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Rob’s weekly blog and training update w/c 24/02/2020

Message from the chair:

Thirsk 10; so far, we have 970 runners entered (54 last week) for our race on Sunday 15th March;  we could do with a few more marshals so if you can help please do.  See either Phillip, Ken W or myself at training or drop Phillip an email to phillipc26@gmail.com

Thanks  Duncan

SUNDAY 23RD FEBRUARY

CHAMPIONSHIP RACE – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Or

Fell race (check necessary kit list)  – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)

MONDAY 24TH FEBRUARY

Briefing at 7pm, Thirsk School Gym. Clean shoes please. Rolling core work inside

Outdoors. Ken and Duncan are taking an outside group.  We will probably be on Topcliffe Road / Flatts as the field is a little wet at the moment. Starting from the school.

TUESDAY 25TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

Social run from Thirsk and Sowerby leisure centre at 7pm (meet in foyer) on well-lit paths and pavements. Suitable for all abilities; there will be several stops to run back/regroup, no-one runs by themselves or gets left behind. New and returning Tuesday night runners always welcome.

Route to be decided on the night, around 5 miles. Please wear high vis.

WEDNESDAY 26TH FEBRUARY

7pm School sports hall. 

The football group will probably be using the sports hall before us again up to 7pm.  We only pay from 7pm.   To speed up the set up time; I suggest that Rob gives some people tasks whilst we are in the corridor.  Please help us to get a full hour’s session in.

First half rolling core work. 

Second half Inside : Lung busters

Outside. 2, 3, 4 mins/ 1 min recovery. 10k pace.  We’ll go out first then come back for the second set. Start with the shortest and finish with the longest simply because it always seems harder to do it that way.

THURSDAY 27TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

7pm sharp, Starting from Osmotherley.

Bring a clean t-shirt and some beer tokens for refreshments afterwards at the Golden Lion.

SUNDAY 1ST MARCH

CHAMPIONSHIP RACE – XC Croft (see separate email)

 

Message from the head-coach:

Almost twenty five years ago we were driving along the shore of lake Titicaca in Peru. Almost 10000′ above, It’s cold, it’s windy and it’s almost dark. Close to the roadside we pass a lonely market stall and stood alongside it stood a mother and her daughter of around three years old. They were wearing the national Peruvian costume, and both were stood bolt upright almost frozen stiff. The little girl had two parallel rivers of snot running down the middle of her face and looked forward through empty eyes. We stopped the car and I stepped out and I approach the stall where I bought a few items I didn’t want. I also bought a bar of chocolate that the mother and child couldn’t afford. I broke the bar in two and walked back towards the car. On the way I stopped and popped half the chocolate on a stone at the side of the road, continued my journey and stepped into the car to share the remainder with Christine, our driver and our guide. When I turned around, I could see the little girl sharing her chocolate with her Mum. One bar of chocolate, momentarily six happy people. If only life was always so simple but then, sometimes it is!!

You put down your phone, put on your running togs and step into your running shoes. You open the back door and you step outside and you just go out and do it. Sometimes life is as simple as that!!

Live your dream.  Rob.

6TH – 8TH NOVEMBER

Harriers, Lakes weekend, Glaramara Hotel in Seatoller, Borrowdale.  A fantastic weekend in the Lakes to enjoy, running, walking and relaxing amongst friends.  Rooms still available and can be booked directly with the hotel on 017687 77222.  If you would like to know more about the weekend, please speak to Helen.

When booking ensure you say you are from Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.

 

FUTURE RACE LISTS

Trail Series  – starting at 10 am, enter on the day

Race 5 – 23rd February – Holme House Prison 5k Trail (All the money for this event goes to charity)

Holme House Rd, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 2QU

Series Presentation Race 6: 22nd March – Saltburn 5k Trail (TBC)

Fell Races (check necessary kit list)

Feb 23rd – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)

 

Club Championship fixtures

Feb 23rd – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Mar 1st – XC Croft

Mar 29th – Hartlepool Marina 5- entries open now

Apr 28th – Spring Coast Road 5k – TUESDAY evening, 7.15.  Flat! Entries open Jan 1st

May 6th – Gribdale Growler Fell Race (Wed evening)

May 19th – HDSRL Nidd Valley (Tues evening)

May 31st – Ripon 10

June 18th – HDSRL Ilkley (Prov) Thursday evening)

June 25th – HDSRL Skipton (Thursday evening)

July 12th – Kilburn 7 (Sun pm)

July 26th – James Herriot 14k (Fell) – Entries open

Aug 9th – Darlington 10k

Aug 19th – Sessay Swift 6k (Wed evening)

Sept 13th – Tholthorpe 10k Entries open

Sept 27th – Redcar Half Marathon

Oct 25th – Whixley 10k

Nov 1st – Guy Fawkes 10 – Entries open

Nov/Dec – XC to be arranged

Other Races

May 24th – Melmerby 10k start 11:30am
 

Liv weekly blog

Trigger warning: Some content regarding mental health struggles

In a world where you can be anything: Be Kind.

I have seen this message floating around the media a lot lately, especially this week, following yet another life being taken by suicide.

A message to all Harriers: Firstly, thank you. I have been a member for 7 years and only ever felt kindness from you all. I have made some true friends and it feels like a family.

As my physical health plummeted last year, so did my mental health. I was exhausted. The kindness I feel from a group like Harriers is a constant reminder of warmth and hope and a glimmer of excitement about the future…

I don’t want to speak to soon, but I am getting a little giddy that I am stringing many more ‘good’ days together. A combination of decreased stress levels, weight gain, sleep and kindness seems to be doing something… Since being poorly and realising I was ‘jobless,’ I have also been seeing a therapist weekly. There is no shame in that. For anyone considering it. Go.

If you are finding things a little tough, or maybe you’re finding things really tough, or dangerously tough, wherever you fit on the ‘scale’…remember that you’re never a burden. To any one of you, I’ll never find it strange or weird if you call my phone, drop me a message or knock at my door, in need of a chat.

Something this week bought be happiness more than I imagined…. Dinosaur leggings. More specifically dinosaurs doing yoga printed on leggings. You may have seen Molly and Rosie sporting these bad boys at training. They knew I loved them and surprised me with a pair in my size. They’re perfect. And a great amount of stretch to encourage me to gain the extra needed 4kg.

This was above and beyond the act of kindness! Now I’m not saying we need to spoil each other with hilariously quirky and touching presents… going for a walk and talk with these lovely ladies was more than enough. It made my day.

I’m staying positive and if things continue to improve, I’ll be back at training quite soon. At first I’ll be under strict instruction just to go ‘steady away’ and to have a little chin wag. Until strength improves further, no hard reps for me yet. (But you know what I’m like so please keep me on a leash!)

So, my wonderful running family… Keep being you. Keep being kind and I hope to see you all very soon. (I’ll be sporting the dino leggings, of course).

Rob’s weekly blog and training update w/c 17/02/2020

Message from the chair:

Thirsk 10, numbers are over 100 up on last year; so far, we have 916 runners entered (59 last week) for our race on Sunday 15th March; we could do with a few more marshals so if you can help please do. See either Phillip, Ken W or myself at training or drop Phillip an email to phillipc26@gmail.com

Thanks

Duncan

MONDAY 17TH FEBRUARY

Half-term so school is closed; so we are on Station Road for Monday and Wednesday evenings

7pm Racecourse entrance Station road time trial.     This week is half term and the school is closed so the monthly time trial comes forward a week. Please register outside the race course entrance where Andy will warm you all up and Duncan will take your name. If you injured and can’t run, then please can you help so all those who want to run can. Remember a time trial is a test between you, your mind and nobody else. The time you get is all about you. Hi-vis vest and run on the left are the rules that always apply.

TUESDAY 18TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

Social run from Thirsk and Sowerby leisure centre at 7pm (meet in foyer) on well-lit paths and pavements. Suitable for all abilities; there will be several stops to run back/regroup, no-one runs by themselves or gets left behind. New and returning Tuesday night runners always welcome.

Route to be decided on the night, around 5 miles. Please wear high vis.

WEDNESDAY 19TH FEBRUARY

Half-term so school is closed; so we are on Station Road

7pm Race course entrance, station road. Warm ups. session. 8 x 3mins/ 1 min rec 5k pace. This is a big, big session. Split into equal ability groups and a leader with each group.

THURSDAY 20TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

7pm sharp, Starting from Starting from Kilburn just past the white houses.

Bring a clean t-shirt and some beer tokens for refreshments afterwards.

SUNDAY 23RD FEBRUARY

CHAMPIONSHIP RACE – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Or

Fell race (check necessary kit list) – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)

Message from the head-coach:

I’ve had a lifetime of running the Counties, the Northerns, the Nationals, the London’s and the GNR’s. I still have the passion and the enthusiasm, but my body no longer has the strength to keep knocking out the relentless miles that are required to compete in such events. Just taking part is not an option, I just have to compete! I continue looking for new challenges and in the recent past I have run on frozen lakes in the Arctic, run interval sessions in wildlife parks in the remotest parts of Africa. Shortly Christine and I are going to compete in the Kruga National Park and later in the year we are competing in the Dolomites, Austria. I’m also looking for some kind of a challenge in the Amazon but please don’t tell Christine until closer to the time!! Apparently, parkrun hasn’t arrived yet. Age should not have a limit on what you want to achieve as long as you still want to achieve it. It’s a little easier if you don’t make you dreams quite so big as you get older but then some of us just don’t grow up!!!!

I spent last week in the lakes with a long-time friend and training partner celebrating his 60th birthday. We ran twice a day, had a few drinks and generally had a good time and lived the moment. Happy memories. Christine and I stayed on a day extra specifically just to run the Whinlatter parkrun, it’s posted as being the toughest in the country, so we just had to do it. Christine didn’t quite show the same enthusiasm, but she didn’t mind the extra night in the Bridge hotel. We walked around the course on the Thursday to see what it was all about. It didn’t disappoint, 5k and 1000’ feet of ascent. If you take part you need good leg speed because the descents are fast, you also need strong will power and also strength in your legs for the climbs, these are not steep, but they are relentless. You don’t need to worry about the level bits because there aren’t any!! If you are in good shape expect to run around 10% age adjusted less than your normal parkrun time. If you are not in good shape, then probably don’t click on the “detailed” button when you look at the results. If you like a challenge, then this is the one for you.

6TH – 8TH NOVEMBER

Harriers, Lakes weekend, Glaramara Hotel in Seatoller, Borrowdale. A fantastic weekend in the Lakes to enjoy, running, walking and relaxing amongst friends. Rooms still available and can be booked directly with the hotel on 017687 77222. If you would like to know more about the weekend, please speak to Helen.

When booking ensure you say you are from Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.

FUTURE RACE LISTS

Trail Series – starting at 10 am, enter on the day

Race 5 – 23rd February – Holme House Prison 5k Trail (All the money for this event goes to charity)

Holme House Rd, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 2QU

Series Presentation Race 6: 22nd March – Saltburn 5k Trail (TBC)

Fell Races (check necessary kit list)

Feb 23rd – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)

 

Club Championship fixtures

Feb 23rd – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Mar 1st – XC Croft

Mar 29th – Hartlepool Marina 5- entries open now

Apr 28th – Spring Coast Road 5k – TUESDAY evening, 7.15. Flat! Entries open Jan 1st

May 6th – Gribdale Growler Fell Race (Wed evening)

May 19th – HDSRL Nidd Valley (Tues evening)

May 31st – Ripon 10

June 18th – HDSRL Ilkley (Prov) Thursday evening)

June 25th – HDSRL Skipton (Thursday evening)

July 12th – Kilburn 7 (Sun pm)

July 26th – James Herriot 14k (Fell) – Entries open

Aug 9th – Darlington 10k

Aug 19th – Sessay Swift 6k (Wed evening)

Sept 13th – Tholthorpe 10k Entries open

Sept 27th – Redcar Half Marathon

Oct 25th – Whixley 10k

Nov 1st – Guy Fawkes 10 – Entries open

Nov/Dec – XC to be arranged

Other Races

May 24th – Melmerby 10k start 11:30am

 

Liv weekly blog

One of my running (and life) idols is Alexi Pappas. She is a Greek runner and ran in the 2016 Olympics.

I find her inspiring as she trains incredibly hard, and clearly goes through a lot of discomfort to achieve such greatness. But what is even more inspiring is her ongoing quest for balance – constantly striving to be kind to herself and encourage others to be kinder to themselves too. “The goal is to build a sandcastle of ourselves,” she explained. For a sandcastle to last all day and not be washed away by the first waves, it needs a strong base that takes time to build. “I’ve watched people build their walls too thin and or high too quickly, which might mean under-eating or not having a variety of foods or overtraining and not having sufficient rest and their sandcastles collapse. I’ve really tried to focus on having thick walls and eating a lot of different foods. If I see a scrap of seaweed, a piece of sea glass, or a cool stick, I’ll add it to my sandcastle. Building with variety creates a strong, healthy foundation.”

I’d love to share with you one of my favorite quirky quotes from her.

‘How to be speedy?’ Run like a bravey, sleep like a baby, dream like a crazy, replace can’t with maybe.

Rob’s weekly blog and training update w/c 10/02/2020

I know there’s a few people who haven’t returned their 2020 membership forms. Please bring them this week before NAME AND SHAME 😉

“Liv weekly blog” – see below

Also, FULL LIST of Championship fixtures for 2020 – Note Spring Coast 5k has moved to 28th April

Message from the chair:

See important information below about Thirsk School and how the production affects this week.

Thirsk 10; so far we have 857 runners entered for our race on Sunday 15th March;  we could do with a few more marshals so if you can help please do.  See either Phillip, Ken W or myself at training or drop Phillip an email to phillipc26@gmail.com

Thanks

Duncan

SATURDAY 8TH FEBRUARY

Rosie Gatenby is aiming to complete her 100th Park Run at Fountains Abbey this Saturday; please come and support her on this wonderful achievement.

MONDAY 10TH FEBRUARY

Gym open as normal via normal main entrance

Briefing at 7pm, Thirsk School Thirsk School Gym. Clean shoes please. Rolling core work inside

Outdoors. Ken is taking an outside group. On the school fields this week

TUESDAY 11TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

Social run from Thirsk and Sowerby leisure centre at 7pm (meet in foyer) on well-lit paths and pavements. Suitable for all abilities; there will be several stops to run back/regroup, no-one runs by themselves or gets left behind. New and returning Tuesday night runners always welcome.

Route to be decided on the night, around 5 miles. Please wear high vis.

WEDNESDAY 12TH FEBRUARY

Important information:

We are in the School sports hall. However please use the two side gates and enter the building via the door just before the sports hall.  DO NOT use the main entrance as the school production is on.

The football group will probably be using the sports hall before us again up to 7pm. We only pay from 7pm.   To speed up the set up time; I suggest that Rob gives some people tasks whilst we are in the corridor.  Please help us to get a full hour’s session in.

First half rolling core work.

Second half Inside : Lung busters

Outside group. 5 x 4 mins / 1 rec @ 10 k pace.

THURSDAY 13TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

7pm sharp, Starting from White House car park

Bring a clean t-shirt and some beer tokens for refreshments afterwards at Greyhound, Bagby

6TH – 8TH NOVEMBER

Harriers, Lakes weekend, Glaramara Hotel in Seatoller, Borrowdale. A fantastic weekend in the Lakes to enjoy, running, walking and relaxing amongst friends.  Rooms still available and can be booked directly with the hotel on 017687 77222.  If you would like to know more about the weekend, please speak to Helen.

When booking ensure you say you are from Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.

FUTURE RACE LISTS

Trail Series – starting at 10 am, enter on the day

Race 5 – 23rd February – Holme House Prison 5k Trail (All the money for this event goes to charity)

Holme House Rd, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 2QU

Series Presentation Race 6: 22nd March – Saltburn 5k Trail (TBC)

Fell Races (check necessary kit list)

Feb 23rd – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)

 

Club Championship fixtures

Feb 23rd – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Mar 1st – XC Croft

Mar 29th – Hartlepool Marina 5- entries open now

Apr 28th – Spring Coast Road 5k – TUESDAY evening, 7.15.  Flat! Entries open Jan 1st

May 6th – Gribdale Growler Fell Race (Wed evening)

May 19th – HDSRL Nidd Valley (Tues evening)

May 31st – Ripon 10

June 18th – HDSRL Ilkley (Prov) Thursday evening)

June 25th – HDSRL Skipton (Thursday evening)

July 12th – Kilburn 7 (Sun pm)

July 26th – James Herriot 14k (Fell) – Entries open

Aug 9th – Darlington 10k

Aug 19th – Sessay Swift 6k (Wed evening)

Sept 13th – Tholthorpe 10k Entries open

Sept 27th – Redcar Half Marathon

Oct 25th – Whixley 10k

Nov 1st – Guy Fawkes 10 – Entries open

Nov/Dec – XC to be arranged

Other Races

Feb 9th – Muddy Boots 10k, Ripon. Speaks for itself.  11am

May 24th – Melmerby 10k start 11:30am

 

Liv weekly blog

The last few blogs have been adventures from the past. Time to focus again on the here and now, on 2020…

And just like that, January has gone.

20th January marked blue Monday – said to be the most depressing day of the year. I specifically remember feeling unusually positive on this day.

This journey of ‘recovery’ has certainly been up and down. Up in that I have gained 2.5kg since being very poorly (but still needing at least 4kg more for the docs to be happy). I’m certainly feeling stronger than I did at my worst, but still got a way to go…

Feb 3rd marked ‘pull a sicky day’ – the day that people are most likely to call in work and fake being sick. I was amused that in the afternoon I witnessed two young children, screaming and running riot in Minskip Farm Shop. Their Mum, exhausted by their energy said, “You would have never guessed they have been ill off school today. Too sick this morning.”

I, even as a small child, have never had the nerve to pretend to be poorly when I’m not. I have always been a goody two shoes so I just couldn’t live with the guilt. And that is why, my fellow Harriers, I have a confession to make.

In the last couple of weeks, I have been out a couple of times on a little run… Like some kind of drug addict attempting (but struggling) for recovery – I cracked. I failed. I laced up my trainers and went out the door, even though the doctor hasn’t formally told me that I am allowed to yet.

Yes, I felt (and feel) guilty. But for a couple of miles, I felt free.

I plan to ask the consultant at my next appointment if I am allowed to yet…My fear is that she will say no.

Surely if I feel strong enough on the day, a couple of miles won’t harm? As long as I don’t get too carried away? Perhaps if I always go with someone so I’m not alone?

The media and social media certainly don’t help. Bombarding messages of how great exercise is and how much it will improve your mental health. There only seems to be help for those struggling to find motivation… not much for those who struggle to sit still.

Keep running, keep resting, keep smiling. Hope to see you all soon.

Liv x

Rob’s weekly blog and training update w/c 03/02/2020

REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR 2020 MEMBERSHIP FORMS. See either myself or Trish

 Ideally bring the form back and then please pay by BACS to: Natwest Acc 556137 06224598

“Liv weekly blog” – see below

Also, FULL LIST of Championship fixtures for 2020 – Note Spring Coast 5k has moved to 28th April

Message from the chair:

Last night Tom broke Joshua Fothergill ‘s record of 11:20 set on 26th Sept 2018. A fantastic time Tom Levi 10:53 !! There’s a challenge son for when you come back from your travels.

SUNDAY 2ND FEBRUARY

Glaisdale Rigg, Glaisdale pub (start 10:30am); check necessary kit list

MONDAY 3RD FEBRUARY

Briefing at 7pm, Thirsk School Thirsk School Gym. Clean shoes please. Rolling core work inside

Outdoors. Duncan and Ken are taking an outside group. Hopefully back on the school fields

TUESDAY 4TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

Social run from Thirsk and Sowerby leisure centre at 7pm (meet in foyer) on well-lit paths and pavements. Suitable for all abilities; there will be several stops to run back/regroup, no-one runs by themselves or gets left behind. New and returning Tuesday night runners always welcome.

Route to be decided on the night, around 5 miles. Please wear high vis.

WEDNESDAY 5TH FEBRUARY

6.45pm School sports hall.

Sonja is back!! Tonight you are in for a treat so please, don’t be late!! .    

Inside : Lung busters

Outside group. 6 x 3mins/ 1 min rec 5k pace.

THURSDAY 6TH FEBRUARY (social run*)

7pm sharp, Starting from Sneck Yate (easy 10.7k 😉.

Bring a clean t-shirt and some beer tokens for refreshments afterwards.

SATURDAY 8TH FEBRUARY

Rosie Gatenby is aiming to complete her 100th Park Run at Fountains Abbey this Saturday; please come and support her on this wonderful achievement.

Message from the head-coach:

Since Christmas I have been running my weekend long run on either a Thursday or Friday night mainly because the trails are good, and the weather is so mild. This can sometimes mean I’m a little tired when I compete, but it gives me time on a weekend to spend with Christine and the Grandkids and also trying to keep everyone happy. It also has the advantage that I can train at a higher intensity during the core work on a Monday night because I’m not so tired. It’s all a matter of fitting it all in and at the moment it seems to be going ok

6TH – 8TH NOVEMBER

Harriers, Lakes weekend, Glaramara Hotel in Seatoller, Borrowdale. A fantastic weekend in the Lakes to enjoy, running, walking and relaxing amongst friends.  Rooms still available and can be booked directly with the hotel on 017687 77222.  If you would like to know more about the weekend, please speak to Helen.

When booking ensure you say you are from Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.

FUTURE RACE LISTS

Trail Series – starting at 10 am, enter on the day

Race 5 – 23rd February – Holme House Prison 5k Trail (All the money for this event goes to charity)

Holme House Rd, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 2QU

Series Presentation Race 6: 22nd March – Saltburn 5k Trail (TBC)

Fell Races (check necessary kit list)

Feb 2nd – Glaisdale Rigg, Glaisdale pub (start 10:30am)

Feb 23rd – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)

 

Club Championship fixtures

Feb 23rd – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Mar 1st – XC Croft

Mar 29th – Hartlepool Marina 5- entries open now

Apr 28th – Spring Coast Road 5k – TUESDAY evening, 7.15.  Flat! Entries open Jan 1st

May 6th – Gribdale Growler Fell Race (Wed evening)

May 19th – HDSRL Nidd Valley (Tues evening)

May 31st – Ripon 10

June 18th – HDSRL Ilkley (Prov) Thursday evening)

June 25th – HDSRL Skipton (Thursday evening)

July 12th – Kilburn 7 (Sun pm)

July 26th – James Herriot 14k (Fell) – Entries open

Aug 9th – Darlington 10k

Aug 19th – Sessay Swift 6k (Wed evening)

Sept 13th – Tholthorpe 10k Entries open

Sept 27th – Redcar Half Marathon

Oct 25th – Whixley 10k

Nov 1st – Guy Fawkes 10 – Entries open

Nov/Dec – XC to be arranged

Other Races

Feb 9th – Muddy Boots 10k, Ripon. Speaks for itself.  11am

May 24th – Melmerby 10k start 11:30am

Liv weekly blog

PART III: AFTER ALTITUDE TRAINING (little experiment in 2016)

I went for a run and it seemed windier than usual. With every stride the wind slapped me in the face. However, it wasn’t the British weather being predictable British weather. In fact, it wasn’t actually windy at all. I was just running faster than usual…

The effects of training at altitude usually last about two weeks when back at sea-level. Trying to ignore the pestering jet-lag, I was excited to give my hemoglobin-filled legs a whirl at the local park run. Clustered at the start line, I was surrounded by happy joggers, a black Labrador and a man pushing two prams (one with each arm). What I didn’t expect was that I almost felt like an imposter… or at least like I had done something wrong. Is this classed as cheating? Judging by how easy my easy run was yesterday, even stood at the start-line I knew I was going to get a PB. But it’s OK! Altitude training is legal! I kept telling myself. But is it a faster way to get faster? Time to find out…

I knocked 18 seconds off my Fountains Abbey Park Run, turning 19.51 into 19.33. Half joyful, half critical – it seemed more of a tempo run than a race-pace and I definitely had some left in the tank at the finish. But, a PB nonetheless. Plus, I must save myself, for next week is what I’ve really been waiting for… The Half Marathon.

Like many runners, I had put far too much pressure on myself. The ‘just enjoy it’ advice seemed to be buried and violently punched by the fact that I had just spent nearly 3 months altitude training… GIRL, YOU BETTER RUN FASTER THAN USUAL.

My over-ambitious 1 hour 30 goal was about to be put to the test at the Windsor Half Marathon. I say over-ambitious because it means knocking a chunky 9 minutes off my previous best time. However, night-before-nerves were settled by reminding myself what Coach Andrew Kastor tells his athletes before a race: “The hay is in the barn.” Basically meaning, don’t worry. All the hard work has been done. It’s time to race.

I realised when running those 13.1 miles what has physically happened to my body this summer – stronger quads, more resilient calves, bigger lungs… Well, all that is secondary really. The main thing I believe I have gained from the experience of training at altitude is the mental attitude and strength. During mile 7, as my focus began to dwindle, I remembered the feeling I had in the mountains on my ‘easy never easy’ run, with snot and dribble smearing across my cheek. Push on, push on, reach that feeling. Then at mile 10, as I began to doubt that I would have the power to reach my goal time, I remembered the positivity that surrounded all the athletes at Mammoth Lakes. I can do this. I will surprise myself. My body is amazing. I told myself.

So, is altitude training a faster way to get faster? I believe so, yes. But you can also reap the benefits by pushing yourself on a more regular basis when training at sea-level too. The most important thing is to have self-belief – both during training and during races. Set goals that scare you.

Thanks to training at altitude, I knocked 10 minutes off my Half Marathon time. I ran Windsor Half in 1 hour 29 minutes. On a euphoric high, I am now hungry for the next race. But first, a chocolate milkshake, please.

Rob’s weekly blog and training update w/c 27/01/2020

REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR 2020 MEMBERSHIP FORMS. See either myself or Trish

Ideally bring the form back and then please pay by BACS to: Natwest Acc 556137 06224598

“Liv weekly blog” – see below

Also, FULL LIST of Championship fixtures for 2020 – Note Spring Coast 5k has moved to 28th April

MONDAY 27TH JANUARY

Briefing at 7pm, Thirsk School Thirsk School Gym. Clean shoes please. Rolling core work inside

Outdoors. Ken is taking an outside group. We will probably be on Topcliffe Road as the field is a little wet at the moment.

Also 7pm Swimming pool. Molly continues the walking and talking group.

TUESDAY 28TH JANUARY (social run*)

Social run from Thirsk and Sowerby leisure centre at 7pm (meet in foyer) on well-lit paths and pavements. Suitable for all abilities; there will be several stops to run back/regroup, no-one runs by themselves or gets left behind. New and returning Tuesday night runners always welcome.

Route to be decided on the night, around 5 miles. Please wear high vis.

WEDNESDAY 29TH JANUARY

7pm Kilburn woods, ( Osgodby bank car park) monthly time trial. First runners to start at 7.20. We will require 2-3 helpers and a group of stronger runners to arrive early and help check the course for any fresh fallen debris, something that can easily be done during a warm up. For those wanting a bigger work out then I don’t see any reason why you can’t do it twice but you need to set off first. Give a five minute recovery then do it again.

THURSDAY 30TH JANUARY (social run*)

7pm sharp, Starting from Church in Helmsley along the Cleveland way then back down along the river.

Bring a clean t-shirt and some beer tokens for refreshments afterwards at the Brewery.

 

Message from the head-coach:

The cross country at Ormesby was very muddy and very tough going. If you can’t get good traction in mud you lose speed, waste energy and it takes you longer to get to the finish. I can no longer get through the mud like I used to be able to and I find it very frustrating. I wore a pair of Hoka “speed goat” trail shoes which are perfectly ok on trail but show them some mud and the legs go in all directions. I need to try something a little bit different before I run in mud again.

Thursday ( on purpose and because I could) I finished work early to arrive at Sutton Bank in the late afternoon to watch the sun drop down over the Pennines as I ran along the Cleveland way. I did a 60 minute time trial / tempo run between Sutton Bank to just beyond Snek Yate and back. I love the undulations; I love the uneven surface and I love the isolation. It was dark when I arrived back, and the car park was empty. 7.2 mile, 740′ of ascent, 142 pulse and 170 strides/min. For me at this very minute life doesn’t get much better than this. I will worry about tomorrow when it arrives!!! 

6TH – 8TH NOVEMBER

Harriers, Lakes weekend, Glaramara Hotel in Seatoller, Borrowdale. A fantastic weekend in the Lakes to enjoy, running, walking and relaxing amongst friends.  Rooms still available and can be booked directly with the hotel on 017687 77222.  If you would like to know more about the weekend, please speak to Helen.

When booking ensure you say you are from Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.

FUTURE RACE LISTS

Trail Series – starting at 10 am, enter on the day

Race 4 – 26th January – The Acorn 5k Trail

Acorn Sports Centre, Heythrop Dr, Acklam, Middlesbrough TS5 8QB

Race 5 – 23rd February – Holme House Prison 5k Trail (All the money for this event goes to charity)

Holme House Rd, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 2QU

Series Presentation Race 6: 22nd March – Saltburn 5k Trail (TBC)

Fell Races (check necessary kit list)

Feb 2nd – Glaisdale Rigg, Glaisdale pub (start 10:30am)

Feb 23rd – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)

 

Club Championship fixtures

Feb 23rd – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Mar 1st – XC Croft

Mar 29th – Hartlepool Marina 5- entries open now

Apr 28th – Spring Coast Road 5k – TUESDAY evening, 7.15.  Flat! Entries open Jan 1st

May 6th – Gribdale Growler Fell Race (Wed evening)

May 19th – HDSRL Nidd Valley (Tues evening)

May 31st – Ripon 10

June 18th – HDSRL Ilkley (Prov) Thursday evening)

June 25th – HDSRL Skipton (Thursday evening)

July 12th – Kilburn 7 (Sun pm)

July 26th – James Herriot 14k (Fell) – Entries open

Aug 9th – Darlington 10k

Aug 19th – Sessay Swift 6k (Wed evening)

Sept 13th – Tholthorpe 10k Entries open

Sept 27th – Redcar Half Marathon

Oct 25th – Whixley 10k

Nov 1st – Guy Fawkes 10 – Entries open

Nov/Dec – XC to be arranged

Other Races

Feb 9th – Muddy Boots 10k, Ripon. Speaks for itself.  11am

May 24th – Melmerby 10k start 11:30am

 

Liv weekly blog

PART II: DURING ALTITUDE TRAINING (little experiment in 2016).

Have you ever run with cold or flu – where it feels like somebody (a rather large somebody) is sitting on your chest? Or have you ever tried to run hard the day after a big race – where your body feels like a heavy lump or maybe a car-crash victim? That is what it feels like to train at altitude.

How has it only been 8 and a half minutes!? I thought to myself, gazing down at my watch, assuming I must be nearing a half marathon distance, at least. I have realised first hand that struggling to catch your breath, general fatigue and longer recovery times are all common symptoms of being closer to the clouds. Even walking up the stairs, I’d be wheezing, feeling like an asthmatic 90-year-old.

Most studies show that it takes 21 days for your body to adapt to the stresses of altitude and gain a training benefit. I took my first week at 8,000ft very easy, cautious of putting such a stress on my body. It is recommended to decrease your weekly mileage by about 25% for the first week, and make sure it is easy running. The body will be working hard to produce new red blood cells and shift them around the body. Easy running will help allow this process.

 ‘Easy’ running. Good joke.

But one can’t complain. The Eastern Sierra offers the snow-capped mountains’ reflection in the mirrored lakes, the bald eagle swooping over shades of forest green and for my eardrums to be filled with a poetic silence – all before breakfast, on my 4 mile ‘easy’ run. Quite literally, breath-taking.

As a visitor, not knowing anyone but keen to improve my running times, it would be a good idea to meet some people to run with, I thought. Lo and behold, Mammoth Track Club. As I researched some more about the club, I was both intimidated and intrigued. This is where the elite train. I, certainly, am not elite. Will I make a fool of myself?

In what world can a pop-star-wannabe go and spend the afternoon with Beyonce? In what world can a Hogwarts fanatic go and have lunch with J.K Rowling? How is it that I, an amateur lover of running, am welcomed with open arms to train with some Olympians? Baffled, excited, nervous – I laced up my trainers and headed out the door…

My first Thursday evening session consisted of:

1.5mile warm up

400m hill, maximum effort x5 (recovery is jog down)

1.5mile cool down

Stretching with foam rollers

Drinks and pretzels and chats!

During the cool down, a woman just behind me said, “wow, sweetie! You did so well!” I quickly turned round, smiling like a Cheshire cat, and said, “Aww thank you! My quads were hurting a bit, but I really enjoyed it.”

Guess what? She was not talking to me. She was talking to her dog.

As painfully awkward as that was, it was certainly laughed off. And see what I mean about casual and fun? A dog came along too!

Mammoth Track Club is exceptional. Not just in the superior talent that it produces, but in its nature: kind, encouraging, welcoming, inspiring. Not only does it offer sessions to improve fitness, form and speed, but after each session, I came away feeling mentally, more positive.

Olympian Deena Kastor (American female record holder for the marathon) is energetic, humble and gracious. I was certainly deflated when even after 3 weeks of training, my times still seemed so much slower than back at home. She encouraged me that training at altitude will always be hard, but when I get back to sea-level, both mentally and physically, the time I spent running in beautiful, challenging Mammoth, will help me achieve my goals. Her husband and coach, Andrew Kastor, also inspired me not to give up. He assured me that aerobic power and endurance may be 1%-8% slower than at sea level. The longer the distance, the greater the difference. I need to be understanding that my usual pace at sea-level will be strained while running at altitude due to the lower concentration of oxygen. Even when acclimated, expected handicaps are 2 to 2.5 minutes slower for 10K, 50 seconds for 5K, 10-15seconds for 2K, 4 to 8 seconds for 1K.

My mission here was straightforward: I wanted a faster way to get faster. At altitude, each session is harder than any session that could be offered at sea-level. In addition, here in Mammoth Lakes, you can’t escape the hills, helping the legs to become stronger and more powerful. And you certainly can’t escape the beauty, making you really want to lace up your trainers each day and make the most of it.

I knew I had to be careful though and not get too carried away. Rest is so important. I made it priority to listen to my own body and ran 5 days per week as opposed to 6 days in London. That doesn’t sound like a huge difference, I realise that. However, I really obeyed the word ‘rest.’ A rest day means doing nothing (except eating and sleeping). Not spending a day shopping with friends, not having a house party, but resting. Deena says that, “there is no such thing as over-training. But there is certainly a danger of not having sufficient rest.”

After almost 3 months, I knew my body felt stronger and fitter and I, myself, felt more positive about what the future holds. Thank you, Mammoth. Most importantly, thank you, Mammoth Track Club.

Next stop, London. Will I, a club runner, have reaped the benefits of altitude training that the professionals swear by?

“I don’t feel the stress; I only feel the benefits it brings.” – Deena Kastor.

Thirsk 10 - 2020

Sunday 15th March 2020

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