Author Archives: runnerstudley

Research Project

This time something (slightly) less running orientated, but as part of the final year of my undergraduate degree I have undertaken a dissertation project, and the link below is a ‘highlights’ version (Abstract and findings) of what I produced. In the field of human geography, I was assessing the sociological and cultural reasoning behind the success of Kenyan distance runners, looking into themes such as upbringing, community and development.

Hope it makes for an interesting read!

Condensed Dissertation

Running into Spring

I have definitely learnt over the past few years the spring period is the most important for getting your track season right. A balancing act between keeping the training endurance heavy, but also incorporating occasional bursts of speedwork seems to work for me; but I guess everyone is different. After the Armagh 5k I took an ‘easy’ week, with just five miles running every other day to refresh and get ready for another training block.

The past few weeks have been really successful and have incorporated a good mix of endurance sessions. At this stage of the year the volume hasn’t changed from the winter, averaging 80 miles per week, but a little bit more speed emphasis is placed upon sessions. An example session from this month was breaking up a 10k tempo into 2mi/2mi/1mi/1mi off 60 seconds recovery in 30:25; with obviously the purpose of the ‘break up’ to get the pace moving a little quicker than what I would expect running continuously.

© Brian Smith

© Brian Smith

Last weekend I substituted an intervals session to race a short leg for Bristol & West at the regional road relays. I was running the 12th and final leg, and when taking over we were in clear bronze medal position, two minutes away from 2nd and 90 seconds clear of 4th. The course was just over 2.6 miles, so was a nice ‘blow out’ and I felt really controlled throughout. It was great to be part of a very-nearly full strength Bristol team and to collect another road relay Bronze medal (same medal we took in the six-stage in September). I was surprised to also be awarded with 2nd fastest short stage of the day out of the 375 runners; which certainly bodes well for the Nationals Relays in a few weeks time having not eased down one bit.

Results can be found here: http://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2014/m1214.htm

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I now have four more days of this training block before heading out to America on Friday morning to check out some possibly exciting plans for my next few years in the sport. All will hopefully be revealed very soon…

Until next time.

Armagh Road Race

A month since my last blog, and it hasn’t quite been the month I was expecting after coming off probably the most successful two-month training period of my life. About 4-5 days out from the British Universities Cross-Country I came down with a cough that steadily got worse and became chesty towards the race. With this being the target race of the winter, I obviously ‘made a go of it’, and looking back should have just not bothered. I got to about the first mile and everything held up OK in the lead group, but then my chest started to burn and I was struggling to breath. As soon as I started going backwards my head just dropped and I stepped off the course. This was the first time i’ve ever dropped out of a race and i’m determined for it also be my last. Lesson learnt.

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The recovery period from this probably took even longer because of a weekend in Stirling, so I took the whole week off and got back easy running 10 days out from the Armagh 5k. This meant I had very little quality going into the race, but managed to squeeze in a 6 mile broken up tempo and a short intervals session in the days leading up to get the feel for racing again.

As always Armagh really is a special event on the calendar. The organisers do their up most to make sure athletes can prepare in the most professional manner for the race. You are flown out the day before and athletes from the local club volunteer to take the 50+ elites all day to and from airports to the race hotel. The race is always late on the Thursday night, so having over 24 hours to relax in your room is such a luxury and is the perfect preparation.

I was lucky enough to have been selected to run for England at this years race in an inter-country match between Wales, Northern Ireland, Rep. of Ireland, Poland and England. This added a bit more flavour to the race and meant usually I come here to purely run a fast time and positions are pretty irrelevant, but this time I was also running for points for the team.

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Weirdly I was hardly nervous at all, mainly because how the last three weeks have panned out I literally felt like I could run anything from about 14:10 to 15:30. Conditions on the 1k lapped course were cold, almost freezing, and gusty winds so the plan was to settle in and just see how I felt and try to make the last 2k the fastest. I got a comfortable start but was pushed about a bit in the opening 1500m as the race is so bunched up. It’s a completely different experience to any other road race as there are so many people of similar ability, it is hard to get some clear road for a lot of the race. 3k came in 8:37 and I was still in the lead group of about 15, with it reducing by numbers all the time. The group still didn’t diminish heading into the final 800m, until London Olympian Nick McCormick put the hammer down and before I knew it the pack had strung out. I guess it was a bit disappointing not to have that real race sharpness back but nevertheless I ran a PB by 2 seconds of 14:28 finishing 12th and 8th Brit, with McCormick winning in a much slower time than predicted of 14:11.

So quite a few positives to take away:

  • Two seconds fastest than last year
  • Three places higher than last year
  • Stayed with the lead group for 1000m longer than last year

On the team side of things I was second scorer for the England team, with Rich Weir finishing 2nd and Ryan Mcleod 14th meaning we took the win by five points, with Wales in second and Poland third.

A race video can be seen here:

Obviously a little disappointed with the last month as a whole, but sometimes you have to just deal with what you’re dealt. I am now having a few days downtime to make sure I am healthy for the next stint of training. What is the key for me is consistent periods of training and learning to say no to certain races, which the more you improve is often harder to do. I won’t be racing seriously for another 10 weeks now, so I am excited to build on what already is a fairly solid level of fitness despite the setbacks.

España campo a través

After my performances at the Ribble Valley 10k and South-West Championships I was pleased to be moving in the right direction, but didn’t expect to be asked to compete for England so soon after.

Last weekend I headed to Seville as part of the England men’s team to compete at the Cross Inernacional de Italica in Seville. The event is one of a series of IAAF Cross-Country Internationals which apparently (for the professionals) has good prize money for the top athletes. My build-up had been good, but only having two weeks since the South-West Champs meant I hadn’t put a great deal of volume in, but felt like i’d recovered well and got the bits of sharpness in I needed to be ready to race again. In a race period at the moment the weekly mileage barely tips 50 per week, so it’s important the quality is good when you lose 20-30% of your volume.

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I was the youngest on the team by a few years and was joined by GB Internationals Jonny Thewlis and Jonny Taylor, and US Graduate Tom Wade. As per my previous trips with England, the hospitality and race preparation is organised to fully optimise performance. We fly to the race hotel 48 hours before and have the day prior to relax and familiarise ourselves with the course. I’ve never stayed anywhere where you get a sink each and a hallway that was bigger than my student bedroom, you could have probably slept about 30 in there! All the talk prior to the trip was off a hugely firm road-like course, but the course inspection turned out to be slippery, heavy clay which made for horrible conditions underfoot and your trainers doubled in weight after an amble around the 2k loop.

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We even squeezed a couple of hours sightseeing in!

Come race day and the course we saw in the rain the day before looked completely different, it turns out the race organisers had brought in sand to fill in the heavy areas of the course and flatten any uneven areas down. The biggest thing to take away from the weekend was how the Spaniards make cross-country a spectacle so much better than we do in Britain. After the age group races there was a masses 10k fun run which goes out on the road and finishes around the cross-country course. This brings an extra 1000 spectators onto the course to watch the elite races. Also on the course was numerous beer tents, full sound system and everyone bashing on the metal hoardings and screaming ‘VAMOS’ constantly, the noise was pretty deafening at times, certainly more than just your coaches and parents turning out back home. Also many courses on the continent have numerous laps, which keeps the spectators interested with more opportunities to watch the race unfold.

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The elite mens race had just 43 runners, and the start was pretty ferocious with the group of East Africans immediately hitting the front. I followed training-partner when i’m back home Jonny Thewlis into the top 20 on the opening lap, and tried to stay relaxed although really was feeling the pace after a lap, and was starting to get very worried i’d completely overcooked it. Luckily it seemed I wasn’t the only one, and the middle two 2.1k laps felt more controlled as I got a better understanding of the twisty nature of the course and didn’t hit some of the sharp bends quite so hard. Into the penultimate lap I opened a little gap on Jonny, but stayed cautious for the final lap as Spaniards have a tendency to finish quickly so wanted to save something for the last 1000m.

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I was really pleased with how I finished and although utterly exhausted at the end; I had to be physically dragged onto the warm down. I finished up in 18th place, 10th of the European athletes and 2nd of the four of us on the team behind Jonny Taylor. You never know how accurate cross-country courses are but I was through 10k in roughly 30:35 for the 11k course, which I thought was pretty quick considering there must have been thirty 90 degree turns throughout the race. It gives me a lot of confidence to mix it with some of the best runners in the country now, with my aerobic fitness feeling like its continually developing well.

Full results are here: http://www.crossinternacionaldeitalica.es/resultados/PDF/Internacional_Masculino.pdf

A highlights video is online here: http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/cross/atletismo-cross-italica-carrera-masculina/2327629/

It was yet another fantastic experience, a huge thankyou to the English Cross-Country Association for the opportunity, and all that was left to do was finally take full advantage of the outrageously (in student terms) impressive hotel buffet post race!

Until next time.

Festive Feats

Having a clear goal and focus in running is, for me anyway, an integral part of understanding where your training is being funnelled towards. Back when I last blogged in mid-October, what I thought to be a little ‘quad niggle’, turned into countless physio appointments, countless exercises and rehab resulting in well….still a quad niggle. Five weeks passed of 20-30 miles a week, trying to run, feeling fine, trying to run again, bit painful and so on and so forth, until I saw an Osteopath in Bristol recommended by my team managers. He seemed to think my quad problem was irrelevant, and instead pushed my shoulder back, wiggled my neck a bit, twisted my pelvis straight and said don’t worry about the quad. I was a bit sceptical at first, but after a pain free 45 mile week, finishing with 3 x 10 minute efforts at 5:15 pace, I was ready to build back up.

Back to the point about goal setting, I was ready to train properly again on the 11th November, meaning barely 10 training days remained until the European Cross-Country Trials, so a new goal was thought out and we decided instead to make my debut over 10k on December 29th at the Ribble Valley 10k, known for its classy fields and good times.

The six weeks that followed were seamless, averaging 70-75 miles per week and watching the times in tempo’s and sessions fall each week, definitely one of the most rewarding feelings as an athlete. The focus was very much toward endurance, and we barely touched on efforts under a mile until a week or two before the race, when a bit of sharpness was added in to get my legs used to racing again. Also having a consistent block of training mean’t all the little things around running could be done such as strength training, core stability, plyometric and hurdle drills to keep my mobility and strength continually developing.

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Heading into Ribble Valley I wasn’t too sure what to expect as it was to be my first race for three months and the start list did look ferociously strong, with over 20 entries under the 30 minute barrier. With torrential storms battering most of Britain over Christmas, we were extremely lucky to get a windless, clear day in Lancashire, which made taking advantage of that and running fast a big motivator.

From the word go I was screaming the word RELAX into my head and I settled into the lead pack of around 20 as the first few km’s ticked off feeling a lot better than I was expecting. 4k came as the pack was down to about 15 and by half way it was down to 10. According to the lead car we hit halfway on 15:12, and Jonny Mellor and Callum Hawkins pushed hard from this point and had 20m on the rest of the field in no time. I found myself pulling away too from the rest and looked left and right expecting a few more to head a chase pack but it wasn’t to be.

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Jonny Mellor leading the charge at halfway

I felt great going through the gears in the latter few km and was 10-15 seconds behind 2nd placed Hawkins (29:36) from 7k all the way until the finish, so I was maybe a little disappointed to not have had the courage to latch onto them, but that’s for next time.

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Finishing off a good days work

I didn’t have any idea what time I was on for heading down the long 200m finishing straight, and I didn’t see the timing clock until about ten metres to go as it was very small. Nevertheless, 29:48 and 3rd place in a 1500 strong field did indeed exceed my own expectations. If the Km markers were correct my second 5k would have been 14:38, a PB over just 5k alone back in 2012! I knew I was capable of running sub-30, training had certainly been pointing towards that, but to do it on a tough course with a few climbs was really pleasing. It mean’t I sneaked in at 18th and 3rd Under-23 on the UK Rankings for 2013.

Full Results are here: http://www.ukresults.net/2013/ribble.html

A Highlights video can be seen here:

After a week of making sure I was recovered with just one ‘semi’ tempo run, I headed to Exeter for my first cross-country race in 12 months yesterday, the South West Championships. The new venue at Killerton House will i’m sure meet its critics with some outrageously steep climbs and dangerous descents: my initial thought was don’t get injured!! I was slipping and sliding around the mud warming up, but made sure I relaxed in the opening mile of the 9k race and felt really controlled. I didn’t want to hit the front too early and tried hard to settle into the group and work off the rhythm of the other athletes, as running fast in deep mud is something I haven’t done for a long time.

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One of the ‘easier’ parts of a tricky course

From walking the course I worked out one 2-300m section of flat and (relatively) good going, so kicked on hard along there and established a healthy lead. The focus then was just keeping my rhythm and being careful on some very undulating terrain. I was pleased to take the win in the end by 53 seconds, and help Bristol & West retain the South-West team title in the process. Although I almost didn’t finish, as the marshall stood at the turn for the finishing straight was adamant I had a lap remaining and it wasn’t until 40m into my 4th lap that a few waving arms at the finish made me cut across the field and head up the finish funnel. He might have got sacked in the morning.

A highlights video can be seen here:

A positive two races after a mixed autumn period, not achieving what you set out to isn’t so bad after all….

Going to plan would be boring

I’m not sure there are many things in running more annoying than just starting to get back in shape then losing a period that puts holt to training. Following a solid opener, running the 10th quickest time at the Midland Road Relays, the week following was my first ‘full’ training schedule, totalling 80 miles, with two interval sessions and a tempo run. During the week I had a faint ache in my quad and just assumed this had been a result of steadily increasing the mileage.

By Mon/Tue, the start of last week, it turned into a sharp pain and a couple of efforts into Tuesdays session the pain exacerbated commencing each effort and forced me to stop. After a few days rest and treatment, it turned out a tight back and a small disc bulge was aggravating the femoral nerve down the front of the leg when running. It’s taken the past six days for the pain when attempting to run to settle down, and after numerous physio sessions, massages and specific exercises I am back running pain free this week.

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I’m genuinely gutted to be missing out on the Saturday’s National Road Relays, where we’ve amassed a real quality team and look set to be competitive at the top end of the Championship, but i’ve got to focus on the main target this season. Obviously I want to be in shape heading into the British U23 Trials in just over six weeks time, so making sure I get healthy to return to full training should be paramount.

With nearly 4,000 quality miles amassed in the 12 months prior to this autumn, five days recuperation shouldn’t indent too seriously on my fitness levels and it’s exciting to have 3 weeks without racing to build the sharpness back into training.

Good luck everyone this weekend at Nationals, especially those in red and white, come on Bristol!

And here come the miles….

The past four weeks have been a measured build up into the winter period of training. I took nine days complete rest after another progressive season on the track, and since then the training will increase towards an optimum volume level in the next week or two. Runners will understand when I say what a novelty it is to be able to eat what you want, when you want. When training 2-3 times per day, I have to ensure I restrict eating to three hours prior to running, so need to make the most of those short windows to fuel.

This autumn the most important thing for me is to be running well when it matters, something that is very easy to get wrong. When you’re feeling unfit it is natural to chase fitness and when you are fit you want to carry on pushing the training hard, so being disciplined in a different sense of the word is the main thing to take away. My first fortnight isn’t really worth going into detail about, just running 40-50 miles per week easing the miles back into the legs and varying the lengths and times of runs to get a balance each week.

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South Parks – easy running central

I didn’t quite envisage the first semi-tempo run back to be quite as hard as it turned out. I set out a mile loop with a 300m hill each lap for 45 minutes and had to work much harder than expected to hit goal pace. I was too fatigued to run easy in the evening and on came a sore throat and virus that meant the next four days were rested up.

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Once I felt healthy again, I began to build the mileage up and the last 19 days of uninterrupted training has started to bring the fitness back. On Saturday I raced for Bristol & West in the Midland 6 Stage Relays, off just two tempo runs and easy running. Nevertheless I came away with a reasonable marker to build on through the autumn. I finished 4th on leg one and came away with the 10th fastest time of the day, albeit just 18:07 for the 5.8k undulating course (4:59 min/miling). Obviously this outlines an awful lot of work to be done in the coming months, but i’d much rather be in that position, than fit too soon and having to alter training to sustain where i’m at. More importantly our youthful team took home bronze medals and continued Bristol’s medal streak at the regional six stage.

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Our seventh successive Regional Road Relays medal so i’m told

Following the race I had my first session in Teddington with St. Marys University on Tuesday, a link i’ve been looking forward to making for some time. A short tempo followed by three and two minute efforts felt comfortable throughout and training in a big group of quality athletes is something i’ll be relishing to be part of for the rest of the winter. Running seems to be one of the only sports that almost every group welcomes athletes regardless of their allegiances, it can only help one another improve.

I’m now 16 days out from the next ‘marker’ of the Autumn around the identical 5.8k course in Sutton Park at the National Road Relays. It’ll be a great opportunity to see my progression over three weeks training in black and white, and hopefully be part of a Bristol team competing at the top end!

Thanks a lot to Brookes Sport for a second year on the University’s Scholarship Scheme helping me live a professional lifestyle and Chris Ross for getting me conditioned to start the season healthy and injury free!

“Those afraid to start at the bottom won’t build the foundations to success”. Levi HR Rosenthal

The end of the ‘summer’

So my summer season came to an end on Saturday night at the British Milers Grand Prix in Manchester. The Stretford track is well known in running circles as the place to go for fast times in the UK, but why – is it short? is it well enclosed? is it a hard track? I think it’s all three! The Grand Prix had some of the strongest fields ever, amassed from across the world, but sadly conditions were far from ideal. 50mph winds greeted each lap swinging onto the home straight and if you were unlucky, some very heavy downpours added to the fun.

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I ran in the B heat, aimed to be paced at 1:57 through 800m, so just settled into the pack and tried to build in the final 600m. In the end I finished halfway through the field in 3:50, in a race won in 3:46. After a really positive fortnights training, it was a bit disappointing to not finish on another personal best, but I have been running well for a lot of 2013 and it is dangerous to dwell on a track performance when there is nothing left to make up for it!

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In brief 2012/13 consisted of 3,640 miles of running, Two England Senior Cross-Country Vests, 10th at the British Under-23 XC Trials and personal bests at every distance I have raced – 800, 1500, 3000 and 5k Road. Although not hitting the upper goals I wanted, the most important thing to take is the consistency of training and strength progression. In the 52 week training cycle I just had two weeks of injury/illness, which is certainly a mixture of luck, eating the right things and sleeping well.

I think the most important thing to take away is a better understanding of how my body reacts to training and intensities of training. The interesting thing about running is there is not a training method/philosophy that you can say will work for every athlete, and finding out what works for you can sometimes be a frustrating process of trial and error. It is also about looking at the bigger picture of a training model and not focussing on the specifics for the event you are targeting, something i’ll certainly be taking into the future. Sometimes I was getting frustrated that PBs were not coming to me as easy as years previously, but to step back and look at the last three years, where my 1500m PB has improved from outside four minutes to 3:45.6, it’s impossible to continually make those gains.

I am now taking seven days completely off, before building into the next phase of base winter training. For the first time I am living in an athletes house with all the facilities and medical assistance right on my doorstep, and with the help of a sports scholarship at University, I am in a position to live a professional lifestyle for the foreseeable future. A position I genuinely feel privileged to have the opportunity to do and am very excited to see what performances it will bring.

Summer Season Part Two

The last five weeks can I guess be categorised as the ‘business’ period of the summer track season, with the British Under-23 Championships and World Championships Senior Trials taking place through June and July. Being away racing, working and training has meant keeping this regularly updated hasn’t been possible, but nevertheless the next period of the season provides a training interlude to build into the final races of the season, a good opportunity for an update.

The last five weeks purely fits into two halves: frustrating and promising.

After running another 800m PB of 1:54 in the British League, I was confident heading into the National Under-23 1500m Championships, although illness struck six days out from the race. A cough turned into a virus and chest infection, but drugged up (legally I may add), I toed the line for the heats with the best 25 Under-23′s in Britain. The heat was comfortable, and I took the win in a slow sit and kick race just outside four minutes.

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We then had about 30 hours until the final and I felt recovered and controlled through 800m, getting myself into a good position to kick hard but physiologically my body didn’t want to react. Amazingly I couldn’t even muster up a usual kick in the last 60-70m. It was an awfully strange feeling as I despondently crawled home in 9th place.

Two weeks later after feeling like i’d got over the illness, it turned into a mirrored performance in the third British Grand Prix 1500m at Watford. Looking back I was probably just too eager to run well in the opening laps, but again the fatigue just hit me as I finished a distant 13th just under four minutes after another very slow closing lap.

These two performances were tough to take, but it’s impossible not to run well after putting together month upon month of consistent, committed and quality training.

Now for the promising half…

Into July, and we headed to Kingston to continue Bristol & West’s spectacular rise in the British Athletics League. I raced over 1500m and wanted nothing more out of the race than a win and a confidence boost. Both boxes were ticked after a slow first 800m, the pace slowly built as me and clubmate Steve Mitchell gained a six second advantage on the rest of the field to come home in 3:52 and a 56 last lap for a Bristol 1-2. The cheesy cliché every point counts couldn’t have been more evident on the bus home as It was a win for Bristol & West by a measly point, keeping us firmly on top of Division 3 and on our way to successive championships.

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Since annoyingly running the Olympic Trials qualifying standard two weeks late in 2012, i’ve been looking forward to this years World Championships Trials and the Friday night 1500m heats didn’t disappoint. The experience and opportunity to compete with Olympians and professionals in front of a healthy crowd at the Alexander Stadium was something I can take a lot away from. I was never really in the race to make the final, but to run 3:47.07 off a 64 first lap and to beat six athletes was something i’d have taken before the race. More importantly though, nothing seemed daunting and a spot in the 2014 Commonwealth/European Trials 1500m final is the firm target.

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Looking back through the stats, Saturday night’s Oxford British Milers Grand Prix was my first ‘paced’ 800m since August 2011, when my PB was 1:56. I knew I was capable of running a solid time over two laps this summer, but as coach sarcastically said beforehand “you might aswell just go and do it then!” I was lucky race director and fellow Oxford athlete Chris McGurk sorted me out with soon-to-be pro-pacer Caspar Eliott who took me to 500m on 1:51 pace and after a little falter on the windiest part of the track with 200m to go, I kicked for home going through the gears in the final 100m to take a two second win in 1:52.69, a PB by over two seconds.

The race can be seen here: http://www.athleticos.org/coverage/250947-2013-British-Milers-Club-Oxford-Grand-Prix/video/717918-Mens-800m-G

I was also given the chance to pace the Peter Coe mile, of which I took some of the best Under-17 milers in the UK to 1200m of a mile in an exciting race. It was great speaking to a group of them afterwards, passing on to simply enjoy their athletics and stay healthy as there are plenty of years to progress and run fast. I’m not too sure many of them believed my 1500m PB was 4:28 as an Under-17.

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My philosophy is always to simply build gradually each year, be it strength, endurance, mileage, volume, performance or commitment and that box has been heartily ticked. I’ve certainly learn’t that making big gains off the competition field is dangerous and thinking of where you want to be at your peak is paramount, and not for the next race/season.

I have one more 1500m in just under a month, but whatever happens, it is the third year in a row of personal best times at every distance. Progress.

Two More PB’s…

After the vocal disappointment from the British Milers Club and a number of athletes at the 18th May British Grand Prix edition, I headed to Sport City in Manchester hungry to run a time that training has been threatening. Due to my 12th place finish at Solihull, I was demoted two races into the ‘C’ section 1500m, with the aim very much about competing well to move up a race in future events. We were lucky enough to have 3:39 athlete Chris Warburton assigned pacemaking duties, knowing 1:59 would be a breeze and he’d inevitably go further to keep the pace rolling.

I took a far more relaxed approach to this race, and didn’t place too many expectations onto my performance and instead focussed on closing hard and trying to run an even, clean race. With a field of around 15 athletes, I was expecting the pace to go out a little faster than 59, and it duly did. Warbuton got through the opening lap in 57 and I settled back mid-pack, carefully finding my place on the kerb and going through dead on 60. I then worked on keeping the rhythm consistent so passed a few lads who got out pretty hard and passed 800m on schedule in 2:00.

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We were lucky to have Warbuton taking it all the way to 1100m and as he stepped off at the bell, I passed in 2:47, meaning a slightly slower 3rd lap, but still in PB contention. I’d like to explain what happened in the next 200m, but I don’t know. I felt tired and heavy with three or four athletes easing past me on the back straight. Nevertheless with 150m to go, I focussed on finishing hard and only really hit the fastest gear in the final 50 metres to come 0.07 secs from the win and clock a new PB of 3:45.76. Apparently the last 200m was in around 27 seconds, so that closing speed bodes well for the remainder of the season!

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The event was made pretty special warming down outside the Etihad Stadium as 60,000 people saw Muse take to the stage, not a bad backdrop to jogging off a new PB.

A full video of the race can be seen here: http://www.athleticos.org/coverage/250780-2013-British-Milers-Club-Sports-City-Grand-Prix/video/713015-1500m-C-Men-Shane-Fitzsimons-12th-35134

After making sure we recovered quickly from Manchester, the past weeks training has really stepped up with an opportunity to work hard with a spare week before upcoming races. This culminated in an 800m for Bristol in the British League match at Abingdon. Again this was solely about competing well and I sat in to 500m and then built the pace up in three 100m segments to take the win in a slight PB of 1:54.8 to win by two seconds. More importantly this contributed to us gaining a 2nd place finish in the match which keeps us top of the league after two matches. Two more solid performances and consecutive promotions will be coming to our British League Track & Field team!

I’m now taking an easier week towards the weekends British Under-23 Championships and European Under-23 Trials in Bedford.

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