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BA Athletics Club News Digest 11th January 2021
For future weeks: inclusions, with photos, please to Roderick Hoffman at email@example.com.
Unrestricted races are currently off so the club continues to operate with Solo and Shared runs as listed above - for restrictions and advice see the Coronavirus footnote at the end of this digest. Due to the Tier 4 lockdown all shared runs are off the agenda until March or April.
Club Event Map: [Clickable link to Google Maps]
This week's Events
Please help me by sending me your results, for instance by filling in the tables below and forwarding to News@barunner.org.uk. Some events, such as the weekend achievement, will have "Prompts" set up in Facebook. These allow the posting of a single image and some text and make it easy to flip through everyone's entries.
Solo / Shared Mile (submit before Monday18th January):
Run one mile and send me your time or add the details to the Facebook prompt. I'll then produce a fancy graph showing your time this month compared to those of other people and previous runs this year.
Weekend Achievement (by 5pm on the Monday) or use the Facebook prompt that will be added on Friday:
Next Week's Midweek Challenge - The Cooper Test (12 minutes)
In 1968, with the war in Vietnam in full swing, Dr. Kenneth Cooper (US Army) developed a test to measure the aerobic fitness of military personnel and provide an estimate of VO2 Max. It is still in use today. In 1976 when the London Marathon was hardly even on the drawing board Chris Brasher wrote an article in a Sunday newspaper bemoaning the poor state of fitness of the British nation and urged readers to give it a try.
Basically the test is very simple; See how far you can run in 12 minutes (to the nearest 10 metres or 11 yards). The time, along with gender and age, can then be used to calculate VO2 max and a general rating (e.g. good, average, poor).
Ideally the test is carried out at a 400m/440yd running track with markers on the inside of lane 1 every 10m. Athletes (or raw recruits) should warm-up for at least 10 minutes and be advised not to start to too fast as those who maintain a good but sustainable pace will obtain the best results.
In 1976, several years before BAAC was founded, a group of computer programmers in BA (then in the process of being merged from BOAC and BEA) at South Ruislip tried the test one lunchtime and it was hoped to return to the same track this month to commemorate the 45th anniversary. The current lockdown rules, which may be even more severe by the time we reach next Wednesday, mean that this will have to be postponed.
If anyone can be absolutely sure that it is safe to do so then find an isolated suitable flat circuit, start a GPS watch, run for 12 minutes and send your result to Steve Newell (time, gender and age). Please act responsibly and don't set off too fast!
Ed: Those of us running the mile this week will in effect have had a good practice for a 12 minute run.
Some Recent Photos
I didn't have time last week to prepare and include photos submitted so in this relatively light content week I'll make amends. Some of these are stolen from Facebook.
SOLO Activity Achievements, Weekend 8th to 11th January 2021
This week 17 members and friends reported activities. Please try to make future submissions by Monday 5pm, or 6pm at the latest, either by email to me or using the "Prompt" in Facebook.
17 isn't very many - I hope that our New Year's resolutions haven't already failed - but there was in addition an apology from Piers for being unable to do anything this weekend or next because he is on a strictly monitored medical trial (the enforced rest, may, do him good)! Also, I know that Steve Newell is allowing his recent Covid-19 vaccination to bed in.
And too late for inclusion, but Harjit appears to have walked the airport perimeter today.
Street-O Training - long runs in (relatively) small areas
Steve Taylor and I ran the same Street-O course last week and I've highlighted our courses on the map to discuss Street Orienteering techniques.
We did the same course, travelling to each of the control points on the map (each was a postbox) but we were free to choose which streets or paths we used and in which order we went through the controls. You can see that generally we chose to go the same way - where the path between the numbered controls is shown in green. But there were a number of differences where my route is shown in red and Steve's route in blue.
For the narrative I'm starting from control '12' and I'm going anti-clockwise. To get to control '8' Steve went by road and a familiar to him path (under Brunel's Viaduct, for those who know the area). I went on public paths across the golf course. This was a more direct route, therefore shorter, but softer underfoot and riskier and therefore slower pace (I say riskier - there were no golfers since the course was closed, indeed the previous day I had encountered a golfer in my local park so perhaps the golf course was safer, but the short cut had a higher risk of going off on the wrong path and the GPS track does reveal that I did deviate from the official path at one point). Steve was running later in the day than me - and navigating the golf course in the dark might have been very time costly! From '8' to '17' we both went off map. This was permitted in this private event. Sometimes going off map won't be allowed in Street-O events. After control '17' we did the controls in a different order - Steve went to control '9' before '21' whereas I went straight to '21' and added '9' in between '16' and '7'. Probably Steve's route was slightly shorter - I chose not to go that way because I consider that road to be a steeper uphill than going the other way around! Later, between '10' and '4' I found an area of grass I could cut the corner with but again whilst this was shorter it was softer and therefore potentially slower pace and more tiring. Between '3' and '20' Steve's route was better - but in my defense I did this run first and incorporated an additional control NE of '20' but found that that postbox had been removed so corrected the map before Steve got to run it. In total I ran 0.2miles less than Steve but he finished about 3.5minutes faster. But more importantly, we both enjoyed the run and the additional challenge that navigation presented us with.
If you would like the opportunity to do a similar long run in a small area local to yourself tell me a postcode or location you'd like to include on the map and I'll do the rest. Obviously I generated many of these maps last April, but I'm happy to provide a second map for people who have memorised the quickest routes between their local postboxes or who want a map that covers an area between them and another running colleague. Doing a whole map will require running for 10km to 15km depending on how populous your area is though you can also do it as a more restrictive one hour challenge.
Amanda did one of my maps today, and I note that it includes a postbox that Emma Moreton ran past on her run today.
New shoes for the Midweek Challenges?
Dave Barnard spotted that Sebastian Coe (these days the World Athletics chief) isn't worried about the enhanced performance of the latest shoes. So don't feel ashamed to use yours in this week's mile and next week's Cooper Test...though only if you have a suitable track available to you.
In the UK exercise outside is permitted because it will boost physical and mental health and because the risk of catching Coronavirus outdoors is very low provided social distancing advice is kept to.
If you are unwell yourself, especially if you have symptoms of the virus:
Shared club activities are not permitted in Tier 4. For when the situation changes any club member may be permitted to organise a shared activity. We recommend the social distancing gap of 2metres although "1meter+" can be followed during the activity itself. To legitimize a run with more than six participants:
Next Digest - Results, news, pictures, feedback, jokes, stories - send them to the editor, Roderick Hoffman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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