Hi it’s me again. So some people have hinted that my messages are being read, and are even being found to be motivational or helpful, so it’s only fair that I carry on posting for the 3 fans out there! Thank you for the feedback.

I just want to start by passing on thanks from Kevin Winch for everyone that completed the Cross Country feedback. We had over 20 responses with a clear indication that the preferred option would be to move forward with a combined approach to distance, meeting in the middle of current male/female course distances. Kevin will pass this feedback to England Athletics for their consideration.

So today I want to take some time to highlight the importance of variation in your training. You might hear phrases such as tempo, fartlek, threshold, cross training or intervals and wonder if these are for you, or whether you can do them on your own. Well the response to both points is ‘yes’, and really you do need to think about variation to make you a more solid runner, building some stamina, speed and endurance. You can perhaps test this on your monthly time trial results, which is next week remember. Please do get involved.

So perhaps you say to yourself that you’ll never run a marathon. I say never say never. I’ll also tell you that they can become an obsession or addictive as I know from experience.

However you don’t need to be a marathon runner to want a solid base for your running. You build a good base and a solid core and you’ll notice that your miles get quicker or easier and your 5k becomes a 5 miler, then 10k, then who knows (the breakfast run is coming soon – 10 or 15 miles anyone)? Your running is whatever you want it to be.

If you do have 2021 goals set, races in mind or gaps in your training, please talk to your coaches as they are best placed to know you and help guide your training. They are putting out your monthly schedules and the variety here is excellent – you just need to plan a location and time to get out. Who want to plod the same route, in the same way on the same day every week? Go out and surprise yourself!

Alongside this though, please do take care of yourself and listen to your body. If you feel any problems, act accordingly. If you can’t get out, or the family needs you, or it’s raining (again) then don’t beat yourself up about it. There’s always tomorrow. If you are injured, let your coach know either in your group chats or 1-2-1 so that they know and can look out for you. Time is a great healer, and resting is part of your training – frustrating yes, but part and package of the course.

Have a good weekend and don’t forget to let us know how you’re getting on.

Kind regards,
Paul Dallison, Road Running Secretary