Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The week far.

With the rain lashing down outside, this morning's Quote Of The Day from R.W. was very appropriate for once.  A quote , from triple Olympian New Zealander, PETER SNELL,  which echoed something I've often said to aspiring athletes....
  "When it's pouring down rain and you're bowling through the wet,  there's satisfaction in knowing you're out there and the others aren't"
   Snell didn't win 2 800 metre golds and  a 1500 gold by missing sessions because it was too hot, too cold or raining.

  Thinking about racing 1500 metres,   I'm sure most coaches stress consistency of effort as a major factor in preparing to be in peak condition to perform as well as possible in championships  whatever the level.  
  So I found it puzzling  and frustrating as a viewer  of last weekend's European championships to see athletes who have trained  for  months to race 1500 metres,  including one GB athlete  who lined  up as favourite, only to jog around for 2 laps and then be outsprinted , well beaten by the 800 metre champion, recording a time  a fuill 17 seconds slower than her season's best and finishing 7th.    Surely best to come back from a championship with a PB whatever your position. But,hey, what do I know.
  I  do  know that Sunday's 13.1 effort was  certainly felt on Monday's 4 and Tuesday's 8.  Tired, indeed.  Testing the resolve.
   The weather lately has certainly been testing for us all  as we've said but fortunately this morning friend Sally M. and I enjoyed a dry run around the reservoirs.  Thanks Sally. Good to have some company for a change; at a pace which was certainly better than the last 2 days.  So much so that   I think I'll be OK for a race on Saturday.
  With  a desire to race a half in the next few months I think at least one 10 miler would be a good step up from  my frequent 10ks; so all being well I'll do the Elswick Express 10 on the Fylde.
  I say all being well because you never know what can happen when out training.   For example,
I spoke this morning to a very experienced runner who had fallen when training and had had to have shoulder surgery.
 Of course,   the task of the self coached is to construct  a week of running which bears in mind the days of the week prior and the weekend and week to come.   Get the organization wrong, for example,  too hard a sesion after a race or a hard long run  and injury can occur.  The self coached has only himself to blame.

 But  for me if  a coached athlete  sticks religiously to sessions given  by their coach   and gets injured then   perhaps they should question  the planning.      Certainly  I've always stressed to runners I've advised  the necessity to keep running, avoiding injury , maintaining  consistency and  invariably improvement  comes.  
  Avoiding set backs through injury at all costs.

 I was surprised then to read a comment by one GB international, frequently out of action,  who stated that   her coach was "excellent at keeping athletes fit when injured" (!)   Surely if he was an excellent coach then she wouldn't keep getting injured in the first place.   Or  perhaps she was just accident prone.
   Then again, perhaps I've become too cautious,   perhaps I now spread my hard efforts out too thinly, perhaps I've cut down mileage, speed sessions and number of runs per week too much .   Maybe,  but it's 6 months since I've been forced to miss a day so hopefully that will count for something on Saturday in the first 10 miler for three years  but  inevitably it'll  be the slowest.
But not because  I've jogged along "tactically" for 7 miles then changed gear for the last 3 miles a 1500 metre runner!  
                             MIND YOU IF IT RAINS...................I MIGHT NOT BOTHER !


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