Thursday, March 12, 2009

Teddy Hall Relays - Race Report!

Race was good but slightly odd- on first leg and ended up in about 20th place going up the road from the sports centre but by Magdalen bridge was sitting right on the lead group of 5 of us with a Southampton guy, Dom Easter, Matt Grant and Ian Kimpton. Stayed on the back of that group through Christchurch Meadow and right at the end they just got away. Then on the section on the main road they pulled away but then through a narrow section came right back again and was very slow for a second so I got to join on again. Then we hit the towpath and they really shifted away from me. I was starting to die a bit and just not moving very fast and I could hear guys catching me up very gradually from halfway up the towpath. Managed to scramble up the bank just ahead of them but they almost immediately came past at the top and it was Cheggers and Andy Weir (looking very lean!). As they went past I movedd in behind them and all of a sudden no longer felt tired but like I was jogging and in a few hundred metres had caught my breath and up for the race again. We could see Matt Grant having just fallen off the back upahead. Cheggers started pushing the pace slightly as we came up to Jackdaw Lane and when we hit hte top I put a small surge in which Cheggers immediately covered. Then as we ran down to the stadium Cheggers eked out a metres advantage and entered the track first and then started to pull away on me creating a 10-15 metre gap by the 100m to go point, but the second I rounded the bend and was 60m from the finish I massively turned the afterburners on just to get a better time having already given up on catching Cheggers. Then I realised metre by metre that he was being reeled in!- Went past him with about 15m to go with no way for him to really react.

Really pleased as that was the first time in the last year I've really felt that I had my "sprint" finish and it has been a while! and a real pain to lose out races in the last 100m. Time was good and I think that I ran much better than I have since Herts County. Actually going off and trying to hang with the leaders (despite not working!) definitely made me feel much better and in a fairly tight (but small) race it meant that after they broke clear when the next runners came along I was ready for another fight to stay with them! Some of my best races seem to come this way and mentally I deal with it much easier than moving through an entire field I think despite the moving through the field way feeling much easier physically this way I actually work hard as opposed to just drifting and not really getting involved...

I think body is full recovered now anyways from the illness and this was the first race performance after it. Time was 18.17 which for the 3.59 mile course (gmap) works out that I probably went through 5k in around 15:50 which would be a PB. Quite enthusiastic for Dorney Lake on Sunday now.

Of course- the other part of the race going on with me and Cheggers was the Keble/Brasenose rivalry with two of the strongest college teams in history going head to head. I was fairly certain that myself and Tom (running a second time for his 4th leg) could cancel out Hawcroft (same as Tom) and Chetwynd and that roughly seemed to be true. The real race was on between Martin Bell (an 800m runner going fantastically well this XC/Road season) and Crispin Hetherington (the veteran warhorse who remains a constant for Brasenose whilst the rest of us pass by from year to year) of Brasenose and Garrett Ash (injured most of the term) a Blues runner and Nick Leach (triathlon captain). As it was Crispin taking off literally half a second before Nick managed to run away to a substantial advantage of a good minute and a half. Martin was then able to old off Garrett but for a few seconds leaving Tom Samuel, despite being on antibiotics and suffering with a bad foot (and exam pressure!) to cruise home for Brasenose.

Amazingly Brasenose also took 6th (I think) place overall beating a Cambridge B-team stoked by Kelly and Pattison and several top university sides with UCL refusing to believe that a college team had destroyed a major university team. The only teams to beat us were Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Bristol and Birmingham B which for a tiny college is an amazing result- Keble also performed valiantly and must have recorded one of the top college results of all-time.

Having not run Teddy Hall in my first two years due to injury in my first year and organising the damn thing in my second year this was a fantastic debut and to see our college side run so well was perhaps the most exciting thing!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Training Past Two Weeks

Training for the past two weeks has been slightly sporadic. Following the down week with the 1500 indoors I've had two really good quality training weeks. The racing has been less than spectacular but I think this may well be the long-term effect of being ill for so long this term that whilst my body is now able to take training again that extra few percent and lack of recovery has meant my racing has been (in my opinion at least) slightly poor.


Week Commencing 23/2/2009

Monday: AM 30 steady. Mile warm up then rest at 5:43 pace
PM 65 easy

Tuesday: PM 10 warm up, Hilary Term Cuppers 16:20 for 5.1k 4th place (managed to get Dane for revenge for the Sunday!) 37 w.d. inc. 4 x strides

Wednesday: Rest - did some haring for Tortoise relays but not enough to be log worthy.

Thursday: PM Track 15 wund, 2 sets of 2 x 1000 with 45 between reps and 120 between sets- went out fairly hard and ran 2:58, 3:00, 3:00, 3:04 with last one at roughly 3k PB pace and the first 3 quicker.

Friday: PM 61 easy- really really didn't want to do this run as felt sleepy and tired but managed to force myself out.

Saturday: AM 12 wund Hills 20 x 1 minute (90 second jog down to same place) , "hammer" reps on the 10th and 20th. Really pleased with this session as I was moving well and very comfortably - took it fairly easy as my first serious hills session in a long while and definitely a case of slightly slowing it down leading to a better aerobic effort.
PM 31 recovery run with Anupam, did some S+C work in evening

Sunday: AM 74:18 - short long-run this weke but week already looking reasonable and quads sore from hills/S+C

TOTAL: 459 minutes / 61.2 miles

Week Commencing 2/3/2009

Monday: AM 31:01/4.75 miles- enjoying this run at the moment, after mile warm up 6:08,6:01,5:31 then last bit at 5 pace again as finishing through town.
PM 61 recovery

Tuesday: AM 8 wu, 2 sets of 1,2,3,2,1 [60, 4 minutes] short sharp session. Ran first set with Oz and then as he was moaning that I was forcing him to run too fast moved up to the quicker group with Blackledge, Bruce and Kimpton for second set. Moving well on most of them. 39 wd
PM 25 recovery - don't usually do runs this short but just felt like it!

Wednesday: 66 inc. 4 x strides. Club run up the river and then went around uni parks and did some strides with Anupam. Really trying to include strides as often as possible.

Thursday: PM 15 wu 4 sets of 1000, 100 jog, 400 harder with 2 minutes recovery. With intercounties started off very slowly whilst McGurk bombed it off. Just sat in with Johnson and Ledger for first two then me and Sean started the work. Very pleased with how I was moving on the 400s with comfortable 68s through-out. Ks were 3:13,08,06,03 23 wd and then some light work on steeplechase barrier (trying to work out how to push off one and land without shattering my back!)

Friday: 28 recovery.

Saturday: 15 wu, Intercounties 173rd 42:53 (see race report), 10 wd

Sunday: 1:30:39/14.78 miles/ 6:08 pace. Was too hungover/sleepy to make morning run so instead went out on my own in the evening along the canals. Unfortunately towards the end got pretty dark and couldn't really see my footing. Mile splits... 6:39, 5:44, 6:13, 6:18, 6:06, 6:13, 6:19, 5:44, 6:07, 5:47, 6:18, 6:19, 6:24, 6:23, and then the last 0.78 miles were at 5:08 pace.

WEEK TOTAL: 509 minutes / 68 miles

Two very good weeks of training. Got some very nice kms in the previous week as that's the first time I've run sub 3 since last summer. Hilary Cuppers was a very reasonable performance and the hills session I was especially pleased with as hills are definitely my nemesis. Second week I've just been absolutely loving my running and really struggling not to go out for lots of extra runs (kept it down to only an extra 8 miles!). Also to run fairly comfortable 68s off short recovery from the kms was pleasant. Nicer weather and losing the cold (finally!!!) has just generally massively improved my mood. Plus after a dip in race performances some sort of stability is a bit more positive. Trying to do lots of strides at the moment and hamstring stretching to be in reasonable nick for fast running in the summer.

First intercounties- 173rd a reasonable if not great run. In a couple of years I think I can make the top 100 and to be honest I was one of the younger runners in the field. I think I can move a "minute" up the field for next year at least and looking at the runners in that sort of bracket (Paul Adams and Pete Tucker sorts) my possible debut marathon target could well be achievable.

Full winter review up shortly.

Race Report- Wollaton Park

UK Inter-Counties Championships & IAAF World Trials Senior Men 12km -7/3/2009

It's always a little bit different when an event is televised as you have a weird start time (2:38!), and they always hold you up for ages before the gun goes for the camera to pan along the field, though whether it saw me in the depths of the Hertfordshire pen I have no idea. Sky Sports 3 is a big deal though as this is pretty much the only domestic televised XC race.

The race is roughly 4 laps, with each loop going up a hill near the start, continuing on uneven ground until you open up to a flat straight where you charge down until you hit a very muddy corner and turn into the wind. Whereupon you loop back on yourself into a short wooded area, before returning more or less back to where you were and cutting back towards the finish. On most laps you then cut left again on a long loop over fairly solid ground, with only occasional sand put down for the roads, before going back up the hill - but on the final lap you continue onwards into a 200m finishing straight.

My race was slightly poor, in that I started quite far back and didn't really get involved. I was actually in last place very near the start! I quickly moved through the field though and made up a great deal of places. (Unlike some races like the national, where everyone can enter everyone in this race has been selected as part of their 9 man county team, and so the field is much smaller but a fairly high quality - one chap who was 30th from last is a UK Ultra Representative with a sub 2:40 marathon to his name!).

Whilst I don't think I ever really committed to this race, I certainly didn't slow down much on my 4 laps and was pretty rapidly moving up the field and gradually reeling athletes in. Unfortunately looking at the results afterwards, there are a lot of names that I would really like to have beaten only about 30 seconds ahead of me! Unfortunately by moving my way up I didn't realise who was ahead of me until I saw the results afterwards - especially with everyone in a different coloured vest to usual!

Not an amazing result but certainly a very solid one for my debut senior intercounties, finishing in the top 2/3rds of the field and hopefully quite promising for the future.

Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.