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Getting back in the saddle

A way to give me some targets.

February is drawing to a close and last time I raced was way back on 16th September. For the rest of 2018 I rediscovered my love for running again. It’s only been past few weeks that I felt ready to race again. However I’m not only working my way through the recruitment process for the Royal Navy Reserves but also doing a college course to become a qualified personal trainer, I’m doing both my level 2 and 3. Eventually these will work side by side as my jobs, replacing my current job at LEGO.  What this means is life is crazy busy, so free Sunday’s are a premium and also making sure I spend quality time with my girls is important, especially after last year. This means racing is not at the top of the list.

So when I do race, I want to make sure it’s right. I will be sticking to my rules I set myself earlier this year of the races either being a tune up race for a longer distance or a target race. All races will be road only. I’m sticking to the one discipline from now on. I’m staying unattached with my current club membership running down. Over the past few months, I’ve considered joining online clubs, setting up my own seen as the closest to me is impossible to get via pubic transport. However I still feel the best option is to stay independent. So that led me to running kit. What to wear. I’m considered off the hook vests but I don’t want to support a big brand like adidas (having done that in the past). I would like to run for the Navy if/when I get in but till then I need a kit.

After first trying Viga Sportswear, as they had a club kit without club branding on, however it’s still not turned up and they refuse to answer emails and phone calls! I contacted a few other club kit makers Ron Hill, Fastrax about getting a vest from them but nothing materialised. Then while browsing online I came across Xempo. I’ve been aware of them for a few years and are the current Marathon Talk kit supplier. If the club idea ever came to be, the colour standard would be the basis for the club standard.

This then inspired me to come up with a unique standard to give me a way of giving me something to aim for in my races and progress through the colours. Currently my old PB’s qualifies me for Red and Silver tops. However I plan on starting from white and working my way through the colour system.

So Xempo have time standards to achieve at 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon. To progress to yellow I need to run sub 26 for 5k, sub 55 for 10k, sub 2h 00 for HM and sub 4h 15 for the marathon. My old “official” PB’s are 5k 16:43, 10k 35:14, HM 77:26 and marathon 3h 07. So for me those are achievable, I’ve decided to make it a challenge, if for example I go and race a 5k and run 17:00 obviously I have run the target sub 26 for 5k to earn my yellow vest for 5k. If I then want to progress to the next colour, the time I set then becomes my next qualifying target for 5k. So to progress through the colours at 5k, I would need to beat my 5k time 8 times to get all the way down to gold, however to get silver I’d need to run sub 17:00 and to get gold 15:30 as those are the minimum times set by Xempo. So I’d need to beat my previous 5k time and the required colour standard. Each distance would work the same way. I will also be doing the same for the 5 mile and 10 mile distances. I will be adding a Xempo standard page. So people can track my progress through the colours.

This means not only can I focus on my previous personal bests but also straight away I have new goals every time I go faster. This could well be the missing ingredient, the only task now is to find a race. Earliest I can run would be the 14th March as I’m occupied for next two weekends will college up in Leeds. Depending on family I might try for York 5k, if not it would be Sunday 17th March, trying to keep it in Yorkshire.

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