Friday, 30 September 2011

Not the time for a running break.

 I've never been 62 before.  I'm  still learning  what my "running on empty" body can tolerate in terms of hard efforts.   I learnt yesterday that  a track session is NOT going to go well when I've run a 10 miler two days previous.  Going back I could run around 15 miles on Wednesday and do a good track session on a ThurS day.  Those were the days........but sadly not anymore. 
  So a poor set of K reps at Nelson....temperature, maybe a factor (25 degrees) 
                 4.37 4.50 4.43  4.53...........abort session.....leave to fight another day!
                               Friday and Saturday?   I think 2 x 3 milers on the steps.  Listen to the body.
One reason that our SALE HARRIERS teams were lacking last week was that several junior men were "on a break".  A break between their track season and the oncoming cross country season.  Fine, but I would have thought that a nippy 6K wouldn't have done them much harm and meant that mature gents like me could have just enjoyed the day watching  and photographing  them!
 For me far from being a time for a break,  as I related earlier,  this part of the year back in the '80s was "binge racing" time.  A final blast before easing off in November and December.  My club then, VALLEY STRIDERS, didn't do cross country then so my cross country spikes were left unused and unwanted from 1982 until 1991!

 Following the high profile WINDMILL HALF MARATHON, this date in 1986 we were back further up  the Fylde coast  for the BLACKPOOL ILLUMINATIONS HALF MARATHON.  I seem  to recall thinking it wasn't an apt title for the race as the illuminations weren't switched on before lunch and the course wasn't along the promenade anyway.  
 With a smaller field there wasn't the same concentration of quality. 100 inside 77 minutes at Lytham. 100 inside 88 minutes at Blackpool. But up the front names and times were much the same as several of us took on another 13.1 mile with 14 days between the two and generally performed much the same.
 The Lytham race wasn't regarded as a practice, tune up race.  We would have given BOTH races 100%. I suppose confident in our level of fitness and ability to quickly recover between events.
  D.RAMSDEN       (Windmill)      67.16 (2nd)................(Blackpool)  66.26 (1st)
  T.GREENWOOD (Windmill)  69.12  (4th)....................(Blackpool) 69.17  (3rd)
  P.HANKINSON   (Windmill) 69.24   (5th)....................(Blackpool) 70.30  (5th)
  D. WALKER         (Windmill) 74.20   (53rd).................(Blackpool) 74.09  (16th)
  TONY CROFT      (Windmill) 73.54   (48th).................(Blackpool) 76.08  (19th)
  I. FISHER              (Windmill)  75.42  (80th).................(Blackpool)  76.26  (20th)

Because the Windmill was such a big event and we were there selling off the van,  chances are I was still behind the counter until 5 minutes before the gun going off; whereas at Blackpool I would have actually managed  a bit of a warm up!   Anyway for the later event I managed a 50 second improvement.
                   (Windmill)  71.09 (15th)............(Blackpool)  70.19  for 4th place. 

I've just picked out a few who ran the 2 races and demonstrate that  contrary to much that is written nowadays the well conditioned runner can turn in good performances back to back.   But of course  not week after week. 
 The body does need a break. That break for me came in November and December rather than at this time of year as it does for the track/ cross country runner. 
  No this time of year races came thick and fast.  Next week, another race.
             Distance?  Yes, you guessed it..............yet another half marathon!  

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