Welsh and GB International athlete Chris Davies has had his fair share of injury troubles over the years but with the Commonwealth Games coming around again this year Chris seems to have sorted out the injury worries and is getting back to full fitness. Known for being an aggressive runner Chris has represented Great Britain numerous times including the World XC, Japan and the Ekiden Relays also in Japan and has already competed in one Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Chris runs for Telford AC and also holds the course record for the National 6 stage road relay since it moved to the 5847m distance just ahead of Mo Farah with a time of 16.25 in 2003.
800m - 1.52.10 5k - 13.50
1500m - 3.43.27 5M - 23.15
Mile - 4.03.62 10k - 28.37
3k - 7.56.31 10M - 50.12
5k - 13.38.95 Half M - 67.28
You have missed quite a lot of training in the last few years, what was the problem?
Since the Commonwealths I've had several problems, Firstly I suffered with Plantar Faciitis for 9months, I resumed training in April 2007 and despite a few niggles got into decent shape for the 6 Stage in October. I made the team for the Ekidens where I injured my toe. This took a while to resolve, then last winter I picked up a respiratory problem.
Manchester 10k against Haile Gebreselassie stands out, what race stands out as your favourite personal favourites?
Yeah I've had a couple of good runs at Manchester 28.37 against Haile and 28.38 the following year. The one against Haile was more special though as I was still with him through 5km in 13.52. unfortunately he picked it up then though and put about 2mins on me by the finish. Still ran a PB though. Obviously the Commonwealths were amazing, being in Mottrams race the atmosphere was electric, never experienced anything like that before. Breaking the record for the Short leg at Sutton Park is my favourite race though. The first time competed there as an U20 I saw Rob Denmark fly around the course and managed to get an autograph later, so to go back and break the record was a great day
Sutton Park is like a second home, why do you think you run so fast around that course?
I am used to going out hard and putting myself through the pain barrier, many athletes start too cautiously on the hill. You've just got to attack it on that course, I always feel that knowing one of your mates is waiting for you to get back so they can have a run keeps me going.
Does it work for or against you being part of one of the smaller clubs and being involved in the chase for medals?
For me that makes it all the more important to try and run fast to give the guys a lift. I'd be completely demotivated running for a big club knowing I could jog around and still pick up a medal. We have picked up four team medals in the Midland 12 and 6 Stages over the last eight years anyway which I feel is a great achievement for our club.
You are quite an aggressive runner, have you always been like that, do you ever sit in the pack?
I used to lots particularly on the track although my fastest last lap ever is only 54secs your not going to win many races against top guys with that. I do sit in quite a few races still though but enjoy front running. I have always thought I'd prefer to finish 2nd in a good time than win in a crap one. Also if I've given my all in a race and got beat I can leave happy in the knowledge that I made the guy who beat me work hard to do so.
Yes, it's just relaxed running, depends on how I feel on the day just to remove rubbish from your legs, conditioning, weight control. I would also count my post round in this category
So mileage is done on your postal route?
Not completely, my average mileage is between 50-60 miles a week over the year I have realised this is all my body can handle and I seem to race well off it. My Post round involves 3½ hours of walking, five days a week. From experience I have come to realise that each of these is equivalent to an easy five mile run although I can't actually log this as mileage in my training diary! Hence the fact that I don't often train twice a day. Occasionally on a light day I have jogged my round, but this is very infrequent.
What's your opinion on mileage in general then?
I think this depends entirely on the individual, you have to work out what works for you. Far too many people copy other people's training because they're running well, completely overlooking the years that athlete has put in to be able to handle it. I think you also have to consider your lifestyle, there is no point trying to train like a full time athlete when they're resting between sessions and getting massage etc. and your having to work all day. You have to make things work for you, structure and consistency of training are more important to me.
What is your longest run of the week?
Currently around 1hr30mins although I am looking to progress this to 1hr45 over the coming weeks
Do you cut your mileage for racing?
I'm not a huge mileage guy anyway but don't tend to ease back for races really either, maybe for one or two in a year.
Again depends on how I'm feeling, I like to mix the pace up in runs. The time of day also effects the pace. i.e. If I'm running straight after work it's normally slower as I've been walking all morning. The point is to get my body used to running at a faster tempo and build up endurance between sessions
Sometimes, mainly weekends though as I tend to train in the afternoons in the week, when most of my training partners are at work.
Twice a week....some examples below.
6 x 1550m
4 x 1 Mile
5-6 x 1km
15 x 300m
1 x 20min
3 x 1200m
6 x 800m Grass
3K, 2K, 1K at sub 3min Km Pace on Treadmill
What would be your shortest fastest session?
Don't drop too low that often 15 x 300 is the lowest in terms of distance although I tend to run very close to 60secs in the first 400m of any rep so this seems to keep me sharp enough
Do you change surface dependant on time of year?
Yes due to logistics really, can't do grass sessions with group as its too dark in winter so do longer road work. I am still able to do grass work on my own after work though. I like to stay in touch with all surface fairly regularly.
On own or in a group?
Both, mainly with group though
2 Mile Warm up
5 x 1550m Averaging under 4.20 (3mins recovery)
2 Mile Warm down
This always leaves me in bits
Can you give a typical week in full training?
Monday PM - 8Mile
Tuesday PM - Session totalling 8Mile including Warm up and Down
Wednesday PM - 10Mile + Core Circuits
Thursday PM - Track Session 6Mile
Friday PM - 6Mile (Rest day every other week)
Saturday Race or 8 Miles
Sunday AM - 12 -14 Miles PM - Core Circuit
I get a rotating day off work I.e. Monday one week Tuesday the next etc.
I tend to do a steady 5-6 Miles AM on my day off
I do Core Circuits twice a week, on a Wednesday evening and on a Sunday. I would like to eventually bring in a third session but want to increase the reps to a higher number first and introduce a few more exercises. I use a Gym ball and Medicine ball
during these exercises.
Both myself and my Wife Amanda are qualified in Sports massage so I'm quite lucky in that way as we are able to look after each other.
If so when and is it important?
I tend to have massage 2/3 days prior to a race, and if possible a light massage on the morning of competition. I find it is essential after a hard session to remove stiffness from my legs and reduce the chance of injury.
I also have a very goo Physio living nearby, who I tend to see on a monthly basis for injury prevention, strengthen any weak areas and monitor my core circuits workouts.
Not particularly. I try to eat sensibly, I don't eat many microwave meals any never have takeaways more than once a week. I haven't been to MacDonald's for over ten years but that's more to do with the fact that I don't enjoy it and would prefer a good pub lunch if I was going out. I am partial to Haribo though
I enjoy training with a group and do so twice a week, although I don't think it is essential. Mentally I'm pretty tough for sessions and always feel I can push myself hard on my own but its nice to have mates to talk to in-between reps sometimes to take your mind off the pain your about to endure. I do like having someone to do longer runs with though as can find them fairly boring at times.
Is your training group good?
Our group is a very mixed bunch in terms of age and ability, but we do tend to stagger some sessions and some of the younger athletes run less distance so everyone is competitive with each other.
Rest / Recovery
Most of the last 3years or so have been a little on and of because of injury and illness so have tended to take my breaks then. I do think rest is vital to an athletes performance and is often overlooked. I aim for 8hrs sleep per night plus another 2hrs in the afternoon after work and before training.
Is commonwealth the aim for the year?
I am aiming towards the Commonwealth Games but, I'd also like to make my 10Mile and Half Marathon times look a lot more respectable having only raced over both distances once, I would like to do more of them.
5k or 10k will you be looking to do at the Commonwealth Games?
For Commonwealths I am aiming at 10000m, Hoping my feet won't give me the problems they have in the past on the track. See attached photo!
13.38 is your 5k pb though, do you still feel you can run faster than that?
I definitely feel I have a sub 13.20 in me, but I suffer badly with bruised feet in track races when I get over 4km. I went through 4km in 10.43 in Milan 2004 so was on for it then but only ran the 3mins for the last 1k as my feet were killing me. Hopefully I will be able to resolve this, but I've been unable to so far and tried most things.
So do you intend to move up the distance to half and maybe marathons?
Yes eventually although I feel I need more background first before being able to handle the training. I am planning to run a few 10Milers and Half's this year though.