Training has continued to progress nicely and I banked over 400 miles in January, with lots of quality sessions and decent paced runs. Our group at Blackburn Harriers is the strongest it’s been for a number of years and I’ve been reaping the benefits of being pushed each week by Tim Raynes and Jack Hindle. Going off all this training, I fancied my chances at surpassing my best time set in the Blackburn Winter Warmer from 2010, which stands at 31:23. With Tim also entered in the race, a performance of that level could well be required to win.
This years race was held in memory of local runner and Blackburn Road Runner, Andrew Boardman, who sadly passed away last year. It’s a very demanding 10k course, with some hefty climbing in the first 3k, so my aim was to attack this section and try to establish an early lead. I managed to get a small gap on Tim and Danny Collinge after the first couple of kilometres, reaching 3km in 10:29; which seemed slow given the effort I put in. I made halfway in 16:24, which is where the course gets quite a bit easier, still, my time of 31:23 looked to be out of reach. I pushed on but I knew my record had got away by 7k (22:49). I then just focused on keeping up the pace as best I could, knowing that Tim could still close the gap with a strong finish. I came on to the track for a final lap of 400m and I was satisfied with my time of 32:02. Tim Raynes finished well and was also under 33 minutes, which certainly points towards achieving a sub 31-minute 10k on a flat course. Danny Collinge flew the flag for TeamFish/Up & Running with a fine performance for third and was closely followed by two more Blackburn Harriers runners; the fast finishing Tom Blaney and Jack Hindle, both of whom are progressing really well. It was also good to see old friend and rival, Antony Ford on his way back with another race under his belt and hopefully Michael Hammer will continue his recent progress, training with us on Tuesday nights.
The next race was on Tuesday evening, which would be a first for me; an indoor track race! It’s strange that I’ve competed for all these years and never done one before, as I used to run quite a lot of outdoor 1500m and 3,000m races when I was a junior. I entered the BMC 1500m at Sheffield and it was quite a daunting prospect, even more so when I noticed Anthony Whiteman knocking around; I was definitely out of my comfort zone here! The event was divided into A and B races and I wasn’t quite quick enough for the A race (3:56), which was a shame, but I suppose I was saved from the fear of coming last! The target pace for the B race was about 4:05, with the pacemaker hitting 200m laps of 32-33 seconds, which would get us to 800m in 2:08-2:09. I stayed on his shoulder and initially it seemed rather easy, but I think this was to do with the psychological effect of doing 200m laps and that early comfort soon started to disappear. 800m was reached in 2:09, but the pace was already starting to burn and over the next few laps I gradually slowed, though I did at least have a decent lead in front. 1,000m was reached in 2:43 and I finished with 4:09; not quite the time I was hoping for, but it was a good experience to learn from and I’m looking forward to doing more in the future. For now though, my attentions will switch back to the road; Bath and Hastings half marathons in March.
Later that week I had the privilege of being interviewed on a local radio station, RibbleFM, where various running topics got covered during an hour slot. Kath is a keen runner, so it was quite easy to talk all things running for that period of time. They also offered to play some songs I liked, so The Smiths and Echo & The Bunnymen got a bit of airtime! Here’s the interview, minus The Smiths and Echo & The Bunnymen, which you’ll have sadly missed out on!
The past three weeks training…
Sun 22nd Jan
9am – 15 miles to Clitheroe in 1hr 28.
6pm – 11.5 miles easy, including run with Running4CF.
6pm – Session: 12x 600m (90 sec rec). 1:42, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:42, 1:41
12.5 miles total.
11:45am – 4 miles hard in 20:47.
5:15pm – Session: 30x 400m (100m jog rec). Averaged 73 seconds.15.5 miles total.
8:15am – 4.5 miles to Blackburn in 28:50.
5pm – 7 miles in 47:20.
6:45pm – 4 miles with Run Group.
9am – 5 miles on the track in 25:58. A bit icy on the surface. 6 miles total.
7pm – 11 miles with Allan Hartley in 78:30.
4pm – 5 miles in 35 mins. Groin stiff, only a short run today.
Sun 29th Jan
12:30pm – 13 miles around Entwistle Reservior. Ran there and back with Hannah.
6pm 7.5 miles easy in 49:35.
8:15am – 4 miles to Blackburn in 25:37.
6pm – Session: 1x 400m, 2x 800m, 3x 1k, 2x 800m, 1x 400m (1 min/2 min/ 2:30 recoveries) 65, 2:18, 2:18, 2:53, 2:53, 2:54. 2:17, 2:17, 63 . 12 miles total
8am – 7.5 miles to Ramsgreave in 49:30.
6pm – 8.5 miles home from Clayton in 60 mins.
8:15am – 4 miles to Blackburn in 25:55.
6:45pm – 3 miles with SRG run group.
8:15pm – Session: 16x 200m (jog 200m rec) All around 32’s. 10.5 miles.
1:30pm – 12 miles around Edgworth in 1hr 21.
6:45pm – 5 miles in 34 mins.
Sun 5th Feb
6:30am – 1 mile easy loosen up. 11 am: Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k: 1st 32:02. 10.5 miles.
11:30am – 7 miles in 47:45.
6pm – 8 miles including run with Running4CF.
10am – 5 miles in 34:30.
9:15pm – BMC indoor 1500m (B race) 1st, 4:09. 6 miles total.
6:15pm – 11 miles in 75 mins.
7:15pm – 15 miles steady progression run. 1 hr 35.
6:15pm – 15 miles home from Burnley in 1hr 39. Had managers meeting at Harrogate, squeezed in a run on way back from train station.
8:15am – 10.5 miles hard to Clitheroe from Blackburn. 10 miles was in 54:55, just under 5:30 pace with an easy half-mile.
4:30pm – Session: 5x 6 min reps (2 min jog rec) at threshold effort. 11 miles total.