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.


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!!


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!

Thursday 5th July 2012 – 5K time trial

Running club

Thursday. Running club this evening.

I checked out the website this week to see what route we would be running (I remembered this time). According to the posting we would be doing 5k time trials. Brilliant, the last time we had done this I had crashed and burned half way through, far too quickly out of the blocks.

Subsequently I had finished in about 25 minutes, a gasping wheezing wreck.

Well that wasn’t about to happen again. This time I would pace it a bit more.

5k time trial

Before the run I did my usual stretches and took on some water.

We headed out, a mile or so run down to the park where we would be starting the time trials. I kept at the back, a steady jog to try and conserve some energy.

I knew the route of the trials, 2 laps starting along the riverside, over the bridge, back down through Chelmsford University, cut back through the side road, over another bridge – and repeat.

It was a nice, flat run, and good for setting decent times.

My time trial

I started off quickly and was kicking myself inside, I knew I’d do that, I wanted a slower pace to start and then increase and push for the last half mile. I was running under 8 minute mile pace.

I kept going, breathing hard but maintaining the pace. I looked at my GPS, a quick few calculations, I could beat 24 minutes at this rate.

I ploughed on, I slowed a little but nothing major. I came over the second bridge and headed for lap two, still feeling ok, still breathing hard, but all the while pushing hard. I had the 24 minute target in my head.

Half way around the second lap I could feel myself slowing, perhaps I hadn’t quite paced this out correctly.

A left turn after the Uni, across the bridge and then turn right, the last 100 yards or so to the finish line, where 80% of the rest had already finished. I stopped my watch 23m:59s….

Here’s my 5k time trial PB

Wednesday 20th June 2012 – running a faster 5K

A quick 5K

This morning when I woke up I only had one objective.

That was running a faster 5K than I had ever run.

I’ve not done this for a while, the whole “I’ve got to beat my previous time” lark. In fact the the other week at running club when we did the 5K time trials was the last time I actually tried to run 5K as quick as I could, this morning I would attempt to beat my fastest time of 23 minutes and 53 seconds ,and that was probably 8 months ago, maybe longer.

Running a faster 5K

From the moment the GPS connected with the satellites (finally…) and I pressed start I ran at a pace I thought I could maintain for 25 minutes (this should be long enough for me to complete the 5K).

My aim was a pace of 7 minutes 40 seconds per mile. I started off OK, and the first mile was 7m 15s. I tried not to ease off, but I think I over egged it a bit again, the second mule was a bit slower at 7m 25s.

Too fast too quick

Annoyingly I dropped down to 7m 48s or the 3rd mile, I just wish that was how I had started the first mile, perhaps it would of been easier. Although to be fair, the splits were a lot closer than I thought they would be.

With more practice I will be able to maintain a pace, and hopefully get my 5K time down to 22 minutes.

For now though I had achieved my goal of running a faster 5K and clocked a time of 23 minutes 10 seconds – I was very happy.

My quickest 5K so far is here!

Saturday 9th June 2012 – Short run day before race

The Southend Half Marathon

Tomorrow I will be taking part in the Southend Half Marathon. I’m very much looking forward to it. I have completed 13 plus miles on numerous occasions so in theory I should do OK, but then again…the best laid plans and all that!!

My friend Rob arrived yesterday, he was due to run the race with me, along with Crispy, but due to an injury he has had to pull out, that hasn’t stopped him coming down and showing some support, a very typical selfless gesture of Rob to travel 180 miles to cheer a mate on!!

Although Rob had an injury and had hardly been out for a run over the past several weeks, we had arranged to go out for a short run day before race.

A steady 5K

Seeing as Rob hadn’t run for a while and I didn’t want to waste too much energy we just went out for a simple, steady 5K run, no hills, no pressure, no messing about, just a nice gentle run.

And to be honest it was really nice not to be competing with myself, not to be checking the watch all the time for pace, we settled at around the 9:00 min mile pace and chatted and joked our way around the route.

Getting something from it

Rob was happy with the run, he didn’t have any niggles and had managed to get through it unscathed, I had relieved a bit of tension and nervous energy that had been building up, and felt pretty good and relaxed now about the big one tomorrow!

Here’s the run!

Thursday 24th May 2012 – 5K time trials

British summertime

We had a good few days of lovely warm weather. I am not sure how long it is going to last, but it’s hot, people are happier (unless they are stuck in traffic or stuck on a packed train on the underground), the flowers are well in blossom, and everywhere around here is getting greener by the day.

This will probably be the only week or so of really good weather this year, so we should make the most of it. Although some of us will still be moaning because it is too hot.

5K time trials.

This was my second week at the running club, I had been looking forward to going all day. Having checked out the website earlier in the week, I noted that there would be 5K time trials this week.

5K? Simple. I had ran than time and time again. 5K time trials? I guessed that was a race. Run it as fast as you can…right?

I wasn’t overly concerned, I had ran 5K in under 24 minutes before, I thought that if I pushed myself I would be able to do it again.

We met at the club house and ran a mile or so to the parkland behind Chelmsford University. The 30 or so of us lined up, listened to directions of the route we were going to take. Two laps, along the river, under the underpass, keep on going, turn right, over the bridge, left again along the back of the Avenues, through the University car park, around the front of the University, around the back of what looked like the food hall, over the bridge on the left hand side, turn left for lap two.

Too fast too soon

As always, I got over cocky and over-confident, thinking I was going to breeze it. The competitive side of me came out instead of the sensible side.  I ran off at such a pace that when the app belted out my time at the first mile, it was it was 6 mins 57 secs. Probably the fastest first mile I had ever run. Foolishly I hadn’t taken into account the wonderfully warm evening, it must of been about 18-20 degrees, and it was humid, that didn’t help with my running. Not one little tiny bit!

No surprise then that my second mile was a lot slower at 7 mins 54 secs and the third mile was 8 mins 15 secs. I was properly shagged. I need to learn ‘less haste more speed’ theory a little more.

I may have worn myself out too quickly but I was happy to finish in 24 mins 45 secs, not last by any means but the first few to finish did it about 5 or 6 minutes quicker than me…that was quick!

I’ve set myself a marker now, and will be aiming to get under 24 minutes (in a sensible manner) next time. One day I want to get to 20 minutes. I bit more practice me thinks!

So, once we had all finished, and got our breath back, we all ran back to the clubhouse, a nice gentle up hill mile long run. Lovely.

Here’s the route and time.

Monday 7th May 2012 – Silence is golden

A gentle run

I had the whole day to myself today, initially I had planned to go out and run. To run wherever my legs took me and for as long as I could, perhaps I could of completed between 18 and 20 miles today. This was not going to happen.

My aim was to eke out a gentle 5k. I probably should have rested totally today but I had to run. If I don’t get out for run I feel agitated and narky, I get the same feeling when I’m hungry lol.

I’d ran over 20 miles the past two days, so over doing it today wouldn’t be a great idea. Plus my Virtual Running Partner, Rob Cameron (my mate and trainer / adviser who I am running the 2012 Amsterdam Marathon with) advised me not to run at all considering the last two days running distances.

He’s the boss!!

Silence is golden

Sometimes I am such an idiot.

I should of covered the blisters with some form of protection. I clean forgot. By the time I was half a mile up the road my right foot was throbbing, I should of stopped and turned around and walked the half mile back home, but no, clever me kept on going.

The numbness kicked in after a mile or so.

And besides I had other things to distract me, like my breathing and my footsteps. I could hear them clear as a bell. This may not sound odd to you, but it was quite new to me. I was out running without music. Without my iPhone. The iPhone was being repaired (cracked casing – common fault apparently).

This was probably a good thing, as the forth coming 10 mile race in 2 weeks in Great Baddow was a street race, and due to health and safety rules, iPods or other forms of music players with ear phones were not allowed. So to get out and run a few miles without music was all good preparation for that.

It was a little odd at first without the music, but what I really missed was not hearing the running app announce my pace and distance at each mile interval. I had to manually update my workout on the laptop when I got back, thankfully I’d worn a stopwatch to record my time.

A good time

I completed the 3.5 miles in about half an hour, my blisters were a mess again. I’m not going to run for a couple of days now. They need to heal a bit before I try to wreck them again.

Here’s the run.

Tuesday 17th April 2012 – Upping the ante.

Back in business

I was up and out early this morning, I had some miles to clock up.

I’d thought about doing a quick 5K, but seeing as I have an impending 10 mile race at the end of May, a half marathon mid June and a full marathon to run in October, plus what other runs that I can find that takes my fancy – I needed to do some marathon training, so I thought it best to try to run a little longer.

Practice makes perfect.

So I aimed for 5 – 6 miles. This is a manageable distance to complete before work, normally takes me about 40-45 minutes.

I also need to work on maintaining a good pace. Looking back at recent long runs of 12 – 15 miles, I average around 8m30s – 9m miles, I would like to get nearer the 8m30s miles and keep that as a constant. This pace would ensure I finish races in a respectable time. I need to get some more practice in.

Changing things up a bit.

Also this week I am going to do somethings a little differently;

  • take water with me to drink on the short runs (I don’t normally take anything with me on 3-5 mile runs. I am hoping more liquid intake may help with performance and recovery.
  • wear more layers – I always go out in a short sleeve running top and shorts. I want to see if layers affect my running performance.
  • Run Tuesday 5-6 miles, rest Wednesday, run Thursday 5-6 miles, rest Friday, long run Saturday 13-15 miles, run Sunday 3-5 miles.
My target is 25 – 30 miles per week, with the intention of slowly increasing to  35 – 40 miles per week within about 4 to 6 weeks, this should help towards my marathon training greatly.

Saturday 14th April 2012 – Breaking barriers

The weekend has landed.

Saturday again. I’ve had a busy week.

I missed my Tuesday and Wednesday runs, a slight chest infection and a trip to Paris scuppered those, and seeing as it was a short week due to Bank Holidays I am a day or two behind.

I have been planning my run all week, 15 miles was the target distance, no targeted time, I just wanted to be able to complete the 15 miles. This time though I was not going to run along the river so far, I think that was one of the reasons my legs and body felt broken after the last long run. So today I was only going to run a mile or two along the river.

As my running partner and great mate Rob Cameron says, “I need to get some miles under my belt” especially seeing as I have now entered the Amsterdam Marathon 2012.

Ideal conditions

I woke up full of enthusiasm and raring to get out and hit the road, I couldn’t of asked for better running conditions, it was slightly chilly, the sun hadn’t been up all that long, the roads were quiet…ideal!!

A mile and a half in and I was struggling, not just physically but mentally too, my legs weren’t sure what my brain was telling them, and my brain had no idea what the hell my legs and arms or the rest of my body was doing. I was determined to keep going though, I wanted to run. I needed to run.

Panic over.

I needn’t have worried, I soon got back into the swing of things, my stride and pace re-appeared and I was settling back into things nicely.

I detoured left at about 4.5 miles and headed on a steady mile or so decent towards the river. After the previous battering on the hard clay tow path a week or so ago, I was pleased to see that the recent rain had softened the ground, muddy in patches, but easier to run on, I headed towards Chelmsford town center for a mile or so, before heading back up towards Springfield.

A slight detour to elongate the route, and add a bit more distance and different scenery took me round in a loop and back on to the main road. It’s good to add new surroundings to a route.

Breaking another barrier

At mile 10 I was miles from home still, barely coming into Springfield, a quick route calculation meant I was sure to break the 15 mile barrier, this put a spring in my step, my legs were beginning to feel stiff and on auto pilot, I upped it a notch, got my head down and ran.

I broke the 13 mile barrier well over 2 miles from home.

Finally passing the 15 mile mark I was done. My legs just stopped, I was quarter of a mile from home. I walked the rest of the way home, happy. Aching like mad, but happy.

This is my longest run to date