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.

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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 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!

Marathon Training Plan – Week 1

Marathon training plan – week 1

Monday 9th july 2012

Thankfully today was a rest day, which I needed after the Felsted 10k yesterday. My legs were aching a bit, and the last thing I needed was to be getting up early.

Tuesday 10th july 2012

Today’s run was 30 mins easy run, so I figured a 3-4 mile simple pace around the village, I was up bright and early and keen to get the marathon training plan underway.

The run was ok, nothing too strenuous, I managed to complete the run in 30mins 11 seconds. Rest day tomorrow.

Here’s today’s training run.

wednesday 11th july 2012

Another rest day. I could get used to these – although this is the only week with 3 rest days in. It’s a tough slog from here on in!

thursday 12th july 2012

Today was down to be a 40 mins steady pace run. I figured what ever I did at running club would equal or better that.

And it did.

Here’s today’s training run.

friday 13th july 2012

Another fantastic rest day.

saturday 14th july 2012

Run for 30 minutes. According to my marathon training plan, that was all I had to do today.

I did the same route as Tuesday, nice, simple and steady.

Here’s today’s run.

sunday 15th july 2012

According to the marathon training plan I had to do a long run today, to the tune of 6 miles. I decided I would do the Utling run, a quiet country lane route around the back roads between villages, and a couple of stonking hills in there for good measure.

A cracking time of 52 minutes, I was very pleased with it, it’s a brilliant route and a good one for me to test my 10k times on.

Here’s today’s run.

Felsted 10K 2012

The Felsted 10K 2012

Today I would be running the Felsted 10K 2012, I have never ran this race before, all I know is where it was, that it wasn’t cut off from traffic 100%, the course said it was flat and slightly undulating, so I could expect small hills, nothing major.

Oh and I also knew that it had been raining continuously for a good week now, and it was still raining today. This wasn’t a bad thing, I would much rather be running in the rain than in the scorching sunshine (see Southend Half Marathon).

I also knew that I had ran 10k at least 100 times, albeit the majority of those runs were not a race but pounding the streets on my own. I wasn’t particularly worried, I thought it would be a fantastic race, my main concern was for Crispy, he was running it with me, and it was only his second proper race, the first was obviously Southend Half Marathon. The Felsted 10k 2012 would be his first race at this distance, and on this terrain.

Although, he was competent enough to run 10k, and had done so on numerous occasions.

Before the start

I picked Crispy up with plenty of time to get there, assess the situation, warm up and be relaxed for when the race started. We arrived and were guided into a field to park the car, a quick change, consume a quick banana with some water and then walk up to the start.

Plenty of people were milling about and nattering, others were preparing themselves (some taking it a little too seriously in my opinion), we chatted with a few people we knew and then did a bit of a run to warm up as well as some stretches.

At 2 minutes to 11:00 everyone was behind the race car and ready to go.

“What’s the race plan then Westy?” Crispy asked me, I replied with “take it easy for the first couple of miles and then maybe pick up the pace a little, strong finish!” Thumbs up from Crispy.

When the starter went off, we all surged forward, everyone jockeying for space and to settle into their own stride and pace. Crispy and I surged on, darting in between other racers, working our way through the field.

When will I learn?

After about 4 or 5 minutes I found myself running along on my own, Crispy was no where around me. Where was he? What had gone wrong? A quick glance at the GPS told me I was running at just over 7:00 mins per mile. Shit!! I’d done it again, set off far too fast, I slowed down to just over 8 mins per mile.

Crispy caught me up, “Did you have a birth plan for either of your two kids?”   The question threw me a bit “No” I replied, “They both came too early for us to put any plans in place” (one was 8 weeks early, the other was 5 weeks early). “That explains why you went tearing off then!”

We ran side by side for a bit, but I’d knackered myself by setting off way to fast, Crispy gradually eked away from me, my legs felt like lead. I was running slower and slower, I ran steadily at about 8 mins 30 secs per mile.

Perhaps I shouldn’t of ran 10k yesterday, perhaps I was over doing it lately, who knew? All I knew was I was 2.5 miles into 6 and hating myself for running off too quickly. My mind raced with calculations, I wanted to finish between 50 and 55 minutes and in the top half of all racers. I’d be surprised if that happened at all today.

Hindsight and all that…

The Felsted 10k 2012 was not the race I had hoped it would have been for me. Crispy on the other hand had a blinder! He finished in 46 minutes, I was very pleased for him, I on the other hand finished in 50 minutes, OK so I had beaten my 10k PB by 3 minutes, but I was not happy about the way I had started.

I need to learn to start a lot slower.

Here’s the course and my splits.

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

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

Thursday 28th June 2012 – multi terrain running

A cunning plan

Whilst driving to work today I was thinking about tomorrow morning. Already thinking ahead. The reason for this was I would be riding my bicycle to work (I would be using a company car over the weekend – unable to drive two cars home), the plan would be to put the bike in the boot for the journey home.

So anyway, this got me thinking, why not ride my bike to the running club tonight, complete the run / route and then ride the bike home. Simples. It was four miles from home to the running club. That was manageable right?

I’d forgotten one thing

I was looking forward to tonight’s mini endurance test. Like the fool that I am.

To be honest the ride to the club wasn’t too bad, it took me just over 20 minutes to get there. That was the easy part. I had failed to do one thing today, and that was to check which route we would be running is evening at the club. The route is always posted on the website on the day, this was something I had totally over looked.

It turned out the route wasn’t a simple 5 miler, along tarmac covered pathways, nope, this was partly along pathways, but mainly running along the river bank, through fields, and around fields for about 8.5 miles.

The run was far from easy, I struggle running through fields, I struggle with the uneven surface and nigh on running one foot inline with the other…and hoping the person in front of you doesn’t go for a burton.

Back on my bike

It was tough but enjoyable. I managed to run it in 1 hour 15 minutes, not bad considering the multi terrain running challenge.

So once we were back at the running club HQ it time for stretch and then back on my bike for the four mile ride home. Perhaps a little slower than the ride to the club, and a little more up hill.

In had ridden 8 miles and ran 8.5 miles. I was knackered..but buzzing..!

This is the run.

Running though the fields.

Tuesday 26th June 2012 – Taking it easy

Making the wrong decision

When I woke up this morning and turned my alarm off, I had that “can’t be arsed” feeling, I was tired and in no mood to haul my ass out of bed, even though the sun was shining through the window and it looked like it was going to be a lovely day.

I decided there and then to stay in bed and get an extra hour sleep, or at least try to.

This, as it happened, turned out to be very much the wrong decision to make, for the rest of the day I had the hump. I was annoyed with myself for not getting up and going for a run. A run wakes me up and sets me up for the day…I know that, yet felt it would be better to stay in bed.

Making the right decision

I stewed all day. I regretted not running this morning. I was snappy with people when I could be bothered to speak to anyone.

I didn’t like it. I decided to go for a run this evening instead, and to make up for being such a lazy arsed git this morning I’d run 10k instead of the 5k I was going to run. I’d managed to cheer myself up a bit, and was now looking forward to a nice steady run on a summers evening. Assuming the rain holds off, I’d be able to get a good pace going and be taking it easy, nothing too manic.

Slow and steady

So once the boys were bathed and in bed, and wifey was settling down to read them stories with Gruffalos and diggers, I was throwing my running kit on and heading out.

I’d planned a simple, slightly undulated route that took me around the village and headed over the A12 down passed the BMW dealership, up to the Sainsbury’s roundabout and then head back over the A12 and the 2 mile straight through the village home again.

The temperature was nice, the roads weren’t too busy, and I soon settled into a good stride and pace. I wanted to take it steady and try to maintain an even pace throughout. I needed to work on this in preparation for the half marathon and marathon I had entered.

Happy again

I ran just over 10k (6.65 miles), in just over an hour. Not a record breaking run by any means, but I had managed to run steadily. I was happy again.

Taking it easy.

Saturday 23rd June 2012 – New routes

A new route

With boredom comes complacency.

I’ve been running the same router variables of it for ages now. Sometimes adding a bit, sometimes running a little less. New routes are needed.

Today was time for a change. It’s Saturday so that’s long run day, minimum of 10 miles required for today.

I had planned a new route along county lanes in peace and quiet (for the most part anyway).

The early bird and all that

I woke up earlier than expected this morning, I was up and about, running kit on and doing stretches way before our cockerel had even thought of addressing the world with his cocka doodle doo.

I had a new route to try out. Out the door and raring to go (waited a while for the bloody satellites to align with the GPS), a sprightly chirp from the watch meant we were all ready to go.

The route took me along the main road into Boreham, I turned left at The 6 Bells, down Plantation Road, left again at the end of the road onto Church Road, and down hill for a few hundred yards towards the river. Over the bridge and beyond…

Running alone

This was new running territory to me, I’d ran as fas as the bridge before and then ran alongside the river. I’d just passed the 2 mile marker before the bridge, and I knew that at the end of this road was a roundabout at junction 18 of the A12.

This was the back route. This was the scenic route. This was lovely.

I was running along the road, listening to the semi hypnotic sound of my footsteps hitting the Tarmac and the steady rhythm of my breathing. A tapping noise to my right caught my attention, there about 50 yards away clinging to a tree was a woodpecker, merrily pecking away.

The road was quite flight, a few very slight hills which were only 100 or so yards long, enough to make me breath and push a bit harder. I reached the roundabout at about 4.5 miles, ran around it (keeping to the verges) over the A12 and then back on myself, heading back along the country lane, retracing my steps back towards the river and the bridge…and then the hill.

I reached the bridge and stopped for a few seconds as I took an energy gel and washed it down, preparing myself for this new never before challenged hill. I took a steady run up and tried to maintain my pace as I conquered the winding hill step by step. This was so much easier on the way down…

Back through the village

At the top of the hill the road bends round to the left, I could of gone right, back up Plantation Road, but kept running ahead, past the church and up towards the main road where I turned right.

I felt great, the fresh morning air filling my lungs, the peace and tranquility and all at a good pace. I turned right onto the main road, about a mile and a half to go. I took a cheeky left at The Cock Inn and ran up and over the bridge across the A12 and back to the main road – nice to work the legs a bit before the final half mile home.

I managed to complete 10.1 miles in about 1 hour 27 minutes. Happy and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Here’s the route and the splits