Friday, 31 December 2010
Mileage for the year - 2338
Average weekly mileage - 44.96
Number of races run 17
Anyone who has read my posts for a while will probably already know that overall I am going to rate my performance for the year as POOR. I started the year full of enthusiasm with a goal of returning to London to run a Marathon for the first time in 6 years. I did not think I was being over ambitious with a target time of 2.55 to 2.58 (the last marathon I ran was in 2.49). The training seemed to be going fairly well and with regard to quantity and quality of sessions I felt reasonably prepared despite race results leading up to the marathon.
In fact of the 17 races this year, all but two have been in personal worst times, and not just by the odd second or so. I appreciate that I am getting older and slower but the decline this year has been rather drastic.
Again I accept that I will probably never reach the mileage I used to cover in a year (a number of years over the 3000 mark) and that I am not going to recover as quickly between races and therefore race less frequently (again I used to average over 40 races a year) but I need to race more often than I did this year.
However, not everything is negative. Despite what I have just said and health and injury problems aside I am still enjoying my running as much as ever and am looking forward to next year.
The idea of reviewing performance over the last year is to use it as a basis for progressing into the next year. At the moment I have only some broad objectives which I will formulate into some sort of plan over the next couple of days.
Broadly speaking though the aim must be to halt my current decline and if possible reverse it slightly to where I was a couple of years ago. Also to have some specific objectives rather than have a scatter gun approach and try to do everything at once.
Once I have refined my plan I will post it so that there is some sort of accountability. In the meantime hope I would like to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
By the way, Luke joined me again for a run this morning, we did 10 miles off road. There has been a further thaw and apart from Milkwell Woods the trails where fairly snow and ice free, but very muddy.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Sunday (Boxing Day) was a steady 12 miles through Pont Valley, Celestial Way and around Pont Top.
Monday saw a fresh fall of snow and I contented myself with a steady 5 miles along the Derwent Walk.
Tuesday saw a rise in temperatures and rain rather than snow. This meant a 6 mile slither and trudge along the Pont with Luke who had decided to join me on my run.
Wednesday was a brisk 3 miles - I hesitate to call this a tempo run as the pavements had stretches of frozen slush which made for difficult running.
This morning was a steady 8 miles around the Consett section of the Coast to Coast. However the frozen footpaths seemed to be more suited to ice skating than running. As I had been expecting the paths to be difficult and therefore a slow run I took the camera with me and took these photos of the sculptures along the walk at Consett.
As I write this I have just had a phone call from Liam, our club Fixtures Secretary, to tell me that the club have an entry spare for the London Marathon if I am interested. I must admit I am tempted, but after the disaster of this years attempt and my current problems with knees and hamstrings I am taking the sensible (?) option and declining.
Friday, 24 December 2010
No running yesterday as it was the works Christmas do and I succumbed to the temptation of food and alcohol. Tomorrow is Christmas Day and I always take Christmas Day off'
So here is wishing you all a
Monday, 20 December 2010
Sunday, 19 December 2010
For me, well I was reminded of a quote by Jesse Owens:
"I always loved running...... it was something you could do by yourself, under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wished, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights. Just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs"
So for me the weekend looked like this:
Friday evening was cold (-5C when I set off) but the sky was clear and the moonlight reflecting off the snow made for a great off road night run.
Saturday, with the paths still very icy and slippery was another off road run. This time a steady 5 miles. Cutting across the fields, down to Cut Throat Lane and down on to the Derwent Walk, up to Ebchester then back up the fields home,
Sunday, again off road, steady down into Pont Valley, up to Leadgate and along the Celestial Way to the Transformers before returning home by way of some paths I have never used before. For a solid 10 miles.
No races but an enjoyable 3 days of running!
Friday, 17 December 2010
Thursday saw the return of the snow and although nothing in comparison to the amount of snow we had last time, the low temperatures mean that it has promptly frozen, making walking and running treacherous. At least with the weekend arriving I should be able to get a couple of off road runs in. The forecast for today is dry and cold (max temp 0c), with more snow for possibly Saturday and probably Sunday.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Tonight is club night at the Harriers and I am planning to go down to Blaydon to train with the group, especially as the paths are a lot clearer down there. The (small) difference in height between Blaydon and Medomsley has a significant affect on the depth of snow we receive and it would seem, how quickly it thaws.
With the weather forecast predicting a return to the snow and freezing conditions from Thursday, it looks as though this may be just a brief respite.
Friday, 10 December 2010
easily and start to sympathise with caged hamsters.
I can't understand those who prefer running indoors on a treadmill, rather than outside in the fresh air, with differing terrain and scenery - see
Terry Lonergan's post today http://runningonempty/.
Anyhow, following Monday's session of 5 x 400, Tuesday was a steady 5 miles, as was Wednesday. Only this time to make things a little more interesting I set the T/mill at an easy but steady pace with an incline of 1%. I then increased the incline by 1% every 500m. Last night I managed 6 miles with 4 x 4mins, with 3 min jog recovery.
Although I intend to return to the treadmill tonight, I hope to get back outside for a run at least once over the weekend, if only for my state of mind.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Another fall of snow last night, although only a light one in comparison to what we have been receiving and continuing freezing temperatures mean that I will probably be heading to the gym for most of the rest of the week.
Friday, 3 December 2010
My initial thoughts were to get out early morning for my run, before settling down to work. However, with the thermometer reading -10C I decided to re-assess the situation and go out at lunchtime.
And so it was, with temperatures at a balmy -1C I headed out the door for another five miles as gradually build the mileage back up.
There have been some pathways established in the snow, however, these have become rutted and frozen, so don't make for easy running. But still I am out and the miles are starting to build up, which is more than I can say for last week.
Anyone lucky enough to find a race that has not been cancelled this weekend - have a good one
and Julie at hotlegsrunner have a great marathon
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Sunday, 28 November 2010
I had planned another very easy paced run and before the novelty wears off, I took the camera along for more snowy pictures. However, as there was no adverse reaction from the hamstrings the planned 3 to 4 miles turned into 6.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
So with the thermometer reading -3C (about 26F) I headed out into the snow and since it was an easy run, decided to take some snaps en route.
Despite my lungs feeling as though they had been cast into Dante's inferno and the memory patterns for my legs to run being replaced by those for Bambi on the ice, it was great to be back running (although shuffling is probably a better description) and there was no adverse reaction from the hamstrings, so I'm thinking same again tomorrow.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Figures show that when the last Conservative government had power in 1997 only 25% of children at state schools were given the statutory minimum of 2hrs PE per week. Under the last Labour government this figure, by 2010, had risen to 93%.
Surely reducing funding to such a degree will result in this figure dropping again, as well as having an adverse effect on other initiatives, such as the fight against child obesity. Which we are being told is increasing to epidemic proportions in this country and the resulting burdening effect this will have on such institutions (and their associated costs) as the health service.
The other article, which appeared in 'The Observer' discussed how fast man could ultimately run, featuring particularly the 100m and the marathon.
Frequently statistics of past performances and trends in performance are used to predict the possible limits of how fast a man can run. However, the article set out, that scientists are still only in the early stages of understanding the limits of human performance and that humans will continue to throw up unpredictable variables which make the prediction of ultimate world record times impossible.
I don't think many people are expecting British athletes breaking world record times in the near future, but when looking at the way things are going funding wise I think that any that do will do so despite funding and support as much as because of funding and support.
Meanwhile, from a personal running point of view, I have picked up a heavy cold and since my training has already been curtailed do to hamstring problems, this is probably the best time to have caught cold.
Finally congratulations to Catherine who knocked a minute and a half of her 10km pb at the Leeds Abbey Dash.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Monday, 15 November 2010
Just after 3 miles the hamstring started to tighten and by the time I had completed the run the pain had spread to include my hip and abductor.
So its back to the ice, anti-inflammatory's and stretching. As this Sunday's Abbey Dash in Leeds appears as though it will be a non-event as far as my participation is concerned.
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
So flicking through December,s edition of the Running fitness magazine, it was a bit of a coincidence when I noticed an article entitled 'New carb calculator could help runners avoid hitting the wall.'
The article reports that Benjamin Rapoport of Harvard University and MIT has formulated a mathematical model to calculate how much carbohydrate a runner should consume to prevent their fuel reserves running out.
The calculator has been developed to allow a runner to calculate their own individual caloric needs both quantitatively and specifically. In the past runners have worked on averages with at times only a vague idea of how to quantify their own personal fuel requirements and as no two runners are the same i.e. different weight, different aerobic fitness, different builds, etc. etc. the calculator allows the runner to calculate their own personal needs.
The calculator can be found at http://endurancecalculator.com/
If anyone out there tries this calculator I would be interested in your thoughts
Last night I attended the Great North Run Review evening and a very enjoyable evening it was. However one snippet that came from the evening came from Brendan Foster who indicated that following a chat he had had with Jos Hermens, the agent of Haile Gebrselassie, the recently retired star was already reconsidering his decision to retire and could possibly be racing again next year.
Could we be seeing Haile Gebreselassie at the Great North Run again next year?
Meanwhile I am considering another gentle 2 miles this evening.
Monday, 8 November 2010
I have been using some of the time I would have been running to catch up on some reading and in particular 'Joss' a biography about fell running legend Joss Naylor.
The book, as well as covering his exploits as a runner, details his hard upbringing on a lakeland hill farm during the 1930's and 1940's. and his life and work as a shepherd.
Joss Naylor, now 73 and still running over the fells of the Lake District, achievements include in 1975, running 72 Lake District mountains in under 24 hours (23hrs 20mins to be exact).
In 1997, aged 60, he ran 60 Lakeland fell tops in 36hrs and in 2006, aged 70, 70 lakeland fell tops, covering more than 50 miles and ascending more than 25,000 feet in under 21hrs.
Friday, 5 November 2010
Last night the session was 8 x 2 mins with 2 mins jog recovery, and as I was completing the third rep I received a rather painful tweak in the right hamstring. Deciding discretion was the better part of valour and attempting another rep would probably result in worse damage I decided to just jog the 3 miles back.
So its a couple of days stretching and TLC towards my hamstring.
If anyone is racing this weekend - have a good one
Thursday, 4 November 2010
So to help her celebrate I ran my 3.1 miles on an out and back course. The route can be found at www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4134658 in a time of 20.34. Weather conditions were 8c and raining.
Happy birthday Christina - have a great day!
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Monday night was also a battle against the elements as strong winds buffeted me throughout a 7 mile run, from Medomsley, up to and around Consett, and back again. I also included 2 x 1.5 miles at tempo.
Last night, we managed to avoid the worst of the weather as the torrential rain eased off just as six of us set out for an interval session of 5 x 4mins with 3 mins jog recovery. The route was once again around the streets of Dunston and The Teams, with two laps of the track to take the distance up to 8 miles.
Although it has been very windy and wet, temperature wise it is very mild with temperatures averaging 9C.
My knees and hamstrings are once again objecting to my attempts at speed work so an easy 6 miles should appease them tonight.
Monday, 1 November 2010
Saturday's cross country race at Farringdon turned into another hard slog. The course was less muddy than in previous years but very tight which made passing difficult. After starting too far back (I should know better after all these years!) I found myself well down in the pack and forced to come to a standstill on the second bend.
I then threaded my way through the field as best as I could over the next two laps only to find myself dropping back over the last lap and final small loop, to complete the course of approx. 5.9km in 41.19 and finishing in 131st place.
After comparing Saturdays results with last weeks race at Cramlington, there is a slight sign of improvement as I finished ahead of a number of people who beat me last week. But its still a case of back to the drawing board.
Race wise I have nothing planned now for a couple of weeks when it will be a return to the roads with a 10Km at the Leeds Abbey Dash.
Sunday was a heavy legged fourteen miles along the Derwent Walk.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Again I found the session tough but enjoyable and since it is a relatively short session at 6 miles I went out ahead of the group to get some extra miles in, taking it up to 9 miles for Tuesday.
Monday, 25 October 2010
The wrong choice of shoes, studs rather than spikes, did not help in what turned out to be a poor run. Running from the slow pack I started well but soon found myself slipping back through the field as I felt empty and heavy legged. Completing the course in 42.38 and finishing 120th.
The second race in the series is this coming Saturday at Farringdon. So I have an early opportunity to put things right - Roll on Saturday!
Thursday, 21 October 2010
However, having left the house I had ran no further than 3/4 mile, when as I made my way along, just inside the woods heading for Make Me Rich Plantation. I spotted what would have made a great photograph, with three deer standing in the corner of the field as the setting sun sank behind the trees.
A little frustrated and slightly annoyed that I had left the camera behind, I continued on. The route I had chosen was a circular one of 6 miles, through fields and woods and footpaths down into the Derwent Valley with a steep climb back home again. The skies were clear and there was a cold wind blowing, and as I made my way into the last mile, dusk had well a truly set in. With just enough light provided by the remains of the setting Sun to the west and a large, bright, waxing gibbous moon. You could also see what I think was Mars, brightly shining. A beautiful night and a fantastic run - Magic
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Monday, 18 October 2010
Friday, 15 October 2010
The run took us around the streets of Dunston and The Teams as we did the Redheugh loop with 2 laps of the track added to bring it up to 8 miles.
90 seconds effort doesn't sound much, but it is sometime since we did short intervals and I found the last four efforts tough as the lactic acid built up and I worked to maintain my speed, while my legs felt as though they were wading through treacle.
Good luck goes out to Alan Storey in Sunday's Kielder Marathon and John and Glynis who are running the Amsterdam Marathon. Anyone else racing this weekend - have a good one!
picture by Craig Allen
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
When I first joined Blaydon Harriers the club was based at Blaydon Comprehensive School. Seven years or so ago, the school was closed and pulled down. The club then split up with different groups training from different sites. We had always had problems with moving athletes through from the youth section into the Senior ranks and this was further compounded when we all trained from different sites. With the result that the club has a thriving Youth and Junior section and a thriving Masters section, with very few Seniors between.
Now though, re-development of the old school site is complete - they have kept the track (although still not a tarten track - despite promises, negotiations, plans, etc) with new changing facilities, Gym, Swimming Pool and NHS Walk -in centre. The result being the Club is now all back together and hopefully we can start getting some seniors moving through from the younger groups. The Club needs it to survive!
Monday, 11 October 2010
Sunday, 10 October 2010
Again I felt very one paced, at least until I hit a hill when I seemed to come to an almost standstill (so I think a spot of hill work is on the cards in the coming weeks). My time of 41.59 is not the greatest (over a minute slower than the last time I ran it 2 years ago) but I do enjoy this multi-terrain course.
I have not as yet been able to get any results but I do know the race was won in 36.33 by I think Liam Taylor of Sunderland Strollers. I was 2nd over 50 about 40 secs behind the first over 50.
Congratulations to the only other Blaydon runner - Luke Aston who finished 5th in 40.59.
As I write this I am watching the Commonwealth Games, Di Green has just received his gold medal for the 400 hurdles. I must admit I have hogged the TV this weekend watching the Commonwealths - having been limited to just highlights during the week, its terrible when having to go to work gets in the way of things! but to date the most exciting bit for me has to be the last 400m of the men's 5000m.
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Following last nights 9 miles (once again along Scotswood Road) which included an interval session of 5 x 3mins with 2 mins jog recovery, my legs were a little heavy and knees tender. So I decided a fairly easy run and a change of scenery were the order of the day.
So taking advantage of the last of the days sunlight I headed for the moors for a steady, although undulating, 5 miles. As it was a fairly easy run I decided to take the camera with me. These, then, are the views from today's outing:
Monday, 4 October 2010
The International races only returned at Gateshead in 2007 after an absence of 10 years. So you never know - they may return again one day.
Meanwhile, it may have been a sunny autumn evening, last night, but the constant rain over the weekend had made the tracks into a mud bath as I slipped and slid my way around the woods of Pont Burn.
After a miserable weekend the sun is shining and at a pleasant 13C it is a wonderful autumn evening - so I'm off for a run over the tracks to Pont Burn.
Friday, 1 October 2010
15 minutes later when we left the changing rooms the rain had given way to a damp and relatively warm evening (perfect for running) and on our way back from the session the temperature dropped dramatically as fog rolled its way over the river bank and across the road.
This window of perfect running weather was taken up with a 9 mile run which included an interval session of 5 x 4 mins, with 2 mins jog recovery. The old legs were still a little heavy - but some easy miles over the next couple of days should sort them out.
I am not racing this weekend - but anyone who is - have a good one!
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Monday - legs heavy and knees sore so a nice easy recovery run of 4 miles
Tuesday - 9 miles with 4 x 7 mins, with 2 mins jog recovery.
Wednesday - Gym, for weights session and 5 miles on treadmill. Since I am not a big fan of treadmills (getting bored very quickly) I decided to keep things interesting by starting off at a 2% incline and keeping the pace steady, increasing the incline by a further 2% every 2 minutes up to 14% then 2 minutes at 15% (the highest setting for the machine) before reducing the incline by 2% every two minutes until back to 1%. I followed this with a 6 minute mile and then a nice easy jog to make it up to 5 miles.
As promised, here a some photographs from Run Preston, from last Sunday
The Elite Mile:
Monday, 27 September 2010
The race was won by Gary Pennington of Preston Harriers in a time of 32.33, with Danny Parkinson of Kendal AC, second in 32.40.
After errors in the initial results, there was a pleasant surprise when it turned out that my 39th position in a time of 39.10 was good enough for second M50 place. First M50 was David Baker of Preston Harriers in 36.40. So I am still, however, a long way of the pace.
First lady home was Gemma Adams of Preston Harriers, who pushed me all the way and finished 40th in 39.11.
The 10km race was preceded by a fun run and followed by a 5km race and an elite mile race, which along with the nice sunny weather made for a great day out.
Hopefully I will have some pictures of the day to follow.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
I had decided to start steady and see how it went. At the end of the fourth lap, as I moved up into 6th position, it soon became an exercise in concentration as I splashed my way around the next 21 laps. With those in front, to far in front to catch and those behind, far enough behind not to threaten.
I managed to keep the pace fairly even and finished in 39.03, 6th overall and 1st M50. Stewy Bell won the race and was 1st M45 in 34.49.
Although this was my first track race this year, this was the last track meeting in the area this season, so will now have to wait until next year for another outing on the track. I am determined to race more though and Sunday will see me travel over to the North West for the Preston 10km
Monday, 20 September 2010
Yes, this is a bite from me - This is not my normal sartorial elegance - I was only wearing an old top to keep warm and I dumped it before the start of the race.
Below are more images from Saturdays Great North City Challenge:
For more photos of the Great North Run checkout AMcDs Running Commentary and for further comments on the GNR see Terry Lonergans Running on empty and Francesca's Journalism blogs.