Sub 17 5k – Week 19 training diary

After the confidence boosting parkrun last week I was fired up for some good final training runs before turning my attention to the last cross country fixture of the season at Wrekenton.

I’ve had my best season yet, this being my 3rd full season. One last good performance would secure my first completed target of 2015 which was a Top 50 finish in the Individual Grand Prix. Going into the last race I was well within the top 30 although it’s always hard to tell how many runners could overtake. Also, Jesmond had a great chance of securing the Division 3 title. Plenty to look forward to.

Training Diary

Plan – 45min recovery

Problems with the heart rate monitor early on which is always a bit distracting but ended with 6.4 miles in 45 mins averaging 7.10/mile. Not much to report. Maybe a little tired from yesterdays long run but nothing major.

Plan – 45min Threshold

I decided to get back into the gym for a controlled effort on the treadmill. I was keen to make it a little bit more interesting and had the idea to do a 1 mile “on”, 1 mile “off” type session. The idea was to have the mile on at the top end of my threshold HR zone and the mile off at the bottom end.

I think it was a great session. The 1 mile on was averaging around 5.42/mile and the mile off just over 6 min miles. The great thing about the session was the top end miles were tough and therefore 6 min miling subsequently felt like a jog recovery comparatively which of course they weren’t (for me)

But for a confidence boost this session nailed it and there was a sense of achievement afterwards certainly.

7.7 miles were completed in the time at an average HR of 171bpm.

Plan – 50min recovery

This is always a tough run after 4 days of running but I did feel like I handled it better than usual and with much less fatigue towards the end of the run. A good sign then that my stamina is improving and I’m handling the mileage.

Problems with the HRM again but 7.1 miles averaging 7.05/mile.

Plan – 40min recovery

Coach switched the usual threshold to recovery to taper for the race on Saturday. Felt strong with 6.2 miles averaging 6.50/mile.

Was looking forward to a rest day and move focus to a good run on Saturday.

Plan – rest

Did as planned and just got mentally prepared for the race tomorrow.

Plan – North East Harrier League race #6

I was really looking forward to this race. I’d never really ran well at Wrekenton but deep down I knew the course suited me.

On the morning I had my usual meal at 10am which is now 100g of white rice and a tin of tomatoes! A tad strange some might say but works well. I was sick of porridge! I also decided to pack a flask with an espresso for 1hr before the race. I’d tried it last week at parkrun and I’d felt it had helped.

I got to the course early. It was still very cold but the course was in great condition with not much mud to speak of. I wanted to run hard and fast so I was pleased.

Walking the course I familiarised myself with the layout. It’s a good course. There are a few hills but plenty of chances to attack as well. I don’t know why but I felt excited and raring to go.

Coming to the start time I was focused. I’d decided to leave the Garmin and HRM at home. I just wanted to run, no distractions. No pre conceived ideas of what was too fast or too slow. Just run and race.

I had a loose plan to try to track the new Spaniard runner from Derwentside who had won the last race at Alnwick from slow pack but actually hadn’t finished with a time much faster than me from medium and I knew I was a little off in my performance. Chasing him would hopefully provide a challenge to perform. This was a plan formed on the line as I was stood next to him and seemed like a decent idea.

The gun went and the Spaniard flew off. He had about 10 yards on me coming to the first hill but I just kept eyes glued to his back. I would say this was my focus for the first 1.5 laps. It wasn’t until about lap 3 that I’d probably let him go. That didn’t concern me. I’d gotten into a decent battle with a Sunderland Harrier and there was a bit of ebb and flow there which was good.

I was conscious that I was making very good progress, working my way through the field. I felt like I never really let up until about half way through the last lap. I wanted to finish strongly and I probably just slowed a little to keep something in the tank for the last incline and then go full throttle to home.

I was really grateful to Dave Appleby of Tyne Bridge Harriers who gave me some great encouragement. I knew it was a good sign getting past Dave and he shouted “cracking run, fast pack run” or something along those lines. It galvanised a strong push for home.

Getting to the last two straight sections before the finish I was in a small group of 3 or 4. I felt like I was in a quality group. The Sunderland Harrier, a Gateshead Harrier and a Morpeth Harrier. They were all running strongly and I was getting pulled along. This is what its all about for me. Feeling like a proper runner. I had no idea what position I was fighting for…

Coming into the home straight I pushed past two of them and went full belt to the line. Weirdly crossing the line I didn’t have my usual struggle, heaving and gasping for air. I felt pretty good!

There was a great atmosphere post race. As a team we felt like we’d done enough to win Division 3. I’d finished first team counter which was nice and the 3rd time of the season I had done so.

I was a bit gutted not to have a beer but I was driving and we went over to the school for the team trophy celebration. It was confirmed that Jesmond had won Division 3. This was great news.


Getting my hands on the NEHL Division 3 trophy with Scott Armstrong

I also found out that I’d finished 28th in the race and qualified for fast pack for next season. I’m delighted. I have to make another step improvement to compete from fast pack but I’m ready for the challenge and feel like I have more to give. Really excited to get in even better shape to give it a shot.

I also finished the season in 29th place in the Individual Grand Prix which smashed my target of Top 50. Really pleased with that.

And, finally, to top it all off I was given male XC runner of the season for the club!

Plan – 45min recovery

Got out in the afternoon and felt really strong. Just enjoyed the run and thought a lot about what I’ve achieved this cross country season. Starting to dream about how much more I could improve and excited to see what I can do on the roads in the next few months.

6.5 miles in 45 minutes with an average HR of 155bpm.

Weekly Totals

Running ~40 miles

Delighted with another great week of training and racing. Off on another work trip next week so will look to tick over and look forward to a trip to see my coach the week after to see where I’m at and plan the road races over the coming months.


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