29 Jul Back To Marathon Training

After the British 10,000m Champs, my focus has now switched to the Berlin Marathon at the end of September and also Abingdon in mid October. A lot has been said of the British 10,000m, so I’ll try to keep my views brief. Regarding my own performance, it was a disappointment; whilst I wasn’t a million miles off my pb, I had really focused on putting in a good performance in this race and I expected to better my pb of 29:45, so to end up with 30:04 is a let down.

The conditions were pretty good, there was a slight wind on the back straight and as usual, I’d have liked it to be cooler! The race got off to a good start, Andrew Lemoncello was having a good go forcing the pace chasing a sub 29 time, after 3k (8:44), Lemoncello eased back having done all the work early on and then the pace started to slow. I was managing to stay with the group, which was a huge pack of 12 of us. We covered 5k in 14:44, despite the pace slowing to 3 min per km, I wasn’t running well enough to force myself near the front of the group. With about six laps to go I was hanging on with the Polish runner, Nowak at the back and gradually a gap opened up, leaving me and Nowak having our own little battle outside the main race. I managed to finish ahead of him, but was nearly 100m behind the main pack in 11th. Whilst there’s no way I could have challenged at the front, I was frustrated at not being able to be in the mix at the end. Lemoncello ran well and was a deserved winner after his front running early on, winning ahead of Keith Gerrard and Scott Overall in 29:28 with a fast finish.

There has been criticisms about the event and the state of distance running in general. My view is that Grand Prix’s are races to run fast times and Championships are races to win. What would anyone gain out of running them-self into the ground and pacing some of the others to fast times, whilst putting them-self out of the medals? The biggest problem, is the lack of numbers, there was only 13 men and 1 woman competing; Alyson Dixon had to treat the race as a time trial. Mo Farah’s success has been incredible, but it papers over the cracks of the lack of depth in this country, jogging is bigger than ever, but as a sport, running is still declining. This country is more interested in participation rather than competition in running.

It’s catch 22; the lower the standards, the lower the interest from media and the general public. This makes it harder for clubs and schools to interest youngsters in distance running. Another problem is the standards; a runner of my ability wouldn’t be good enough to compete in a race of that level 20+ years ago, but we are struggling to find 20 people that can run sub 30 now.  To qualify for the GB team, you need to run 27:40; it’s not likely to happen in a race that runners can compete in who are over 2 mins slower than that standard (ie, me!). When the standard for track is so high (compared to the national level), it’s no surprise that some runners are turning to the road. For me, that decision is easy because I’m better over the longer distances, but even if I was 90 secs faster for 10k, I’d still have little interest in track competition when runners as good as Steph Twell, Andy Vernon and Chris Thompson aren’t being selected. If I was a young up coming track runner, those facts would depress me immensely, it’s no surprise that there’s such a problem with the drop out rate in our sport.

Well, that’s my twopence worth! Back to training, which has been going well, last week went quite smoothly, bar a wasp sting in my gob!


Sun 21st: 8:15am – 11 miles easy to work in 75 mins. 4:30pm – 10.5 miles hard in 62:12, felt good.

Mon 22nd: 7:15am – Session: 18x 400m (jog 100m rec in 30 sec) on Gatley track. Averaged 72/ 73’s, then ran to work 12 miles total. 6pm – Session: 6x 6 min reps at half marathon pace (2 min rec) Very hot, felt tough. 11 miles.

Tue 23rd: 8am – 9.5 miles easy, legs stiff.

Wed 24th: 8am – 4 miles easy to work from the gym. 6pm – 11 miles home easy. Had session planned, but got stung in the mouth by a wasp on the way to the track. Bloody uncomfortable, so just ran home with a painful fat lip!

Thur 25th: 10am – 22 miles out and around Swinton half marathon course at an easy pace in 2hr 24.

Fri 26th: 8am – 3 miles easy to Piccadilly Station. 7pm – Session: 60x 200m (25 sec rec) on Gatley track. Was mainly doing 34’s, a few were 33 and also in 35 secs. 14.5 miles.

Sat 27th: 8am –  3 miles easy to Piccadilly, legs stiff. 6:30pm – 5.5 miles easy on way home from Stockport in 37 mins. Easy day.

TOTAL: 117