22 Oct Welcome to Qatar: Andi Jones Training Blog
On 28th August we left the UK to start a new life and job in Al Khor, Qatar. Al Khor is about 50km north of the capital Doha, but to be quite honest there isn’t really much between Doha and Al Khor apart from desert, the ground work of a few football stadiums and camels.
Our move came from the fact we fancied a new challenge and a different experience so when a job came up at a large international school we decided to try out for it. Obviously we got the job and then since February we have been planning our move ready for the day to eventually come.
We have been here seven weeks now. Our villa is slowly getting furnished, Kadi-Leigh is in the habit of being picked up and dropped off on the school bus which comes to our compound to collect the students, which is very different from her 400m walk to school back in the UK. Other things different to home is obviously the weather. In the last 7 weeks we have seen a cloud but it quickly disappeared and there is no rain forecast for a while yet. The weather on arrival was in the 50s during the day which was hot. Recently is has cooled and is in the mid 40s most days now. It cools off when the sun sets about 5.30pm but then only to mid 30s and then the humidity kicks in. The question about running is do you run early morning when again it is humid, during the day which would be stupid or when the sun sets but again it gets humid. I’m told since we got here- give it a few weeks and the weather gets much better. I’m still waiting for this.
During the winter months it is supposed to be perfect for training. Weather in the mid 20s, always dry and without the humidity. This I look forward to. I had already said before coming here that running was initially going to be difficult. I was prepared to have a few weeks off running when we settled in and got things sorted. In the end I only had three days off as our small compound has its own gym and the best way to find your way around any new place is to run!
My mileage has dropped considerably and some days I have rested because I didn’t feel 100%. One thing I don’t want to do is get ill from running in hot temperatures and not getting the right amount of recovery. It’s difficult not to stay hydrated because everywhere in school has water coolers so it’s easy to drink throughout the day. Over the next week I intend to increase my mileage as it is a little easier to get double days as I am off school for half term. On a normal working week we start class at 7am so I have been getting to school for 5.30am to ensure I am ready for the day ahead. This would make morning runs very early but on the other hand with the school starting so early we have been going to bed much earlier. So the morning runs are going to have to begin in the next few weeks as I do have some racing planned.
I have entered the three races I know about in Qatar between now and January. The first two are 10k races. Both races start at the Aspire centre which is in Doha and purpose built for sport. The courses look a little twisty but I’m sure they will give a true reflection of my fitness level. As you can tell from my training shown below I am getting runs in up to ten miles which I need to increase and doing some sessions. 1 minute and 2 minute efforts and I did try a session of 2 x 5 minutes hoping to increase this but it is really just too warm at the moment for this.
Sunday 31st August – Saturday 6th September 2014
S- 5 mile run. It’s hot!
M- 5 mile run steady on the treadmill
T- 5.14 mile run
W- 5.37 mile run
T- 5 mile on the treadmill and a few weights
F- 5k on treadmill am. Session outside pm. 2 mile warm up, 8 x 1 min off 1 minutes recovery, Warm down.
S- 8.1 mile late pm.
Sunday 7th September – Saturday 13th September 2014
S- 10 mile pm
M- Warm up, 10 x 1minute off 1 minute recovery, warm down. 7.31 mile
T- 5.17 mile pm. Felt tired so cut run short
W- Rest day. Had to go to Doha to get a driving license so it was a case of not enough hours in the day.
T- 5 mile pm.
F- Warm up, 12 x 1minutes off 1 minute recover, warm down. 8 mile
S- 10.1 mile very early am
Sunday 14th September – Saturday 20th September 2014
S- 10.1 mile pm
M- 5 mile at a bit quicker pace
T- 5 mile and it felt very humid
W- 5 mile on treadmill. I often have late events to attend on Wednesday evenings so the only way I get to run at the moment is on the treadmill because when I finish school at 1.30 it’s just too hot outside to run.
T- 5 mile on the roads and humid
F- 15 min warm up, 2 x 5 minutes off 3 minutes, warm down. 7.5 mile.
S- 10 mile
Sunday 21st September – Saturday 27th September 2014
S- 6 mile run, hot and humid
M- Rest day
T- 6.12 mile pm
W- 5 mile run on the treadmill due to late parents evening
T- Rest- felt tired
F- 2 mile warm up, 6 x 3minutes off 2 mins, warm down. 10 miles total
S- 6 mile
Sunday 28th September – Saturday 4th October 2014
S- 10 mile pm
M- Warm up, 8 x 2 minutes off 1 minutes recovery, warm down.
T- 5 mile steady
W- Rest day- Felt like I have a cold
T-5.12 mile pm
F- 10 mile am. New route. Running out in the desert now as long as I go early enough
S- Warm up, 6 x 2 minutes off 1 minute, warm down. 7.3 mile
Sunday 5th October – Saturday 11th October 2014, half term week.
S-10 mile am
M- 5km on treadmill am. Session pm. Warm up, 12 x 1 min off 1 minute recovery, warm down.
T- 3.1 mile run am outside. Shouldn’t have bothered and should have stuck to treadmill. Too hot! 5 mile pm.
W- Rest day- sore throat
T- 5 mile am
F- 5km am on treadmill. 5 mile pm
S- 5 mile treadmill. 5 mile outside pm
Sunday 12th October – Saturday 18th October 2014
S- Session. Warm up, 12 x 1 minute off 1 minute recovery, warm down. 7.5 mile total
M- 3 mile. Ran in to a pick up truck after 2 miles and hurt my arm. Thought I had broke it at first but turned out to be bruised. Bloody hurt though!
T- 10.3 mile with 6×2 minutes off 1 minute recovery. Even though my arm hurt I got out and on with it. Was a little conscious of running in to things. This country has loads of unfinished building work and a perfectly good path suddenly ends and becomes dirt and desert.
W- 5 mile on the treadmill in the afternoon
T- 5.2 mile pm
F-5 mile on treadmill am. Session pm. Warm up, 12 x 1 minute off 30 seconds, warm down. 7.6 mile. Reduced the recovery now as I have some racing coming up.
S- 12 mile. Longest run since being in Qatar. Things need to build up now.
This last week has been my best week. If it wasn’t for running in to the truck I would have had a great week. Next week more of the same. Single days still till after the 10k in two weeks and then build up for the marathon kicks in for real.
In my next update I will talk about my experience of racing in Qatar and how I have found running in general since being here.
Good luck if you are racing soon and keep the training up