Hope you are all well and have enjoyed some excellent running over the last 6-8 weeks. Looking at all the posts on “Running Dads” twitter site, there has been a lot of different activities. It’s a real inspiration seeing what other people get up to!!!
There are some amazing races, but I love reading about everyone’s training programs and what they get up too...
The amount of variation you see, means that you can try anything to see if it will improve you or just as a bit of fun.
Well I have certainly had variation this year, if you have been following my blog this year (Hope you enjoyed it so far) you will have seen that I started Yoga at the end of last year – Well I wish I had found this 5 years ago. It’s not for everyone I know, but its dam worked for me. I have a quality stretching program before I run, a real good stretch with the right moves for certain muscle groups afterwards. I very rarely ache or have stiffness the day after.
I have also worked on my core strength, Sandbag classes as well with static resistance band work. Cross training with Road cycling, which I have enjoyed the most as it’s with my Son. I have had to work harder and he now leaves me behind…….
I have been fortunate enough to have had incredible support from Ash at AW Running Fitness Online, his bespoke 16 week training program really tested me and kept me right on course.
And that course was my 17th Great North Run in Newcastle last weekend. I started running it back in 2003, raising money for the 2 Special Baby Care units that saved my Daughter Charlottes life when born in May 2002.
That first run was so emotional that I had to repeat it the next year, I have raised money for her local Pre School Group and her Primary School. I then moved on to the Bobby Moore Fund (As a West Ham Fan). I have run for Cancer (My wife had a small scare with this) Diabetes as my father in law has it. Children’s Epilepsy as a great family friend’s daughter had this. This year was for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care as my father has this horrible disease.
The GNR holds a lot of amazing memories for us as a family. The run has mixed reviews for different runners and participants, but for me it is something that I just have to do. Over the years my times have always been between 1.50 and 2.05 last year (Started with an injury).
I asked Ash at AW Running Fitness for a program to hit 1.45, I knew from day 1 that would be a test for me. I followed it as close as possible.
My preparation was detailed for a week before, a 6 mile run on the Monday of the week. A swim and sauna on Tuesday, a long walk with the dog on weds and a Swim on Thursday lunch time. I travelled to Newcastle Thursday evening. Friday was a day of rest and walking.
Saturday in Newcastle on GNR weekend is fantastic as all the Mini & Junior GNR take place at the Quayside. Thousands of children run either a mile or 4k. My son completed his 9th run. He is very competitive and always improves his time each year.
We take great enjoyment out of watching all these children take part in this sporting spectacle. Our friends in Newcastle had their daughter complete her 1st Mini GNR this year.
Saturday night I prepared my kit 2 or 3 times, I just wanted everything to be as good as possible. Sunday morning was then easy, everything ran like clockwork, correct breakfast of porridge and honey. My great friend dropped another friend who was completing his 2nd GNR and me a mile from the start, a gentle walk down to the start in the sunshine while taking in the atmosphere of the other runners walking to the start.
Once I was on my own, I followed my warm up plan, and into the Orange C pen I went. I had a chat with other runners and listened to their stories of Charity and training.
The 1.50 pacer was with us, so I started with him, for the 1st mile I was out at 7.55, which I knew I couldn’t keep going for 13 miles, I settled down and ran 10 yards in front of the 1.50 pacer. I felt really comfortable, just concentrating on the mile I was running. Ticking them all off in 8.20’s, I have never felt so confident and pleased with how the run was going, was I really this comfortable ? The atmosphere as you get nearer the finish grows with every mile. Looking at my watch at 12 mile I knew I was in with a good chance of a PB, I could not believe that I ran the last mile in 7.36, then crossed the finish line in 1.49.06.
How pleased do I look!!!!
All the work over the 9 months had paid off, the days when you go out in the Rain, hail and windy conditions. The days you get up especially early to run before, work or family events……
I did not train harder, I trained with more thought and quality, the Planning, the info I found, the new things I tried.
It’s all behavioural, you really have to want it. 17 years after my 1st GNR I come in 10 mins faster, but also 17 years older, that will do for me, I am over the moon.
Massive thanks to all that have helped me especially Ash at AW Running Fitness for the plans, Ant at Running Dads for the constant encouragement and inspiration to do the things we do with our children. Running while my Son on his mountain bike pushed me over the undulating trails has really worked.
Go out and try some new training and mix it up, it worked for this old boy, it could work for you.
Regards - Frank