Reflection & Recovery

Ok, right, I suppose I best start from the beginning of this year! And what a year it has been, I’ve taken this week as an easy week in training, just to give myself a mental break from training, it’s needed lol. So I’m sitting and reflecting back on the years training and racing. Training has been the best block I’ve ever put together! It’s been amazing, no injuries ( touch wood) now for over 18 months, mileage has picked up over the months. Ok let’s go back to early parts of the year, winter ❄️ training, and over the winter we had some pretty varied weather thrown at us, the snow was definitely fun though. Going out in the evenings while the snow was on the ground, seeing nobody around, and all that was lightning your way was the street lights, so peaceful 😊…

But the snow did mean pulling back on speed work, so more the case of going out and just getting it done and putting in the miles. And with pandemic, sports facilities where closed, so no track workouts. But as things started opening back up slowly, my local track at Boston re opened and I managed to get some workouts in again, but going back onto the track on those cold frosty mornings didn’t fill me with to much joy lol, extra long warm ups 😂

But as athletes, no matter what the conditions we just get it done! I suppose that’s one thing I have definitely learned over this past year being on my own, training in solitude has taught me to hold myself accountable ! Nobody is gonna do the work for me , so if I want the results I have to get out and put the work in! Gary ( my coach) has been amazing, supported me thought my running and pushing to be the best I can be. The sessions he sets me are tough, but they are so satisfying when your done and you’ve nailed it!..

So why’s it been such a good year so far !!!!

Throughout training I was hitting paces I never thought I could, but once I got through that mental barrier and I saw I could run the paces, it seem to set a spark off inside me. Times in sessions where coming down, I mean a example, pre pandemic I was doing sessions like 12×400’s in about 92-95sec ( which was fine) but now the same sessions I’m hitting 71-75! I also managed to purchase a treadmill, this has really helped me stay consistent in training and take some of the pounding off my joints ! My main reason was to help me out when I had my other 2 kids every other weekend, I could continue training in the evenings.

Throughout the pandemic the little village of Heckington put together a virtual running group, which has now evolved into a Wednesday night group run ! It’s nice to run with ppl again once a week, and ppl from all abilities to, and seeing them improved week after week is so nice..

Races where coming back and I booked myself into a midweek 5k race, Prestwold Hall, it was on a airfield, so very open to the elements, and boy was it ever ! It was one of the worst evenings you could ever race in, 40 mile hr winds, driving rain ! It was awful! The thing is I felt in great shape, but I did my warm up, got back into my car, changed shoes, I remembered thinking “ what am I doing 🤣this is bonkers “ but I lined up and I was away! Head wind straight away, being blown all over the place, I remembered seeing the kilometre boards being blown across the course 😂. I was so glad to cross the line, but deeply disappointed with the time ! I knew I had to forget about the race and move on because of the weather conditions..

I knew I was in shape so I started hunting around for my next race. And I found a 5000m track event at the Midlands masters championship.

So this gave me focus, and also I felt excited to be competing on the track again. Luckily the weather changed and we’ve had some blistering hot days this summer! And it was a very warm one on race,

Beautiful day at the Pingles Stadium, so was set for a great day ( hopefully) The warm up I felt great, and mentally I was ready, I remember lining up, and I had a plan in my head, Gary given me instructions about lap splits to, but I had an idea to lap my watch ever 400 to keep myself on pace, this I found really helped me, and kept me mentally on track, cause I knew I had to manually lap my watch , pacing was bang on, the race couldn’t have gone any better! I remember hitting the bell lap and closed the gap to the next athlete, got to 200 to go and kicked past him, crossing the line in 18:19 and a new PB, was sooooo happy 😃

Next event was gonna be the Masters Grand Prix where I was competing at the 1500m and 3000m. The 3000m was up first and the first event on the track, still feeling great from my 5000 pb 3 weeks ago, and knowing I’ve got some more solid training behind me, I lined up feeling confident. The day again was very hot, probably hotter than the previous race ! They even had a hose pipe out on the start line for the distance races, but I was very happy with race and the way I paced it, I crossed the line in 10:29, another Pb! 4 hrs recovery, then it was the 1500m, for me this was just gonna be what I have left in the tank, so I just went for it ( well as best I could lol ) but I came out of that race with a Pb of 4:56 !! So a fantastic day on the track.

The next race was the next weekend, The Heckington 10 mile road race, so keeping the training relatively easy the next week I went in the race feeling strong, I really wanted to do well in this one, it was my backyard event, I train on the course nearly every day lol! The start line was only a 15 min walk from my house, so on the day of the race, I got to the start line, did my warm up, and got focussed! They started ppl off in waves, I was wave 2, race starts and I eased my way into the race. Found my race pace pretty quickly and relaxed into that rhythm,

I felt so good all the way round, don’t get me wrong, I was definitely working but I felt good, mentally and physically. The course is a 2 loop course, and when I hit about mile 8 I was definitely feeling it 🤦🏻‍♂️, but I knew I was on for a good time, so I just kept pushing one, I managed to pick off a couple more ppl, turned into the finish, and saw the clock! I was so happy, a huge Pb taking about 4 minutes off !

64:24

So delighted with that result, just puts you in a good place for training..

The one thing I haven’t really spoken about, and find difficult to speak about is the solitude, I know some ppl won’t understand this, but don’t get me wrong I feel blessed that I’m in the position I’m in, I can train everyday when I want, and live like a pro athlete, my day to day job is caring for my disable son. But coming home to nobody to congratulate you on your results or even just in day to day chat, it’s tough, but you just get on with it, this past 18 months I’ve lost a lot, I don’t feel like a chapter has closed in my life more like a hole book has closed 🤦🏻‍♂️😔. But trying to rebuild and move forward is a day to day process. Running has definitely kept me going and kept me sane!

The races keep coming tho as next up was the 5000m track challenge in Nottingham. My previous result was a 18:19, I was gonna try for a sub 18, the conditions wasn’t great on the day, but for my race they did improve!

The rain did stop, and it was humid. Gary was there on the day, and my friend Sophie, so I had a cheer squad 😂, they really did help tho, giving me support over each lap and keeping me focused! This race was tough, my first lap was a little quicker than I wanted, so tried to rain the pace in, but as they say, the damage was done 🤦🏻‍♂️, so had to gut it out, and was on pace for a sub 18 until the last 4 laps, just slipped away, but I did come away with another Pb 18:12 ! So I’m definitely not gonna complain about that! That one hurt tho, I remember getting home, crashing on the bed, lying face down, cause my glutes and hamstrings hurt ! Didn’t run the next day, focused on recovery, hot bath, foam rolling, and massage gun, worked ! Cause the next day I felt great ! No time to rest tho, onto the next race, Bassingham Bash, 5 mile road race the next week !

This race for me was a indication race of how I would go in the 10k. The course was flat and fast ! Enjoyed the race, but again this hurt, felt this race when I hit mile 4 ! I went into this race thinking I want a 30 min or sub! Now I’ve not raced a 5 miler for many years , and I got a 35 min last time. Coming into the finish of this one looked at my watch and got the result I wanted, 30:35!

Thank you Ellie for the photos 😊

So what’s next, well I have a Half Marathon in 5 weeks and and 10k 2 weeks after that !

I have to admit, some of the training I’ve done this year I have been proud of 😊, not just the results, but just getting it done in these hard times, and the places I’ve training in. I’ve loved training in the Peak District around Langsett in the mountains!

A few images ☝️ above around Langsett.

Hill training in Belton has been fun too

The trails have brought me a lot of joy this year, I do think they have helped me stay heathy, mixing up the surface I run on, tarmac, track, grass trails, gravel, sand ! Yep even managed to get some beach running in over the summer 😂

So I think that’s me up to date 😆, a 4 week training block will start on Monday for the Half marathon!

Thank you to everyone who reads this, I really appreciate it 😊..

The importance of recovery!

How much do you prioritise recovery ? Well I’m sure over the years we’ve all neglected this side of running, I’m guilty of this to! You know what it’s like, you e come back from a hard session, long run, or just a tired legged run, and just collapsed on the sofa ! But it’s important to get your recovery underway straight away! First thing I do if it’s a long run or a hard work out, is fix myself a shake, this normally contains, a banana, mango pieces, or strawberries or blueberries ( depending on which fruits I have in at the time) scoop of chocolate protein powder, almond milk, and your away! So that’s my shake down, now depending on how I feel, I’ll either jump in the shower or a hot bath with Epson salts, helps aching muscles. The massage gun ( below 👇🏻) is probably the best tool I have, these are so so good ! I spend about 30 minutes after each run on this. I always seem to suffer with tight glutes and hamstrings, but the massage gun gets deep into these muscles and help me so much with any soreness.

Now a lot of people on Strava my see my recovery runs I do in the evenings, and as you see these are done at recovery pace. Now I take no notice of my pace on these runs, these are very very easy, the hole point of these runs is to shake out any lactic acid, and get the blood pumping around the legs, just so I can stretch out later ! It’s easier to stretch out soft muscles the stiff and tight muscles!

Sleep, I try and get 8-9 hours per night of sleep, as we all know, sleep is when your best recovery happens and when your body absorbs your training you’ve done ! Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s easier said then done getting these hours of sleep, and some nights I don’t even feel tired, but I try and listen to calming music to help relax me and help me drift off…

Other tools of my tread ☝️ are a foam roller, a spiky ball roller, and a stretch band.

2020, The Year That Changed My Life!!

Well what a year that was ! a very tough year for everyone! covid has definitely put into perspective what is important in life…. So what has happened to me and why has it changed my life ? Well sadly my marriage broke up, and we decided to go our separate ways, so that ment me starting from scratch really, new home, had to furnish this home, new car, new life really. Athletics was the only thing keeping me sane ! the routine of training, just getting out the door and putting some miles in the legs, gave me a focus. So yeah, me and my eldest boy are living a new life. Towards the end of the year I had 2 isolation periods, due to my boy being contact with someone at his school testing positive for covid, and also being made furloughed from work just before Christmas wasn’t easy. This period however gave me time to think about my life, for ppl that don’t know me, my eldest boy has Autism and goes to a special school for young adults with needs. So while I worked from 2pm -10pm my parents look after him, sadly they are getting to old now to cope with this ! So what was I to do ! My only option was to give up work and become a full time carer for him. This was a very difficult choice to make, taking myself out of full time employment, which i’ve done for 27 years of my life! It was the mental health side of things I had to be careful of to, isolating myself from everyone. My running will give the focus I need to stay sane ( I hope ) lol. So its life as a full time athlete for me now, excided in one way, cause now I can finally achieve my full potential and focus on things that I was neglecting…

So, training, how’s it been going? I have to say it’s been going amazing, I’ve been able to up mileage safely and recover properly. 2020 has been short on races yes, but I’ve put done a great base, mileage has been between 65-75 miles per week. But I definitely have learned a lot of lessons alone the way, especially how my body reacts to certain sessions, and I think what some ppl don’t realise is when I do my recovery runs, these are all about turning the legs and getting the blood flowing and get the tightness out of my joints, so I’m doing about 8:30-9 min milling , so incredibly easy. For me it’s 80/20, 80% easy 20% hard. This personally seems to work for me.

Training is mainly done on my own, and don’t get me wrong, enthusiasm does dwindle from time to time, but I try and get out with friends when I can, Holly Haywood and Ellie Thorpe have been life savers 😆 thank you ladies x

The support from my coach has been great, he’s been there for me so much over the years, with his training plans, advice and keep me in check, Thank you Gary.

But one lady I do want to thank has been Sophie, she has been very supportive over the years, not just in training , in life in general. Thanks Sophie x

A normal week kinda looks a bit like this in the winter.

Monday: 8-10 miles easy am – 4-5 miles recovery run

Tuesday: interval session am – 4-5miles recovery run

Wednesday: 10-12 miles easy am – 4-5miles recovery run

Thursday: Track session am -4-5 miles recovery run

Friday: 6 miles steady – tempo am – 4-5miles recovery run

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: Long run 15-17 miles..

The weekend running can differ depending on when i have my other little boy.

Boston’s Princess Royal Track is my local track I train on…
As I was talking about recovery, I found the recovery gun the tool I use , it’s absolutely amazing! I spend about 30 minutes after each session and long run on this.

As well as recovery I found to be more experimental in the kitchen! 😁 this book by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky to be very helpful, some great meals on here for runners.
For winter training this device has been so helpful, I live down the fen roads, so the roads are so muddy from all the farmers. So this shoe dryer is great.

So what’s happened!!!?

Wow nearly 2 years on ! So sorry for not updating this site, life has been hectic, and, well like a tornado, spinning at 100mph !

Training has been going extremely well over the past 1 year and a bit, slowly increasing mileage and introducing harder longer reps. At the beginning of 2019 I had a very bad injury, it was on Father’s Day and on a family day out me and my step daughter was on a air pillow at a local play park, and sadly I fell wrong and my ankle went snap !!! I rolled straight off the air pillow to the floor, and I knew instantly there was something badly wrong, I felt sick, and in a lot of pain, couldn’t stand on my leg.

Thankfully the ankle wasn’t broken, tore muscles and tendons. Think it was 3-4 weeks before I was back into full training.

Training throughout the year was good, I even introduced more track work

Which has definitely helped my speed. Think was has surprised me throughout the year is the consistency of my rep splits.

Started the year about 45-50 miles a week and over time I managed to increase that to 61 miles per week.

Definitely been more disciplined in my recovery tho, as soon as I’ve finished my training especially efforts or long runs, I’m a firm believer in you had a 30min window to get nutrients into your body to aid recovery, so I’ll normally make myself a shake, get that into my body, then use my pulse massage gun , such a great piece of kit, works well for me, better than foam rolling.

But life isn’t that straight forward, especially now with 3 kids, think with my working hours has definitely helped me to train, I work 2-10pm so I have my mornings free to train,

I’ve kinda got myself into a nice routine with my training week, I switch from road to trails to track throughout the week. Monday’s I like to go off road and have an easy run onto some nice trails

I try and keep my effort reps either on the road or track, Tuesday I introduced a triple run day, where I did my efforts in the morning, get home recover, then an easy run to work, get changed there, then run home and that tends to be how I feel 🙂 . Mid week long run, either road or trail. Thursday efforts, Friday long run day ( before lockdown) during lockdown, steady run. Saturday rest day, Sunday medium long run ( before lockdown) long run during lockdown. I have to work training around family life, which is a juggling act with 3 kids, but I do it….

COVID 19 …

Since the hole COVID 19 came to our country, it hasn’t effected my training so to speak, only when I contracted the virus! It came on so so quick, I felt so ill, the morning when I contracted it, I tried to get out to train, I just couldn’t, I felt dizzy, sick , thought I was gonna collapse, this was in my first mile. So had to walk home, and it was a long walk home to. Felt worse when I got home, throat was so sore, had to lie down couldn’t stand. So wife called 111, and the ambulance crew came out and confirmed and treat me for the virus, I had to self isolate for 7 days and the family for 14 days. Those were hard times, felt so ill for a week, but as soon as it came on, it went !!!!

Got back into training pretty quick and felt good.

Had a solid 4 months worth of training, mileage solid, reps consistently good, and generally feeling good about training and the way it was going.. even picked my first Marathon to do, which my coach found for me.

2 weeks ago sadly I suffered a minor stress fracture in my left foot 😦

Couldn’t walk very well on it. Think if my work didn’t send me home I probably wouldn’t have gone to A and E to get this checked out.

It came on on my 17 mile long run, and had company on this run to Holly Haywood came with me for the last 7 miles, and in the final ; miles my foot really hurt, but I kept going and made it back to the car, as soon as I stopped it really hurt and stiffened up.

So where am I now ?! I’m using my bike to keep my cardio going I’m averaging 15-17miles per day, longest ride is 20 miles.

It’s keeping me active, so can’t complain,

I’ve got good friends who keep me sane lol thank you Sophie Cowper lol 😉 I miss running tho, hopefully be back into training very soon,

But I’ll keep you all posted, promise …….

Races….

Wow its nearly been 2 years since I’ve posted on here, but I’ve had quite a few ppl asking me for an update on my blog, so I’m now making the time and sat myself down to try and get updated !

Now sadly I can’t do detailed race reports because it’s been far to long and I’ve done quite few races in that time, but results I’ll post up….

2018

Sept 30th West Pinchbeck 10k – 41:16

14th Oct Peterborough Half Marathon- 90:50

2019

April 7th Lincoln 10k – 40:35

May 12th Lincolnshire County Champs 5000m 19:24 ( 4th position)

2nd June Hull 10k 40:26

8th September Saxilby 5k 19:10 PB !Just want to say a thank you to Holly Haywood who did a great job in racing with me and paced, Sadly got a terrible stitch about mile 2 so had back off the pace slightly, but it soon went and I pushed on to the finish…

First Pb in years !

22nd September West Pinchbeck 10k 40:13

27th October Leeds Abbey Dash 39:44 PB smashed and first time sub 40 mins

This day I remember so well, the first half of the race felt really tough, didn’t feel like I had it in me to go sub 40, but got half way splits and I was surprised to see I was on target, so I pushed on and latched onto the sub 40 pacer who did a fantastic job in keeping me motivated!

My coach Gary was so happy for me that, we worked so hard to get that moment, and I couldn’t have done it without him, Thank you .

Sadly later in the year we got told the course was measured short so resulted didn’t count, ! I was gutted..

2020

8th March

British Masters Indoor Championship

3000m

First race of the year and first time racing 3k indoors, and got a PB of 10:44 .. The race was very tough, wow and it was so dry indoors to. Set off way to quickly and paid the price on the last 4 laps, died !!!

Races and end of season review..

Well last week saw the end of my track season which was at the Masters Grand Prix meet 2, I’ll review that race and the Grimsby 10k first before reviewing my season..

Grimsby 10k…

This was the first 10k race I’d done i a year, preparations went well, and I was feeling in very good shape 😊, the final week before the 10k was however very stressful, which was work related, sadly things aren’t going as well at work 😞, and I did miss a couple of days of training, but I didn’t dwell on this fact and had faith in the training I’d done. Race day was upon me and I got there nice and early

Did my warm up rituals, jogged the first couple of kilometres, the weather was good, the course was lovely and flat, going through the motions of pre race, strides , stretching. Felt very relaxed at the start and I made a decision to go with the sub 40min pacer , so position myself closed to him at the start, horn went and we were off !! Through 1 mile, 2 miles and I felt fine, pace was quick but I was handling it ok, but temperature started to increase and I found myself dropping off the pacer, coming up to the 5k mark I had to make a decision to back off the pace so I didn’t completely blow up and ruin the hole race. It was getting hot and I was grateful of the sponge stations

Pace was consistent though, and was picking people off who were stopping or slowing down due to conditions, the final stretch (2miles) on a duel carriageway I found myself in no mans land which was mentally tough, but I dug in kept going to the finish

And came through with a seasons best of 40:57, really happy with that, felt like I’m getting into shape ready to tackle some PB’s, which I haven’t challenged for 4 years now..

Master Grand Prix 5000m

This was gonna be my final track race of the season, the 5000m was on the cards, and the weather conditions on the day wasn’t the best😫😱 the wind down the home straight was awful! But there was about 10 of us on the start line of the race , and the starter was ready, gun sounded and we were off, I got myself into position and slotted into 5th place, but after 1 lap the pace was to slow so I move up to 4th and pushed forward, this is position I maintained throughout the race, that wind really did play it’s part, you nearly had to brace for the wind each lap, but the back stretch wasn’t any better, no wind, very dry heat, really strange conditions to run in 😯! I was coming to the Bell and I was hearing someone behind me, coming round the first bend and a guy over took me and someone else was right behind me, i followed the guy who over took me and kicked with him , last 100m and he push one again, i followed but just couldn’t close that gap, he beat me by 1 sec ! But I did finish with another SB, and a 5th place, time was 19:59.

The day and event was excellent, very well organised and great showing of Masters Athletics!

Above is a pic with Tj Ossgai event organiser and double world master champion..

A season in review…

So that’s a wrap for this track year, this week has been purely relaxation, training wise that is. Week on week and month on month I’ve been steady increasing my mileage, carefully not to risk injury, so far so good, no injury’s to report 😊 I’ve reintroduced double run days into my training schedule, but I tend to do my second run of the day on the treadmill, just to save the pounding on my joints, seems to working and I’m getting the mileage in. I’m back up to 55miles a week again and feeling more healthy on it, less fatigued than the last time I tried this. The solid base is getting built and improvements are coming 😊👍🏻 back into training this week, easing myself back into things again 😉

I’m booked in for 2 more races Pinchbeck 10k , hopefully I’ll be able to tackle this pb at last. And Peterborough Half Marathon, that’s another pb I want to drop ! That sub 1:30 could be on the cards 👍🏻😊

A special thank you does go out to my coach Gary Warhurst, if it wasn’t for him I don’t think I would be doing this, he offers me support , training and race tactics and most of all he believes in me..

Here’s to the rest of the year, road and XC awaits 😊

Mind games and progression

It’s Monday the 9th of July , so it’s been 8 weeks since I’ve updated you all. So what’s happened since the County Champs back in May? First off the County’s went well as to be expected, I did finish last but I was expecting that, but the time was were I thought I was at this stage in training (20.23) but I felt strong coming through the race. After this I had planned a good solid block of training of 5 weeks before my next race, mileage was around the 40-45 miles mark in this period, with a good mixture of easy long runs, which had a twist in them sometimes like negative splits, where I’d try and run the second half of the run quicker than the first. A mixture of grass and track sessions, gotta admit I do like doing grass reps on my local park early on a Sunday morning, nice and quiet ( apart from the odd dog walker ) 😆

The weather was definitely improving from my last blog, warming up nicely, but this was proving to be a bit of a challenge, over the last few weeks the heat has been quite intense. But before going into that, my preparation for my next race , the Masters Grand Prix and I was racing the 3000m , I was definitely feeling sharp in training and couldn’t wait to race. Had an email a few days before the race to tell us to make sure we wore our GB Masters kit to show case Masters Athletics, awesome 👍🏻

My race was first on the track , and during warm up I noticed the wind was picking up around the first bend up to the 300m mark, luckily tho didn’t notice this while racing. The race was off and I quickly got to race pace and settled myself down into 4 th place, the 3 guys in front picked up the pace and I did try and go with it but didn’t have the pace in my legs , so found myself in no mans lands and working the last laps on my own. Did finish in 4th in a time of 11:32.

Always a privilege to put on the GB Masters vest .

Now when I mentioned about the heat early , temperatures soon rose , I was training in heats of 24-27 degrees 😓 , we can’t complain, but in this heat it sure does play mind games when training!! God there has been many a time over these past 2 weeks I wanted to just not train , and even when training I started questioning, what was I doing this for!? I should stop! Etc etc, now at first I just got on with it , training was going well and I was hitting target paces, so i pushed trough. I got selected to run the Masters Inter Area Champs for the Eastern Masters. In this period I should mention that I had the builders round the house, work was stressful and I found out that was gonna become a dad again 😊😊😁, in the final few days building up to the race, things were getting on top of me, training was becoming hard work, many through pressure building up, but again times and pacing was telling me different 🤔 but 2 days before the race I had to pull out, I felt so stressed out , the heat was becoming unbearable to train in, I had to make a decision about the race, I called my coach Gary , I needed some to vent to, had to explain how I felt and how things were getting to me, it left me feeling very with drawn and having no desire to race at all. So I pulled out, which I know was the right decision. Saturday morning came along and I thought it’d be fun to do a Parkrun, no pressure, and I could run as fast as I wanted to. And used it as part of my 10k training, Grimsby 10k in 2 weeks 👍🏻 hopefully a good performance will be due..

Training, and life 😊

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but not forgotten about updating my blog, more the case of finding time 😊

Where to start 🤔, well since I last posted I’ve trained in opposite ends of the weather spectrum, the beast from the east came and tried to bring me down, but failed 😉 it was so cold tho, got down to about -8 degrees ❄️ but with appropriate clothing you just get on with it, but I did get a lot of funny looks running in blizzard conditions 😆😆 but had to be done tho. Think one old dear actually called me crazy 😆. Temperatures did start to increase and this cold snap went within a couple of weeks or so. This was approaching me first 10k in over a year and my first distance come back race, I didn’t put pressure on myself and had the mine set of going out to enjoy it, and coach Gary always gives good advice pre race, and this time I listened 😂 . I choose to start the race mid pack, and away from the front, eased my way in the race and made sure I was picking people off each mile, picture above is the final 400m or so of the race. The course was very flat and pb potential, I knew I’m not in pb shape just yet, but that wasn’t my goal, my goal was to enjoy the race, race strong and a confidence booster, which I ticked off all those items ✅, think it was the most consistent 10k i ran ever , pacing was spot on to what I had pre planned, finished off with a time of 42min and position of 42nd out of 300ish.. above pictures, debut in Rotherham vest and with Ruth Jones Of Nene Valley, she is also coached by Gary Warhurst 👍🏻

The next day was holiday time, 2 weeks in the sunshine state of Pensacola Florida, on the beautiful coast of Mexico.

Visiting family over there and with the temperature most days at 26degress, wasn’t going to let the opportunity go for training runs 😊, it felt so nice to have the beautiful ☀️ on your back while running

Ran through some lovely sections of Pensacola, and trying to stay safe 😉 the people where very polite tho. Had to make sure I stayed in shape due to having the BMAF road relays the week after I got back home. The course I regularly took was quite undulating so that took me by surprise. Making sure I stayed hydrated was key, especially in that heat, don’t get me wrong we definitely enjoyed ourselves with tasting all kinds of foods, but trying to stay healthy as possible. Think what took me by surprise was that you rarely saw anyone walking 😳 and I mean never lol 😆 . The beaches where amazing tho, white sands and crystal clear water, which where sooooo warm this was definitely a highlight of the trip, having this quite time. Don’t think we had many days in the tourist parts 🤔 even the beach was so quiet. Kids definitely loved the beach days, 👍🏻Can’t wait to go back one day, loved it.

On the return home, got straight back into training, built slowly for the first week, having no niggles or problems with mileage is a nice bonus at the moment, steady increasing each week and making sure my body adjusts correctly.

But as a family Man I train when it fits round life, one weekend I needed to do so 1 min reps, so i found a quiet country lane, my boy wanted to come with me, so we took some snacks to keep him occupied 😆, then I warmed up and cracked on, but making sure I was running past the car all the time . Just one example of how I squeeze things in 😊😉

Anyways, the weekend was approaching and The Masters road relays was up next, I was on the 5th leg for team Rotherham, i jogged the course , which was pretty challenging ( the course was Sutton Park Birmingham) , my coach Gary and Sophie made a surprise visit to cheer me on, so grateful for this, makes a difference if you have some one cheering you on, making sure I warmed up correctly and seeing my partner come through the line was very important.

So I was off

The route was 5k, and I made sure I was working hard all the way round, importantly didn’t shoot off like a crazy fool at the start, cause in the first mile was a very steep hill, so making sure I had enough to push over it and continue through. Mid way round I got a pain in my right of the ribs, more of a tightening, but just trying to breath through it. Seeing the ice cream van I knew I was on the way back, and I was pretty much down hill. I got passed by 2 other individuals from other teams, but trying hard to work all way to the line. Hearing Sophie and Gary out on course really helped, thanks guys😊 knew I was close to finish seeing the club stands, rallying myself for one last push

(Above photos courtesy of Sophie Cowper)

I crossed the line and part was done, M35 men finished in 19th position, and I knew I gave it everything.

So back into training this time preparation for the county championship (5000)

I’ll let youknow how it goes 😊😊😊

Useful links

http://www.injurysolutionsclinic.co.uk/

Injury Solutions Clinic is directed by Charlotte Musson.

Charlotte graduated from Coventry University with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Sports Therapy. Having experienced working with Leicester Lions Rugby Football Club during the 2014/15 Rugby season and working within private practices seeing a wide variety of injuries: occupational, recreational and sporting.

http://lincolnshirerunner.co.uk/

From Sprinting to Ultra running, from footwear to Clothing, these guys will have everything you need .

 

Rain , rain and more rain, soaking kit, sodden trainers ! Here’s looking forward to spring. On a plus note training is gong very well, enjoying discovery new routes and discovering little side streets off old routes is pretty cool to

Managed a 33 mile week last week, slowly building up the miles and definitely learning from previous ventures 😆,

Think I’m surprising myself, had a couple of decent runs last week, didn’t think I’d be touching low 7min miles just yet on a steady run, but seems to be coming back to me nicely. But making sure I’m recovering better as well, like stretching in the evenings, and keeping hydrated. I also managed to get in a full body massage on my rest day , felt sooo much better afterwards, Big thank you to Charlotte Munson at Injury solutions clinic in Ruskington, fantastic treatment and sorted out tightness 👏🏻👏🏻. http://www.injurysolutionsclinic.co.uk/

My easy runs are just that , easy, time on my feet. 10miles was my long run this weekend, not hit double figures for a run in over a year. It went great , no problems, pace was consistent. Normally keep my interval sessions on a Sunday morning on my local park

Lovely and quiet first thing. My boy comes with me on this session, he loves walking on the fields and being out on the park, he’s 16 and has autism, he’s a great lad.

This Sunday was quite tough, 10x2min off 2mins, trying to cover as much ground as I can over the 2min was challenging, ground was pretty soft with the amount of rain we’ve been having, but great for leg strength tho 👍🏻

Still contemplating my first race back, I’ve always got park run as a good 5k tester. Got some races in mind what I’d like to do this year, my times ain’t gonna be where I’d like but , it’s a building year and going out and enjoying a few races and just getting back out there. And I’ll be ready to compete  for my new club on the 1st of March 😁 exciting stuff 😊👍🏻

Kicked off the new week with a gym session this morning, with my P.T, ( Lee Drury) love his sessions he sets out . Squats, (weighted) jump pull ups from a squat position, sled push, and leg curl. Finishing off today with a 4miles easy run

Again in the rain ☔️ , but did come home to a nice Chinese meal 👍🏻awesome 😁😊

A change will do you good ?

Well this is what they say ! Have to say I agree, loving my transition period from the 400m back to distance running. The freedom I get from just going out for a run is great. Discovering my old routes and new ones 😊 but have to say though, sick of winter now, cold every time I lace up my shoes ❄️🙄 but not letting that put me off , getting it done no matter what 😁.

Having more a sensible build up this time, slowly building up mileage, but still getting some speed sessions in every week. A lot of those reps ie my 800m, 400m, and 200m sessions are done on grass, more kidder to the joints 😊. Listening to your body is key, so I am stretching more , and foam rolling more, trying to keep as lose as possible. Came down with a virus this week, felt awful on the Thursday, so switched my rest day from Friday to Thursday, normally I would run through it if it was just all in my head, but body was aching all over. It was a good call though, Fridays session was good, and I had time to get over this virus, also managed an early night ( which is rare 😆) E5A7FCBD-7A0A-45EE-B016-E990E5156FEE

As many family athletes would testify to, fitting training around there lives can be challenging. With building my long runs up slowly, I’m dropping my son off at his sports club, and getting my run done, just in time for him to finish. Having a protein shake in my bag ready for me when I’m done, and make sure I keep hydrated through out the day.

Race wise haven’t focused on a single race yet, just wanna make sure I get a good base built up. Think I will know when I’m race fit. But I can easily test my fitness over a parkrun if I fancy it . I do have a sort of plan lol , I would like to complete a marathon in autumn 2019(before I’m 40) but a base mark down, then in 2020 I would love to go and do a Masters Championship marathon either the Worlds or Europeans.  But have to say seeing friends racing and getting great times does inspire me, and I do hope I can get myself back into the shape I was, maybe even better , who knows. A friend of mine Sophie Cowper ran this weekend in Spain 🇪🇸 representing England athletes  over the Half Marathon distance, came third with a time of 1:16, I mean if that’s not a inspiration, what is, simply amazing, she’s a prime example of hard work paying off👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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