Update – what’s been happening

Apologies to any regular readers for the irregular updates of late. I got a nice message from Sophie Cowper on Twitter saying that she missed my blog so this one’s for Sophie!

Unfortunately I haven’t got much to report on the training front.

I’ve jogged twice since Sunday 19th July.

On that day I was feeling exhausted. I’d gone to bed on the Saturday night early having stayed in. I was feeling knackered and slept well. I woke up feeling slightly better.

I’d already arranged with Michael Hedley to meet for a 60min Threshold Run. With hindsight I should have cancelled but we cracked on. I felt strong for 30-45mins and we were knocking out 6.12 min miles quite nicely but then at 45mins I hit the wall and Michael dropped me somewhat.

Still I finished it off with 9.4 miles in the 60 which isn’t shabby.

But the rest of the day was not fun. Hot, cold, warm, shivering. Sore throat. I knew I’d crossed the line, running too hard run down.

Spent Monday in bed. Felt better Tuesday. Stag do Thursday in Barcelona followed by a challenging working week in Barcelona as well.

I write this on the plane home to Newcastle.

This week I did about 30mins jogging on Monday and on Wednesday I did about 25mins jogging with a 4min threshold effort just to remind the body.

It’s one of those situations where I feel a little bit weird having done so little running. You spend a lot of time worrying about losing fitness. Undoubtedly I have lost fitness and I’ll have to gently ease myself back into it.

The other thing is I’m on holiday for two weeks in August. I’ll try to keep some jogging going during that but really my proper training can’t commence again now until September where I’ll be looking to start a cross country focussed plan.

In other news the forms have gone to England Athletics to change over to Elswick Harriers. I hope to have my first competitive outing at the Farringdon XC relays in September which is always a nice short/sharp tester. Can’t wait to put the famous vest on.

I’ve also revamped the run5kfaster.com website although admittedly it’s still not how I want it. I set it up last September and lost momentum which is a big no no as far as blogging websites are concerned. I’m hoping to get it back up and running. The ultimate aim is to write an ebook and offer training plans. Watch this space.

Well, once the plane lands I’ll post this blog, go for a nap and finally get out for a proper run!

Update – thoughts on running, training and new club!

It’s been a while since I wrote the Blaydon race report.

I had some great news a few weeks after the race in that I won a prize for second placed unattached male. I honestly didn’t plan to go for a prize as a non club runner.

Indeed the decision to leave Jesmond Joggers was quite a rushed one, kind of spur of the moment. And the fact that over two months had passed without finding a new club since I left Jesmond at the end of April was more due to how busy I’d been at work than anything else.

To be fair my training hasn’t suffered though and I’ve been quietly chipping away at it. I have had a slight niggle since Blaydon that both doesn’t go away and doesn’t worsen either.

I aggravated it during Whitley Bay parkrun on 20th June. Despite the niggle I ran quite strongly and completed the course in 17.24, finishing second. I was a little annoyed to not take first having laid down the gauntlet quite bravely on a course I’d never ran before around the mile marker. I stole a march on a couple of lads but then proceeded to doubt the way to go (and ultimately my own stamina) before finally throwing the towel in with about 600m to go.

Since then I’ve got stuck into training a bit more and focussed on completing the training plan set by Dave Tune in Doncaster. The training mainly consists of high aerobic recovery running and a decent dose of lactate threshold running which for me means running in a heart rate zone of 165-183bpm.

I’ve been doing about 38-45 miles per week and I’ve been consistently getting an 80 minute long run in on a Sunday which I believe is a key to my future improvement. The fact that I’ve never ran further than a half marathon I think holds me back a bit stamina wise.

If I want to really push on next cross country season I probably need to step up to 50+ miles a week and a long run of a half mara. Take the VO2 max improvements and work on lactate threshold.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is I still haven’t nailed the sub 17 and, bringing things up to date, my entry into the Sunderland 5k on Wednesday 15th July has been lampooned by a last minute work trip to Cyprus! I felt 100% confident of breaking 17mins for 5k at that race but now I need a rethink.

Also hot off the press is that I have finally decided on my new club. I’m excited to be joining Elswick Harriers and the membership form has gone in following a training session with the club last week.

I had a baptism of fire with the 23 minute Walbottle Bank loop but I loved every minute. I was made to feel very welcome by Frank Watson and also really enjoyed the structure of the session with Colin (the coach) shouting out times as we completed laps of the loop. I was pleased with my effort, completing 8 laps in just over 24mins. I was shown a clean pair of heels by Lee Bennett but that was good as I want to train with better runners and I know Elswick has a lot of them.

I’m excited to put the vest on. The club has a great history and I hope to continue to improve whilst there.

In all honesty this sub 17 blog has gone on long enough! I have already started thinking beyond sub 17 and the “what next”.

Having proved to myself that I can (almost) achieve what seemed like a big stretch target a few years ago, I am now excited to start blogging about my next running goal but I won’t be doing that until the sub 17 is finally on the Power of 10 (even if it is only a parkrun). I want the blog to be both written and video based. It will have a theme and I’ll be tracking my progress towards it. It’ll hopefully start later this year.

Looking at the diary over July and August I will be spending about 3-4 weeks outside of the UK so I don’t expect to be racing or competing for Elswick in that time. I’ll just be focussing on continuing the training. I might sneak a parkrun effort in there somewhere but other than that I’m already thinking about the cross country season and being in shape for that Sept/Oct.