Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Barry's hill intervals

Barry had prescribed 5 x 2 mins uphill intervals so I headed for my old hunting grounds, where back in the old days I use to cycle race and train quite a lot. I remember one race where we had to go over Clieves hill 12 times! I'd been over doing the weight training and must have weighed at least 12 and 1/2 stone, I got dropped every time up the 1/2 mile climb but got back onto the bunch on the downhill, it was fantastic fun charging past the official cars and leapfrogging back to the peloton and even more fun riding past [and winding him up!] this guy in my club who for some reason had taken a dislike to me from the first day I'd joined the cycle club! I survived and finished in about 20th place in the main group, I was quite chuffed with myself!
I warmed up for 2 miles then set off on my 1st effort, once I hit 2 mins I put a marker down on the road, I then jogged back down hill before running my next effort. 5x 2 mins sounded pretty easy BUT as anyone who has tried hill intervals will tell you 'THEY BLOODY HURT', I didn't look at my watch again until after the session, but was happy to see I reached the marker with times consistently 3-4 seconds faster than the first one! It was a relief to finish the 5th effort, now I could relax and enjoy the countryside and the beautiful weather with a steady run!

5 x 2 mins hills, av pace uphill 9.1 mph = 1 Hour 18 mins
Photo looking south down Clives Hill

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Barry Magee told me I would be a bit 'stupid-silly' to run this race so soon after a half marathon, BUT I really-really wanted to run it, the series of 4 races is one of my summer targets and more importantly 'I really love this race'.
Lining up at the bottom of the quarry rd I was more nervous than ever, Barry's words kept echoing through my mind!
Off we go clambering up the one mile stony gravel path climb, at first I feel a bit sluggish but as I reach half way up I start moving through the pack, team mate Steve Mclean is sitting right on my shoulder [ he gave me a good battle last month] now we hit the steep section, surprisingly I can still see the leaders not far ahead, I take a few more scalps as the climb flattens out.
Next there is a long section of downhill through the fields with a few well placed stiles to brake the rhythm up! I charge past a couple more runners before we come out onto the road, a sharp left then another a 100m later, now up a narrow lane, Steve comes passed me [just as he did last month] as the lane rears up in front of us, out onto the main Parbold hill rd for a brief second before diving through a cutting in the hedge! Down a tricky slope, over a stream and up the bank before coming to a complete stop at a stile! Dam this is the hardest part, just as you clamber over the stile the path steepens to an alarming degree! [ the legs demand a rest but you have to force onwards].
Up and up I climb over the green fields, slowly I claw Steve back, its painfull, and its not pretty but I,m getting closer! Back in the good old days [ 6 years ago I use to hammer this section, turning my legs over faster and faster like a Tour De France climber on the attack! Now I feel more like a over weight sprinter going out the back! Over another stile or two and I'm onto the escalator, a green track that seems to rise on and on into the distant horizon, just before the top I pass Steve and lead him out onto the rd, Half a mile of tarmac follows before the final section up to Harrock hill, I lead Steve but my legs feel leaded and heavy and my body is boiling up from the inside out in the evening heat and sunshine. On to the ruins of the old windmill and then downhill along a narrow tricky rocky path I stumble and let Steve past, over a stile and down a mad decline through a cow field, Steve is gone and so are my legs, one final stile and down a narrow farmers lane, sharp left, a fling downhill then a hairpin bend and the last 100m uphill to the finish. I try to sprint but the legs will not respond so I have to drag my body over the line!
Wow 24 second faster than last month and 10th place too!
We stay for the prize giving, sipping an ice cold beers outside the country pub on a beautiful long summers evening, 'Perfect'.
Richard Shearer, Rob Ashworth and Steve Mcclean won the team event for the club so all in all a pretty good day!

5 races in one month and a nice steady improvement, all is good in the world of RICK'S RUNNING!
Easy-easy for the rest of the week!

Training for the week
Mon 22nd
Easy aerobic run, sandhills with Tess = 1.12
Tue 23rd
Another easy run =1.04
Wed 24th
Afternoon short run with Niz
Evening Harrock Hill Race 2, 10th place = 36.24
Thur 25th
easy run over the big sanddunes with Tess, warm sunny evening! = 1.41
Fri 26th
Moved my long run forward a day as I'm watching Niz in a Tri event tomorrow, felt tired on my easy-mod long sandhill run = 2.12
Sat 27th
Easy jogging as I watch Niz race!
Sun 28th
Sandhill 6 with Jon, plus run down and back = 1.20

Sunday, 21 June 2009


Ron Hill @ <span class= Five of us made the trip to the oldest half marathon in the country, RON HILL still holds the course record of 1 hour 4 mins set back in 1964, he was here today to run his last ever half marathon [ at 70 even legends have to ease up a bit!].
Setting off fro
m the playing fields we sprinted off on a 1 mile hilly circuit of the village, I was in for a shock as I came up to the first mile marker, 5.39 on the watch! way to fast for my current fitness level, I would pay the price latter on!
The route heads out over the rolling countryside and by 5 miles I started to blow, dropping b
ack from the group I was in, I had to back off recover and slowly re find my rhythm.
Up to 9 miles I was running on my own until A guy came alongside me, this was enough to spur me on and I went to the front and pushed on harder, he stayed with me until 12 miles when I put the boot in and charged for home!
I finished with my fastest time in 5 years and my thanks must go out to Barry
Magee, I think there is still a lot of improvement still to come!
A week last Sunday I caught a virus off my wife and felt very ill at work, Monday I ran 3 x 1 mile but my legs felt empty and the fastest I could manage was 5.38, Wed I had a great 5 k and Friday was a session of short hill sprints on the steep sandhills which I really enjoyed!
Things are progressing nicely!

p.s. just remembered I went off course [ my own fault] just before 9 miles and got called back by the marshal, losing the few precious seconds that would have given me a 80 min half and explains why the Garmin shows 13.18 miles!
RON HILL on running training and life at 70

Thursday, 18 June 2009


The first Rubbish 5k went really well last night with 14 runners taking part [ I was expecting about 6 for the first one!]
With Jon's help I picked the course markers up from Ron's then went down to mark the course out, we had 5 marshals available [ thanks to all] and I sent them off to various points of the course, CLLR Fred Weavers came down to watch and took a photo shortly before the start.
7pm came around but there was still no Rob [ he had confirmed that he was running!] I waited a couple of minutes then decided to start the race. Brian Grice [ time keeper and results, thanks Brian] started the race and now the fun started!!!
I quickly found myself in the lead with John Sprackland right on my shoulder as we ran downhill into the strong wind [ it had been raining all day but amazingly the weather cleared just in time for the race!], after 400m we took a left and headed along the narrow outer path, running through a enthusiastic crowd of youngsters, then it was down a steep descent and a quick sprint up a short very steep hill, then along the top before turning right and a fast downhill and a sharp left before hitting the new bridge , [Vicky and Andy were doing a great job marshaling the runners through and over the bridge].
Now I was running round the new park with Jon still hot on my heels, a quick glance at the Garmin showed 10.8 mph, I was motoring a fair old bit! Over the bridge again and a sharp right then left and onto the outer path, John's footsteps started to get fainter as I pulled away and all of a sudden I was running on my own leading my own race!!!
A short uphill and I crossed over the main path [ marshaled by Jon] and started the second lap, I was time trialing now [ 1st lap av speed 10.4 mph] with no one to push me I relaxed a bit but thought about breaking my course record of 18.34, I could start to feel my legs tiring on the short hills but there was not far to go now, a final corner and I could see the finish at the top of the hill, just 400 to go, pushing hard my speed increased to 10.8 then 11 mph as I crossed the finish line, The winner of the first RUBBISH 5K , I'd was expecting Rob Mcgrath to take that Honor!
It seems he joined in late missing the first 400m and after finishing 3rd was disqualified!!!
First lady was Angela Delanay in an amazing p.b. 20.54
Everyone seemed to enjoy the event and every thing went far better than I could of hoped for!
Thanks for taking part and helping, cheers Steve, Jon, Vicky and Andy and Norm!
Next race will be 15th july. MAP
RESULTS Rubbish 5k trail, 17th June 2009
5 PAUL CAIN 20.31
8 P BROOK 23.32
9 C WRIGHT 23.33 lady
10 C CUTNER 25.18 lady
11M LAVENDER 27.35
12 G GILLISON 28.49 lady
13 S MARSHAL 29.11 lady

Saturday, 13 June 2009

18 mile, 1900 ft of climbing, Arthur Lydiard hill run, GETTING STRONGER

My home town is very flat apart from the many sand dunes along the coast, so to get a good long hill run in I have to travel a good 14 miles to Parbold out in the country and the first real hills, but I think its worth the weekly trip!
This was my 4th Arthur Lydiard type long hill run [ I'd already run 3 before starting Barry's training program this week], Barry was happy with this session and told me I could take it out to 2.30 if I wanted! It was quite warm and sunny as I set off, first Stoney lane [ very steep at the start and end but more steady in the middle, its exactly 1 mile long and my p.b. for this climb is 7.17], then back down the quarry path and then on to Hunters hill [ steady at the start but rises up like a volcano from half way] once over the top [there were some great scenic views to be seen today] I made my way over the fields following the Harrock hill course, next was Parbold and after a very long climb over the fields and dirt paths I made my way up and over Harrock hill and passed the ruins of the old windmill, a quick blast down through the cow fields and then over the Harrock hill race finish line, but I was not done yet, I took a left and climbed the notorious Hunters Hill for a second time, then carried on along the rd, I then looped round on the road [ this road is awesome, its a fantastic roller coaster ride where you can work on your leg speed as you come down the gentle descents] after a couple of miles I turned left and climbed Harrock hill up along a narrow picturesque lane and finally headed for home. I was pleased to find my average pace has improved by 7 secs per mile compared to a few weeks ago, I did start to feel tired towards the end, most probably due to dehydration, but I held my pace together much better, feeling more aerobically strong! 18 miles, 1900ft climbing, easy-steady pace, = 2.17
Sunday 14th
Easy run over sandhills with Tess on a beautiful summers early evening = 1.12
First week of Barry's training has done very well.
Next week I am running a half marathon and my training includes a 5k tempo run and a hill session!

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Haigh Hall
13 sec improvement doesn't really tell the whole story as I felt a hell of a lot better than in last months race, In the May race I felt like packing on the first steep climb and I had to use all my mental will power to keep on going! This time I felt strong the whole way round.
Starting in the woods the rain started as we set off up the one mile climb, one group pulled away from me and I found myself leading the second group, I didn't even notice the really steep section today, after a mile or so we went passed the hall and then tackled a short steep ramp before hurtling back down hill at speed, then there was a right turn and back up the hill again, slowly I started to pull back the tail enders of the group in front and be the top of the climb they were within pouncing distance! Just one mile of downhill to go, Rob tells me he ran this stretch in 4.48! I take out one runner then another as I get within the last 400m or so, A final sprint and I cross the line in the pouring rain in 23.31 feeling much happier than last time, I think I've turned a important corner in my running, for the better! Team mates Richard Shearer WON the race , Steve Wilkinson came 5th and Rob 'the chicken' Mcgraph finished 8th after his epic downhill assault, if only I could have finished faster the Team award would have been in the bag! As it was we had to settle for second, I'm hoping Barry's training will help me improve enough to support the team better next month!
Photo Haigh Hall Lion

Haigh hall 4 miles 23.31, 18th place.
Thur 11th
Easy run with Tess over the big sand dunes = 1.31
Fri 12th Easy run with Eddie and Tess, should have been 30 mins but turned into an hour!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


RUBBISH 5K series
The viewing stone circle [ highest central part of the park] Bentham's way, new woodlands park. [2 laps].
Gravel paths and a few hills!

Please come along and support the event.


Monday, 8 June 2009


Today was my first run following the custom designed training program from Barry Magee.
Barry asked me a lot of questions as regards my past training, health, fitness and future objectives, once he was happy that he had all the info necessary he set about writing up my training for the next couple of weeks.
Todays session was a pyramid fartleck run over mixed terrain with the reminder to "keep the fast efforts relaxed as you have a race on Wednesday".
Found the session quite easy, if I'd set the training myself I'm sure I'd have pushed much harder and run more efforts [ and paid the price on Wednesday!] as bricey said in his comment on my last post " It's often good to get an external perspective."

Route Sandhill 6
Pyramid fartlek -- 30-60 -120-180-120-60-30 - 15 secs with
recovery jogs between
Finished with some easy aerobic running to give a total of 1 hour 16 mins
Tue 9th
Nice easy aerobic run [ as instructed] with tess over the sandhills,
enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine as we
meandered over the gentle dune paths, cool! = 1.04

Thursday, 4 June 2009


After 16 years of self coaching I decided to get serious and get a really good coach, and who better than legendary runner and outstanding coach in his own right BARRY MAGEE, Barry was one of the original Arthur's boys from the 60's who went on to great success and knows more about LYDIARD'S training methods than anyone else! I'm very excited to train under him! Training starts monday!

Interview With Barry Magee
Wed 3rd

th place
Its been a long time since I raced here [2002], the new course is very fast, I was feeling tired after over doing my training on Monday night [ things should improve once I start to follow Barry's program, watch this space!]
The first thing I noticed was they have done a lot of work to restore the park to its former glory.
Birkenhead Park was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton. His concept was to create an idealised countryside landscape of open meadows and naturalistic woodland belts.
And it is said that Central park in New York was modeled from the Birkenhead design!
Anyway back to the racing, I travelled down with Jon, the race Didn't start on time due to cars parked on the course it was almost 8 pm by the time we got going [ start time should have been 7.45], one interesting concept is they put on races for the juniors before the main race.
Conditions were almost idea sunny and no wind but maybe a little to humid for Jon!
The race was over 3 laps of the lower park, it was really fast, just one short hill each lap, I went through one mile in 5.37 feeling ok, 3 miles 17.04, I was hoping for sub 29 mins maybe 28.30, I think I ran 28.18 some 7 years ago!
I was in a good group as we went into the final lap, I could now start to feel my energy draining away, up the hill for the last time and I started to fade, runners were starting to pass me by as I slipped back through the field helpless to do anything about it, finally I reached the last endless 200 m, It was like one of those dreams where your trying to run but feel like something is pulling you back, at last I cross the line and glance at the watch, 28.48 for 19th place! I didn't feel good!
I jog back and wait for Jon, he's having a bad time, the heat has got to him, after a long wait he comes into view, I shout "200 to go" and he puts on a sprint finishing in 43.27.
I was surprised no other SWAC member turned up, its a great course in nice surroundings.


RYAN HALL on Mental Training;
RH: I am still learning a lot about the mental side of training and racing. What I am focusing a lot of lately is just being in the moment. I, and I think all runners, have a tendency to think too much. Whether it is worrying about Heartbreak Hill, thinking about what a competitor is doing, or get flustered because the last mile split was too slow, we all have a tendency to have our mind cluttered with a lot of junk. I am learning to clean out the trash and just be where I am and poor myself into the step I am about to take. I find that I get more out of myself when my mind isn't cluttered with so much garbage.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


Last night I took my final practical exam, I had to design a training program inc MOBILITY, PRE STRETCH, WARM UP, CV WORKOUT, FREE AND FIXED WEIGHTS, WARM DOWN and PROGRESSION and MAINTENANCE STRETCHES!
I then had to take a client through the whole routine while giving correct demonstrations and teaching points! MAN, THIS WAS NERVE RACKING IN THE EXTREME!!!
Well I somehow made it through and got a pass, [ Thanks to Rob for standing in as my client].
Next I want to move on and take the level 3 personal trainer qualification!

If you thought you should run your hill repeats so hard your lungs almost burst, then think again and check out this video

Peter Magill - Event Training: 5K (Road)

Quick Facts:

Peter Magill
Age 47
South Pasadena, CA
Fluffy Bunny Track Club (Coach, Athlete)
Event Tips: 5K (Road)
Masters PR: 14:47 (age 42)
Masters Achievements at 5K (Road): Single Age American Records for 5K (Road) - Age 43-14:52, Age 46-14:50, Age 47-14:49 ... 2004 Carlsbad 5000 Masters Champion (14:51) ... at least a dozen sub-15 performances since turning 40 (and a 14:34.27 on the track at age 46)
(Photo by Victor Sailer) MORE