The GDH inbox has generally been a barren affair during lockdown, but as I donned my mask and peered in this week there were three emails! So here we go!
The Beehive Five
Paul Skuse has been pushing this like he’s got shares in it. A road 5km with a vomit-inducing climb at the end, starting and finishing at a pub. What is there not to like? Various Harriers have been having a go and here is the report:
I’m a bit behind with reporting this. As there’s no real racing, some of us are having a crack at the old Beehive 5 race route (known as the Moorfield 5K (Option 3) on Strava). Steve Crossman held the CR from 2014 back when it used to be a Des race. It is a hard run, no two ways about it. At 5k, you know have to hit it hard from the start but also have to keep in mind that there’s Cross Cliffe waiting for you near the end. If you fancy it, get out and give it a go. You can have as many attempts as you like; give it a recce then get some peers to go head to head and watch those PR’s get smashed.
The first of these pseudo races was about 2 weeks ago. On the start line (the little road just next to the Beehive) stood a socially distanced Steve C, Sean Philips, James Knapper and me. I set off with my usual lack of strategy and pacing and regretted it almost immediately. The pack did stay pretty tight with the lead swapping every 400m or so till we hit D.L. James then pushed ahead showing his brilliant turn of speed. Steve C, was only just behind him. Sean is only just back from injury and was right in the mix. I was a good 20m behind Sean and maybe 40m behind James by the time we had finished coming down the High Street. Cross Cliffe changed all that. Though James and Steve continued to motor up, someone forgot to explain to Sean how gravity works. He ran it like it was flat and just smashed it. I was happy to make up some ground on the climb. For me, it’s not the climb that’s the crux of the race but the longer than expected section to the finish line. It is a truly painful 400m. Sean came in with a new CR followed by James and Steve with a new PR (not bad for someone who is older than Methuselah J ). I crossed the line at 20:14 taking 90 secs of my previous best. That’s the value of racing!
A week later and it’s time the second round. Sean and James were back on it but this time with Stevie K. I went to watch this with Lance before doing our J sesh . From the start, they set of like it was a flat 5k. Lance and I trotted back down to the main road to get a better view of the race. James was in the lead just as he had been a week prior. Stevie was just behind and Sean a fair way back. I assumed he had overdone it and the niggle was back. Then at Cross Cliffe, it all changed again. I ran up it (as hard as I could! )in order to see the finish and was barely keeping pace with Stevie. He is so strong at the mo. And then behind, not only James but the boy gravity forgot; Sean had main huge gains – he must have been doing this pacing business I keep hearing about. Stevie came in at 19:19 (despite what strava says) setting an incredible new CR. James came in next at 19:35, with Sean at 19:43. All achieved new PR’s. It was an incredible piece of racing. These lads gave it their all; full beans as a wise man might say.
Round 3. I didn’t see this one so need a report from Kate Emily.
Round4. Friday lunchtime and it was the turn of Ian C, Lance and Burton to show what they could do. I ran as pacer to Burton as he’s not done much speed work of late and we have an actual real race at the end of the month. Whilst getting ready, Burton snapped his laces and then lost the signal for his garmin just as the others set off. We told Ian and Lance to crack on. I stayed with Burton till he got squared away (only a matter of a few seconds) and then pushed on to get back with the others. Ian stuck with Lance longer than I anticipated but when they hit D.L, Lance really seemed to go for it. He was way off in front and looking far stronger than I can remember seeing him. He’s another GDH who has upped his game. Ian is only just back from a bad ankle sprain so to be in the mix at all is testament to the value of all the training he did prior to his accident.
We also have some solo efforts from DCL, Tim Crookes, Pete T, Riccardo and possibly others.
All times are on Strava and i cant get it to copy and paste properly. I also have pics from lance but theyre on FB. Not sure how to pass them on.
There you go folks, if you haven’t already, get out there and do it!
Sikobe ran with a self-titled Mixed-Vet team starting in Simmondley. Here’s the full story:
Travelling west from their meet-up at Simmondley Cricket Club gates at 8:30am on a sunny Sunday morning was a Mixed Vet COVIX comprising Chairman-John, Mem-Sec-Alison, Well-Fair-Kate, and Obi-wan-Sikobe. Making the strenuous opening wriggle up the diggle behind Simmondley Village and the Hare and Hounds pub the quartet made good progress to cross Monks Road at its apex, pausing for the stunning far reaching views back to the Dark Peak (Bleaklow & Kinder) in one direction and over to Greater Manchester in the other. They were soon eating into their main target for the day, a nostalgic trip around the Coombs Tor fell race route (last held in 2012) a 6.5 mile loop into Rowarth and back to Monks Road, via Cown Edge and Coombs Tor. Half way round is the official race start/end at the glorious Little Mill pub in Rowarth – now under new ownership (Iain & Sarah) who are making lots of improvements – so worthy of a trip sometime now out of lockdown; we ate there last weekend and it was excellent. The haul out of Rowarth and back onto the plateau above Cown Edge was made even more rewarding when we bumped into Carl and Beryl coming in the other direction along the Cown Edge Way on a run out to ‘Cannonball Rocks’. Ooh lovely a proper COVIX-6. ‘Where do you mean by cannonball Rocks?’ we asked. Well follow me said Beryl as she scampered off across a field of stinging nettles in the Kinder direction. After 100 yards she dropped over the edge taking us to a semi-concealed but magnificent rock outcrop looking out onto the valley and stream that flows from Monks Road down to Rowarth. A photo and natter opportunity took place before we parted company with the Buckleys and continued on our race route recce round Coombs Tor and Cown Edge Rocks back to Monks Road. For the final descent to Simmondley Village we chose a section of the Herod Farm race route with the lovely blast down the fields onto Simmondley Old Lane. A return to the Simmondley CC start/finish saw a chance encounter with green fingered and on-the-mend Viki Hamilton (collecting seedlings from the July plant sale), plus a warm welcome from Rod Holt who plied the tired runners with the best pot of coffee that the Holts-Coffee-Emporium can make – all in the glorious surroundings of the Holts flourishing allotment. Noon came and passed as we nattered and discussed the latest EA briefings, and we reluctantly disbanded to return to our Sunday chores and chillings. Total distance from SCC out to Rowarth and back was 10 miles; the route can be seen on John’s Strava, but which will include his out and back link-run from Hadfield.
The Moot Hall, Keswick
An iconic spot for many, signifying the end (and start) of the Bob Graham round, Ian Crutchley and Mark Davenport took a selfie after a leg 5 recce today, which only means one thing…… they’re gonna have to do the whole thing! Get on it chaps! Apparently they had a bit of trouble navigating out of Keswick, so maybe get that bit sorted before going for the full route!
Hoping for a soya milk frappuccino at the summit café, Ant and Dec (aka Will Mather and Luke Holme) got their passports out and took a trip over the border to Wales for some UTS prep – getting the mountain miles in! I don’t know the details, but “the views were amazing” apparently!
The Ups and Downs
What’s the GDH Strava leaderboard looking like?
Riccardo G has cruised in with 111km this week, followed by Will Mather (82.9km) and Shaun Chambers (82.9km). Jessica Camp continues to clock up the miles with 81.2km followed by Wendy McMahon (79.6km) and Alice Wilson (69.3km).
It’s all about the vertical now though isn’t it? Will Mather (3,289m), Luke Holme (2,992m) and Wioleta Wydrych (2,904m) take the top spots for climb this week.
Next week should be an interesting one with a few GDH taking on the virtual Lakeland 50/100 so expect to see some big numbers on the leaderboard this time next week. 105 miles / 169 km is needed to complete the LL100. Ouch!
Will they be back? There’s been an England Athletics announcement which sounds positive, and the Committee are working out what this means for the club sessions. In any event, officially, unofficially, socially-distanced, limited numbers, whatever it is at the moment, a lot has been going on:
- Chris Smith led a Wednesday strength session early morning at Manor Park on Wednesday. There a waiting list which shows we’re all itching to get into some group training!
- Matt Crompton has been gathering troops for a hill rep session on a Wednesday
- Chris Smith has also been Lightside hill repping on a Friday, I know because I’ve generally been there with him and it certainly gets the lungs going first thing!
- Jeroen Peters and David Christie-Lowe push on with the Sunday 10-miler.
A virtual coached session, but you’ll be tracked on Strava so make sure you do it right. Here’s Jeroen’s session for Tuesday!
NOT Coached Session Week 16 of can we still talk of “lockdown”? 20-26 July
The past three weeks have seen a lot of focus on speed, working as hard as 9.5/10 RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) or how hard does this feel on a scale to 10. So this week we are taking it down a little and focus more on Tempo running. The purpose of Tempo runs is to raise your lactate threshold. While lactate is good, too much of it makes you run slower. If you can raise the threshold at which your body produces more than is good for you, you will be able to run faster for longer.
The main set for this week:
16 x 400m with 30 seconds easy running in between (12 reps if you are struggling for time). Your pace is no faster than your 10K pace or about 6-6.5/10 RPE. This means that your first 6 or 7 reps will feel fairly easy. The second half of your set a little harder. Key is that you do not run these faster though as you are pushing that threshold. This is one of those sets where faster does NOT mean better as it will not address the issue this set is aimed at. Working at threshold level should be part of every athlete’s regular program.
As important still is the warmup. Starting with a 10-minute easy run, try some (all) of the following:
- *30 seconds leg swings back and forth, both left and right. Hold on to something if you prefer.
- *30 seconds leg swings in front of you, again both left and right leg.
- *20 metres walking lunges, making sure your upper-body does not lean forward. Walk back x3 followed by
- *butt kicks, bringing your heels as close to your butt as you can 2x 30 seconds with 30-second walk in between
- *finish with 30 seconds high-knees, thinking “arms”! Move them keeping your elbow 90°
I don’t even know if I’m allowed to mention it, but, ahem, the 3rd edition of Manor Park Marathon, #MPM, 27 laps of Manor Park finishing with not-parkrun. August 29th Bank Holiday Saturday, following whatever rules we need to at the time. Pencil it in!
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Enjoy the week everyone!