The winter months are finally over and to be honest I can't wait to get onto the track and sort out some of my PBs from a couple of years ago. The winter went pretty well and I managed to win the counties, every north mids xc and get in and around the top 20 at both the national xc and the intercounties (Yes Bowser, the score is still 3-0 in 2012!). The disappointment was that I never really cracked out a decent road race as the Great South, Leeds Abbey Dash and most recently the Fleet Half Marathon all fell short of my desired race pace. This isn't a massive problem, but it is always nice to see some good PBs on the board and for your fitness to be represented by a figure that you know you are capable of. I will try and go into a each of those races and the rest of the winter more in depth over the coming weeks and months, but for now I want to focus on the track season.
Racing O'Dowd last Summer
I speak to a lot of distance guys and for some reason or another they hate the track. I thought I was one of these until I sat down and had realised that I had never really trained specifically for 3000, 5000 or even 10000m for a decent period of time. The one time I did do a bit of track work was back in early 2010 and it resulted in significant PBs and I really enjoyed those dreamy Tuesday nights of banter at Longford Park. So, maybe I just hated the track last year because I didn't do the specific training last year to allow me to run anywhere near what I thought I was capable of. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I will ever run a 1:50 800m or even a 3:45 1500m, but I know that with a sustained period of speed work following a full winter of miles that I will definitely run faster than last year. Also, if I ever want to run a decent marathon I know that first of all my 5000 and 10000m track times need to be a lot quicker than they are right now. In order to do that I know that I need to work on my basic speed, which many will argue is non-existent, so I may well have the odd outing over my beloved 1500m early on this season.
I did even have a think about going for a marathon this Autumn at somewhere like Berlin, but I know that I am not quite ready for it yet. I admire the balls of some of the British lads attacking 2:12 at London in a few weeks, but realistically going out at sub 66 pace could cause carnage around the docklands. I hope a lot of them prove me wrong and a host of guys hit the Olympic qualifying standard, but I just can't see it happening. Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I need to have a good summer of track work behind me before I even think about stepping up. I know a lad who ran 2:12 who said the exact same thing, he needed to be in high 28 10k shape and breaking 13:45 for 5000 in order to run a decent marathon. So, there is plenty of work to be done this summer and as long as this weather keeps up, hopefully a lot of it can be done in true Tom Straw style - with the vest off. After all if "you look good, you run good".
Tom Straw and Shane Robinson showing where thier love lies