With hundreds of runners preparing for this year’s iconic Tour of Tameside, we quizzed our Head of Active Education, Gavin Browne, on how the training his going for this fantastic four day running festival.
Taking in a real variety of challenging routes and terrains, this will be Gavin’s fourth full Tour. He’s also entered individuals races so this will be the seventh time he’s taken part.
Participating in the Tour of Tameside is something of a dream come true for Stalybridge lad Gavin who was inspired after watching ‘Hell on the Fell’ as a youngster!
After completing the Manchester Marathon on 16th April, I had one week rest and one week of steady running to ease my way back in to ensure my body had fully recovered. Training has gone well since then and over the last 6 weeks I have averaged 50 miles of running per week. I feel like I am in good shape and ready for the challenge!
As mentioned above I completed the Manchester Marathon in a time of 2.39.32. I was generally pleased with this especially with it being an 8-minute personal best time! Since then, I took part in a fell race in Saddleworth which was very tough but managed to take 1st place. I also took part in a local Park Run over 5km and a 1500m track race to get some speed back in the legs after the marathon.
I train once a day and average around 50 miles per week. This involves 2 interval sessions at my local running club East Cheshire Harriers. These are great and training as part of a group really motivates me. I do one longer run at the weekend between 10-15 miles and on the other days I just do easy runs of around 7-8 miles. I do strength and conditioning for around 15-20 mins most days such as stretches, exercises, resistance band work and foam rolling which really helps with injury prevention.
The Tour of Tameside is a tough challenge with four races in four days, covering a distance of 32 miles. This needs to be respected so it’s important to think about pacing yourself over the 4 days and not doing too much in the earlier stages. There isn’t much recovery from the Friday fell race to the half marathon on Saturday morning so keep this in mind.
Fuelling and hydration are important on the lead up the Tour and during the four days. Eat / drink sensibly and don’t have anything you don’t usually have in case it doesn’t agree with you.
Sometimes it can be difficult to sleep as well as usual during the Tour with all the excitement and anticipation, so a good tip is to bank some sleep earlier in the week as rest / recovery is crucial!
And most importantly, enjoy it! Take in the atmosphere and use it to your advantage. Running provides a brilliant social community so speak to others and enjoy the event!
I always look forward to the ‘Hell on the Fell’ six-mile race on the Friday night. I grew up in the Copley area as a child and used to watch this stage of the Tour every year and be inspired by it!
Last year I finished 2nd place overall and it was great to be involved in the sharp end of the race. I don’t have any specific targets but it would be nice to be competitive again and look to improve on the times I did last year.
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