Nike Grand Prix, Manchester

It’s great this summer (is that what they call it!?) to have the qualifying times to enter these Grand Prix meetings for the entirety of the season, as last year I only dipped under the four minute barrier by July. The first of five endurance Grand Prix’s was held at SportCity in Manchester, in the grounds of the home of Manchester City. Sadly the atmosphere wasn’t quite at the levels of last Sunday in the Etihad Stadium; but nevertheless there was an evening of top endurances races on show over 800m, 1500m and 5000m.

Training building up to the race has been solid, although I have only really had a four day period once recovered from BUCS to really put some quality work in before tapering down. This included a 10 min tempo and 6 x 1 min Hill Sprints, and also a shorter session Tuesday 800,400,200 x2 to try and replicate race pace off of more substantial recoveries than usual. I then had a few easier days leading up to Saturday night.

The perfect inspiration for a fast time was witnessing the A elite 1500m prior to warming up. This was won comprehensively by Ross Murray, who smashed the Grand Prix record with 3:36.6 and an Olympic B standard with a 56 last lap from the Geordie!!

Settling into the group (© Darkstar Photography)

My heat was paced to 2:01 (60.5 per lap) through 800m and I tried to sit in the group and not chase the pacemaker too much. This worked well for me as I felt really smooth and controlled, but the gap to the pacemaker was bigger than I wanted and we went through in around 2:04, a little adrift of the set pace. From the bell I tried to hold my position as much as I could, but felt like i’d lost concentration from 400 to 150 to go. I did though, manage to find a little kick over the last 80m to move from 6th into second place, and to run a solid PB by 2.02 seconds of 3:52.20.

A link to the video of the race can be seen here –

Driving for home (© Darkstar Photography)

I felt before (and how training has been), I was on for a quicker time but the race wasn’t quite as quick as expected and the conditions were blustery and cold, far from ideal for fast times. I cannot be too despondent though, as in May last year, my PB over 1500m was 4:09!

Finding a little bit more! (© Darkstar Photography)

Another real solid step in the right direction towards some bigger times this season. I am on the track again in seven days time, making my debut over 5000m in the British Athletics League.


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