In my last blog I spoke about how I was upping the training and really pushing the winter training. I completed that week off with another triple figure worth of miles which was a nice satisfying feeling as it’s all new territory for me this type of volume.
I was given an easier week going into Liverpool as John didn’t want me training through it too much, he wanted to see where I was at and he knew i’d have to be on form if I was to make the GB team for the Euro Cross. On the Sunday evening I began to feel a little rough so decided to take the Monday off completely just to make sure I didn’t come down with a cold. If I trained through it I could have risked prolonging an illness into the following Saturday when I was racing. Thankfully it didn’t develop and all I had was a runny nose. So I cracked on with my session on the Tuesday as normal.
My session was 4x 5mins off 2:30 recovery. It seems a nice and controlled session with decent recovery, that’s what I thought until John told me he wanted me going through the mile in 4:30-35 on the reps. A little daunting so I warmed up really well for it and thought it would be a good idea to get a hard one in first to simulate the first mile at Liverpool as it notoriously fast. I probably got a little carried away going out in 4:24 through 4 laps but I settled into my running and bagged a good session with the remaining 3 reps passing the mile in 4:29, 4:29 and 4:28.
I was happy with that one and it was just what I needed going into Liverpool, a nice confidence booster. I saw out the remaining few days with easy running and the usual strides. I covered the race in my last race report here.
Copyright: Adrian Royale
With finishing in the top 3 in the race it meant I got the automatic selection in the policy for the Europeans. There wasn’t really anyone missing in the race apart from Thommo and Mo who are both stateside and the marathon lads Overall and Lemon who don’t target XC now. That made it easy for the selectors and they picked the first 6 across the line, it was very close though with only 10 seconds separating 1st to 6th. It is an honour though to be selected for my country once again, it’s the reason I pull my shoes on each day so I can’t wait to wear the vest with pride and run as hard as I possibly can!
Going into the Europeans it’s a scary thought as to how good the senior mens team actually is! It’s definitely one of the strongest teams in recent years and that’s without the European No1 and No2 over 10,000m. I’m ranked 5th over 5000m within the team, only Frank is slower than me but he’s got an 8:31 chase to his name. There will be big competition between us all for the scoring 4 positions and hopefully everyone can perform to their potential and the team pick up a medal. Personally I just want to build on last years performance of 29th as I feel i’ve been training better than last year. You never know what the conditions will be like though and how everyone else will cope with them so it’s just a case of who has their Weetabix on the day!
This week I am winding down a little more than what I did for Liverpool, reducing the volumes and the intensities. It’s a different approach to last year as then I was just back from Kenya and waiting for the altitude effect to kick in. This time it’s coming off some heavy miles and waiting for the legs to freshen up. I’m on the track tonight doing 4 minute reps rather than 5 minutes so I get a little more recovery, 2mins instead of 1 that the group will have.
Then it’ll be a case of just trotting nice and easy Wednesday and Thursday before I fly out to Slovenia early Friday mooring with the team. Roll on Sunday! It’s also great to see the BBC are covering the event live here.
I’ve always thought that the Liverpool Euro XC Trial should be covered on TV don’t you think? I find it a much more entertaining event for the spectator as the fields seem so strong at the front. Not taking anything away from the Inter Counties, that’s a fantastic event in its own right but I find some athletes don’t focus on XC as much in March. Surely there is room in the TV schedule to cover both? Covering the trial at Liverpool followed by the successes at the Euro Cross would make great TV viewing as it is one of GB’s most successful Championships within the calendar each year. I very much doubt anyone from the BBC or Sky is reading this so chances are my ramblings will go unnoticed. I guess we’ll have to make do with Athleticos.org covering the UK Challenge events now instead.
I’ll try and get a blog up when i’m out at the champs this weekend if there’s sufficient internet access.
Finally I have to say well done to Scott for making the Olympic team. So, er, well done Scott. Everyone knew selection was coming however he must be feeling so much relief getting that phone call. Now he can get his head down and concentrate on performing in that Olympic Marathon next year. Shame he’s avoiding me on FIFA12 claiming he doesn’t have internet at the moment. He must have heard I’m now lethal with Mario Gomez upfront for Bayern.