2019 preview

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Although this is a preview of my schedule for 2019 to include goals, races and plans, I write this already 3 weeks into the year and having completed two races and so I shall start off by summarising those first two races.

Kent Cross Country Championships, Brands Hatch – Saturday 5th January:
This was to be the fourth consecutive year for me competing in this 12km county championship race and, coming just 6 days after a 10 mile personal best at the Staplehurst “End of year” race, I was not expecting to perform to my full potential as I know that my body was still recovering.

The conditions for the race were ideal underfoot – relatively firm, dry and not slippery. I still chose to wear cross country spikes but only short ones. The weather however was very cold and with a chilly wind and as the course is entirely exposed, this added an extrac chill!
I started off steady and felt comfortable throughout. I was able to maintain a steady pace and was delighted to have improved by over a minute on my previous best time from this race in 2017.

Speedway 10k, Beachley nr Chepstow – Sunday 20th January:
I was made aware of this race when my coach shared it on Twitter last year. Intrigued, I immediately booked myself a B&B, train ticket and a provisional entry to the race. The thing that enticed me to enter was that the organiser was looking to put together a very high quality field of runners with free entry to sub-32 men and sub 33.5 women. Any other entrants would need to provide evidence of their best 10k time from the last year, with a general requirement of a sub-45 minute posting.

Entry for the race was just £10 and of the proceeds, 90% of the profit from the race was to be distributed amongst the top finishers and age-graded winners. In addition, the course was fast and flat. This, along with the high quality field led me to believe that this would be a very good opportunity to post a new personal best over the 10k distance and I wasn’t to be disappointed. More to follow in a separate blog post.

Preview of 2019:
So, following the above two races, my current schedule looks like this:
Southern Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill (15km) – Saturday 26th January
Movement Skills workshop, Gateshead – Saturday 2nd February
Kent Cross Country League, Sparrow’s Den (10km) – Saturday 9th February
National Cross Country Championships, Leeds (12km) – Saturday 23rd February
*provisional: Dartford Half Marathon – Sunday 3rd March
Support for RTW runners at Vitality Big Half, London – Sunday 10th March
Boston Marathon, Lincolnshire – Sunday 14th April
Physical Skills workshop, Ashford – Sunday 5th May
Plymouth Half Marathon – Sunday 19th May
Disneyland 36.1k challenge – Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd September

Goals for 2019:
Nutrition – last year I significantly reduced the amount of added sugars and processed foods in my diet, restricted meat – choosing to eat just salmon and tuna 99% of the time and cooked the majority of food myself. This year I have decided to cut out all meat, but will continue to eat fish which provide me with a good source of protein and omega fatty acids which are essential to a healthy diet and bodily function. I will also cut out any and all added sugar from my diet, by choosing to consume naturally occuring sugars. I will also avoid any processed foods.

Running goals – I would like to improve my 10k time (with the aim of doing so at the Speedway 10k in January); my 5k time (at a parkrun over the summer) and my half marathon time. I would like to train for and complete a well-paced and comfortable marathon at Boston in April. I have no focus on finishing time, but would like to conquer the distance successfully with a steady pace throughout and making it through the mental and physical wall that I struggled with at the 20 mile mark in my debut in 2018 at London.

Coaching – Continue with my professional development by attending workshops during the year and introducing new drills for the all abilities group over the Spring and Summer months. I shall continue to encourage and promote good running form and doing most running in an aerobic capacity which is the best way to improve running performance.

Strength and conditioning – I understand and appreciate the many benefits to using strength and conditioning in a running program and will be using myself as a guinea pig to identify the best exercises for runners so that I can start to offer sessions to clients from 2020.

Please check back shortly for my next blog post which will focus on the Speedway 10k race that I completed on Sunday 20th January 2019.

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