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Andy Richardson 2nd in UK u23 Championships!
Yo... here is your update!
The last few weeks have gone pretty well overall, have had some really solid sessions and a few decent races as well so things are definitely heading in the right direction.
After BUCS I had a few days of reduced volume training before getting back into it in the lead up to the Loughborough International. During this period I raced a 400m, in which I ran a pb but nothing spectacular as legs were slightly heavy from the sessions the day before, and it was a massive shock to the system doing only half a race!
The LIA was a good stepping stone to move my season on, coming out with a PB of 1.48.88. I would have liked to finish higher up in the race, but it was a really strong field and I was very satisfied with it being my first 'quick race' of the year after a few tactical races early season.
The following week I was straight back into a solid block of training. I had a 1500m and 4x4 the following weekend for Gateshead in BAL 1, which was to be part of training so there was no real taper going into it. I have very little experience of racing 1500m so was quite exciting to get out and try one without having ran an 800 earlier in the day. I went through the first 800 very cautiously (2.10) about 6s behind the leaders, then gradually wound up the pace and ended up taking the win in 3.51.90. Not textbook 1500m running by any means but another good stepping stone! I hope to do another couple of 15s after the trials, hopefully getting in a fast one but will have to see what fits in.
I then had another 2 weeks of training (interrupted slightly by exams and a few days of man flu) in the build up to Watford BMC Grand Prix. I was fairly disappointed to find out I had been placed in the C race originally, but the organizers were extremely helpful (and possibly due to a fair few drop outs) I was really grateful to get shifted up to the A race. There was a really strong field and my race plan was fairly simple, go through 400 sitting just off the pace of the leaders then try to get involved near the business end. The race didn't end up quite as quick as I expected, and with a bit of dodging and weaving in the home straight I managed to sneak the win in another PB of 1.48.59 which I was really pleased with.
Following that, I had a week to sort my legs out ready for the UK U23 champs in Bedford. I went into the championship confident I could perform well, and the target was to win gold. I qualified from the heats after winning a fairly steady race on the saturday. We went through the bell in around 60/61s as no one wanted to take it on in probably the windiest conditions I have ever ran in. I stayed fairly near the abck of the pack then moved through in the last 100m or so to take the first of two automatic spots. The Sunday saw part 2 of the Bedford hurricane... but I felt good and conditions were the same for all athletes so I went into my warm up confident. My plan was to stick in the pack and do as little as possible whilst making sure I was in contact going into the last 200m. Unfortunately I didnt run my smartest race, and Jack Hallas stole a bit of a march on me going into the last 200. I was still feeling really relaxed and was confident I had enough left in the tank to move past him in the last 100, however after closing the gap initially Jack stayed really strong and ended up winning by 0.16s. It just goes to show seasons bests mean nothing when it comes to championships, and he ran a better race than me on the day credit to him! I have definitely learnt from my experience, and appreciated the silver medal a lot more after finding out I had been disqualified and then having to appeal to get reinstated (which was successful thankfuly - athleticos video coverage saved the day!).
So yeah despite missing out on my first national title, I think things are definitely moving in the right direction but there is plenty more work to do. I have a few days now to recharge the batteries before the Olympic Trials in Birmingham which I am really looking forward to. I will be doing a tick over session on wednesday, nothing too fast and plenty of recovery (not going above 8/15 pace), and then having a day off on thursday probably before running through my race warm up on Friday before racing Saturday. I am hoping to make the final of the trials, which has been the target since reaching the semis last year. It will be tough with only two rounds, but I know if I run well I am capable of getting there. Will be in touch after that no doubt!
Summer weekly training plan (changes a lot depending on races obviously...)
AM - long run/cycle
AM - cycle or swim or drills
PM - rehab work in the gym with a bit of core work
AM - cycle or swim
PM - Session - usually something at race pace during the summer months, and example is 2 x 600 off 12 mins recovery, first one @ 800 pace, second one mixed pace each 200 (i.e. 600 pace, 1500 pace, 800 pace)
AM - run on the alter G treadmill at reduced body weight
PM - conditioning
AM - rest
PM - drills then race prep type session
AM - Rest
PM - Rehab work
AM - Quick session e.g. 4 x 300 off 8 minutes at 400 pace