Fitness test

Well today was the day of my fitness test.  Test was simple run for 12 minutes cover 2500 metres.  Then 2 sprints with 30 seconds rest between each, covering 50 metres in 7.5 seconds.  Simple!

 Well today got off to a superb start!  We’ve been looking after my in laws dog this weekend and for some reason it decided at 4am that it was going to start barking and whining and not shut the hell up for nearly an hour!

Things can only get better………………..at 8am I set out for the test in Birmingham.  However got to my car and realised I had locked my car keys and house keys in the house!  So had to wake my wife up (she was happy!).  

I started to think this was going to be one of those days.

 Anyway I got to the venue at 8.50 and so had plenty of time.   There was 3 sets of tests the first had around 12 people on it, the 2nd (mine) had 11, with the 3rd having 4 Level 4’s & a Level 3 on it.

So it came to test time, we all had numbers on the front of our tshirts.  Id never seen this before but it worked really well.  Your test was picked by number and also this took away any risk of miscounts of laps.

I felt comfortable all the way around, for some reason my thighs felt a bit heavy but breathing was comfortable and I went through 4 laps in dead 7 minutes.   I completed the 2500m in 11mins 8 seconds and so had 52 seconds left to get to my aim of 2700 metres.

We then had a break while the 3rd test did there run and they all completed that.  The level 3 did 3100 metres!!.    While this was ongoing I kept my legs moving and did stretches.   They split each test then in to 2 groups for the sprints.  I was in the 2nd group of my test.   I never like the sprints, I think its a confidence thing.  I allways have this thought if I slip and lose a second on the start your buggered.  The first group were quick of the mark, infact two quick.  They were pulled back for a false start.  However again there was no failure and everyone passed on the sprints!.   Infact on the day there wasnt a single failure!

I was happy as I had passed and hit my target of 2700.  However a little dispointed as it was the lowest Ive done.  However preparation hasn’t been ideal in recent weeks, but at the end of the day Ive passed and it gives me a good base to build up to the season.

However I dont get much of a break as this week (thank god no traveling) ill be training hard as I have my first Pre-season game on the 18th on the line for the Quorn vs Crewe friendly.

Now for the real hard work.

Fitness Training Update

As already mentioned I am taking my fitness test in July to give myself time to get my fitness up rather than putting myself under pressure to pass it in June.

Well for the last couple 10 days Ive been putting in the training and last night went down the track for a test run to see where I am at currently fitness wise. 

Before I talk about last night though what have I been doing to get my fitness levels up.   Well a couple of weeks ago I was emailed the football league training plan that Matt Wesson has provided all the PGMO guys.   This is a 9 week plan and gets them ready for their fitness test which is although different to the one I have a great plan to follow.

Ive not followed it strictly but have taken guidance from it on sessions and the way it fits together.  So last week using this plan as  Guide i did the following

Monday – High Intensity – 4mins @ 86%-90% then 1 min @ 80%-85% repeat 5 times.  
Wednesday – Ran “out” 14 minutes then turned and tried to get back in 11 minutes (I wasnt to far out but to be honest it wasnt the best route as it was up hill out and down hill in!)
Thursday – Just a simple 30 minute road run
Saturday – Same as Monday but carried on running at the end for another 15 minutes.

The high intensity sessions are really good and worth doing they break up the boredom of running around the roads.  Also they get your body used to high intensity’s effort which is what is needed for the test.

So to last night.   I got down the track and met another local refree who is doing his test in 2 weeks.   He had done a practice the week before and did the 2500 in 12 minutes.  We agreed before hand that if one of us was feeling good then to go off and not hang back and wait for the other.

We went of for Lap 1 at 1:35 which was ideal as it wasn’t silly quick and gave 10 seconds in the bank.  Lap 2 was comfortable going through at 1:46 giving seconds as a cushion.  It then seemed to slow a bit and lap 4 was completed dead on 7 minutes.   This is the mark Ive always worked towards when looking for 2700 and I was happy at this point.

Then as is usual Lap 5 went a bit wrong and ended up as a 1:52 putting me 7 seconds over where I wanted to be.  Lap 6 then brought me through on 10:44 which depending on how I looked at it, gave me 1:16 to do 100 metres or 300 metres depending on if I was going for 2500 or 2700.   I know which I wanted so put the effort in and went over 2700 with 2 seconds to spare.

I was really pleased with this despite it going a bit messy in the middle, I now have 2700 in 12 embedded in my mind.  I know I can do this and have no doubts over it.   With another 6 weeks to go yet I’m chuffed with that.  

I plan to carry on using the training plan as a guidline and use some of the sessions outlined on their in my training.  

 Also If you are doing your fitness test in June – Don’t forget your blood pressure test!  It amazes me every year people turn up having not done the test!

Holiday Time Yeah Right

Well the season is defiantly over and short of me getting the FA Cup final or a Football League Play Off (it could happen if every football league, panel, contrib and everyone else closes the date and the ones who are available get injured…….yeah right) that’s it until end of July and the pre season games start.  So that’s it feet up

I wish, the only sand I’m going to see this summer is that of the long jump pit at the local athletics track.   In past seasons I have gone for the June fitness test to get it out of the way mainly because Ive had a holiday in June booked.  This year I have no holiday planned (cant afford to having moved house!) and to be honest I want to lose 7-10lbs that I have shockingly put on since November.   So this year I am taking my test on June 8th, my heart rate monitor tells me this is 53 days away.

I am very proud of the fact that I have never failed a fitness test.  I used to do them as an old currency Level 3 and Level 2 (Current money 7 or 6) so I can officiate on the West Mids. However given the FA have reduced the test to 2500 metres it makes it even easier to pass these days and if you dint pass it well……………..

What was interesting though last year was that everyone I spoke to when it was rumoured it was being reduced became more determined to do 2700 metres.  I last year did 2750 which I was pleased with considering it was very hot and there was no air.

My County FA are running a training night each Thursday, however being honest I probably wont go.  I live an hour away from the training venue and given its 8pm to 9pm it will mean I wont get in until gone 10pm.  I can train with some of the guys from around me that aren’t in my County and be home before the organised training starts.

However one way or another each Tuesday I will be going down the local track.  This is something I find amazing each year.  I talk to people who only ever run on a treadmill or around the road.  They either set a treadmill at a pace and hold on for dear life, or have a rough track and hope for the best.  Where as I be live what has worked for me is that I have all ways got down the track and got at least a session in each week.  This way its in the mind that I can do it come test day and there is no panic.

Over the coming weeks I will post up here what I am doing for training.  My plan is to build up my general fitness between now and the end of May then in June start ram ping it up. 

40+ Games and it comes to this

The thing with play off games is that although the efforts through out the season get you into that position, at the same time it almost makes them pointless.   A team finishing 5th can go up instead of the team finishing 2nd.  At non league level this is only a recent thing and to be honest has mixed feelings with a lot of people.

Saturdays game was such a scenario where Bromsgrove had finished 2nd in the league 4 points ahead of Wilenhall.  Obviously in these type of games as mentioned with the Telford game the key thing as Officials is not to be responsible for the outcome of the game.

The pitch was rock hard and didn’t really help with the game and made it a little more nervy.  Also with the pitch being on a slope sideways running was a bit of a nightmare I found.  A couple of times I rolled my ankles which is never pleasent
Luckily again we were not an influence in the result as Bromsgrove won 2-1 with a winner 10 minutes to go in extra time.  

Gets Better

Well I thought Saturday would be my last game.  I have now had confirmed that I am assistant on Saturday for the Southern Leauge Midland Division Play Off Final between Bromsgrove & Wilenhall.

I thought Telford would be my last game and didnt expect anything after that but to get this is a great suprise. 

Althoug my middles havent gone well hopefully this is a sign my lining has been good and not that everyones closed the date

Good & Bad

Last Saturday I was at AFC Telford and as mentioned in an earlier post, a quirk of the fixture’s meant that the game against Burscough was going to settle the title and who would go up to the Conference North.  

It was my first visit to Telfords ground and what an experience it was 5710 people were there to watch the game (150 were from Burscough!) and watched Burscough run out 2-1 winners and win the league by 1 goal!

It was an incredible atmosphere and I had the main stand behind me for the whole game.  With the magnitude of the game and this being my biggest crowd I was expecting to be quite nervous.  However we got the ground really early (12.45) and so had plenty of time to settle in to the day and what it meant to both clubs.   We walked the pitch for a good 30 minutes as well and then with the warm up we had time to settle and get right mentally.  After you’ve made that first decision everything settles in to place. 

It was rather amusing at the start of the 2nd half when we came out with both teams and had to wait nearly 2 minutes for the half time entertainment to finish.  There’s the 2 teams and us waiting for about 20 school children to finish singing and dancing..   To be honest things like this added to quite a family atmosphere.

Unfortunately though there was some bad.  After Burscough’s 2nd goal Two “fans” from the Telford end ran on and tried to attack the Burscough players.  I wont say anything more on that as it doesn’t deserve to be discussed

What was nice was that considering Telford lost the game and the title they were very open towards us after the game and didn’t blame us.  The game was played in a superb spirit and there was a lot of respect between the two teams.  With minutes to go and Telford looking for a 2nd goal they would help up Burscough player after a foul, it was a nice change and a great way to end a season.

I just with it was August and the season was starting again!

There is some footage on Youtube of the teams coming out but its not the best.

There is also some video here on the Shropshire star site but it wont work for me!

Big Game Saturday

When I got my fixtures at the start of April for the rest of the season.  A game stood out off all and that was AFC Telford vs Burscough.  I knew Telford were top but I didn’t know where Bursough were.   I was surprised then to find they were 2nd!

Over the last few weeks the teams have chopped and changed and dropped in to 3rd in some cases.  Last night though Telford played their game in hand against Witton who were top.  Telford won 1-0 and now go to the top of the table going in to the last game of the season.  This is the table going in to Saturday and the last game of the season

Team Name P W D L F A GD Pts

As you can see Telford vs Bursough is going to be a big game with everything to play for.  The winner going into Conference North.

Lets just hope though that its not a decision from us that influences the game and the outcome of the title.  Either way though what a game to end the season