Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dave Norman 5k

Okay- so I went out there with the aim to run 15:30-15:40, to do this I needed pretty much ideal conditions and some strong competition. Unfortunately the combination of a fairly strong wind and poor pacing in the middle sections results in me running 15:59 and closing in 34- whilst this is encouraging in terms of it being my second fastest time ever and faster than I opened last season it is also a bit dissappointing as I know that a month ago I was in the shape to run 15:30.

That said- last year I had someone running ahead of me for a long way before I took it on myself for the last section. This year I was alternating laps with Richard Mann who ran very well for a 16:06, but as the pace slowed I think had there been someone pushing me to go faster and faster then I might have been a touch faster. As it was the group ahead went off at sub 15:30 pace (in retrospect I maybe should have gone with them) and though a couple dropped off and I was reeling them in I was never quite close enough to catch them. I definitely think I was missing a bit of get-up-and-go today. As in the 3k I definitely left it a lap too late to push on with it feeling a bit easy but being an 81 second lap which is really a bit ridiculous as that's getting close to 17 minute pace.

That said- I'm feeling very rested and relaxed and I think the foot is now pretty much sorted. I can now hopefully get a reasonable if not stunning 10,000 done at BUSA (hopefully sub 33). Get my exams out of the way and then try and run considerably faster. I think the potential is there but it's going to take a little while.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Liz Yelling Names Baby Adidas

As regards Liz Yelling not running another marathon this article reckons she will.

"LONG-TERM PLAN: Liz Yelling is targeting next year's London Marathon - but not before she gives birth to her first child (Adidas)"

Looks like she probably didn't read the conditions of her last sponsorship contract properly. Nice publicity by Adidas though considering how much attention Isla gets at the finish line. That kid is going to get bullied like anything at school- though they'll probably be in the latest trainers.

I do hope Liz gets back to her best and runs well as she's definitely our number three marathoner at present behind Paula and Mara. Good luck to her with the pregnancy as well!

Quick Work-Out Posts

Okay, decided that rather than try and make longer posts instead ot make shorter posts and hopefully that'll get me posting more frequently.

Have managed three fairly short sharp work-outs over the past 7 days. Firstly 4 x 400 with 2 minutes recovery. I managed to clock 61,63,64,65 off a fairly stationary start. Obviously this isn't blazing but the aim was to hit 64s rather than absolutely kill myself and in general I would say this workout was a succesful one as the first time I have gone under realistically 68 seconds per lap this year. I'm gradually working down to faster and faster paces and think the work I did last term with loads of stuff at 74-80 seconds per lap over longer distances with short recovery is really starting to pay off now as the transition isn't too painful.

Next one up was 4 x 800 with 10 minutes recovery with the 800s being split into the first 200 at 800m pace, 400 at 3000m pace and then 200 at 800m pace. I reckon for me right now those paces should be roughly 64 (maybe 31.5...) per lap for 800 and 72 per lap for 3000. Of course this should mean that 68 per lap for 1500 should be accomplishable but we'll leave that for another day... First one I was to be quite frank amazed at the finish. First 200 was a bit too fast in ~29/30 then an almost perfectly paced 71/72 before closing in 30 for a total time of 2:11. 2:11- my damn official PB! (2:08 in training) and tbh it didn't even feel that hard- okay yes the last 200 had knackered me a bit but I was on the whole still in fairly good nick and I think if I'd run harder over the middle 400 and eased off a bit in the first 200 a PB would definitely have been doable. It was quite weird with the very long recoveries as to be totally honest I was feeling worse 7-8 minutes in than I was at the start! The rest I concentrated heavily on getting the pace right and succeeded with the reps going 2:11,2:15,2:17,2:16 the third to last rep was poor mostly a I fell away over the final 200 as Anupam kicked away but I redeemed myself on the last one. Overall I was very pleased with this work-out as to be honest I had no idea I could run a 2:11 in a rep session and certainly not with mixed pace. It was also great to really get the lactic acid going.

Finally tonight I did a "test" session for Saturday where the target is 15:30 or 74/lap which right now seems a big ask but I know I was in the shape to do it a month ago so I just have to hope. My "test" or "pace" session is 5 x 400 with a fast 100m jog at race pace. I hit the paces fine and in fact was a little bit quick with 74,72,72,73,74 but I did feel more tired than I should at 5k pace though the 100 jogs were fast (~25). Hopefully Saturday will be a little better.

Ankle situation is pretty much unchanged with no pain since Sunday. In general I'm hoping that the relaxed approach over the past few weeks with not much mileage but hitting the sessions is going to work-out. Realistically if I'm back running at full capacity soon then 3-4 weeks at 40 or so miles a week is not going to kill me and might even help.

I've just seen a pair of the Wave Creations on sale for £70... am sorely tempted despite blowing money on shoes just last week but that said having 3 or so pairs alternating could only be a good thing.

Will update on Saturday with race result. Good luck to the lads and lasses going to race at RAF Cosford.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Apologies for Lack of Updates and a PB!


Apologies for the lack of updates- in future I'm going to try and update more frequently but possibly with less though a full training break-down will be coming...

I've unfortunately managed to pick up a quite bad ankle injury. I could feel some problems on the outside of my foot on my last day at Oxford but still had a good weeks training the following week. Deciding to play it cautious I then took a week off with only two work-outs- unfortunately over that week my ankle got significantly worse. Thankfully after one disastrous Tuesday run the next week I have been on a relative improvement since then and haven't missed many days running but quantity is way down. Quality-wise I missed two work-outs that week and a fair few steady runs. This week I did a "half" session on the Wednesday with 3 x mile (2:30 easy lap jog) with times of 5:05, 5:01 and 5:03 whilst easing off a bit for my training partner.

Then on Friday I decided with my ankle not particularly playing up on the Wednesday and just the residual soreness to chance a 3000m race. Shorter than I normally race well at but not quite as bad as the 1500m I thought it'd be an interesting race as rather than go for a fast time I decided to race it a bit more tactically. It was at the Herrts Phoenix Good Friday Open Meet and therefore my home meet! Having put down my PB and it being the fastest time there (though 3 more had predictions of 9:10-9:15 so it wouldn't be easy!) the pressure was building...

With 13 in the race it was going to be a scrum and unfortunately my clubmate Paul Greaves ended up getting shoved directly into me with my clipping the back of his shoe- thankfully no serious damage was done. By 150m in mark I was still boxed in at about 8th place with a girl and 2 young lads of about 13 or less ahead of me together with all 4 of the more serious threats. Adam Searle from Phoenix's long time rivals Stevenage and North Herts, a Enfield and Harringey athlete, a Southend athlete and clubmate Greaves. As we came up to the 400m point in around 72/73 seconds I went past the two young lads and moved comfortably into 5th place.

This brings me to something I just majorly do NOT understand about young athletes. Those two lads went on to run something like 10:30 or more than 84 seconds per lap and they went through the first lap in 72 seconds??? That is probably as fast as their 800m pace. For any younger athletes out there reading- if you get the pace right you will run a MUCH better race.

Anyways- I was settled into the group and sitting along quite comfortably as they towed me along at 9 minute pace and as this was meant to be more of a tactical race with hopefully a reasonable time I was quite happy! I felt very relaxed just sitting at the back of the group with the Southend lad up front. We went through 800m in 2:24 and I went past Paul on the home straight on the third lap as he dropped off the group. Now we were down to 4 and no-one looked like dropping off or particularly kicking on with Searle, E and H (Adam Jones) both happily sat behind Southend (Matt Clarke). We went through the km in 3:01 and then the 1200m split was 3:37/8 Still dead on pace. Unfortunately as I stayed lurking at the back I could feel easier and easier whilst normally this would be a good thing I knew it meant the pace must be slipping. Sure enough 1600 came in 4:53 or about 4 seconds lost on that last lap. I decided to make my move and on the home straight go into position and then kicked on with 3 laps to go (but still 200m more at the slower pace) and swiftly put enough distance on the group that they couldn't sit on me (far too often I see athlete make a break and not get enough distance to be clear of the group). The 2km split of 6:06/07 showed I'd made up a touch of time but still no chance of the sub 9! As I continued to try and break away I could hear supporters cheering for Jones apparently in pursuit of me and that he was catching. I kept on working whilst keeping a bit in reserve in case he caught me with the wind definitely tiring me out and the new faster pace making the lactic kick in. As I went through the bell still clear in 7:58 I could feel myself slowing and tried to kick on a bit and as I came down the back straight I thought I had it. Coming around the bend I could hear renewed cheers for Jones but held back until the straightaway where I left everything go for 9:07 and one of my faster 3000m finishes yet together with a win! Then looking down at my watch I realised I may have run a PB albeit only 2 seconds! This was very unexpected as I thought from the 1600 and 2km splits of 4:53 and 6:06 that it was out of the window- if I'd realised I was on for a PB I think I'd have had maybe a touch more in the final 400m because as it was I was thinking more about kicking on if Jones caught me. Eventually Jones was second in 9:11 with Searle in 9:14 and Clarke in 9:22. As both Jones and Searle are 2 dead or sub 2 800 guys pulling clear of them is great.

Splits of 3:01/3:05/3:01 are encouraging. I felt very relaxed through the first km. The second km the group slowed by around 6-7 seconds and my hard last 200m sped it back up before the final km being hard work on my own. I think sub 9 can and will happen very shortly provided my ankle heals and I can start doing some lactic work. Most important will be getting into the right race! I think I'm most happy about at 1600m being 4:53 and finishing in 9:07. In lots of previous races I go through 1600 in 4:48 and fade fairly badly- today I was kicking on and finishing strongly. I have little doubt that if the group had carried on at 9 minute pace I would have a sub 9 right now.

So good news for the summer provided this ankle heals up!

Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.