Sunday, 13 June 2010

Limo to the BMC

Saturday's masterclass wasn't quite what I expected. My day off (in my mind involving finding out about the Kenyans training philosophy while shining a seat with my arse) turned out to be an hour's workout with plenty of striding and some extremely light track work.

Our group was lead by Benjamin Limo (2005 World 5000m champion) and Duncan Kibet (2:04.27 marathoner). Running with them reminded me of the days spent on Britain's racecourses. Like their 4 legged thoroughbred equivalents, at their slow paces they looked positively ungainly at times, but when they stretch out they suddenly become incredibly smooth. I wonder what they made of me, who looks reasonably smooth at a slow pace and then turns into an epileptic combine harvester at race pace.

There was time for a few questions afterwards, but insufficient to really appreciate Benjamin Limo's true philosophy on training. One thing he was quite insistent upon was the use of weights for middle distance runners. Pointing out that Kenyans aren't known for using weights, not through choice but simply because they don't have the facilities. Perhaps food for thought when considering that at distance events which typically require strength the Kenyans are far less dominant that they are at the longer events where the power component is more or less absent. Let's hope Gold's Gym don't invest in the Rift Valley any time soon.

In the evening I popped down to the BMC Grand Prix at Watford - also known as "the activity that keeps me out of the pub". I think the BMC races are a great idea - extremely competitive fields, seeded by time, with a pacer whose lap split is published in advance. A great idea on paper until you actually do the sums. In one 800m race the pacer was due to hit 400m in 52 seconds despite none of the field having broken 1:50 yet during the season and, in a 1500m, the pacer due to hit 800m in 2:04 despite none of the field having broken 4:00. Couldn't quite work all that out.

Anyway I'd better be nice as I've entered the next Grand Prix in Solihull although my entry is currently deferred as I'm not a member. You need a PB of 1:55 or better to join the BMC so, although my SB should be good enough in comparison to other entrants, I may lose out to actual members. Fair's fair of course, but it's the BMC races which are typically best for breaking 1:55. Not quite a catch-22 though and hopefully I can outkick such technicalities in my next race anyway.

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