This week’s thoughts from Rob….
Time Trial – The long grass has now been cut back and it is now easier to  run on what is known as the cycle track. Everyone to wear a head/ body torch. See and be seen. If it’s icy then we will set a track up on the grass. Just remember the uneven sections may be uneven and if wet you may need to wear studded shoes.   As always we require one or two volunteers to help mark out and record/ time keep please. 
I will be down just after 6.30 pm to mark out  the course with my volunteer helpers. A lap is approx 1 mile long so I expect everyone as part of their warm up to go around the course first. There is no excuse for not knowing the rout you are about to run. If you are not warmed up you also risk injury and are likely to record a poor time.     

 45th anniversary/ social night at the Athletic Club: 
65 members and guests present. Paul has always wanted to take a Quiz night and I have always wanted to have a Q & A session and it all turned out a very worthwhile night. Sorry it had taken so long to bring to fruition. It didn’t matter it was rather a last minute decision because you are either doing something or you are not. It was also a chance to have a look at all the scrapbooks Marian has put together over the years and see how the club has developed. A huge thank you to all those who helped in any way. The Athletic Club makes a wonderful venue for such events, It’s just a pity it didn’t have the Gateway track to go with it.  

How can I improve my 5k times was one of the questions asked on Friday night. Four weeks ago I ran my slowest 5k race and I have been wondering along the same lines myself. In just over two weeks time I’m going to try and lower my age group time during a parkrun and at the minute I’m about 30 seconds too slow ( or maybe two years too old!)  
I have only run one 5k pb which was the first one I ran. I envy all of you who keep improving week by week. I still use the basics of what I used all those years ago to improve my times. These little tips may help in some way. 
1.  I’d advise everyone to take part in the Wednesday night training session, inside or out. Not just once but week in and week out. At training you will get someone to run with and  you are likely to run at a stronger pace than you would on your own. 
2.  When running long intervals you need to be running 15 to 20 seconds a k faster than your expected 5k race pace. In old money, if my 5k pace is 7.10 mins/ mile then my interval speed is approx 6.45/50 pace.
3.  Your body requires recovery after an hard session. The older you are the more it needs. I train five times a week and Wednesday night is my toughest session. 
 4.  You should start to see an improvement after four to five weeks. Adjust your training if you are not. Run recovery runs slower but take shorter strides to keep leg speed up. Fewer strides/ slower times. 
5.  A tired body and  mind will not run fast times. Don’t chase the watch when you’re tired. Running strong instead of fast races will give you confidence for when you are feeling good.
6.  All my pbs have come when I’ve been competing, I try not to look at my watch but I know when I’m running well. You will too. You can easily simulate this during training. 
 7. I love running parkrun but don’t run many. However, I always prepare the same. I will arrive 30 to 40 minutes before the start and do a full warm up. I also watch the weather forecast to. A strong, westerly wind can gain you 20 to 30 seconds at Dalby as you get pushed up the final slope to the finish. 
8. The rest is up to you. Good luck. 

You probably don’t believe this but in 1986 there weren’t many 5k races so they were few and far between. 6 weeks before my first intended measured 5k road race I sat down with Lord Sebastian Coe ( A birthday present from Christine at Gleneagles Hotel!)  and we put together a six week training  program which would suit me. An early day version of couch to 5k. It involved 3 to 4 intense speed sessions per week. At the end of week 5 I ran 15.20. I never tried to beat this because I thought the training was too hard and concentrated on trail and fell instead. The training was still as hard but I enjoyed it more. Running on the track was not an option, I hated it. 
Keep running and see you all soon, Rob




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