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Night of the 10000m 21st May 2016

Posted by jcreane@btinternet.com on May 24, 2016 at 6:55 PM

Night of 10000m


Incorporating English & British Championships


Saturday 21st May 2016


Venue Parliament Hill Track, Hampstead Heath, London



The Night of the 10000m event at Parliament Hill track certainly lived up to my expectations. Definitely a great event and well organised. It certainly brought some excitement to racing, as my own personal opinion is that racing has gone particularly stale (for a whole host of reasons..).



The seminar was hosted by Nick Anderson and on the panel were Great Britain athletes of yesteryear Nick Rose (world cross country medalist 10k British record holder), Eamonn Martin (London winner), Charlie Spedding (LA Olympic Bronze Marathon) and Paul Evans (Chicago winner). All highly respected athletes with incredible achievements at Olympic level, cross country, road and track.


The proceedings got under way (after brief introductions) with each athlete talking about their approaches to training and what this consisted of.


CHARLIE SPEDDING (CP) considered that volume was very important for him. This included weeks of 100+ miles a week. He considered himself not to be a sprinter so he considered specific speed sessions very important to him. So much so that he kept them in most of the time. It was a Lydiard type approach but (for him) with a more concentrated effort on speed. When asked about this, he said it may only take up 5% of his week but it was critically important (for him).


EAMONN MARTIN (EM) believed that performance and ability to cope with 5000m was very important and an indicator of endurance. He said that most of his training at 5000m was adapted for 10000m and that typical sessions were 10x1k or 6 x 1600.



Same issues as CS in that he didn't have a turn of pace/finishing kick. Did a great deal of track training and because of the geography of where he was based he tended to train alone. Did also mention that quite a few of his training runs were carried out at strong paces, finishing quicker than how they started.



Had a very holistic stance on his approach. He said that he used road races as a means to an end. He stressed that he really enjoyed training and racing. It wasn't a chore. We just got on with it and did it. Again talked about repetitions and sessions.


* I asked the first question. I asked 'you've all talked about the importance of sessions. How important we're they in real terms of the total % of your training?


Answers were very similar. All talked of 2-3 sessions a week and that if there was any particular differentiation there would be 2 in winter and 3 in the summer. I don't feel that the question was necessarily answered comprehensively, but in terms of the volume of training they did it was a small portion of their training week. As CS said maybe 5% but CRITICAL. it would have been better to have an example from a plan or training period.


EM - when I raced it was about positions, NOT TIMES. Times will come. Ran to win the race. I'm an advocate of that.


CS - recalled an interaction he had when he was introduced to a new member at his club. He was introduced as Charlie Spedding Olympic Bronze medalist and the man turned round and said 'what time did you do?' again this was highlighting EMs comment on obsession with times, not positions.


PE - I sat down with my coach and planned the whole year and focused on the championships and spring/autumn marathons


NR - believed cross country to be extremely important in attaining endurance for a base for summer running ie track.


EM - the 'less is more' approach is absolute rubbish. Training to win the 9 mile national cross country involves a phenomenal amount of training


CS - my best races in cross country were on firm ground. I just wasn't suited to it. I was best on road. I used the Lydiard method. Everyone at Gateshead was doing it. However I needed to do more speed and I would work on speed all year round as it was my weakness. I believe three questions to be important.


Q1 what do you want? GOAL / TARGET


Q2 why do you want it?


Q3 how much do you want it? (how much are you prepared to do?)


EM - talked about his approach to marathon. Gradually built training. I wasn't focusing on time for London. I was focusing on winning. Running to win!


PE - talked about 'desire' as being key. We trained smart, got the best out of ourselves and worked really hard.


NR (of running) It can't become a chore. We all loved it. That's why we did it. Yes, we were very driven but we loved it.


****OF SESSIONS (*responses to my initial question*)****


EM - I did 3 sessions a week but in the winter it was all about getting the miles in.


CS - I did 2 a week. A small % of week but very important. It gave me a gauge of how I was feeling and where I was at in terms of performance.


PE - did lots of running and many runs would end up finishing fast. Did 2 in winter and 3 in summer


NR - talked of how it prepared him mentally. Could feed/thrive off sessions. Talked about how life was simple and that training was just fun! Emphasised SIMPLICITY, running to how he felt etc...


CS - mentioned that runners will definitely benefit from a strong core particularly in the last throws of a race when form can deteriorate.


****LONG RUN****


CS - did one every week. It was part of the culture of Gateshead. We enjoyed them. They weren't slow but we chatted. They were a social event. Vital for stamina and strength.


EM - I did 20 miles every Sunday in the winter. Dropped it a bit in the summer. The only difference for building up to the marathon is that I did more! 20+


PE - long run was a key session. In the summer I would run 15-16 miles every Sunday. In the winter 20-22 miles every Sunday. Sometimes I would use it as an out and back. So would run 10 miles out and turn around and run 10 miles back slightly quicker.


NR - did 13-16 miles . Always did it in groups. I really think running them in a group helps. Also after a hard race, I would always run a long run the next day, either with team mates or fellow competitors. It's just what we did.




EM- picked out key races (championships). I believe in racing against the best. Today the competitive pyramid is very narrow.


NR - I liked racing often both winter and summer. Had races that I focused on. Used club races for development like 1500m/3000m. I thrived on competition.


CS - I looked forward to big races but occasionally would run low key races for testing my form. Charlie then went on to talk about the basic physical condition of youngsters, saying that it was lower than in any previous age. He believed that we need to get youngsters more active.


***The approach for a YOUNG ATHLETE***


EM - I started athletics at 13 but had been active with football and rugby before. Initially I only trained twice a week whilst maintaining interests in other sports. I had very good results as a junior, but when I started training twice a day (age 21) the impact of results was almost immediate.


CS - I was always physically active as a youngster. Always doing something!


PE/NR talked of the importance of youngsters having a multi sport approach before specialisation.



The question was posed on the influence of food/diet.


CS - believed that dietary supplements and sports products were a lot of hype. He clearly stated 'EAT REAL FOOD!'


PE - stated that when he was running a 100 miles a week he could eat what he liked.


NR - I don't think we thought about what we ate! I had a foundation of eating from what my parents produced and prepared. We grew vegetables. Simply...I ran...I was hungry...I ate.


***INTENSITY OF 100miles (+) a week***

PE - did 2 runs a day. One would be a recovery run. For him this would be the second run. The first run would start easy and would become faster as it went on.


EM - stressed the importance of listening to your body.


CS - you need to know when to back off. Be aware.


NR - there were purple patches when I knew I was fit. Run as you feel. Sleep is very important.


EM - I worked full time. I trained very early in the morning and in the evening. I was in bed by 9.30pm. To achieve what I wanted, I did what I had to do.




CS - working in a group is very helpful.


EM - In our day, there were many consistent performers. Not now. There was a knock on effect from this. The 'good athlete' today doesn't endure. They hang around for a year or two and then disappear. We need to keep them so we can get others. We had Ovett, then Coe, Cram, Elliott....suddenly we had a crop of athletes who could win major championships.


PE - too many people are running in comfort zones. So many races but people are not going head to head to improve


NR - join a club/team. Set goals...realistic ones..structure a plan....keep to it....improve...love it!


All notes taken from J. Creane (Lydiard Foundation Coach)









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