Dachs - It's got more bells and whistles than it sounds like you're after and than I currently use, but the Garmin 410 is a great bit of kit, and you can get it from Amazon bundled in with a Heart Rate Monitor - again something I'm yet to actually use, but will in time.
Currently at £160 on Amazon, which is still a decent enough price, but I'd monitor it for a couple of weeks as it goes up and down all the time. I got mine for about £130 in February.
Beware its little brother the 110 though I understand. Can currently be picked up stand alone for about £115, but I've heard lots of complaints about it not being sufficiently waterproofed and thus misting up and/or stopping working completely (sometimes permanently) after use in the rain.
Ignore those who complain about the bezel on the 410. They must have seriously fat fingers or be a bit soft in the head in my opinion! Takes about 10 minutes to get used to and then you're away.
Yeah, you're probably right - and being part of a team is something that I've taken a huge amount from over the years with my cricket. It's probably at least as big a part as the actual cricket itself.
Reckon I ought to stop fannying around and get an e-mail fired off, whilst just being upfront about the fact that I'm unsure quite how much I'll commit to club training as I get more of a feel for things.
And yes - having your best mate there ought to help you ease your way through this weekend!
Ouch. Commiserations, DT! Mine aren't a bad bunch to be fair, though I did have to cut short a long weekend up in Scotland some years ago (before they moved back south) when it all got a bit too much!
Regarding the clubs - I think it's £17/year membership for the club I'd probably join, and the members get free use of the track facility at another (slightly further afield) local club on a Tuesday night - though they 'invite' you to join that club as a second claim for a further £12. Sounds like they have 2 or 3 other training sessions per week as well, their own Grand Prix series during the summer (which I plan to do either way), a local summer league and winter x-country series you need to be a member of a club to race, as well as a number of club only handicaps and so on. As you say, I'd also be saving myself the £2 unaffiliated surcharge on all the other races I enter too, so it ought to be a no brainer, and I guess I could follow the example of those guys at your club - I just feel that I'd want to make some sort of commitment to being a bit more involved once I do actually take the plunge.
Simon, Mr V - That's great - thanks. Plenty of food for thought there. I now get the difference between VO2 and vVO2 max as well, Simon. Hadn't quite grasped that before. What you're saying makes sense too regarding the focus on the 8-15 minute paces - think I'll stick with those for now then whilst the PB's continue to tumble. No point risking a major setback, or compromising the other training that's working so well, by pushing too hard at this stage. That 6 x 800 off 90" sounds like a toughie mind - good, I like tough - might have a go at that next week to mix things up a bit.
TOM - Yes, I'm a devourer of stats, so that is something I can do with last night's session. In fact, the first 1k interval session I ever did at the end of February in the lead up to my first 10k race, was only 2 repeats, and they came out at about 4:33/4:34 apiece - so I've nearly cleared the 30 seconds improvement you mention in two and a half months! Having said that, I was suffering from a big session on the beers a couple of days earlier at the time, and the following week I managed 3 x 1k at an average of about 4:20, so that's probably a fairer reflection of where I was at the time, though still obviously with one repeat less than last night. I've also got logs of improvements in stuff like my RB Handicap, and the resulting ranking leaps (Overall, Men, and Men V40) over the last few months. I find that sort of thing very motivating, though I won't bore you all with the details of those!
Sounds like some tough training for you with the club there. I'm still dithering about getting myself hooked up with a club (which feeds into TomK's question), as whilst I've no doubt that there would be lots of benefits and it seems that I'd get weekly access to a running track for about £30/year in total (!), I'm just a little wary of turning myself over to the risks and vagaries of 'group' training whilst still getting rapid gains from being in control of putting my schedule together myself.
TomK - Yes, not sure I'd ever call interval training enjoyable! Enjoyed the feeling of completing it afterwards of course, but not much enjoyment during the second half of a session like that! Or in the warm down for that matter. I always enjoy the warm down jog after a tempo session, but find it utterly hateful after intervals!
WJH - Some good paces from you there as well, despite the Garmin garble! That faster leg turnover will come I'm sure if you can get a few more sessions in like that. A new avatar for you as well I see - definitely an improvement on its random 'stand in front of a big ship' predecessor!
Well done with your relay, Mr V - can understand your impatience for PB shape to return, but given the problems you've had, just 16 seconds down on last year sounds like excellent progress to me!
Good luck at the track, DT - and enjoy your weekend away - where are you off to?