Fixtures Update

The Coronavirus situation has lightened a little….. our usual track training is still suspended but there’s hope that some form of formal training will resume soon.

We’ve had a few queries around fixtures that we’re competing in, hosting or assisting with. In short, no events are being run until late September at the earliest – and even those are subject to change. Full details below.

Given the lack of available races and some named ones being cancelled for 2020, we’ve also changed the rules of our Senior Road Race Championship. Again, details below.

Team 5K and Time Trials

Lindsey Farrelly has another update on what some of us have been up to:

Lockdown Team 5K

Well done Team B!

24 club members took part in our very first 5k virtual team challenge in May. The challenge saw participants split into six teams of four. Everyone was given a handicap based on their most recently logged 5k/parkrun time. Team members then ran a 5k on a course of their choice at a time of their choice. Our superstar number cruncher and self confessed spreadsheet queen, Caroline B, crunched the numbers and added the team results together. The quickest team, aptly named Team B(rilliant) with a team time of 63 minutes and 19 seconds!

The challenge brought about lots of banter, lots of laughs, hours of endless fun trying to find the quickest courses and some even managed more than one attempt! It was a great way to do something for everybody with juniors, seniors, veterans, speedy runners, distance runners and everyone in between involved!

We’ll be repeating the challenge in the first week of June, this time using May’s 5k times as the starting point.

Individual times
Team results

Thanks to Caroline B for collating the results.

Time Trials

Carl’s athletes have been busy taking part in their own time trials.
U23 athlete Rocco Zaman-Browne ran a very speedy 800m in 1 minute 54 seconds. U17 athletes, Joseph Farrelly, William Finnie and Archie Dyer did a 1 mile time trial achieving 4.47, 5.26 and 5.39 respectively. U15 athlete Tom Farrelly did a 1k time trial in a speedy 3.47.

We’d love to hear what our other athletes have been up to so please let us know.

Still Running

Coronavirus may have stopped us training together and may mean the tracks are closed but we thankfully are still able to exercise on our own and with others from our households. We’re also lucky that many of our coaches are still providing our athletes with training schedules to keep them going.

Whilst the lockdown restrictions have made training for certain events (e.g. throws, jumps) much more difficult, some of our runners have been getting creative.

Lindsey Farrelly has given us an update on what we’ve been up to:

Distance Challenges

The seniors have been trying to follow the excellent training programme set by Malcolm and have also been setting a weekly distance challenge that all club members, young or old, can take part in. Working on a rolling basis the distances consist of 1k, 1 mile, 400m and 10k. The individual challenges are aimed at giving our athletes something to focus on and something to banter about in their various social media groups!

The challenges kick off on the Monday of each week and all runs must be done by the following Sunday. The current challenge is 1 mile and finishes on 17 May. The challenge for w/c 18 May is a little different as we’ll be doing 1k to tie in with the British Milers Club 1k Time Trial  which must be done between 22 and 25 May.

Virtual Races

We’re sad to see some of our favourite races have had to be cancelled but we’re excited to see virtual races popping up each week. We’ve got involved in a few with athletes signing up for Run North West’s virtual lucky dip race, the Forever Manchester 10k and the iconic Tour of Tameside in it’s new virtual format.

If you are getting involved in virtual races send us some photos so we can share them!

Happy running.

Seniors’ Endurance Spring Training

Some good suggestions for training within the current official guidelines below. Keep safe and keep reminding yourself that maintaining two meter distancing is more important than maintaining pace.

Spring Training Guide

Malcolm writes

We are in an environment that provides a few obstacles to training with no access to the track and the absence of purpose and focus provided by races.

As mentioned previously, early Spring very often signifies the end of the winter training period so a small phase of recovery is required and normal. 

Athletes very often enter into the Spring and Summer periodisation phase with either a track or road race plan. Hence the following suggestions provide two strategies.

The following guide assumes solo training on road or parkland.

It also assumes 2 key sessions a week supplemented by general steady runs of 30 – 45 minutes. The repetitions in the Spring and Summer will include shorter recoveries and a lower number of runs. We have the opportunity to increase the recovery period between “harder sessions” to a minimum of three days. As the Tuesday/ Thursday focus has been removed we can roll the days and weeks into a continuum so these sessions can be fitted into our opportunities to train at least until restrictions are lifted.

To support training during this special period it would be useful for each athete to identify the following:

  •  A decent hill, as steep as possible (not vertical!) of a length of 50m – 400m (you would be lucky to find one of these)
  • A clear running course of between 800m – 1600m, accuracy not so important as it will be the time trial course so distance consistency more important.
  • Define a set of core exercises, planks, press-ups, hopping etc.

It is necessary to apply a watch or to estimate required distances, again consistency trumps accuracy. 

For clarification or if you have any good ideas drop Malcolm, Debbie or Chris a line.

Training Plan Structure

For simplicity alternate A and B sessions from the lists below (to enhance variety and enjoyment don’t feel to guilty if you “steal” a session).

Shorter Track Focus (800m – 3000m)

A SESSIONS

  • 8x 400m 1min recovery between reps (90 -120 seconds per effort)
  • 6 – 8 hard fast hill runs (50 – 100m) jog back recovery. 1mile warm up / 1mile warn down    
  • 6x 300m followed by 2x 200m all 90% race pace (i.e. hard)
  • 800m Time Trial, timed. 1 mile warm up / I mile warm down
  • 10 -15x half a football field perimeter fast, jog across pitch recovery (this can be creatively modified to suit circumstances and opportunities)

B SESSIONS

  • 4 miles Fartlek    1 mile warm up, 2 miles fartlek or short and longer sprints, 1mile warm down
  • Tempo run 2 – 3 miles at 85% effort (0.5mile acceleration at start and 0.5mile deceleration at end
  • 800m Time Trial, timed. 1 mile warm up / I mile warm down. Full pace.
  • The Fartlek and Tempo runs can be repeated. The Time trial can be run once a month.
  • 3 x 5min turnarounds, 50 – 100m strides 

Longer Road Race Focus (5k+)

A SESSIONS

  • 5 x 1000m 2min rec between runs.  At 5k Race pace. 1 mile warm up/down
  • 6 x 800m 2min rec between runs. At 5k Race pace, 1 mile warm up/down
  • 6 – 8 Long Hill runs (fast efforts), as long as possible, jog back recovery

B SESSIONS

  • 6 mile Fartlek, long efforts with some short bursts 
  • Long Tempo run 5 – 6 miles  85% effort (0.5 mile acceleration at start and 0.5 mile deceleration at end
  • 1600m Time Trial, timed. 1 mile warm up / I mile warm down. Full pace.

The Fartlek and Tempo runs can be repeated. The Time trial can be run once a month.

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 5th April

The plan set months ago for this week had us doing 4x800m (400m jog recovery) plus 3x 200m (walk recovery) on Tuesday and a five mile Fartlek with short efforts on Thursday. Malcolm has been talking to some other coaches and wrote some advice on training – including an interesting suggestion for a stretch goal.

Training in Difficult Times

Malcolm Plant writes:

I hope you are well and avoiding this deadly virus. With Tokyo off for a year it means we have not missed out on the opportunity of qualifying. Another training year might just do it!

Although the focus for the Summer is now virtually lost until at least July,  we still could make the best of a bad job. Even I am getting out early in the morning around Woodbank where there are a few runners and even one doing fast reps around the 1k route. However, it is difficult to be motivated to run hard by oneself. Happily (in a way) this is a time of year when its traditional to have a recovery period so the past couple of weeks can be considered to be a sensible hiatus before what would have been the transition into the Summer period.

I have been involved in discussions with some senior coaches in the UK about the transition period we are in and how to deal with the Covid19 situation in particular. As part of this, one of the coaches dug out a review he had undertaken of my own training (from the 1980’s) where he observed that I never took a rest or recovery, so apparently having a recovery period at this time will be a positive thing for us all (if only I had been told in the 70’s!).

So on to some suggestions to make the runs you do more productive and interesting. In the absence of races here are some suggestions:

Simulate track sessions on grass or even the road – this is difficult and less social than we like. Reduce the number of reps and reduce the recovery, perfect to be run like a fartlek, keep the recoveries short

Do turnarounds, you only need a person less space of 50 meters to do 3 x 5 minutes with 5 mins between sets – you will remember this was deceptively hard

On your runs, treat every hill and rise as a target and run hard on every hill, this also has a core strengthening effect and will enhance the benefit you gain from your precious 30 minutes or so. You might also need to vary pace in a race so its good practice.

Add a fartlek aspect to your runs, short and long bursts as desired. A modification to this is to include into the run a couple of miles where you slowly increase the to 85% of maximum then drop the pace right down for a mile before increasing again.

The coaches I spoke to were very keen in this situation to include a time trial once every two weeks. Choose a course of between 1K to 1.5K  (other distances are available). Do a warmup run, blast the trial and then warm down home. Put a clock on it if possible.

Stick to the basic week design of two sessions, do more stretching and core work at home. Remember a tempo run should be conducted at about 90% effort (80 -90% max heart rate)

Take the opportunity to include more recovery into the week.

If there is an appetite I can set two sessions a week to help, let me know

All the best

Malcolm

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 29th March

Training sessions are cancelled. Please follow government and NHS advice about going outside and take care if you decide to – now is not the time to vistit A&E because you’ve tripped over. Below is what we would’ve been doing in other circumstances:

SUNDAY 29th Long run
MONDAY 30th 5 mile steady
TUESDAY 31th 10 X 400m (200m jog recovery) 3 x 150m fast walk back recovery.
WEDNESDAY 1st 3 mile steady
THURSDAY 2nd 5mile Tempo (pace increase after 2 miles)
FRIDAY 3rd rest day
SATURDAY 4th Sustained run

Tuesday’s session could be done on time. e.g. if you run 400m in 90s, find a quiet spot where you don’t need to pass people and do 10x90s fast, with 90s rest in between.

Plan to April

Malcolm writes:

The February and March planning develops a little to add variety into some of the sessions and suggests ways in which steady and tempo runs (of any distance) can be slightly modified to add benefit. These techniques might be applied during a standard run but can also be applied (with self-control during a Park run or race) 

Even when not specified it is assumed a normal warm up program is completed.

 The content of the sessions follows good practice and I do not feel it is necessary at this stage to adopt a two-tier approach. If the sessions are two much then the number of repetitions can be reduced (lower the number or leave out the longest rep in a pyramid), if the content is too low then a repetition can be added, or the speed of the effort increased.

Alternatively, other runs can be added, or the length of runs increased in the week to add mileage.

My observation at the present time is that the effort expended in the group sessions is about right and the “challenge” is about right. A long run, two group sessions and a race or tempo run is plenty ( without the support of lottery funding) and if this is done in a week you should need recovery days.

The mileage (if fully followed) is the same at 35+ miles / week. It is appreciated that this is not possible for all athletes and will vary from runner to runner, This is not a problem as recovery from the sessions completed is very important. 

I will clarify the new points as we meet


WEEK APRIL 5TH -11TH
SUNDAY 5th Long run
MONDAY 6th 5 mile steady
TUESDAY 7th 4 X 800m (400m jog recovery) 3 x 200m fast walk back recovery
WEDNESDAY 8th 3 mile steady
THURSDAY 9th 5 mile Fartlek (short 100m – 300m efforts) 1mile w/u 1mile w/d
FRIDAY 10th rest day
SATURDAY 11th Race or sustained run

Cancelled: Joe Moran Track & Field Meeting and The Manchester Mile 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Manchester Harriers & A.C. regret to advise the cancellation of their two June events:

  • The 13th Joe Moran Memorial Veteran Track & Field Meeting on Wednesday 10th June 2020
  • The Manchester Mile on Wednesday 24th June 2020

The decision hasn’t been an easy one. It follows advice from England Athletics that they are extending the suspension of all athletics activity in England to the 31 st May. This would leave too little time to give the events the attention they deserve.

We will bring both events back next year.

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 22nd March

Reminder: Training sessions are cancelled.

We’re all going to have to get more creative about keeping fit and training. Things are changing daily so please check government and NHS advice. Below is what we would’ve been doing in other circumstances:

SUNDAY 22nd Long run
MONDAY 23rd 5 mile steady
TUESDAY 24th 2 x (1000m,800m, 400m)(200m jog recovery) 3 x 150m fast walk back rec.
WEDNESDAY 25th 3 mile steady
THURSDAY 26th MHAC Club Parrlauf CANCELLED (20 x 200)
FRIDAY 27th rest day
SATURDAY 28th Sustained run

The distance track sessions could be adapted for time. Find a place you can safely run hard:

  • Tuesday: 2 sets of 4min, 3min, 90seconds with 90 second jog recovery. Then 3x 45 seconds, walk back to where you started.
  • Thursday: Parrlauf. Hmmm. Well, you could try pacing out a 200m stretch in a park and running it 20 times with a 45 second rest between. Or you could pair up with a friend, put your phones on speaker and take it in turns to run 200m then shout “Go!”. Or maybe just do a Fartlek session?

If you’re not going outdoors for whatever reason, you’ll have to get more creative. This French guy did a marathon on his seven meter balcony!

Plan to April

Malcolm writes:

The February and March planning develops a little to add variety into some of the sessions and suggests ways in which steady and tempo runs (of any distance) can be slightly modified to add benefit. These techniques might be applied during a standard run but can also be applied (with self-control during a Park run or race) 

Even when not specified it is assumed a normal warm up program is completed.

 The content of the sessions follows good practice and I do not feel it is necessary at this stage to adopt a two-tier approach. If the sessions are two much then the number of repetitions can be reduced (lower the number or leave out the longest rep in a pyramid), if the content is too low then a repetition can be added, or the speed of the effort increased.

Alternatively, other runs can be added, or the length of runs increased in the week to add mileage.

My observation at the present time is that the effort expended in the group sessions is about right and the “challenge” is about right. A long run, two group sessions and a race or tempo run is plenty ( without the support of lottery funding) and if this is done in a week you should need recovery days.

The mileage (if fully followed) is the same at 35+ miles / week. It is appreciated that this is not possible for all athletes and will vary from runner to runner, This is not a problem as recovery from the sessions completed is very important. 

I will clarify the new points as we meet


WEEK MARCH 29TH -APRIL 4TH
SUNDAY 29th Long run
MONDAY 30th 5 mile steady
TUESDAY 31th 10 X 400m (200m jog recovery) 3 x 150m fast walk back recovery
WEDNESDAY 1st 3 mile steady
THURSDAY 2nd 5mile Tempo (pace increase from 2 ml)
FRIDAY 3rd rest day
SATURDAY 4th Race or sustained run

WEEK APRIL 5TH -11TH
SUNDAY 5th Long run
MONDAY 6th 5 mile steady
TUESDAY 7th 4 X 800m (400m jog recovery) 3 x 200m fast walk back recovery
WEDNESDAY 8th 3 mile steady
THURSDAY 9th 5 mile Fartlek (short 100m – 300m efforts) 1mile w/u 1mile w/d
FRIDAY 10th rest day
SATURDAY 11th Race or sustained run