Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Curious cows, and a load of bull....

That 'bovine bunch' - and a swallow... (click to enlarge)

With the exception of a relatively rare speed session on Castle Hill I stayed lower down for my other two runs last week due to some strong winds that brought down trees and flattened gardens. Animals got a bit frisky too, notably that bovine bunch I've usually got to barge through en route to my high level training ground, but also another great herd of cows and calves squelching around in a muddy gateway bawling their heads off as I approached. Thankfully, they allowed me through without any hassle and didn’t attempt to follow me as I trotted away up the field.  It was a calculated risk but I’d probably have made a detour if big daddy had been bellowing among them.

I was dipping into Alberto Salazar's 'Guide to Road Racing’ again last week and according to him I’ve been
On a more leisurely run....sod those repetitions
doing my 200m repetition runs a little bit wrong.  Not much, but in the past my recoveries have been a mixture of walking part of the way back then slow jogging to the start of the next fast run. Alberto says if I have to walk I’m running my 200’s too fast and I should slow them down until I can jog the whole of the 200m recovery.  So I did, and have to admit I’ve never run such an uneven set of reps in all my life. My average times for the set of 12 x 200m was an embarrassing 49secs each, possibly the slowest I’ve ever run them and a good enough reason for me to decide never to race again. The only redeeming factor was I was getting progressively faster towards the end while still maintaining a jog recovery, dropping from an initial 7.43 pace down to 5.59 at last. Anyway, it did my ego no good at all doing reps at that sort of pace so will revert back to my own method next time. Alberto can stick to training Mo Farah.
Riverside path ripped up by fallen tree....
My low level runs were much more relaxed and enjoyable, though I got the feeling I’d have been much safer braving the wind on the bare, high moors than jogging under the ancient chestnuts along the bank of the River Wharfe. Not only had branches broken off but in one place a whole tree had keeled over and ripped up the path as its roots took to the air. One way and another, towards the latter end of last week, the countryside was a hazardous place to be – which made running that little bit more exciting. It could become even more exciting when we take to high ground again as the grouse shooting season gets into full swing. Already, at times, it’s beginning to sound a bit like WW3 has begun. But it always invokes smug satisfaction when activities of the aristocratic landed gentry are brought to a halt until some wild runner gets out of the way. Not that they always stop, they’ve shot across my bows and over my head in the past. Now there's an idea to spice things up a bit, next week I might do my repetition runs on Grassington Moor...


  1. I'm Not a Mo fan, but Alberto does have a couple of good session he uses, but then as a coach myself I have learnt a couple of thigs from shouting at the kids at UCT...

    First thing is no two people are the same so really the sessions shouldn't be the same... I bet Mo won't live to 80 (not that ether of us will know!!!) so I would rate you as a far better runner.

    Now lets look at your 200's: There are 2 ways at doing them as an interval or as a rep! So as an Interval, you would run them a little slower and jog inbetween (shorter rest). Then as a rep, run them a little faster and have a longer rest (walk inbetween).
    Now the times you should be aiming at in the 200's (or any distance) are baced on race times...

    All that said: as a coach I have also discovered that for any session to work the athlete has to enjoy it (pain is fun) or at least the idea of it... Then the other thing is, you get 2 types of athletes! ,1 the guy who wants to get faster and run good times, or someone who want a beach body!!!

    Lastly, I think you should run more races, go and kick some butt and show Mo who is boss!

  2. Thanks for your comment CD, and I reckon you've hit the nail on the head. I normally run 200's as faster reps and can handle 16 so long as I get sufficient recovery in between. I run shorter 100's as intervals, up to 24 @ 24secs with 24 secs slow jog recovery. Having said that, it's a month or two since I did them so might have slowed down a bit now. But every now and again I get the urge, feel the need for speed, but not to the extent I could do justice to myself in a race. When racing I have to give it everything I've got to beat as many as I possibly can, young un's and all, and as you know CD, that hurts. At 82 I no longer feel inclined to put my body through that sort of pain. Salazar says, "If you never feel discomfort when training or racing, you're jogging". I guess I'm becoming a jogger!

  3. Replies
    1. Aye, Yorkshire scenery is something to die for, and one of these days when I'm out running in it, I probably will.....
      Thanks for visiting Jason - and good luck in that 50K race.

  4. It has been un-seasonally windy in many places hasn't it! The joy of the UK weather it certainly keeps us on our toes.

    All the best Jan

    1. Actually Jan, I quite enjoy running in the wind so long as it's not raining too. Normally I'll try to set off heading into it, then later have the luxury of it blowing me back home. It can make running fun....

    2. I agree with you walking or running start off heading into the wind and finish with it behind you.

      All the best Jan