulder, sensing that he intended to mug me in the finishing straight. I am nothing if not competitive and with 300ms to go I opened up my sprint, unfortunately not quick enough to shake him off.  I dug in again and kicked near the line to just pip him and we both flopped over the metal barrier after the finish line coughing and wheezing.

My time was 18:34, which I was delighted with.  It’s a minute slower than my 5K PB, but given my build up it represents good progress.

Many of my Valley Strider team-mates were running the Leeds Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  I didn’t have an entry – through being injured in the build-up and my aversion to the £35 entry fee.

I opted instead for a final extended long training run. Luckily, one of my team-mates Sarah wanted to recce the route for the Otley 10 mile race – a very hilly local race held on a summer’s evening in early June. Leaving at 7:45 a.m., I ran the 6 miles from home down to Otley to meet Sarah and we set off.  It was nice to have company for the first part of my long run.

It soon felt very warm – into the 20s and thankfully, I took a drinks bottle with me, replenishing it later in Asda and Morrisons, along with a purchase of bananas and a box of 6 cereal bars for a quid (Shopping tip: it’s amazing what bargains you find on the bottom shelf of supermarkets).

After running the Otley 10 route, I eschewed Sarah’s kind offer of a lift home and set off the long way home through Guiseley and Horsforth.

After about 24 miles I was entering Bonksville, and adopted a run-walk strategy (something I will have to do earlier at Comrades), but I dug in to complete 31.1 lumpy miles (satisfyingly exactly 50 kilometres in exactly 5 hours).

I’ve spent the rest of Sunday curled up on my Laz-e-Boy watching cycling and eating Kettle chips. I think I’ve earned that.

 

 

CM -3 weeks

73.8 miles

Weight 11st 5.2 lb

Parkrun – Woodhouse Moor 18:34 (11th)

Longest run 31.1miles

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Miley McMileface

All through my months of injury, I have yearned for a return to my normality.  Breaking up my solitary working days by running along the canal each lunchtime, smashing myself at parkrun on Saturday morning and then grinding out the long miles on Sunday.

By such criteria, this was a normal week.  I was beset with a grim, grotty, greeny cold which meant I slept poorly most nights, frequently waking in the early hours with coughing fits, but by the weekend I was feeling better.

It is a long bank holiday weekend in the UK, so I decided to set myself a challenge to cover the distance of Comrades (56 miles) over the long weekend (Friday – Monday)…

To achieve that, I knew that I would have to do a very long run on the Sunday, hopefully over the marathon distance.  Given the paucity of miles run so far this year, that was going to be tough.

Luckily, there was a Sunday Striders Group doing a 10 mile run early on Sunday morning with a rendezvous point about 5 miles from my house. So it was nice to knock off the first 15 or so miles  with good company.

As I peeled off to wend my way back toward my home village of Bramhope, I planned an extra loop of 10 miles down into Otley to make it 30 for the day. The only problem would be long and sombre 3 mile slog from Otley in the valley bottom back up to Bramhope. However, if there is one thing I need to practise for Comrades it is hills.

I nipped back home for a 5 minute pitstop, wolfing down a flapjack, a mug of hot chocolate (it was blummin’ chilly) and a banana. After a change of t-shirt, I set off for my final 10 mile loop.

It was extremely tough, there are no shortcuts in this sport and my lack of training really told as I got slower and slower and by Otley town centre I’d lapsed into the death shuffle mode (i.e. 10 + minute miles).  The final climb was interminable and I was extremely relieved to fall over my threshold after running for 30.3 miles in just 13 minutes under 5 hours.

It is Sunday evening as I write this so I still have to run 8 miles tomorrow in order to achieve my Comrades distance challenge. I can barely walk at the moment…

 

CM -4 weeks

65.7 miles

Weight 11st 7.2 lb

Parkrun – Roundhay 19:37 (6th)

Longest run 30.3 miles

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Spring is Sprung…

The crocuses are out, there was warmth in the air this week and all was OK with the World.  Next week is the wonderful Cheltenham Festival, for me the official start of the fun part of the year (I’ll be there on Friday for the Gold Cup).

I have broken my PB for most miles run in a week – I exceeded 80 miles for the first time ever.  This was despite a long two day business trip to Scotland on Tuesday and Wednesday which limited my running opportunities.

I was staying in Glasgow on Tuesday evening and I researched some running routes before I set off.  There was a perfect looking route along the Clyde path just metres from my hotel so I got up early on Wednesday morning, aiming to get in an hour of running before heading off to my meeting in Edinburgh.

That was all fine, but for one major flaw – I had forgotten to pack my shorts!  Doh! With no Sports Direct stores open at such an early hour that was the end of that.

After the long drive back from Edinburgh, I went down to the canal towpath in Leeds for a solo speed session of 5 x 1K.  This is one of my favourite sessions and I know that if I can do all the 1K reps in around 3:35 then I am in fairly good fettle.  I ran 3:26, 3:29, 3:35, 3:39 and 3:46. In common with many speed sessions, I ran the first two reps a little too hard, but the last two were uphill (there are canal locks to negotiate) and into the wind, so overall not too bad.

I ran commuted to work on Thursday and was brought back down to Earth. As is my custom these days, I planned to run a longer route for the homeward leg – maybe 15 miles; however, I soon realised that I was struggling and after about 7 miles whilst on the canal, I decided to head for home.  Unfortunately that involved 6 miles of near constant climbing and by ten miles I was gone, I’d hit the wall, was totally knackered, stuck in Bonksville Arizona and it was down the death shuffle for the last three miles.  My last mile took me over 10 minutes.

By Saturday I had recovered enough to have a go at a flat-out parkrun.  I hadn’t been to my home parkrun at Woodhouse Moor (neé Leeds) since mid-January and I had missed it.  A lovely early spring day was encouraging so after a proper warm up I bombed from the start, covering the first (mainly downhill) kilometre in 3:20.  I felt good and was helped by two younger lads getting on my shoulder and we had a proper race for virtually the whole way around.  I would put in a surge to try to shake them off, they would respond and then do the same to me.  I stuck with them until about 500m from the end, and was pleased to finish 5th in 18:06.

It may be a coincidence, but I checked back on my progress last year, and on the exact same weekend, I ran the same parkrun in 18:05.  So clearly I am in similar shape.

I did a proper long run around the reservoirs on Sunday morning – 24.6 miles.  John from Valley Striders joined me for the first 13 miles (two laps) and as he headed off I felt good so decided to run at least 24 miles.  I did struggle a bit towards the end, but I wasn’t really concerned with my pace, it was just good to be out for well over 3 hours.

That will be my longest run pre-Manchester I think, but I may try to stick in a 30 mile run between Manchester and Comrades, we’ll see.

The key to upping the mileage for me is running twice a day, but I have been careful to take at least one of the runs at true recovery pace – i.e. 8:30+ miling, basically jogging – not the 7:10 pace that some of the younger members of my club appear to class as ‘recovery’ pace on Strava (you know who you are!).

Next Sunday is my pre-marathon 20 mile race – the Locke Park 20 – which is twenty times around a 1 mile loop.  That will be a novel experience.  It won’t be a hard race for me, just a training run with some marathon pace miles in there at some point.  The following week, I will be gunning it at the Thirsk 10 mile race to see if I can get close to the hour.

 

CM – 12 weeks (MM -6 weeks)
Weight 11st 3.4lb
82 Miles
parkrun – Woodhouse Moor 18:06 (5th)

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A long Long Run

One of the major disadvantages with running a marathon in the springtime is that most of the training has to be done during the winter.  For me it is not the cold and wet weather that is the issue.  I am with the Billy Connolly school of thought that there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.  No, for me the major problem is that most of the running has to be done in darkness.

In this modern World it seems we must attach labels to every problem, issue or challenge we face – children are never slow readers, they must be ‘dyslexic’, they are never naughty and badly behaved, they have ‘ADHD’.  Well, I won’t claim to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but I do get more pissed off during the winter and I think that the lack of daylight might be an influencing factor.

For me March 1st is a major milestone in the year.  All of a sudden there is more light – it doesn’t get dark until after 6pm now, nature is waking up and getting ready for a new growing season – the crocuses and snowdrops are out and there is a semblance of optimism, all the fun in the year lies ahead – the trips away with mates, a chance to get out cycling and the beautiful long days of the English summer.

The extra daylight helps me with my run training, primarily because I can run to and from work in daylight on my commute and consequently I just feel happier being out there.

I have run farther in the last seven days than I ever have in any other week of my life.  I covered 79.08 miles, which included a 24 mile run this morning around the Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs.  It took me 3 hours 8 minutes, for an average pace of 7:50 per mile – not bad given that it included 350 metres of ascent. This will be the longest run of the training phase.

I got up early and consumed a huge bowl of porridge with honey, bananas and blueberries as fuel for the run.  I was up at the reservoirs before 8 am in order to have some peace before the dog walkers arrived.  This was going to be a solo run.

I decided to wear my Hoka shoes.  These are a type of shoe invented by French Ultra marathon runners – there are the antithesis of the modern trend toward the minimalist barefoot type shoe because they have a huge double thickness midsole of EVA.  This makes them very cushioned.  I like my Hokas for long runs because they are very comfortable and I believe they reduce the strain on my ankles and Achilles tendon, thus reducing the risk of injury.  They have two major disadvantages.  Firstly, they are pretty heavy so they don’t feel fast or nimble at all, but the main problem is that they look ridiculous, they are like Clown’s shoes:

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Another good reason for getting out earlier when fewer people are around.

The long run went great, it was a good day, cool and drizzly and I started steadily, knocking off the miles in my huge shoes;  just me, the path and the MP3 player.  I never listen to music whilst running, preferring varied podcasts – things like Freakonomics and Radiolab mainly.  If you have never tried Radiolab, then I heartily recommend it – it’s a brilliantly produced by Public Radio in New York and has rightfully earned the accolade as the ‘World’s Greatest Podcast’.

This week was an interesting study of why 10% of humans are left handed when all other animals are divided 50/50 between right and left handers, except for one.  Did you know about 90% of parrots are left ‘clawed’, only 10% right.  Fascinating? Anyway, it helps me to pass the miles.

I did a very similar long run exactly 12 months ago whilst preparing for the 2013 Manchester marathon.  Back then I covered 20 miles around the reservoirs at 7:57 per mile pace. I was 6 pounds heavier.

I had a good parkrun on Saturday – I went for it and my time of 18:27 was my best for the year so far.  I tried my hardest to follow Dave McGuire, a Leeds parkrun legend and fellow MV45 runner – a lovely guy and the owner of the loudest voice in Yorkshire.  Dave set off like a scolded cat and just kept going.  He was always 30-40 metres in front of me and hard as I tried, I couldn’t reel him in – he beat me by a good 20 seconds in the end.  That’s no disgrace – he’s a great athlete.

Just 5 weeks to go until the big one, I’m getting close to finding out whether I can achieve that sub 3 hour goal.  I’ll try for another highish mileage next week – it’s the East Hull 20 mile race next Sunday, which I’ll do as a marathon rehearsal training run.

The only target race between now and the Marathon is the Thirsk 10 mile race on March 23rd.  I’m hoping for a still day so I can have a go for a PB and maybe get close to the hour.  After that, it’s taper time when I will reduce my mileage, hopefully allowing the body to strengthen up after all the training.

M – 5 Weeks / 79 miles. Longest run 24 miles. Parkrun (Leeds) 18:27 (10th). Weight after Sunday run 11 st. 5.2 lb

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Going Long

So much for an improved performance at the cross country. I finished 101st male at Peco race 1 and guess what, I finished 101st male at Peco race 2. Oh well. I’ll definitely never be very good at cross country, but they say its great training.

I think that’s what people that are good at cross country say to people that are not that good at cross country.  A bit like, well, she has a nice personality…

My day off on Monday wasn’t wasted. 18 muddy miles along the canal with Rav at bang on 8 minute miling. Not bad considering the strong headwind on the outrun and all the jumping and skipping we did to avoid the worst of the puddles.  Nice to bank at least one solid long one this side of the Christmas excess.

Tonight was the club session – 5 x 6 minutes. I was still feeling the effects of yesterday’s miles, so I didn’t give every interval my absolute 100% effort, but I went pretty hard all the same.  A nice easy run commute tomorrow and then a bit of a mini taper for Saturday’s parkrun at Leeds – lets see if we can get under 18:15 again.  Portents of grim weather approaching …

Need to sleep a bit better though, I have been waking up in the early hours wondering what the cricket score is.  Without fail, Australia have scored millions and England haven’t. I’ll be glad when its over.

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