Another weekend of snow and gale-force winds behind us must surely mean we’re inching our way towards warmer, drier times. My current attitude: “Winter? Completed it, mate.”
Thankfully, there are plenty of club members yet to be defeated by the arctic temperatures, and you can read about their far more inspiring attitudes and exploits below!
Thanks everyone for your contributions – if you need be I will be under a duvet somewhere…
The Effect of your Inner Chatter on your Running Performance – Wioleta Wydrych
“Your body can do a lot more than your mind tells you so.”
Recently on a hilly fartlek run, Kate Bowden reminded me how powerful our mind is. We were talking about how our mind affects our running performance. Especially if you feel like you’re not as fit as you used to be, not performing as well, or you find yourself demotivated, struggling to get out, or you’re training for a challenging race, you may find it helpful.
Kate mentioned to me that during one of the races when she started to struggle, she remembered a mantra from the book “Feet in the clouds” by Richard Askwith “I’m a big strong man with a hairy chest”. This great athlete was saying it to himself in the moments of weakness to bring back the mental strength. It worked well for Kate too. It helped her to remember she’s strong. Even though she’s not that hairy. Or big. It still worked.
Kate asked me, what is my mantra and oh wow, how happy I was to remind myself about my mantra:
“Your body can do a lot more than your mind tells you so”.
It was in 2019 when I started running more seriously and I was struggling to run up the Redgate road. David was flying ahead and I was struggling to lift my legs up, my head was getting red like it was about to explode, my breathing was louder than the passing cars and I felt like to give up… In these moments (it took me a while before I became comfortable running up Redgate) I was saying to myself: “My body can do a lot more than my mind is telling me so”. That was helping me to continue running, to keep pushing. To do not give up when it was getting hard.
Straight after Kate reminded me that mantra, I put a lot more effort into the next hilly segment. I just kept saying to myself that my body can do so much more than I think. I’ve had a lot more fun and it was so much easier!
During another attack on hilly Strava segments, I noticed the inner chatter in my head: “You are slowing down. You are so slow. Luke is probably already on top of the quarry, you are still so far. You are so slow”. And then I quickly realised, how this kind of talk is affecting me. I nearly stopped running and started to walk… but instead, I said to myself: “great effort, you are still running, slower than you could but at least you are not walking. Your body can do a lot more than you think, just let it do it.” and I managed to run to the top of the quarry without stopping (and bagged some great achievements on my Strava segments).
Where am I getting with this? What you tell yourself is what you believe. What you believe is what is happening to you. Someone once said, “whatever you believe, you are right”.
Our minds are so powerful.
If you keep telling yourself that you are unfit, that you are getting old, that you are slow, that you are getting injured easily… this is what you will see more of.
As humans, we love being right. In order to be right, we always strive to be congruent with what we believe. If we believe we are not fit, we will confirm that with our actions. It’s not magic and it would be hard to suddenly start saying to yourself “I’m a super fit, fast runner” if deep down inside you know this is not true. But what you can do instead is to catch this crappy talk and encourage yourself with a bit kinder words.
Say to yourself things like “You are doing well”, “You can get your fitness back quickly” or “Wow, you are still running, slower but still running, years ago you’ve had to take breaks to walk. Well done”.
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend and you’ll be surprised with your results.
Half-Marathon Time Trial – Paul Peters
This one’s dedicated to Skusey who I hear was asking after me on strava (sorry, I don’t go on much anymore!). To make up for it I’ll go into painstaking detail to dissect today…
I’d signed up for Tatton Park half-marathon back in November, and it’s currently on its 3rd rescheduled date in March (although I’m cautiously optimistic about it going ahead this time). Since the 2nd date was this weekend, I though I’d see where I was at with a time trial.
The idea of a half-marathon time trial was a bit daunting to be honest. It’s a long time to stay focused with no outside motivation from crowds or competition, but I’d taken a more relaxed approach to training planning so I was curious to see where I was at.
Since I recently moved from Glossop to Manchester I had an abundance of flat routes to choose from, and I settled on a very wet Platt Fields park, full of large puddles and some muddy strips.
After my housemate saw the rain this morning, he bailed on cycling round for company (can’t blame him), so I set off in my “race” kit for a longer-than-ideal warmup. Probably looked a little odd going through the streets in a vest and arm warmers. After a couple of km’s, some drills and psyching myself up, I set off for 8 and-a-bit laps of the park.
Setting off, I had 2 goals in mind. In an ideal world I would hold 3:30 km’s for the whole run (around 1:14 pace), but failing that I’d be happy to hold that pace for the first 10 miles.
After settling into my pace for the first few km, I was feeling strong coming through 5km. Soon after, 10km came and went and I still felt suspiciously strong. Even stranger, 15km came around and I was still feeling smooth and in control, much different to my last experience racing a half in Manchester.
It wasn’t till around 18km that I started feeling “leggy”. I wasn’t sore, but my legs were starting to feel like they were running a little on empty. Fortunately by that point, I had barely over one lap to go, so I could push it out my mind and tell myself I was nearly done. As I came round the lake to finish, I had a mental blank and couldn’t remember whether a half was 21.1km exactly, or if there was a little more. Driven by a fear of wasting the past 70 minutes I ran an extra couple metres just to be safe, and called it a day.
Looking at my watch now, and confirming that a half is indeed 21.1km, I’ve come through in about 1:12:30 (3:26 pace). Couldn’t be happier with that showing all conditions considered. Further still, I managed to negative split the run by feel (and close in a 3:15km), and heading into Tatton Half I’m confident in my ability to not just run it fast, but race someone for a podium place should the chance arise.
Splits for those interested:
I’ll even do some miles for weird ones in the club
Hopefully I get the chance to prove myself against runners soon, rather than confusing random Saturday morning park-goers!
The Wildbank Half Dozen – Ian Crutchley
Sikobe and I had a winter crack at his lockdown invention, The Wildbank Half Dozen. With 18 miles and 4,200ft of climb it involves climbing to Wildbank trig 6 times, each by a different ascent and descent line. It’s a great route, a bit of everything, and is certainly worthy enough that I’m proposing to write it up and put it with GDH anytime challenges. Pretty wintry up top but we managed 4:32 for the route which isn’t bad at all for the conditions. I didn’t know Wildbank too well before today, but suffice to say that’s changed!
Global Therapies YouTube
Check out the Global Therapies YouTube channel for weekly short videos with suggestions for strength training ideas and tips for the best technique!
Stop watches at the ready – the club champs will be taking on a slightly different format this year. Behold: the year of the time trial!
This year’s champs will be based on 10 monthly race routes and 2 year-round challenges. There will simply be a female and male winner in each of fell, road and trail route groups and you must complete all three in a discipline to be counted towards that prize.
To qualify for the overall Championship, you must complete at least 5 routes across the year plus at least 1 of the year-round challenges.
Routes & Challenges
|April||3 Trigs||Fell||Approx. 12m/19.5km|
|June||Round the Resers||Trail||5m/8km|
|October||New Glossop Fell Race||Fell||22m/35km|
|Anytime||Running Track Mile||Trail||1m/1.6km|
Full details, including the all-important rules, are available on the website.
If you’ve been reading the reports over the last few weeks (which of course you all have), you’ll be aware of the new knowledge base on the GDH website. This week we have two more articles for you to get your teeth into – one from Marie Williamson about running back-to-back marathons, and one from Ian Crutchley about the ancient practice of trig point painting!
Back-to-Back Marathons by Marie Williamson
Trig Point Art in the Context of Fell Running Club Livery by Ian Crutchley
AGM, Voting Process and Committee Vacancies
The 2021 AGM will be taking place virtually on 17th February at 19:30 via MS Teams. All details are on the club facebook page, if you do not have access to this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
If you’re not familiar with MS Teams then please check out our handy guide HERE. There is also an opportunity to try it out at some test session set up for 10th/11th February (details on the link).
As you know, John Stephenson is stepping down as Chair. We are very glad to be able to say we’ve had 3 club members (Alison Holt, Jeroen Peters, Pete Wallroth) express interest in the post of Chair. This means there will be a vote at the AGM. Each candidate has written a brief statement which you can read here. (We’ve checked and access looks fine, but any probs, just let Lucy know.) We also have 3 club members (Zoe Barton, Guy Riddell, Wioleta Wydrych) express interest in becoming an ordinary member.
Please see this document outlining the candidates, and what the voting process will be at the AGM.
Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest in being on the committee! We’re all volunteers and it’s great to see people volunteer to give up their time for the benefit of our friends and fellow clubmates.
For the past 5 years, England Athletics have run a Club Run programme; a free initiative specifically aimed at supporting clubs with road running.
It offers successful EA registered clubs a series of coaching sessions led by experienced coaches to support runners, leaders and coaches in working towards improved performance at a specific event or race distance.
The Club Run Virtual programme is designed to support clubs during the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and through the winter months by delivering an online-based version of Club Run through a team of coach deliverers. They have offered up to 20 clubs the opportunity to take part in Club Run Virtual. A condition of applying was that over 50% of the membership are EA registered, based on the last full year membership, we *just* managed to achieve this. So this highlights one of the many benefits that EA membership offers! It’s not just £2 off your race
Having seen the announcement the day before the deadline in January, Pete and I hastily wrote the 1000 word application in 3 hours one Sunday afternoon.
We had to answer 2 questions:
1) What activities or innovations has the club delivered or taken part in to support members or keep them engaged during 2020?
2) Why we wanted the club to take part and what topics we thought members would like.
Once we started, writing this was actually easier than you’d think down to the fantastic things each and everyone one of the club has been doing during the pandemic, so many activities and innovations that we could share (quiz, team relays, club history, virtual coaching)! Also, Paul had polled you before NY asking what your goals were, so we had a good idea what things people were interested in in terms of topics.
Anyway, cutting to the chase, we are delighted to say, that we have just found out our application was SUCCESSFUL! And we are one of the lucky 20 clubs to be selected! We are really pleased to have had the application approved and be able to give GDH this great opportunity; will share with you more details over the coming days and weeks as it’ll be pretty fast moving to get sessions arranged. We’ve got a call arranged next week with Chris Hollinshead who is a Level 4 EA coach with a wealth of experience coaching athletes over 2 decades, and will find out more about the sessions that can be delivered.
Excitingly, EA have partnered with NURVV Run, a new sports wearable which measures running from your feet – providing unrivalled insight into cadence, foot strike, pronation, step length and balance; previously only available in a sports lab. As part of this collaboration, NURVV will be providing up to 5 free samples for runners to trial and gauge a better understanding of their running form. Again, we will share more details about this ASAP.
So, it sounds like we’ve got an exciting couple of months ahead – look forward to us getting stuck in!
If you haven’t already, Vicki Hamilton requests that you please pay your subs! Details as follows:
GDH membership subs are £10 per annum or £5 per annum for those members who are unwaged. EA affiliation is an additional cost of £16 per annum but the club contributes £5 to cost of EA membership for each club member.
GDH membership only waged £10
GDH membership only unwaged £5
GDH plus EA waged £21
GDH plus EA unwaged £16
Under 16s are free unless they want EA membership for cross country.
If you could transfer the subs to the GDH bank account and email me at email@example.com to let me know you have paid, that would be very helpful.
NOT Coached Session L3W5
Always interested in taking on board the feedback from runners who have completed the last week’s session, I felt it only right to offer you something less “horrible”. Not my choice of words but ©Rob Sheldon.
Over the past weeks the focus has been on (re)building the basics, fitness and some strength.
Gradually, I have introduced some pace running. Continuing along these lines, this week I am upping the pace from 10K pace to 5K pace. But, so as not to challenge you on 2 fronts, physical and mental, a really very simple set to understand and remember.
Here we go:
10 x 400m at 5K pace with 200m easy jog between. Simple enough?
If you are not sure of your 5K pace or are not running on the track with an accurately measured distance, run for a set time, e.g. 1m45s at 7.5-8/10 RPE.
As for the weekly reminder, do not forget your warm-up! This set, like last week’s, is fairly intensive from the start so just doing a gentle 10-minute easy jog will not cut it. Incorporate some strides, high knees, giant skips, fast jogging on the spot (with or without knee lift) and good arm swing (with 90° elbow) and only when your heart-rate is up and your breathing deep, should you start the main set, after a few minutes recovery.
Don’t forget to send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org – next report in two weeks’ time!