How many weeks?
Fourteen, I think since we last met up for Team Training.
So what have we been doing? With racing still looking like it is only on the horizon and possibly not set to return for a while, perhaps next year for larger events, training has not been as difficult as you may think.
Some folk will always train towards race goals, such as the need to cover a set distance. Yet the Flamingos are very much geared towards improving that which needs improving. It could be strength, it could be endurance or perhaps lactate tolerance. So during the lockdown-period sessions have been geared towards the development of specific areas that each athlete has required.
Quite simply a SWOT analysis and then a little monitoring from ‘Coach’.
Sessions have also been geared towards a little fun, more time based than distance (often the way here though) and an increase in running safety and healthly allowing for a very nasty virus. So an encouragement towards good nutrition, more recovery time and restorative exercise. Don’t get it wrong, some of the sessions have been hard, more so when on your own.
Time trials have been included, including those with a little navigation. There’s been big hills, very few hills and even a hint of flat for the differing sessions. Most importantly there has still been time for learning and improvement. Then a couple of weeks ago a few of us came together for a 5km Time Trial. The venue the OLP with its tight bends and a short sharp climb each lap. Oh, yes, we chose the day the weather gods switched the wind tunnel on!
It was a chance for everyone to take a few days to think about race prep , To get kit together the night before, to think about pre-TT breakfast and to arrive early for a proper warm up. Then one by one we were set off at 30 second intervals. OK, no mass start, yet it still felt like a race. To stay ahead of the person behind or to work hard and catch the person in front.
It worked, also the training and no racing period had not done so much harm physically. Improvements yes, pretty much by everyone. Harvey, took 30-secs of his course PB from January. Still not his quickest 5km ever, yet this is definitely not a quick course. Most importantly we saw a step up in consistency through each 1km as pace was more even. No drop offs. Heart rate was on the money and showed how well working to a high tempo and heart rate has benefited him.
George and Will also demonstrated a speedy response to lock down. Strength for George was definitely on the up as he moved around the course with pretty even splits, no drop of in pace. Will, probably realised a negative split can be ‘too big’. He finished fast though, very fast. He gets that right and yikes!
Meanwhile, Issy-Mai, turned her legs over fast for 2km. Despite managing a wrong term and a double back, she equaled her best running pre lock down. With a little more racing and getting used to a TT she will fair so much better. This was actually, her first ever TT and she definitely found it odd. It’s all good learning though, she did great!
Away from the Flamingo’s other Team members came along with Dot Kesterton flying around whilst Andy Shelton took the opportunity to check out his marathon pacing. The opportunities for the use of a time trial should never be underestimated.
This will be an experience as a Team we are due to repeat in a few weeks time. Unfortunately though, it has given ‘Coach’ a few ideas to further develop our individual training. Development he calls it. ‘Needing a lie down more like!’
Roll on our return to Team Training. It’s gonna be so good to catch up with everyone, even from the specified two meters.