Tuesday, 14 January 2014
It was a wonderful winters day, the sun was shinning and the chill was in the air. We arrived at the XC with plenty of time and checked out the venue. It looked like a very fast course with minimal hills. Unfortunately me and my training partner (Jason Taylor), had arrived at the wrong XC venue!
Both ourselves and Div 1 were racing in Coventry on the same day, only 10mins drive away from one another. We quickly drove to the correct venue with not too much time to spare. A quick but calculated warm up and away we went.
The race was flat, and fast. This was unlike any cross country I had previously raced and my legs were struggling to deal with the pace. This was the last race before a long over due recovery week, and I could really feel the lactate build fast!
I was finding it tough to run with people around me and had to really dig to keep any kind of decent position. I could literally feel the extra miles that I have been putting in over the festive break build up and take its toll on my race. I managed to dig and dig away, and hold on the finish with a decent position for the team. I finished an overall 27th out of 319. The team was second on the day, and put us only 20 point from a promotion position with one more race to go (8th Feb).
A huge mention needs to go out to training partner Jason Taylor who was able to out sprint and out muscle (with a huge shoulder check at the line) his closest competitor at the finish line! Great Strength!
Birmingham League Website
Team members are, from left to right:- Matt Fairlamb, Jason Taylor, Rory Johnson, Andy Peach, James Luff, Ollie Roberts, Dan Geisler, Stefan Sternkopf, Mike Stock, Lewis Roberts, Dave O'Brien and Tom Stock.
(White socks was a bad idea)
Monday, 6 January 2014
This festive period has been great fun, training eating and enjoying time off with friends, family and of course my amazing girlfriend. I have been training harder than ever and everything went to plan. It was important for myself to make sure that I made the most of my time away from the stresses of work, and get the most I could out of training. I put together a hard cycling training plan, but also made sure I kept critical running and strength training in there too. But the main objective was to get the most out of having the extra time on the bike. Lots of time was spend cycling, but also the time had to be optimized to enjoy it and make sure there was time for coffee stops,after sessions were completed of course!
Training and having a structure allows you to not ponder on what has or could have been, its a fantastic way to not get stuck and to always look into the future; towards the next session or on-wards to the next race. January blues is never an issue because there are so many other things that need to be considered because this is an important training period.
On a whole the festive break was a very successful one and the training I banked will hopefully have put some strong foundations in place to build on as I now set my sights on the World Duathlon Qualifiers in March.
The Worcester XC County Championships is always a great race to do because it is always very competitive. Everyone wants to do well, it may be that they want to make sure they have bragging rights in the club house or even to qualify for for inter counties (which was my personal aim). Pre race as always I was not feeling very rested at all, I had been training hard over the festive period and was not feeling like it would be a successful day, although I was wrong. The conditions were quite simply wet and very very muddy!
The race began fast and uphill, im not the best climber at all and this was a course for people who could climb, lots of short sharp hills and favored the light and nimble runner. I started off slowly and warmed into the race, this was the tactic before hand as it looked like it was going to be a tough course. I concentrated on my pacing and not others and it proved to be the correct thing to do. I had a very solid and muddy race and finished 6th in the county, winning myself a place in the county team and a chance to race at the National inter-county race. This I was very happy about!
Overall it was a solid race, and forgot to mention the fall on the second lap.......very embarrassing, resulting in me becoming very muddy!
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I can announce that I am now a Brand Ambassador for Jack Oat Bar. Their mission (you can read below) is something that I truly believe in and I can see a very strong association in the future.
Our mission is to encourage and inspire every person in the world, of every age and every ability in spite any personal circumstance, to take up and excel in sport as a life-long lifestyle. With a commitment to a sport, comes body and nutritional knowledge, mental strength and positive social infrastructure.