Stockport 10: Episode V

The Sunday club strikes back!

So unless you live under a rock or just choose to ignore me (and i wouldn’t blame you). You will know that the world-famous Stockport 10 is my favourite race of the season. As the tagline used to say

“It’s not fast and It’s not flat”

BUT it is the first ever race I did back in 2014 with my good mate Rob ,and its held a special place in my running calendar ever since!

This year the race again did not disappoint,The weather was cold but dry,Perfect you could say if you was hunting for a 5th PB.

For those who haven’t read my blog before , HI!!. I have hit a PB every year at Stockport even though last year was pretty bloody close (you can read about it HERE).

Arriving at Woodbank park ,after eventually finding a parking place I met up with my club mates for the obligatory pre race photo and then went off for the usual warm up.

I felt good and apart from a little cold (Don’t snort olbas oil before a race kids!), I was excited for the race ahead.

Just as I was ready to go,the Announcer told us that due to parking issues that the start was delayed by ten mins.The only time my team-mate Neal was on time and he could have spent another ten in bed! (In 2016 he turned just as the race started,had to run 800m to the start and still ran round in a quicker time than me!).

After the delayed start we were off,unlike previous years I didn’t go out like a bat out of hell and eased into my race pace of 6.10 min miles which would guarantee a PB.

After a couple of miles my teammate Chris went shooting past,at first I was a bit nervous as he hasn’t run the course before, but he is a real stat guy and i reminded myself he has probably scrutinised every step.(I later found out he had planned his race on my paces from last year!)

I caught up with him just before the big climb at half way,looking at my watch I hit 29.52. Could a sub 60 be possible?

Short answer ,no.

I blow up on this hill every single year,it’s a mile of climbing and every year my legs are fried.

This year however I changed tactics and just turned the pace down enough so i didn’t see stars before the top,It worked i felt like i could push through the fast section through the housing estate for a change rather than holding on for my life.

The descent this year onto the farmers track had been resurfaced and instead of a mud bath we had some decent running surface. Unfortunately for me I fell off the pack i was with and immediately the pace felt a little too much. A quick check of the watch showed i was still ok but it was starting to feel tough,who would have thought it eh?

Hitting the water station just before 8 miles I decided to take a drink,big mistake! The water mixed with a blocked nose made me choke and as i doubled over to evacuate my stomach i heard two little cretins shout “come on coach!” as they flew past laughing.

It was Chris and our other training partner Rob,who I had forgotten was in the race,i later found out he had been stalking me like a panther and had me in his sites all the way round!

Now let me tell you ,there is simply nothing better for performance,not Drugs, EPO or a head start than two of your training partners passing you in YOUR race ;).

I caught up with them after 400 metres or so and we ran as a pack to the finish.


Rob and I neck and neck(he is hidden in this pic) and Chris 10m behind.

Or so i thought….

Rob made his move with about 600m to go and I just didn’t have the legs to follow,which left me with Chris about 50 metres behind.

Or so I thought…..

One thing about Chris is he can kick and with 150m to go he went.

I may as well have been stood still!

So from leading them ,I ended up third.Now some people would be upset about that, I only felt proud.These boys trust me enough to set the sessions week in week out and I must be doing something correct!

So anyway sod them two clowns with their wanton disrespect for the coach 😉 back to the real reason you have suffered this long with my ramblings….

Did I PB?



Yes ,Yes I did


A full minute off last year! As i said last year , I’m not sure how long the streak will last but i will be back at Woodbank stadium every Dec until I can no longer run a step!



A Gift Guide for Runners

christmas-presents-1024x640Well it’s the most wonderful time of the year again.


The non runners in your life may be wondering what to buy for you, so I’ve wrote this quick guide for you to pass to them.

Socks – seriously we runners love socks. Don’t believe me? I dare you to enter any of the numerous Facebook running groups and ask “what are the best running socks?” Go on I double dare you 😉

A race entry – this one will go down a treat, all runners love races but be careful, it’s best to stipulate exactly how much you want to spend otherwise we WILL enter the marathon des sables (A four thousand pound race in the Sahara!)

A shoe voucher – we go through shoes like nobody’s business, Imelda Marcos has nothing on your average runner. Never though I repeat NEVER just buy a runner some shoes, that’s a rabbit hole you don’t want to enter. Minimal, maximal, barefoot, race shoe, trail shoe, wet Tuesdays only shoe,the list is endless! A voucher never offends!

Tennis balls – No, not to get them to take up a new sport or a Career as a cliff Richard impersonator. We runners LOVE tennis balls. We even sometimes sit on them! (trust me you wouldn’t understand!)

A free training pass – If you want to be extra thoughtful (or just a tight git) you can print the runner in your life some vouchers to cash in with you whenever they like. IKEA on a Sunday afternoon you say? Sorry love here is a voucher I’m going playing in the hills!

A Bloke walks into a Pub

No It’s not the start of a crap joke…….


Last week I had a lovely family mini break in the Lake District. During the break I was speaking to my Cousin at the bar,and he asked me a question I hadn’t really thought of before.

Why do people pay you to coach them? what are they getting over simply joining the running club?

This got me thinking,it may seem obvious to me but it’s only simple if you know the answer right?

The main difference is personalisation. In my position as a volunteer club coach I have around 130 members (30/40 per session) .While I would love to give each and every one a personal plan, I am only there three/four hours per week and it would simply become a full-time job!

That being said I love my club and my phone never stops with members asking for tips and advice,which they all get for free at anytime of the day or night. You can go a long long way using this method,be it with me at my club or any of the other thousands of Athletic clubs across the UK.

But what happens if you can’t make the session? ,shift worker? or busy parent? You may be training for something specific,a multi day ultramarathon or a specific time in a certain race where two group sessions just won’t cut it.

As a private client your plan is simply that,yours. No two plans look the same.Can’t train Monday, Tuesday? Only able to train in the afternoons? That isn’t a problem with a private coach,I update my athletes training weekly so we both always know what you are supposed to be doing and if sessions need moving around it’s no issue.

A private coach is not for everyone,I know many great runners who have no coach at all and many others who have had fantastic results just by listening to the club coach.But if you want that little bit of a personal touch or just don’t want to do the whole club thing this is where a Private coach can shine,trust me knowing you have to be accountable to someone makes you think twice about skipping a session ;).