The week started with a standard 40 minute easy run. It was nice to get back out on the paths and roads although a few little areas near my home were still icy and slushy.
All in all I felt strong and ended with around 5.8 miles averaging 6:49/mile and 152bpm.
On Tuesday I met with Tyne Bridge Harriers for a session. Over the past few months I’ve been considering a possibility to move to TBH with a particular view to challenging myself more, aiming to get in a good group of senior men who will push me on.
I’ve spent a lot of time training alone. I appreciate that ultimately that has been my own choice. Also, overall I feel I am capable of pushing myself alone. But I don’t think I will reach my goals training alone.
TBH appealed as there is a large group training and competing together. My plan is that if I can become a strong B team player I can get a better understanding of what I need to do to earn a place on an A team.
I think this fits well with my goal of the sub 16 5k. I am sure there are lads at Tyne Bridge with similar goals. Not only can I seek to train with them but also talk through what’s required.
I’d also seen how much my mate Michael Hedley had improved since joining the club. It seemed the right time.
The session quickly made my mind up. For the first time ever I was running a solid 30 minute threshold with runners of similar ability. Small details like doing some running drills after the warm up made a difference. I am weak in this area and it can only do good.
Davey Wright led a progression run along the quayside starting out around 6:10 pace and working down to sub 5:40 pace.
The first 15 minutes out were into a challenging wind and I was working the heart rate in the mid 170s to stay in the group. That was perfect and there was enjoyment to be had running with 4 or 5 others and exchanging small talk and encouragement.
By the time of the turnaround the group had broken down to 3 including me and Davey was doing a great job keeping the run honest.
Turning back was undoubtedly a relief but the pace had to quicken. I was really enjoying the challenge.
I must admit that towards the final mile I was having to work quite hard. The pace had picked up to 5:30ish. My heart rate was now pretty much bang on the 180-181 level which is bang on LT.
I lost a few yards on Davey and Alex Black but overall I got the session done averaging around 5:50-5:55/mile.
I knew in my mind I wouldn’t have been able to pick up and work like that on a threshold alone. And my mind was pretty much made up that I would make the move.
I have some regrets about my time at Elswick Harriers although I have enjoyed it and I have always felt proud to wear the vest. In hindsight I would have attended more training and ran more races but it is what it is. I’d like to thank everyone at the club who has made me feel so welcome – especially Frank Watson, Lee Bennett, Harry and Kim Matthews, Stephen Robertson, Iain Hardy, Ben Hall, Mary Lisle, Richard Houghton, Scott Brady and Catherine Lee. Sorry to anyone I missed!
I do look forward to wearing the Elswick vest a few more times including at the Dalton Park 10k next week (where I hope to PB) and the penultimate NEHL fixture at Thornley Hall. And I want to leave a friend of the club.
After that the plan is to start competing for Tyne Bridge from 1st March if all goes well with the transfer process.
On Wednesday the plan was for 50 minutes easy and truth be told I felt tired from the Tuesday session. Having said that I still managed 7.3 miles averaging 6:50/mile but the Garmin pointed to some needed recovery.
This was my 7th day of running on the trot so on Thursday I decided to pull the Friday rest day forward and I think it was the right thing to do.
On Friday I had a short chat with Coach Dave Tune. Was good to catch up and confirm things are going to plan since the rib injury. We decided on the next two weeks plans and also a slight alteration to the planned Saturday session whereby I would incorporate a parkrun on my suggestion.
On Friday night I went to the gym for a very easy treadmill run for 30 minutes and some strides at 18kph.
As I said the plan for Saturday was altered from 4×8 minutes threshold with 3 minutes rest to 1x parkrun with 2x 8 minutes threshold to be done afterwards.
It had been some time since I’d ran a parkrun and on waking up the conditions looked pretty good.
I completed a ten minute warm up and (remembering Coach Tunes advice) a 3 minute run to get some lactic acid starting to flow. This is to avoid the shock in the first 5 minutes of the run.
The plan was to quickly get into my threshold zone (169bpm-181bpm) and just hold it there the first couple of miles and then try to push on at 180-181bpm the last mile.
On setting off my heart rate monitor decided to play up. I deliberately wasn’t paying any attention to pace and I was just trying to focus on the process of running by heart rate.
But I think with the Garmin playing up I went off a bit hard. I found myself in first about half way through the first km and 2nd through 2km.
I was then passed into 3rd at around 2.5km.
I’d gone through mile 1 in 5:23/mile.
Fortunately the HRM kicked into life after mile 1 and I could see I was operating exactly where I wanted at around 175-178bpm.
I wasn’t losing any ground on 1st and 2nd and was feeling comfy. I wasn’t to know that I had settled into more like 5:30-5:35 miling.
The second mile was ticked off in 5:36 and pleasingly I wasn’t dreading the last mile as I usually do. I felt strong.
First place had put in a surge and was away and I was keeping about 5 yards gap with 2nd.
Going through 4km I felt like 2nd place was still possible and my pace was being kept constant. As per plan my HR had increased to 180-181bpm.
Coming round the last corner (see pic) I still had around 5 yards to make up on 2nd place. I stuck to task and the 3rd mile went through in 5:37.
On the last straight I was able to pick it up and go passed 2nd place and finish off in 17:15.
I was pleased with this as my Newcastle parkrun PB is 17:05.
I knew I still had another session to do so I quickly moved across to the nearby lake and got stuck into the 2x 8mins. I noticed that I was struggling to get my HR >170bpm but I was still operating at 5:50-5:55/mile. It was simply tiredness setting in but I knew this was the perfect 10km session for my next race.
So although it was tough getting this extra session done on my own I was pleased that I did.
I was then able to have a slow jog cool down.
On Sunday the weather was quite wet and windy. I got out around 9am for another 75 minute long run. I felt OK in terms of fatigue. I just wanted to get out and run so I went without the HRM for this one. I decided to have a quick espresso to sharpen me up and I was glad I did as the 2nd half back uphill to home and into a blustery wind was tough.
The legs switched off a bit in the last 20 minutes and I just had to dig in. In the end I finished with 10.7 miles in the time allotted.
So overall another good week with just short of 50 miles of training in 5hrs 45mins.
Thoughts now turn to the next few weeks which both include races which I am hopeful of performing well in.
Onwards and upwards!
Thanks for reading.