Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I can't quite remember whether my last school reports were posted to home or taken home  by ourselves. I do remember though  it was wise not to be around when the envelope was opened!   Let's just say my "A" level studies tended to take a backseat to my running, my odd jobs and the lure of Northern Soul in the clubs of down town Manchester.  Good job I applied myself later in my 20s.
 At 61 I don't have a coach, of course, to sit me down and point out my failings; so it's very much a case of self assessment.  At least it's much easier nowadays to review the year's training when it's all nicely laid out on the computer screen and even the adding up is done by "autosum" on excel.  For anyone competing, as opposed to merely participating, in races it's useful to look back over the year as it invariably shows up strengths and weaknesses and highlights areas for possible improvement or aspects of the routine to be addressed.  So here goes.....
  MILES RUN.   Not a total measure of effort of course, but serves as some measure of our commitment, I suppose. Years of over 3000 miles per year are in the past but, before a December marred for us all by adverse weather , last year's total of 2389 (average 45.94) was there to at least be matched.  As it was I ended up with 2328 miles just failing to hit the target of 45 mile weekly average with 44.76.  So not too bad.  No days in 2010 when I didn't put my running shoes on so that was an improvement on 2009.
Yes, I'm counting that painful mile on the treadmill on Christmas Eve. I have to believe it when I'm told that the "rest" through December has been good for me....but I'm not entirely convinced.
  Those 2328 miles have not all been without "effort".  There's been a reasonable degree of commitment to "speed" with 40 TRACK SESSIONS; virtually all unaided, many in unfavourable conditions.  OK, not a case of 2/3 track sessions every week as some might be looking back on but quite pleased with that for myself. Track sessions always figured in the training since 1962 so I suppose as long as I intend to be competitive in events I'll try to keep them up.
  Those that know me well, know that I believe in the value of  OVER DISTANCE RUNS related to race distance being targetted...yes, including marathon.  I targetted a couple of half  marathons early on in the year
and did manage a few 13 milers but only once went over distance with a 14.   I picked up distance wise late summer with  a few 12 milers but failed to exceed that and also failed to turn out in an autumn half marathon.
  The one aspect of training which perhaps need to be addressed is HILLWORK.  Not only are there few hill reps sessions down on the sheet but most of my steady running tends to be flat on the canal or the Wharfe valley bottom. Something to work in.
   The number of RACES RUN  at 19 matched 2009  and again but for a poor December, with so many races cancelled, would, probably, have been exceeded.  I think about 20 races per year is a reasonable number all things considered.   I know many race much more frequently than that but  us old guys need time to recover, pick up again and then ease down a touch between events.
    I was keen to record times for 5K, 5M, 10K, 10M and half marathon in 2010. Ticked off each distance but  failed  to run a 10 miler.  Again 2 winter possibilities were cancelled.   I'll try to tick them all off in 2011.
    BEST YEAR'S TIMES.  Regretably I can't write about P.Bs/ PRs anymore. Very much a thing of the past.  It's just a case of trying to defy Old Father Tyme really. 
 I posted in a blog at this time last year....."Can the downward spiral of slower times be halted in 2010?" I was surprised in the review to see that I had actually recorded  better times at
5K with 20.20 (2009 20.35) at 4m with 27.22 (28.59 in 2009) and 10K with 42.19 (42.30 in 2009)
but the 94.44 half marathon on Blackpool's icy promenade couldn't go anywhere near the 91.03 in the Brass Monkey in 2009. 

   RACING HIGHLIGHTS  and LOWLIGHTS.  It's by no means the fastest of courses but views in the middle part of the HAWESWATER HALF MARATHON are really unforgettable.  Highly recommended but don't expect a fast time!  
The shoulder to shoulder "scrap" with  a rival M60 category runner over the second half of the Illuminations 10K was also a memorable highlight. 
  Not a great fan of mass participation events but racing past hundreds of "fit" looking young guys in the MANCHESTER 10K was fun and pleased with 3rd out over 200 in the age group.  Though not impressed with the prize...a free entry for 2011 race!  In contrast,  a below par run in the BMAF 5K at Horwich  was disappointing ; as was running the 4th but last leg of an incomplete 12 man team in the Northern relay on our home patch.  But more disappointing for our club captain.
  I  stressed the importance of enjoying training yesterday and it's the same for races really.  I mentioned trying to sample several new events for variety instead of the same old events year after year.   I think I enjoyed all that the races run in 2011, except the lowlights,   but there are one or two more that look interesting.....as long as entries don't close ,of course.  So that was MY 2010.


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