Sunday, May 31, 2009

Training Week Commencing 25/5/2009

Week Commencing 25/5/2009
Mon: 54 minutes easy up to Godstow and back through Nature reserve
Tue: Rest
Wed: nature reserve, breathing was totally messed up and not in a good way- really bad run, about 35 minutes
Thu: 15 warm up and down. 3 sets of 300@15,200@15,200@8 [60,300]. Times were a bit quick 46,31,27 45,30,48 45,29,28 but fairly pleased considering in exams.
Fri: One of those great runs - went out for a 40m jog and ended up doing 78 minutes, did a lap and a half around the nature reserve before heading up over th fields toGodstow and coming back down along the river before heading down the south-side of town. Really nice enjoyable run where I started out very relaxed but was really shifting by the end.
Sat: Rest- revising..ish
Sun: OUAC vs. OUCCC FOotball for about two hours. Decided any more running would stress the body out a bit too much seeing as I knocked a muscle in my back anyways.

Total time: Not nearly enough but ticking over just about. Need to get back running a bit more seriously this next week- this week I had 4 exam though so was always going to be a very poor week running-wise.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Training Week Commencing 18/5/2009

Well I guess I'm meant to do this some of the time. Training for this week- been really lax in putting it down recently but going to start again properly now.

Mon: rest
Tue: rest
Wed: Club run Sandford but got blister ~ 6-7 miles
Thu: track - 3 sets of 1200,800,400 [90,60,4 minutes] 1200s in 3:45,40,37 400s all ~65
Fri: 6.4/46:31/7:15 with Anupam- nature reserve and 2 laps- easy pace ~7:15 6.4 maybe 6.5
Sat: 6.4/41:11/6:26, 2 laps nature reserve- steady
Sun: 6.4/38:23/6:00, 2 laps nature reserve- steady, minor blister probably because had been barefoot all day. Left heel blister seems fine.
Weekly Mileage: low 30s.

Exams start tomorrow (today) so not going to get a chance to do an awful lot of running so hte plan is just to run this 6.4 mile loop most days at something like 6:15 per mile though depending on the exam it could be much quicker! 6.4 is the very rough estimate on gmaps but there is a wooded section which twists and turns a lot which I can't measure so maybe 6.5 miles. Great run as only probably half a mile total is on roads and the rest either a canal path or a trail around the nature reserve.

To the exams!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gradually Evolving Training Philosophy

Someone today on a thread asked me the question "I'm sure I read somewhere that don't you run your sessions flat out and your long runs easy/steady?" To which my response is below - it's just a short abstract of how my own views on training should be structured in terms of LTAD.

Cross13- I did a while back which I guess is where you read it. These days as the article says I generally try and run my reps with a few seconds to spare. They generally look very quick to people (hence teh reputation) because after a few years of experimentation I know pretty much exactly where my limits are and what running at pace "X" should feel like. Also the sessions I do tend to be quite tough sessions which I know are do-able but you most might not realise it. 8 x 1000 off a 60-70 second 200m jog recovery @ 5k pace is a lot more intense than the track stuff most runners do- it's partially a framing effect (I'm only working at 5k pace for around 24 minutes whilst others might be doing up to 50 minutes) and partially the effect of just going out there and doing track-work each and every week.

My training philosophy is perhaps unsurprisingly constantly evolving and these days I'd put forward three key ideas for long-term development aside from the obvious gradual long-term build up of mileage. 1) Whilst slower running is a great introduction to the sport and encouraging participation and for recovery (on some days I do end up running 8/9/10 mm) and easy running (about MP+1 minute) is good for the bulk of your running the thing that's really important (far more than sessions) is putting in lots of runs at roughly LT + 15-30 seconds just as the Kenyans do which puts a really strong aerobic emphasis which pays off in the long term, 2) alactic speed development- this can be strides/drills 30-90m flat out - the ability to run at speed is crucial.

These are quite at odds with lactic tolerance and VO2 max development which are perhaps the cornerstones of "performance training" as opposed to "development training" - whilst there is certainly a case in the medium term for lots of sessions at goal race pace and they are definitely needed to run well I don't think that they necessarily help long-term development a huge deal- that said some VO2 max is essential just to ensure you're training at the correct speeds for your current ability but over the long-term I'd advocate the two above. Running at race pace is crucial and there are some long-term efficiency gains possible but I think these can mostly be achieved over about 2 years.

and some more stuff from earlier in response to Bazza stating that for a young athlete who can run 5:05 right now that he probably already has the speed to run 4:50 but it's is endurance that he needs to work on. Bazza often contributes to threads like this and has very solid opinions.

ore of an overarching philosophy question here. In general I completely agree with your policy for an athlete attempting to run fast this season (e.g. if I was given an older athlete I would tell them hit the endurance very very hard). But increasingly from talking to the top guys and just plain seeing from personal experience having speed is absolutely key. Aerobic endurance can be developed but the ability to have the sort of pure speed to be able to run 60 seconds for 400m comfortably is the sort of thing that needs to be continually developed over the space of about 10 years. Realistically for someone to be a truly serious athlete (e.g. sub 3:50/14:00/29:30) over anything shorter than the half/marathon you need 53 (maybe 54) repeatable 400 speed (as opposed to one-off e.g. benefit coming from start etc or huge lactic tolerance) and something in the low 1:5xs for 800. That sort of speed for most athletes just isn't there naturally and takes a lot of work to bring out if at all.

I guess the point I'm making is that yes he clearly has enough speed to run 4:50 and probably enough speed (without knowing your profile at all!) to run something in the low 4s. The question is if he wants to be a serious athlete whether he has the speed to do so? One of the barriers I'm coming up against right now is that flat out I have we reckon maybe 57 and really stretching it 56.x high 400m speed and have just run a relatively easy 4:11 1500 and 32:15 10,000 - if I long-term wanted to run much under 4 though my current speed needs to be improved realistically and whilst extended strides etc. help a lot the sort of speed needed is very hard to gain (some coming from flexibility etc.)

Is odd training a young athlete as you need to combine improving pure/repeatable speed with the huge aerobic base needed to run very fast 5 and 10,000s whilst at the same time doing a great deal of work at current race pace so that they can perform at their best at the moment. I'm doing a huge amount of my sessions at 72-80 per lap rather than working on 1500 or less pace stuff partially because in terms of a long-term marathon switch next year the very fastest pace I would ever need is 72 and that would be so far beyond my dreams we're in cuckoo land- but the ability to run relaxed at 72 will help run relaxed over the longer distances.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Quick Training Update

Hey everyone,

Just a very quick training update- as I go into my finals I'm going to be under increasing time pressures so am probably going to cut back training to something like an hour each day and pace will highly depend on stress levels! I'll try and include some strides and fartlek work as well but it will be likely a solid three weeks without serious track work so it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

May well be a post or two on here as I try and relieve stress!

Hope everyone is well - please feel free to comment on any of the stories.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Bryn Reynolds BUCS 10,000m Champion!

Bryn Reynolds BUCS 10,000m Champ from Inside the Games

This articles get it wonderfully wrong and has me down as the BUCS winner- wonderful but not quite true! Nice to see it in print though!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

BUCS 10,000m Race (B) Report!

After opening the season with a marginal 2 second PB winning the Good Friday Open Meeting 3000m and a fairly respectable 15:59.9 5000m at the British Milers Club 5000m race over the past month or so hopes for a really fast race were low but buoyed unexpectedly with a 4:11, 9 second PB over 1500m on Wednesday at the Oxford University Cuppers for second place.

Entering the 10,000m (25 laps of the track) at the British University Championships on the basis of existing personal bests I was switched at the last moment to the B race 8 hours later. Despite this I tried to stay positive over the day and was hoping to break 33 minutes for 10km for the first time and lower my 33:16 PB.

The race started off with a Sheffield University lad breaking for the front very quickly and gaining a 20m lead over the field with myself sitting in 4th place behind a Southampton and Cambridge athlete. As we gradually reeled in the Sheffield athlete I was feeling remarkably relaxed and actually couldn't quite believe the splits that were coming as the Sheffield athlete was caught and tucked in behind us. The track was quite windy but thankfully I was well sheltered by the other athletes but not for long!

As we went through 5000m in 16:10 I couldn't believe quite how relaxed I felt (many Tuesday runs have felt much harder!). I coudl feel the pace slow as the Southampton athlete tired and when I heard my coach call out that the last lap took 81 seconds as opposed to the 77s we had been clipping through I knew I had to move at the 6000m mark. Moving with a sudden injection of speed I lowered the pace down to 73/74 second laps with a 7th kilometre of 3:07 to put myself clear of the field with the Cambridge athlete attempting to stay with me but dropping backwards. As I pulled clear I knew I had to keep pushing and despite now tackling the wind entirely on my own and having to run hard. Consistent 77 second laps gave me hope that despite struggling meant I knew I had a chance of a good time. With a half lap lead by the end I managed to sprint the final 100m for a time of 32:15- a one minute and one second PB over my best ever time before and for the win in the B-race! My time inserted into in the A-race would have put me in 9th place (the field was 21 strong) of all British Universty 10,000m runners and it is perhaps worth noting that some of the athletes in that race were substantially older than me (the winner was 31!).

Overall the time last year would have put me in the top 50 in the country and top 5 Under 23s though obviously many top runners don't run 10,000m on the track. In conclusion I'm very pleased - especially with a negative split of 16:10/16:05 and for managing to win by a commanding margin.

Best wishes to all!
National Final (Do I really have to mention the B?) Winner Bryn :D.

(Still on a bit of a high!)If I find a photo will post it up!

Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.