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Summer Training Recap #2

I can’t believe the summer holidays are almost over! the track season is coming to a close and the cross country season is upon us, but before all that I still need to play catch up with what I’ve been up to this summer, you can read part one by clicking here. Writing part two now is funny as for long periods of the summer I felt like I had flat lined and plateaued in achieving my own personal running goals, yet as the summer progressed things have been going great guns.

While my 10k goal is still eating away at me and my last 10k at Leeds was a shocker, it has been the only real blip, looking back it was back end of June when things started to improve. It helped that I started to get into a better settled training pattern. However, for me the biggest change has been my speed sessions and advice from Jamie Russell who I see 3 – 4 times a week now, he coaches my daughter but has a proven track record of developing young talent that get to the English School Championships year after year, as well as county and national medals.  I’ve known him a few years as I usually do my regular track session at the same time as one of his sessions. With him coaching my daughter, it’s grown from there. For starters I’m now taking my coaching badges to become a fully fledged coach and I now help out coaching on a Monday and other nights of the week. It has also meant he has been to track races and watched me race and then given me feedback after each race and helped me tweak my training or set me specific speed sessions to help me achieve my goals.

One thing he has done is made me cut down the recoveries on my track reps, while it makes sessions harder it is certainly helping me develop better as a runner. Plus I’ve had the pleasure now of jumping on a few of his sessions and the U17’s have been a dream to train with, the fire they show rubs off and you can’t help but find another gear just to keep up with them. Now while my Run Britain ranking has grown from 0.7 to 1.5 (the higher the number the worse your rank) I’ve actually achieved a host of personal bests and season best since the 21st of June. Now besides the Sale Sizzlers I’ve pretty much raced on track and focused on shorter stuff to get my speed up then will look at attacking the road later in the year. One thing I have decided is that anything over half marathons is off the calendar and if anything for the short term going to stick to 10k’s and under. Jamie has spoken and I firmly believe him when he says if I can get faster at 1500 and 3000m then I will get faster at 5k and 10k. So basically my training and racing has all been focused on track racing and working on my top end speed.

The good thing as regular readers will know is I’m not good at racing in heat, yet shorter track stuff is over before you realise it’s too warm.

So July started with the high of winning the NMAC MT 5k Champs on the 2nd, I then had a bit of a cut back week as I targeted Leeds, going into it I felt strong and seriously felt a sub 36 was a given, however as we now know you can’t predict what else will happen on the day, a death in the family as I was on startline and hot weather meant I ran my worse 10k time since Dronfield last March.

However, as I explained above my mindset and focus started to change as did my training, as by the middle of July Jamie had started to have a big influence in my training, I finished the month,  with a season best at 5k, an outdoor personal best at 3000m and a race win with a course record, plus I went into August with a better outlook on my own goals as well as short and long term goals.

This is how July played out, in terms of training and racing;

July 3 – 9

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  • Mon – AM Easy 4 / PM Tempo 5k
  • Tue -AM Easy 3 / PM 6 x 1000m off 90s recovery
  • Wed – Easy 8
  • Thu – Track 3 x 3 x 500m  with 200m/400m recovery
  • Fri – Off
  • Sat – Easy 3
  • Sun – Leeds 10k
I was bitterly disappointed with Leeds as without sounding arrogant I’m better then a 37 10k time but it seems to be my most frustrating distance. At this point I decided I needed to work on my 5k times before I tackled another 10k. So Monday morning I was back at it.

July 10-16

  • Mon – Easy 7
  • Tue – 10 x 3 mins with 60s recovery
  • Wed –  Easy 8
  • Thu – Track 10 x 400m and 4 x 200m with 100m recovery
  • Fri – Off
  • Sat – AM parkrun / PM Easy 5k
  • Sun – Long run

The following week was my highest mileage week in months, clocking 50 plus miles. I also raced the Sale Sizzler posting a 17:39 which was a seasons best. I ended the week with two tough days of training.

July 17-23

  • Mon – Easy 7.5
  • Tue – AM Easy 4 / PM Tempo 5k
  • Wed –  AM Easy 3 / PM Easy 5
  • Thu – Sale Sizzler
  • Fri – Off
  • Sat – 3 x 2 mile tempo run
  • Sun – Long run

A good week but I over did the long run, running at 6:30 pace for 13 miles meant I felt fatigued come Monday morning, not good when I had a track race Tuesday night! I got a season best at 3000m Tuesday night and this is when Jamie came more to the forefront of my training/racing. He watched the race and on the way home we discussed what went well, how I could change things and what to focus on going forward. Thursday was his session with his 800/1500m runners, it hurt but I had never run a faster 400m split ever! He found another gear I didn’t know I had. The confidence that session gave me was amazing. However my calf’s ached and I was suppose to race at Lancaster Saturday night but felt I needed an extra day, so did Ryedale and won that. However it wasn’t a fast course.

July 24 – 30

  • Mon – Easy 5
  • Tue – AM Easy 3 / PM Trafford GP 3000m
  • Wed –  AM Easy 3 / PM Easy 5
  • Thu – AM Easy 3 / PM Track 3 x 300m, 2 x 400m, 1 x 500m, 2 x 400m, 3 x 300m with 60s rec between reps and 3:00 mins between sets.
  • Fri – Off
  • Sat – AM Easy 3 / PM Easy 4
  • Sun – Ryedale 5k
A funny month but got a season best, an outdoor personal best and won a race. In part 3 I will write how August has gone but as I write this I do feel that faster 5k and 10k times are a matter of when not if. However, I have an 800m race tomorrow and then 3000m to finish the month before spending 5 days with my girls in Disneyland Paris. Then I will hit the ground running in September.


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