Booked In, Doha, and a Coastal Running Carnival.

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

The Great Eastern run is finally locked in. I knew that I could delay my registration for the event until pretty late in the calendar, and after spending a month side-lined in my training I wasn’t sure if I definitely wanted to participate.

But that was stupid.

I’ve run in the National Cross-Country championships so I have participated in large scale events before but it’s still nothing compared to the kinds of numbers which will be hitting the streets for the Great Eastern. Really running the race isn’t about a personal best or an amazing time…as I simply don’t have those times in the bag yet! I want to race more, especially in exciting events like this. The only way to do that is to just make the jump and do it, regardless of how confident I am of achieving my goal.

My initial target was to run under 90 minutes for the half, which would mean keeping a pace of sub-6:50 a mile. If I’m honest I think this is slightly beyond my current capacity, but come race day who knows? My latest goal is to get as close to that 7:00 mark as possible.

With the race less than 2 weeks away I’m pushing through a final phase of hard training before I take a trip to Berlin this weekend. Running will likely be taking second place to sightseeing and beer.

Probably a lot of beer.

Maybe too much?

No. No that’s impossible.

In the run up to these rest days I’ve been increasing how often I’ve been doubling up, although I am weary of making the same mistake I made early on in my programme. Much of my running is just…running. Before the injury it was pretty rare for me to do any mileage which was any slower than 7:30, now I’ve made it an integral part of my training.

Let’s take little look at my last few workouts to demonstrate.  

On Monday morning the sky was blue, and the air was fresh, so I hit the road. I didn’t really have a specific session in mind, but I started with a 7:36 mile, nice and easy. I think because the conditions were so perfect my mood was boosted, and I wanted to take advantage of the good weather window. I decided to accelerate my way through to 5-miles then jog through for another.

Mile 2 was a 7:20, 3 was a 7:02, 4 a 6:58, and 5 a 6:34. Mission accomplished!

For mile 6 I turned the watch off. It needed to be slow, steady, and easy on my body, and I didn’t want my watch to distract me from the feeling of warming down and doing my body some good.

This was the attitude I took into my evening session. Fair to say the beautiful day did not hold and by the time I was back from work it was dark and miserable. I took myself into the garage and got myself going on the treadmill for another 4. The key was to ease myself through the session. I started very slowly, walking for a few minutes before spending some time working up from 8:00 a mile to 7:30. I did speed things up through the middle of the session to open my legs up, but not so much that my average speed was ever much above 7:30.

This easy evening workout allowed me to knock out something more considerable on Tuesday morning – 4 mile of fartlek (including 6 efforts at sub-6:00) preceded by an easy mile and followed by another 2 easy miles.

In the evening I once again elected to take it easy, with another 3 miles on the treadmill, to give me 10 miles for the day, and followed by a 10k on the static bike.

The point of this to me, and to you (if you care to take some advice):

Running slow, helps me run fast.

Does that make sense?

The World Athletics Championships

Enough about me, what’s been happening in the running world this week?

The World Championships, duh.

It’s been a strange competition from my perspective. The crowds have been incredibly passionate, but only on occasion. They flood the stadium to offer support for the African athletes, which is great, and then seem to flock out when their representation is lacking. I suppose this is true of every competition, the crowds are going to be at their largest when home talent is on the track or field, it just seems even more pronounced in Doha this year. Trouble is that even during those events where nations like Uganda, Kenya, and of course Qatar, have performed well the stadium has still looked far from capacity.

When Dina Asher-Smith took a lap to celebrate her silver medal in the 100m, she jogged in front of 40,000 empty seats. It was ghostly. It doesn’t take anything away from her performance, but this is a premier event in the athletics calendar, and it is a huge blow for the sport to see it so under-appreciated.

You can’t blame the people, they want what they want and are free to do what they will, but somewhere in the organisation process something has failed. When you have a stadium of that size, when you pour money into elaborate light shows to illuminate one of the biggest sporting events of the year you must put bums in seats.

Clearly that has not happened in Doha this year, and it is a great shame.

Still! There have been some fantastic performances to enjoy.

Here’s the highlights from Day 5, where the fantastic Ingebritsen brothers were outsmarted and outran by the Ethiopian team, resulting in Muktar Edris taking gold in the 5000m. Norway did see some success later in the day with the 400m hurdles, with the fantastically pumped Karsten Warholm taking a wonderful gold medal after a terrific performance.

Take a gander and get inspired.

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

And if that inspiration strikes you just right, here’s some races for this weekend for you to ponder.

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival is advertised as “Running as it should be” – which means clean, crisp sea air and corresponding views.

Sounds good, right? But if a marathon sounds like too much, don’t fret! The name isn’t a catchall – there is a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon, alongside the full marathon, to choose from.

Check it out over at the event website.  

And then, check me out on Twitter, and then how about you think about getting those trainers laced up, hey? All those miles aren’t going to run themselves you know.

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