It is very rare that all the Accelerate supported runners are ever in the same place. We all have different training schedules and racing goals. Stu Walker and I also pack in a lot of bike training as well as running. With each of us having so much going on, it was quite something when the stars aligned and we were all able to make a training retreat weekend back in November. As well as taking the time to catch up with each other and enjoy good food and a few too many drinks, the weekend was an opportunity to speak about our plans for the year ahead, and do some running!!!
In addition to a pre-dawn run up loose hill with Bondy, Tom, Chris S, Chris H and Stu, the highlight of the weekend for me was the morning session we spent on technique and conditioning. I would be the first to admit that my running style has been pretty rubbish for a long time. Bags of determination, limited finesse. I run like the rower I once was.
Under the expert instruction of Colin and Ben, over the course of two hours we executed, with varying degrees of grace and poise, a group of challenging technical drills. I knew that I was learning something when doing things that looked so simple was causing me to have to exert myself seriously hard. This was confirmed when I woke up the next morning with aches in a completely new set of locations.
Over the following week, I religiously practised the drills we’d been taught. Given that I had done a half marathon the previous week I wasn’t ready to include any strenuous sessions. So it was essentially just a week of technical drill work. I turned up to the weekend Parkrun with a view to simply testing out whether the work I had done over the previous week had begun to bed in. Crossing the line 16mins later, I had just knocked 21 secs off my personal best! The frightening thing – I wasn’t even trying that hard!
Its massively exciting to see such big improvements and I can say that I’m enjoying my running more than ever. Bring on 2014!
p.s. Huge thank you to Colin and Ben.