Project Horsemill – Week 1 Roundup

McCarthy gets up to speed on his first session of the week

McCarthy gets up to speed on his first session of the week

Project Horsemill is now well underway, with the first week of ‘sessions’ now complete (does 15mins count as a session?) Simkiss is now enjoying the fact that he will be running downhill for the next 8 weeks, he’s happy in the knowledge that his downhill sessions peaking at 20.4kmh (4:44/mi) are far superior to McCarthy’s 18.7kmh (5:10/mi) on the flat (knowing better than the English Institute of Sport who suggest they’re comparative).

After the two midweek sessions, and a handful of mileage chasing runs, Saturday saw the boys hit the streets for a 20mi, 18mi, 20mi, 19.26mi, 20.06mi, 19mi, 20mi run. McCarthy grumbling from the start managed the occasional smile courtesy of Simkiss’ acute case of ‘Curry Arse’. A consistent pace around 7:00/mi ensued, apart from the trademark MCKEP crossing of a flooded farm track that looked like a road on google.

Further performance gains were undoubtedly had thanks to this stretch along the uneven farm track, Kenilworth coaching staff slavering at the thought of the improved coordination, proprioception and leg strength – not to mention the reduced injury risk… aside from McCarthy almost signalling for the stretcher after gambolling in the mud. The MCKEP No.1 (correct at time of printing) searched in vain for signs that he might be damaged, but with no evidence of injury he had little choice but to carry on running.

Carrying an extra 3kg of mud (McCarthy) and 1.3litres of water in the shoes (Simkiss) the final 6mi jaunt along the Legendary Ashlawn Lane of Rugby, the UK’s longest natural wind tunnel, was tough going. Having resigned themselves to bringing the run home with the most direct route (total 19mi), the athletes muscled through to a 20mi total – it’s efforts like this that truly justify their elite status.

Easy plods for both on Sunday bought weekly mileage in at 70mi for McCarthy and 75mi for Simkiss with no serious* injury concerns.


*McCarthy’s foot hurts… it always hurts.

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