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Calf Trouble – 2nd-8th October

Sunday 8th October 2017

I was flying. After, to borrow a phrase from my old team manager Richard, ‘treating the first hill with some respect’ I was moving nicely through the field on leg one of the National 6 Stage. One by one I picked my opponents off, running alongside before lining up my next target and chasing it down. Everything was going perfectly. Until it wasn’t.

I got a small clip from behind from another athlete as we headed out on the out-and-back section of the course. As I stumbled and tried to regain my balance my right foot struck my left calf. Although the initial feeling was one of discomfort it wasn’t hurting and wasn’t stopping me move through the field. This all changed, though, when we started descending. The extra load suddenly caused a cramping in the calf which reduced my fluid stride to a hobble. Unable to stop as this was a relay, I limped the final mile, getting passed by all but four other runners. The finish line couldn’t come quickly enough and when it did I promptly collapsed over it, my left calf in agony.

Today it is sore and it remains to be seen how bad the injury is, but this was a timely reminder that it only takes one small incident to turn you from a fully fit athlete to someone struggling to walk down stairs. Injury can happen to anyone at any time. Hopefully I will be back on two feet again soon.

My week:

​Monday: 16km easy, drills and hurdles (16)

Tuesday: AM 10km easy / PM 3:00 on grass, 6*(400,300,200) on track off 60,45,30, 3:00 on grass (25)

Wednesday: 16km easy (16)

Thursday: AM 8km easy / PM 10km moderate (18)

Friday: rest (0)

Saturday: AM 8km easy / PM National 6 Stage, 80th on leg 1 in 20:18 (18)

Sunday: rest (0)

The Balancing Act – 25th September – 1st October

Sunday 1st October 2017

Yesterday I was asked why I had improved so much over the summer after changing club. My response was that I am now training at a much greater intensity than before and am achieving a greater density of sessions, sometimes 3 in a week, something I would never have done before. This year I have learned that I can get more out of myself than I previously thought. This week was no exception. On Thursday evening, still tired and sore from Tuesday’s tempo run, I got dropped on the first rep and struggled to get my legs moving. I stuck it out and with each effort the session became easier once I pushed through the initial discomfort. Not too long ago I would have stopped at that point and saved myself for another day. Of course, there are times when you need to say no and listen to your body, but I am now learning when to say yes. This fine balancing act between overdoing it and underdoing it is hugely important in running.

My week:

Monday: AM 8km easy / PM 13km easy, drills and hurdles (21)

Tuesday: AM 8km easy / PM 15km progression run – 3:37 average, circuits (25)

Wednesday: 14 km easy (14)

Thursday: AM 10km easy / PM road session – 800, 10*500, 800, strides (25)

Friday: rest (0)

Saturday: 6*300m hill reps, parkrun in 16:06 (16)

Sunday: 24km moderate (24)

The Bronze Medal – 18th-24th September

Monday 25th September 2017

I took a medal home at the weekend as a member of the Birchfield team who came 3rd at the Midland 6 Stage. Just as pleasing was the fact that I was only a few seconds outside my best time on legs that really didn’t feel great at any point. Hopefully this is a sign that there is plenty more to come. This week coming I plan to increase the mileage and get at least two good sessions in. Next week is the National and there’s a good chance I don’t even make the A team! That’s just the kind of competition I was hoping for when I moved club!

My week:

Monday: 15 km easy, drills + hurdles (15)

Tuesday: AM 10km easy / PM road session mile, 2 miles, 2 miles, mile off 2:00/3:00 (27)

Wednesday: 12km easy (12)

Thursday: 8km easy, strides (8)

Friday: rest (0)

Saturday: Midland 6 Stage, 10th on leg 1 in 18:38 (15)

Sunday: AM 16km easy / PM 10km easy (26)

Training – Week Beginning 11 September

Sunday 17th September 2017

Standard training week. I’m gradually building the mileage and the length of the sessions up.

Monday: 16km easy (16)

Tuesday: AM 9km easy / PM road session 800, 10*500, 800 off 60s (23)

Wednesday: 16km easy (16)

Thursday: AM 9km easy / PM 16km tempo (26)

Friday: 16km easy (16)

Saturday: rest (0)

Sunday: 25km moderate (25)

Training – Week Beginning 04 September

Sunday 10th September 2017

This was my first proper week of training after the break – lots of tempo running and conditioning work.

Monday: 16km easy (16)

Tuesday: AM 8km easy / PM 15km progression run (25)

Wednesday: 15km easy (15)

Thursday: AM 8km easy / PM 15km progression run (24)

Friday: rest (0)

Saturday: 16km in 63:40 with 5*200 hills, 5km tempo on grass in 17:38, 5*200 hills (16)

Sunday: 24km easy (24)