This page details my training logs around the periods of my two wins at 'Rivington Pike' in 2000 and 2002.

The following is an excerpt from my 2000 'training diary' from 13th March to 29th April which covers the period of training around my first Rivington Pike win. As you will see, it is pretty 'bog standard' and fairly light compared to many athletes, but I found after having surgery in 1999 to both shins, this was about the limit I could withstand without breaking down all of the time. Because my weekly milage was pretty low on average, I could therefore afford to run most of my runs at a good strong pace, and as you will also see, I supplemented this running with a weekly 'Aqua-jogging' session. I had incorporated these sessions whilst recovering from surgery, where I did 10 'mind numbing' weeks of shorter sessions (10x2min efforts/40 secs rec) 4 times per week to keep the old blood flowing! I believe my improvement around the time period shown below was partly due to these water running sessions of which my coach at the time, Keith Holt was an avid fan of (even if I wasn't to start with!) and of course running without shin pain for the first time in years.

Anyway, if you're interested please take a look and I hope you enjoy scanning through the next 6 weeks of training I completed which resulted in a good period of running for me.

Mon 13/3/2000:-7 Miles (39:48)

Tues 14/3:-2.5 Miles w.up + 5x100m strides followed by (6x800m on track/200m jog recovery. ....2:23,2:23,2:21,2:21,2:22,2:20). Very cold and windy! Ran steadily in heavy off road N.B trainers making it quite tiring!....2.5 Miles w.down to finish. (Total 8.5 Miles tonight).

Wed 15/3:-7 Miles (39:24)

Thurs 16/3:-7.5 Miles with group (45:53)

Fri 17/3:-6 Miles off road ready for tomorrow's 'Birmingham League' XC. Felt pretty good.

Sat 18/3:-2 Miles w.up + 4x100m strides. 'BIRMINGHAM LEAGUE' XC...(Perry park, B'ham)

Distance:-10km) I Went off in lead group at good pace feeling good and strong. I tucked in at back of lead group of 10 along with Chris Davies, Daz Daniels, Darrius Burrows, Matt Dixon, Dave Michinson, Mick Hill, Rich Taylor and Andy Caine. Going into lap 2, Davies and Hill had dropped off group which left 7, with someone alway's on the front pushing the pace along. I moved towards the front of the group past Dixon and onto the shoulder of Burrows, but going up short hill I twisted my bad left ankle again!! I quickly recovered to move back into 4th, but the pace was being notched up again. Daniels was now off the back, with Burrows and Taylor pushing the pace again, with me in 6th at the top of the hill. Back down with only 1k left, I got past Caine and started to reel in Mitchinson and Burrows. I sprinted 'hell for leather' up final small hill to the finish, but they both responded and just managed to hold me off!! Shame I couldn't have got 3rd, but still pleased with 5th as it's the closest I've been to the front of a Brum League. Why couldn't I have run like that in the 'National', surely worth a 'top 20' run as Darren was 24th, Mick 33rd and Gareth 38th...2 Miles w.down for total (10.5 Miles today).

Pictured above is race winner Matt Dixon (No.85) shown beating Olympic 1500m runner Mike East in a high quality BMC meeting. Dixon was himself a 3:37 1500m runner as well as being a strong XC runner for Loughborough University.

1st Matt Dixon (Lough)-30:16

2nd Richard Taylor (Godiva)-30:20

3rd Darrius Burrows (B'field) -30:26

4th Dave Mitchinson (Lough)-30:26

5th Mike Bouldstridge (B'field)-30:26

6th Andy Caine (Lough)-30:35

7th Darren Daniels (B'field)-30:43

8th Lee Garrett (Lough)-30:56

9th Mick Hill (Tipton)-31:05

10th Gareth Deacon (Godiva)-31:12


Sun 19/3:-15 Miles in Sutton Park (1Hr:32mins)....Weeks total:(61.5 Miles/7 runs)


Mon 20/3:-7 Miles (38:48)

Tues 21/3:-2.5 Miles w.up + 4x100m strides followed by (16x400m on track/1 min jog rec).I ran 2, 68's then all 66-67 bang on, with final one in 64. Ran in big heavy N.B trainers again to protect legs. Ran very relaxed feeling easy!....finished with 2.5 Miles w.down. (10.25M total)

Wed 22/3:-Woke up with sore throat! Nose started to run at work. Hope it's not a bad cold!! Rest today.

Thur 23/3:- Nose streaming and sneezing all day at work. Felt terrible! Got a call from Keith tonight asking if I fancied a race on Sunday. I initially said 'No thanks' as I had a 'streamer', but when he mentioned it was for 'England', how could I refuse! My England debut at Cross Country! I couldn't believe it!! Rest again.

Fri 24/3:- 6 Miles steady. Didn't feel too bad. On evening went to collect mine and Richard Taylor's England kit ready for the 'Ras na heirean XC' in Ireland on Sunday!!

Sat 25/3:- A.M-6 Miles steady, exactly the same as last night.

P.M-Met Rich taylor and Kath Scales at airport, who were both making their England debuts also. Flew to Dublin and met up with team manager Sandra Cheetham, and other England womens team members Debbie Sulivan and Jenny Heath. We were drove to hotel for evening meal and introduced to fellow competitors, Kenyan athletes Charles Kamathi ( fastest 10,000m runner of 1999 - 26:48! and 7th in last weeks World XC long race) Also Leonard Mucheru (4th in last weeks World XC short race) and James Kariuki (brother of John Ngugi and former World X challenge champion!) I think we have our work cut out tomorrow!! The race organiser told them I was going to beat them, they just looked at me and laughed!! After a lovely meal of Irish Beef, veg and pots we were drove to a very posh B&B in Dunleer. It was like a mansion!!

Future World 10,000m Champion of 2001, Charles Kamathi finished 2nd in my race. He is pictured above (No.675) on his way to that World Championship victory over 10,000m where he beat the great Haile Gebreselassie (No.336) who could only finish 3rd.

Sun 26/3:-'Ras na heirean' INTERNATIONAL XC, (Dunleer, Ireland)...(8KM-4x2000m laps) I went off positively at front of the small but elite field of 24 athletes from Kenya, U.S.A, Russia, Ireland, New Zealand, Wales and England. Pace was fast but not 'unbearable' at the end of the first lap. Going into 2nd lap, the 3 Kenyans moved out of '1st gear' and took off into the distance! I hung on to a small group of 8 runners, but got detached going into the final lap as Ireland's John Downes came past me. I hung on to John for a while, but finally my lack of strength due to my cold saw me drop off. Felt a bit weak and 'flat' after cold in the week. Never really got going. Good experience though, but not how I wanted my England debut to go...1 lap w.down to finish...14km total (9 miles -inc. 4km w.up + strides)

1st Leonard Mucheru:-24:10

2nd Charles Kamathi:-24:22

3rd James Kariuki-Kamau:-24:32

11th Mike Bouldstridge:-25:09

                                                                      Weeks total:(38.5 Miles/5 runs)

Another great shot of 'Ras na heirean' runner up, Kenya's Charles Kamathi (far left of shot) on his way to 2001 World XC Bronze in Ostend's mudbath behind Mohamed Mourhit's (No.55) home victory. The former Morrocan now competing for Belgium would later be found guilty of using the banned endurance super drug 'E.P.O'. The disgraced European 5 & 10,000m record holder was banned for two years, and was never the same athlete upon returning to competion.

Mon 27/3:-Rest, felt a bit ill again.

Tues 28/3:- 2 Miles w.up + 5x100m strides followed by (6x800m on track/200m jog recs).I ran 2:16,2:19,2:18,2:17,2:19,2:16...Very cold and windy again, solid session, ran in lighter shoes tonight...2 Miles w.down to finish. (8 Miles total tonight).

Wed 29/3:- Rest, still getting over cold. Thick phlegm! Don't want to 'over-do' things before relays.

Thurs 30/3:-10 Miles off road with group (61:38)

Fri 31/3:- 3 Miles steady (18:21) I'm on leg 10 tomorrow in Midland 12 stage relays. Hope to beat p.b of 26:38 set 5 years ago now!! I think it's time for revision!

Sat 1/4:-MIDLAND 12-STAGE ROAD RELAYS (Sutton Park) 5.44 Miles(Long leg) 2.5 Miles w.up + strides....Went out with a 3':40'' lead on leg 10 over Tipton's Nick Jones. Good strong pace up first hill, going through first uphill Mile in 4:55 (mile markers were out today) and through the 'Jamboree' in 7:25. Felt pretty strong at 2 Miles passed in 9:49, 3 miles 14:49 and 4, 19:40. I thought I was on for a p.b and felt very strong and relaxed, even managing a few smiles and 'thumbs up' to team mates en route! Ran whole race on my own, just a time trial so I think a 'Sub 26' run could easily be attainable come the National Relays. Pleased to run a 21 second p.b of 26':17'' (7th fastest of day behind Tromans's 25:32 who was 34th in world XC 2 weeks ago and has just won the 'National. I was only 1 second off Billy Farquarson today who was 2nd in the Midland X)...1.5 M w.down (9.5 Miles total today)

Sun 2/4:- 15 Miles in Sutton Park (1Hr:31:55).....Weeks total:(46 Miles/5 runs)

Mon 3/4:-Aqua-jogging session with Keith and Rob Birchall (2Hrs of varying intensity)

Tues 4/4:-2 Miles w.up + 6 strides followed by (12x1min efforts/1min jog recs) on grass cricket pitch. Good hard efforts, very windy and cold again! Legs a bit heavy and achey after last nights long water session....1 Mile w.down + 4x100m strides and finally 4x200m hard to finish. (7.5 Miles total tonight)

Wed 5/4:- 7 Miles at good fast pace (35:44)

Thurs 6/4:-10 Mies with group (59:08)

Fri 7/4:- 7 Miles, first 3 miles with dad, then final 20 minutes 'sustained effort' on my own to finish. (42:51)

Sat 8/4:- 3 Miles easy jog w.up over Malvern Hills followed by (3x2.2km hilly loop with approx 2-3min jog recs). I ran 7:18,7:16,7:10. Great session, could have managed another rep, but 3 is still 22 mins of hard running so I held back from 'over-cooking' it!...2.5Miles w.down to finish. (10 Miles total today)

Sun 9/4:- 15 Miles in Sutton Park. First 5 on my own, then met lads for usual 10 loop. First time for ages I haven't raced the day before long run. Felt great! (1Hr:30:40)....Weeks total:(56.5 Miles/6 runs + 'aqua-jogging')


Mon 10/4:-Good hard water session with Keith, Rob and Clare Wilson. (Approx 1 Hr of efforts.)

Tues 11/4:- 1.5 Miles w.up + 4x100m strides followed by 2 sets of (12x30secs 'on'/30 secs 'off' or jog rec) 5 mins jog rec between sets. Good hard session in cold windy conditions on grass cricket pitch....1 Mile w.down + 4x100m strides...(7 Miles total)

Wed 12/4:- 6.75 Miles (36:59) good paced off road run. Wet, but no wind!

Thurs 13/4:- 10 Miles with group (60 mins)

Fri 14/4:- 6 Miles (35:37) Wet and muddy.

Sat 15/4:- Travelled to London to watch Marathon tomorrow. P.M:-7 Miles with Mike Shevyn inc 7 steepish tough hill reps in Greenwich Park up to observatory on top of grass hill. (Total of 42 minutes running)

Sun 16/4:- 10 Miles of 'intervals' running from point to point on marathon course whilst watching race. Final 6 Miles following actual marathon route to finish at good strong pace.....Weeks total: (47 miles/6 runs + 'Aqua jogging' session)

Mon 17/4:- Same as last Monday (1 Hr hard 'Aqua- jogging')

Tues 18/4:- 1.5 Mile w.up + 4x100m strides followed by 3 sets of (6x45 secs 'on'/ 45 secs 'off' or jog rec) 3 min jog between sets. Good hard efforts around grass cricket oval. Heavy rain, wet underfoot!...1.5 Miles w.down + 4x200m fast to finish. (8 Miles total tonight)

Wed 19/4:- 7 Miles at good 'solid' pace.

Thurs 20/4:- 10 Miles with group (58:31)

Fri 21/4:- 6.5 Miles steady off road ready for Rivington Pike Fell Race tomorrow!!

Sat 22/4/2000:- 2.5 Miles w.up + strides...Then 'RIVINGTON PIKE FELL RACE'(3.25  Miles/700ft) I went off in lead along long flat road with only Neil Wilkinson coming with me. Up the gradual path I started to get away without trying too hard, very surprisingly... I must be fit!! The climb got steeper, and then very steep up to the pike at the summit. I had a 30 second lead and felt really good. Came down strongly but not out of control, but coming back on to path Neil was on my tail! I really opened out down the path to get away again, only to miss the 'short cut' by the school before hitting the final road. Neil went the right way gaining back those 5-10 secs I'd just worked hard for!! As luck would have it we came out exactly equal again, shoulder to shoulder, ready for the final run in along the road. I managed to get away in the final couple of minutes for a very pleasing win! Very pleased with run in heavy rain. Ran in Walshes...Very wet and muddy underfoot. Really pleased to get the better of Neil as he has been running well recently recording 29:56 for 10k....3.5 Miles w.down with Clare. T, she won the women's race too!!


1st Mike Bouldstridge:- 17:26

2nd Neil Wilkinson:- 17:30

3rd Rob Hope:- 17:51


(9 Miles total today)...Won a pair of Walshes, wine, a clock and a trophy! and we had our photo taken with Ron Hill!!....later, travelled up to 'Grange-over-sands' in lakes for long weekend with training group....



 Sun 23/4:- (12 Miles-1Hr:32mins) steady run over fells and roads/paths with group....Weeks total:(52.5Miles/6 runs + 'aqua-jogging')

Mon 24/4:- 9 Miles (67 mins) From Kendal, up 'Benson Knott', steady run with group. Quads, I'T's, Hams and mid calves all a little stiff. Not too bad though.

Tues 25/4: A.M:- Back home, a rare outing in the morning...Clare stayed at ours last night and dragged me out this morning for a steady 5. (5 Miles-35 mins)

P.M: 1.5 Miles w.up + 4x100m strides followed by 4 sets of (5x1min efforts/1min jog recs) 3 mins jog between sets. Good solid 'controlled' efforts. Cold and windy on grass cricket oval...1 Mile w.down +4x100m strides to finish. (8 Miles total tonight)

Wed 26/4:- 6 Miles (33:27) Heavy rain all the way. Boggy underfoot!

Thurs 27/4:-5 Miles steady +5x200m strides with jog backs.

Fri 28/4:-5 Miles (30mins)

Sat 29/4/2000:- 2.5 Miles w.up + strides...Then the 'NATIONAL 12-STAGE ROAD RELAYS' (Sutton Park) Birmingham: (5.44 Miles) I went off in 3rd position on Leg 7 after Julian (Moorhouse) had advanced us up 4 places running a good 14:01 short leg. I was about 5 secs down on Tipton's Stevey Hope who was in good shape having run 64:50 for 2nd in the 'Wilmslow half' 4 weeks ealier. I quickly caught Steve surprisingly, and moved past him round the small start loop, but he tucked in behind me into the wind as we hit the first mile in 4:53 up the hill. I managed to pass the 'Jamboree' and 2 Miles a couple or 3 seconds up on my 'Midland' run splits of a few weeks previously, and at the 'turn around' point at Streetly Gate I was feeling good. I pushed on from there managing to drop 'Hopey' around the 3 mile point which I reached in 14:45. It was from then on I increased the pace, feeling really relaxed and full of running (a feeling you rarely get whilst flat out!!) I climbed really strongly back up to the 'Jamboree' and down passing 4 miles in 19:31, which was 9 seconds up on my 'Midland' split. I knew I had to blast it from there to get a 'Sub 26', and running fluently and fast to 5 miles, I had put in a 4:31 mile (24:02) through 5, and quickly calculated all I needed was to finish at exactly the same pace up the final hill as I had done in the Midlands for a 25:59. I pushed all the way up the final long uphill run-in and stopped my watch across the line...26:01(damn it I thought!!) I'd just missed breaking 26 minutes, but after the initial disappointment I was happy with another 16 second p.b for the undulating 5.44 Mile circuit...That was until the results came out and they'd got me at 26:03!! Ah well, I'd have been more disapointed if they'd have rounded up a 25:59 to 26:01!! Anyway, it was good enough for 4th fastest 'Long' leg of the day, a mere 5 seconds off Mark Morgan's (the AAA 10k champion) fastest of the day, and unfortunately our team Birchfield matched that by finishing 4th in the end behind Salford's win... (Neil (Wilkinson) got his revenge for Rivington as he was a member of the winning team!)....finished with 2 Miles w.down (10 Miles total today)

Shown above photographed keeping good company with 3:37-1500m/13:27-5k runner: 'Rod Finch', and 'obscurred' 2:12 Marathoner: 'Dave Taylor', in the AAA's 10K...


2000 12-Stage Fastest 'Long' Legs....

1st Mark Morgan (Swansea) 25:56

2nd Paul Taylor (Copeland) 25:59

3rd Dave Heath (Blackheath) 26:02

4th Mike Bouldstridge (Birchfield) 26:03

5th Alan Buckley (Leeds) 26:07

eq 6th Noel Cullen (London Irish) 26:14

eq 6th Nick Jones (Tipton) 26:14

8th Mohamed Fatihi (Thames Valley) 26:15

9th Alistair O'Connor (Liverpool) 26:19

10th Steve Green (Bingley) 26:20


To run faster than 'Tipton's' 23':20'' 5 Mile & 63':12'' 'Half Marathon' man, Tipton's Nick Jones (shown above/right) was very pleasing, and showed I was rounding into great form! Also being just a tick off First leg winner Dave Heath's time, (Pic above left) who had finished 38th in the World X 4K race just a couple of weeks before, after winning the British 'trials' was great for me too!

 Above, Fastest man of the day, Swansea's Mark Morgan, and Right, 10th fastest man, Bingley's Steve Green gracing the cover of A.W. Green had a best of just under 26:00 at best and was a 63:55 'Half' man.


Sun 30/4:-15 Miles (1Hr:34:20) very wet and muddy in Sutton Park. Weeks total:(64 Miles/8 runs)

Although we didn't quite get on the medal rostrum in 2000, we had done on previous occasions at the National 12-stage Road Relays, as shown below when collecting 'Gold' in 1998. The team was a good one...Back row from L to R:- Steve Edmonds (3:48 1500 man), Mark Hirsch (9:00 chaser), Rob Birchall (Bronze National XC), Matt Clarkson (7:58,13:52,29:21 man), Maurice Millington-our good old Team Manager!, Carl Warren (29:13 10k), Neil Lawrence (steeplechase extraordinare!! 9:15 man), Darrius Burrows (Junior 'protege' and Senior World X runner) Paul O'callaghan (obscured-13:29 5k), Mike Shevyn (14:04 'short leg' man), Me!...and Front row left-Darren Daniels (8:03 3k man) and finally Andy Symonds (48 '10miler', 64 'half' and 2:14 marathon man).



This was one of the more successful periods in my running life where things seemed to 'come easy'...a 'purple patch' as it's known which rarely lasts very long and is hard to sustain due to one thing or another. At the time things just seemed to click, after many years of aiming for an 'England vest' I think when I eventually achieved this (after 15 years of graft!!) the confidence it instilled in me as a runner definitely spurred me on to greater things. I hope you've enjoyed my diary 'memoirs' so far and I haven't bored you too much!! 

And so it's onto the training period around my 2nd win at Rivington Pike, which came at the end of a long period of injury struggles after being in good shape in the Autumn of 2001. I had run well in the National 6-Stage Road Relays at the end of October bringing our team home in 1st place on the opening leg, recording a time that was to be 9th fastest leg of the day overall, only 20 seconds off a certain Mo Farah, (my, how things change!!). Things were going well and I was shaping up for a good XC season opener in the Reebok Challenge/Birmingham League at Sennelley's park the following weekend. That was until the Tuesday night before the race when things took a 'dive' for the worst, literally...When running in a group on a 'club 10 miler', the group split to avoid a new metal bin that had been fitted outside a row of shops about a mile from Alexander stadium, and guess who didn't notice!! ''BANG!!'' My left thigh had taken the full force, Initially I thought I'd broken it...It was like one of those 'dead legs' you recieve from the school hard nut, but only 10 times worse. I lay on the floor, dazed, looking up at my running mates staring down at me and asking if I was o.k. The problems started from there, and after a few below par runs in XC's due to 'limping round', the problems arose again the day after finishing 3rd in the 2nd Birmingham League of the 2001/2002 season. I pulled up with a mile to go on the following Sunday on a 16 miler with a stabbing pain in the side of my right knee. It was diagnosed as 'Illio-Tibial Band Syndrome' (or I.T.B syndrome), and physio/ manipulation sorted out the problem initially, but unfortunately caused another in the shape of a nagging groin pain!! My training was curtailed from the begining of December 2001 right through to mid February 2002, where I could only manage a few short runs per week, with 'speed work' a 'no-go'. After a couple of better weeks, I was surprised by my result in a 'test' run out in 'The Cardingmill Canter' fell race, where I finished a very close 2nd to Tim Davies (well, it was close at the top of the final descent!!) but Tim trounced me in the final quarter mile run-in to the finish by 27 seconds! And so it was onto my first ever 'English Championship' fell race for 'Mercia Fell runners' new club, as I was at least 'trying' to be a fell runner. The race was the 'Half Tour of Pendle' in Lancashire, and the conditions before the start were not looking good. Hailstones and high winds with warnings of more 'severe weather' to come. What had I let myself in for, I thought! The race started cautiously for me, but I worked my way through the large field well, and by reaching the top of the initial climb I was up at the front along with Bingley boys, 'Jebby' and John Taylor. Things went downhill from that point though as I struggled on the 'tricky' narrow descents, and can still hear Rob Hope's laughter as he 'flew' over me whilst I lay face down in a bog, screaming ''no roads up here Mike''!! I'm still sure he used my back as a 'stepping stone!!'. I continued to 'yo-yo' up and down the field as the course undulated in my favour one minute, and against it the next. The further the race went on I was even starting to struggle on the climbs with 'both' groins acheing like mad as I negotiated the soft and loose 'petey' climbs around Pendle Hill. To finish things off, I came to a complete 'halt' upon reaching the top of the final descent, as I peered over the edge of 'Ogden Clough'. The 'proper' fell runners looked perplexed as they launched themselves bravely over the 'cliff top' edge, and I half expected to hear shouts of ''ya Southern puff, wat ya wettin far''! as streams of them flew by. Finally the finish was in sight and the result was a 16th position in my 'initiation' into Championship fell running. I had a lot to learn!!

Photo above left: 'Sprinting in' for my team, 'Birchfield Harriers' in the National 12-stage relays, and right...On the climb at the 'Saddleworth Fell Race', photo kindly donated by Dave Woodhead.


I'll now pick up my training log from the following Monday, which takes us up to my 2nd run at Rivington Pike...

Mon 11/3/2002:-25 mins easy jog with Jane from work, she's trying to get fitter! (I seem to have adopted the role of 'works personal trainer' to a few collegues, all good fun though!! Followed by 25 mins faster on my own to finish. (6.5 Miles total)

Tues 12/3:- 30 mins easy jog followed by 29 mins fast running to finish. (8.5 Miles total)

Wed 13/3:- Rest

Thurs 14/3:- 9 Miles with group (52:50)

Fri 15/3:- Rest, was going for an easy run before 'Brum League' tomorrow, but after dinner the phone rang, with some work mates asking if I fancied going for a curry. Not the best idea before a race, 2 big meals and a late night!!

Sat 16/3:- BIRMINGHAM LEAGUE- final fixture (Leek, Stoke) 2. 5 Miles w.up in a heavy rain shower! Great course, more like a 'B' category fell race than a XC...(5.5 Miles XC) I started at solid pace moving into lead around small initial playing field loop before we headed out onto the first of the 3 very undulating laps at the back of Westwood High School in Leek. I covered a break by Mark Dalkins and Andy Sherman, but quickly got detached as 'Dalk' pushed the pace. Into the 2nd lap I dropped to 6th at one point with the 'Jalfrezi' sitting a little heavy, but picked it up to get back into 3rd alongside Phil Hinch as we both moved away from the bunch. Myself and 'Hinchy' worked together around the final lap, with 'Dalk' well away. I managed to kick up the final hill to get away from Hinchy, while we took the first 3 places (Birchfield). I think that was the first time the club had achieved a 1,2,3 'clean sweep'! Pleased with the race considering it was my first XC for 4.5 months. I was going really well on the downhills!!...I finished 2nd overall in Birmingham league season, just 1 point off winning!..1.5 Miles w.down to finish (9 Miles total today) Maybe I'll have to go for more curries before racing!

Final Birmingham League 2002 race result - (Leek, Stoke).

1st:- Mark Dalkins (Birchfield)-27:26

2nd:- Mike Bouldstridge (Birchfield)-27:39

3rd:- Phil Hinch (Birchfield)-27:44

Hinchy (No.4851) mixing it with the 'big boys' in the World XC trials race. On his left is Mo Farah and right Moumin Geele! Phil went on to finish a fine 5th amongst the best British XC men.

 4th:- Andy Sherman (Lough)-27:48

5th:- Danny Rowan (Tipton)-27:54

6th:- Rob Scanlon (Godiva)-27:54

7th:- Gary Blackman (Lough)-28:06

8th:- Dave Webb (Birm Uni)-28:11

Sun 17/3:- A.M:-15 Miles (1Hr:34:50) Canals into City centre with lads. P.M:- 'Greens Gym, 1 Hrs excercise inc. 24mins on treadmill on hilly setting (up to 15% hill) + a few weights and stretching (18 Miles total today)

Weeks total:-( 51 Miles/6 runs)

Mon 18/3:- Rest

Tues 19/3:- 13 Miles, first 3 miles easy jog followed by 10 miles at good pace in 57:39.

Wed 20/3:- 10.5 Miles (59:50) Good solid pace, left groin very sore after half way!

Thurs 21/3:- 10 Miles (58:20) with group, picked pace up in 2nd half of run.

Fri 22/3:- 2.5 Miles easy jog followed by 4.5 Miles at good pace (24 Mins)...(total 7 Miles)

Sat 23/3:- Drove up to Rivington to 'reccie' course for next weeks 'Pike race'. Ran up to the top and back, then repeated again with the 2nd lap quicker at nice good pace. checked out quickest line up and down course. Only a couple of wet patches on the course at the moment. (6 Miles total-40 Mins)

Sun 24/3:- 15.5 Miles (1Hr:36Mins) Relaxed pace on canals through town and back. Felt good and strong today, getting a bit fitter.

Weeks total:-(55 Miles/6 runs)

Mon 25/3:- 2.5 Miles easy jog

Tues 26/3:- 5 Miles steady on road, followed by 2 miles on grass (7 Miles total)

Wed 27/3:- 6.5 Miles steady on road and round valley, cold and frosty! (38 Mins)

Thurs 28/3:- 10.5 Miles (62:08) nice steady'ish pace feeling good, ran with group.

Fri 29/3:- 3.5 Miles steady pace on roads ready for tomorrow's Pike race. (19:30)

Sat 30/3/2002:- Steady run half way up Pike (1.5 Miles) + strides...RIVINGTON PIKE FELL RACE (3.25m/700ft) I followed initial brisk pace set by Horwich's Jason Hodgson up lever Park Ave and across gravel path. I quickly moved past Jason up past school, with only Rob Hope in tow as we climbed the 'concrete road'. I pushed on from here to open 12''-15'' seconds on Rob upon reaching the 'pike' summit. Today I descended well, but in control to run 16:54 and win by 22 seconds from Rob. Mild, Breezy (against on descent) Much better conditions than last time (2000). Ran in Nike racers, didn't even need Walshes today! Pleased to run 32 seconds quicker than last time, didn't think I was as fit as back then!...2 Miles w.down with Rob (Hope) total 7 Miles today.

1st:- Mike Bouldstridge:- 16:54

2nd: Rob Hope:- 17:16

3rd:- Craig Roberts:- 17:50

4th:- Chris Leigh:- 17:54

5th:- Alex McVey:- 18:07

6th:- Malcolm Fowler:- 18:20


Sun 31/3:- Light weights at 'Green's gym + 12 mins on treadmill (2 Miles)

Weeks total:-(39 Miles/7 runs)

This completes the exerpts of my 2002 training log in the weeks leading up to the defence of my Rivington Pike title. I was really pleased to win one of my favourite races again, and relished the prospect of having a crack at a possible 'hat-trick' the following year. Unfortunately I was reduced to an 'injured' spectator, but it was still good watching Billy (Burns) win the race by a big margin, even though he did take away my 'Rivi Pike' title!

Right:'Climbing hard at the 'Pike', a photo kindly donated to me by the late Bill Smith.


Anyway, ''thanks again'' for taking the time to read my training logs and I hope you've enjoyed reading them and maybe picked up some tips along the way...probably on how Not to train!! I must stress that these periods shown are just a 'snippet' of all the hard work that went into my running, where I obviously underwent more strenuous training periods, along with lighter weeks like many of those shown. As we all know, running well is all about 'consistency' in training and about the 'bigger picture' than just a few weeks as shown in my 'memoirs'. To get to a good level as an athlete takes years of dedication and hard work, and just as important...'belief  in yourself.'  I had served my apprenticeship from starting as a 12 year old in 1985, through to 2000 before I gained my first International vest, but all the training was worth it in the end. As the saying goes, ''it's better to aim at the moon and miss than to aim at the gutter and hit'' so aim high, and if you haven't got there yet, then keep trying and I'm sure one day you will!!