Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes we can

While I was in LA I didn't bother trying to catch up with other runners to train with because the times I had available to train and locations were limited. All training had to be done before it got too hot, before it got too dark, before everyone woke up or before everyone was heading for dinner. The choice was mainly the first thing in the morning, while other days it was the evenings and then again days like yesterday I simply didn't bother as I didn't want to stress myself by trying to squeeze a run in.

Now that I've left LA for a week I'm able to organise to train with some clubs in the towns I'm in. Unbelieveably all the clubs that I contacted got back to me. This is shocking considering that some clubs in Dublin didn't even bother replying when I asked them for information about joining a few months back. There were one or two clubs over here that couldn't accomodate me training with them due to time constraints, but they all still replied (you hearing that Dublin clubs!) and gave me contact details of other groups that I would be able to train with.

Over the past few days I'd been e-mailing one lad to get some help with meeting up with other runners while I'm in town. He suggested coming along to a group run with them this morning. When I got there it transpired that the group was made of athletes from three or four different clubs and the local university. The University team are currently training for their regional Cross Country championships and National Championships in the next few weesk. It's hard to put a figure on the number who were there and I didn't bother counting, but it was fairly sizeable. It reminded me of when I trained in France, the Tuesday and Thursday night track sessions comprised of all the local clubs. This way it's easier to find someone of your own standard to train with. Everyone's there with the same goal so why not all train together?

Granted I've only been back in Dublin a few months but what I've gathered is that most people seem to train exclusively with their clubs. I trained for a few weeks with different clubs while I was trying to find the one best suited to me. None of the clubs minded having me down, but would that remain the same if I was actually a member of another club? In London I was a member of one club, but from time to time trained with two others. There was also a session once a week that had athletes from three local clubs who had 10k times below 36 minutes.

If three or four clubs in Dublin joined up for a few sessions what's the harm? In France I didn't even know which clubs the guys I trained with were with. Did it matter? Did it fuck. I used them to get faster and they used me to get faster. Everyone wants to race their race as fast as they can, so you need to use every advantage you can. If by training with other clubs gives you this advantage then you should go with it. At the end of the day you race in your club colours but who you train with shouldn't matter. The more people that train together, the more people you find at your level and the better your training will beccome.

Today was certainly an eye opener for me on the way people train. I just hope it'll be as easy to find training partners when I get back to Dublin as it was here.
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