Sunday, 21 July 2013

Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon

This as I have stated previously is one of my favourite races.  This year, weather conditions were cooler than they had been all week and unlike in the past 2 or 3 years there was no rain.  This did not however, seem to lend it self to faster times, as all times seemed to be down on last year.

Winner Mike Jefferies 76.01
Not that I can use this as an excuse for not breaking the M55 course record, which I had set myself as a target this year.  undoubtedly my enforced lay off of four weeks didn't help but the biggest factor was most probably poor research on my part.  For some reason I had convinced myself that the record was 88.06, a time which in my current state of fitness was always going to be difficult but not impossible.  However, the night before I realised the record was in fact 85.06.

But a target is a target and as the race got underway I set off at a new planned pace aimed at bringing me home 3 minutes quicker than I had previously planned.  At 3 miles I was still slightly faster than 85 minute pace but as we started to climb, although I was still passing people, my pace was slowing significantly.

Last year's winner, 2nd place Phil Taylor
By 4 miles I was just on target but by the time I reached the top of the hill at 6 miles I was well down on my planned pace but still not far of the original pace I had planned to run.  I was also running by myself with large gaps between me and both the runner ahead and behind.

Trying to keep relaxed I pushed on but the inevitable happened and I started to pay the price of going off too quickly at the start.  Dropping one place just before 10 miles and another at the top of the last hill at about 12 miles as I continued to slow up.

A tired 21st place
Crossing the line in a tired 91.06 in 21st position and 1st M50.  The race being won by Mike Jefferies in just over 76min.     

It looks as though I won't be able to make an attempt on the record next year as the course will be changing next year as the Bishop Wilton Show which hosts the race is moving home.

Photos from Francesca - more photos from the race can be found here along with some others from Bishop Wilton Show

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Too much of a good thing?

During May (13th) I posted a blog entitled 'its a lifestyle not an obsession'.  So I was interested to read an article in 'Running Fitness' of a recent study carried out in Canada and titled 'To much of a good thing?'

The study looked at people dedicated to exercise in order to determine when does enjoyment of exercise become an unhealthy obsession?

Examining the relationship between passion for exercise and exercise dependence.  The study suggests that passion, for example, has two components:

- harmonious
- obsessive

Those of us, therefore, who can comfortably fit our running into other aspects of our lives have a harmonious passion.  While those who are obsessive about running develop an unhealthy dependence comprising of the following elements:

- time; spending most of ones Free time exercising
- tolerance; increasing exercise frequency
- continuance; exercising even when injured
- lack of control; exercising for longer than intended
- withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety) when not exercising
- reduction in social activities

I must admit that over the course of my running I have dipped into the above elements on occasion but I guess like everything, its just a question of balance.

Which, by the way, seems to be the conclusion of the study.

The study was conducted by Dr Kyle Paradis and published in the journal Physchology of Sport and exercise

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Bridges of the Tyne 5 miles

As I left work last night and headed to Newcastle Quayside the temperature display on the car was still reading 26C.  Although the temperature did drop slightly by the time the start of the race came around it was still a warm one.

Lined up at the start by the Millennium Bridge I chatted to fellow Blaydon Harriers Mike and Isaac.  Isaac is a new addition to the club and helps reduce our age definition.

As we got underway I am sure the bridges that straddle the river looked resplendent but I was to busy trying to hang onto young Isaac to notice.  With the first mile completed in 5.48 Isaac started to pull away (or was it that I started to fall back?).  Anyway, entering mile two I spotted fellow M55 Graham Armstrong of Wallsend  just ahead, maintaining a steady rhythm I caught and passed him.  This, however, was short lived as a little further down the  line he came back past me and established a gap which I could not close down.

The course is a flat (and if you are in shape) fast out and back affair with only one slight incline at the turning point at Newcastle Business Park.

The race was won, in a new course record, of 24.46 by Ian Hudspeth of Morpeth Harriers with Alyson Dixon of Sunderland Strollers taking the women's race.  I took the second M50 prize with a time of 31.21 behind Graham Armstrong of Wallsend.

After a quick warm down, it seemed impolite not to head to the Tyne Bar to sample Ouseburn Brewery's specially brewed TBH (Tyne Bridge Harriers) Ale.

A good race and a great atmosphere -  Thanks TBH!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

And the body said "no"

Well it didn't quite say no but more "that's enough for now".

I knew it was taking a bit of a risk trying to cram everything in (increased mileage, more quality) into a short period of time, following my recent enforced lay-off.  But, it felt as though that was what was required to get me up to speed for my target in the forthcoming 'Wolds' half marathon.

I feel I responded well to the demands I placed on myself, however, last week my body decided that enough was enough for now and subsequently I ended up missing three days of training and having to settle for a much reduced weekly mileage of 34 miles.

Although still, shall we say regrouping, I will gradually pick things up again this week.  With the race now only just over two weeks away it will make achieving my target (M55 course record) that much more difficult but still achievable (and all the more satisfying, when I do achieve it).

I am running 'The Bridges of the Tyne' 5 miler next Tuesday, so that should give me a good pointer.