Marathon Training Plan – Week 9

Crikey, it’s week 9 already, only 6 or 7 weeks to go now until race day. For the past 2-3 weeks I have been a little slack in following the marathon training plan, a bit hit and miss with runs.

Moving forward my intentions are to stick to the plan (as best I can) do more core strength training and hill work where possible, I have the Robin Hood Half Marathon in 4 weeks time, my long runs are up to 15 miles, so I am kind of on target.

monday 3rd spetember 2012


tuesday 4th september 2012

It was dark when the alarm went off this morning at 5:05am. I got my running kit on and headed down stairs for stretches and a warm up. I haven’t headed out into a dark morning for ages, I had forgotten how much more tranquil and exhilerating it is to run on a dark early morning. The air was fresh and crisp - you can’t beat country air! It beats that smog filled town shite!

Anyway, today’s run was 5 miles, and with the help of my shiny new trainers I managed to crack it out in about 42 minutes, quite a quick pace to start with, trying to maintain an 8m10s pace.

The blister I got on Sunday’s long run played up a bit, but the new trainers (Adidas Supernova Sequence 4M) held up well, they felt comfortable and more supportive than the Asics I previously wore. Hopefully they will be fully broken in for the Robin Hood half and definitely broken in for the Amsterdam Marathon.

Here are today’s stats.

wednesday 5th september 2012

I took a bit of a rest day today. Well needed.

thursday 6th september 2012

Running club, and after the last couple of days at work I could do with getting out and letting some steam off!

Quite a warm evening, and we all trundled off. A new route for many of us relative newbies to the club. A 5 mile route in and around Springfield.

I wanted to try to maintain a steady pace under 8 minute per mile, but whether it was because it was a new route, or new trainers my pace was somewhat eratic.

Here is the route and the stats.

friday 7th september 2012

Rest day today.

saturday 8th september 2012

Six miles today. I was going to do a simple 3 miles to stretch my legs a bit before tomorrow’s long run, but turned right instead of left as I came out of our lane, and headed off towards Utling.

I have a six mile route that takes me thorugh the country lanes, up a rather large hill and through Utling and Hatfield Peveral, then back up another big hill towards Boreham and home. It’s a great run, and a good practice run for an ‘undulating’ 10k.

My best time for this route is about 48 minutes, I wasn’t going to beat that this morning though.

Here are the stats.

Sunday 9th september 2012

Today is long run day, and I was hoping to run between 16 and 18 miles.

Unfortunately I only managed 16 miles. I ran a similar route to that of last weeks, I extended it a little here and there and was on target for 16 miles, and it wasn’t until I got to the A12 junction 2 miles from home that my burning feet (blistered due to the new trainers) and lead like thighs brought me to a complete standstill.

I couldn’t go any further. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t out of breath. I just couldn’t go any further.

The blisters had started at around mile 10, stupidly I ignored the feelings and soldiered on.

I had to ring Wifey, and ask her to come and collect me. I was some what disappointed with myself, and hope that I can run further next week.

Here’s the stats and the route.


Marathon Training Plan – Week 7

Week 7 of the the marathon training plan already, it’s gone around so quick, almost halfway through and I am no where near prepared enough. I haven’t been doing hardly any long runs due to one thing or another. This is playing on my mind a lot.

monday 2oth august 2012

It’s rest day according to the marathon training plan, which was handy as I had a beer or two (literally) at the wedding yesterday.

tuesday 21st august 2012

I wouldn’t be running today as Wifey and I would be driving up to Barnsley tonight for a couple of days – pain in the arse, but needs must.

wednesday 22nd august 2012

We’re in Barnsley, I would love to go for a run, especially amongst the moores, it’s very hilly around here, plenty of challenges.

The biggest challenge I have is the reason we are here though.

I need to get even a short run in as it’s the West Mersea 10 mile race this Sunday, or will the rest do me good??

thursday 23rd august 2012

Still in Barnsley, we go home tonight, perhaps a run tomorrow if I can muster up the energy.

friday 24th august 2012

I haven’t ran for 5 days now and it’s getting to me. The last 2 days have completely knackered me, I ache a lot. Hopefully I will be ok for Sunday’s race.

Saturday 25th August 2012

Another day without running, still aching so resting for tomorrow.

sunday 26th august 2012

Today is the day of the West Mersea 10 mile race. Two 5 mile laps starting from the esplonade through the streets along the causeway, back up THE HILL, down and along the esplonade.

I woke up as I always do on a race day; agitated, nervous and keen to get out the door and to the event. I picked Crispy up at 9 and we headed off.

I wasn’t sure if not running for a week would help me today, my legs were still a little stiff from during the week at Barnsley. Crispy and I did a bit of a gentle jog along the front, and I made sure I did plenty of stretches.

Our plan was to set off and settle into an 8:00 minute pace, I was sure I could maintain this. Target time was between 1 hour and 20 minutes and 1 hour and 25 minutes. The weather was due to be cool, slightly cloudy. Good running conditions, which should help.

As it turned out, the clouds dipsersed and the sun shone hot and bright. This was ok for smaller shaded parts, but running along the coutry lanes where there was little shade was tough, and THE HILL was unshaded too.

The first 5 mile lap was good, we ran the first 3 miles in sub 8:00 minutes for each, and then slowed down into a more sensible 8:00 to 8:30 pace. We completed the first lap in 39:00 minutes which was really good going. We were well on target.

The second lap was tougher, running laps always is, you know what’s ahead, your head is buzzing with calculations and questions as you look at your watch for pace and information.

It was getting warmer, and at 6 miles or so my legs began to feel it a bit. They started to feel like aching lead weights and I plodded on. Up the hill for the 8 mile marker there was a water station, I slowed to a walk to ensure I took on water properly instead of trying to drink it as I ran and throw it all over my face, up my nose and down my top – I didn’t want a repeat of Southend. Ok so slowing down cost me 20 seconds or so, but it was important for me to take water on board.

Reaching the top of the hill mid 8 and 9 mile was good, I knew that I was going to beat 1:25:00 and just kept going, Crispy was a good 45 seconds to a minute in front of me, I could see him ahead, he looked like he was ok, his pace was constant, little did I know he was struggling too.

I eventually crossed the line in 1:22:45. I was bloody knackered but very happy. I found Crispy laying on the grass, he had beaten my by a minute or so, but he was equally as knackered. We drank plenty of water, got changed and headed for the food stall for a well deserved bacon butty and a cup of tea!

Here are the results of the run, and here are my stats for the run.

Marathon Training Plan – Week 6

Already it’s week 6 of my marathon training plan, all ok up to now, I have missed a few runs here and there, which is annoying but unavoidable at the time. Where they have been missed I have tried to make up for them elsewhere.

All in all, I think I am pretty much on target, my main aim now is nailing the long runs and getting the distances in.

Here’s how this weeks marathon training plan worked out;

monday 13th august 2012

Monday’s are rest days, so I did just that.

tuesday 14th august 2012

Ashamed to say it, but I never managed a run today, not entirely my fault. OK so I couldn’t be arsed to get out of bed this morning, and opted for an extra hour or so in bed.

I decided I would go to the running club for the Tuesday evening training session, something I have wanted to do for ages, and been told I should be doing. As I was driving up the road near Strider’s HQ, the runners from the club all ran past me. It seems they had set off earlier.

I would never have caught up with them by the time I’d parked the car – so I turned around and went home feeling quite dispondent.

wednesday 15th august 2012

Right, so having missed a run yesterday I was mega keen to get out today. Didn’t get out of bed in time (feeling so tired in the mornings lately, probably the holiday catching up with me), so instead I went out this evening.

Target distance was 7 – 10 miles, target pace was 8:30 to 8:40 minutes per mile.

Happy to report both targets were met – well almost, I was a little slower on average pace at 8:42 minutes per mile, but it’s as near as damn it.

Here are the stats and the route.

thursday 16th august 2012

Running club night. I checked out the Springfield Striders website this morning to see what course we would be doing, and found that it was going to be 5K time trials this evening. Hopefully I could improve on my previous time, of which I thought was about 24 mins 50 (ish) seconds.

We ran the mile to the start, a gentle pace mainly downhill, into the park and to the starting point.

The route was as previous, along the path at the side ofthe river, under the bypass, over the footbridge, left down the footpath at the end of Fifth Avenue, which heads all the way to the Uni at the bottom of the other Avenues, round the back of the Uni, into the park over the bridge, then repeat for a 2nd lap, only to turn right after the final bridge and 100 yards top the finish. Nice and flat and simple…and tough.

I started at break neck speed, yet again. I was running around 6:50 – 7:00 minute pace for the first mile, I felt ok, but knew I would not be able to maintain this kind of pace and would probably drop down to about 8:00 very soon.

Instead I kept my breathing steady, and gave myself targets to reach; the underpass, the bridge, the next marshall, all the while trying to maintain this crazy pace. I did slow a little, my legs were like lead weights (probably still feeling the effects of yesterday’s 9 miler).

The second mile was slower, but only by 30 seconds, 7:30 minutes was pretty good going. Could I keep this up for the last mile or so?? In my head I broke the route down into small chunks and laughed to myself when I reached them, my legs were shot but I was keeping the pace up.

Mile 3 was 7:33 minutes. My overall time was 23:17. I had beaten my previous time. I was very happy, I thought I had knocked well over a minute off my pervious PB, it turns out though that my previous PB was 23:58, so only 40 seconds had been knocked off…even still I was buzzing!!

Here’s the new 5K PB stats.

I have a new target now for 5K, and that’s a sub 23 minute run.

A gentle run back to Strider’s HQ, warm the legs down a bit and head home.

friday 17th august 2012

Friday’s are rest days remember!

saturday 187th august 2012

We’re away this weekend, staying in Stevenage for my cousin’s wedding. We travelled up today and will be staying for a couple of nights, not getting a run in today (it’s far too hot to be running during the day), perhaps tomorrow.

sunday 19th august 2012

Managed to get up and go for a run this morning, not as early as I liked, nor did I run as far as I would of liked, but even at 8:30am it was stuffy, hot and humid.

Here’s the hilly run.

Marathon Training Plan – Week 4

Marathon training plan – week 4

As we go into week 4 of my marathon training plan, I admit I have not ran as often as I would of liked, I have been struggling with a chest infection for the last 2 weeks, which hopefully now is nearly gone, and the long runs haven’t happend due to other commitements and time restraints, I know that’s a shite excuse but it’s how it is.

monday 30th july 2012

I love starting the week with a rest day.

tuesday 31st july 2012

OK, so the marathon training plan said today’s run was 40 minute speed run. I got myself changed and stretched and ready to go, it was absolutely tipping it down outside, so on went the running jacket and cap.

The first mile was good at about 8:15 minutes, the second mile was quicker at about 8:00 minutes per mile and the third mile was just as quick. I hadn’t run for 40 minutes, I only ran for 30, but I had run quickly and steadily, and more importantly I was comfortable with the pace, which is encouraging.

wednesday 1st august 2012

Today is 6 mile easy run. Today was the day I turned the alarm off this morning and rolled over and went back to sleep instead of getting my arse out of bed and going for a run. Simply too tired.

So I went for a run this evening. I’d had a route planned in my head of approx 9 miles which took in a bit of the Grace’s farm route from the running club (the hill bit not the easy part).

I headed out around 8pm, the sun was still shining but it wasn’t too hot. I headed into the village turning left at The 6 bells, to the end of Plantation Road, then left again and all the way down hill to the river. I like how quickly you can go from running along streets to running country lanes around where I live. I was now on country lanes, running out in the coutryside and breathing fresh country air – what more could you want?

I crossed the bridge at the river and continued along the road for a mile or so, and then turned left along a track and headed up towards Grace’s Farm. A slight down hill then a stonker of an uphill run, back onto the road as I turned left at the top of the track, a few hundred yards until I came to a T junction, where I turned left again and down the hill towards the ford.

I’d been maintaining a pretty good pace of between 8 and 8:30 mins per mile. I thought I may of slowed a little, to be fair I did slow a little, especially after my starting pace of around 7:30, which was good but not something I could maintain. The 8-8:30 minute pace is far more managable, every now and then I’d push it for a bit and drop the pace as close to or under the 8 minute mark, just to get the heart beating a bit more and to test myself a bit.

Here’s the 9 mile run.

thursday 2nd august 2012

Today’s run was due to be with the running club, but seeing as we are going on holiday tomorrow, I’m taking today as a rest day.

friday 3rd august 2012

We went on holiday today, and it’s rest day…but I couldn’t resist it. I went for a run his morning before heading to the airport. The cases were all packed and ready and I was scratching about getting fidgety so I thought a run might be in order.

I got changed and headed out, I’d missed my 40 minute steady run yesterday so that’s what I planned to do today. Into the village, round the back up to The Lion, turn left up to the roundabout on the A12 and back home again.

A good steady run with an average pace of 8:14, and a distance of 5 miles. Happy with that.

Here are the stats and stuff.

Saturday 4th August 2012

Landed in Alcudia last night, was hoping to get up and go for a run this morning but had the oldest up all night being sick. Far too tired to run anywhere, and it’s very hot!

Sunday 5th August 2012

I am supposed to be cracking out a long run today, it didn’t happen, still adjusting to the heat out here. Tomorrow is definite though.

Marathon Training Plan – Week 5

Marathon training plan – week 5

Moving into week 5 of the marathon training plan already, not sure how I’m going to get the runs in as we’re on holiday, but I will try my best.

Monday 6th August 2012

I finally managed to get out for my first run in Alcudia this morning. I tip toed around the hotel room in the dark getting my stuff together, then once out by the lift I finished getting changed and stretched. This may seem odd, but those of you with kids will understand, the boys had both been ill and the last thing I wanted to do was wake them up at six in the morning.

We’d walked around the local area quite a bit yesterday and I had planned a route in my head taking in the beach with it’s beautiful White sand and clear sea, then along to Alcudia port, back along the beach and up the main road back to the hotel again.

I got outside and it was raining, typical, although it was slightly cooler I ran at a slower average pace of 9:25 simply due to the heat and humidity even at that time of the day. What was good about the run was all of the other runners out and about, I had never seen so many people on a run – it was brilliant and very encouraging. I only managed 4 miles, but aim to improve on that with the next run.

Here’s the stats for my first run in Alcudia.

tuesday 7th august 2012

Up early again this morning for a run along the beach and around the port. The sun was already up and beating down.

As yesterday, the pace was a lot slower than normal, but the humidity really took it out of me. So nice to be up and about before everyone else (apart from all the other fellow runners).

Here are the stats.

wednesday 8th august 2012

I had a lay in this morning, much needed sleep.

thursday 9th august 2012

This morning I wanted to up the distance again. I figured if I ran for an hour at the slower pace I could probable cover 10k (6.2 miles). This was only a mile or so longer than yesterday, but even still, it wasn’t a walk in the park.

Here are today’s stats.

friday 10th august 2012

We go home today, but that didn’t stop me getting up and cracking out another 10k this morning. Pretty much the same route as yesterday at the same pace, which was good.

I was happy to have built up a bit of mileage over the past week, it keeps me up to date a bit more with the marathon training plan.

Here’s the run.

saturday 11th august 2012

Well, it’s back to running around the village. Nothing major today, just an easy 30 minute 5k run.

A noticeable difference in temperatures from Alcudia to Essex obviously, but today was warm, and the heat affected my running, I found myself out of breath a bit. Perhaps it was because I was running later in the day when the sun was warmer? I don’t know.

Here’s today’s home run.

sunday 12th august 2012

According to the marathon training plan, today is a 12 mile long run. So that’s what I did.

I ran around the back of the village and down over the river, along the country lane back roads, over the A12 towards Baddow, along the roads and down towards Chelmsford town center, then up Springfield Road, up past B & Q, along past BMW showroom and over the A12 towards home.

All in all 12 miles. Very happy with that.

Here’s the 12 miler!

Marathon Training Plan – Week 3

Marathon training plan – week 3

This is week 3 of my marathon training plan – 13 more weeks to go after this one.

I had a bit of a bad end to last week’s runs, so I am more determined to complete this week’s runs in fine form.

Monday 23rd July 2012

Today was supposed to be a rest day, but seeing as I missed a couple over the weekend, I headed out for a few miles. Wifey and I had spent the morning chilling out without the boys, both of us had taken the day off work, and whilst I enjoy spending time alone with her, I couldn’t resist heading out for a few miles today.

The weather is scorching at the moment, and I went out without a top on, covered in plenty of sun cream. It was nice to feel the heat and a slight breeze on me as I ran / plodded around the village.

Far too hot to run at a silly pace.

Here’s the results from the scorchingly hot run.

Tuesday 24th july 2012

A fresh start to the morning, and the marathon training plan said it was a 40 minute steady run today.

We’d had a busy weekend and I was shattered, and could quite easily have stayed in bed this morning, but I was up and out early, keen to get running, blow the cobwebs away a bit. After yesterday’s slow plod in the heat, I wanted to get a bit of pace up, and a bit of distance too.

A good 5 miles this morning, it a good 43 minutes.

Here’s the run.

wednesday 25th july 2012

Ok, so today is a 40 minute easy run, I ran the same route as yesterday, but a little faster this time. Managing to do the 5 miles in just under 41 minutes, a decent pace, and to be honest I could of probably pushed myself that little bit harder!

Here are the stats.

thursday 26th july 2012

Today’s run was supposed to be 6 mile tempo run according to the marathon training plan, but seeing as it was a Thursday and running club day, I would swap the tempo run for a long run (I missed the long run on Sunday).

Tonight’s running club route was Graces, either a 3 mile, 6 mile or 8 mile route. I opted for the 8 mile route. This takes in about 3-4 miles running along roads, and the rest is riverside running or through fields. It’s got a swine of a hill at about 4 miles, but it’s a great route and one I really enjoy.

Due to the slow running through the long grass at riverside and edges of the field, a much needed pee stop and stopping to allow others to cross the bridges, my time was not fast, just over 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Here’s the route and the stats.

friday 27th july 2012

Another fantastic rest day.

saturday 28th july 2012

I missed today’s run as it was Mum’s 60th, so we were all over there for celebrations.

sunday 29th july 2012

Today was due a long 9 miler, but after drinking 1 too many yesterday, I opted for a 30 minute easy run that I missed yesterday.

The day started off as another scorcher, we got home around midday and after doing a few chores and bits and pieces around the house I decided it was time for a run. It had began to rain on and off, so the air was now slightly cooler, better running conditions.

I headed out around 5pm, stopping only to go back and put my running jacket on, the massive blue / black / grey cloud lingering overhead looked like a thunderstorm! I quite like running in the run.

No such luck, the rain held off and the sun beamed upon me the whole route.

I set off at a steady pace, the plan was for an easy 5K with the intention to hit the first mile at around the 9 minute mark, and then pick up a little for the next 2. I tried to run slowly, but as much as I wanted to run at a 9 minute pace, I managed about 8:45 mins per mile.

The second and third miles were quicker, a few times I was running at sub 8 minutes, but averaged both at around 8:15 per mile. I felt good and strong at that pace, I’m getting quicker and more comfortable with how I am running.

Here are the stats.


Saturday 7th April 2012 – Broken.

Take two of these.

As you will note from the other blog posts in this running blog, I have been quite fortunate so far with health and injury. My luck had to change at some stage. Law of averages.

Yesterday evening I had a raging sore throat, and I ached a little. I took some tablets before I went to bed, hoping that it would be gone by the morning, and I would be able to go for my weekly long run as planned.

When I woke up in the morning, the burning sensation in my throat that was triggered every time I swallowed had gone. I tested it several times and on each occasion there was no hint of pain or discomfort. I felt my legs and arms, no aching there either.

Bloody hell those tablets were good!

I am going for a run then.

The first mistake I made.

Initially all was well, getting out of bed was a breeze, getting changed equally as simple, stretching and going down stairs were OK, admittedly I wrestled a bit with the ipod and ear phones lead, but I do that every morning.

It all started going wonky at around the one mile mark, my right calf starting to go tight, using my in depth knowledge as a Doctor: I chose to ignore it and brush it off as a niggle.

My aim for today was to equal if not better the 14 miles or so I did last week, running along the river again. This was the second mistake I made.

Pain pain go away…

As I ran down hill between miles one and two heading for the bridge across the river and my cue to turn right and run along the river side, my left calf must of wanted to play up too, as it started to tighten and cause me as much pain as my right one.

Being an idiot I soldiered on. In hindsight this was the wrong thing to do. Every damn step I took was agony. I thought I would just run to the three mile mark, then turn around and go home at a gentle jog / quick walk. As I approached the third mile the pain eased off in both legs.

“brilliant, I will carry on then” I thought to myself. This was my third mistake, not good considering I hadn’t even been out of bed for 45 minutes yet!

With true British grit…

That heading should say “Like a total idiot..”

I kept going, the hard clay based muddy ground along the river bank was torture on my legs, my shins felt as if they were going to crack and give way with each step, my thoughts went to ringing Wifey and asking her to meet me at the next lock and take me home, that was another mile or so away yet, I could make it to there though…couldn’t I?

Anyway, no point ringing Wifey, her mobile was on silent and she would still be sound asleep. Looked like it was going to be either a nice slow painful walk home, or just keep going, but with perhaps a shorter route, the same one as last Sunday, but that was 9-10 miles, and a good three miles of that was a continuous uphill plod.

I must be bloody mental.

I turned right at the lock and ran 3 miles uphill, various gradients, various scenery, a little bit of country lane, a little bit of main road an awful lot of agony.

I have never been so happy to get to the two mile straight towards home as I was this morning. My mind was racing with thoughts of never running again, my throat was now raging, I felt sick, my legs were shaking, plus it was our youngest’s party tomorrow, we had family over, the last thing I needed was to be ill and ruin it.

I just kept going.

The end seemed to be miles away, every step was painful, my shoulders ached, my vision was a little on the wobbly side and I was sweating like a trooper. It took me about 20-22 minutes to run that two miles, I am not sure how my legs did it.

I was so very happy to get home, get out of my running kit and into something warm. I was physically shaking and felt quite sick and cold.

I took another couple of those magic tablets.

Might be best if I have a week off running…

If you’re interested, then here is my idiotic run!

Amsterdam Marathon 2012

At the beginning

When I first started this running blog, I intended to blog about all of my runs throughout the year no matter how short or far, how important or insignificant, rain or shine…or even snow. I hoped that I would be able to blog about some races I had entered, deep down I wanted to enter a marathon and blog about that. What is a running blog without a marathon?

The Marathon is the race every runner wants to compete in, no matter what country they live in, it’s what we all aspire to.

For some, running it once isn’t enough, some people have run 100′s. Believe it or not there are folk out there who run races upto and over 100 miles per race, these are Ulta-runners.

Dean Karnazes is one of them, he’s become a bit of a hero, I listen to his story of how he ran 50 marathons in 50 US States in 50 days. Some of the crazy stuff he has done, makes my 5k weekly runs seem a little inadequate.

It’s good to talk.

A few days ago I spoke to my good friend Rob Cameron. Rob is a runner. He has ran the London Marathon, competed in a few half marathons and is very focused in his approach to his running.

Rob mentioned that he had applied for, and would be running, the Amsterdam Marathon 2012. This appealed to me. Greatly. TCS Amsterdam Marathon

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to run the London Marathon, but there’s something about it that just seems like a load of commercialised chaos. I would rather run a marathon that has a few less entrants, a little more low key and a bit different.

And the Amsterdam Marathon has just that. As does the New York Marathon, but that’d cost me a fortune; leaving Wifey alone in the Big Apple for 4 hours or so could have a negative effect on our bank balance, and there’s only so many shoes you can get in one suitcase!

Plus the Amsterdam course looks a little more straight forward!!

Training programme

So now I have 6 months to get my self into shape and prepare myself for my biggest challenge as a runner.

Thankfully Rob is as dedicated a person as I have ever met and although he lives 150 miles away he will not allow me to slack on the training.

I think the fact that I am not starting from scratch should help me. I have run 13 miles plus a few times so far, I have run in all weathers, I have run up hills, along rivers and got up at silly o’clock far more frequently than others to go out and run.

All I have to do is sensibly increase my distances, and ensure I do not get injured.

The Amsterdam Marathon 2012