In December I travelled to Ireland for a 20km race and returned with a small PB. The race had been a struggle as I misjudged my fitness and paced it poorly. I resolved to rest over Christmas and then start 2019 hunting for some better performances. To that end, I competed in the Murray Lambden Open 20km in the Isle of Man and gained a more satisfying result.
Blog - Lessons from athletics
After my win at the National 50km Championships in September, I was left with two contradictory inclinations. One on hand, I had completed my third 50km of the year and felt it was time for some recovery. On the other, I had been unable to convert my best ever run of training and fitness into a fast time so I wanted one more go. Ultimately, I opted for both, because paradoxes are always entertaining. I decided to enter the Irish 20km championships to see if I could make the most of my hard work, but at the same time I took plenty of time to rest and try to recuperate.
In 2014 I made my 50km début in the Race Walking Association championships and won. In 2016, a turbulent year in which I started off ‘racing’ Yohann Diniz in the French championships and winning silver in the national 20km championships before being disqualified on course for a big PB at the British Grand Prix, I attempted the 50km championships again. That time, my preparation was very much inadequate and it remains the only time I have failed to finish a 50km race. In 2018, I have already gained two consecutive 50km PBs and the national championships was my third and final 50km of the year.
It is incredibly useful to have a way of recording training to make sure it is progressing effectively and sensibly. Keeping a record can allow you to get the most out of each session and then to move forwards. How you do this will depend on your goals and preferences but there are a lot of options.
It’s March and I’ve completed my second 50km race of the year, this time in the French championships in Mérignac (Bordeaux). I got a new PB, a podium finish and some positive feedback from the judges. I don’t know if there will ever be a race when everything goes right but, on balance, it was a good day for me.
I previously started my Athletismos series of blogs with an introduction to the concepts of athletismos and gymnastiké. I mentioned that at the root of athletics is the athlos (αθλoς) – the struggle. Before I continue the series with a discussion of how the Greeks valued this, I am going to talk about what it means to me.