I have said it before but I am very fortunate to be in the training group that I am.
I am not a big championship runner and I am rarely at the front end of races but what I want out of running is to get the best out of myself and to enjoy myself while I am doing that. I cannot emphasise enough how important it has been for me over the last year or so to get involved with a squad that allows me to do that. In my last blog, I touched briefly on the fact that our gaffer, Paul Forbes, had broken the world indoor record for M65 800m in 2.15.30, taking over a second off the previous world best. It is quite simply breath taking but no surprise to those of us who have been fortunate enough to train with him. He has been quite simply kicking our arses in training and I really feel for him that his opportunity to race and break more records has been taken away from him just now. Paul is an absolute character and I could fill this blog with his anecdotes, but I think too many injunctions would be taken out on the contents and Woking Pizza Express would be awash with alibis again….
His training is meticulous though and when he speaks, we listen, you don’t make two Commonwealth games 800m finals without knowing something, and he is the first to admit the mistakes he has learned from as well. Between him, Fiona Matheson and Alastair Walker and their record breaking efforts there has been a light shone on Scottish Masters athletics recently and deservedly so. The masters may be a bit older than the athletes that the focus is put on, but the dedication, the drive, the effort and the ability on the Scottish Masters circuit just now is exemplary.
Unfortunately the rest of my team work shifts whereas I am the Monday to Friday office man, so a lot of the time I have to train on my own but doing the same sessions as the lads. The likes of the xmas break is a godsend for me as I get to join the sessions quite a lot. The Thursday before xmas and we had arranged to meet at the Emirates at 4 for a session of 300s, our bread and butter session just now. The message comes from GG just before I leave. The general gist… alright lads? Just to let you know TV cameras are coming to the session to film Forbesy, just run as normal. Think they are called Sweat Elite. GG wasn’t too familiar (he asked the main man, Matt Fox, how to access youtube….), and some of you may be the same, but have a look at Sweat Elite on youtube.
55k subscribers. Sweat Elite researches and publishes information on the training methods of the world’s best athletes. Videos from all over the world on the training habits and sessions of such people as Marc Scott, Adelle Tracey, Mary Ngugi, Beth Potter, Paul Chelimo.
These videos get tens of thousands of views and since that day’s planned video with Eilish McColgan had fallen through, they needed something to fill the schedule. Not quite sure it is what Matt had in mind but he was getting a 65 year old world record holder and his motley crew instead. Thanks to Colin Thomas for recommending us at the short notice. I link to the video below and I really do think it is worth a watch.
I think that the respect for our efforts grew as the session progressed and by the end I think we were taken seriously rather than just a wee group of comedy old men to fill a schedule. The feedback has been superb and a read of the comments on youtube shows that people DO like relatable content as well as the elites.
“Thank you for filming this! That’s a serious session. There is DEFINITELY an audience for vids of interesting elite age groupers“
“This is easily one of my favorite sessions Sweat Elite has done.”
“What a great way to inspire us to kick off the year! Definitely requesting more Master’s athletes! These guys are great examples of how consistency leads to longevity and smart training can help us progress even after years in the sport. Kudos Sweat Elite!”
“Love it and scottish accents just make everything seem so much more intense”
“Matt! Happy New Year pal! This was by far the mostly intriguing workout video on the channel, I didn’t see this coming but I love that you had this set up!”
At the time of writing 18,000 people have watched our Thursday afternoon session. The thing that comes from this for me is that it shows the Forbesy is the gaffer, but that he talks sense and that is what we buy into, and you can see the team ethic in the efforts. We buy in to it, we work together, we get the best out of ourselves, we are all our own key part of the machine, and we really enjoy it.
Strangely we went the next week for another session and this time Andy Butchart was doing his video. Fair play to him for engaging with us, and shouting us on during our session. We are in this one at about 9 mins in.
Anyway, the sessions continue even though the races do not. Currently in Scotland we can train indoors but are not allowed to race in any races where you share a lane. We have no idea when/ if this will be lifted and whether the indoor season will be that one race back in December, but what will be will be. I hope you enjoyed the video and can see why I love running with my wee group. The dynamic works. We are all very, very different but all play our part. Work hard, get the best out of yourself, and enjoy it with people whose company you enjoy. There is nothing better in sport for me.
The song for the playlist? For all you old buggers like us who just want to go out there as best we can. They were old too and were told they shouldn’t have bothered but this song kicks arse. We oldies can too. Just Because by Jane’s Addiction.