This post is a bit of a brief summary and recollection of how my training has gone for the first 6 months of 2019 since starting my sprint training. How I felt, some of my races and the path I’m continuing on with my running journey.

My Training Evaluation 2019

First Quarter

January and February my mileage dropped quite suddenly from where it was in December. From about 60 miles per week to less than 10 miles per week of running. Any time I was running was either a short warm up, cool down or part of the sprint session. Although it was tough at first, I enjoyed learning how to sprint knowing it would help my running in the future (then and now) and I had to learn to ‘feel’ different sensations whilst sprinting and know what good sprint technique is.

In February, I began doing a couple of cross country races as a long run to maintain my aerobic base. I found that it hadn’t really diminished at all despite running far less than usual. Whilst my performances at English Schools Cross Country and Intercounties Cross Country weren’t as good as they could have been, I thought they were pretty respectable given that I was training for the sprints.

In March, my mileage crept up slightly and I kept training consistently.

Second Quarter

It crept up further in April and I was getting pulled back into my routine of wanting to do longer runs and run more frequently. I wouldn’t say my sprint training suffered, but I probably wasn’t able to execute my sprint workouts to the best of my ability. I then opened up my outdoor season with a few races running 14.14″ in 100m, 28.18″ in 200m and 62.77″ in 400m before bringing the 400m down to 60.59″ in another 400m race. The results were pleasing to some extent, but not quite where I wanted them.

As May came, I began mixing in some of the club endurance sessions at Bedford & County AC which meant that I was putting in more miles. I brought my 400m down to 60.58″ after doing an 800m so I didn’t actually feel that great doing it which was motivating to see (although frustrating). I competed in the Hackney 5k race and ran 100m the day after setting a 100m pb of 13.94″ which was also great. I also did an 800m race at Watford which took my 800m pb down by 1.5 seconds to 2’11.76″.

In June, I whittled those times down to 27.9″ in the 200m and 60.3″ in the 400m although they were hand timed. After exams, I spent 10 days down in London with my coach. He discussed that we still need to focus more on speed and I need to remove these extra miles I’m doing since it’s harder to develop speed when I’m running over 15 – 20 miles per week and I need to take my rest days more seriously so that’s what I’m going to do. In place of easy runs, he plans to give my plyometrics or strength work to satisfy my ‘need’ to do some form of training that day, the difference being the training will be specific to sprinting.

My time down in London with my coach has definitely been beneficial for me in evaluating how things have gone this year and I plan on being completely clear with everything I do that might be considered training so he is aware of what I am doing. I’m going to cut out any extra runs I’m doing and stick to the plan that my coach has for me. Any worries about losing aerobic fitness I just need to forget about since for me, the aerobic-endurance side is the easy part. The speed? Not so much. By August, I hope to get my sprint times down to:

  • 100m – 13.5″
  • 200m – 26.9″
  • 400m – 58.9″

These are my new personal targets after achieving my previous targets for the 100m and 200m earlier this year.

Third Quarter

I improved my 100m, 200m and 400m early on in July to 13″6, 27″6 and 60″07 which was great to see although it was frustrating how close I was to sub 60 in the 400m. I was sure I would manage to improve on those times later in the track season, but it never happened – something that I think was actually down to not resting sufficiently before racing i.e. having some tough training sessions which taxed my muscles about two days prior to racing.

In August I took a nice break from running whilst I was on holiday in Denmark with my family before training again and starting to implement some plyometrics for a couple of weeks which was really tough on my body.

Then in September, I started my apprenticeship so I had less time to train. I wasn’t sure how things would work out, but I’m finding enough time to train and I’m still motivated so I’m definitely sticking with the running! My mileage has increased from about 10 miles to 25 miles per week as I’ve begun to incorporate some easy runs, the key beingĀ easy amidst some sprint training and weight training. The first week getting back into a regular week of training was tough, but by the second week, I could feel it wasn’t so bad.

Fourth Quarter

In October after some thought, I made the decision to stop doing the shorter sprint training I was doing and return to the regular long-distance club training at Bedford & County AC. This was for three reasons:

  1. I felt that I wasn’t getting the results I wanted from the sprint training after 9 months or so. Perhaps it just wasn’t the right training for me.
  2. I missed the club training environment and wanted a group of runners to run with. This would make training more enjoyable and fun. I also wanted to feel more a part of the club after not having trained there regularly for 18 months.
  3. I wanted to go back to running longer distances again. Running long distance is what I enjoy and whilst sprinting is also fun, I get a bit of a buzz from long distance running.

So in October, I began to do some base training alone, building up my mileage to between 30 – 40 miles a week with most of it being easy, but I may have overdone it there since I got some soreness in the back of my left knee and in my right Achilles. I rested and came back to club training in November.

Club training was hard and tough, but that was to be expected. Nevertheless, I surprised myself with my fitness although I was still far behind the runners I was once as fit or as fast as two years ago. But that’s ok. I went and did my own thing and explored to see whether sprint training would work for me. Now I just need to be patient, make sure I don’t get injured and train hard and smart. My mileage increased to around 45 – 53 miles per week which were more than I anticipated.

I participated in the Chiltern League cross country race in December and performed better than I expected although my body felt like seizing up completely afterwards. Then I got back into my usual training rhythm before easing down right at the end of the year for a well-deserved rest.

Final Thoughts

It’s been a whirl of a year and I’m hoping I can improve quickly again. I’m going to need to be patient, trust the process and stick with the training, but I’m confident I can do that and in the Summer, I hope the fruits of my efforts will show. I hope you all had a good 2019 everyone and let’s move forward with training and progress further in 2020!

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