Sunday, 25 March 2012

Yeovil Half Marathon Results 2012

If you are looking for the full results from todays Yeovil Half Marathon they are here.

Shaun Antell's winning time of 70.35 was a very good effort on that course.

Hope everyone had a great day out in Yeovil and will be back for more in 2013.

Next up is the Easter Bunny 10k and the first Yeovilton Summer Series 5k, both on the superfast Podimore course.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Somerset Boys on top in ESAA Cross Country

What a fantastic saturday afternoon at Ilton in Somerset watching the English Schools Cross Country Championships. Its a long time since I've been to one of these events, 25 years to be precise when as an Intermediate boy I slogged my way round some fields in Preston to finish somewhere about 160th. Any idea where I can get a copy of the results from ?!

So 100,000 km of running later I was back to where it all began for me (sort of). There was some terrific racing at the front and the usual tales of agony and ectasy on the deceptively tough course round Merryfield airbase.

One of the highlights was seeing the Somerset boys (left) win the aggregate team competition for Group C Counties (less than 60,000 pupils) with a points total that also beat all the Group B and half the Group A Counties.

It was particularly satisfying as a good number of them are from the Taunton AC and Wells City Harriers clubs and have been training together with regular Saturday morning hill sessions in Street while some of the older Wells lads have been giving me a hard time on Tuesday evenings !

Full English Schools Results on

Adidas Adios 2 review

The original Adios racing shoe made its name as the shoe to break world marathon records in and the Adios 2 took up where the 'Haile shoe' left off by carrying Patrick Makau to a new WR in Berlin last September.

I've had a pair for a couple of months now and have been wearing them alongside the Asics DS Racer 9 as a comparison so this is my view of them.

The changes to the Adios 2 are several with the addition of Continental rubber to the outsole and a little bit more medial stability being the headlines, along with a fractionally reduced weight. I've used a pair of the orginal Adios for a while and immediately noticed the additional stability. Its not a huge change but for the runner that does benefit from a bit of stability its a welcome addition.

This shoe is still quite low in the heel and I find that my calf muscles need a good stretch after wearing them. That said they feel very responsive, more so that the DS 9 which I reviewed a few months ago. The forefoot just feels firmer and more dynamic for my liking.

So what about this highly touted outsole ? I used the shoes in a 10k race last weekend in Schaffhausen and the tarmac was wet and the corners looked particularly slippery (left). The traction from the Continental rubber was as good as promised and I was able to charge into the corners with total confidence, not something I could do in many of the racers I have owned.

The wear rate looks like its going to be very good as well which is a welcome sign as many modern racers seem to wear out their lightweight blow carbon outsoles way before the midsole has worn out.

Would I wear them for a marathon ? Absolutely, to my mind the best marathon shoe I've had since my old Adizero CS that carried me to a 2.18 in Toronto. For 5-10k races I prefer something even lighter so may be tempted to try out the Adizero Pro or anything else that readers can recommend.

Buy here from Running Home

Also take a look at the Saucony Kinvara 3 review.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Feel that rythmn

The last two sunday's i've been lucky enough to work with two groups of runners in Somerset who are preparing for a spring half marathon or full marathon. The focus of both training days has been specific preparation so both groups spent a good amount of time on the track learning to feel their race pace and what I noticed and learned is well worth sharing.

We know, because we have either seen it or experienced it, that if you go out too fast for your fitness level then the later stages of a race are going to be ugly and you can lose loads of time. And equally we know that as runners we tend to overestimate our fitness. So if we are relying on the thinking part of our brain to determine our race pace and then just jump in and do it on race day the odds are strong that we are going to get it wrong !

So practicing race pace becomes really important. Many people don't do it, certainly not to the point where it is second nature. What we did these past weekends was start the athletes at the race pace their under distance times suggested were realistic (Daniels VDOT tables help to do this). Now clearly predicting marathon pace from a 5k race time can be tricky so use the closest recent under distance performance to find the pace.

Using an out and back format on the track the runners were able to run one rep getting feedback on their pacing from a trackside coach and then for the return rep they were on their own with the idea being to see how close to the start line they could get.

So what did we see. Not surprisingly some folks were better than others at first for a variety of reasons but generally the early reps with quite variable. And over time the runners got better and better and judging their pace. Self awareness also started to develop along the lines of 'this pace feels fine but not for a full marathon so i'm going to run a bit slower'.

After 40 minutes of running at race pace almost everyone was really getting the feel for their pace to the point where we could mess things up by putting in a few short reps at a significantly faster pace and then have the athletes drop straight back into race pace.

So if you are doing a long race this spring take some time to practice running at your race rythmn. There are big gains to be had from just a few workouts like this.