Thursday, 9 August 2012

Back on my soap box

Despite (or it may be because of) wall to wall coverage by the BBC and the aid of modern technologies which make the viewing of any aspect of the Olympics so easy, I have still found it a bit of a logistical problem fitting in my running, Olympic viewing, work and family life.  But, fit it in I have and what a fantastic Games so far, and not just the athletics.  Highlights must be Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah though and from a local perspective Ross Murray of Gateshead Harriers reaching the mens1500m semi-final and Laura Weightman of Morpeth Harriers reaching tomorrows women's 1500m final.

With regards to my running, Sunday was a steady 17 miles (finishing to coincide with the start of the women's marathon).  Followed by a gym session on Monday, by way of a recovery session. While on Tuesday, the aim was to replicate the track session of 6 x 400m (all in 81 seconds) of last week.

Although not as consistent as last week I was faster with 400's in 80, 78, 77, 78, 78 and 77.   Last night it was just an easy 4 miles off road as my legs felt completely shot. But, at least I am moving in the right direction.

In his blog Running on Empty Terry Lonergan frequently looks back at races and how he was running 25 years ago.  Out of curiosity and perhaps a little foolishly I decided to look back through my old training logs to see what I was doing this week 25 years ago.

Coincidentally, on the Tuesday evening I did the exact same session of 6 x 400 as I did this Tuesday.  The times though were a little different at 68, 68, 66, 67, 66, 64.  I followed this with 3 days of easy running, then on the Saturday ran a 6.7 mile race at Annitsford in Northumberland, finishing 5th in 36.00.  I followed this, on Sunday, with an 11th place in the Geordie Run a (now defunct) half Marathon, in 72.55.

Returning to the Olympics, Alongside all the interest and enthusiasm generated by the Olympics, talk in the media, now, seems to be centring on the legacy the Games will produce and how we can /must move forward from here, and I think rightly so.

Its not just the elite athletes who need supporting but sport within the community as a whole.  With a centrally led, coherent, co-ordinated sporting strategy.

Professor Kevin Jefferies of Plymouth University has said "There is a head of steam building at the moment, calling for a national campaign for improved schools sports, formed from Team GB's success, but work is needed on sport policy."  He intends to campaign for such a strategy.

Sounds good, but remember, this is against a backdrop of current occurrences such as Education Secretary, Michael Gove approving the sale of over 20 school playing fields in the last 2 years.  This, despite a pledge by the Coalition Government to protect school fields.

Mind you, the previous Labour Government was responsible for the 'selling off' of over 200 school playing fields in the previous 13 years.

It would be such a waste to let this opportunity go (look at the Team Australia's results in this years Olympics).  The importance of sport cannot be underestimated and perhaps this government should listen to one of their own, The Duke of Wellington and ".......the playing fields of Eton" and all that.

I'll get off my soap box now and stick to running for my next post.

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