Tag Archives: Training
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
“I feel the need for the speed”, so let’s hit those speedy intervals, or perhaps the cinema beckons…
Yet is interval training for every runner and I guess the question is should you be doing them? If so how and where to start. So let’s take a look at what they are and the variations.
Interval Training, or Repetition sessions are so often misunderstood and when purely executed they become ‘junk miles’ and in doing so rapidly increase the risk of injury or over training.
Good examples of an Interval session would be to visit your local athletics track and start running reps. So a straightforward example would be
6 x 400 meters with say recovery of an easy jogged lap.
The more experienced and fitter will be adding sets.
Two sets of 6 x 400 meters, with 45 secs recovery between reps. The recovery between the sets could be 4 mins.
Some Common Misconceptions
Let’s start with the biggest mistake. Intervals should not be run as fast as you can. Run till you drop sessions are a waste of time. The second, mistake many make is an assumption that because they can say, race 5k then they can go straight into a set that equates to that same distance. Again, this is likely to induce fatigue something that is not your friend. If you teach your body to run into fatigue then it will learn to recognise the signs of what’s to come and protect itself. It does this by slowing you down – what good is that?
Intervals are also about you, so in trying to keep up with someone faster than you is again not such a good thing. Believe it or not a sub 16 minute 5k runner can run the same session as a 25 minute 5k runner – one will just finish sooner. (That has it’s advantages as they can get the kettle on!) So it’s really important to run your pace.
For me, if you plan your session correctly then yes, interval training is something for everyone.
Why Interval Train?
There are clear benefits. Yes, if run correctly with a little planning they help develop speed or your ability to keep speed going for longer.
They also help with your running form, especially towards the end of a race when let’s be honest, even the best can get a little raggedy.
Part of this speed development comes from the fact that you are also developing your bodies ability to be effective in utilising and clearing lactate acid. All of these things the body will adapt too. It takes a little time though.
The body’s adaptation process takes place on recovery days and during rest time, including sleep. An exhausted body will not adapt as quickly as one that is only a little fatigued – something that should always be remembered. So interval sessions that leave wanting more, with only a little fatigue can be a good thing. This will ensure your body will learn and train itself to recover and adapt effectively.
So all in all in you may not always feel quicker finishing an interval session, yet your body is adapting. Therefore your efficiency improves and you are faster!
How Fast Should Intervals Be?
Here’s the thing. No faster than your current known race pace. So if you run 20 minutes for a 5k then that would be 2 minutes for 500 meter intervals. Conversely, if you are looking to develop a 50 minute 10k race time then that would be 5 minutes per kilometer, or 2:30 for each 500.
There is no point in running intervals at a speed your body cannot yet run over a given race distance
The rule here is fairly straightforward only run intervals at a given and known race speed that is current. There are plenty of charts and phone apps to help you calculate your race pace from a known time and distance. They are reliant on your fitness being spot on for each distance that you are predicting though.
There is a growing argument and in fairness something I have always believed in. This is that running your intervals a little slower than race pace can also be highly effective. There is so much less fatigue. I would also add that you can run your intervals to heart rate, although for this I would definitely recommend a Lactate Test. (Check out AcceleratePerformance.co.uk)
So How Many Intervals Should you Run?
This very much does depend on your experience and also how much you currently train. You also have to remember if you are not used to running weekly session at your race pace then your body will find these hard. As a result you will be moving quicker so pushing harder. Your range of movement will increase so stretching things out a little more. So some caution is a good thing. Fartlek, is a great precursor to hitting the track.
If this is your first interval session then play safe.
Consider your first session to be half the distance of the race distance the session is designed to help. Perhaps a little less for 10k specific training. You can build the distance every couple of weeks. In addition start with one session per week, no more. You are looking for progressive adaptation not progressive speed!
What About Recovery Time Between Each Interval?
This is always a tough one. For 5km and 10km pace try halving your interval time. So if you are running 2-minute 400’s then start with a minute easy walk / jog / walk recovery. Yes, as you become fitter and more used to this work load you can drop the recovery time. You will find fitter athletes will require as little as 30 seconds.
What About Over-Distance Sessions?
These can be highly effective. Simply this means that you are going to run a total interval distance greater than the race distance the session is designed for. In doing so you will build into this style of session over time.
It is also worth considering dropping the target time a little and / or increasing the recovery time. Another option is to split the session into two or perhaps three sets, ensuring plenty of recovery time. The key is to not just to keep the pace the same, also the effort. This is where a heart rate monitor can come in handy. As your effort increases so does your heart, as with fatigue towards the end of a set.
Are Multi-Paced Sessions a Good Idea?
Yes! They are also good fun. Again another type of session to build into.
You could start with two sets. The first set at 10km pace and then the second set at you 5km, with shorter distanced intervals.
Another way of using multi-paced sets is to run a longer rep at say 10km pace and then a shorter rep at 5km pace, alternating these as you go through.
4 x 1km @ current 10km pace, 60 seconds walk / jog / walk recovery
4 mins walk / jog / walk recovery between sets
6 x 600mts @ current 5km pace, 60 seconds walk / jog / walk recovery
The key remains don’t become overly fatigued from these type of sessions as there simply is no gain. This is the human body we are talking about not a racing car. As long as you plan ahead and for each and every session you should see improvement. This really does mean ensuring the correct current pacing is utilised, not your ‘wish’ pace. With newcomers to Interval sessions using differing race paces as your target at different sessions is a great way to start. Then you can focus in on your race specificity.
Yes, I do think that interval training can offer something for every runner.
Interval Try Out Time: If you would like to join in a session for the first time, then why not come along on the 2nd June 2022. We will be running a coached session that will be tailored to every attendee based on experience and their current racing pace. You can also test a pair of Carbon Shoes should you want too. Details HERE >>
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.
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.
The second installment from Harry Smith in our Reasons to run series, a retired GP and keen runner who regularly attends Running Past 50 on a Friday morning here at the Accelerate store. Harry shares the medical benefits of exercise and how it can keep you healthy and strong whatever your age.
Thomas Edison 1847 – 1931 said “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise.”
Running is one of the best ways to keep fit and boost your overall health. It is a social activity enjoyed in an outdoor environment by thousands.
The Health benefits are numerous.
1. Cardiovascular System ‘A runner must run with dreams in his heart.’ – Emil Zatopek
The heart is a muscle and like any other muscle in the body benefits from regular exercise. Exercise lowers blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major causative factor in heart attacks. Good HDL cholesterol transports fat away from the arteries and back to the liver for processing is increased by exercise which may also reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol which causes arteriosclerosis, Arteries therefore retain their elasticity.
This increase in cardiovascular health is asso ciated with a decrease in the incidence of strokes, heart attacks and coronary heart disease
2. Respiratory System “Just breath.” Author unknown
Our lung capacity naturally declines with age. Exercise can increase lung capacity by 5 -15% (lung capacity is the amount of air your lungs can hold after one inhalation). Running thus leads to increased efficiency of the lungs better facilitating transport of oxygen to all body cells leading to better stamina and more work for less cardiorespiratory effort.
3. Muscular Skeletal system. “Be fluid and elegant in your movements.” Anonymous
Running and running coaching especially can improve joint strength, mobility, and function. Muscles are strengthened and bone loss reduced. Core exercises train muscles in the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony, leading to better balance and stability in daily activities.
Sufferers from arthritis also benefit from appropriate exercise reducing pain and increasing range of movement. The incidence of falls is reduced.
4. Weight Loss. “Sweat is just fat crying” anonymous.
Exercise is the key to weight control. Running for one hour can burn 400 calories. Running is the second-best exercise for burning calories, only second to cross country sking. However, for losing or maintaining a constant weight a balanced diet is also required. Exercise also lowers the incidence of diabetes by 50% by allowing muscles to better process glycogen, afuel for energy. Impaired processing of glycogen leads to excessive blood sugar and thus Diabetes
5. Psychological “Exercise equals endorphins. Endorphins make you happy” Anonymous
Beta-endorphin is released into the circulation from the pituitary gland during exercise,This improves mood and promotes a feeling of wellbeing thus boosting confidence and self-esteem.
Setting and achieving goals can give a sense of empowerment that leaves one feeling happier so fighting depression and stress.
Running is good at increasing social interaction since the running community has many supportive individuals and clubs.Aging is delayed as brain cognitive functions are maintained and decline prevented. New brain cells (Neurogenesis) are also created. There is an increase in vocabulary retention. with better decision making and learning.Miscellany Exercise has also been shown to have the following effects
- The immune system is boosted.
- Reduction in risk of breast cancer.
- Better sleep pattern
- Increase production of growth Hormone which is required for cell regeneration and growth and maintenance of healthy body tissues.
In summary. Running is incredibly beneficial to the body and the mind. It can leave you feeling more energised, fitter, more focused and better able to enjoy all life has to offer.
Promoting regular running will bring us nearer to Thomas Edison’s prediction.
Harry Smith is an Accelerate Community member and a regular at Running past 50, he shares his reason behind getting out the door for a run and its positive effect on his mental and physical health.
‘Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional ‘The words of Haruki Murakami when talking about running.
I started to run just 2 months short of my 72nd birthday. Dragooned into accompanying my 7-yearold Granddaughter on a park run As a fairly fit twice a week Derbyshire fell walker and numerous long-distance paths completed, i.e. Pennine Way and Coast to Coast, the thought of a 5-kilometre stroll in beautiful Devonian park land sounded appealing. Little did I know this was the start of an addiction. Dressed in old tennis shorts an aertex vest and non pc trainers I was surprised that among the fit, and to my mind young lycra clad who stretch and tried to push trees over, that I did not feel out of place. Walk and jogged. Experiencing euphoria ( or was I hyperventilating) as I was encouraged by other runners and clapped by marshalls as I plodded on. What a triumph not to finish last in a field of 90. Coffee and abacon buttie to follow. So, it all began.
Starting to get hooked
Home to Sheffield and Saturday Park Runs became the norm. I stormed past 50 runs and proudly wear the red T shirt. Sub 30 became the target rain shine and even snow.
Then Accelerate in June 2018 started Running for the Over Fifties, affectionately known as The Wrinklies. The nucleus of the group quickly gelled thanks to coaches Sarah and Stuart. A whole new vocabulary with accompanying action had to be learnt. High Knees, Flamingos in Hot water, Fast feet, Cadence, the dreaded Hill reps and my nemesis Hopscotch. Harry take a breath! When Stuart’s elite young athletes train with us they seem amazed at our stamina and ability to do most of the exercises and drills almost correctly.
Training with the youngsters
All this has a price with strained shoulders, hamstrings and lateral ligaments. Trips to Physio Pete soon put one straight as his fingers prob and manipulate tendons and muscles putting joints into positions mine have not been into in years. Still have to find a use for the black elasticated rubber strap he supplied!
I progressed and with the Wrinklies support entered the Longshaw 10k. My Everest. The Canal Canter had me winning my first and only running medal.
The finish line of Longshaw 10k with the whole of the Running past 50 group
I feel have become part of the running fraternity now ensconced in Patagonia tops, silky shorts, skintight leggings, socks with L and R stamped on them and of course high-end running shoes from Inov-8. Move over Superman.
Back to the original question why I endure this self-inflicted physical torture?
Firstly- the problems of the world disappear as aches, breathlessness and sweat take over one’s life. Keep head up, stay upright, swing arms and place feet underneath become the mantra.
Secondly- To find that after running 5k, although well down the field, you have a respectable time and often first in age group is a boost to one’s ego. Amazed I could complete a 10k.
Thirdly and most important the camaraderie of runners, especially the Wrinklies. Humour is always in the air when we meet.
Finally, one feels fitter, weight is controlled, joints more flexible and muscles relaxed. The mind is clearer.
I long for my next fix as a true running junkie.
So farewell friends, I hope to see you soon
A massive thank you to Harry for putting this together, we look Forward to seeing you out running again soon.