30 Oct – Self Transendence 5km (opt.)
20 Nov – Brecon Beacons Ultra
Great month of training – 40% greater (load) than any previous September, and almost the biggest month of 2010. I havn’t been too worried about calorific intake (although I have been focusing on reducing it over the last week) but I’ve been strict about training-spec nutrition and supplementation. I will have achieved around 57hrs for a 3-week block up to this Sunday despite three races and other commitments. It’s a good confidence booster, and when I’m back from holiday next week I’ll be fresh and ready to press it further.
CIVIL SERVICE ROAD RELAYS : Wednesday 6 September
The annual civil service event at Finsbury Park involves teams of 3 (women) and 5 (men) running 2.7miles/2 laps. I decided to train straight through this event, doing a 84mile bike ride the day before and a 1hr swim in the morning. My legs were a bit numb on the day and it wasn’t until the race started to unfold that I got a little worried having been placed on the last/anchor leg. In previous years the mens team usually finished around 4th-6th overall, with the podiums going to the bigger departments. This year, although none of the team achieved a top6 individual time, we sustained some decent splits throughout. Den Speck kicked us off, passing over in second place. This form carried through and I stated the final leg in third, just 10-15secs behind second. After the first lap I was still 10secs behind, but approaching a big dip and then climb in the lap. I picked up the pace so that I could get on my competitor’s shoulder for the uphill section and make life as uncomfortable as possible for him. As soon as the climb levelled-off (900m from the finish) I went hard again and he broke. The next 400m were on a slight downhill where I went hard and didn’t look back. On the final 90 degree bend and 500m from the finish I could see he was about 80m back, although another runner had popped up from somewhere. I didn’t realise until after that he wasn’t in contention. I must have looked over my shoulder a dozen times in the last 200-400m, but really enjoyed the race. I was 1min quicker over 2.7M than last year – that’s what a bit of pressure does for you! The womens team also achieved a silver, the best team result I think I’ve know at the road relays.
NEW WETSUIT : I now have the Blueseventy Axis (size SMT ie ‘small tall’). For three seasons now I have been using the old Blueseventy Energie (size M). It was great from a buoyancy perspective, but I’ve struggled with mass starts, losing 2-3mins struggling to breathe and having to escape to the sides. The new suit is still a bit tight at the neck, but a thinner rubber around the shoulders means it’s not as restrictive. The waist is also a lot closer, so there will be limited cavity space. The Axis will suit me better than the Helix.
It’s confirmed I will be starting in the sub9 wave at Roth, which means I have the opportunity of smashing last years swim split from a panic-free, well paced effort and I wouldn’t be surprised if I jump on the bike out of T2 a good 5mins up on 2009. That means I just need to find 8mins from the bike and run and I have my sub8:45. With double iron-distance and London marathon focused winter running, I will hopefully get the sub3 to go with it.