Men’s Newsletter – July

Hi guys

Please bear with me but its the vice captains 1st attempt at a race report so if I miss you off I’m sorry but I’m no writer!

Bentley 5

To start the month we had our as always very good Bentley 5 mile race, I would like to thank everyone for all there efforts on putting on a marvellous event, as always we got some fantastic feedback so THANK YOU! We also saw some good runs that evening from Matt Knowles , Rob Thorpe and Graham Clarke.  Also the Juniors did us proud with a fantastic turnout from Great Bentley so well done to them too!

Ekiden Relay

On Sunday 5th July Great Bentley  took 10 teams and 1 junior team to the Ekiden relay but the results were unfortunately all incorrect so it was difficult to see how you all performed individually, no doubt you all know how well you ran or didn’t (like me as hung over never again ), but from what I remember it was good to see so many new and old faces all supporting each other in the GBRC way along with the TEA and CAKE !

Geoff Day 5k

This was the 1st Geoff day 5k and what a turnout from you all, with some old faces popping along to run .  We had  some fantastic performances on the night from many runners including Jamie Neill who knocked 39secs off his PB, also Mark Jasper for pushing the fast boys and the rapidly improving Tom Fowler going under 20minutes, but the winner on the evening was speedy Joe Alexander with a amazing time of 16minutes 34 secs you will hear more about him in a bit.  Again a thank you to all the marshalls on the evening.

Other races
During the month of July we have some amazing performances as always from you men with the Harwich 5k series coming to a close and new member Keith Oakley winning the final race of the series with Dave Nugent coming home 2nd, also this month Joe ALexender has been competing in Triathlons – coming 1st at Maldon in the sprint and 2nd at Harwich in the Olympic distance.
There Has been some rapid improvements as always in the Mickey Edwards series this year special mentions to Peter Reeve, Keith Oakley (again ), last months runner of the month Graham Clarke still improving  we have had a few guys coming back from injury so welcome back Charlie Keitch and Mark Crittenden !
Runner Of The Month
Its been a tough decision for me this month to choose the ROTM as its my first time and with seeing so much effort and improvement from various guys with Joe Alexender back in the winning enclosure so keep it up Joe ! Another candidate was our chairman Russ Sharp who is back running close to his best and Jamie Neill for smashing his PB .
But my runner of the month is KEITH OAKLEY for his hard work at training and for 5k times at Mickey Edwards this year and also his victory at Harwich at the end of the month so Keith keep up the good work and a massive WELL DONE from me.
Other club news
Sunday 23rd August will be Rodgers trail run at Alton water and it would be great to get a massive Bentley turnout as Rodger puts in a lot of hard work to put these on for us members so lets show him some support and its also great fun.
Coaches Corner
The Principle of Recovery – when’s your rest day?

Some parts of being a running coach are great. I get to see my athletes beat their PB’s, running further and faster than they thought possible, claiming club standards and medals along the way. Lots of smiley faces and medals flood my Facebook page on a Sunday afternoon. The downside is when an athlete is injured, and without proper recovery between races and training sessions, this is inevitable. You’ve only got to look at the club Facebook page or listen to the chat in a training session to see how many people are carrying injuries or niggles, and the sad thing is that nearly all of them were easily preventable. How many of us have run tough training sessions back to back, or raced hard at the weekend before turning up to the Monday hill session, expecting to put in some decent training? I’ve done it, and paid the price. It starts with a little stiffness or soreness in the legs, maybe feeling a bit tired. ‘I’ll run it off’, is the general attitude, especially in a group where taking a day off training may be perceived as a sign of weakness.  So people run the next day, and start to feel a bit worse. They’re convinced that running more miles is the only way to improve. The cycle continues, as you are afraid of taking a day off in case you ‘lose fitness’. I’ll happily talk about the principle of reversibility another time, but the general result of this cycle is pain, injury and prolonged periods out of running.

This can be avoided by training towards a set goal or target and listening to your body, not just chucking endless ‘junk miles’ down the road. The following principles should be part of your training cycle all year round:

Specific – All training sessions should have a specific fitness or technical goal. For example, you might be doing a 5K run at a fast pace to improve your lactate threshold, or a long slow run to build on your aerobic endurance. Decide what race, distance or speed you’re aiming for and train for it. Any of the club coaches or captains will be happy to help you with this, we want you to achieve your athletic potential and are here to help you. So train like an athlete, and give up the ‘junk miles’.

Overload – Once you’ve decided what your training goal is, you work that session intensity accordingly. If, for example, you’re working on your 5K speed then the harder you work, the greater your potential for improvement. If you run uphill at a steady pace for long periods, you’ll increase your strength endurance. You need to overload the corresponding energy system and muscle groups for a set time period to increase your capacity for whatever you’re training for. If you run every session at the same pace, no matter what the distance, you’ll always race at the same pace too. So make every session count.

Recover – Overloading your body causes short term damage. Muscle fibres will start to break down, and may feel stiff and sore the next day (known as DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This is a natural response to unaccustomed exertion, and the key to improving your ability is to allow your body to recover. Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean no exercise, it might mean a light run at a slow pace, a walk or a different exercise session entirely, such as swimming or Yoga. Taking a lighter session after a hard one allows the blood to carry waste materials such as broken cells away, and replenish them with new ones. Don’t worry about how far or how long you run for, the key word here is ‘recovery’. The most successful athletes cross train, and will include strength and conditioning work, flexibility sessions and other sports alongside their main discipline. This allows them to maintain a high level of fitness and ability without constantly overloading the same areas. Putting muscles and joints that are already damaged through an intense training session, and the damage level will increase. Have a chat with one of the coaches for more information about this.

Adapt – If you follow the first three principles, your body will adapt to the standards you are asking of it and you will be able to run faster and further without injury. This will take time and you should be realistic when constructing a training plan. The most common cause of injury in new runners is running too far, too fast. Learn from the mistakes of others and don’t let them become your own!

To help you put this into practice, I’ve created a good and bad example of a weekly micro cycle (training programme).

Example A…..
Monday – Hill training
Tuesday – 5K race
Wednesday – Club night, 5 mile Tempo run
Thursday – social run with friends
Friday – Club night, Speed development
Saturday – Parkrun (only 12 to go before I get my t-shirt…)
Sunday – Half marathon race

Example B…..
Monday – Hill training
Tuesday – Gym session, strength & conditioning
Wednesday – Club night, drill session
Thursday – 30 minute walk and stretching session
Friday – Club night, speed development
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Long run, easy pace

At first glance you can see that Example A has a higher training load. The week includes 2 races and no rest days or recovery sessions – a recipe for disaster. Example B has a lower training load, is more varied and includes rest & recovery. These are just examples, but hopefully you get the idea. Now write down your last week of running and take a look for the recovery sessions!

FAQ – these are typical questions that I get asked on a club night. Do any of these apply to you?

Question – My last 3 half marathon times have been awful. I’m just getting slower and slower and don’t think I’ll ever get a club standard. What can I do?
Answer – Well, 2 of these half marathons have been run in the last month, so maybe a little recovery in between would help. Pick a race and allow around 8 weeks to train for it properly and you’ll see better results. Oh, and don’t do a Parkrun the day before you race. That’s just silly.

Question – I’m doing my first half marathon this weekend, when should I do my long run this week?
Answer – Don’t. You should be tapering at this point, allowing your body to recover from the intense training you put in to build yourself up for this race. You can have a short, fast run around 3 days before (it varies from person to person), but allow yourself a couple of days rest before you race. Your hard earned fitness won’t disappear overnight!

Question – I’m doing a marathon on Sunday, I’ll be alright to do hills on Monday though, right? I’ll just have an easy one.
Answer – I’d recommend you take 2 weeks off from running and then build your mileage back up slowly. A lot of people finish their marathon on a high and come away convinced they’re invincible, which unfortunately leads to over training. You’ve put your body through a lot, take some well earned time to recover and come back who you feel ready. The club has some awesome marathon runners, (Clive, Vicky, Chris, Barbara, to name but a few), have a chat with them and take advantage of their wisdom. If you turn up for hill training, expect the coach to have a word with you!

Hopefully, if you’ve read this far, you’ll understand that recovery is an essential part of your training programme. It’s not a ‘soft option’ or an excuse to miss training, and without it you can expect injury and run envy as all your mates carry on racing. So if you’re nursing a niggle or racing this weekend, ask yourself when your recovery day is and plan your activity accordingly. No athletes were harmed during the production of this coaches top tip, but if you or an athlete you know are not including recovery in your training, come and have a chat with a coach and get yourself sorted.

Darren Horner
GBRC Head Coach
UKA Level 2 Coach in Running Fitness

Vice captains comments
Guys its great hear how good you’re all working in training and now seeing some of your fab results all I would say is keep up the good work and look forward to catching up in the near future and well done GBRC
Many thanks
Shawn (vice captain)