Men’s Newsletter – May

It’s finally happened, a newsletter that doesn’t take months of endurance training and preparation to read. However, as a special treat for our rezident (sic) grammar Stasi, I’ve used as many correct possessive apostrophes as I could. I thought you’d enjoy some respite; think of it as tapering as I’m sure there will be many stories of death, destruction and downright embarrassment in June which goes out with a bang at Endure 24 at the end of the month.

Firstly, some housekeeping, AKA last month’s news this month. The Mickey Edwards results for 30th April missed the copy deadline. Just wanted to highlight the performance of Ferrari Ben who clocked a pb and moved up to joint 8th place on the all-time GBRC hit parade (how old am I??!).

The pain, euphoria, pain, ecstasy, pain, anguish, pain, agony, pain that is the marathon continued for a number of runners at the MK, HAEM and EMF events. Now it’s time for your after-race party. Whether the outcome for you was outstanding, good, indifferent, bad or heaven forbid, horrendous, learn from how you trained and how the race went. Look forward not back, you may think never again at the moment but take time out and focus on how in the future you may achieve any missed goals or move on and find your distance. It’s scratched record time, but I believe that it’s hard for club runners who are expected to be consistent at all distances from 5K to Marathon, it doesn’t always work out that way. In any event, be proud that you all RAN a marathon; most people can complete a marathon but running it is what you makes you athletes. Congratulations to the Club champions for 2014 (Jamie Neil, Kevin Stevens, Paul Carlisle and John McKay) but don’t get carried away as you were all beaten by Vicky Presland who, in a break with tradition gets a mention in the men’s report for such a stunning run at Halstead.

On the same day as Halstead, Chris Britney (“whoops I did it again” – oh come on) Warren ran out of his socks and probably most of his clothing with a stunning victory at the Alton Water 10K. Save for Dual-nationality Joe (nowadays fully blue) and park runs, he’s the first GBRC male to win a race outright since 2007.

It’s great to see that so many pbs are being set week on week, I’m sorry that there are too many to mention individually and I also don’t want to simply repeat Marion’s great race reports. Additionally, I don’t want to miss anyone out, it certainly wouldn’t be intentional in any way but may not go down well.

Welcome to those who have joined us this month, Steve Long, Graham Clarke and Jamie Schofield. Unless I’m mistaken, Graham debuted with a Gold standard performance at the Mickey Edwards on 14 May – great effort. Jamie picked the hardest 5 mile of the summer series at Ipswich on Friday and finished with a creditable sub-35. Look forward to some good performances from you as the year progresses. Again, many apologies if I’ve missed anyone.

Time now to turn attention to the Runner of the Month for May 2014. This month it goes to someone who has consistently performed at an exceptional level for as long as I can remember. Who makes it look so easy and runs with such a graceful style it’s a pleasure to watch but who also leaves absolutely nothing in the tank when he trains and knows how to race. Again, he is quiet, very modest and a thoroughly nice guy and an example of to handle yourself both on and off the road or track. This month, for regularly taking complete ownership of Colchester Castle Park on Saturday mornings, my choice is Joe Alexander.

Joe Alexander (Colchester)

And finally, the bit nobody’s been waiting for, my tip for the month. As it’s a short newsletter, there are two special bonus tips.

If you have a groin injury be extremely careful when you apply deep heat. Certain parts of your anatomy are more sensitive than others.

If you see Frank for physio, then try laughter as an alternative to crying when he hits the spot. However, be warned, when he hears you laugh, he then gives that spot a proper seeing to.

This is one I’ve plagiarized and adapted from David Rudisha’s coach.

When you run think F.A.S.T.



Think about how you are running, why you are running. Visualise what you are trying to achieve, passing people, crossing the line, what the clock will say when you finish. If you tire, your focus can shift to smaller achievable landmarks; if you’re on a long straight, pick a roadsign, shadow on the road or any landmark in the near distance and make that your target. When you approach it, pick another to head for. This will take your mind off any pain and give you small goals to meet.


When you run, you should have a very slight forward lean but this should be from your ankles and not your waist. This should get you up on to your forefoot rather than rocking back on to your heels. When you tire or run up hill, make sure you don’t lean forward from your hips; this is break up any rhythm you have and impinge upon your ability to fill your lungs.


Think about keeping your head and core as steady as you can when you run, but most importantly run relaxed. Remember your arms are mainly for balance when you run so try and avoid using them to pull yourself along as this will affect your running posture and stability.


Think about your running rhythm and try to maintain consistency. Sometimes it helps to count strides as you run as this will reinforce the tempo. Is can be as simple as one-two, one-two although some people count into the hundreds using it to identify how far they have gone within a mile or kilometre.


Obviously adapt as you see fit, it’s what I’ve done, but I’ve found it really useful to have something like this in my running toolbox over the last couple of years.


Have a great June whatever and wherever you are running. If anyone has a pain-free working left leg they aren’t using, I’d love to borrow it.