Since starting running in 2003 my progress has been steady and consistent. My first ever race (in 2004) was the Askern 10k which I did in 44:30 ish. I was delighted with this but I never thought I would break 40 minutes. This was to finally come in 2007 after 3 years of training with Doncaster AC. I have very poor flexibility yet I pick up very few injuries (pulled calf at the moment after the weekend).
Saturday 3 September 2016 – I finally after 3 years of trying broke 18 minutes at Doncaster Parkrun.
Sunday 4 September 2016 (Wilne 10k) – off the back of the parkrun PB yesterday I managed to beat my 10k PB from 18 months ago, it is now 35:55 and I am looking forward to some more improvements over the next few years. A lot of data is missing because I did not run with my heart rate monitor.
A few months ago one of my coaches, Paul Brown suggested some modifications to the sessions I deliver with Doncaster AC. I listen to lots of advice from other coaches and experienced runners like Steve Fox and I basically pick and choose the bits I like.
Club nights should be tough sessions, do the easy long runs away from the club. So this means interval training on Tuesday and Thursday for my lucky group. Track sessions on Tuesday and either hill reps or fartlek or road rep running on Thursdays. These are mixed, typically short reps (perhaps 200m) on one night and long reps (as long as 2 miles if we are hitting a strava segment) on the other night.
Previously I avoided anything shorter than 400m reps but in the last few weeks I have done some 200m sessions, some by myself and some with the group. Its a lot harder than you might think running 7 x 200m flat out with 200m walk recovery!
What do short reps do for you? Running as hard as you can forces changes to your running technique, if you have any niggles then proceed with care
3 x 200m, 200m walk recovery then 1 x 1 mile. Repeat.
Vertical Oscillation – note how during this session the Vertical Oscillation is reduced to 8cm during the 200m reps. During the mile reps its around 10.5cm (my estimated 10k pace).
Ground Contact Time – note how during this session the GCT is 160ms during the 200m reps and 230ms during the mile reps.
Run Cadence – 200+ strides per minute during the 200m reps and 170 during the mile reps.
Stride Length – During the 200m reps 2.15m but during the mile reps 1.5 – 1.6m
All these factors determine how efficiently we run which determines how quickly we run. Interval training outside your comfort zone conditions the body and mind overtime to work more efficiently.
My progress as measured by Runbritain
For some time I have been trying to get my runbritain handicap to be 2.0, for the first time in my running career I got to this level today! This does not yet include the Wilne 10k results so it might change again in the next day or 2. I have raced 33 times so far in 2016 and I have raced PB’s in the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and parkrun. In my Wilne 10k race I know it does not count but I ran a 5k road pb and a 5 mile pb (by 1:15).
I work with a great group of athletes who take part in the sessions I deliver and I owe some of my racing success to the group.