Opinion Mark Armstrong during a session on the Field of Pain. Picture: Neil Featherby Archant Perfect pacing makes for perfect racing...as running columnist Mark Armstrong is hoping to find out It’s not often you get to train with one of this country’s finest distance runners. So when it was arranged for Paul Evans to take a training session at one of Neil Featherby’s notorious ‘Field of Pain’ sessions in Felthorpe last week it was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. Paul is a running legend in these parts. He competed in two Olympic finals, two world championships and held 13 British titles at 10,000m and half marathon distances. Oh, and he also won the Chicago Marathon and came second at the New York Marathon during his career. MORE: Love running? Join the Run Anglia Facebook group hereMore important than that, he’s one of the most down-to-earth guys you could ever wish to meet. He’s only too happy to pass on the wealth of knowledge … [Read more...] about Running column: The art of pacing and Mark Armstrong’s brush with a former elite runner
Opinion Patience is a virtue for Mark Armstrong as he comes back from injury. Picture: Alison Armstrong Photography Archant A big part of being a runner is learning to be patient. It’s rubbish…but necessary. After setting myself the task of going under 20 minutes for 5K this summer I’ve had to take a few steps back recently due to a foot injury. There was part of me that so desperately wanted to use the 20:25 I achieved at parkrun last month as a springboard for achieving my Holy Grail at the Lord Mayor’s 5K this Saturday. My coach, Neil Featherby, floated the idea of taking part in the race a couple of months back and it excited me. It made me nervous in equal measure – the thought of being dragged off the course for not going through the halfway point in under 10 minutes is the kind of humiliation I could do without… MORE: Love running? Join the Run Anglia Facebook group hereDespite a little trepidation, I had quietly made it a goal of mine but … [Read more...] about Running column: Patience in pursuit of his goals will hopefully bear fruit for Mark Armstrong
Mandy Foyster in action at the Peddars Way Ultra in 2017. Picture: Tim Smith Archant Norwich Road Runner Mandy Foyster speaks to Mark Armstrong about the joy of ultra running and how she would love for more runners to give it a try Mandy Foyster digs deep with a group of runners at Peddars Way Ultra in 2017. Picture: Tim Smith Ultra running holds a mystical allure for many. For a lot of people it’s the next step after you have pushed yourself in a marathon. Many runners want to see how much faster they can go but it’s often how far you can go that’s the next barometer of achievement. 50K, 100K, 100 miles – what can your body cope with? Mandy Foyster on the move at the Norfolk 100K in 2017. Picture: Tim Smith Finding out just that little bit more about yourself is what keeps a lot of runners going. Mandy Foyster has focused on her ultra running in the last few years and you won’t find many people that had a better grounding to take it up. Mandy has … [Read more...] about Ultra running has given Norwich Road Runner Mandy Foyster a different type of challenge
Opinion Mark Armstrong out on a training run. Picture: Alison Armstrong Archant The training hasn’t gone to plan for Mark Armstrong but he is still out on the road The training has not gone according to plan recently. I was closing in on my target of a sub 20-minute 5K after my last parkrun and felt that with a few more weeks of consistent training that I would be able to get there. What is it they say about the best laid plans? Well, the training plan went awry when I started to feel a bit of discomfort on top of my right foot, near my toes. I brushed it off to start with as one that I would just ice and keep an eye on. However, after one steady run it was clear that this wasn’t going to go away without a bit of rest. It was painful to put my full weight on it and I thought ‘here we go again’. My worry was that it could be the start of a stress fracture in one of my metatarsals and my mind just started racing. How long will I be out for? What if I … [Read more...] about Running column: No nearer his goal but Mark Armstrong is just thankful to be out on the road
Opinion Mark Armstrong on a training run in Hatfield Forest. Picture: Alison Armstrong Archant I love going back to my dad’s to run. There’s something special about running around where you used to live. It gives you a totally different perspective on the places that helped shape your childhood. Most weekends we would go to place called Hatfield Forest for a walk with our mad border collie, Scott. This would mostly involve watching Scott chase after rabbits whilst my sister and I moaned that our legs ached until our parents grew tired enough of the whinging to take us to the café to get a portion of chips to keep us quiet. I didn’t realise it at the time but enjoying that family time cemented it as a place that I gravitate to every time I go back to see the old man. It also helped discover my love for running through the parkrun that they used to put on there. Unfortunately, it grew so popular that the forest was unable to cope with the number of … [Read more...] about Running column: The sub 20-minute 5K dream is getting closer for Mark Armstrong but will his body take him there?