Marathon training tips

For most runners Spring marathons are less than three months away……….

Exciting isn’t it?

It is around this time that people start to panic and maranoia kicks in. Here are a few tips to hopefully keep you on the right track.

 

Make a plan

Or get one. A simple internet search will find loads and loads of plans,some free,some paid and all promising to help you be a better runner (most are bollocks). Pick one that’s right for YOU , not just for this week but for every week up to race day, it’s no good starting a plan that has you running six days a week when you can really only commit to four. I favour 16 week plans as you will more than likely pick up a niggle or get the lurgy that is going around work……..which leads me to my next tip.

Don’t chase missed sessions!

We have all been there ,you have had a cold,had to stay late at work or just had a bout of cantbearseditis (its real google it!). You can’t chase the past, if you have missed a week just carry on as normal with your plan, if its been a couple of weeks or a serious illness it may be wise to reassess your plan/goal. One of the reasons i prefer a 16 week buildup is when the inevitable happens i have time to regroup and rebuild.

Set a time goal.

This is important, the amount of times i have heard ‘i just want to get round’ or ‘i want to run four or four and a half hours’. If you don’t have a goal finish time how do you know what pace to set off ? Marathons are a difficult beast to tame and if you set off too fast you will melt into a puddle of despair and misery by mile twenty . ( I’ve been there done it and got the T-shirt). A good place to start is double your half marathon time and add ten minutes to get your marathon pace.

Nothing new on race day

Kit,shoes and nutrition should all be sorted well before the day. We all like shiny new gear but brand new kit can sometimes mean disaster, if you have ever chaffed your nether regions because of new shorts you will know what i mean. I like to do a dress rehearsal two weeks out as that’s normally last long run day. Everything i’m going to wear for the race gets tested to check its not too tight/loose and that i feel comfy, if you don’t want to carry gels on race day google what the event are using and buy a few to see how they sit on your stomach if different from your usual brand.

Enjoy the experience

Last but not least enjoy the day. Embrace the pain, it will hurt, a lot ,you will question your sanity and you will at some point want to kick the heavy breather in front of you right up the arse! But when you see that finish everything will fade away and you will feel on top of the world! Not many people are brave/daft enough to run the marathon so enjoy the smugness but be prepared when you get back to work to be asked ‘was your marathon as long as London?’

End of Year review

Today was my last race of the year (funny that as its Dec 31st!). I travelled up to Clitheroe for the Ribble valley 10k,things did not go according to plan………..

First mile went well although i started a little further back then i should of after mis- judging where the actual start line was! I ended up weaving a fair bit to get round runners,trod in a puddle,although the puddle was a bloody great hole and a rolled my ankle ,i rolled the same one and XC earlier in the year and panicked (read spat my dummy out),turned round ripped my number off and started to limp back to start.

My wife was taking pics a few minutes away from where i went over and after reaching her and having a right royal moan and a toddler tantrum she asked me what i wanted to do.I noticed all the other runners trying their hardest running past,clubmates asking if i was ok and i felt a little bit of a fraud,the ankle was sore but not as bad as i first thought.I slowly pinned my ripped number back on and told her i would see her at the finish. The next five miles are a mix of pain and rage,i was so angry with myself for taking silly risks,no one needs to make stupid moves one mile into a 10k and my reward for such foolishness? my slowest ever 10k since i began racing! but hey at least it wasn’t a DNF!

The only upside was seeing my teammates and friends having much better luck thani,with a couple grabbing P.B’S to end their Year!

Screenshot_20171231-171912.png

Can anyone spot the trip 😉

 

Anyway that’s the end of 2017,a year filled with massive ups and crashing downs,I ran my first (and only) sub 3 at Manchester marathon,ran London and Liverpool marathons and then spent most of the summer battling the injuries that came with Three Marathons in 8 weeks. I ran for the first time on the proper fells in the lakes including an absolutely fantastic club roadtrip to run the grisedale horseshoe

FB_IMG_1504467020946.jpg

At the end of summer i ran the amazing Peak skyline and if i had not entered Lakeland 50 i would be back there again in 2018!

I also grabbed a 9th place at the Pendle half marathon which shall we say was ‘undulating’ My teammate Neal Emmerson took the win that day by five minutes!

Winter gifted me a 10k PB at Wilmslow and at the Stockport 10 miler so the Good has more than outweighed the bad!

1191 total miles has left me well short of my 1500 goal but ive had fun along the way.

Im hoping for a little more consistency next year and to FINALLY bullet proof my bloody left calf!

 

But for now i’m going to sample a decent single malt or maybe five!

 

See you on the other side !

Spring has Sprung

Its March, i’m stood in Chester in the form of my life and i’m ready to attack the Chester 52 mile ultramarathon,The sun is shining,the birds are tweeting and all is well in the world…………..

Well not really and in the words of the great Craig David let’s ‘Re-ee-wind’………

It’s actually a bloody cold night in December and i’ve got Eleven weeks to go before my biggest race to date. i’m already over christmas,the mountains of food ,gallons of beer and my nans gift of socks (I lie my nan is pretty cool and usually gets me a nice bottle of whiskey).

Visualisation can play a big part in your race buildup,especially over longer distances.All too often we give up before we are ready ,I especially have been a victim of this more than once and in playing race day through my head a hundred different times i’m hoping for this event i will be a little bit better prepared Mentally than i have been in the past.

All my training for Chester ultra is being logged on a google sheet and for those interested it can be viewed here Training.My plan is not set in stone and like any good plan it is open to changes,missed sessions extra rest days etc etc.Plans should be just that,not a ball and chain around your neck that makes you hate running!

Now don’t get me wrong just imagining a good race does not mean you will run one,if that was the case we could all just imagine being a billionaire and pay someone else to run for us!

Training will be tough,winter in England is not pretty although there is something to running these winter miles that make the three sunny days a year we have a bit special!

I currently Have two weeks off work and bar the big day itself i intend to do some form of training be it running or cross train rather than sit on my backside watching reruns of only fools and horses and eating celebrations!

Whatever your plans for the Festive period,have a very merry Christmas and enjoy the miles!

 

Stockport 10 Report 2017

This Sunday was my annual pilgrimage to woodbank park to take part in the Stockport 10 mile road race.

For those that know me I never hide my love for this race, it was my first ever event and this year will be my fourth visit, Its a real end of season test and usually is a good indication on what i can achieve in the coming spring.

Each previous effort has been faster than the year before and last year’s 63 minutes dead was going to take some beating especially as I hadn’t ran 10 miles in either racing or training since October!

For those of you who have never heard of the Stockport 10 ( if you live in the north of England you are missing a treat!) This year’s race t shirt sums it up pretty well 24172752_1763766096980695_5099317550614704998_o

 

It is however one of the best organised races I do each year ,the organisation from Stockport harriers is in my opinion spot on . The Facebook and email posts on the way up to the event are always entertaining and the race doesn’t take it self too seriously .

Twenty of my clubmates also did the event and unlike a normal race day meeting I disappeared to warm-up alone ,headphones in to get myself psyched up,I felt a little bit of a git but sometimes you need every advantage you can get . I was still riding a little bit of a high from last weeks 10k in Wilmslow and was chomping at the bit to get going !

Standing on the start line i was more than ready to go,and before i knew it the gun went and off we shot! the first few miles are fairly flat with a lap of the track and surrounding park before hitting the mean streets of Stockport. 

My goal was to keep around a 6.10 min/mile average for as long as possible,first mile however beeped on my watch as 5.52! i knew i had got caught in the adrenaline of everyone around me but i was in a pack now and committed.

The course itself isn’t particularly scenic,a lot is housing estates and at around 2.5 miles there is a little out and back ,this is where i spotted my teammate Neal right up with the leading pack and running like a Gazelle!! (He went on to finish twelfth!!)

Like i said the course isn’t flat but today it sure felt fast! the first hill comes around mile 4 and the first year i did this my mate Rob ran me round but had to wait while i took a walk break up here,this year however i glided up barely even noticing the bump that was in my way of my PB.

The next hill however was a different story and my least favourite part every single year,its a mile in length and just as you think you hit the top you take a sharp left and have another couple of hundred metres before it flattens out again. I knew at the top of that climb i had thrown too much in to it and my legs were screaming,but if i hung on i had a nice descent and farmers trail to recover on very shortly.

This year however the lovely farmers track had been turned into an impromptu XC course! now i love XC as much as the next guy but not when i’m 7.5 miles into a road 10 miler! my shoes just couldn’t grip and myself plus my group slipped and skated our way across losing time and more importantly energy! (Just to add this isn’t the organisers fault but more due to the vast amounts of rain we have had the last few weeks).

The final sting comes at mile 9 and looking at my watch i knew time was slipping away from me and i just had nothing left (mention New Zealand road to Stockport runners and watch them shudder!).

I threw everything at that hill,everything, I saw stars ,Jesus, Zippy from rainbow,The cast from red dwarf, and Santa ,i barely had enough energy to stay upright never mind run!

Entering the park i was greeted by my ever suffering Wife and her camera (her work can be seen here).

FB_IMG_1512334457954.jpg

I didnt even have the energy to wave ,i only had one goal in mind,the finish line and sub 63 minutes.

Finishing on the track i could see the finish but the final 300 metres may of been 30 miles the way i was feeling and by now i was sure i was going to break my streak.

100 metres to go i threw everything i had left at the finish ,i could feel my lungs and legs screaming and the undeniable feeling of just about to exit the building.

I dipped over the finish and promptly emptied my stomach all over the side of the track much to the disgust of the spectators !

Race crew ran over to make sure i was ok but all i was interested in was my finish time as during my classy finish i forgot to stop the Garmin!!!

Usually the results are pretty quick but today it felt like forever,i was constantly checking emails and websites and then finally…………

62.51

It was close but i had done it ! i’m not sure how long this streak will last but ill be lining back up next year and every year after that for as long as i can run !

 

Wilmslow Festive 10 K

Its Sunday morning, 5.45 A.M. , its chucking it down outside and im up and shoving Porridge in my still half asleep face.

Read the above as ‘yay its raceday!’

After a drive over to Wilmslow (i was kindly chauffeured by clubmate Mike).We found a parking space by the finish. The course was a strange one as instead of a loop it was more of a C,so there was a good 1k jog from the car to race HQ and god was it cold. Fortunately the Race HQ is in the local sports hall so we could shelter in the warmth for a little while.

The Course

w10k

 

There was a few of us from Radcliffe A.C. running today and its always great to see clubmates before a race but before i knew it it was showtime.

If i’m honest i wasn’t expecting much as i was still not over my bloody cold (day 12 now) and i had somewhat overdone it at a club presentation on friday night ( I can still taste the sambuca!) Talking to Mike on the way up the plan was to test out the first mile and then go from there,if i could get near 38 mins i would be happy enough.

As the gun went and the usual stampede thinned out i just had a feeling today could be a good day as 6 min miling felt gooood !!!

The course is great a good mix of country lanes and little pockets of support, before i knew it the 5k marker was looming ahead. Kilometer 8 had the only real hill in the race and i knew that this was where my training/illness/drunkenness may let me down,luckily i just turned it down a little and carried on hanging to the back of my pack.

At this point i checked my watch and noticed i could be on for a P.B. but i was hurting now the legs had started to cramp and my lungs were burning. I really dislike 10k as if you go out hard it’s a bloody sufferfest home!

One more bend and the 400m to go sign magically appeared, filling me with memories of wed night 8×400 track session ! i could see the clock ticking in the distance and i knew if i had any chance i needed to pull my big boy pants up and just grin and bear it just a little longer.

I crossed the line in 37.17 a 16 second P.B. but immediately thought if only i had run 18 seconds faster , runners eh!

Really happy with today especially after a crappy XC last week. I would really recommend the race. Course, organisation,marshals and goody bag were all top notch.
IMG_20171126_123005.jpg

Become a Loser

No i haven’t locked myself in my  bedroom and started listening to Morrissey on repeat, I’m talking about becoming a loser in a positive way (is that even english?).

 

  • Lose the Ego

You dont always have to be the first home on the training run or pull out one more rep than everyone else on that hill.We are all chasing different goals and is pushing past your limits every session really worth it? Save it for race day!

  • Lose the self Doubt

‘I cant do that’

‘It’s too hard’

‘I will never be that fast’

Sound familiar? There really is no magic bullet in running,it’s just consistent sensible training. Having a negative mindset is a real issue with so many Athletes (myself included) The mind gives up well before the body in every single one of us. Remember you dont have to be the best ever,you only have to be the best you on that day.

  • Lose the Obsession with GPS

Yes we all wear them (I currently own a Garmin Fenix 3 and never take it off!) But we are all far too obsessed with Avg splits, cadence , HRM ,ground contact, vertical ratio (WTF) the list goes on.

If you set for example pace limits in a 10k what happens if you feel really good running at that pace,You can’t possibly push on can you just incase your watch blows up on your wrist! its better to use these devices as a GUIDE, they are great training tools but in races i only ever have mine on time of day with lap pacing popping up every mile.Stop staring and start running!

 

  • Lose the Limits

The only thing stopping you from your goal is you. Im obviously talking realistically,if your goal is to fly or to beat me to the last ferrero rocher you are out of luck!

Pick your goals sensibly ,Train smart and reap the rewards of a job well done

 

Fell Running – Try it, love it! 

So fell running,

I never hide the fact that I’m primarily a road runner but there is something about running up and down hills that drags me back with excitement and frustration in equal measures.

A ‘fell’ for people who are not from the north of England is a hill or mountain. Fell running is the sport of running up one or several fells and then straight back down at ankle breaking speeds!

Some  races are marked and have marshals, others a map and compass are needed to help you navigate various check points and most of them have a story to tell.

This weekend I took part in a little low key fell race named ‘Race you to the summitt’ The summit is the top of a fell you think…….. Wrong the summitt  is the name of a pub that serves as the start of the race! (most fell races start at or near a local pub) 
The story goes that two fellas was arguing one night in the Summit inn about who could run the fastest to the neighbouring Whitehouse inn.  After hearing the two men argue  for some time the landlord of the pub decided to make them put their money where their mouth was and set up the race.
Fast forward 51 years and it’s was my turn to trace those famous footsteps.  My decision to run was a last minute one after my friend Scott mentioned it on Facebook Friday evening . At only 4 miles the race is a perfect one for just having a go  without any real experience, it’s mainly on decent trails and not too hilly.

After a quick registration and handing over the grand total of £5 for my entry, we got ready for the off. 

As with most fell races it was more or less straight up straight away, I held back as I have a tendency to blow up on fast uphill starts, I Settled into a steady rhythm just  as we hit a farmers track and I managed to pick off a few places.

The half way point is the neighbouring pub the whitehouse and upon touching the side it was time for a fast downhill back to the start. The return leg brought an almighty headwind which at some points threatened to blow me over ( a chap ran round in an inflatable halloween costume! How I’ll never know!). 

I had a battle with a chap on the final downhill and just managed to pip him to the finish, something I was happy with as I usually lose my bottle on the descents for fear of breaking one of my sparrow ankles! 

After only having to wait for a couple of minutes for Scott we then took part in the best part of fell racing……… A pint and a chat with other runners in the pub!

Although I didn’t break the 30 minutes the original two lads ran 51 years, I was really impressed with this little gem and will be back next year! 

Double race weekends and finding some form 

Will I ever learn?
Once again I booked two races in a single weekend, the opener of our cross country season on Saturday and the Manchester half marathon on Sunday! I really do need filofax! 

After what seems like forever my legs are starting to feel strong again, I’ve had a persistent niggle in my left calf all summer which turns out to be caused by my glutes not firing correctly. After a few sessions with my sports therapist to get everything stretched and massaged I’ve been supplementing  my running with two gym sessions a week and touch wood it seems to be helping things along nicely! 

If you have read my other posts or know me personally you will know that I love XC, I think it is running in its absolute purest form. Mud, sweat, cold and mud! 

Last year I won my clubs XC trophy and I fully intend to defend my title as best as I can this season! 

Our first fixture is a very flat and fast course with no real mud or hills and last year I absolutely detonated with my first mile being 5.40 and my last 7.40 as you can imagine it wasn’t a pleasant 10k! This year however I decided to start further back and run completely to feel.

The first 5k ticked by fairly steady and apart from the unexpected Oct sunshine I felt good so pushed the final 5k a little more, overtaking several runners (maybe they had tried my pace management from last year!). I finished feeling like I had plenty left in the tank and most importantly I didn’t have any calf pain at all!

Race Two 

The alarm buzzed at 5am  I jumped out of bed quickly before my I woke my wife, slumped down the stairs and shoved the coffee machine on. 

I met my clubmates at 7am to travel up to Manchester together, as each stopped arrived more and more sleepy looking runners boarded the metrolink all with the same nervous expression we all have on race day morning! 

After much faffing and a couple of toilet stops we got underway. The course at the greater Manchester half is not the most picturesque but it is flat and fast and has plenty of pb potential. 

My goal of the race was to see where I fitness wise so I decided to go with the 90 minutes pacer from the off and see how it felt, I have been lacking long runs recently and as such I knew my endurance would of suffered. 

The miles began to tick off quicker than expected and pretty soon I had left the pacer behind, I thought as long as it continued I would push slightly from mile ten. 

Mile ten arrived and bar a blister forming on my toe I felt strong and began overtaking runners more and more (60 according to the race splits). The finish at the half is exactly the same as the full marathon and you can see it looming in the distance for about half a mile (although it’s feels like 5!). 

I crossed the line in 1.27.32 only 18 seconds slower than last year so maybe I haven’t lost as much endurance as first thought! Onwards and upwards! 

Race splits

Winter is Coming……….

No I haven’t turned into a Stark (they usually last about as long as a cheesecake in my fridge!). Im talking long dark nights ,wind ,rain,secret dog mess hiding under the autumn leaves,the usual treats we get for the next 7 months!

Dont be put off and resign to the fact that you have to use the dreadmill over winter a few simple tips can help you battle the winter and come spring be a bigger stronger faster Athlete!

 

  • Stay illuminated – Bold bright reflective clothing should be your staple wear for training during winter,even during the day ,if the clouds come in it can get dark pretty quickly.You can buy hi viz vests for a couple of quid from places like Ebay and amazon if you are strapped for cash and the local £ shop will always have clip on cycle lights for sale. Be bright Be seen (think 1990s raver).

 

  • Wear Layers– Just because its cold out you dont have to turn into Rocky Balboa running in full tracksuit,hat scarf and gloves. Once you start moving you will be surprised how fast you will warm up,most runs if its dry can be ran in a long sleeve top and shorts. I personally find a thin hat and gloves always keeps me toasty (i dont like cold hands!!).If the weather is really terrible invest in a decent waterproof jacket but try and brave shorts,wet leggings for miles on end is no ones idea of fun !

 

12243055_10207192752550989_7226023445730105936_n

A winter training session on my local moors.

 

  • Slow Down- Now i know this may sound a little contradictory but not every session has to be a race and if you are tearing down the street in the dark you may not see the potholes ,signposts or cars may not see you !

 

  • Run in a Group- Group running is fantastic for so many reasons not just in winter but i’ve added it here for two reasons 1. Safety in numbers,cars are more likely to see ten people in high viz than just one lonely runner and 2. you are much more likely to train if you have people waiting for you to get your arse outside!

 

  • Get offroad-  I dont hide my love for XC, i think getting off road and muddy is a great all over body  workout,plus getting off road is probably safer as you dont have to contend with traffic (make sure of course you are comfortable with your surroundings,run in a group if possible and let someone know where you are going!)

 

  • Embrace the Weather- Last but not least,embrace everything that winter can throw at you  wind,rain,snow and sheer bloody Arctic temperatures .Store them in your memory and when spring comes back around you will be bulletproof! mental toughness is a big player in this sport and if you can train in sideways rain in -2 there is no way you will quit that race when the sun is shining and the birds are tweeting!

 

 

 

The Thrill of the Pace 

This weekend I joined the Bury 10k pacing team. This was a new experience for me but having used pacing guys in races before and realising how invaluable they were for me  I wanted to pass that back to the running community.

I decided to take the 40 minute pacer role as although not my PB it could still  be a decent training run at the same time.
I arrived at the race village around an hour before the start to collect my pacing flag, this thing was bloody huge, I was a little daunted as I hadn’t ran with it but to my surprise it weighed next to nothing. 
Ready to go 

On the start line the usual nervous banter flowed and I had a good chat with a couple of my team mates and runners who fancied a pop at the elusive sub 40 10k.

With only a couple of minute’s delay the starting hooter blew and off I trotted like a bearded pied piper. Having ran this race last year and living on the route I know it pretty well and knew with the slight downhill start we needed to bank a little time to counter the slight uphill return to the finish.

The first few ks absolutely flew by and I felt really good chatting with other runners (who probably didn’t want my monotonous tones ruining a lovely Sunday morning race).

My teammate and friend has been chasing a 10k for a while and took a gamble by listening to my advice of holding back and not setting off far too fast and as planned stayed by my side to 4k and then pushed on looking strong and determined!

The final 4k are a gradual incline and I had a group of 5/6 guys around me who I knew as long as they didn’t try anything silly they would hit their goal, I pointed out that we were going to be running past my house but no one really seemed that impressed!

With 1k to go I checked my watch and with 36 minutes gone I knew we had it and explained to the lads that if they had anything left to push on and really finish strong, on hitting the final straight I could see the finish line and the clock ticking away………..

I crossed the line in 39.59 and recieved a few sweaty hugs and firm handshakes thanking me for helping them achieved PB’s, I felt like the king of the world!

I grabbed my goody bag, dropped off my pacing flag (I wanted to keep that tbh). After a quick massage from my sports therapist who was working at the event I went to meet my wife to cheer the 25 clubmates we had running over the finish line, most of whom hit PB’s so it was an all round great day for our club! 

Races always need pacers and if you haven’t done it yet, volunteer it a great experience!

Oh my teammate who rudely left me behind at 4k, how did he do you say?…….. 

Well he smashed his goal and  came in at 39.09!! 

Don’t be afraid to shift your goals 

As some may be aware I have decided to pull out of this year’s Snowdonia marathon. I have club races every weekend up to the event and I simply wouldn’t have the time to get the long runs in that are needed so I was left with two choices…..

A. Turn up, have a bad run and not enjoy the experience.

B. Be sensible and save the race for a time when I’m ready and will enjoy what is one of the most picturesque races in the UK.
Some may think I’m being a little soft and I should just of ran it but I’m a firm believer of practicing what I preach,and  I would never advise anyone to enter a marathon unready, either mentally or physically.

So don’t be afraid to postpone/cancel races if you are not prepared, you only have to answer to yourself and the clock!

Lakeland 50 is happening!!

 The man from Del Monte (well Coniston) he say Yes!

 

logo

 

For those of you that haven’t heard, The lakeland 100 and 50 mile event happen on the last weekend in July in the glorious Lake district.The 100 is a circular loop starting and ending in coniston,while the 50 starts at Dalemain.

In the uk ultra scene this event is BIG not just in ascent but popularity almost to london marathon levels for road runners,it sells out fast……….8 minutes kind of fast! and with 2018 being the 11th running,i can only see it getting more popular!

So friday morning at 9.00 A.M i was ready,computer fired up,debit card in hand………………

AND after a few page freezes and refusal to accept payment i grabbed my golden ticket!!

 

golden ti

After the decision earlier this week to pull out of Snowdonia (more on that another day), i needed a pick me up and this certainly put my mood in a more positive place!

 

The next 10 months cant pass quickly enough!

XC season is fast approaching! 

The mud awaits you!cross country mud

 

XC or cross country for those who are not in the know is a team racing event over the autumn /winter period in the UK. USA I’ve seen your XC and I can only dream of those lovely manicured trails ;-).

For most British runners the first time we did XC was at school when the P. E teacher hated every single one of us and made us run laps of fields and woods in the piss pouring rain avoiding stray dogs and the cool kids having a crafty fag in the bushes.

Not really selling this am I? 


Now fast forward some years (more than I can comprehend tbh, in my head I’m still 18!), XC should be part of the building blocks for your spring season, be it marathon, 10k or 5k.

It’s muddy, it’s often wet and cold and there are some unbelievably fast lads and ladies competing against you ….

BUT 

  • It will build strength like you won’t believe, nothing builds leg strength like wading through mud UPHILL!
  • It builds camaraderie (when you are freezing and covered in mud there is nothing else to do but take the piss out of your team mates).
  • After a full season of xc you will hit the spring road season leaner, stronger and faster (Xmas pudding excess withstanding).
  • You will become an expert in Gazebo construction in gale force winds.

 

A few tips for XC. 

  1. Buy some spikes or fell shoes (trail shoes or your old school pumps won’t cut it). 
  2. Set off SLOWLY, road times count for nothing in the mud, let those racing snakes head off like rockets.
  3. Bring some warm dry clothes for afterwards, you will feel a million dollars.
  4. Support your team, turn up early for the ladies race /stay later for the mens. Make a day of it.
  5. Most importantly get a cool picture to add to Facebook so all your friends know you are a badass/ little mental

Just look at how much fun I’m having…..

rossy xc

See you in the fields!

Five training tips 

Running isn’t as mystical as some would have you believe, here are some of my favourite tips . 

Be consistent 

Many of my coached runners ask me how to get faster, I always tell them it isn’t magic. You don’t have to hire a wizard or rub a magic lamp, you just have to be consistent. Building a bigger aerobic engine will see you better than changing training plans every two days! 

Three runs a week 

One speed work 

One hill session 

One long run 

will see big improvements for most runners. 

Keep a diary 

THIS! 
Keeping a diary used to be a staple of all runners everywhere. Keeping a diary helps you and your coach look over your training and see what could be tweaked. It doesn’t have to be too technical, just something simple like…… 

Distance of run 
Terrain 

Time 

Weather 

How you felt. 

If your training starts to stagnate a little having a diary is a great way to look back and find the culprit. Feeling under the weather? Crap nights sleep?, heavy training week? It’s easier to have it wrote down than trying to remember. 

And no strava is not a training diary! 

Ask questions 

From everyone, about everything. Read books, listen to podcasts, read blogs or text your coach at 10.30 pm while he is trying to watch a re-run of father Ted. 

Knowledge is key, understanding how to train is half the battle of a decent training cycle. 

And remember nobody has all the answers to all the questions, we are all still learning everyday. 
Rub yourself 

Now now you at the back giggling, I’m talking foam rolling! Buy one, befriend it and give it a name (mine is called oww you barsteward! ).

learning how to effectively self massage and stretch can have a  massive benefit to your training. There are literally hundreds of vids on YouTube teaching you how to stretch and foam roll. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff 

So many people I talk to worry about the final 5% rather than putting precedence in the first 95%. Building a solid training foundation should be your first priority. New fancy running styles, the latest headband or those fancy new shoes that are 1.2 grams lighter than last seasons won’t mean shit if your Friday night staple is eight Stellas and a kebab.
 

Keeps these things in mind and you will be on your way to a more successful training cycle.