Sub 3

For anyone trying to crack the 3 in any marathon anywhere in the world

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08/10/2012 at 16:05

Did a 10k Hell and Back race over the weekend. 1,500 entrants. Take cross country and add swamps, rivers, walls, a mountain and all kinds of obstacles! Finished in 50:09 missing out on top spot by 0.1s on the chip. Would have been a bit strange had I actually beaten him as he sprinted past and climbed over a 12 foot high tower of hay bales to win by about 10 meters! 

I have a 10k this weekend, 5k next then a week off before 10k XC. Is it beneficial to race all of these or should I prioritise important races and treat the others as tempo runs? I have a break from racing after these and I'd rather race, but it would impact my training in between for sure.

Edited: 08/10/2012 at 16:13
08/10/2012 at 16:55

Wardi - great to see you're still going strong and thanks for the heads-up on Snake Lane. Planning to try and get a season of XC racing done before getting back on the roads in the new year, would like to do London if I'm still in one piece by April.

08/10/2012 at 16:56

Well raced from Nosemi and CD.

CW: I think most clubs are likely to have to increase their fees because the England Athletics fee is increasing from £5 to £20 and very few clubs can afford to absorb the change.  Don't know what we're charging yet; think our subs are currently about £30.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
08/10/2012 at 19:47

My club membership was £12 for many years although I think it's gone up a little recently.  It's very much a no-frills thing although I don't make the most of the club sessions available as they don't normally suit my timetable.  They're sticking with EA for now but are thinking of leaving which would leave me without a champs entry spot.  Mind you, the champs start isn't what it used to be (what happened to the carpeted toilets?  Since they let women in we've had portaloos like everyone else ).  Going from the FGFA wouldn't be a problem tbh.

08/10/2012 at 21:51

My club fees were £15 for years but recently went up to £20, which includes free entry to 10 XC races, 5 Summer League races plus any races you're asked to run for the club such as relays or the Midland 5/7, and use of the leisure centre changing rooms and showers on club nights. I reckon they'll go up to £25 though as the 'off track' affiliation fee is going up from £5 to £10. Joining Notts AC next year just to run on the track may bankrupt me though, they're already charging about £60 plus track fees each session. It would be cheaper if I just changed clubs and joined Notts, but I live less than 2 miles from Redhill and I used to be club secretary so I'd feel like an utter traitor! Plus Notts only do the one XC league and I *love* XC. 

08/10/2012 at 21:52

CD - they may be portaloos on the champs start, but the queueing time is about 100th of the time on the GFA start. Off GFA I had time to go to the loo once. Off the Champs start I think I went 6 or 7 times, just because I could!

08/10/2012 at 22:15
Bkins - great running (and obstacling!) for second, unlucky to not nab the win...but that race sounds pretty nasty, I find 10k on the road hard enough as it is...

Interesting that the EA fee's thing has cropped up, there's a big piece in AW this week and it was a major topic of discussion at our club committee meeting last week. As to be affiliated or our not as a club cost ??50 for the year we're sticking with EA for the time being, but I think the plan will be to offer affiliation options to members for next year's renewal. Current senior membership is ??30 (with EA) so from next year we're planning to offer subs+no EA license for ??25, with EA (road) for ??35 and with EA road + track&field for ??45. Although we're not an AC some of us (inc myself from next year) do track so it'll be an option. Biggest annoyance is that they plan to increase the EA license fees year on year for the next couple. Someone in our club remarked that maybe we're helping pay for the Olympics!
Edited: 08/10/2012 at 22:18
Cheerful Dave    pirate
08/10/2012 at 22:27
CC2 - I would have thought that as a goth you're used to loos being time-consuming, it must take ages to find the right zips
08/10/2012 at 22:27
TR - you have a point about the vanity of a champs start, but then again are out efforts to run good times not all about vanity?
I've found a lot of motivation in trying to win a champs place over the years. A bit like the equivent of a Ryder Cup place?

Anyway, I've largely managed to avoid the club, but a bit like Jehovah's Witnesses its not that easy to escape the phone calls to run in a track race when they are "desperate" And im a soft touch!

I entered a race a couple of years ago, and unbeknown to me, my placing helped the club to some sort of minor, irrelevant team victory. However, I was then told off that not wearing their vest meant they or I could have been disqualified. How utterly pathetic.

I know they are all really nice people....and that being told off was just an isolated event, but anything that has a dress code has to be not right. Demonstrates some very unhealthy brainwashing somewhere. they probably all believe in god too.

People would do better joining forums than joining clubs. You get proper debate and opinions on here. My impression of clubs is that you get some misinformed coach taking everyone out for some unnecessary speed work, and drink bottled water and eat fruit and all wear the same trainers from the same local shop and other wierd stuff.
08/10/2012 at 22:39

I've just paid £27 to join Heaton Harriers up here whereas Heathside was £35 but has gone up to £40 more than anything to do attempting to cover costs of Finsbury park track. You get your moneys worth imo so I'm always happy to pay and it's not much really.

You have to be a club member to run from the champs start?? Thats bollocks really.

Re clubs - I've had to switch my 1st claim to Heaton so that I can run XC up here or other team events and count as a runner. Term time and living up here will mean that I wouldn't be able to run XC for Heathside anyway. But ironically the Nationals are a stones throw away in Sunderland which poses the question really - would I run for Heaton (if selected) against my former 1st claim club? Don't think that would go down very well so would probably have to sit it out either way. Anyone else had a situation like that before with two clubs. Didn't realise you had to be 1st claim even if you were running in a totally different XC league.

CW - bloke in start fitness today who runs for another local club was telling me he runs for Northumberland fell runners. It's basically a conglomerate of runners from different clubs in there area. They all share travel to races in the area and the lakes so that sounds like a winner. Only a small yearly fee too.

Bkins - thats pretty bloody impressive

30 easy mins but had a bit more kick in the legs


Edited: 08/10/2012 at 22:42
09/10/2012 at 00:27

RS - Glad to hear that you're feeling better. Isn't the champs start for all those who are entered into the clubs championships (individual and team)?  On the clubs thing I never had it in athletics but I did change clubs a couple of times playing rugby and it was never an issue.

AL_P - Hope that injury clears up soon.

B_Kins - Nicely done on the race.  I don't understand your question though - beneficial to what?

AndyD - That was a nice weekend of training.  Enjoy the taper!

Nosemi - Very well done.

I think that the cost of membership to an athletics club is smaller than almost any other organised sport and is almost irrelevant when compared to the money that many runners shell out for trainers and other equipment.

I'm not quite ready to declare myself off the bench yet but I've got a lot closer since I dug out my orthotics on Friday and put them back in my runners.  I don't like to wear them as I don't think that I fundamentally need them but if it's going to get me back running quicker it's worth doing I think.  Anyway, very slow jog to and from the gym yesterday and today.  The body is complaining loudly but it's a complaint I'm happy to listen to.

09/10/2012 at 06:57

I think technically the Champs start is the UKA/AA Champs rather than simply a race open to anyone, hence the need to be a member of a club.  You only have to wear your club vest if you are competing in a full team.  In fact, if you sponsor requires you to wear something other than your club vest, you are not a scoring member, as B&W discovered to our cost this April - we didn't get the team title despite having the fastest cumulative time for 3 ladies as Claire H ran in sponsor's kit.  And she is a bit good.

09/10/2012 at 07:31

Our £12.50 doesn't cover EA affiliation (lots of people don't want that so it is an optional extra), so that's partly why it looks so cheap. Still ridiculous value though!

RS - generally in XC leagues you can run for your 2nd claim club as long as your first claim club is not part of the same league. Your 2nd claim club might have to tell the organisers which of their runners are 2nd claim. That's how the Met League works anyway. In the Champs races, every club can compete, so it makes sense that you can only run for your 1st claim.

Clearly - good news, hope the comeback goes to plan.

About 3k in the pool last night. Main set was 500,400,300,200,100. I felt like I was going OK (7:20 for the 500), but still got lapped when the pace picked up in the 400 and 300. I wasn't far off being lapped in the 200!

09/10/2012 at 08:56

CLearly - great news, pleased to hear it.

Padams - you swim with some speedy folks.

Dids - I like it, so you and CW are trying the make the Ryder Cup and I'm trying to play in the Open as an Amateur. Nice. I'm running sub3s each VLM as its a test and takes a certain amount of achieving (for me), when I achieve it its something worth having.

09/10/2012 at 09:20

I'm no fan of running clubs, as a kid I was embroiled in a fair amount of rediculous internal politics (as was my dad) with a couple of prominant Bristol coaches and I witnessed numerous good athletes ruined by these "experts" in the search of the next big thing, 20 odd years later the same people are still doing it.and still trying to uncover the "gem" and ruining kids enjoyment of sport in the process.

In other news I did a load of lunges and other such strengthening exercises, 4 days later I'm still sore!!

09/10/2012 at 10:28

Don't know if anyone else here is following Marigold's training, but how's this for a session (on a weeknight): 23.5M including 10k in 32:52, 6x3mins @ 4:42ish pace off 90s recovery, and another 10k sub-33. Average pace for the whole session 5:41 m/m.

Looking forward to seeing how the 50k goes!

09/10/2012 at 10:46

Clearly - Yes, beneficial is pretty vague. I guess what I mean is, over the next 4 weeks I can either race every weekend with minimal training in between, or race every second weekend targeting the 5k flat road and the 10k XC as proper races and treating the others as an easy run. I want to do well in those 2 races in particular and i'm not worried about the others. A major problem I've had this year is not being even close to 100% on race mornings. Its sounds so easy but I find it difficult to get the taper right. If you had those 2 races 2 weeks apart what would you do in between?

SL - Every time I go to a circuits class and do lunges/squats etc I can barely walk for 4 days. I've yet to recover from the weekends race which was basically a circuits race!

Padams - That is some seriously quick swimming!

09/10/2012 at 12:20

I completely agree it is a fairly pointless vanity thing doing the champs start at VLM -- if anything you might get a better time from FGFA, understanding now that you don't get a chip time in the champs. But I always find it quite inspiring that while an enthusiastic amateur will never be allowed to join the Ryder cup, or take to the pitch in the FA cup final, etc etc, we really do get to race against the best in the world when they are doing their best -- in a fair and square competition, where we are equally "allowed" to win (if we only had the talent) -- which I like to relate to people. And you get a stronger sense of that when the elite start just in front of you rather than on the other start, even if we're all running the same race. (I do like having plenty of portaloos too, though I was a bit disappointed that talk of red-carpeted and gilt-handled ones in the champs enclosure never did come true :- ).

09/10/2012 at 12:55

I agree the champs start at VLM looks a bit pointless on the face of it. This year I was the only fast runner from our club without a champs place and only had a standard club entry on the blue start. However it was a doddle to bag a spot right at the front of the blue start when it opened 30mins before the start, in the end I was stood only about 3 or 4 people back from my club mates in the Champs start. on the benefitical side, having the target of beating 2:45 really made me push myself in the race and not give up when my legs were on fire!

09/10/2012 at 13:15


Padams - cheers yeah that's what I thought too but was told otherwise re the north east harrier league. If as you say thats the case with the Met league then atleast I'd be able to run for Heathside as a 2nd claim in xc if I'm ever down there for a fixture.

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