I’ve been a little quiet lately, it’s been a busy period workwise so I’ve cut down on my social and social media activity. But I’ve also been doing some self analysis of where I am with my running and where I’m going with it.
To recap (for any new readers, regular readers feel free to ignore this paragraph); When I turned 45 I was running great, highly ranked in the UK, in my age group, and running times I hadn’t seen since before I turned 40, I had some good results in national competitions and even took a medal in the European champs (the one for old people). Injury took it’s toll and I dropped some form but was still performing well until I hit 48 and had the worst injury of my running life. It’s been a long time getting over that, and various other associated problems with my legs, glutes and back, but these last couple of months I’ve been pretty much able to train without associated muscle injury pain.
So what has this meant to me: For starters it means I can take part in races without the fear of breaking down. It means I can train at 100% and, more importantly I can train at a ‘relatively’ high pace, I’m also able to start quickly in races (for a long time I had to let others go whilst my legs got warmed up, even after a lengthy warm up the standing around at the start was enough to stiffen the muscles). However for two years I’ve missed a lot of training and what training I’ve been doing has been of a far lesser intensity and quality to that I would like to achieve, so, understandably, my form has deserted me and my results pale into insignificance compared to where I was before the big injury.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be running and running sub 18 minutes for a 5k is still pretty good, but being an ambitious runner it just isn’t good enough for me. But I’m also pragmatic, I’ve been here, relatively, before and I know it’s just a matter of persevering with the training, that I know works well, and being patient. Yes I’d like to be running faster now and I’d like to be contributing more to the Salford squad, but I’ve accepted that now is not my time and I’m happy to see my friends and fellow team members have successful runs whilst I persevere with my training programme.
So I’m looking forwards. Next year I turn 50, It’s hard to visualise it myself, particularly as I keep seeing postings of my results and pictures of me running in the 1990s, but yes I will be a quinquagenarian. I’ll be ranked against a load of people older than me rather than younger than me, although there are some extremely good runners turning, or recently turned 50, so I’ll still need to be running well. The main point is that instead of trying hard to find my fitness over the next few weeks I can concentrate my training so that I come into form next year, assuming I stay injury free.
So that’s what I’ve been doing/will continue to do over the next few months. My running continues to be focussed around improving speed and endurance but I’ve incorporated specific cross training sessions into my training as the 2nd session of the day; Boot camp, kettlebells, weights, other cardio work and core activities. Yes I know I’ve done all that before but because of my injuries I wasn’t able to keep it as regular as I wanted to. Now I feel I’m back on track, though, as results show, I’m a long way off recovering my best form. Here’s hoping to a long sustained period of training that will see Rog back to his best form.
Written by Roger Alsop