Andi Jones on second lap. Picture - @roadrunneraj

23 Nov First race since moving to Qatar : Andi Jones Training Blog

So Friday 31st October was my first race since moving to Qatar. Having raced so much over summer knowing full well I wouldn’t get much opportunity to race here I was excited to be finally pinning a race number on and toeing the start line. The race was the Doha College 5k and 10k event. I had entered the 10k and was looking forward to the two lap race around the Aspire Zone. The Aspire is a haven of sporting centres, indoor athletics track which staged the World Indoors a few years ago, swimming pools, basketball courts, outdoor climbing walls, football fields. Some of the best facilities I have ever seen. And now will also be home to the World Athletics Championships in 2019.

Anyway the race started at 7am, which you would think was a sensible start time for a race in a hot climate. Even though the weather had cooled from the highs of 50oc we were having during the middle of the days, it was still hot by 7am and getting hotter as the race progressed.

Usually on the start line you recognise a few runners and then know who the competition was. This time it was different. I knew nobody, had no idea if there was anyone going for super quick times or if there would be a group of us charging round. As it happened I set off hard (What else would you expect) and started to pull away.

Andi Jones on second lap. Picture - @roadrunneraj

Andi Jones on second lap. Picture – @roadrunneraj

I was either about to have a great race or blow up big style in my first race in Qatar. The route being two laps meant the 5k runners were with us for the first lap. As it turned out I was first through 5k and then tried to push on. If I had ran two equal 5ks then I would have just dipped 31 minutes for the 10k which I would have been very pleased with. But by the time I got to the second half of the race it was now hot. I slowed, but hadn’t notice I had slowed and I went on to win my first race in Qatar in 32.18. Full results here. I was still pleased with this as I didn’t know how it would turn out. It goes to show though that I need to get some speed in the old legs and to now get building the training up ready for the marathon in early January.

Plan over the coming weeks is to increase the mileage. I cannot see it being possible to have weeks of running 110 miles plus like I would back in England if training for a marathon. Morning runs are proving difficult to logistically get in. Not sure if I am just being soft here (Hope not!) but classes start at 7am at school. I like to get to my office for 5.30am to ensure I have everything ready for the day and can deal with anything that pops up late so morning runs mean 4am starts. I have done some and on the morning I run my early morning athletics club I get a good five mile in before that starts at 6am.

I suppose the other big thing I have been to watch since my last update was the World 50km Trophy which was staged at the Aspire on the evening of my first race here. A few brits were running the race so we decided to head back down to Doha seeing as its only 30 minutes down the road to watch the event. Phil Anthony had a great race and look strong throughout and placed second just 45 seconds off the winner. Paul Martelletti placed fourth and was using the race in preparation for this weekends World 100km Championships which is being held at the same venue.


Paul Martelletti prior to the 50K Photo – @roadrunneraj

Below is a copy of my training over the three weeks since my last update. More mileage to come, an increase in the long Saturday run and some sessions of greater volume.

Good luck to everyone who is racing this coming weekend. Next blog coming soon.





Sunday 19th October – Saturday 25th October

S- 10 mile pm. Much cooler night.

M- 5 mile pm. Cooler weather didn’t last long!

T- 7.6 mile. 12 x 1 min off 30 secs.

W- 5 mile am on the school running track. 5 mile pm.

T- 5 mile pm.

F- 10.76 mile. Session of 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 mins. 5 mile pm.

S- 10 mile hard run, 57 mins.

Sunday 26th October – Saturday 1st November

S- Session 8 x 1min with warm up and warm down. Short session. Easy week as I am racing on Friday. First race in Qatar and it is still very hot at 7am when the race is due to start. 5.87 mile total.

M- No run.

T- 5 mile run pm.

W- 5 mile run am on the school track.

T- 3 mile run evening.

F- Race day. 1.5 mile warm up. Already hot so race was going to be tough. 10k race, 32.20. Good first 5k and slowed second half due to the heat being 30+ at 7.15am. No warm down.

S-10 mile am steady. 3.21 mile pm.

A very low mileage week but pleasing to get a race done in Qatar. This marks the build up to the marathon. Too much taking it easy of late and this needs addressing!

Sunday 2nd November – Saturday 8th November

S- 3.1 mile am. Starting to introduce the morning runs again. Its hard work as it means getting up at 4am to do them. 11 mile pm.

M- Session. Warm up, 8 x 2 mins and warm down. 10 mile.

T- 4 mile am. 10 mile pm. Felt very humid tonight.

W- Early morning athletics club before school. Meet the kids at 6am on the track for 40 minutes of training. Approx 2.5 miles for me. 5 mile pm.

T- Rest day.

F- 5 mile am. 5 mile pm. Easy day before my first long run in the build up to the marathon.

S- 18 mile at sub 6 minute mile pace. Was good first half and felt cool, got warmer after half way.

A pleasing weeks training. The Ooredoo marathon is fast approaching and things need to increase. This next week will see three sessions during the week and a longer run on Saturday.