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T r a i n i n g

Allen Graffin

Tonbridge AC have had some outstanding athletes over the years and there's much that can be learned from their experiences. This page focuses on talented Tonbridge athlete Allen Graffin who amongst his many successes finished 3rd in the Great North Run in 2002.

It is important to remember that training must be suited to the individual. You can't just copy someone's training schedule and expect to get the same results, and in a worse case scenario you could injure yourself. Always try to get advice from an experienced coach.

The following is an extract from Allen's training log for the first 2 weeks of November 2002, leading up to the Reebok Cross-Country Challenge at Margate. It shows a fairly hard week and also an easy one to taper down to an important race.

Day AM PM  Comments
Mon 7m 40.52 5 x 4min 2 min
Ran the session on the grass and wore full trainers to play safe. The injury seemed fine and I had a good session. Had a massage this evening and surprisingly my calves were a lot sorer than usual.
Tues 6.5m 40.01 6.5m 40.02 Didn't push it today but just kept it steady. Felt a little tired from yesterday but loosened up a bit this pm.
Wed 5m 31.38 8.5m 5,5,10
I had to do the tempo run on the roads today because of the weather and did 15 easy, 5 steady, 5 hard, 10 flat out, 15 easy. Felt okay and actually better as I went along.
Thurs 5.5m 33.37 5m 29.24 Just a couple of easy runs today so I can be fresh for a speedy session tomorrow.
Fri 20 x 30s 30 sec
6.5m 40.00 I decided to do my session this am as the weather is to get bad. I ran on the grass and wore XC spikes. I did a good w/u with drills + strides and had a good session. Then did a 20min w/d.
Sat 7m 42.16 5m 31.21 Didn't push it too hard today again as I was a little sore from yesterday. Not actually as sore as I had expected though. It's really just the quads that are a bit fatigued, probably from the speed.
Sun 13m 80.37 Rest   Set off to do 90mins this am and felt a little stiff to start with, but that's not unusual. However, I didn't loosen up like I would normally do and then after about 65mins my left hip got a bit stiff. Because of that I reckoned I must be fairly tired from a good week, so decided to cut it a bit short to play things safe.
Mon 4.5m 27.32 Rest   Only did one run today to play things safe after the discomfort felt yesterday. Took it fairly easy and still felt quite flat so I'm obviously suffering a bit from last week's heavy load.
Tues 5m 31.31 Rest   Got to make sure I have a good session tomorrow so I eased back again today. Felt a lot better than yesterday but still a little heavy legged.
Wed 5.5m 32.35 3 x 3min 3-4min
Felt loads better this morning and went ahead with the session this pm. I endedup doing it on the track, in lane three, in racing flats, as the grass was far too wet. Felt fine and pushed it but it still only felt like half a session.
Thur 7m 41.41 Rest    
Fri Rest   Rest    
Sat 5m 30.59 Rest    
Sun 3m 21.00 Reebok
Margate Felt fine when w/u and ran the last 3-4 mins of that quicker than usual to try and counteract this bad patch that I keep having in races. Also I started easier than normal today and didn't get up to the lead group until about 1.5 - 2 miles. In the end the group wittled down and I drifted to the front just after half way. My legs felt really really good and could have gone quicker. I guess in the end it was comfortable enough and I won by 9 seconds. Left Achilles was very tight for the first mile or so, but then eased off. Need to see how it reacts tomorrow.

"I wouldn't always ease down this much for a race. However, we are always conscious of trying not to look too much at mileage totals in our training. 100 miles a week is often mentioned as hard training for senior athletes but this is really just a number picked out of the air and very few athletes will find that this is their optimum training load. For me at the moment it's a bit less - for someone like Mark Stinle this wouldn't be enough. It all really depends on what you can get away with and still put quality sessions in and also not get injured. It doesn't matter how fit you are for short periods of time if you then get injured for your target race and simply doing very high mileage but mostly slowly, due to being too tired, won't achieve the fitness required for racing!!"

Allen Graffin