Luke’s GNR Diary

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Luke’s Personal Bests

1 Mile – 4 minutes 35 seconds

5km – 15 minutes 39 seconds

10km – 32 minutes 11 seconds

Half Marathon – 1 hour 10 minutes 57 seconds



Prior to starting Week 1, I had been running around 20-30 miles per week for 3 weeks after recovering from a foot injury. In those 3 weeks I had been doing lots of hill and step sessions.



Week 1 – Monday 25th May


Monday – 5 miles easy run


Tuesday – 5 miles including 2 x 1 mile (4 min rest), 2 x 800metres (2 mins rest)

4.50, 5.01, 2.34, 2.17


Wednesday – AM 5 miles (legs a bit tired and throat dry. Hay Fever) PM – 3 miles with Richard


Thursday – 6 miles on roads. Easy run


Friday – 6 sets of steps along river (3 reps on each). Easy jog to sundial pub. Hard back to gypsies green. 5 miles


Saturday – AM South Shields parkrun – 2nd 17.03. PM – Run over Roseberry Topping with Dunny. 8 miles


Sunday – 8.5 miles with Chris. Gym session Sunday evening.


47 miles approx for the week. Good start. 



Week 2 – Monday 1st June


Monday – AM 5.5 miles. Legs ACHING off gym on sunday PM – 1-2 miles easy


Tuesday – 15 x Hills at cleadon with Keith. 17 second average. Then 800 metres hard downhill in 2.26. Legs still Aching. 6 miles in total


Wednesday – AM 7 miles easy including 1 mile hard across farmers field in 5.14  PM 2 miles


Thursday – Perfect Weather Today. AM 5 miles including Track session with Keith. 4 x 400metres (90 sec rest). 2 sets with lap recovery between sets. Target was 67 seconds. Ran every one in 67 seconds. PERFECT!  PM – 5 miles. Legs in bits. Felt KNACKERED.


Friday – AM 3 miles with Ozzy on grass. Dog struggled. Felt achey but so motivated. Legs look stronger and body toning up. Great! PM – 3 miles on trails.


Saturday – AM South Shields parkrun 24th position in 21.40 PM – 1500metres and 5000 metres. Turned up late for 1500metres. Had 100 metre sprint for a warm up. Haha. What a nightmare. Had to laugh. Times were 4.28 and 16.48. Wind was crazy. 


Sunday – Organising trail series in the morning. Probably ran 2 miles setting up. PM – 3 miles and gym session at Boker. 


50 Miles Approx. Feel Amazing. Keith said to take 3 easy days next week. Double days of 8 miles total.


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Track meeting at Middlesbrough



Week 3 – Monday 8th June


Monday – 45 minutes with Jonny Evans 6 miles PM 3 miles


Tuesday – 60 minutes on fields. 9 miles approx.


Wednesday – AM 3 miles ran to my mams. Needed toilet so stopped PM 3 miles. Right knee a little sore today. Hope it’s okay.


Thursday –  AM 5 miles including 2 sets of 8 x 200metres (45 second rest) at Boldon Cricket Club. Not sure of rest between sets, maybe 2-3 minutes? 34 second average for 1st set. 33 second average for 2nd set. Wind was quite strong. PM 2.5 miles round John Reid Road.


Friday – AM 6 miles PM 3miles. Felt great today. Went out for drinks for Fawcett’s wedding. 5 pints of ale and a takeaway. Oops.


Saturday – AM South Shields parkrun. Felt a bit groggy after friday night. 2nd in 16.37. Andy Burn 15.18 – fantastic running. Out for rest of day at Fawcett’s wedding. Too much to drink but just enjoyed the day. Done some good miles this week.


Sunday – Felt a bit rough in morning. Did 4 miles in evening and gym session.


50 miles for week. Only 1 session. Will aim for 3 sessions in next week. Feeling good though. 



Week 4 – Monday 15th June


Monday – AM 9 miles with Ben. Did same route as last Monday. Ben coming back after a month of no running. Good to see him back. PM – 2 miles very easy with my RES coaching group.


Tuesday – AM 7 miles including 3 x 1 mile on John Reid Road. 5 minute jog back across recovery. Although it is slightly short, mile times were 4.51, 4.52, 4.44. Really pleased. Felt hard, but comfortable too. Ben ran 800’s. Keith fell off his bike measuring distances with the wheel. He didn’t half go down. Seems okay though and was laughing about it. PM 1-2 miles very easy


Wednesday – AM 7 miles Woke up with tired achey legs. Ran 5 miles with Ben then another 2 miles to my mams. Lush morning. Felt good after a mile. PM 2 miles very easy with RES coaching group.


Thursday – AM 7 miles including 4 x 800metres in 2.26, 2.27, 2.26, 2.24 at Monkton. Lap jog recovery. Woke up with swollen face and lips. Nightmare! Possibly from hay fever. Ben not feeling well so paced first 200, Chris ran 400’s and 600’s for me. Found it really helpful as I could just tuck in and stay with them. Wind was so strong. Good session! PM 3 miles with Chris round John Reid road. Despite feeling tired, all running feels relatively easy and I’m enjoying it all. Hard to describe.


Friday – Went to docs about swelling on my face. Felt like shit today – didn’t want to run but glad I got it done. Good character building. An important day of training. PM 5.5 miles


Saturday – 7 miles. South Shields parkrun. 1st in 15.57. Felt great after warm up. Didn’t look at my watch until end – sub 16 a nice surprise. Mile splits were 4.47, 5.11, 5.17. Felt pretty comfortable – more to come. Keep this up.


Sunday – 6 miles & gym session. Out for drinks with a few from RES group Saturday night so took it easy today.


Total miles – 57-58 miles approx. Really pleased. Stay consistent.


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South Shields parkrun




Week 5 – Monday 22nd June


Monday – AM 9 miles with Ben. Did reverse route of last Monday. Quite enjoyed it as it was a nice morning. Started pissing down with rain once I got back as well, happy I did it early on. PM 1-2 miles very easy with RES group


Tuesday – AM 7 miles including 20 x 20 second hills with jog down recovery, 3-minute rest then 1 mile hard in 4.59. Keith said to wear inov8’s (trail shoes) for the session as it was wet. Regretted wearing them as they’re heavy on your feet. The 1 mile was really tough with running into the wind too. Had a lie down at the end and a taxi driver stopped and asked if I was okay and offered help! Hardest session so far. Rang Keith and told him it was really tough. He said “Yea, there’s no shortcuts”. Was only meant to do 15 hills according to training plan he gave me…. Oops. PM 2 miles very easy with RES group.


Wednesday AM 7 miles with Ben. Similar route to Monday but cut a few miles out. Legs really tired this morning after Tuesday session. Mile splits 7.47, 7.28, 7.10, 7.11, 6.37, 6.22, 6.08. Really struggling to get out of bed in the morning. Hay fever kicking my arse this week. Lack of energy, puffy face, feel like I need to sleep all day. Not like me at all.


Thursday AM (Same session as Tuesday) 7 miles including 15 x 20 second hills (more like 17/18 seconds) with jog down recovery, 3 minutes rest then 1 mile hard in 4.37. Keith riding alongside on his bike which really helped. I feel fantastic when I’m running but I feel exhausted when I’m not. So strange. Need to ride the hay fever out. It usually only lasts a month or so. PM 2 miles very easy.


Friday 7 miles including 15 x 20 second hills (17/18 secs) with jog down recovery. 3 minutes rest then 1 mile hard in 4.41. Wet conditions so wore trail shoes for hills then switched to light racers for the mile. Felt comfortable for first 1000 metres or so. Another great week. Heading to Cockermouth for the weekend with friends so most of my training done for week.


Saturday – Cockermouth Trip


Sunday – Cockermouth Trip 


Total Miles – 43 miles from Monday-Friday

Target of 3 x hill sessions & 1 mile hard. Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. Found this week quite tough mentally, with the same session three times. Dropping miles slightly this week too as I did more than my target last week. Slowly building up the mileage – no rush. Another solid week of running but a really bad week with hay fever. 




Week 6 – Monday 29th June


Monday – AM 6 miles. Legs felt fantastic after 2 recovery days PM 4 miles with Ben & 2 miles with RES group. 12 miles for the day – easiest 12 mile day I will ever do. Felt great.


Tuesday – AM 7 miles including track session. 10 x 150metres with 100m jog recovery (23/24 second average). 2 lap jog recovery then 10 x 200metres with 100m jog recovery (31/32 seconds average. Did a few 30 second reps towards the end.) Very hot & humid weather. Finished the session thinking I could have gave more, but sometimes I think it’s best to hold something back and finish feeling strong, not knackered. Ben paced me for a lot of the session, which also helped.


Wednesday – AM 6 miles. Ran to my mams. Thought I found a dead body. A lad was lying on his back and didn’t respond when I asked if he was okay. Eventually he woke up and seemed like he had speech difficulties. He said he was okay though. I think he was there overnight. Glad he’s okay. Watched a documentary called “Town of Runners” about Ethiopian runners on Netflix last night, feeling motivated and run felt easy and controlled this morning PM 4 miles with Chris. Felt a bit shaky towards the end, so made sure I had plenty to eat afterwards.


Thursday – AM 8.5 miles including 10 x 15 second hills with jog down recovery, 3 minutes rest then Boldon Colliery Loop in 9 minutes 9 seconds. The loop is 1.7 miles & Includes 5 very steep hills. My previous best a few months back was 9.35 without doing the hills. Record held by Alan Richardson in 9.03 (former Blaydon race winner). Very hot conditions again today. PM 2 very easy miles with RES on the trails.


Friday – AM 6.5 miles with Ben and Jonny. Fantastic morning, bright and cool! Right foot a little sore – keep an eye on this. Legs very tired this morning. Mile splits were 7.52, 7.15, 7.14, 7.02, 6.56, 7.02. Not too fussed on pace as it’s just a recovery run and felt comfortable. PM 2.5 miles. Ran back from car garage as car needed MOT. Enjoyed this run, nice and short and it added a few more miles added to my weekly total.


Saturday – 7 miles including South Shields parkrun. 1st in 16.03. Felt like I could run a lot faster today but wind was strong for the first mile. Was pleased to be around the 16 minute mark but only looked at my watch at the end. Had it in my head that I was going to be close to 60 miles for the week, and had it in the back of my head that I was probably tired. It’s easy to settle for an easier run when you tell yourself you’re tired so I was keen to dig in. Happy with my overall time and my final mile of 5.05. Feeling strong. Keep it up.


Sunday – 4 miles & gym session. Went out for drinks in east boldon for Jonny Doug’s birthday on Saturday night (“Dougy is the birthday”). Went down to watch Haven Point triathlon this morning. Really happy to see so many RES runners taking part. Well done to Neil, Paul, Sonya, Sue, Jo, Donna & Eddie. 


Total Mileage – 61 miles. Starting to really build my confidence now. Good run out at parkrun on tired legs. I was keen to do 60 miles this week as I plan to get up to 70 miles per week by August so need to start conditioning the legs to deal with the workload. Feeling great and really enjoyed it this week. Hay Fever has been a lot better and I haven’t felt exhausted. Looking forward to racing the 5000 metres next sunday at Middlesbrough. Keith has been fantastic with his coaching sessions and advice/phone calls and texts. A real motivator! I can’t thank him enough. 


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 South Shields parkrun



Week 7 – Monday 6th July


Monday – AM 6 miles on grass. Foot a bit sore this morning. Ran round Temple Park fields until I did 6 miles on the watch. Feeling a few aches and pains in my foot and below my knee lately, so going to try and do all of my easy runs on grass. PM 3 miles easy with RES


Tuesday – AM 8 miles including 10 x 200metres with 45 seconds recovery, 3 minutes rest then 10 x 300metres with 1 minute recovery. Did this session along the road by Boldon Cricket Club with Chris, Ben and Doxy. Keith marked out 100, 200 and 300 metres and we ran back and forward with a standing rest between runs. Keith set a target of 31/32 seconds for the 200’s and 51’s for the 300’s. Times for the 200’s were 32, 32, 32, 31, 33, 31, 31, 31, 32, 32. Times for 300’s were 47, 51, 48, 51, 50, 50, 50, 51, 52, 49. Wasn’t looking forward to this session at all, especially as my legs were aching quite a bit, but really pleased with the times. PM 3 miles easy on grass round Temple Park fields. Legs very tired so had a massage and a hot Bath. Felt great afterwards.


Wednesday – AM 6 miles very easy on fields and trails with Ben, Chris and Doxy. Had to crawl out of bed this morning. Legs absolutely aching. Felt good after the run. PM 4 miles very easy on grass round Temple Park Fields with Mark Wood & 1 easy mile coaching with RES. Legs absolutely shot tonight. I’d barely call it running – more like a shuffle. Red hot bath when I got in and some stretching. It would be so easy to take a rest day at the moment, but Keith said the runs are all conditioning and keeping disciplined. I’ve been looking over my previous training diaries from when I ran my best half marathon. I think I’m much fitter than I was (with 10 weeks to go) when I ran 1 hour 10 mins 57 seconds in 2012. This gave me a good boost going into Thursday’s session.


Thursday – 6 miles including 2 x 1.7 mile lap of Boldon Colliery (same as last week) with 5 minutes rest. Tried to run relaxed throughout both runs. Times were 9.25 and 9.16 (last week I ran a PB of 9.09 for one loop). Felt better as the session went on but I definitely need a few easier days before Sunday’s race. Wrecked. PM 2 miles with RES.


Friday – AM 6 miles. Had planned a rest day but woke up feeling okay. I’m only going to take a rest day when I really need them. I’ve noticed I’ve either been doing very fast or very easy runs the past few weeks, so decided to do a steady run of 6 miles to get the legs and lungs going without taking too much out of myself. Mile splits were 6.40, 6.22, 6.22 6.01, 5.51 and a cool down mile in 6.50. Aimed to finish feeling good ready for Sunday’s 5000 metres.


Saturday – AM 5 miles including South Shields parkrun. 14th in 19.38. Ran at an easy pace ready for Sunday.


Sunday – AM 8 miles including 5000m Track League in Middlesbrough. 1st place in 15.53. Warm conditions and wind picked up as race went on. Felt comfortable until around 3 laps to go – maybe too comfortable. Led from the start of the run, which I don’t mind doing. I find I can get into my rhythm and was happy with my pacing. I would have liked to have 2 lads a little faster than me so I could really stick in and push myself, especially in that 2nd mile. Still pleased with the run and it’s always nice to win. A good end to a solid week. Went to gym for a quick core session straight after the race on my drive home.

Total Miles – 57 miles. Feeling Great!

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Photos at Middlesbrough 5000metres, by Paul West.




Week 8 – Monday 13th July


Monday – AM 7 miles with Ben. Felt comfortable. PM 5 miles easy


Tuesday – AM 6 miles including 20 x 17 second hills + 800metres hard downhill to finish. Met Keith at 6am up cleadon hills. Flight to Croatia at 9.30am. Rushing around like a mad man. Glad I got the run in though. Arrived in Split.

(Didn’t have a garmin whilst I was away so was borrowing my girlfriends stopwatch and running by time. Set alarm for 6.20-6.30am most days. Quick trip to the toilet, downed a glass of water and headed out within 10-15 mins. I know my girlfriend thinks I’m mental but she is really supportive and probably enjoys the bed to herself for an hour. Most days were spent chilling, walking or doing some sort of activity. I can’t sit still for long. Had a few beers most days. No more than 2 or 3. I didn’t feel like I was dieting or holding back for training on any of the days. Just ate and drank what I fancied)


Wednesday – AM 6 miles approx. 23 minutes along coast of Split, turned round and ran back. 27 degrees celcius at 6.30am. Very conscious of overheating out here, so just running how I feel. The temperature seems to reach up to 30 degrees within an hour. Cold shower when I got back. Spent the day at the beach in the sun, lots of walking too.


Thursday – AM 8 miles approx. 30 minutes along coast of split then run back. Did 7 x 1 minute efforts when I felt like it on way back, then 3 minutes hard back to apartment. 25 degrees celcius at 6.30am. Travelled to Hvar Island and looked around. Fantastic place with lots of nice beaches and a lagoon nearby.


Friday – 6 miles approx. First full day in Hvar. Found a quiet and relatively flat road which led to the lagoon. Ran 2 x 5 minutes hard with a good rest in between. Then did 6 sets of steps and a sprint finish back to the apartment. Very tough. Heat felt crazy. 26 degrees celcius at 6.30am.


Saturday – AM 6 miles. Found a loop from our hotel to a lagoon and up over a steep trail. Absolute killer. Ran one easy warm up lap in 13.45, one harder lap in 11.34 and an easier longer lap in 18.12. 26 degrees celcius at 6.30am. Absolutely dripping with sweat after this one. Hired a scooter and travelled round Hvar Island. Great fun up the hills/mountains. Visited Stari Grad.


Sunday – 8 miles approx. 62 minutes around Hvar Island. Ran a different route today along coast, then up to Hvar Fortress. A long hilly climb to the top and I missed the opening time by around 15 minutes. Devastated. Fantastic views of the other smaller islands surrounding us. 26 degrees celcius at 6.30am. Rode scooter over to Jezera on Hvar Island. Decided to take a random turn down a dirt road and ended up on a private beach. Fantastic! He who dares, wins.


Total Miles – 53 miles. Excellent considering being away on holiday and it’s so easy to stay in bed. Fortunately I get to chill out for the rest of the day, so I don’t mind getting up for an hours training before the day starts. Keep this up for 10 more Days! The temperature is a real problem for doing any hard sessions, I am worried about overheating and dehydration. So most of my runs are steady rather than slow and fast.



Week 9 – Monday 20th July


Monday – PM 7 miles in Split. Travelled from Hvar back to mainland. Didn’t really enjoy today, it was so hot and we were just waiting to leave for our next trip. Decided to go for a run late on. 28 degrees celcius at 8.15pm. Ran along coast and then back along a quiet road. Lots of runners using it. Sunset views were unbelievable.


Tuesday – Bad stomach so didn’t run. Travelled to Grabovac ready to visit Plitvice Lakes. Nice apartment with some really friendly hosts. They drove us to a little waterfall area to go swimming. Lots of local people playing in the water. Nice chill day.


Wednesday – PM 6 miles approx. 41 minutes. Visited Plitvice Lakes today, a very special place! Got a little lost on a trail walking back and ended up walking around 8 miles. Emma not happy with me ha ha. Legs so tired but still wanted to get a run in. Heat was ridiculous – 31 degrees celcius at 7.15pm. Wrecked.


Thursday – AM 6 miles approx. Ran for 30 minutes along a quiet road. Then ran back doing 10 x 1 minute intervals with 45 sec rest. Ran 42 minutes in total. 19 degrees celcius at 6.30am. Legs so tired. Travelled to Zagreb then onto Ljubljana to stay for the night. Long day.


Friday – 8 miles on treadmill. 1 mile at 14kilometres per hour, then increased by 1km/hr every 1.6km (1 mile) until I got to 10km. I think it worked out at 36.44 or 37.44 for 10km. Can’t remember. 2 miles cool down. Travelled to Lake Bled via train. Good fun. I love an adventure. Views were excellent.


Saturday – 8 miles approx. 60 minutes running, mostly uphill on a mountain where we were staying in Bohinska Bela. Completely lost for 10-15 mins. Had to stop twice as my lungs may have exploded with the workload too. Hips were aching. Walked round Lake Bled and chilled out. A lot cooler on a morning here. Much better for running. Walked round Bled and went on the toboggan. A good laugh.


Sunday – 13 miles approx. 1 hour 27 minutes. Ran from apartment and 2 laps of Lake Bled then back. Although my hips and thighs were killing off Saturday, the views were brilliant and I really enjoyed the run. It flew over. Went for a walk round Bled and kayaked over to the little island. Good fun although I didn’t fancy it with the Rainy weather that afternoon.


Total Miles – 49 miles. Very pleased again to keep the mileage up, especially with a day off due to stomach pain. First real long run of plan, keep these up on a weekend. Well done – Good discipline.





Week 10 – Monday 27th July


Monday- AM 7-8 miles approx. Run over to Lake Bled in 14 mins. 1 hard lap of Lake Bled in 20.22 (I wonder what the record is. The route is around 3.75 miles) then run back. Didn’t want to run this morning. Legs still killing off the mountain run I did. Pleased its over. Travelled back to Ljubllana and visited the castle.


Tuesday – AM 7 miles on treadmill. Legs tired so ran 3 miles easy, 3 steady and 1 easy. Travelled to Zagreb from Ljubllana ready to come home. Foot a bit sore today.



Wednesday – Rest Day. Travelling home from Zagreb. Long day. Had a lie in and just rested. Foot a little sore so could probably do with the rest.



Thursday – AM 6.5 miles. Ran to Boker to meet Keith. 20 x 200 metres with 45 second rest. Average times of 32/33 seconds. Took 3 minute jog recovery after 10 reps before doing another 10. Didn’t eat enough this morning and felt a bit shakey after first set. Another session in the bag though. PM 4.5 miles with RES, mostly on grass.


Friday – AM 8 miles with Jonny Evans on fields and hills, nice easy run out PM 2 miles easy with Ozzy on Temple Park fields focusing on good form.


Saturday – AM 10 miles including South Shields parkrun. 1st in 16.13. Really struggled from the first incline along coastal paths – felt like I’d hit a brick wall when running slightly uphill and into the wind and struggled on. Did 2 miles warm up and 5 miles cool down with Jonny Evans. Very tired at the end. Not too happy with the time but it’s my first real test since coming back from holiday. Thursday’s session was probably still in my legs too. Stay positive.


Sunday – AM 14 miles with David Wakefield Snr, Kieren Moffat and Luke Clark. Ran on grass and trails. 1 hour 33 minutes 16 seconds. Went through Half Marathon in 1 hour 27 mins, 32 seconds. Really pleased with mileage this week and a solid long run at 6.40 miling on the trails. PM Gym session at Boker with Keith. Good workout.


Total Mileage – 60 miles. Really strong mileage week for me, despite missing a day due to travelling home on Wednesday. Disappointed with my parkrun but still good training. Hoping for 65-70 miles next week and a track 5000metre race. 


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South Shields parkrun with Jonny Evans (left) and Thomas Bell (right)



Week 11 – Monday 3rd August


Monday – AM 6 miles easy on grass/trails with Jonny Evans. Legs very tired this morning after last 4 days of running. Just ran as comfortable as possible. PM 4 miles with RES including 2 mile loop and 8 x 400metres comfortable running focusing on form.


Tuesday – AM 9.5 miles including 2 x 2 laps of Boldon Colliery with 5 minutes rest. Each lap is approximately 1.7 miles with 5 steep hills. Times were 19.26 and 19.18. This was probably the hardest session I’ve done so far. Lots of steep hills, which make you suffer at the top. Keith said it’s good for getting used to tough spells in the half marathon and sticking them out. He said most people have two bad spells during a half marathon. Felt like I wanted to stop after first 2 laps. Really tough! PM 1 mile at The Monthly Mile very easy. Decided to do this last minute and jog round with my brother as he was doing an easy recovery run after training. Time was 7.48, finished in last position for Group 2.


Wednesday – AM 8 miles on grass/trails with Jonny Evans and Elaine Leslie. PM 4 miles with RES including 6 x 200metres and 4 x 100metre comfortable strides, focusing on form. (77 miles in 7 days – NEW PB Mileage)


Thursday – AM 7 miles including 20 hills in 20 minutes with Keith. Did the hills in the burn nearby the A19. Didn’t really enjoy this session. The grass and branches/bushes were overgrown which made it tricky and you can’t get into any rhythm at all. Good for mental strength I guess. Glad it’s done. PM 2 miles with RES (Did some coaching at Seaburn Sports Festival – 4 hours with lots of little runs. Probably covered 2 miles – doesn’t sound much but feet and legs were pretty tired at the end of the day after morning session and running in evening) Approximately 10-11 miles total for the day.


Friday – AM 7.5 miles with David Morrow and Kieren Moffat. Didn’t want to run today. I kept changing my mind between running and resting but glad I got it done. Felt good once I got going. 6.50 average miling.


Saturday – AM South Shields parkrun. 74th position in 23.48. PM 5000metres at Track League Whitley Bay. 1st position in 15.54. Very hot and humid conditions. Led from the start with Harry Coates just in behind. Found it tough after half way. Legs probably tired off the miles this week. Pleased to win and another sub 16 minute 5k leading into next week’s 10km race at Billingham.


Sunday – AM 1 mile setting up Trail Series. PM 11.5 miles. Did 60 minutes at a good pace (10 miles) and then 10 minutes easy (1.5 miles). Good running. Felt strong. Emma rode alongside on her road bike but her chain came off after 2 miles. I didn’t realize for 5 minutes or so but felt a bit guilty ditching her. I was in a good rhythm and didn’t want to stop.


Total Miles – 73 miles. Brilliant!

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Track League Whitley Bay




Week 12 – Monday 10th August


Monday – AM 3 miles with Jonny Evans. Planned a rest day but left my car at Paulie Bell’s house so ran over to get it. PM 5 miles with RES including 2 miles steady and 4 x 800metres comfortable running.


Tuesday – AM 8 miles including track session at Monkton. 12 x 400metres with 90 seconds rest in 67/68 seconds. 2 laps easy jog then 4 x 400metres with 90 seconds rest in 65, 64, 64 and 63 seconds. Keith was timekeeping and Ben pacing the first 200metres, which was a great help. He hit every 200metres in the target time so I just had to stay with him. I felt really strong today and could have probably done more. Very hot but manageable. I think the 2 weeks running I did on holiday is helping me in the heat.


Wednesday – AM 8 miles with Ben on Trails and fields. Nice sunny morning – really enjoyed it. PM 2 miles with RES.


Thursday – AM 7 miles including 15 x 17 second hills (Downhill football pitches) with jog down recovery + 1 mile in 5.28. Ran this across fields from downhill to East Boldon at about 80% effort ready for Sunday’s race. Perfect conditions, sunny and a nice breeze. Ran over Boker with Ben to meet Keith. PM


Friday – Rest day. Didn’t really fancy running today. Windy and rainy. Hadn’t rested for a few weeks so decided to let my legs recover for Sunday.


Saturday AM – 5 miles including South Shields parkrun. 15th place in 20.38. Easy run out before Sunday. Felt a bit sluggish on the morning but legs felt fresh afterwards. Feeling confident for Sunday.


Sunday – AM 7 miles including Billingham 10km. 1st place in 32.37. Previous best on the course is 32.47. Felt confident going into this race and knew I had rested well. Conditions were good but it was very hot at the start. Ran first 5k in 3rd place and felt comfortable in 16.22. My aim was to have another gear and kick on from 7k marker. Fortunately I caught the leader just after the 7k marker and picked up the pace to 8km. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t keep with me and I ran controlled for 3k until the finish. Keith said he had me down for 32.14 today but I’m still pleased with the win and another hard run out in the heat. Still more to come and I know I can run faster. Confidence sky high. Great!


Total Mileage – 49 miles

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Billingham 10km




Week 13 – Monday 17th August 


Monday – AM 6 miles on grass/trails very easy. Calfs a little tight. Went for massage. PM 6 miles easy with RES


Tuesday – AM 8.5 miles steady on roads. Planned to run easy this morning but was keen to get it over with, as it was wet and miserable. PM 4.5 miles steady on roads. Still wet and miserable.


Wednesday – AM 8.5 miles with Jonny Evans. Ran on grass/trails mostly. Didn’t feel great but got it done. PM 4 miles with RES including 6 x 400metres and 8 x 100metres comfortable running. Focusing on good technique. Tired this afternoon and legs feeling it.


Thursday – AM 8 miles including track session. 3000metres, 2000m, 1000m, 600m, 400m with 1 lap jog recovery. Times were 9.34, 6.17, 3.02, 1.42, 65. Legs very tired today but really pleased with the session. The session felt tough but controlled. PM 4 miles very easy with RES on trails


Friday – AM 1.5 miles with Ozzy to loosen legs up. PM 9 miles with Jonny and Ben. So humid today – I felt exhausted as soon as I started. I was absolutely wrecked when I got back, overheating and decided to sleep it off. Not good!


Saturday – AM 8 miles including South Shields parkrun. 1st in 16.17. Decided to do a longer session this morning. Did a warm up then the parkrun route at 8.30am in 16.57, with a 13 minute jog rest, and then parkrun again at 9am. Target was to run 16.33 in the first one and then beat it in the 2nd run but messed my pacing up. I was probably too comfortable in the 2nd mile. Felt strong today but the first run wasn’t good enough really. Another session in the bank though. 10k time of 33.14.


Sunday – AM 12 miles roads. Went out for drinks on Saturday night as my brother was home. Got in at 3am. Didn’t really fancy the run but just put my trainers on and cracked on with it. PM Gym session at Boker


Total – 80 miles. Flying.

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South Shields parkrun




Week 14 – Monday 24th August


Monday – Rest day. Had a bit of a pain in my left side for a few days, so decided to give running a miss and also let my legs recover from the past 10 days.


Tuesday – AM 8 miles including track session. 6 x 800metres with a lap jog recovery. Times were 2.25, 2.24, 2.24, 2.23, 2.22, 2.18. Wind was quite strong but fortunately I had Doxy pacing me for the first and last 200metres of each rep. Pleased with times and didn’t feel absolutely wrecked. Good day of training. Total time for 3 miles – 14 minutes 14 seconds


Wednesday – AM 8 miles with Kieren Moffat. Didn’t fancy running today, so was glad to get some miles in the legs once I got going. PM 3 miles with RES including 8 x 400metres comfortable running


Thursday – AM 7 miles including 15 hills and 1 mile (0.85 mile) in 4.22 on the cornfields. Did this at Downhill football pitches with Dave Morrow. Keith was timekeeping. Didn’t go flat out as racing on Sunday. Enjoyed this session, as it was short and snappy. Most of the sessions recently have been a slog. Looking forward to Sundays race. PM 1.5 mile easy with RES.


Friday – AM 8 miles with Kieren Moffat, Ben Forster, David Morrow & Ian Ritchie. Plenty of company & really enjoyed the run along the seafront. Good crack. Feeling ready for Sunday.


Saturday – AM Easy 5 miles including South Shields parkrun. 38th position in 21.19


Sunday – Tynedale Jelly Tea 10 mile Race. 4th place in 59.08 mins. Keith had suggested this race to run as a test before Great North Run. I was told that the course was full of hills but once I got there I realized they were very steep and very long. I knew getting a good time was out of the window and the hills were going to sap everyone’s energy. My head wasn’t really in it today and I ran comfortably and within myself for the majority of the run as I was worried about going flat out and burning myself out. On finishing I was disappointed with the course, not ideal preparation for me but I’m pleased with the finish position despite being 8 seconds from 3rd place and a bronze medal. I must say a big thanks to everyone that volunteered and put the event together though – other than the course, the day was brilliant. I think most runners would agree. 15 miles for the day


Total – 55 miles. Upping the mileage next week before easing off for the Great North Run. 2 weeks to go. Stay Positive. 


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Tynedale 10 mile – North East Championships




Week 15 – Monday 31st August


Monday – AM 7 miles easy on grass with Mark Wood. Woke up stiff as a board after Sunday’s race. PM 3.5 miles easy with RES. Still stiff as a board. Really pleased to get 10 miles in today. Not sure I would have done this in previous years. Shows I’m a lot stronger this time round (maybe more mental than physical).


Tuesday – AM 2 miles easy with Ozzy dog on grass + 8 miles with Doxy on roads. Legs still a little tight until evening time. Again, pleased to get 10 miles in despite aching legs.


Wednesday – AM 8 miles on roads with Ben. Legs feeling good again & quite enjoyed the run. PM 3 miles easy with (1 miles with Ozzy on grass + 2 miles with RES)


Thursday – AM 7 miles including 20 hills (17 seconds), 4 minute jog then 1 mile hard in 4.41. Felt good today – running well and pleased with the final mile. Miserable weather – first time I’ve worn a wooly hat for a while. PM 3.5 miles with RES including last 2 miles of Great North Run route. Didn’t have my watch but seemed a good steady pace of around 6-6.20 miling. Legs not too bad after this morning’s run. Rainy and a strong headwind – hope conditions are better on race day.


Friday – AM 5 miles with Ben. Wet and windy conditions again. Set off with the intention of doing 10 miles. Felt absolutely knackered after 3 miles and was around 2 miles away from home so just ran back. This was definitely down to not eating enough before the run & on Thursday evening. Got plenty of food down my neck for the rest of the day. PM 5 miles steady. Felt really strong on this run. Amazing how much better I felt after the disaster I had in the morning. Feeling good for Sunday’s race at Middlesbrough.


Saturday – AM 5 miles including South Shields parkrun. 28th place in 21.37. Very windy but enjoyed running with Ben Forster and Richard Harrison. Easy run out before Sunday.


Sunday – 13 miles total for the day, including Tees Pride 10km in Middlesbrough. 9th place in 32.28. Didn’t have the ideal preparation as I didn’t sleep well and I was late to the race start with just a few minutes to spare. Ended up chucking my bag in someone’s garden and made my way into the start pen. Today was all about getting a good final training session in the legs before easing off. No pressure whatsoever and ran my own race. 5k splits 16.15 and 16.13. Felt comfortable and controlled until the last 1km, where it started to hurt a little. I finished knowing I could have gave more if needed. Loads left in the tank for next Sunday. I’m feeling good.


Total – 70 miles. Feeling good.


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Tees Pride 10km



Week 16 – Monday 7th September


Monday – Rest day.


Tuesday – 5.5 miles including 16 x 300metres with 1 min (100metre jog) recovery. Target was 51 seconds. First few runs were 54 seconds and I felt knackered. Really lethargic. Times improved to 51 seconds average after 2 or 3 runs and I settled into it. Finished the 16 runs and felt like I could have done another 16 – which is exactly what I wanted. Nothing too challenging. I think the rest day made me feel worse so I’m going to keep running every day leading up to the run. 30-35 minutes most days very easy.


Wednesday – AM 3 miles round Temple Park. Very easy run out. PM 3 miles with RES very easy.


Thursday – AM 3 miles with Doxy. Same route as Wednesday. PM 2 miles with RES


Friday – AM 3 miles with Doxy.


Saturday – 3 miles including South Shields parkrun. 36th place in 25.57.


Sunday – Great North Run. Went into this race feeling fully confident of achieving sub 70 minutes after my training and racing. The conditions looked good early on as it was a bit chilly and seemed calm. I set off and hit the first mile on target pace – it’s easy to go too fast and I was pleased to get it bang on. I ran with a group through 5km in 16.34, which felt comfortable. From 5k the course gets very hilly and the headwind seemed very strong when running to the 10km mark. I was pushing hard and went through 10km in 33.39. This was 30 seconds slower than my target time. I knew at this stage I was fighting a losing battle to go below 70 minutes and I completely lost my head. I wanted to pack in at that point. Usually I feel controlled until the 10-mile mark but it was a real slog from 6 miles. As always, the support on the route was brilliant and made it more bearable. I seen Keith at the 10km mark, 10 mile mark and he cycled alongside until 11 miles calling instructions to tag on to people and graft hard. It probably did help me but to be honest I knew I wasn’t hitting my targets and I just felt like I’d let Keith and myself down after all of the time and work we’d put in. My last 2 miles felt VERY slow and I’m sure they would have been close to 6 minute miling.


I crossed the line in 39th place in 71.47 and was just glad it was over. On finishing I was completely deflated and (without looking for sympathy), I spent a good half hour on my own feeling sorry for myself. On looking at my splits for 5km, 10k, and 15km – I was still on for a PB (70.57). I wasn’t aware of this while I was running, but I’m not sure it would have made me feel better anyway. Sub 70 was always the aim and I didn’t quite get there this time. I gave it my best. 


Finally, it was so sad to read about all of the casualties and a death in the Great North Run. I think more awareness should be made of how tough these events are and more respect should be given to the sport. RIP.


Thank you for reading.



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