Tag Archives: Team Accelerate
Team Accelerate Runner and local legend Dot Kesterton traveled up to Grangemouth for the British Masters 10km Road Championships. Spoiler Alert, Dot smashed the out of the water. Find out how she got on below!
Grangemouth, 16th April 2023.
Named after Jim Dingwall (1949-2005), one of the finest Scottish runners of his generation*, the Round the Houses 10k road race in Grangemouth was the setting for the British Masters Championships for the second successive year.
A weekend in Edinburgh in glorious spring sunshine, a walk up Calton Hill and a tour of the Botanic Gardens provided a splendid preparation for the BMAF 10k road race. A short journey up the Firth of Forth towards Falkirk on Sunday morning brought us to Grangemouth for a lunchtime race organised by the redoubtable Falkirk Victoria Harriers. Everything you might hope for in a race, a stadium start and finish, large sports hall for meeting organisers and friends and a fast, flat course round the houses to enjoy in pursuit of a good finishing time, nice T shirt, chocolate egg and if at all possible a British Masters medal.
Margo Duncan, Sheffield Tri Club and I, the Sheffield contingent, met athletes from all parts of Scotland and the north of England to catch up on news of achievements, injury and illness and then, with our age group printed on card and pinned to our backs so we could view our competition on the line, tipped out onto the track for a warm up lap or three in mild Spring conditions.
The race took us round and out of the stadium and directly onto the road for an anti clockwise circuit round a housing estate finishing with a run through an adjoining park before re entering the stadium for an 80 metre dash on the track to the finish.
The usual jitters about pre race nutrition and hydration were played out. Too little and you’d be gasping; too much and you’d have the lead stomach to contend with. In the event I relied on a jam sandwich and water an hour before the lunchtime race. It seemed to do the trick. I started with a steady pace resisting the temptation to chase Margo who was way ahead almost immediately. One by one I focused on runners with similar pace to try and pick them off. Eventually I saw Margo ahead so put all my energy into levelling up and even briefly overtaking her at 8k. She urged me on but clearly saw the chance to chase me down in the final stages and came haring past at 9k as we returned for the final push to the finish. It’s great to have a friend to race against. We used each other for motivation and finished the race with Margo, V50, slightly ahead on the line in 47.14. I kept the elastic as short as I could to finish in 47.20. That gave me first V70 by a good five minutes and BMAF V70 Champion 2023. That chocolate egg tasted very good once I’d recovered from the post race nausea.
The race was won by Daniel Bradford, Shettleston Harriers in 31:03.
First woman was Jennifer Wetton, Central AC in 35:48.
Dot Kesterton was first V70 in 47:20 chip.
*Jim Dingwall achievements: 5000m -13:48. 1975.10,000m- 28.45. 1978.10 miles- 48:05. 1985. Marathon- 2:11:44. 1983.
The first weekend in November some of Team Accelerate headed north to race in the Wooler Trail Half Marathon. The latest addition to the team Paddy sums up the weekend.
I don’t need much persuading to travel to new places, so when a trip to Wooler Trail Half Marathon was suggested, I immediately put my hand up. Five months later, I’m on my way to the far North East of England with Team Accelerate, racing in Scott kit for the very first time, with teammates Harvey, Chris & Hugh.
Over the years, I have been on many away days and weekends playing rugby so I knew to expect some banter from the lads! Light hearted shots were fired before we even got on the road, team bonding had begun.
How much kit and pairs of running shoes would 4 people require for a simple 3 day trip and race? I had guessed at 2. One pair to train/warm up in and another to race in. How wrong was I?! Between Chris and Harvey there were 10 pairs with enough kit for every possible weather condition. As for food, we had enough pasta and rice to feed EVERYONE racing on Sunday! Genius move of the weekend? Harvey brought his coffee machine!
With all our bags shoehorned into the back of Chris’ Land Rover and some new age punk playing on the radio, we hit the road for the 4hr journey ahead. The weekend had begun!
I have been training alongside Harvey, Chris and Hugh for a few months now, under the wise tutelage of Stu. I began this journey wanting to find out if there was still opportunity to improve in my early 40s. I regard Stu as the best Coach I have met over the years and as a Coach myself I wanted to learn more about how I can improve the Coaching I provide, whilst sharing my own knowledge and experience with the Team.
I firmly believe in living everyday like it is a blank page and being willing to learn, change my mind about opinions I have formed over the years as an Athlete, Trainer and Coach. Many training sessions and a few races later, my confidence has grown.
I know I’m not completely there yet, but I also know I am now in a place where I can run well, run happy and begin competing at the front end of races again. Being part of a team that encourages and supports you on your journey is key. Travelling to Wooler to race as part of Team Accelerate made me feel proud of what I had achieved so far and actually took all the pressure off how I might perform on race day.
Harvey was returning to Wooler as defending Champion having made the journey North alone a year ago. This time he came with friends, and it seemed to provide an extra layer of confidence from the second we set off on our recce of the route. Despite the route having been marked out ready for the weekend, with a big yellow arrow directing us along the road, Harvey was certain we were to go off to the left along a well trodden footpath towards the woods. Apparently, he hadn’t read the race info that stated there was an alteration to the publicised route due to tree felling in the woods. We found our way to the route thanks to the little yellow flags and arrows put out by the organisers, checking the first 3k and the final descent where a discussion about vaulting gates would give us food for thought over the next couple of days. Shoe choice? The ground was still relatively firm and with the finish now a longish stretch of road would it be plausible to change to carbon road shoes to finish in? Fortunately, that was a decision we didn’t have to make as out of all the shoes we had brought, those weren’t on the list.
Route check complete, we went to find our accommodation for the next few days. Driving out of Wooler into the middle of nowhere, overlooking the very hills we would be racing on. Cracking job Harvey! Now to settle in and relax, with only one tricky decision ahead of us. What film do we choose?
We had decided to go to the route again on Saturday to watch the leaders of the marathon descend to the finish. It also served as a little leg stretch ahead of Sunday. It was definitely going to be a fast one with the ground firm and overhead conditions looking good.
There are many similarities between Northumberland and the Peak District. Sleepy towns, rolling hills and runnable trails that can take you anywhere.
We all certainly felt very much at home in our surroundings and even though we hadn’t dedicated much racing to off-road this year, we all felt quietly confident about performing well on what appeared to be a fast course.
The weather was set to be kind to us which was a relief. We arrived at the race HQ, Wooler YHA at 7.45am. Numbers collected, mandatory kit checked and plenty of time to warm up and prepare our bodies and minds for racing.
The short walk to the start line helped settle any nerves that we had and with the relaxed starting process of ‘I’ll count you down from 5 and you can go!’ we were off
Harvey took the lead and it is fair to say no one was going to catch him. Chris settled into a solid position, I eased into the race keeping myself controlled having not raced over this sort of terrain in a while, giving it the respect it deserved focussing on keeping my effort even and sustained. Hugh was sticking to his race plan of staying easy.
By the time I got to the turn around point, Harvey had opened up a sizable lead and as we passed each other on the hill into the checkpoint he was looking strong. A simple cheer of encouragement both ways was appreciated especially as I still had to come back up the hill I was descending. Chris had settled into 3rd and as I reached the checkpoint I found myself in 7th with 8th place trying to close the gap. Hugh was showing his versatility on the trails as I saw him in 9th place as I began my ascent.
Now the ascent! Up to this point the uphill sections had been, relatively speaking, a breeze. This final climb would prove the most challenging. Time to dig in and sustain the effort. If you are feeling it, then those behind and in front are too! Once at the top there were some free flowing trails to stretch out on, an opportunity to get the effort level back up and keep the legs turning. There was a short hill up to a final gateway and as I climbed it I allowed myself a quick check to see how far ahead of 8th I was. It gave me the kick I needed for one final push down the descent and onto the finish I needed! There was no way I was giving my place up now! A shout of ‘Focus, keep the effort up’ and ‘You’ve got this’ from Stu was the extra bit of encouragement to stay ahead. Time to empty the tank, which is exactly what I did down the hill and onto the road. By the time I had got to the finish the gap had increased. Seventh place was mine, greeted by Chris who had given all he could give only to be pushed back from 3rd to 5th in the final stages. Still a positive result for him having had his build up disrupted through illness and a niggle. Harvey was looking pleased with himself and after congratulating me for a strong run, he was pleased to announce he’d continued on for the win in under 90 mins breaking his own course record in the process. Hugh was next across the finish line in 9th having hardly broken into a sweat. The wonder of youth!
All in all, a fantastic weekend building relationships as a team and putting in individual performances that we can all be very proud of.
What a team and what potential we all have to look forward to reaching together!
As for The Wooler Trail Half Marathon, Trail Outlaws have put together a great race. A challenging, but manageable route for all abilities with some really fast sections to get your teeth stuck into. Thanks must be given to Scott Sports for their continued support of Team Accelerate, it was certainly a proud moment for this 41 year old to race wearing their kit. Thanks to Stu & Debs for their support on and off the course and for everyone at the APC for support with niggles of body and mind.
See you next year?
Ps…Our films of choice for the weekend? It had to be James Bond Skyfall on Friday & Spectre on Saturday!
My name is Will and I have been running with the Accelerate team for around 4 years now. I enjoy all types of running but am currently studying in Manchester, so do a lot of my training on tarmac and in parks and will be reviewing the Scott Pursuit. Keep on reading to find out my thoughts!
Straight out of the box
Straight out of the box the shoes felt plush and cushioned. The soft tongue and laces made it easy to get a good lace lockdown in the shoe, stopping my feet from slipping around. The 30mm stack height and rocker shape of the shoe did feel unique, especially after running in more minimal shoes like the Saucony Kinvara before, but I quickly got used to this and liked it. I run in a UK size 10 and have found the Pursuits fit true to size. I also like the different colourways (grey-black-lime green, blue-orange and dark green in men’s sizes, and navy-yellow, green-red and purple in women’s sizes) which is always a bonus!
First run thoughts
For my first run in the shoes, I did an easy 6-mile loop from my house. The soft midsole of the shoe was really comfortable running on a mixture of tarmac and dirt trail. Despite the cushioned feel of the shoe, they felt snappy and responsive. The rocker shape of the shoe helped me to promote an efficient midfoot strike and by the end of the run, I had no aches or pains which I sometimes suffer from with inefficient foot placement. The shoes felt snug and secure throughout the run. They were stable and grippy on slightly wet tarmac and soft trail but wouldn’t be appropriate for a muddier trail. The shoe is designed primarily for road running but can handle dry, non-technical trails.
Despite running less than 50 miles in the shoes so far, I have done lots of easy runs, an 11-mile long run, a fast Parkrun and a 12 x 400m session in them. The shoe is not designed as a racer but it has nevertheless felt comfortable and fast for all the types of running I have thrown at it. The shoes were also quick to break in, any initial stiffness alleviated after two runs in the shoe.
The Scott Pursuit is the best all-round running shoe I have used. From fast sessions to long slow runs, this shoe fits the bill. Using the shoe, I have been able to run further and faster with less fatigue the following day.
The men’s can be found here and the women’s can be found here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.
Team Accelerate runner and Steel City Strider Dot Kesterton has recently raced in the Bristol 10K road race organised by the England Masters Athletic Keep reading to hear how she got on.
Stuck out on Higgar, can’t get back in time.
Forgot to fill in the entry form.
I didn’t tell the family I’d be away.
It’s the hour before the alarm goes off and all the anxiety half dreams are swirling crazily around. A dozen reasons why I won’t make the start line. With emerging consciousness comes a breath of relief. I’m in the right place at the right time with the right kit, well prepared and have done my homework as thoroughly as I can. Despite the nerves I’m looking forward to it.
Bristol, a bit hilly like home and made rich on the back of slavery sits in late summer sunshine with a breeze off the sea as I walk to the start. I do wish the ‘England’ on my vest sat as comfortably as the ‘Wales’ on the other home international athletes, proud of their heritage. There are times when I’m simply ashamed to belong to a small island nation with small, minded leaders.
The race was organised by England Masters Athletics. The qualifier was Leeds Abbey Dash last October so here I am 11 months later in my new V70 age group to pound city centre streets in search of a new title. The route, snake like in the route map, winds around the Avon, through a small park, over unfriendly cobbles and finishes in Millennium Square, a large pedestrian area overlooking Spike Island and the river. Around 240 England Masters 35+ years old were at the head of a large group of runners looking forward to the Great Bristol 10k.
Tim Rafferty, fellow Sheffielder warming up for the half marathon after the 10k calls a greeting. it’s so good to see a familiar face among a sea of strangers.
My race goes well in that I find my pace in the early stages and settle to around 4.40mins per k. That should bring me in among the leaders without blowing up. Breathing is manageable and my legs are strong. Through the 5k point at 23.22 minutes so if I can hold onto it, I’ll be in around 47 minutes. It would be good to magic up a sprint finish but that eludes me, so I stumble in breathing hard in 47.30 chip time. At that stage I don’t know if I’m leading the age group or not, so it comes as a great relief to learn that I’ve led the group from the outset. Friend and rival, Anne Dockery, a formidable duathlete is next in around 50 minutes with the remaining V70’s a little after.
We relax and chat over the post-race presentations as people from far and near celebrate their achievements. The Masters winner was Matthew Rees, M35 in 31.33. First woman was Helen Gaunt, W40 in 35.41. Full results can be found at Here>>
Dot Kesterton, W70
With the racing season only being around the corner, some of you maybe be wondering, how do you prepare for races? What do you eat? How hard do you train? How often do you train?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Team Accelerate athlete and Scott Supported runner Harvey gives you a little run down on his race day routine. Well, race week routine as he talks through what he eats and how he trains on the build up to a race.
How do you prepare for a Race?
‘If we use a Sunday race as an example the week really doesn’t change until the Thursday, all I try and do is keep training easy and make life less busy. Attempt to not eat too much rubbish and avoid any oily food.
Thursday rolls round and it’s time to ease up, my first run drops to 20 minutes and the evening session are much shorter. Normally consisting of some faster 200’s and 100’s to make sure everything is firing. After this session I eat a little more than normal focusing on simple carbs this normally ends up being rice and some sort of veggies.
Friday with either be completely off or a very easy 20 minutes just to get moving followed by some mobility work. I always try and get to bed a little earlier and sleep more. Saturday morning is a very short run, mobility, drills and then finished with some faster pick ups.
Now its time to get my feet up as much as possible. My last big meal is normally the Saturday night and yes, you guessed it. Its rice with some veggies and a form of protein. Very simple but I know it works for me.
Sunday morning rolls around I am normally far too excited and wake up way before I need to then it’s a battle of not eating to much but still having enough. I like to try and have my last meal a good 2 hours before I need to start warming up so a 10am race start I try to eat by 7am. Might seem a long time but it works well. Toast with peanut butter is my go-to for this meal at the moment.
Finally, it’s time to warm up, this really varies depending on the length of the race, the longer the race the shorter the warm up. If we take a race of 40 minutes, I tend to jog for 20 minutes before going through my usual mobility then some drills to make sure everything is turned on and working then finish with some strides starting longer and slow then picking up and getting faster.
After the race I try to cool down normally for at least 10 minutes and then of course finishing the day off with an all-important cookie and pizza, you have got to treat yourself after a hard day right!’
I hope that you’ve found this useful. Any questions about preparation then please email us at info@ acceleraterunningcompany.co.uk and we will be more than happy to answer them for you.
Meet the new and improved, do it all, mountain shoe from Scott the Supertrac 3. Team Accelerate Athlete and all round shoe nerd Harvey has been busy putting them through their paces.
Both the men’s and women’s are available in-store and online from Accelerate. The men’s are available here >> and the women’s here >>
Get to know the Supertrac 3
- 320g in men’s 8UK 290g in women’s 6UK
- 8mm drop 29mm in the heel 21mm in the forefoot
- 6mm deep lugs providing All Terrain Traction
Let’s start with a few specs, the new Supertrac 3 comes in at 320g for a men’s 8 UK and 290g from women’s 6 UK. The 8mm drop combined with Scotts new AeroFoam+ midsole and iconic eRIDE rocker results in a fast and poppy turnover. A new ripstop upper solves lots of the durability issues that have appeared in older versions.
Out of the box they have a sturdy and well built feel. The fit through the midfoot feels a little narrower than other Scotts but eases after the first few uses. A padded tongue and heel counter gives the shoe an extra plush feel, ideal for spending all day in them. New for version 3 of the Supertrac is Scotts Aerofoam+ midsole, the same as found in their RC lineup. Boasting better weight to cushioning ratio and having increased energy return is certainly something you can feel. I never got on with the older version they felt heavy, clunky, and cumbersome. Well, all that’s changed, they now feel poppy almost helping your legs to turn over at a faster cadence without trying. Flipping the shoe over is where it gets exciting, chunky 6mm chevron lugs make light work of muddy trails, however, thanks to their larger volume don’t lose out on harder trails or connecting roads. The All Terrains Traction Scott claim certainly fits the bill.
How are they holding up:
After around 90 miles of use, amazingly. I have to admit that I’m not the most diligent with cleaning my shoes. And still, these beauties are showing hardly any signs of wear. I have used them in a real mix of conditions. From hard packed trails, gravel, loose dirt to deep soul sucking mud, the outsole still looks in great nic. A shoe designed primarily for the mud and tougher going trails then I have been blown away by how well they handle themselves on longer road sections. Traditionally with a shoe that has deeper lugs, you sacrifice its ability to run on the road, the Supertrac 3 doesn’t! The upper and in particular where the little toe sits still looks solid, this is very reassuring as this is where previous models have failed.
Who is the Supertrac 3 best for:
If you are after a grippy trail come fell shoe with a good amount of cushioning that can tackle running on the road for a prolonged period. Something you can spend all day in, then the Supertrac 3 could be just what you are looking for.
Sold on them and want a pair right now? The men’s are available here >> and the women’s are available here >> Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.
Team Accelerate runner Dot Kesterson has been busy racing and training throughout 2021. Keep reading to find out how she got on and plans to move forward and up her game for 2022.
||Rother Valley relays
||1st F50 team
||Round Sheffield Run
||BMAF North T&F
||12th of 12
1st F65 of 1
||NMAC Preston Road race
||Dig Deep Trail.
|| EA Rep race, Kew Gardens
||1st F65 of 25
||Sheffield Way Relay
||England qualifier. 91.87%AG
||BMAF CC relays,
||1st F65 team
||SYCC league, Penistone
||Derby road race
||1st F65 of 7
3rd UK ranked.
4th UK ranked
||SYCC league, and SYCC Champs, Graves Park
||SYCC F65 Champion.
Annual Review 2021.
This is my last year in the F65 age group. Coach John Rothwell and I agreed it could be a time to enjoy running for its own sake before beginning more focused work for the next age group in 2022.
The first half of the year followed the same pattern as much of 2020 with a solitary run program punctuated with virtual races of different distances and terrains from 1500m to half marathon. I used the time well to increase my long runs as planned. Speed and interval work suffered because of a lack of opportunity to run against others.
The first race with other competitors was the Steel City Striders inspired Rother Valley relays, 23rd June. Teams of 3 runners x 5K. After 15 months since any races with actual people, it was both exciting and daunting. As an F50 competitor with Kate Morris and Kate Scott, the pressure to perform well was as keen as any race. We each ran well to win the category, though it was clear my 5K time at 23:20mins was around a minute slower than before lockdown a year earlier.
Attending the England Athletics Representation 10K race in Kew Gardens gave me a chance to wear my England vest, last worn in Birmingham in May 2019. I had no expectation of winning the age group since I was six months from the end of it but trained and prepared according to my goals and was delighted to win the gold with a relatively slow 47:34mins, 93.03%AG, just four seconds ahead of my nearest rival. An autumn series of 10K races finished with Percy Pud in December. 10K times were regularly around 47-48 minutes so a time of 46:16mins, 95.64%AG was very pleasing.
The South Yorkshire Cross Country league resumed in October, a series of 4 club races in the county, finishing with the SYCC Championships at Graves Park in December. Despite being ill and unable to race at Campsall I won the age group and Championship for the second time, 2019 and 2020. The BMAF Cross Country relays at Long Eaton gave my team of Carol Beattie, Sheila Woodhead and myself victory over the two competing teams in the age group, our second BMAF Cross Country Gold medal.
With the resumption of Parkrun in 2021, I have used the opportunity to work on my 5K and 10K pacing.
Planning for 2022.
My main goal for the year is to attend the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Tampere, Finland in July. The pandemic is still rife with the Omicron variant affecting fixtures but if the WMA fixture goes ahead, I will enter the 10K road race and Cross Country. I will be 70 in April and will compete against a new group of women at an international level. To achieve success at Tampere I will
Train well over the next six months
Prepare well for races
Race smart, pace judgment
Aim for 95%AG in all races.
Raise distance of weekly long run-up to 23K
Raise weekly mileage over the winter up to 50K
Focus on recovery including active recovery
Attend two-speed sessions per week except in recovery weeks.
Revisit Mental Prep modules for stimulus.
Races entered to date.
06th Feb 22: Alsager 5mile race.
07th May 22: Lakeland 10K trail race, Stavely.
There will be an England Home International race in Bristol, but no date had been confirmed yet.
WMA Tampere Website is not yet active.
I will enter other races as the opportunities arise, all as part of my build up to WMA 2022.
Worldwide Virtual 10K Masters Challenge Championship.
The running year started promisingly enough for me with a chilly England qualifying half marathon in Helsby, Chester in January. Being freezing cold I nipped round in 1:43:39 so I could get back to my big coat as soon as my legs would carry me, 1st F65 and qualifier for England International in Fleet in March.
Storm Dennis put paid to my February BMAF 10K Championship in Poole. Then, in March, came the Covid-19 lockdown. The England representation half marathon in Fleet was canceled and so, month on month was every other race I had planned to do, even the Home Nations Cross Country race in Dublin, the one I was particularly excited about as I learned after Brexit I can claim my Irish passport, thanks to my lovely Irish mother.
With no particular goal to aim for I turned my attention to the offers of virtual races. Lockdown was going to go on for some time. I would need a challenge to get me up and out, running, training, and aspiring throughout the spring and summer.
The European Masters Athletics (EMA), posted a series of 6 virtual challenges, from 1500m to half marathon aptly named ‘The Road to Madeira’ as preparation for the EMA Road and Trail competition in Funchal in October. At 3 Euros per event, with a whole month to complete each one and little prospect of any real races at home or further afield I registered along with other Masters’ European hopefuls.
Preparation for each race was the same. I put my GB vest and shorts on to remind myself this was a competitive event, I was representing my home nation and I was going to give it everything, whether at Rother Valley or Madeira. A recce of the route and a warm-up session of jogging, strides, and drills helped calm the nerves and get me ready.
It was my job to start and finish the watch accurately and submit the correct time on the website. That was tough for a non-technical person. I had already run 40m short in the BMAF 5K road relays in May so was constantly checking the watch in the final stages of each event.
Six races of varying lengths and six months to train for, prepare, race and record. I had considered 5K and 10K to be my optimum race distances and looked forward to the familiar build up. I have to say that whilst track running is daunting, and not a little boring for a trail enthusiast, I did enjoy the thrill of the two shorter events at the end of the series.
Figure 1EMA 10K, Rother Valley.
The hardest race mentally without a doubt was the half marathon. I hadn’t really trained for the mileage and almost two hours of consistent running, alone and without others to pit myself against, in stark contrast to the actual half I’d done in January was grueling. Added to that I ran it on the TPT Rother Valley to Hollingwood and back on flat shale which was a test for the feet. In the last three miles, I’d gladly have bailed and nursed my burning feet. Thank goodness John Rothwell, coach, popped up at intervals to offer tips and words of encouragement.
The final two events were on track. Now I understand that Sheffield prides itself on being the City of Sport, so I didn’t expect it to be too difficult to find a 400m track. Alas, Woodbourn Road was padlocked, empty, and strewn with litter, a sad shadow of the former more imposing athletics facilities in the Lower Don Valley. I tagged onto the Accelerate coached sessions at Mt. St. Mary’s excellent track at Spinkhill which at least meant there was company if at an appropriate distance. Now how did Mt St Mary’s get such opulent stadia for their (private) school whilst the whole of Sheffield has so little?
As the rest of Europe began to emerge from their respective lockdowns the number of participants at each event reduced. From 429 competitors from half a dozen nations at the first 5K race in May the numbers have reduced gradually as national teams have gone back to their normal competition. The final 1500m event in October drew only 56 competitors.
Table of results.
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
This series has been very helpful to me. I have continued training and race preparation
through a lovely summer period with often empty trails and lanes. I guess the virtual scene will continue throughout the winter as we endure a second or continuing wave of the virus. There is sadly no chance to go to Madeira at the end of October to collect my award. Perhaps 2021 will bring new opportunities.
Worldwide Virtual Masters Challenge
In the middle of the EMA challenge, I sneaked in a World Masters 10K challenge. The event should have taken place in Toronto, Canada so I saved shed loads of cash by running it at Rother Valley.
||WMA Virtual Challenge
||1st F65 of 6
For those who have not yet considered Masters’ Athletics, this is an opportunity for athletes 35 and over to compete at a national and international level in the traditional 5-year age bands. Age Graded scores give the athlete an idea of how their performance compares with World Records to encourage participation. Go to bmaf.org.uk for more information.
My appreciation and thanks go to John Rothwell, coach, who has encouraged, coached, and supported me throughout the series; Andrew Deery who legged it and round Rother Valley with me in the 10K; Joel Kesterton with son Jacob in the buggy who have plodded around and offered company and encouraging comments; Malcolm Kesterton for being the early morning driver, bag holder, and general dogsbody; Stuart Hale who facilitated the track events and offered help with drills and preparation and Mick Wall for virtual technical assistance, advice, and encouragement.
Team Accelerate member and On athlete Andy Shelton has been putting the new On Running Cloudboom through its paces.
Heel-toe drop: 9mm
Best use: Road Racing
The CloudBoom is On running’s adventure into the world of carbon infused running shoes, The CloudBoom has been engineered for fast marathons and road races.
Straight out of the box
When you pick up the shoe, you immediately feel how light it is compared to On’s other long-distance, race based CloudFlow and CloudSurfer running shoes.
The CloudBoom is very distinctive. Many design hours and fine-tuned running tech have gone into creating an absolutely gorgeous shoe. As On say – this is definitely “Swiss engineering at its finest”
You will be pleased to know that the CloudBoom retain On’s signature cloud shaped sole. However, it is certainly fair to say that aesthetically they are rather different to On’s regular shoes. It is the only time I have seen a shoe and said “it looks fast”
When you push off for your first run, you appreciate Ons carbon infused speedboard. This flexible, but not pure carbon, speedboard offers a good balance of both rigidity and robustness, so every
step feels light, fast, and responsive.
The materials used in the CloudsBoom tick every box. The upper consists of super quality, ultra-thin and breathable engineered mesh to keep the weight down. The forefoot is reinforced so it can handle all types of turns.
The CloudBoom is well cushioned yet very different mainly due to the exciting set-up of the sole. Side on you can clearly see the different structural layers. In between the top section of the sole, (which incorporates On’s Helion™ foam to aid comfort), and On’s fabled CloudTech™, sits the carbon infused speedboard.
The rubber sole is noticeably different from On’s normal road shoe models. This is to offer you, the runner, enhanced traction and grip in the wet – which could provide increased acceleration and confidence. On have also made some other tiny changes such as the shorter tongue, which minimises weight and shows how On are trying to maximise the efficiency of this shoe.
Compared to the other carbon shoes on the market, the On CloudBoom is considerably more subtle, definitely not shouting out to everyone that you are out to PB, more like running in stealth mode.
After 3 weeks of testing (70 miles)
the new On CloudBoom I have noticed a few things; they are comfortable and super smooth to run in, the shoe is really snappy and provides a quick return for maximum cadence, and definitely has been easier on my legs, calves and achilles, which, for long distance runners, is a must. These shoes basically worked with my body and responded to the amount of effort I put into them. I tried them over a long distance, intervals and mixed pace runs. They responded superbly and I got the extra kick when I needed it. They are definitely now my favorite On running shoe, and most certainly a game changer!
Shoe looks good
They seem to be a bit unstable in lateral motion
Pick up stones
Not for the weekend warrior ( casual runner )
Small toe box
the CloudBoom is best suited to the road running for a decent amount of training miles. A superfast, comfy shoe to take on road races from 5km to Marathon distance and to get your desired PB’s.
Fantastic new On running shoe added to the On shoe family.
*I have put the cost in both categories as a carbon infused shoe it’s relatively cheap compared to others, but for the casual runner, it’s expensive and may not be for them.
I have been lucky enough to get my hand on a pair of the Endorphin Pro’s. The latest entry from Saucony in the carbon shoe battle happening right now. If you head to any busy running area you are bound to see at least a couple of people wearing carbon plated shoes.
Ever since the first few companies released carbon plated shoes and amassed a cult following, PB’s and world records started dropping like flies. Until now I haven’t had a pair, so when the Endorphins bounced through the door I was very interested to see if the hype they had built up was really worth it.
The first thing that hit me out the box was “WOW, these are a flippin good looking shoe”. Bright and bold colors just catching your eye. Yet still maintaining the same look of current running shoes unlike some of the carbon shoes out there.
Slipping your foot into them, they are comfy but not plush. They use Saucony’s FormFit to wrap around and hold your foot firmly in place. The upper is lightweight with no added extras to
maintain a racey feel. Its made with a single-layer engineered mesh upper which is highly breathable to keep your foot cool and drain any water or sweat with ease.
The midsole is Saucony’s latest and greatest PWRRUNPB foam a peba based foam. It claims to be super responsive and cushioned but with the longevity of a standard midsole (500 miles). Sandwiched in between is an S-shaped carbon fiber plate, there to fire you forward with every step. Couple this with Saucony’s new Speedroll meta-rocker and it has the potential to be a very fast shoe. It comes in a whopping 35.5mm stack height in the heel and 27.5 in the forefoot for an 8mm drop. Not quite your traditional racing flat.
To finish it off the outsole use a minimal amount of high carbon rubber compound and exposed midsole to keep them down to a featherweight 213g (UK size 9)
Just jogging up and down in them is a very odd sensation. They feel very soft however, you can feel the plate sandwiched in them as if you are running through mud then hit firm ground. Then roll onto the toe and snap forward. Very strange. But not bad at the same time just very different from anything I have used before.
The first proper opportunity I got to use them was a 3k time trial with some of Team Accelerate. I was excited, to say the least, after hearing all the stats that have been thrown about the Endorphin and other shoes like it. Were they really 4% more efficient than a standard trainer? Well…….
They are bouncy, very bouncy. The combination of soft and springy foam along with the carbon plate results in a shoe with a lot of pop. They feel fast, one of the biggest changes I noticed was how much longer I felt like I was in the air after each stride, almost floating. Now I know they are meant to be a marathon shoe but after 3k my legs felt as if they hadn’t done much not sore or tight even when coming down the small hill in the course it didn’t feel as if they were pounding my legs, still just bouncing along.
I know this was only 3k but still for longer races they certainly could come I handy to keep you feeling fresher even in the later stages of a race.
In short, if you can get hold of a pair then 100% go for it, they are an amazing shoe. They make you feel fast and want to run faster! For anything from 10k and above they are an incredible shoe. The one you pull out on race day when you want to rip it and break PB’s. Get a pair here >> today, alternatively take a look at the Endorphin Speed, a more forgiving racer/ quick trainer, here >>
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.