Off the radar

The first blog since taking a huge chunk of downtime after London! I tried to race the Highgate 10,000m three weeks after but a combination of fatigue, lack of training & enthusiasm meant despite being well positioned early on I knew deep down all I would end up with was a mediocre time & could potentially ruin my season through serious fatigue. So it was off to the Italian Lakes, just some easy running along Lake Maggiore, some cycling, watching two stages of the Giro & generally eating & drinking as I pleased – it was just what I needed & I barely thought about racing all the time we were there.

As soon as we were back I was ready to crack on with some proper training, get fit & look for some good quality races to get stuck in to through the summer. Slightly the glutton for punishment, just four days after getting back I opted for a 3K/Half Marathon double & despite two appalling times I was happy to have cruised through both & be able to continue training every day the following week.

That might have given me a bit too much confidence in my ability to drop straight back into a proper week’s training & after a faster than planned tempo run on the Tuesday (~9M, ~5:20av) I had nothing by the time I got to the Notts 10M on the Friday night. The plan had always been to run this within myself, but I had hoped to be looking at 53 something rather than being outside 55! I did run well the following day, & put in my first long run since London on the Sunday which felt good.

Looking back, I was straight back into ~90mpw by the time I ran Notts so little wonder my legs were sore. I’ve been spending plenty of time in the gym & cross training since we got back to support the running while I’m on lower mileage & before the intensity picks up. The extra weight I’d put on since London is almost gone & the plan is to assess my fitness level at the end of the month with a view to be properly fit by the end of July & then putting in some good 3K/5K times.

Although not expecting a call given I only ran 2:21 at London I was frustrated to learn that I’d missed out on selection for the England team for the Toronto marathon with one of the guys selected having a 2:23 best. He does have a low 14 5K best, but it seems my half time from The Hague in March which is faster than any of those selected wasn’t taken into account. I would certainly have taken the opportunity, however I had already made my decision not to aim for another marathon in the autumn & instead we’ll be heading to Berlin in October for a fast 10K & then Leeds in November. All being well by the time Leeds comes round I’m looking at being in shape to go under 30 & hope to be able to mix it towards the sharp end of the race. Although I’ll still race the odd low key local race I really want to make sure I give myself the best opportunities of running fast by concentrating on being fully fit for big races with high quality fields – hence the trip to Berlin for a very fast 10K.

I’ll get back up to speed next week with weekly summaries of my training now it’s starting to get some proper structure back. I’m in London for a 10,000 on Friday night, & although nowhere near fully fit I am looking forward to getting stuck in & racing properly again – it will certainly give me something to work on for the rest of the summer! I should be in shape to post a respectable time & push on from there.

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