Monday, 26 June 2017

Another Messi session (2x3k, 2x2k, 2x1k)

They are coming thick and fast with this one scheduled for only 48 hours post Saturday's Hilly Long. I felt fine meeting Messi for once but have to stay my stomach is still all over the place.

The session went as follows

2 x 3k (3.38s Messi Marathon pace)
2 x 2k (3.29s)
2 x 1k (3.07s)

Long warm down for 21.1ks in 4.09s but more like 4s as on 2 occasions I forgot to stop the watch, the second time right at the end of the session with lactic engulfing the whole of my body.

Really tough session that one so soon after Saturday. And tough first thing on a Monday morning and have been spent for the rest of the day.

Pleasing for me was that I was able to keep Messi in check with the exception of the last k when he was closer to 3min/kms.

Nice graph:


Family day today. Lunch at Kelly Holmes' cafe in Hildenborough ahead of Jack's afternoon tournament in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

I was gutted as Kelly was not there much to the amusement of Jacqui as according to her I had dolled myself up.

Then shock horror as Jack's team lost in the semis on penalties. They basically never lose.

Complete rest today with the exception of 30 minutes of my running yoga.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hilly Long (Messi's version) 36ks in 4.16s

Was not feeling it this morning. The heat has been playing havoc with my stomach, the right Achilles remains grumpy and am generally tired and run down.

As a result I was not in the best mood when meeting Messi at the top of the hill (particularly after a 5.30 first km).  He's running super strong at the moment and does not seem to have a bad day whereas I tend to be more up and down. Low on confidence I even brought the phone with (which is never a good sign) and holding 4 gels and my keys in another bag in my right hand. At the very least it gave me balance.

Even running down Meadway I was feeling groggy and it continued that way out the other end of the park along the A21 towards Farnborough High Street which has a quaint village green and nice looking pubs. Messi was regularly politely asking how I was feeling as I continued to grumble back at him.  I sensed he wanted to go faster as he kept looking nervously at his average.

This run you can basically break up into 2 halves. The first being uphill (c.400 vertical meters) and the second downhill. The fun really starts in the 1st half at the Pratts Bottom (no joke & not making this up) turn off up Rushmore Hill which is a 3k slog up to Knockholt which is another quaint village with homes which are in the £10M plus range.  Cannot remember exactly what Messi said but it was along the lines of stop fooling around it's time to knuckle down.

In a funny way the extra effort snapped me out of my sluggishness and felt like I was moving ok going up. I've also noticed recently some signs that the leg strength is improving as managed to find a cadence that worked which was not too taxing on the legs - the exercises and yoga seem to be paying early dividends.  At the top of the slog it undulates through the village before the sharp left then right onto Grays Road.

This was basically the 21k marker and we stopped quickly for me to hand out the High5 gels (me opting for banana). 2 minutes later we turned right at the fancy Indian restaurant before heading back towards home. This is where the cruise control comes in with the downhill.

At that point we had been averaging 4.32s but that started tumbling down as basically between 20 and the end 36ks we averaged sub 4s. Lots of 3.50s but paying attention not to push the heart rate too high into the 150s. Past Biggin Hill airport and more quick kms we finally turned onto the quieter Blackness Lane and then quickly Jackass Lane (no joke again!).

Here I always feel like I am home with 6ks out and it's a road I know like the back of my hand as is also my road home on my Hilly Long.  More of the same through Coney Hall keeping the cadence high and even a 4.07 up the final hill (Pickhurst Lane). A quick farewell and then the final 1.5k home for me.

Tired when I got home but that is 1.5 minutes quicker than the previous best 1 month pre London last year to finish with 36kms in 4.16s (avg HR 136).  Today the conditions were kind to us with temps in the low 20s but still very pleasing as felt I had more in the tank despite no breakfast and only the 1 gel.

On today's form I reckon Messi is a shoo-in for 2.33 in Berlin. He never looked troubled.

Post London 2017, I said I needed to change 3 things:

1. Do more MLRs - which I am doing

2. Concentrate on leg strength and yoga - tick again

3. Lose weight. The estimated 82kgs for London is simply too much of a handicap. For many it's another 1/3rd of their body weight.  I am 80 now but if I am serious about getting into the low 2.40s it will need to be 77 max. Even then it's far too much of a disadvantage to give away. My issue is that I have little body fat it's just my frame and is almost impossible to shift.

Today's route:

13 weeks to go.

* Rest of the day spent with younger boys at the summer fair where Jacqui was helping out whilst Tommy out with mates and Jack playing cricket for the school. Nice visit at the fair from family Messi too.

Drinks tonight with J to celebrate her qualifying as a PT.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Standard Friday

Met Messi for the standard Friday laps of the park mostly on the grass. 16k done in 4.28s.

Observation of the morning is that the natural moving pace is getting quicker. We were mostly doing 4.20s without any fuss whereas 2 weeks ago it was probabaly more like 4.30s.

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Pretty knackered. 11k solo early morning through park and via Bromley to Shortlands TS.

Bromley Midsummer Evening 10k

Well have to start with fact that it was hot hot hot. Turns out the hottest day in the U.K. basically in my lifetime!

I made sure I was on the fast 6.10 to Bromley South so not to stress with getting there on time for the 7.30 start. Those 20 minutes were painful. I reckon it was high 40dc on the train and the folks standing looked like they were suffering big time and about to feint at any moment.

Surviving the journey, I jogged the 3k or so to Norman Park to meet Messi, Steven, Matthew and all of the Petts Wood crew ex Daniel who's suffering with foot issues again.

The track was a buzz with the Blackheath Harriers youth all doing their drills. I love the atmosphere and have fond memories of all the Tuesday and Thursday track nights training there with the likes of Mark Steinle, Jon Murray, Ant Draper and all the rest of them.

Short warm up with Messi as we speculated who would be his competition after he had won last year then as we got back we spied Alex Money who had beaten Messi 2 weeks ago at the Orpington 10k.

The start was unusually not hectic and as I turned the first corner I saw my entire Fam on the sidelines cheering which is always a delight. One loop of Norman Park and then into the neighbouring fields and woodland. At this stage I was 4th with Messi in 2nd behind Alex. I had noticed Alex putting in a deliberate burst to distance himself despite Messi telling him he wasn't going to race him.

As we went into a dark section in the woods the change in light messed up my eyesight and let the fella behind go in front as I settled into a slower pace concentrating not to turn my ankle on the uneven surface.

Things pretty much stayed as they were until the 4th place guy started visibly tiring. Slowly but surely I realed him in but had to keep looking over my shoulder to keep the Blackheath Harrier guy behind in check. Out of the woods for the final loop of the park where Simon Dahdi and Gillian were shouting words of encouragement. Finally the finish where the family were waiting 50ms before the line. Looking back the Blackheath Harrier was comfortably behind so stopped to high five everyone (pursposely fishing out Ryder first given he's still peeved I missed him on the roadside in London) before crossing the line in 39.xx for the 10.3ks in 3.48s (#4th).

Given the terrain and heat (it was still well over 30dc at 8pm) not great but ok. Messi ran 37.xx and Alex 36.xx to win.

Always special when the family are there and even managed to win the Men's over 40s trophy. Nice evening and did not get dark until well gone 10pm.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tuesday bike

Still way too hot and temps still going to be 30dc+ for tomorrow night.

AM - rode the tank to work slow

Lunch - my running yoga for 20 mins + 6k at 4.30s.

PM - rode home in 45 - that seems to be the par time. 35k for the day.

Right Achilles still problematic and continue to nurse and play by ear. The running yoga definitely helps and then tonight I had a v hot bath with Epsom salts.