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A week in the life of City of Norwich AC rising star Logan Smith

Logan Smith leads from the front at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Logan Smith

Logan Smith leads from the front at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Logan Smith

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City of Norwich AC runner Logan Smith is hoping to make 2019 his breakthrough year. Here he talks through a typical week’s worth of training

The elite training group at CoNAC. Picture: Logan SmithThe elite training group at CoNAC. Picture: Logan Smith

Logan Smith is tipped for a big future in the sport along with the other athletes who train with James Senior’s elite group.

The 20-year-old is looking to make 2019 a breakthrough year and here the former Reepham High School student talks through a typical training week whilst also holding down a job at The Wiveton Bell in North Norfolk.

Monday - 8.5 mi(miles)@ 7.10 min per mile

Logan Smith out in front at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Logan SmithLogan Smith out in front at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Logan Smith

If I’m not doing a session then I like to keep my easy runs easy. So I don’t tend to go much below 7 minutes per mile on these runs. I’m not looking to make any major gain from these runs apart from building a good base endurance. These keep the legs ticking over and help to recover in between sessions or long runs. The last thing I want to do is risk burning out or ruining a session that week because I have ran too fast on what should be my “easy runs”.

Tuesday - 8.5 mi @ 7.15 min per mile

For this run I decided to hop inside on a treadmill as during this week the wind was very strong and I didn’t want to face another battle, especially when I could go inside and still get the job done without worrying too much about the wind. When on the treadmill I always have the incline at 1% as you are never going to go out for a run and it be completely flat the whole way. Today is one of my days where I will eat what may be considered “unhealthy” foods. Tuesdays are generally a day where I will have pizza. At work we sell great pizzas so I just don’t like to pass up the chance of some good food. At the end of the day as long as you are eating these foods in moderation throughout the week you shouldn’t feel as though you need a “cheat” day where you eat everything sweet or highly calorific in sight. Through doing this I don’t get this urge and certainly helps to keep my temptations down. Don’t get me wrong I do eat healthy and clean 90 percent of the time otherwise I wouldn’t be fuelled correctly to run as many miles as I do!

Wednesday - AM - 5 mi@ 7.30 per mile. PM - 3mi warm-up - 16x400 with 45 second rest - 3.5mi cool down

Logan Smith out on a training run with some of his CoNAC team-mates. Picture: Logan SmithLogan Smith out on a training run with some of his CoNAC team-mates. Picture: Logan Smith

Today is session day. In the morning I go for a jog to get my legs moving and make sure my body feels ready for the session in the evening. This is just a very light jog and don’t want to do anything too strenuous. The session we did was 16x400s with 45 seconds recovery. During this session I added a hurdle at the end of each lap as practice for this summer with my main event on the track being 3,000m steeplechase. The aim of this session is get the legs moving a little bit faster than they have done over winter off a short recovery time whilst trying to get slightly quicker as the session went on. So we started off running 71 seconds for each 400m then after four reps increased the pace to 69s for the next five. After this it was then increased again to 67/68 for five reps. For the last two it was 66 then 65 to finish off. This was a good session as I slowly worked my way down as I had planned and certainly felt there is room for improvement to be made as we start to do more work on the track heading into the summer season.

Thursday - AM 8.5 miles @ 7.30 per mile. PM 5 mi@ 7.30 per mile

This is a day where I like to log a few more easier miles than I would do on other days.

These runs really help to flush any lactic that is still in the legs from the session the night before and get them ready for the next session on Saturday.

Logan Smith is one of Norfolk's hottest prospects. Picture: Logan SmithLogan Smith is one of Norfolk's hottest prospects. Picture: Logan Smith

Some weeks I do a medium long run of 13 miles or like this week I do two runs. This is depending on my work schedule on that day as I either work split shifts or a straight shift where I don’t finish until 10 at night so don’t have time to do a second run afterwards.

I work four days a week and am lucky to get days off on session and long run days so I only work on my easy run days and can fit that around work.

When doing two runs I need to make sure I am refuelling enough during the day to be ready for another run. To do this I will have porridge after my run. This is something I have most days after a run or I eat a bowl of bran flakes, both of these are with lots of fruit to get some good natural sugar post run. For lunch I will generally have a jam sandwich and salad which fills me up enough to be ready to run a few hours after.

I like to eat a jam sandwich as I can use the energy from this to fuel my second runs of the day. After my run I will eat a bowl of pasta to make sure I am storing enough carbs.

Friday - 5 miles @ 7.20 per mile pace

These days are generally my easiest day of the week. It gives my body a bit extra recovery and this week it was to get my legs ready for another track session. When I have a day off during the week, generally this day will be my day off if I feel my body needs one.

Generally I will listen to podcasts when running as they help to make the runs go a bit quicker. These are mostly running related and help to keep me motivated.

One I am listening to is one I feel I can relate to slightly as the athlete had a bit of time out of the sport due to not achieving goals he had set a few years back and deciding he needed to refresh and live his life a bit more.

This is something that happened to me almost two years ago and it was a tough choice but I had set my goals too high for where I was at and when I wasn’t achieving them I was left wondering what else I could do.

This then led me to taking time out and now I use that as motivation to keep me going. I am a much stronger athlete physically and mentally now and I can overcome any barriers that are thrown my way much better than I could a few years back.

I definitely feel as though the time out helped and made me realise just how much I enjoy this sport and still want to be a part of it and continue to compete.

So listening to these podcasts by professional athletes makes me realise that we all go through the same thought processes at times in our lives it’s just how we come out the other side and how we let it affect us in the long term. This then shapes the athlete we become.

Saturday - AM 3mi warm-up - 3000m (10min) 1500m (10) 1500m - 4mi cool down. PM 3.5 miles @ 7.30 per mile

Today was another tough windy track session. The aim of our session was to try to hit the reps slightly slower than goal race pace. Again I had the hurdles out and I had all five out where they would be in a steeplechase race but I only went over them on the last lap of each rep.

This was to get my body used to jumping over them whilst fatigued.

This is very early days in the summer work so the times here aren’t too important it’s just getting the body used to working a bit harder again. All the reps were hit at goal pace which was a good sign to see so early on but like on Wednesday there is still room for improvement. In the evening I did a light jog around a field to help flush the legs of any lactic before my long run tomorrow. Usually on a Saturday evening I will enjoy a sweet treat as little bit extra fuel for the run the next day.

Sunday - 14 miles @ 6.55 per mile

I struggled to get going to begin with during this run which I think was a combination of two track sessions this week and the strong headwind.

Usually for a long run my pace will look to be around an average of 6.35-45 per mile but I knew this wasn’t going to be the case when the first five miles were above seven minutes. It was just a case of grinding the miles out today and enjoy the rest of the day to relax. After my long runs it’s key to make sure I am eating enough food to replace the calories I have burned during running.

During these runs I will, on average, burn 2,100 calories so that’s on top of what I need to take as a daily recommendation.

To do this I make sure I have plenty of protein and snacks to eat during the day to get just the right amount and not miss out.

This run meant I hit my goal of 80 miles for the week which was pleasing and I was happy to get two good track sessions in too.

For my summer base work I will look to get around six weeks worth of mileage at 75-80 miles to give me a good springboard ready for when the real shorter work comes in and I have to start working very hard for a shorter amount of time and have that good endurance base to be able to dig deep when I need to.

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