John, unlike you I do enjoy most cross-country courses. As long as there's not too much mud. Just about everyone locally professes a love of the deep sticky stuff but I suspect it's sometimes bravado in the same way as claiming to enjoy a really hot vindaloo. I don't know if your comment about climbing over gates is meant literally. I've certainly never come across that thankfully as I'd make a real meal of it.
Anyway, I cleaned my cross-country shoes yesterday and removed the mud left over from the last race of the season and am really looking forward to the race on Saturday, especially the new experience of running with the women. I'm about the same pace as quite a few I know so it'll be interesting to see what happens.
Rest day today after three quite hard days; the 5000 race on Saturday, a 10.5 steady run on Sunday and an 8-minute a mile 6.5 mile run with the club last night. The latter finished in the dark for the first time since earlier in the year so that's a sign of things to come. Speed session on the track tomorrow.
Mick, I was talking about the benefits of lightweight shoes recently with a very experienced runner and he said something they did was to slightly increase stride length. With their lower cushioning though, I imagine that's a road you don't really want to go down, at least on training runs.
Yesterday was my 5000m track race, in blustery conditions. The field was smaller than usual and the ladies and over-65 men all ran as one rather than being split as usual. I was going to race on feel rather than constantly looking at my watch but with someone calling times on each lap it was hard to ignore what pace you were doing.
Anyway, I felt reasonably good in spite of the fresh wind and didn't slow too much as the race went on as far as I can tell. I finished in 21:52, which I was pleased with, not expecting to beat 22 minutes based on my parkrun times. AG percentage of 76.4%. Only good enough for fourth place though. Definitely another step in the right direction.
Mick, nice photos. You always look very athletic. You were asking about my 5k times. Based on parkruns I'm doing around 22:50 so I reckon you could knock about 30 seconds off that if running on a track or flat tarmac in which case the low 22 minutes would be about right I guess and agree with McMillan.
Columba, I don't think she does anything else in the way of training. She's got quite an athletic build and is light. She says she'd do a bit more but is worried about injuries if she runs too much extra.
I can't remember if I've mentioned it, but this year in our local clubs cross-country season the over-65 men are going to have the option of running with the ladies (of all ages above 18). The idea being that some older men might be put off doing it if they need to do the full men's distance.
I was in two minds and it's taken a while to decide. If I were a woman I'd feel patronized about being considered not up to running as far as men do, and the same applies to older men too I think. On the other hand it would be nice to run a bit nearer the front of the race rather than towards the back (there are fewer slower men in the cross-country than at parkruns or road races for some reason). So I've decided to run with the ladies over two laps rather than three.
Columba, have a great time in London and enjoy the parkrun if you do it.
John, Funny about your achilles. I can imagine your worry when putting weight on it when getting up. Brilliant news though.
I did another track session this morning, 3 x 1 mile with four minutes rest between. I just achieved my target of doing all three under seven minutes: 6:56. 6:58 and 6:58. I was running with a lady of 60 who reaches 82% age-grading over 5K parkruns. We talked about training and I was very surprised she does that on only nine miles a week. She's obviously a natural.
John, well done on your sub-22 minute parkrun, which just happens to be my own target before the end of the year. Great effort by the other 60-64 to get under 19 minutes. You were asking about racing on the track. For myself, tactics don't really come into it and I just try to run at a consistent pace. In my limited experience there are no runners about my pace to target. They're either quite a bit quicker, or slower. Watching other races though, I'm sure some runners do run tactically to try to win a race but I guess that's also true of road running at the front of the field.
Mick, belated birthday wishes for your 70th. Great description of your enjoyable race. It sounded a lot of run.
Not a lot to report from me. I did another parkrun on Saturday in 22:53, about the same time as the previous week. On a different course though and it's interesting to compare them, as it's not the first time where my time has been pretty much the same on both a week apart.
Last week's is on an almost flat course whereas the other one is most definitely hilly. So you would expect one to be significantly quicker. The only thing I can think of is that the hilly course is completely on tarmac whereas the flat one is all on hardcore (for want of a better word) paths.
On Sunday I went along to the regular Sunday morning long run with my newer club for the first time since my PF injury. A lovely morning and a nice course along the river. It's certainly easier to maintain a decent pace when running with others. We did 9.3 miles at an average pace of 8:30.