LETJOG14 – Week 2

Weekly Runs

So, for me my running week starts on a Sunday, that’s mainly because I use Map My Run iphone app and that logs my runs for me, and it starts on a Sunday!

I have yet to start my 8 week trianing programme, that will commence in a week or 2, depends what happens in the next two weeks with regards to gym work and any runs I can get in – I need to get back into a steady pace and run. Something that is slowy coming back to me since the crash.

LETJOG14

For me, this challenge is all about the running. There are 874 miles to cover in this LETJOG14 challenge. Some people are cycling it, some are running it, some are doing both. I think there is even a chap incorporating swimming into it too!

But I think the challenge is more difficult running and running alone. Outdoors.

I could incorporate the 20 miles cycling I do each week going to the station and back. But I haven’t, it’s all about the running….Lands End to Jon O Groats (LETJOG14).

That, by the way, takes nothing from everyone involved in this challenge, it’s not a simple feat we are taking on. This is just my preferred way of completing it.

Weekly Stats

Sunday – 5.1 miles (click here). Not a great pace, but a good distance to start the week off.

Tuesday – 6.0 miles (click here). I was not looking forward to this one, my legs ached, but that soon went once I got going. A slightly better pace, and a slightly longer distance, to the point that I could have kept going. I put it all down to Wifey’s home sweet potato and tuna fish cakes!

Thursday  – 3.7 miles (click here). My first run at lunch time at work for ages! I forgot how much of a pain in the arse it is having to dogde tourists, duck out of photos, avoid being hit by buses, and on the plus side how beautiful our capital city is. My pace was mental quick, felt good throughout. Looking forward to getting out there again next week.

Saturday – 3.7 miles (click here). Out in the afternoon sunshine, a quick and steady run around the village with my average pace under 8 minutes per mile. Very pleased.

Weekly total = 18.5 miles

Total covered this year = 24.4 miles

Distance left to cover = 849.6 miles.

To follow everyone’s progress on twitter, search for the #LETJOG14 hashtag!!

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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

REST DAY!!

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 8

Week 8 of the marathon training plan, and I need to pull my finger out. This is the week I need to get back on track and re-focussed. I definitely need to get a good long run under my belt, at least 12 – 14 miles and get back to eating properly – too much cake and other goodies over the last week or so. The marathon training plan does not allow for such treats.

monday 27th august 2012

Bank Holiday Monday. Wifey was at work. The boys were at the in-laws. I had the day to myself. Up and about early, got a few things sorted, and then shopping to be done.

My legs felt a little stiff after yesterday’s run, but seeing as I had time on my hands I wanted to crack out a good 5 miler today. The plan was to drive to Sainsburys, do the shop and leave my car there (being cleaned by the nice Bosovans) while I went for a run.

Shopping done and loaded into the car, I set off and headed down towards the running club. I had a route in my head and guessed it was about 5 miles, it took in the running club, then up through Springfield, along a track towards the farm then cut back through the fields at the back of Newhall School, along the drive of the school, then from the A12 back up to Sainsburys.

It was a really enjoyable run, and a nice little route.

Here are the stats.

tuesday 28th august 2012

Taking a rest day today.

wednesday 29th august 2012

I really wanted to get out and run today, and I was going to go out before work, but overslept, which had me running late for everything today, and I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind for running this evening.

thursday 30th august 2012

Running club day today, feels like ages since I have been.

I got there mega early for some silly reason, I am sure someone told me we were leaving at half 7 from now on…apparently not.

Tonight’s route was ‘Meadows’ not as scenic as you may first think. The route took us through the ‘Meadows’ shopping area, along the river at the back of the Uni, and up through Springfield.

I haven’t run this route before and found it to be quite a good little run. I tried to keep a steady pace running alongside a lady who competes in triathlons, our pace fluctuated a little here and there but overall it was about 8m20s per mile, which, considering we got a bit lost when we came out of the park, and we should of turned right on Lawn Lane and not left….wasn’t too bad!

We completed 5.7 miles in about 47 minutes of darkness – very pleased, great route to run. This may form part of my long run on Sunday.

Here is the route and the stats.

friday 31st august 2012

Rest day. Splendid!

saturday 1st September 2012

This morning’s run was going to be quick. I planned to do the 5k run around the village as quick as I could. I hadn’t done any speed work for a while.

The air was fresh and good for running in, I set off at a pretty good pace of about 7m40s for the first mile, and then got quicker for the second and a little bit quicker for the third.

I finished in 23 minutes 43 seconds which wasn’t too bad, the 22 minute mark still eludes me, but I will have that cracked by Christmas!

Here’s this mornings quick 5K.

sunday 2nd september 2012

Time for a nice long run. According to the marathon training plan it would be 15 miles, and I was quite looking forward to it. I haven’t run this distance for months. It would be a good challenge.

I began by heading out through the village, back lanes over the river and on towards junction 18 on A12, that’s my 4.5 mile point, over the A12 towards Baddow, but turned left and went through Sandon too, trying to get the extra mile or so in, through Baddow and down towards the Army and Navy roundabout, this was about the 8 mile mark.

Calculations in my head were that from juntion 19 on A12 to home is 2 miles, the ‘home stretch’, so I needed to get at least 5 miles in between here and J19.

I ran into town and picked up on part of the ‘meadows’ route from Thursday’s Striders run, this took me along the river, past the back of the University running along the back of the Avenues, then over the bridge under the bypass and then left up a short steep hill into a housing estate, I turned right and then left at the end of the road onto Lawn Lane.

It was at this point the inner arch of my left foot started to feel a little hot, a blister was on it’s way. Not sure why as I hadn’t had a blister for ages. This hampered the final part of the run a little bit, but not enough to stop me.

I ran along Lawn Lane and turned right into Brackenden Drive, left at the top and then right at the roundabout along New Nabbots Way, crossed the road at the top and ran through Beaulieu Park and out again and down towards Sainsburys. At Sainsburys my thighs were aching and the blister was burning hot, I knew I only had 2-3 miles to go, no stopping now.

The ‘home stretch’ was hard. The cool air was warming up, the clouds had disappeared and the sun was shining nicely, getting to the top of the last hill up towards The Lion felt like a major acheivement. I ran as far as the Cock Inn where the Garmin clocked at 15 miles, that was good enough for me, I stopped and walked the last half a mile back home – a good warm down after running non stop for 2 hours and 8 minutes!

Could I have run further? Possibly, maybe a mile or 2. Could I have run further if the course had been a lot flatter? Definitely. And the Amsterdam Marathon is apparently quite flat, so I don’t think getting to 15 miles or even 20 miles will be much of a problem, the last 6 miles however…

Here’s the stats and the route.

The week finished on a real high, very happy with the long 15 mile run, and in a pretty good time. Let’s hope I can continue it moving forward to the next phase of the marathon training plan.

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 2

Marathon training plan – week 2

This is the second week of my marathon training plan, the first week went well, but then it was pretty easy, it’s going to get a lot harder and more intense as the weeks go on.

But then if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing.

monday 16th july 2012

What a great way to start the week – a rest day, that means a lay in!

tuesday 17th july 2012

Today’s run was down as a ’30 mins easy run’, so I stuck to the same route around the village, distance is between 3 and 4 miles at a nice steady pace.

Here’s today’s stats.

wednesday 18th july 2012

Tempo running today for 40 minutes, this consisted of running for 9 minutes at a slow to easy pace, then 16-17 minutes running under 8 minute miles (I found this quite tough, trying to maintain a quick speed, and continuously looking at my bloody watch to make sure I wasn’t going over the 8 mins per mile).

This took me to the 3 mile mark, I then slowed up a little to run at my 10k pace.

This was my first attempt at tempo running, and it may take me a couple of goes to get into it a bit. At the end of it I felt out of breath, it had been a great run, I’d certainly worked hard and pushed myself for once!

Here is today’s run and info.

thursday 19th july 2012

Today was down to be 5 miles easy run, but seeing as today is a Thursday, this means it’s running club night with the Springfield Striders, normally we’d go for a 5-6 mile run, which would of suited me and the marathon training plan.

For the last week or so I have been suffering a bit from a stinking cold and an equally annoying cough to accompany it. I haven’t been letting this stop me though.

Tonight, when we set out for the run from the running club I felt ok, after a mile or so my chest was beginning to burn and feel tight and my legs were like lead. At almost 2 miles I decided I was going to pull out, I eased off from the crowd I was running with, and then sloped off left when everyone else had gone right.

I limped back to the running club at a slow pace, I got back to the car and flopped onto the driver’s seat, it took me almost 15 minutes to get my breath back before I drove home. To say I was disappointed was an understatement, but I knew it was my body telling me I needed to chill out!

This is the link to today’s run.

friday 20th july 2012

Hoorah – rest day!

saturday 21st july 2012

Unfortunately due to Wifey’s and number 1 son’s birthday celebrations, and preperation for the party and festivities I never managed to get out for my run today. Not ideal, but hopeing to make the time up.

sunday 22nd july 2012

I was hoping to get a few miles under my belt today, but this never happened. Instead I spent the day with my family enjoying the sunshine and a pub lunch!

I will definitely be running tomorrow!

Tuesday 3rd July 2012 – Running at the same pace

Running at the same pace

This was the beginning of my last week of ‘solo’ running for a while. As of next week I would be working to a marathon training plan, 16 weeks of tempo, easy and long runs in the build up to running the Amsterdam marathon at the end of October.

Today I wanted to cover 5 miles running at the same pace. This may sound easy and probably is for some people, but it’s something I tend to struggle with, so this morning I was going to practice it.

A simple route around the village at a manageable pace was the plan.

Setting off too quick

As per normal I set off a little too quickly, this is becoming a very annoying habit I have, and something I need to work on.

My pace slowed down after a mile or so, my target pace of 8m 20s to 8m 30s per mile, seemed manageable. I set out and headed down toward the village.

A quick right at The Cock, up and over the A12 and back not only adds distance to my route but throws a short sharp hill in both the beginning of my run and at the end too.

Back down to the main road, left at Plantation Road and then around the back of the village to the top of Church Road.

On Target

I turned left then, past The Lion, down hill then up to the A12 junction, over that and back on myself for the 2 mile run home.

So far so good with the pace, although I had slowed a little, something which I expected to do, I hadn’t gone over the 8m 30s per mile mark, I felt pretty good too, the legs were holding up nicely and my breathing was steady.

The last two miles were good, the uphill run back toward The Lion was easier today (I’m sure that’s just a mental thing). I tried pick pace up a little once I’d come back down the hill by The Cock and started the last half mile home.

All in all a good run this morning, happy with it.

Here’s a good 5 mile route

Tuesday 19th June 2012 – Fartlek

Dinner with friends

On Saturday evening Wifey and I donned our finest and went out to dinner with a couple that we know. Nanny was babysitting the boys, and we were off to let our hair down and chill out for a few hours.

The husband of the couple we were at dinner with (let’s call him Chris – as that’s his name) happens to be an ex runner. I’d heard him mention this months ago, but never managed to talk to him about it in more detail. He’d been a very competent long distance runner.

“So then, how’s the running coming along Paul?” he asked. I told him it was going well, and that I’d recently completed my first half marathon. He asked how I got on? I told him about the race, how hot it was, how I struggled a bit, how much I enjoyed it and how nice it was to have Wifey and the boys supporting me.

Finally I said “I think I was very under prepared for it, and could of trained better for it”

Getting some advice

I’ve read various forums and articles in magazines about hill running and fartlek training, but never quite understood just how it would benefit me, or how to actually carry out the training process. How would I know if I was doing it correctly?

Chris said to me “have you been doing any hill runs?” Well that’s a good question… “What about your fartlek training?”

I explained that whilst I had heard of it, hadn’t tried it, wasn’t sure etc. Chris told me in some depth about how it works, the benefits etc and what sort of other stuff I should or could be doing in preparation for the marathon in October.

I was buzzing, I couldn’t wait to get out and carry out some different training.

I had to wait until today though.

My first fartlek session

I sprung out of bed this morning, and was soon out of the door and pounding the pavement. The first mile was at a very slow 9m 20s ish pace, just a bit of a warm up. Then it was a sub 8m pace for 2 minutes, then back to a slow pace for one minute, then quick again for 2 minutes. I repeated this several times. Slowed down to 9m 30s ish for the last mile home.

At the end of it I felt great, felt like I’d had a good work out. This was definitely going to become part of the training programme!

Fartlek rocks!

Here’s my first fartlek session.

Thursday 31st May 2012 – Running through fields

The running club

Thursday. Can only mean one thing. Today’s run would be with the running club.

I had no idea what the route would be, who would be going, what the weather would be like, but I was very much looking forward to it. On the few occasions I have been so far, each one had bought a new challenge and pushed me that little bit further.

The first week was a new route and a quicker pace, last week was the 5K time trials. I wondered what this were would bring.

Off roading

I checked out the Springfield Striders website earlier today to see what route had been put up for tonight. It was titled ‘Taj Mahal’. It showed a route from the club HQ up towards Boreham, then cutting down hill through fields, along the River and back up hill along the roads to HQ. A good 5-6 mile route.

Here’s the off roader!

Tuesday 29th May 2012 – Running routine

Tuesday mornings

To be honest I haven’t been up early for a run on a Tuesday for ages. Tuesday’s used to be part of my stringent routine, then my running routine somehow broke down and was replaced with going out for a run as and when I could, then as and when I could be bothered.

I knew I had races planned, but the more I thought about them, the less I could be arsed to get up and go out for a run, this then led me to getting annoyed, angry and frustrated, mainly with myself for not going for a run.

A running routine

I am slowly getting back into a routine, Saturday morning’s have always been my long run, and I usually get up two mornings a week before work, and I’d go out for 5 – 10K on a Sunday afternoon, depending on how my legs were after Saturday’s long run.

I found that having a routine wasn’t quite enough, you need self motivation too. You have to want to go for a run. I think that if you go out for a run when you aren’t in the mood or right frame of mind hinders you and your performance.

Sometimes I have gone out in completely with the completely wrong mood, but found that as I started to run I got into it. Although the majority of the time that wasn’t always the case.

I use Map My Run to log all of my workouts, I also have the app on my iPhone which tells me how far and fast I am running during a run, and gives me splits and graphs etc. I find that keeping a log of my runs helps with motivation, and enables me to see how much I am progressing.

Joining a running club

I find that buying new running attire or accessories also helps me to get motivated, which helps to maintain my running routine. It’s amazing how shopping can help with your running.

Most recently I have found that by joining a running club, I not only have my motivation back, but I have some kind of a routine back in place. I know that the club meets on a Thursday evening for a run, therefore I plan to run on Tuesday mornings, long and / or run on Saturday or Sunday.

My routine is back, because there is a constant in my runs, namely the running club, I have been able to get a running routine back.

All I need to do now is stick to it, as I have the Southend Half Marathon next week, and the Felsted 10K a few weeks after. Long term of course is the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

So, back in the routine then, happy to get up and out this morning, aiming for about 5 miles. Slightly warm already but the air was fresh, I really enjoyed it a 5.2 mile run in 42m 40s.

Here’s the run.

Tuesday 15th May 2012 – 5 mile runs

Early mornings

I was 05:10am when my alarm went off this morning. I’d been awake for 5 minutes already, laying there waiting for the beeping noise to begin, attempting to wake me from my sleep. But this morning I’d beaten it!!

The sun came streaming in through the curtains, I think this may be what awoke me to start with, that and the fact I was itching to get up and go. I’d woke up a couple of times during the night, just in case I’d forgotten to set the alarm or I’d slept through it.

I was up and out in about 25 minutes, stretched and raring to go.

5 mile runs

Keen to get my miles up in preparation for this coming weekend’s race, I planned a 5 mile run. This is fast becoming a favourite of mine. I used to settle for 3 miles (5k) for a morning run, but these days find that 5 mile runs give me more of a workout. It just means getting up 20 minutes earlier of a morning.

I headed from home and turned left towards the village, looped around the back of the village past the church, and then down towards the A12, cross that and then head back on myself. I know that my 3 mile distance is when I get to the turn around point on the A12, and I have at least a 2 mile run back home.

I managed a 5.35 mile run in just over 45 minutes. A nice steady pace on a beautiful sunny morning.

Here’s the 5 miler!