• Realising you need to get back on it…

Realising you need to get back on it…

John Carr Race 1

I generally spend a couple of weeks after a big race taking it easy – not having a training plan, relaxing the regimen, running when I like and spending more time eating and drinking unhealthily for a bit. With a long block of training pushing my body and mental focus just enough to the edge to run a good race, some time off to refresh is needed.

That said I always come back to the same problems again and again – I’ve written countless times that I always take this too far. So over the four weeks after the marathon I only ran four times, at the Vale of York 10, two hard Tuesday night club runs, and an easy Monday run. Now you don’t need to know a huge amount about running to know that that doesn’t keep you ticking over.

So I came to the week of my next hit out over a race, the first of the John Carr 5K race series that take place on Wednesday evenings. I’d run a short two miles the day before and found even that tougher than it should, so I wasn’t expecting to run a good race. This year I’d run a 17:03 at Parkrun, and my road 5K PB is a 17:16 at the John Carr in 2016, so something near that is what I would class as a ‘good race’.

Despite this I went all out over the 5K, pushing hard over the first mile, keeping it up through the middle of the race, and then trying to hold on through the hill at the end of the route. On the final run in I had motivation to keep on going, being pulled towards the finish by a friend and running rival, and then being lured into a sprint finish against another runner from a rival club.

So after all that and almost collapsing once over the line I thought the time would be part-way respectable. I definitely didn’t think that I would be looking down at my watch and see a 17:37.

Now it’s probably annoying for some people to hear whinging about a sub 18 minute performance, but a club mate who runs in our pace group (after hearing my disappointment reported back to him via his girlfriend) said – “What time did he run? Oh yeah, he should be disappointed with that.”

So it’s time to get serious again. I want to have a big go at the Abbey Dash 10K in Leeds in the second half of the year and try and run a high 32 / low 33 minute race, so after the big wake up call at this John Carr race I sat down to put things right. This meant first of all pulling together my twenty week training plan through to the Abbey Dash in November, but also writing down a schedule for the six weeks before that plan was due to start, just to get me out running, and get a bit of sharpness and fitness back. The six week plan is a simple rotating A/B schedule – almost the same as being back at school with a week one and a week two timetable, low mileage as it isn’t part of a training block, but getting back into the rhythm of running six days a week, with a mixture of easy runs, hard runs and speedwork.

So fingers crossed the sharpness will come back and I’ll put in at least one good performance from the three John Carr races (an update on that later), and the body is ready before we start the road to the Dash.

Philip Goose

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