This was to be a more scenic off-road 10k through Sandal Beat woods and trail paths. I was looking to run hard and test myself after a huge block of track training and new increased mileage of 70 miles/week.
There was a field of around 240 runners but as we got away the usual suspect of Gav Felton and Chris Cotton flew off with me in hot pursuit! Their initial pace was too much for me so I settled into my own rhythm and left them to it. As we ran into the woods, my garmin was showing all sorts of paces as the GPS singnals were scrambled. I didn’t panic as I was still able to monitor my ‘effort’ through my HR monitor readings. 177,178,177 and it was feeling comfortably hard.
With around 2 miles or so to go I seemed to be catching 2nd place (Chris) and so pushed on and found that I’d caught him with just over a mile to go. He shouted to me that I could catch 1st place, so I increased my effort further and did just that with about 800m to go. I was on a high and as we turned into the rugby club I managed to put in a final sprint and managed to win in 35:00.
This is probably the best tactically run race and best finish to date.
HR training and racing had played a huge part.
They say a picture paints a thousand words
After plenty of hard work, sweat, tears, moaning and groaning. I managed to knock this man into shape. He is now fitter, lighter on his feet and packs more weight and power in his punches.
I entered the race this year with a plan of running round with Zipvit Sports Brand Manager. However as the event drew closer is was apparent that due to illness he was no longer going to be able to take part. This was not a problem as I had done the training and if I’m honest was itching to have a go at seeing what I could do. The only spanner in the works was the fact that I’d have to start back in pen 3 which would mean that it would be a slow start.
Marathon day approached and conditions were ideal with only a slight breeze. I went straight to the front of pen 3 but this didn’t really help matters as I could see runners ahead of me who I’d finish at least more than half an hour ahead of.
After a frustrating first half of trying to pass the slower runners I could see the 3hr pacer ahead. However it was not until around mile 18 that I was able to get past the ‘wall’ of runners that had accumulated behind them!
Once past I was able to up my pace a run more freely.
Over the last 7km the following stats speak for themselves
I passed 348 runners
Only 1 passed me!
I finished with ‘a sprint’ and with a smile on my face.
It was the easiest marathon I’d run and the most enjoyable
With the disappointment of January’s cancelled Brass Monkey Half Marathon behind me, it was time to get the racing flats out for this flat fast course and another chance of securing a personal best over the 10k.
I had put in a good block of training together on the track and was mentally and physically ready. The challenge was to go sub 35 minutes.
As usual most runners tend to set off hard in the hope that they can hang on towards to end. Having trained even more closely with my heart rate I purposely held myself back over the first 2 miles and settled into my HR zone so I could hopefully finish strong towards the end.
Over the final 2 miles we were into a slight headwind. Luckily I was able to push on and pass others maintaining my pace and achieve my goal finishing in 34:57.
Curtis and I have been training hard and the results are really starting to show.
I have been extremely impressed by his mental toughness and attitude towards training as at times I have pushed him to the limit.
We have managed to strip some of the body fat off around the middle by initially working on his strength and endurance. He is now stronger, fitter and faster and feels in great shape.
Today was the first day of training camp for Mr Woodhouse. We started with a weigh in and a full body composition test with my body stat machine. This would mean that we could track both his lean tissue and fat weight during the camp. Curtis was going to be fighting at light welterweight (140lbs or 10st). It was important to build strength without adding unnecessary muscle weight.
I wanted to ensure that Curtis made the weight safely, didn’t have to crash the last few pounds off for the weigh in in order to maintain his strength, speed and power for the fight.
With near perfect conditions and a flat course, everything was set for a fantastic race. I had managed to shed the last of my rowing weight and was ready for the off.
Approximately 4,000 runners raced through the flat streets of Peterborough, supported by thousands of spectators along the course cheering everyone on.
A new route was also introduced, giving people better spectator views as well as runners a chance to improve on their previous personal best times. Entries came in from all over the UK and overseas with runners coming from Italy, France, Sweden, America, Hong Kong and Kenya.
I was to run this race with my head, keeping an eye on my pace but more importantly on my heart rate. I started near the front and shot off jostling for a good position. After a couple of miles the field was nicely strung out and I was able to settle into my running. I was on track and actually holding myself back so as not to blow up later.
I kept my heart rate constant throughout and it wasn’t until the last 3 miles where it drifted up a couple of beats. By then I was ‘racing’ to the finish setting a new personal best of 1:17.54 and smashing 2 minutes of my Stafford half marathon time set way back in 2008!
My next goal is to break 1:17
Ex professional Footballer and current professional boxer Curtis Woodhouse has just recruited ex house and team mate Owen James as his new Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Curtis and I go back a long way. We used to be apprentices and young professionals together at Sheffield United F.C……He continued in the world of football whilst I did a degree at Loughborough University, and also trained as a sports massage therapist and strength and conditioning coach.
After having chatted with Curtis whilst massaging him before his English title fight, I thought that there were a few things we could work on in order to improve his fitness, strength and punching power.
Our 12 week training plan starts in November….bring it on!