The first three days of this week felt pretty intensive for me despite there not being much mileage before easing down towards the end of the week in preparation for the Bedfordshire track and field champs.

Monday – Middle Distance Speedwork

We had a 3 lap jog as our warm up, followed by lots of activation drills to get the intrinsic muscles in our body working.

We did exercises such as:

  • Crucifix
  • Scorpion
  • Camel raises
  • Horizontal leg swings on the ground

All followed by 40m strides.

After this, we did some ‘loading’ where we put our muscles under hard work essentially pre-fatiguing them before the main session. This was 3 x 20m sledge pulls, pulling a sledge which weighed 75kg for me. I bear crawled it, moving my arms and legs together as if I was running.

Pulling a 75kg sledge – it’s harder than it looks!

Straight after it was onto the main session of:

  1. 500m (82.5 seconds) with 2 minutes recovery
  2. 300m (46.9 seconds) with 12 minutes recovery
  3. 300m (45 seconds)

A very short session compared to what I’m used to, but it meant I could do every single effort at flat-out pace. Altogether, I was very pleased, especially with the last 300m as it’s the fastest I’ve ever run 300m.

Tuesday – Speed Endurance

After a 2k warm up, my session down at the club consisted of 2 sets of 300m, 400m, 400m, 300m, 200m. One minute rest between reps and 8 minutes between sets. The times for each rep and set are listed down below.

  • 300m (46, 49)                     1500m pace – 52
  • 400m (66, 69)                     1500m pace – 69
  • 400m (70, 69)
  • 300m (48, 49)
  • 200m (33, 32)                     1500m pace – 34

The pace for the first one was rather quick since the aim was to target 4:20 1500m pace (slightly quicker than pb pace) which made me suffer a bit on the second 400m and the whole of the second set, but overall I was very pleased to have managed to have achieved times which were consistently quick for me with little rest.

Wednesday – Explosive Sprints

After doing a 4 lap warm up, I did some squats from 20kg up to 60kg along with some cleans from 15kg up to 35kg.

The session was:

  • 2 sets of 6 x 60m

Four minutes recovery between reps and six minutes between sets. Each rep to be done flat out.

Despite the volume being very low, the session was very fatiguing for my hamstrings, calves and glutes. I tried to focus on keeping upright as much as possible and driving my upper leg forwards as I was sprinting.

Friday – Middle Distance Speedwork

This was more or less a repeat of Monday’s session, but with an extra 500m and no loading beforehand.

2 sets of 500m, 300m with 2 minutes rest between reps and 12 minutes between sets.

  • 500m (82, 85)
  • 300m (48, 49)

I was aiming to hit 80 for the first 500m. At 400m I was on 64 seconds, so I was on target but my legs tightened up so I ended up two seconds slower than I wanted. The session was still a decent one, and I was happy with it. I had an ice bath as soon as I got home so that I could best recover from the training for my race on Sunday.

Sunday – Race Day

It was Bedfordshire track and field champs on Sunday.

I made sure to have breakfast around 4 hours before my first race at 11:05 am, and I had a banana two hours beforehand. My first race was the 3000m and I wanted to get a least 9:30 which meant 76 second laps. The first lap went out at 74 and from there the average pace of each lap slowed down to 77 seconds. I was hanging behind Jed Noblett who kept pushing harder every time I caught up with him before he kicked on the last lap, finishing in 9:25 whilst I finished with 9:34.8.

I wasn’t happy with the performance, and I can’t make any excuses, only that I wish I did better, ran faster and pushed myself harder.

Following that, an hour later I hopped into the 800m and went through in 2:20.3 which gave me a silver (there were only two under 20’s in the race) and then three hours after that I did a 1500m finishing in 4:35.9 which gave me a 1.2 second pb. I’m not sure how I got a pb in my final event of the day, but I seem to be struggling to push myself harder mentally and I know I really need to overcome that barrier, and in the last 100m of the 1500m I seemed to manage to overcome that barrier (although it was very late).

Final Thoughts

I’m pleased with how my training is going, but not so much in how I’m executing in races. I’m sure there is a mental pain barrier I need to overcome, but once I overcome it I think I will be running much faster. If I was truly exhausted after my 3000m, I think my 1500m would have been much slower but my legs didn’t feel tight just a bit sore. It would have also helped if at county champs there was more competition as there were little people to run with. Altogether I wouldn’t consider my weekend racing a success, but after this, I feel hungry for faster times. I’ll do my best not to let myself be limited mentally in my next race!

How has your week been training and racing? Let me know down below!