In this weeks blog we catch up with Graeme Taylor of Jarrow and Hebburn AC (has now switched clubs to Morpeth Harriers) who won the race overall in a time of 71 minutes 07 seconds.
RHM: Did you enjoy last years race and what were the highlights of the race?
GT: It was a highly enjoyable race, I've done it for the last three years, in 2010 I made the mistake of not getting to the start in time and had to start at the back playing catch up the whole race eventually finishing 8th. Last year I made sure I was at the start on time and got away with the front runners , I enjoyed a good battle with David Kirkland of Alnwick Harriers finally getting away with two miles to go, it was nice to the get the win in such a big race with great crowd support along the sea front. Another highlight was improving my time by over six minutes from my first Redcar attempt in 2009.
RMH: How did your training for last years race go?
GT: I entered the race with my London Marathon training in the bank, although I didnt quite run the race I wanted to at London the training stood me in good stead and I was in good shape to run the race, after a few easy weeks recovering from the marathon I was back in to my normal regime which roughly consisted of:
Monday- 11 mile steady
Tuesday- Track session e.g 20 x 400 at 72 sec pace, 4x 1mile, 8 x 800.
Wednesday-2x6 mile runs am/pm
Thursday- Interval session in local park or tempo run around 5:30 min mile pace
Friday- Rest day
Saturday-fast run/Park run
Sunday-long run 90-120 minutes steady.
RHM: What would you recommend for someone tackling the half marathon distance for the first time?
GT: Gradually build up your level of fitness over a couple of months, once you have built a reasonable base start increasing your mileage and try to add in some faster efforts. Try to mix your training up with steady runs, speed work and longer easy runs.
My top tip would be listen to your body if your plan says rest day take it, or at least do something very easy there is no point causing yourself an injury by training when your tired or pushing yourself too hard too often.
RHM: Are you entering this years race and what is your target?
GT: I am hopfully entering this years race (fingers crossed) I am due to have knee surgery (torn cartilage) in the next couple of weeks so everything is on hold running wise for the time being. I have provisionally pencilled in Redcar to be my come back race as the new date gives me extra time to get back upto speed again. My target is first and foremost to be fit enough to compete at the very least, and I would be lying if I said I don't want to defend my title.......also if im being optimistic a sub 70 time would be most welcome!
RHM: What is your favourite training session and why?
GT: I am always willing to try out a new sessions and running routes to keep my training varied and interesting. However I do really enjoy doing hill work in the winter, my background is in cross country running so I feel at home doing these efforts. A typical session is normally 10-15 reps up a series of varying hills near to Jarrows base in Monkton, this is where I build my strength, endurance and I feel this helps me to attack hills in races without fear.
RHM: Our final question for you is who are your top tips for a gold medal in 2012?
GT: Although I would love to see Mo Farah win gold in his home country I just cant see anyone getting close to Kenenisa Bekele if he is anywhere near fit. The man is a legend probably the greatest there has been, if he is in good shape then hes my tip for gold over 5000 and 10000 metres. Also I think like most people it would be great to see a couple of world records from Usain Bolt as he is so talented and a great entertainer.
Thanks for your time Graeme and we hope to see you fit and well post surgery at Redcar in September to defend your title!