Non starter at the North Eastern Counties XC and a surprise award

One of my main goals of 2015 was to compete for the 3rd time in the North Eastern counties cross country championships at Sedgefield and improve on my 67th placed finish on the Town Moor in 2014.

Unfortunately a work trip to London put paid to that.

Seeing the conditions at the course yesterday it was clear that racing would have been one of the toughest tests I’d faced.

I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I felt in decent shape and on the other I wasn’t envious of the conditions.

As a result I’ll not race now until the next North East Harrier League fixture in the New Year.

Training wise I will keep ticking over the festive season.

I want to increase my total weekly duration from an average of 4-5hrs to more like 5.5-6. I’ll predominantly keep it easy in nature with a sprinkling of faster paced stuff.

In other news I was very grateful to receive an award from my old club Jesmond Joggers.

I must admit I was very surprised when I found out I had won the award given I left in the club in April!

It was lovely to pick up the prize of Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Achievement for my contribution to the clubs Division 3 title and promotion in the North East Harrier League 2014/15.


I really appreciate my time at the club where I was able to have my first experiences of competition after such a long time away.

I was able to build confidence and realise again how much I love the sport.

Thanks to Scott Armstrong and everyone else at the club for the support and fun times.


Time for pastures new…

I started running “properly” in February 2012 and was very quick to join a local club – Jesmond Joggers – in July of the same year.

I was keen to start competing, particularly Cross Country.

In the 2 and a bit years I’ve been at Jesmond I’ve improved my 5k pb from around 20mins to 17.18 and I’ve also achieved my goal of getting not only into the Medium Pack in the Harrier League XC but now the Fast pack in the last race of the season this month.

I’ve greatly enjoyed the time I’ve spent at Jesmond Joggers. It’s given me the opportunity to cut my teeth in competitive running and also grow in confidence. I’d like to thank the Chairman Scott Armstrong for all the support and encouragement. I’ve also enjoyed running with some great people. A particular mention to Michael Hedley who has spurred me on and given me a high standard to aim for (I’m still not there yet!).

I now feel it’s a natural time to move on. I am very ambitious about my running and, at 34 years old, I really want a new challenge as I move towards Masters and V35 next year.

Part of that is putting yourself out of your comfort zone. Another part is competing at a higher level. Having thought about moving club’s for some time now it was looking at the Northern 12 stage relay results on Saturday that finally made my mind up.

I would like to test myself at events such as the Northern Stage relays (and hopefully the Nationals). I’ve decided that to do that I need a new club and a fresh start. A reason to train hard, to make teams.

So the Blyth 10k will be my last race for Jesmond Joggers. I hope to make it a great final race and to go out with a bang.

And I’m thinking now about what next…

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.

Sub 17 5k – Week 17 training diary

Again I write this sat on another flight for another business trip. I’d be lying if I said it isn’t impacting on my goal to run a sub 17 5k. My training has lost consistency over the last 3 weeks as I try to overcome a slight shin injury, travelling abroad 3 weeks in a row and generally not getting the training done.

That said I don’t feel out of shape and the goal posts don’t move, I still plan to run a sub 17 5k before the end of April.

With that in mind it’s planned that I will enter the Terry O’Gara 5k in Wallsend on 28th April. I ran the race a couple of years ago and I hope to put in a good performance if all goes to plan over the next few weeks and months.

Training Diary

Plan – 45mins recovery

Got back from a weekend in the Lakes late afternoon and wanted to get a good hour of exercise in.

Did my now usual 20min Bike warm up and then straight out for a 40 minute run. Didn’t plan to do anything daft and so it proved. I was surprised by the strength of the wind and also how cold it was.

About half way through, coming onto the Town Moor I put in a little Fartlek-esque effort for maybe 20-30 seconds, just to blow away some cobwebs more than anything.

Completed 5.8 miles in 40mins with an average HR of 158bpm.

Plan – 45mins recovery

Got up 6.30 to do some work and I then got to 45mins of exercise. I would have preferred an hour but time wasn’t on my side with work. So did a quick 10min warm up and then out for 35mins. Felt like the wind was even stronger (and colder) than yesterday. It certainly had an adverse impact on my pace and also pushed the heart rate higher than normal.

Completed 5.1 miles in 35mins with an average HR of 161bpm.

Flight to Athens – a while spent thinking about what I need to do to run sub 17, sub 5.30 miling. It’s mainly a matter of getting mentally prepared now. I know I have it in me. No excuses.

Plan – 40min recovery

Arrived in Athens 23.00 local time and set alarm for 06.00 (4am UK) to get 40mins run in. Couldn’t get up and pressed snooze a few times. Often it’s hard to persuade yourself that you WILL feel better after the run!

I was happy that I got down to the gym and again I was lucky to have a good quality bike and treadmill to use. The room was free so I felt happy to strip off down to my shorts as it was too hot. I sweated it out big style for 35mins with an average HR of 158.

Plan – 30min recovery

This time got up at 7am and no issues getting up and straight down to gym.

Had another 35mins recovery planned, just ticking over. As I approached 30mins I fancied putting 5 minutes effort in starting at 3.43/km and increasing the speed each minute. As I got into the final minute I was around 3.20/km and progressively increased to 3.04/km in the last 15-20 seconds.

Felt good and heart rate got up to 184bpm. Feel in decent shape to keep the good form going in the Cross country on Saturday despite falling off somewhat in the last few weeks. Shin is ok so its a case of recovering from this trip back home and staying well hydrated, rested and fed.

Plan – rest

Sticked to plan.

Plan – North East Harrier League XC – Alnwick

Despite falling off training for the last 3 weeks I still felt good and positive going into this fixture. I wanted to give it my all, both personally to keep pushing on in the Individual Grand Prix but also for my club as we have a great chance of winning Division 3 with two good performances.

Getting to the course it was apparent the ground was firm which is unusual for cross country in the North East of England. Actually, in hindsight, a little bit of mud probably would have suited me better as hard ground suits most runners but I’m probably more of a mud lark in comparison.

I felt fired up on the start line. For the first time I felt confident enough to get in the front row on the start line and push hard from the off. I decided to wear my heart rate monitor to gauge the effort and not fall off and get lazy. I wanted to push to 185bpm and keep it there. Push to 185bpm I did, getting up there around 3/4 through the first lap. Problem was I felt a little bit “blowy” as a result. I kept on a little bit coming into the second lap, steadied myself with some positive self talk but ultimately a bit of doubt crept in given the low mileage of late.

Having said that, I felt like I had made some good progress and had plenty to play for with two laps to go.

In these conditions Alnwick is by no means the toughest course but there are a few drags and there was some wind against at times.

Also, the sharp downhill at the end of each lap clearly suited others more than me and how I haven’t fallen over once in the 3 outings I’ve had here is beyond me.

Coming into the last lap I was trying to banish any negativity and focus on the task in hand. I thought about the Individual Grand Prix. My aim is a Top 50 place. I was currently in 15th. I knew this was a false position and I’ll be battling for my target and relying on others perhaps to not push me lower… It was enough to push on.

Coming through the forest I had club mate Michael Hedley coming past with some encouragement to pick off a Blyth runner about 50m ahead. Blyth are our main rivals for Division 3 and as it turned out the guy in question was there first counter. This was a great moment as I was just a little one paced at that point and I found a little. I was also pushed on by Stewy Bell driving past in his usual no holds barred style and I got in his slip stream and tried to go along for the ride.

Coming into the last downhill you are literally throwing yourself down, heaving but trying to keep some momentum into the finishing straight. I certainly felt like I finished strongly, taking one or two places.


Finishing straight at Alnwick

The result was 81st place (61st on Po10). I was 3rd counter for the club. Overall happy and Jesmond won the fixture and went top of Division 3. We are guaranteed promotion and have a strong claim on the title. On to Wrekenton for the last fixture in a few weeks time!

Plan – ???

Had a late night out so postponed anything until later in the day and got out for 40 minutes after 10 minutes spin on the Turbo Trainer. Felt fine overall and hope I can go into next week for some proper training leading into the next XC fixture. 5.8 miles in 40mins averaging 155bpm.

Weekly Totals

Running – ~32 miles
Turbo Trainer – ~40mins

Got to get back on it and push on now. Got to push myself hard.

Sub 17 5k – Week 13 training diary

I was a bit disappointed with the parkrun 17.57 but I had to remind myself the conditions were slippy. Funnily enough someone at runbritain towers viewed the run favourably as my handicap was slashed to 3.2. I’ve never been quite sure about the handicap system but it did make me feel a bit better. What can I say, I love numbers and stats…

Hopefully it would give me a bit of a boost in the lead up to the next North East Harrier League fixture…

Last week was my highest weekly mileage ever and I’m feeling a little bit fatigued. It’s not all to do with running, I’ve been promoted at work and its pretty full on at the moment so I’m struggling a bit with the stress of the work, training, life balance.

Training Diary

Plan – 45min threshold

I’d been having a load of problems with my heart rate monitor and I was pretty hacked off with it. So it felt liberating to throw it away, order a new strap and get on without it.

So for this run I decided to shoot for 6.30 miles which I knew was low end threshold on my usual route. I wasn’t feeling too good so this seemed sensible to keep it low end.

Wasn’t a bad run, feeling very easy first 3 miles and progressively harder thereon.

Despite a decent showing (7 miles in 45mins) I just felt fatigued, as if last week’s mileage and everything (read “work”) was getting on top of me.

Plan – 45min threshold

Unfortunately the feeling of feeling run down reared it’s ugly head with a load of cold sores.

As a kid I got these all the time it felt like. I hate them but it was a bit of a running joke that I’d always get them when it was time for school photos! Ha ha.

Anyway, I rarely get them now thank goodness and when I do it’s a classic warning sign. Coach Tune was asking for another threshold on the plan before slight taper for race but I got in touch and we scaled back to a very easy run.

Even a jog felt laboured and I was starting to get paranoid about slipping back into anaemia. This was classic “me” negativity…

Plan – 50min recovery

Felt like shit. My brain is being taxed 10hrs a day and is draining every bit of energy I have it seems like. I’m eating well, sleeping well and hydrating well but I feel absolutely shattered on getting home. Contacted coach again to express concerns. We agreed I’m stressed and to relax and rest. No run.

Plan – 45min recovery

Felt a bit livelier for the rest and got out for a 35min recovery run which felt a lot better than Tuesday.

Plan – rest

Used the rest to get ready for tomorrow’s race. Still feel mentally weak but resolving to give it my all for myself, coach and club.

Plan – NEHL XC fixture #4

Tried to have a lie in. Got up at 9ish. My race day routine seems a bit weird. Bowl of porridge at 10am. A pint of beetroot juice. Some water. A bath. Put race gear on and race number. Tracksuit over top. Jump in car and go to see Glen who lives right next to Bedewell Park. Have a great chat. My mate Glen is a great runner and an inspiration to me. He planted the seed for me to get back into it. I love him to bits. His ethos, his ideas, his attitude.

Left Glen’s and walked to the course. The tented area was a muddy mess. I knew I should have put the wellies on!

I felt emotionless. I owe Coach Tune a lot. He tried to call me earlier. I was driving but he sent a text. Something like “your training says you WILL run well”. This was all I needed.

There was a bit of “chaos” surrounding our Men’s club team. People had dropped out and we could be short. I was emotionless. I was going to run hard and that was it.

I did a short warm up and got on line for the medium pack start. It was filling out a bit but I got a decent starting spot. Started quite strongly, probably about top 10 or 15. The wind was strong and the ground boggy. Although the course was relatively short (less than 6 miles) it was going to be a tough day at the office.

Almost straight away I was running alongside a couple of runners I had beaten at the North Eastern counties. I resolved to stay with them but they were a bit stronger the first two laps.

That said, I ran the first lap strong despite a fall which I recovered well from. I always find the second lap the hardest but I was picking off slow pack runners well and pressed on into the last lap.


Mud bath at Bedewell Park XC

It was around 1/3 of the way through the last lap that I realised I’d pulled the two runners from NE counties back to me. It became my last challenge to beat them both. And some challenge it was. It wasn’t until the last straight that I pulled out a sprint finish.

I finished 70th from the medium pack and was 61st quickest on the day. This represents my best performance of the season. If this doesn’t get my confidence back on track someone needs to give me a slap.

Plan – 60min recovery

After the cross country myself and “Jesmond Jogger champ” Michael Hedley loosely decided to have a longish run together in the morning. We chatted about how we were both a bit low on confidence, more to do with being a bit under the weather than anything.

I met Michael at the club and we have kept in touch since. Michael is a great runner with bags of potential. We are both keen to do our best and we encourage each other, talking about how we are getting on, our goals, targets etc. It makes sense to train together more. We live close and I am starting to get more in line with the type of training paces Michael needs to operate at.

Having raced yesterday I was eager to keep it easy. We ran a slightly different route to my usual and there was a decent hill thrown in.

I was really happy with how I felt. We went our separate ways back home and I ended up bagging 9 and a bit miles in 65mins. Average HR was 155bpm. Just what I needed as a consistent long run is going to be key going forwards and something I’ve never had.

Hopefully more long runs with Jogger champ in the coming weeks and months as we both try to hit our goals of pbs come Spring.

Weekly Totals

Running ~31 miles

After what felt like a potentially disappointing week turned out well with a solid performance in the XC race and a good longer run to end the week on a high.

Sub 17 5k – Week 3 training diary

Check out for more of my thoughts on running

With the cross country race on Saturday I’m hoping to continue the confidence building strength training and go into the race feeling strong.

I haven’t done as much off road training as I’d like but I’m looking forward to a hard race test to get a feel for where I’m at.

Training Diary

Plan – 40min recovery zone

Every Monday I seem to go out full of good feeling in my running and go up a notch in performance versus the previous week.

And so again it proved. I pretty effortlessly ran 40mins with an average of 7 min per mile at an average HR of 158bpm (mid – top end of recovery zone). 5.7 miles total.

That’s in comparison to last week running 30mins @ 7.15 miling and 157bpm.

Long may this improvement in strength and running efficiency continue.

Plan – 45min recovery zone

Another strong run in my recovery zone, this time ticking off 6.3 miles in 45mins at 156bpm average and not really feeling like I’d been for a run afterwards.

Excited about the base I’m building.

Plan – 40min threshold zone

A little wet and windy. Quite often on these runs I feel great the first 20-30mins and then it starts to grind. Tonight was no exception. That’s why I’m focusing on recovery endurance and threshold type training so much – to build my strength and stamina.

That said I would never have thought I’d be knocking out 40min 10k pace for these runs on a regular basis and so I know I’m going in the right direction as far as the base is concerned.

I’m not quite sure how it will translate to the cross country but excited to find out. With the dark nights I’ve been unable to do much off road running but, at the end of the day, that’s what XC racing is for so bring it on.

That’s the harder training run for the week done and onto rest and recovery for Saturday.

Plan – 45min recovery zone

Was feeling a little tired after a busy day at work so cut it down to 35mins and completed 4.9 miles in the time with an average HR of 153.

Plan – rest

Plan – NEHL Race #2 Aykley Heads

This was my first time running from Medium Pack. In all honesty I was just looking for the experience. This was a new course and we turned up cutting it fine so there was no chance to scope it out.

So the rough plan was to get my HR up to 183 and work through the field as best I could. I was not worrying about pace at all.

The course was quite muddy for most of the way round. Each last quarter of every lap was a hard slog. I think I handled the hills really well first two laps. The third lap I gave a good go in the lead up to the last set of hills.


A muddy right hander at Aykley Heads

I maybe over egged it and paid a price a little. I felt like I was going backwards somewhat but was well aware others were suffering as well.

I picked up in the final straight and I must admit I feel fresh as a daisy compared to how I usually feel after a hard XC run. Not sure how to interpret the result yet but fairly pleased with 145th giving 2 and a half minutes on the slow pack and think I’ll come on for this run.

Plan – 45mins recovery

Cut the run to 36 mins and kept it easy. Felt a bit fatigued but did 4.9 miles averaging around 155bpm.

Weekly Totals

Running 34 miles
Cycling zero

Another good week and a good performance in a tough cross country race.

Onto next week I have the slight complication of a work trip to Barcelona but hoping it won’t impact too much on the good progress I’ve been making in the base building exercise as sights turn to Wallington Hall cross country next Saturday. It’s a course I really enjoyed and I think I can really come on and run a little freer.

Farringdon XC Relays – race report

Coming down the first hill, round the corner into the slightly wooded bit. Nobody in front (close), couldn’t hear anybody behind. It’s getting tough already. But a smile inside. This is what I want to do!

Our first two runners Matt Nicholson and Michael Hedley had done an amazing job. I’d been a bit nervous because I knew they would. Meaning I’d be in the lions den, trying to defend an exciting position against top runners. We have a bit of a joke in the club that nobody knows who we are. As Michael came over the brow of the hill with 2 other runners the official thought it was 3 Sunderland Harriers. I think he was 5th.

“It’s Jesmond” I shouted over and took my position.

I’d deliberately left the Garmin at home again. No need for it for 1.8 miles and I wanted to employ the “just keep pushing” tactics again. I started pretty strongly, being taken over by one Sunderland Harrier but overtaking another. I didn’t see anybody else until after the stream.

Last time I was here I ran through the stream. This time I had already decided I was going to clear it. Clear it I did but not without a jarring landing which I felt in the left ankle. I was congratulated by a spectator on the technique but couldn’t help think it was sarcastic. Maybe that was just my negativity at having nearly put myself out of the race. On I went.

At this point I was overtaken by at least two. One was the recent winner of the ten miler and a Morpeth Harrier. I didn’t consider trying to follow, I was in survival mode, knowing the sting in the tail was to come.

I was thinking I wasn’t going much faster than 2012. It gave me the nudge I needed to get it over with. I don’t think I did too badly up the hills. I wasn’t so impressed with how I came down them. Heaving for air was slowing the stride and making it somewhat inefficient.

I’m always grateful for any support. The marshalls were great, as always going above and beyond with the encouragement. It was great also to have the final shout from our skipper Michael to finish off with a bit of a flourish.

I haven’t got a clue how I’ve done. To be honest I’m not too fussed. I’m just really happy to be competing at the business end of a race! This is what I want to be doing more often!

Well done to Chris Heaps who brought the team home despite still recovering from injury.

Time to ice this ankle…


Good to be back at Farringdon XC relays

Week 2 training diary

The plan for Week 2 was to pretty much repeat week 1 but with slightly increased running mileage. Having zero bike maintenance skills the cycles out of action this week. Hoping to get it back on the road for some light cross training soon.

Week 2 diary

Plan – 35mins Easy (grass)

Notes – change of plan here what with it being a Bank Holiday. Got out early and hit the pavements. Was feeling the weekend exertions and ended up running over 6 miles in around 50 odd minutes. Took in Cow Hill on the route which got the heart rate up.

Plan – 3 miles threshold

Notes – decided to run 20 minutes threshold on Kenton Dene which is a flat XC type course. I’m looking to see my heart rate controlled at 175-185bpm and for average pace to improve week on week. I was really happy with the session and felt full of running. It turned into an acceleration type session with each mile getting slightly faster from 6.33 in mile 1 to 6.18 mile 3 and although I was working harder towards the end I was at or around lactate threshold throughout.

This will be a key session each week and I’ll be looking to increase time up to around 40mins (average length of XC races). In terms of pace, if I can operate at around 6 – 6.15 minute miles at lactate threshold I’ll feel in shape to really challenge to qualify for the medium pack in the North East Harrier League which is a key objective this season. So I’m really pleased with where I’m at given its only August.

Plan – 35mins Easy (grass)

Notes – felt like a run on the pavements so just had a look round the streets of Kenton. Annoyingly my HRM has been playing up and I don’t feel like I can trust it so just tried to run on feel, monitoring my breathing. Felt great, as if I didn’t need to breath. Ended up with 4.5 miles in the time allotted, so sub 8 min miling.

Plan – 30mins threshold

Notes – got up and pottered around the house. Got a few social things to do so didn’t want to do a full 30min threshold so broke it up into 5min on 5min off, 15mins total at pace. Very windy on Kenton Dene but felt fine, again running on feel and each 5 minute effort got faster from 6.34 average to 6.01 so happy overall with the session.

Weekly totals

Running ~20 miles
Cycling zero

Busy week next week with the Jesmond Joggers club champs on Monday and GN 5k on Saturday. Haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to structure my training between the two but I’ll work it out on feel. I might even restrict my running to the two races and 1 other easy run midweek as I want to feel fresh for the 5k. Looking forward to giving it my all.