Josh Griffiths Guest Post: Vitality London 10,000 2018
It has now been 6 weeks since I had competed in the Commonwealth Games marathon where I placed 15th. Since then I had taken a week off from running where I just did some light exercise and stretching in order to help me recover both physically and mentally. This was followed by a week of easy running to get my body back in the routine.
After a fortnight of light running I felt recovered enough to resume training properly again with only four weeks to go until I raced the London 10,000m. Training in this period had gone well, I completed several track, road and hill sessions in this time, as well as building my long run back up to 16 miles. This is much lower mileage than I was doing prior to the Gold Coast but I was keen to focus more on quality and improving over the shorter distances before attacking another marathon. Having not raced for 6 weeks, you never really know how training has gone as you don’t push the same in training as you do in a race. I was excited to be back racing though and it was also great to be back racing in London, where they have the most amazing crowds that cheer you on as you go.
I generally have the same routine every race day. I like to wake up early so that I have plenty of time to; relax, eat and most importantly, hydrate before getting into race mode. I woke up at 5:30am and had my usual breakfast of rice and a coffee. I ate this in bed whilst watching Netflix on my ipad. This allowed me to relax and gave time for my food to settle before racing later.
The elite athletes gathered in the hotel lobby at 8:30am to walk to the start area which was close by. I settled down in the tent and sorted all of my race gear before starting to warm up at 9:10am, 50 minutes prior to the race start. After a 2 mile jog, stretching and drills. It was time to change into my racing shoes and head onto the course to complete my pre-race strides. The athletes were then lined up prior to the start of the race. The race included some real talent with the likes of Mo Farah and Callum Hawkins both racing.
The race started at a very slow pace, we didn’t pass through the first km until 3:05 and the slow pace continued up to the 5km mark where there was still a very large group of athletes. Mo Farah was at the front and dictating the pace of the race. Normally it wouldn’t be the case that 1 athlete has the power to do this but when you are the class of the field and so much faster than the rest of the field, it just happens like that. A surge was made at around the 6km mark which broke up the field, around 6 athletes had got away up the road and it was going to be difficult to make up ground on those guys. By the 8km mark it was clear that I wasn’t making ground on the top 6 and was now in a battle for the lower positions. In the end I was outkicked and finished in 9th position. It was a highly competitive domestic field and a great race to be a part of. I feel that with a few more weeks training I could have placed much higher however at this point in time, the race reflected my current fitness and was definitely the blowout I needed to kick-start my summer racing season.
It was great to have been able to get back into race mode after my 6 week absence and thoroughly enjoyed racing amongst a strong domestic field. I now have a quick turnaround as I am racing again this Saturday night in the Czech Republic, this time over the half marathon distance. I’m hoping that the London 10,000m will have blown away some cobwebs and I am now focussed on running well this weekend. With such a short break between races, it is imperative for me to prioritise recovery this week to ensure I am able to feel fresh and perform at my maximum on Saturday night. This means doing everything I can to feel good. I will wear compression garments on my legs to help stimulated blood to transport oxygen to the muscles, this will help break down lactic acid. I also look after my feet, as a lot of you will probably know, they take quite a battering during a race so it’s important I treat them well during the week. I like to wear my OOFOS sliders when I am relaxing around the house, not only are they a comfy shoe but they are also proven to aid recovery as they absorb the forces coming from your legs, allowing you to feel as if you are walking on clouds. Anyone that hasn’t tried them yet, I urge you to do so, you won’t be sorry. Check out OOFOS Instagram this weekend as I take it over when I’m racing.