December 24, 2014 George Foster


Author selfie. I am a strong, independent woman.

Nothing like a good 4 month lay-off from racing to get you psyched for a touch of training. Especially when in your first race back you get spanked.

I’ve joined a new club – Dundee Hawkhill Harriers who seem at my level or just above.

What got me really thinking about training is chatting to some of the lads in Hawkhill. I can’t understand much of what they say. Their Dundonian accents see to that. So what I think they were telling me, from replaying the conversations numerous times in my head at various speeds (sometimes backwards), is that they often run in excess of 70 miles a week, running at least once every day. To me that seems phenomenal. I’ve been training with them now for a day over 2 weeks,  potentially the most consistent and structured running I’ve done since my school days, and I’ve only averaged 30 miles a week! To me that’s a lot! Admittedly this 30 mile average has been purely quality work – fartlek (pardon me!), tempo and threshold (all just words to me at the moment to be honest!) but in terms of base miles at a lower pace? Frankly I can’t be arsed.

Author selfie. I am a strong, independent woman.

Author selfie. I am a strong, independent woman.

In the training sessions I’ve had with Dundee I’ve been okay enough to be up there as one of the front two in each session. Then came race day in the East District XC Champs on the weekend and I got spanked, only just scraping into the top-50. That was the kick I needed to get serious about running in a club that is serious about running – in a very jovial and unpretentious way! An example of the ‘official’ training week is below…….

Monday – nowt official.

Tuesday – 15 min warm-up; 2 mins best effort followed by (fb) 1 min rest fb 3 mins best effort fb 1 min rest fb 4 mins best effort fb 2 mins rest – repeat 3 times total. This is a hard session!

Wednesday – nowt official.

Thursday – 10 miles; 2 miles warm-up @ 7-8 min pace fb 4 miles 10k pace fb 2 miles cool-down. This is also a cheeky session!

Friday – nowt official.

Saturday – nowt official.

Sunday – 15 miles ‘strength builder’ long run @ 8-9 min pace; usually XC or fell/hill. Not done one of these yet but it’s probably not as easy as it sounds.

They’re just the staple, ‘official’ training sessions. I’m no mathematician but that doesn’t add up to 70+ miles. In amongst that then these lads must be doing at least one more hard session and then three ‘easy’ recovery runs and, they’ll forgive me for saying this (or batter me), Hawkhill isn’t exactly a ‘glory’ club up there in the pantheons of truly great achievers in Scottish or British Athletics – they’re no Serpentine or Newham & Essex Beagles. I’ve got some catching up to do!

So tuck into your Christmas turkey you losers! I’ll be out smashing another 30-miler at 5k race-pace, downing a quick spirulina and kale smoothie before hitting the track for some 10×4-mile repeats. Boom!


Had a good run out recently…….1st in my Regimental XC (wahooooooo); 2nd in a local 5k Trail race in Fife (wahoooo); and I topped 60 miles in training (30 miles of which were on my bike – whoops)…….then I went down to Shropshire on my way back to my Mum’s for Christmas for a cracker of a race – the Corndon 3 Peaks Classic – only to find that they’d switched the race time back from 12pm to 11am (in spite of it being on the website as 12pm [‘am’ actually but I know what they meant] since mid October) at the last minute, deeming it only fit to email the local clubs to let them know. So I’d like to officially recognise this fact and say publicly “Merry funkin Christmas Maldwyn Harriers”, you owe me some petrol money and 3 hours of my life back!

Are you happy Mercia FR?!  Look what you've gone and done!

Are you happy Maldwyn Harriers?! Look what you’ve gone and done!

Comments (3)

  1. Graham spencer

    Sorry to hear about your wasted journey but its not a Mercia fell runners race it is in fact a Maldwyn Harriers race. Never mind see you next year perhaps.

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