I’m going through a phase, in my training, I call consolidation. After the long struggle with injury, followed by the three races in succession, to get fit for and represent my club in a National championship, I’ve decided to concentrate on getting some solid training done before I race seriously again.
I love racing, it’s why I train all the time, to get, and maintain fitness, so I can perform at my best in races. But there is a danger that racing too much can make you stale, which is why I don’t race every week. For the same reason I don’t do parkruns every week, even though I view them more as a paced training run rather than a race. It’s too easy to get caught in a trap, of always doing the same pace in races, that you never seem to advance, which is where putting in some consolidated training can give you opportunities to try different things and refresh your spirit.
I know there are some people who can race week in and week out, often more than once a week, and they thrive on it, but I don’t, I like to recharge my batteries every so often. That’s the way I’ve been ever since I was under the guidance of Arthur Bruce and it’s often led to me producing a performance nobody would expect looking at my previous form, which is why racing form isn’t always a good indicator of potential.
So since the BMAF cross country relays I’ve been focussing on my training, I haven’t even decided when I’ll race next, though I will be slipping in the odd parkrun, only for matrimonial purposes. My training has consisted of longer distances, more reps and PT sessions. This means that my legs are always a little tired but manageable, what you’d expect for any athlete training hard in the winter.
Saturday was one of those parkrun days. Carole wanted to do one and I could see no reason to object. We chose Congleton, because it’s been a while since we last went there, in fact at my last attempt to run it I had to ease off after a quarter of a lap and stop altogether at the end of lap 1, it was far too soon after damaging my achilles.
When the run started I chose to take it steady, not so South Cheshire’s Pete Mallison, who shot off. I tracked him for a while but he kept pulling away gradually. I wasn’t really in the mood for busting a gut, I was happy to just have a hard run, not that that would suggest I could have beaten Pete who finished in a time 6 seconds faster than my best around the course. My own time was 17:36, which I’m quite pleased with, I didn’t push too hard but produced my 2nd fastest parkrun time of the year. That means I’m on my way back to good form, hopefully it won’t be too long before I produce something a bit more spectacular.
Cue picture of me running something above current form of the time. This is a picture of me on my way to winning the Wimbledon 10k in March 2004 in 31:56, previous 10k’s over the previous year had seen me unable to break 33 minutes but on this day I found myself unexpectedly in the lead from the start and just decided to keep pushing it, running scared!
Written by Roger Alsopwww.rogeralsop.co.uk