Monday, 29 April 2013

"Legs aching like a tractor wheel"

This is a line from a 1970's Roy Wood song, which intrigued me when I first heard it.  I don't think Mr Wood was ever a runner but that line can be used to describe how I have felt following a number  hard sessions, that I have experienced over the years.  Following yesterday's tempo paced 14 miler being the most recent example.

Despite having heavy and aching legs yesterday, things are definitely looking up on the training front with last week being my biggest mileage week (still only 60 miles but moving in the right direction) of the year, to date.  As well as yesterdays session the week also included a 4 mile tempo run and a track session of 6 x 500m with 300m jog recovery.

So although I move into a new week feeling a little tired it is a good tiredness and I am looking forward to an equally good week this week - all of which will pay dividends when I get back to racing.

Interestingly I came across an article today which questioned whether there is such a thing as over training with researchers saying that although scientific and anecdotal evidence supports the existence of the over training syndrome that more research is required to actually prove it exists.

The researchers saying that the majority of research that has been carried out in this area so far has been with 'overreached' athletes rather than over trained athletes.  Overreaching being the result of intensified training which is a normal part of an athletes training schedule.

Further details can be found here

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sub 2 still some way off?

Having watched the London Marathon on Sunday, evidence would seem to suggest that the much talked about sub 2 hour marathon is still some way off.

Having completed the first half split in 61.34, the leading group then fell apart during the second half of the race.

Winner, Tsegay Kebede showing the beauty of even paced in the later stages of the race he cut his way through the early leaders with what looked like consummate ease.

As for my running, well at the moment, despite aching legs, sore knees and tiredness, things are progressing very nicely thank you.

In fact the list of ailments above are probably testament as to how well things are going rather than a complaint. Although I am aching and tired, it is in a good way, as my weekly mileage gradually increases (on target for 60+ miles this week, for the first time this year) and speed sessions are starting to show some improvement with a timed 5km being completed this week 10 seconds faster than last week.

Hopefully I can transfer this improvement to results in races soon.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Results for the Sand Dancer

Sunday's Sand Dancer multi-terrain race at South Shields was won by Wedmay Ghebreslasie running for Sunderland Harriers in 33.59.  While the Lady's honours went to Jarrow & Hebburn's Elaine Leslie who completed the course in 40.59 for 20th place overall.

My finishing time of 42.40 was good enough for 3rd M55 and 32nd position overall.

Club mate Luke Aston (top photograph) finished 26th in 41.56.

Full results can be found on the South Shields Harriers website

Thanks to Anita for the pictures.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Sand Dancer

The Sand Dancer is a multi-terrain race of approximately 6 miles organised by South Shields Harriers.  Although, yesterday as the strong winds whipped up the sands from the beech it may have been more appropriate to call it the Sand Blaster!

Along with the weather conditions, tired and heavy legs from a heavy weeks training were always going to make for hard going and so it proved.  Finishing in 42.40, three and a half minutes down on last years time.

The race set off along the road from the Sand Dancer pub up onto the Leas at South Shields. However, the first obstacle was to negotiate a runner who, for some inexplicable reason decided to move sideways across the field as the race got underway, causing havoc for those whose paths he crossed..  After this it was a case of winding our way around heaps of sand that the wind had deposited onto the road, before climbing up onto the off road section and two laps around the Leas where we were met by the full force of the wind.

Starting steady I settled into a comfortable rhythm, despite the wind, which I managed to keep going until just after the 3 mile mark when I started to tire.  Despite slowing up I only dropped three places, before finishing weary legged on the track at Gypsy Green Stadium.

The VAANEE multi- terrain championships were also held in conjunction with this race and although I finished 3rd M55 overall, I was actually 2nd M55 in the championships.

As yet I cannot find any official results but will post a link when I do and hopefully some photographs too.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Hill reps

"I hate this session - but it has to be done" was one of the comments heard during last nights club session.

The session in question was 6 x 300m hill reps with jog back recovery.

And as to why it has to be done, well the answer can be found in the results of a recent study carried out in New Zealand.

The study 'Effects of Different Uphill Interval-Training on Running Economy and Performance' found that uphill reps improve 5km performance.

Using a group of 20 "well-trained" runners, researchers found that following one of five "uphill interval-training programmes" over a period of 6 weeks, that average 5km times improved by 2%.

This means that the type of hill used is not the significant factor, only the fact that you are running hills, no matter what kind is.

In fact the only significant difference found in the outcomes was that hill reps carried out at the highest intensity had the greatest effect upon running economy.

Further details on the study can be found here

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The effects of waming temperatures

Having completed last night's run in a light snow shower and a balmy (at least compared to the last couple of weeks) 3C, with the snow still clearly visible up on the moors.  It seemed somewhat ironic  then to read an article which suggested that climate change, and particularly a general warming, is responsible for slowing down marathon times.

The article (found at said that the slowing of times was not yet noticeable.  But pointed to a study carried out by Boston University which says that by 2100 there will be a 95% chance of detecting a "consistent slowing of winning marathon times".

Researchers used the Boston Marathon for their data as it is the oldest continuous annual marathon in the world, ran on the same day and more or less the same course since 1924.

Further details of the study entitled, 'Effects of Warming Temperatures on Winning Times in the Boston Marathon' can be found here

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Results - North Tyneside 10km

As previously mentioned Ian Hudspeth and Aly Dixon were the respective winners of Sundays North Tyneside 10km.

From a Blaydon Harrier 's point of view, first club man home was Peter Hodgson finishing in 38.33 for 68th position,  Next was Luke Aston, who completed the course in 38,37, finishing 73rd.  Then, yours truly with 38.55 for 85th and returning from injury Mike Friberg in 40.18 and 124th place.

As it happens my 85th place was also good enough for 2nd M55, behind Peter Walton who finished 53rd in 37.57.

Full results can be found here

Nick Swinburn Morpeth Harriers
2nd overall

Michael Dawson Morpeth Harrier's
3rd overall

Monday, 1 April 2013

North Tyneside 10km 2013

Near perfect conditions for yesterdays North Tyneside 10km saw Morpeth's Ian Hudspeth stormto a win in  a new course record. With Aly Dixon taking the women's title.

Meanwhile, further back in the field yours truly had set off at a steady pace, tracking Gordon Dixon of Morpeth through the first two miles.  Passing Gordon on the climb up passed Tynemouth Priory, It was then a spot of role reversal as Gordon hung onto my heels, as we continued to steadily work our way through the field and so it remained until just before the 5 mile marker, when I started to open up a gap on him.

 A few places up ahead now, where club mates and training partners Peter and Luke and although I worked hard and started closing them down, I ran out of race, with Peter being the first Blaydon Harrier home just a few seconds ahead of Luke and me about a further 15 seconds back, finishing in 38.55.

38.55 is the fastest I have ran 10km since September 2011 (Preston 10km 38.43) and represents a PB for the distance as an M55, so I have to be pleased with that!

Photographer for the day was Francesca (more photos from the race can be found on her blog).

Also, lots more photos at Runner Wanderings

Full results of the race are not available as yet but I will post a link once I have found them.