Saturday, January 30, 2010

Southern Mens Results

Sorry for the bad quality- if you save it and then print it it'll come out better but my scan is here...

If you can't save this one then go to the below link and use that one...

Direct Link to Scan

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Training 25th January 2010

Week Commencing 4th January 2010

AM: 77:53 easy @ 8:17mm - started slow and got down to mid 7s
PM: Ex. Bike - 45 easy after watching a dismal Charlton performance at the Valley...

AM: 38:03 recovery @ 8:35mm - again started 10s down to 7s...
PM: 13:09wu, session (as below), 11:31 wd
  • 1600 (5:11 - 78/lap)[1:54 rec.]
  • 1700 (5:22 - 76/lap) [1:40 rec.]
  • 8 x 450 [40s rec.per rep] (400 splits of 71,70,69,69,69,71,70,70,68) then [1:30 rec.] before
  • 1000 (2:56 ~70/lap)

- First lap of first rep in 81 hence why so slow overall. Very pleased with 450s off 40 seconds recovery and the 1000m. Worked very well with Hugh Torry alternating reps.

AM: 42:43 recovery @ 8:33
PM: 75:01 easy @ 7:52

AM: 43:05 recovery @ 8:37
PM: 21:50 wu, 3 x 5 x 300 (100/500 jog recovery) ~52/53 AVG, 21:30 wd (73:34)

AM: 44:37 recovery @ 8:53mm

AM: 15:05 wu, 58:22 Southern XC (93rd - bit dissappointing- legs struggled with damp, soggy ground at Parly Hill), 10 wd

AM: 70:27 easy @ 7:04mm - ran into Ox with backpack then 50 minutes very enjoyable loop of Oxrad with Hayley - fell over and got muddy.

Total: 607 minutes / ~ 81 miles

Summary: Good track session on the Tuesday especially after tough Sunday long run. Thursday was a bit poor on the track and was just generally feeling pretty bleurgh - probably Tuesday and Sunday catching up on me. Saturday was again a bit dissappointing as a few guys I've beaten recently got me (some by substantial margins) - but I'm not too worried as A) I wasn't tapered and B) I'm not sure why it is but the soft, wet XC courses are awful for me. My feet hit pretty heavy and usually that power is rebounded into my running stride but on courses like Parly Hill I just sink. Looking at my results it can very easily be seen that "hard" courses like Herts XC last year and the Broxbourne XC I run substantively better than on "wet" or "soft" courses like Parly Hill.

Couple of pictures below - apologies if infringing anyones copyright!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Stick

Mostly doing this as a test run for sending a blog update from my phone but this is the Stick and it's a self massage took I got for Christmas which thus far has been very useful- anyone else tried using one?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Training 18/01/2010

Week Commencing 18th January 2010

AM: 68:42 easy at 7:25mm - last few miles sub 7 pace.
PM: Ex Bike - 60 @ 1:48/km

AM: 16:27 wu, 45:11 AeT @ 5:46, 16:04 wd

Felt fairly relaxed maintaining this for 45 minutes - 2:30 is another question entirely. Haven't lost much fitness though...

PM: Ex. Bike - 60 @ 1:48/km

AM: 73:13 easy to steady @ 7:36mm
Odd one- Stortford town loop with Steve and pace definitely felt faster than 7:36.
PM: Ex. Bike - 60 @ 1:58/km- really didn't fancy this one but did it anyway.

AM: Rest
PM: 20:05 wu, 8 x 1000 (~57), 15:14 wd AVG : 3:15 - did this session with Lee- he did his tempo run getting progressively faster and I did 1000m on, then jogged 100m back to meet him going around again and set off - felt hard at first but by end I was cruising - just getting used to pace again- splits were 3:26, 19, 16, 12, 12, 13, 15, 12

PM: 45 minutes ex. bike 2:00/km

AM: 71:36 recovery @ 9:16mm (beer festival previous night was a bad idea...)
PM: 45 minutes ex. bike 22.78km

AM: 2:00 @ 6:18mm (19 miles!) - went for a long run with Jamal Mohammed - distance approx due to Greenwich tunnel but fairly close- my first ever 19 miler- very pleased with pace- started out easy and then about 2-3km in it very quickly wound down to 6mm before staying fairly consistently there till about the hour mark Jamal started throwing down some 5:41/5:42 miles- went with it but legs started to feel it a little bit- aerobically was fine though- words can't describe how pleased I was with this run and how strong I felt- was seriously considering running for an extra 40 minutes or so and just trying to nail out a rough marathon time...
PM: 45 minutes ex. bike 22.75km

Total: 480 minutes running (~65 miles) 315 minutes cycling
Total Aerobic Volume = 795 minutes

Summary: Best ever long run. Decent Aerobic Threshold run. Relaxed but very reasonable session- all in all a very good week as I'm back running injury free. Cycling seems to be helping as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Flat Hunting and Getting Back to Some Running

Am going to experiment for a little bit with doing more frequent short little blogs and seeing how it goes- plus probably a little bit more about my daily life where I hopefully won't get fired for posting something about my time working at my firm! I'll also start the training log each week and update it as I go along with the week's training.

Well with the big accountancy (yes - dull I know!) job starting on March 15th it's time to start flat hunting. Headed down last Thursday with Jan who I'm sharing with and spent the whole day searching around Clapham with highlights being "double" bedrooms which would fit a single in at a squash. No - not a single bed - a single person and several flats within "10 minutes walking distance" of the tube that I swear I couldn't get to in ten minutes at race pace. Midway through the day it was looking pretty bad but then in our last viewing of the day we found a fantastic little flat just off of the Common just outside our price range but hopefully with them coming down as we made an offer today after viewing a couple more properties. The highlight this time being a property "right by Clapham North" which ended up being in Brixton. Yes, Brixton.

Anyway- now we've found a decent property providing we get it then I should be moving into London on February 13th so anyone with suggestions for good training groups and partners in South-West/Central London around Clapham I'm looking forward to hearing them! Part of the reason Clapham suits me so well is that it's about 4-5 miles run from Blackfriars (where I start work) and probably 6-7 miles from Canary Wharf where I'll end up in 6 or so months time I expect. Perfect for a morning and evening run. Just need to find some convenient showers now!

Managed to get a 39 minute run in this morning. Foot held up really well- honestly reckon it might have been able to take 60+ but being cautious and not risking it at the moment. Average pace was down to 8:04 over fairly snowy terrain. Pace this week has consistently come down from ~9:30 to 8:00 - obviously this is totally small fry compared to race pace work but shows I'm getting a bit more confidence in the foot.

Know I can't have lost much fitness having only not run for a week and having got straight on the exercise bike (another 60 minutes this evening- including a 1:09 1k TT - down 6 seconds on my first one - and yes I know that ex. bikes are nothing compared to the real thing but seeing as that's all I do it works to compare them internally!) - but feel like I've not run for months. Silly isn't it. Could probably still crack out a PB over any distance but feel unfit. Ridiculous.

What I am vaguely interested in is just how much running I need to do to maintain fitness levels- obviously last week I ran 11 miles- clearly not enough unless composed of 22 x 800 TTs (in which case it'd be interesting...). I rekon that on 30-40 of mostly aerobic stuff with a few faster miles can keep me in condition for a month or so but really not certain. Any thoughts from the more experienced runners out there?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Training Week 11/01/2009

Week Commencing 11th January 2010

AM: 39 @ 8:05 - nice to get 40 done pain-free.
PM: 60 on Ex. Bike - included a 1k hard burst (1:09/1:10)

AM: 45 on Ex. Bike
PM: 41:45 steady @ 6:12 - Quicker run around hilly Saffron Walden - was running with Nick till about halfway till he unfortunately managed to hurt his calf.

AM: 28:02 easy @ 7:26 - Run around very snowy Uni Parks and out back with Hayley- nice run. Still no pain/soreness.

AM: Rest- drove back from Ox - meant to be training at Cambridge track for a Paul Evans flying coach visit but he cancelled.

AM: 15:51 wu / 15:21 tempo @ 5:26 / 17:26 wd - First tempo run back - pace was fairly reasonable - obviously short for this one but good to be moving at pace again.
PM: Ex. Bike - 60 @ 1:52/km - included a 1km burst at 1:07/1:08 - personal best by 3 seconds.

AM: 15:54 wu / 30:18 AT @ 5:48 /15:40 wd - felt much more relaxed on this run than yesterday- target pace was around 6:00 for a steady but was a bit quick- need to get used to doing runs like this in normal weeks with sessions.
PM: Ex Bike - 60

AM: 15 wu, 30 LT @ 6:07 (XC- heavy mud), 15 wd - 1st place at Ware XC - Striders won mens and womens team races!
PM: Ex Bike - 60 @ 1:51/km - last few minutes a bit quicker

Total: Running - 279 minutes (~ 37 miles) / Biking 285 minutes
Total Volume = 564 minutes

Summary: Not quite the running or cycling volume I wanted but it ended up being quite a good week in the end with a nice split between the two. The start of the week was about making sure I was good to run 40 minutes and trying a bit of marginally faster running again - job done with a decent Tuesday run. Then took two days relatively easy as I was driving a lot, away so couldn't use my ex. bike and then when I got back late Thursday my "test" session was cancelled. Middle of the week was a nice break though to make sure there weren't any flare ups from the faster running on Tuesday and stopped the constant "faster or longer" trend.

Last section of the week I was really quite pleased with. Friday was a solid "tester" but I was very worried with how intense 5:26 pace felt (as Tuesday had felt tough as well) - that said it was the first time running sub 6 pace in a couple of weeks and it was solo. Saturday was pretty much the golden run where everything slotted back into place. 5:48 pace felt very relaxed and I was cruising along comfortably for half an hour with the run totally the hour. Usual service resumed!

The race was an odd one- in recent years I've been really bad at just sitting in during races till really very late on and the then trying to make a break for it. I almost seem scared of leading these days which seems crazy given I used to be a committed front runner. I think it's partly because the perceived effort level just goes up massively even if I'm not running that fast! Whilst this is a very legitimate tactic at elite level it sometimes seems a bit poor in lower level races. This race starts directly through a muddy very tight bottle neck so I went hard from the start, got to be first through the bottle-neck and found myself about 10-20m clear.

At this point I had the option of either drifting back or pushing on and I decided to push on (partly in the vain hope that my reputation (when I'm fit) at this level might mean they'd just let me go!) - accelerating along a downhill and fairly rapidly getting about 50m lead over Steve Prosser. Usually either a Herts Phoenix or BSRC team-mate but today a rival! Steve was fresh off a very good Essex league result where he beat (what must be a very unfit!) Adam Hickey and got 16th place 10 places clear of the winner of the previous race of this league. I eased up slightly on the basis that I didn't want to run myself into the ground and let him zip past later on and concentrating on moving through the mud as economically as possible over the very muddy fields. I must have put some decent space on though as about a mile later when I sneaked a peak going around a corner Steve had dropped well back and Andrew Mynott my new Striders team-mate fresh off a 56:39 run at the tough Buntingford 10m course had moved up remarkably well after a slow start.

At this point I had something like 100m or so lead (maybe marginally more) and really just settled into cruise control - the course itself is a tough course compared to most XCs (muddy fields over the whole first half and gravelly for a fair bit of the second half making spike choice a sod). I did have to stop for a second to re-do some laces on my spikes but I started enjoying it maybe a mile or so from the finish... Maybe a little too much!

I was very relaxed over the second half of the race.

This week was an interesting one as I actually ran not far off a normal training week just with Aerobic and Lactate Threshold runs instead of sessions and biking every day for 60 minutes instead of a recovery run. I'm not totally sure how useful the biking is but that said it gets my legs just gently turning over.

I'm interesting in seeing just how significant the training difference would be with running sessions/steady running every evening and just a 60 minute cycle instead of a 40 minute recovery run most days. I can't imagine the difference would be that huge (especially given I run usually 8:30-9:30 pace usually on these morning runs) and the decrease in the amount of pounding the legs takes is substantial. Certainly something to consider for the future...

As regards next week- my plan is to hit around 60-70 miles with the biking continuing to replace recovery running where appropriate. The big change will be doing sessions on Tuesday/Thursday and getting a long run in again on Sunday.

Training Week 04/01/2010

Week Commencing 4th January 2010
AM: Rest- giving it another day though less sore than it was.

AM: 7 @ 10:00 - test run- not too much pain but could definitely feel something wasn't right yet.
PM: 60 on exercise bike - good to get used to it again.

AM: 90 on exercise bike

AM: 16 @ 9:38 - very tentative run in the snow - seemed pain-free with little bits in last minute or so.
PM: 60 on exercise bike

AM: Flat hunting all day in Clapham
PM: 7:30 on treadmill @ ~10:00 - clearly wasn't running right- had felt foot whilst walking about London and so stopped treadmill once realised was even a slight problem.
60 on exercise bike

AM: 25:01 @ 9:20 - run through some very deep snow- couple of twinges but foot felt best yet- no real problems.
PM: 62 on exercise bike

AM: 29:02 @ 8:29 - still on snow and felt v. hard for the pace - by far best yet as felt nothing from foot (frozen?!)
PM: 90 on ex. bike

Total: Running - 85 minutes / ~ 11 miles Cycling - 420 minutes

Total Volume: 505 minutes

Summary: Just glad to I was able to run fairly regularly this week- foot was twinging on Thu night/Friday but much better over weekend. Am hoping that hitting decent cross-training will limit the amount of fitness I'm losing. This week should hopefully see a return to 50/60 miles hopefully averaging about 60 minutes a day. Really depends on the foot though. Important thing is that I just get some running in most days ( I honestly think the vast majority of bottom end fitness can be saved in the short term with 30 MPW) and hit the X-training relatively hard with some pseudo-sessions before next week being a proper week again.

Training Week 28th December 2009

AM: 12 wu, Buntingford 10m Race 54:23 PB 1st Place , 12 wd Really pleased with this race as it felt very smooth and controlled generally. Sat in main pack as people dropped off, made a few mini-breaks taking the lead but Steve Watterson stayed with me - broke away over last half mile or so getting a 12 second lead. Warm down with Adam, painful stomach cramps after race. On plus side is a very hilly course and took nearly 3 minutes off the old PB.

AM: 59 @ 8:39 - recovery
PM: 37 @ 6:52 - ran with Tim Ellis around a very icy Saffron

AM: 76 @ 8:04 - recovery/easy - ran with Martin on one of his very rare excursions back home- good to catch up.
PM: 60 @ 8:32 - recovery

Thursday (NYE)
AM: 40 recovery @ 8:25
PM: 60 easy/steady @ 8:01 - 3 minutes jogging up and down a cul-de-sac waiting for others to get ready and 20 minutes jogging at the end lowers average pace - in reality most done at sub 7mm around Rottingdean with locals Joe and Dan and Anupam "I don't really feel like running" - some good surging going on up the hills.
PM PM: 2 mile walk home after NYE party- thankfully in trainers whilst Anupam went barefoot...

Friday (NYD)
PM: Day in Brighton then 43 @ 8:30 around Woodingdean with Chris McG, Anupam and Dan T showing us the way - last 5 minutes my right foot started to hurt on the outside and sole- when I took my shoe off was in a lot of pain and struggling to walk.

AM: Attempted to jog before Sussex XC champs intending to get some sort of work-out done- was still very painful so canned that- then intended to jog during the race to catch Dan but one moment of intense pain caused me to come to my senses - long drive home ~24 mins running. Managed to resist temptation to leave Anupam stranded at a service station south of London.

AM: Rest- giving foot time to heal.

Total: 477 minutes /63.6 miles

Summary: Great start and a crap end to the week - I'm consistently picking up little scrappy niggles the week or two after 10 mile / half marathon races- this time despite keeping every easy. I was really worried about the foot as it's in exactly the same place as I completely screwed over the ligaments back in '06. Was very worried about it Friday and really shouldn't have even tried jogging on Saturday. In retrospect I think I wore some lighter weight trainers for the Thursday and second Friday run- they might possibly have combined with the hills and the cold to create the problem.

To the exercise bike...

Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.