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Training – Week Beginning 19 November

Sunday 25th November 2012

Ran a very tough session on Tuesday and paid for it the rest of the week.

Monday: ran home very slowly (9)

Tuesday: 8 x 15s sprints on road, 6 x 1 mile on track off 60s: 5:08/08/04/02/04/4:59 (13)

Wednesday: 10 easy, very sore (10)

Thursday: 12 easy, heavy rain and wind (12)

Friday: Rest. Much needed. (0)

Saturday: 15 mins easy (2)

Sunday: 14 easy (14)

Week total: 60 miles

2012 total: 3135 miles


Monday 19th November 2012

Something awesome happened this weekend. My friend and training partner Dan took well over a minute off his personal best time for 10k. His stated aim before the race was to break 34 and he absolutely smashed it, going through half way in 16:30 and nearly skipping the 33s altogether to record a time of 33:03. Dan, the Sergei Bubka of the local running scene, had been telling me the previous Tuesday how he only tends to improve by very small margins, citing his 4 minutes in 4 marathons as evidence. This has proven not to be the case.

Dan’s story is inspiring and is proof, if any is needed, of the value of sheer hard work and graft. Dan trains hard and puts the miles in and in the last few months his approach to training has really started to pay off. In September he ran his fastest marathon ever, in October he ran his fastest half marathon ever and in November he made a mockery of his former 10k PB. I predict a quick 5k before 2012 comes to an end.

This also tells me that I need to reprogram my brain and consider carefully what is possible. If someone I train with can break ┬átheir PB by so much, why can’t I? I need to aim higher and Dan’s performance is just the spur I need. No more conservative goals. No more messing around. Sub 32 here I come.

Training – Week Beginning 12 November

Sunday 18th November 2012

A good track session and 5k. Ran further than planned on Sunday morning. Over 3000 miles for the year.

Monday: 10 easy (10)

Tuesday: 10x10s sprints on road, 10×1000 off 45s: 3:13,3:10,3:12,3:11,3:10,3:08,3:10,3:09,3:09,3:07 (13)

Wednesday: 10 easy (10)

Thursday: 12 easy (12)

Friday: 10 easy (10)

Saturday: Parkrun, 1st in 15:50 then 12 x 30s on – 30s off (12)

Sunday: 23 easy ~2:45 (23)

Week total: 90 miles

2012 total: 3075 miles

Training – Week Beginning 5 November

Sunday 11th November 2012

Feeling fitter. Happy with the XC race which I didn’t really taper for. Will probably hit 3000 miles for the year on Tuesday. Our club had a great showing at the league race.

Monday: 12 easy/steady (12)

Tuesday: Rest (0)

Wednesday: Ran home + 5x400m hill efforts + 2 mile tempo: 79,77,77,78,78,10:48 (14)

Thursday: Easy out, steady back with 10x10s hill sprints (12)

Friday: Easy out, steady back (8)

Saturday: Birmingham League XC, Leamington – 37th in 35:59. 10k approx. (10)

Sunday: 18 easy (18)

Week total: 74 miles

2012 total: 2985 miles

I’m Seriously

Sunday 4th November 2012

This week I have been off work and have spent my time running, sleeping, relaxing and catching up with season 16 of South Park on a website that may or may not be legal.

I also raced cross country for my club in the National Relays, and after a pretty mediocre performance reminded myself of the words of South Park’s very own Eric Cartman: “I’m Seriously.” You see, I just find it hard to train seriously for cross country. I can’t remember ever having tapered for a cross country race, nor can I remember a time when I’ve really gone for it and fully committed to a race on grass and mud. I tend to view them as good training for road races rather than something to be taken seriously in their own right.

My latest half-arsed attempt at a taper consisted of a tempo run on Tuesday, a track session on Thursday and the highest mileage I’ve logged in a week since my last marathon. No wonder I ran poorly. Despite this I had far too much left in the tank in the last few hundred metres, a consequence of starting off too conservatively and not attacking the race from the gun.

So, was it the chicken or the egg? Am I a relatively weak cross country runner because I don’t take it seriously or do I not take it seriously because I feel I’m no good at it? Probably both, but my instinct is the former. If I’m going to do well at cross country and not get beaten my people who I can beat on the road and track, I probably ought to start training earlier, do more long reps on grass and mud, do more hill sessions and actually get some rest before the race.

Despite the first league race being six days away now, I still can’t see that happening just yet. Seriously.