An England vest is something I have dreamed about ever since I started serious running at the age of 18. After the way racing has gone over the last few weeks and with results not matching my high expectations I could never of anticipated being selected for England. However, last Wednesday afternoon I received the call from Ian Ladbrooke at England Athletics informing me that I had been selected to run for England at Dunfermline Half Marathon. I am fully aware that others quicker than me turned down this opportunity, due to other commitments and with it being track season. However, despite the fact that I have cut the mileage recently, in the hope of getting some vibrancy back in the legs and chasing a 5000 pb, I wasnt prepared to follow suit. This was an opportunity that I could not turn down and to be honest I feel I am in much better half marathon shape than 5000 shape at the moment. Actually I have only spent two weeks at 80ish miles a week and in a strange way the half marathon date falls at what could be seen as the end of a taper!
My PB for the distance came in March at Wilmslow half, where we went off ridiculously hard and I just used my endurance to hang on and pick off a few guys over the last few miles. Since then I have added even more endurance and over the last week added a touch of speed that was horiffically lacking in my opening 3 and 5ks on the track. I had a long conversation with my coach a few weeks ago and we decided it was best to run 70-80mi a week for four weeks and get three good quality sessions in. Over the last two weeks this has gone really well and I have been feeling a lot better during training and the legs feel fresher for the cut backs. The Tuesday sessions, which is a track session of 10k volume, have really showed that I have not been putting in the required specific 5k pace to really get anywhere near my best. So hopefully, after the half I can get back onto the track and really start to aggressively hunt down my PBs.
Back to this weekend and I am really excited about making the trip up to Scotland to represent England. I think it is fantastic that England athletics are giving people like me the opportunity to race at this level and it really gives me the incentive to keep on trying to improve. I spoke to Craig, who was with me out in Portland, about the course and he said that it is testing to say the least. So, I'm not going up there with my eyes set on a big PB but rather on just doing a good job for the team and doing the best I can. I know the other guys in the England team on paper are perhaps a little quicker than me but I will give it my all to try and hang on with them and in the process beat the Scots!
Training week recently has been:
Mon am: Rest pm: 8mi steady (6:00 to 6:15pace) + 6 x 15sec strides
Tues am: 5mi easy pm: session (10k volume, 5/10k pace) eg. 4 x 1k at 2:55, 3 x 1mi at 4:55.
Weds am: Rest pm: 10mi easy (6:30 to 7:00pace) + 6 x 15sec strides
Thurs am: 5mi easy pm: session (up to 5k volume, 1500/3k pace) eg. 2x3x500m plus 5 x 200m
Fri: Rest Day
Sat am: session (tempo) eg. 6 x 1mi at half pace or 6mi tempo pm: 5mi plus 6 x 15sec strides
Sun: 15-18mi long run