Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Off the back

Unfortunately I picked up a cold towards the end of last week which is lingering on and although it has not prevented me from training I would like to think it is the reason I struggled in last nights session.  But in reality it is more down to a lack of fitness.

I again decided to go out with the group rather than a track session.  The session was a 9 mile run which included 6 x 3 min with 2 min jog recovery.  After the first rep I was off the back, trailing Liam, Paddy and Mike. Normally I would at least be able to match pace with them, but was left struggling in their wake.  But at least I got the session in.

Today saw a welcome return of some sunshine after a series of dull and miserable days and this evening  gentle 5 mile recovery run.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon 2011 - results

Full results can be found at

The results show I actually finished 28th overall in 91.09 and as I posted earlier first M50.  But only by the skin of my teeth:

2nd M50 was Jim Holding of Pocklington Runners in 91.26 and 29th position
3rd M50 was Steven Croft of Stadium Runners in 91.33 and 30th position

As for the front of the race:

1st Matt Moorhouse Salford Harriers 74.37
2nd Phil Taylor Bridlington Road Runners 74.56
3rd Tim Midgley Bingley Harriers 77.56

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Pyramid session

Following the exertions of the weekend last night I decided not to go to the track for the Tuesday track session.  But, not wanting to ignore speedwork completely, I instead, decided on joining the group running from Blaydon.  They were doing an 8 mile run which included a pyramid session 1 to 4 minutes and back again, with 1 min jog recovery between the 1 and 2 mins and 2 min jog recovery between all the other efforts.  I must admit I felt sluggish at the start of the pyramid but was able to work my way into it and pick up the pace as the session went on.

Feeling tired after last night though, this evenings run was a very steady 4 miler, by way of both recovery and hopefully not putting too much pressure on my knees, which remain in a delicate state.

Unfortunately I have not yet been able to find the results of Saturdays, Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon 2011

My original plan had been to have a steady run around the course, taking in the scenery.  However, heavy rain and low cloud sitting on the hills meant there was not going to be much too see.  So with a slight revision to my plans, I lined up about 3/4 of the way back in the starting area aiming to go off very steady and try to reel in as many as possible.

As the starting horn sounded the volume of runners surrounding me on the narrow road helped me resist the urge to start fast and in fact in an unusual show of self control I did not even try to react as others came past.

After a mile or so when a lot of the jockeying for position had stopped I started slowly to work my way through the field.  By three miles I had passed well over thirty or so runners and at the bottom of the first climb there was a group of four about 20 meters ahead.  Working steadily up the hill I picked the four runners off one by one as the hill took its toll on them and the group broke up-

Just after 6 miles there is an off road section and as I picked it up slightly as we headed back down hill I started to recognise some familiar runners up ahead.  Slightly taken aback but pleased by this I gradually worked my way through.

Not having many miles under the belt in training I had been expecting to struggle over the latter part of the course and although my tempo did drop a little I still continued to pick runners off all the way to the finish.

As for time and position, at the moment, I can tell you I finished 1st over 50 in 1.31.07 (not a great time but one I'm happy with on the day).  As for overall position, I am afraid I do not know yet as the results are not yet on the internet and I am afraid that I must admit to missing the presentation due to sheltering from the rain in the beer tent.

Although I do believe that the first two home were the same as last year with Matt Moorhouse of Salford again taking first place (after missing the start and working his way through the whole field - he passed me at about the first mile) and Phil Taylor of Bridlington taking 2nd.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Change of scenery

Fancying a change of scenery for this evenings run I headed down to Tunstall Reservoir near Wolsingham, in the Wear Valley.  As I am keeping it steady this week I took the camera with me, for another 5 miles.  The conditions were warm and sunny and the run very enjoyable.

Following the run around the Yorkshire wolds on Saturday I aim to start doing a number of races in order to race myself back to fitness. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

More of the same

Headed to Hepper Hill Woods again tonight for another steady run in drier but still humid conditions.  Found a couple of tracks I had not ran on before.  Another enjoyable 5 miles.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Hepper Hill Wood

As I am planning to run around the Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon this Saturday, I am taking it easier this week in order to try and protect my knees.  It was raining but still hot and humid this evening as I had an steady run around Hepper Hill Wood.  The rain had made it muddy and slippery underfoot.  Slipping into a stream as I crossed the slippery stepping stones and an abundance of nettle stings as I ran the narrow paths only seemed to add to the fun.

Friday, 8 July 2011

A fartlek run, some research and a past incident

A group of 11 of us did a fartlek session over the Blaydon Burn / Thornley Woods loop.  However, we did the loop in the reverse direction to the usual and added on 3 laps of the track to make distance up to 8 miles.

I must admit I found the session tough (but enjoyable).  Towards the end of the session as we completed a mile and a quarter tempo section and passed behind the Black Bull and along the banks of the Tyne I could visualise the refreshing pint of Black Sheep I would soon be having there.

I see that the results of a recent study by psychologist Dr Laura Chaddock published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, suggests that people who run have an improved ability to multi-task.

The experiment that forms the basis to this claim involved 36 students, 18 non-athletic and 18 athletes, who were placed in a virtual reality situation where they had to travel through a virtual world at their own speed and safely cross an unsigned road intersection, while avoiding traffic that was moving at speeds of between 40 and 50 mph.

The results found that the athletes group had a higher success rate than the non-athletes as they had faster processing skills.

I suspect, however, that the results may be influenced by the fact that the athletes were more practiced at negotiating such situations through a variety of their training experiences.

This reminded me of one of my past experiences and shows that practice does not guarantee success on every occasion, as the newspaper article from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, below, will testify.

It was back in 1984 and the week leading up to the Northern Six Stage Road Relay Championships.  We had a good team and felt confident that we would qualify for the National Championships for the first time.  The session we were doing was a 10 mile loop around Crawcrook with 10 x 1 min efforts.  I remember, it was just after the start of the second effort and we had to cut across a small side road.  I was leading the group and after a quick check started across the road.  I was about half way across when a car appeared from around the corner and there was no way I could avoid it.

Despite still having swollen ankles and right knee I still ran on the Saturday.  However, it still rankles with me that a below par performance by myself as a result meant we just missed out on qualification to the Nationals.  The team had been  steadily working its way through the field when I took over on the penultimate leg in 13th position.  However, instead of moving us higher as was expected I dropped to 17th leaving Nick far too much to do on the last leg.  We eventually finished 16th.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Back to The Riverside

Following two weeks absence, last night saw a return to The Riverside track at Chester le Street.  Since my knee problem is still on going I decided not to put too much presure on them and to do only 4 of the planned 6 x 600 with 2 mins jog recovery.

The conditions were warm and humid with a hint of rain, which did not materialise.  I wasn't sure how the session would go but was pleasantly suprised with the results of 1.59, 1.59, 2.01, 2.01

Not sure I could have maintained that pace if I had ran a further two reps, but a very enjoyable session.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Slow progress, but getting there

I must admit I thought I would be back  to racing by now, but although things don't seem to have improved as quickly as I had hoped I can now see light at the end of the tunnel.

I really enjoyed last nights fartlek session, despite being caught in a couple of heavy downpours of rain.  But more importantly, yesterday was the 8th consecutive day of running, with very little painful reaction from my knees.

So with half of the year over, and my lowest ever mileage and fewest ever races at the midway point.  I am looking forward to a more successful second six months