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


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.


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!!! 


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.


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.

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