There’s no sadder sight than to see an athletics track, bathed in sunshine, empty of athletes.  Regrettably it’s all too common, not only in Jersey.  The only sign of life at the FB Fields this morning (Sun) was the excellent Kathryn Rothwell, tuning up for Delhi.  Kath is delighted to have qualified for the Commonwealth Games – four years ahead of schedule – and now can’t wait to get out there.  Her discus competition takes place two weeks today.

I’ve started doing a little session of barefoot striding on the infield on a Sunday morning.  This is simply a little loosener after Saturday’s long run.  However I’m interested, both as a coach and recreational runner, in how a little running au naturel might help foot and leg strength, running style and overall performance.  And it’s certainly a positive experience, just the feeling of freedom, and the knowledge that the body is moving over the ground in the way that nature intended before the Nikes of the world started selling us £100 shoes.  Now, I’ve got a slight imbalance in that, whilst I try always to foot-strike mid or even forefoot, my left foot just won’t cooperate.  The evidence is there on my running shoes which are pretty worn on the left heel and less so on the right.  This imbalance doesn’t cause me the slightest problem though.  This morning I experimented on one or two reps with trying to drive the left knee slightly higher in the expectation the foot might land slightly later and therefore striking under the centre of gravity and further forward on the sole.  However this set up reactions elsewhere so the whole thing became ugly, so I’m leaving it!

On Thursday, and not for the first time recently, I abandoned an early morning track session – mentally and physically I just wasn’t ready for it at 7am.  I returned that evening to do 2x(5×300) with a 100m walk recovery.  The first rep was 70secs, and the following eight were between 72-76 – frightening, eh?  Meanwhile Lyndon Farnham was preparing for a similar session under the tutelage of the lovely and talented Claire Forbes.  As it worked out they were starting their first rep as I was about to start my last.  I waited until they came past me after 100m and tagged on for the ride.  Well, I was flat out keeping up with them and I continued onwards to complete that last rep in 62secs!  I rarely push to that degree and I grabbed the barrier to prevent collapse, heart beating frantically, breaking out of my body and flying away, like a bat out of hell.  Meanwhile it looked as if that first one had creased Lyndon as well.  At least I completed my session though I’d have been hard pressed to do a further rep.

Another pretty good week then, starting to bring in some long overdue speed and tempo work – let’s see if that shows up in race times.  Oh, and I’ve entered the Edinburgh Marathon next May!  Not that I particularly want to run another marathon, which I’ve said repeatedly.  However I do want to focus my training again and in my view this is the best way of doing it.

Miles on the week – 25.0
Miles ytd – 1,110.5

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