Target 2:50:00 – Week 9 (27th February to 5th March)

Week 9 and I was hoping to get back into the 100-mile range. However, I missed a couple of runs and was just a little short of a couple of others, therefore, topped out at 86 as follows:

Week 9 – 86.2MI (11H 7M)

Monday
AM: 6mi easy

Tuesday
AM: 5mi easy
PM: 9.6mi (3.5mi warm-up + 3 mi speed work + 3mi cool down)

Wednesday
PM: 15mi LSR

Thursday
AM: 6mi easy
PM: 10.3mi – strength workout: 4 x 1 mile @ 6:20 off 0.5 (plus 3 warm-up and 2ish cool down)

Friday
PM: 8 mi easy

Saturday
AM: 14.6 mi hard (race, sort of)

Sunday
AM: 11.5 mi easy

I cut Monday short as my legs were still beat up unsurprisingly from the race the day before. Tuesday then would be my first hard session and I chose to keep it short and do the clubs 3-mile speed session (3 x 1200m, 1x 800m and 1 x 400m). Not a bad session but just over 50 seconds slower for the reps in total shows the legs weren’t entirely recovered. It also didn’t help that there were only 5 runners that turned up.

Thankfully the legs had recovered somewhat for Thursday strength workout evening finishing in 6:09 for the last rep. I chose to stick to 4 reps and keep the overall volume low as I’d be running the short loop of the Golden Fleece Circuit.

After an easy Friday, Saturday rolled around and it would be an early start for the Golden Fleece circuit. It’s not really a race but I think a few at the pointy end treat it as such. Hard work but getting on for 20 minutes quicker than last year (what a difference an extra 400+ miles by this point in the year makes) therefore second place in 1:44:01 behind me old mucker Danny W.

Target 2:50:00 – Week 7 (13th to 20th February)

Hull parkrun # 366 - 17/02/2017

I’ll let myself of being short of 100 by only 1.8 miles as it was an epic week of training as follows:

Week 7 – 98.2MI (12H 17M)

Monday
PM: 9.8mi – Base Mileage

Tuesday
AM: 6mi – Base Mileage
PM: 9.7mi – 3mi speed plus warm-up and cool down

Wednesday
AM: 6mi – Base Mileage
PM: 14mi – Midweek LSR

Thursday
PM: 18.4mi – Strength: 5 x 2 miles @ 6:20 per mile with 0.5 recovery plus 3 up and down

Friday
AM: 5mi – Recovery

Saturday
AM: 7.5mi – Parkrun – 3mi warm-up + 3.1mi parkrun + 1.5mi cool down

Sunday
AM: 21.2mi – Long Run

The first key session of the was Tuesday’s speed work with the club. After an extended warm-up it was 3 x 1200m, 1 x 800m and 1 x 400. I averaged my fasted ever time of 5:21 per mile for the session which shows the training is working plus I even managed to get quicker as the reps got shorted. Sometimes I struggle with the middle 800m.

Round the houses, Thursday’s Epic Run Route

Wednesday was all about volume as usual before Thursday monstrous strength workout. Most of the 2-mile reps were there or thereabouts, just a little slow for the last two, although the wind didn’t help. Just over 18 miles for a workout isn’t to be sniffed at.

Friday I dropped to a single session to try and recover before Saturday as I wanted to test myself at Parkrun.

Hull parkrun # 366 - 17/02/2017
Working hard and dodgy form in the last half of mile

Come Saturday and I really wasn’t sure how the legs would hold up. I know I’m in reasonable shape therefore if they were fresh then I should be able to get a good time. I went with the leading runners (bar 1 who was way off the front). 5:45 for the first mile and it didn’t feel as bad as it could. Slower for the next two plus avoiding traffic in the third but came away with an 18:05 for a parkrun PB and my fastest average pace for a “race”. Then only downsides are being outsprinted at the end by a club mate and not breaking 18:00. However, it’s fuel for another day.

For Sunday I had rather foolishly scheduled a fast long run. In the end, I went out with some of the boys so my plan went out the window. Probably for the best as I was shattered and couldn’t have held 6:30 for 16 miles. Nobody else wanted to run really fast so we settled into around 6:45, I averaged 6:48 but I did fall off the back towards the end and could have been dropped at any point if they had wanted to speed up. I can’t be entirely disappointed with the run as considering my week’s mileage, what I had done in the second half of the week then I know there is a lot more in the tank.

Overall a really good week. Next week I have Snake Lane 10 therefore I’ll be front-loading the week and sticking to two hard sessions for the week.

Target 2:50:00 – Week 6 (6th to 12th February)

Another solid week of training and racing. Again it’s not 100 miles but still just over 90.

Week 6 – 91.2MI (11H 47M)

Monday
Rest Day!

Tuesday
AM: 6mi – Base Mileage
PM: 11.6mi – Tempo ten with club plus short warm-up and cool down

Wednesday
AM: 5mi – Base Mileage
PM: 12mi – Base Mileage

Thursday
PM: 8.7mi – 6 x 1k plus warm-up and cool down

Friday
AM: 5.1mi – Base Mileage
PM: 9mi – Base Mileage

Saturday
AM: 13mi – 7mi Winter League race plus warm-up

Sunday
AM: 20.5mi LSR

In the end, Monday became an unplanned rest day. Seeing as I hadn’t had one since Christmas Day, I’ll let myself off.

That meant going into Tuesday’s tempo I was much fresher than normal (particularly after an easy Sunday the previous week). I ran with the club and in all fairness was a little slower than I would have liked, ideally closer to 6:30 average. However, it was good to feel so comfortable running a 6:44 average for 10 miles.

Due to family commitments Thursday I drove to work and then stopped by the track on the way home for a quick session as I had to be back at 7 pm. After a decent warm-up, it was 6 x 1k reps targeting 3:30 per km, splits of 3:31, 3:31, 3:32. 3:32, 3:29 and 3:29 off a 400m recovery. Pretty pleased with those splits and considering I was being snowed on at one point.

Another reason for keeping Thursday’s session short was my club’s Winter League on the Saturday. I’ll have a full report shortly but another strong winter league showing placing 2nd on actual time. Admittedly it wasn’t a stacked field with only 52 runners but hey you can only race who is there.

Sunday’s long run was a real tester, not only was it a proper LSR aiming to run around 8-minute mile pace (sometimes I find longer runs challenging mentally just because I’m out there for a long time), the weather was the worse it’s been for a long time. However, it could be like that race day and I got through it. The best thing was how comfortable the pace felt and if need be I could have run further (although my hands may have a different opinion).

Target 2:50:00 – Week 5 (30th January to 5th February)

After the high of last weeks Ferriby 10 and the welcome relief of a lower mileage week it was back to the grind this week.

Week 5 – 90.9MI (12H 14M)

Monday
AM: 9mi Easy (Commute)

Tuesday
AM: 11.7mi – Strength: 3 x 2 mile @ 6:20 plus 3 warm up + cool down

Wednesday
AM: 5.8mi – Base mileage
PM: 12mi – Midweek LSR

Thursday
PM: 11.4mi – Base mileage

Friday
AM: 9.1mi – Base mileage
PM: 5mi – Base mileage

Saturday
AM: 18.5mi – Fast long – 3 x 3 mi, 1 x 2 mi @ MP with 1 mi recovery with 3 mi warm-up plus cool down

Sunday
AM: 8.1mi – Base Mileage

As usual, the first key session of the week was Tuesday. After the previous weekend’s race, I took it easy Monday and due to having a class post work on Tuesday I attempted a strength session on the morning. 3 x 2-mile first thing with a decent headwind was never going to be pretty and that’s how it transpired. Of course, 1 bad session doesn’t matter and it was still a decent 12-mile session.

The rest of the week ended up being base mileage. I had planned to do hills on Thursday but to save time I ran home from work and with one eye on Saturdays long fast run kept it steady.

As we were off away for the weekend I made sure I got out the door relatively early Saturday, this time for a fast long run. I didn’t like the idea of doing tempo/MP pace for 12 to 16 miles therefore instead did a long strength workout. The 3-mile reps went well with only the first 3 slightly off the pace. The final quick two were added in last minute as the run was still on the short side even with a cool down.

Overall I may not have hit triple digits for the week, however, 90 miles is still a good amount particularly after a hard race the week before and being away the Saturday and Sunday night at the end of the week.

Target 2:50:00 – Week 4 (23rd to 29th January)

A reduced mileage week with my eye on the weekend’s 10-mile road race. The aim would be to do approx. 75 miles and I only came up half a mile short so I can live with that:

Week 4 (23rd to 29th January)

Monday
AM: 6mi recovery

Tuesday
PM: 8.5mi easy

Wednesday
PM: 11.5mi – Strength: 4 x 1mile with 0.25 recovery + 3 warm-up + 2.5 cool down

Thursday
AM: 4.4mi Recovery XC
PM: 8.3mi – Base mileage

Friday
AM: 7.5mi – Base mileage XC
PM: 9.1mi – Speed: 4 x 1k, 5 x 200m off 400m recovery plus warm up and cool down

Saturday
PM: 5mi – very easy pre-race day

Sunday
AM: 13.9mi – 10mi race plus warm up and cool down

The first key session after I had recovered from previous weeks fast long run was on Wednesday. A shorter strength session easily managing well under 6:20 per mile. All the miles are starting to pay off.

By Friday I was a little short of miles, ideally, I would have done a lower overall total but I did keep the reps fairly short and only 3 miles for the hard part. The target time of 3:30 per kilometre and 35 seconds per 200m rep. I was a little slow but not by much so I’ll take that. Plus with only two days to race day, I didn’t want to overdo it.

Come race day and I felt pretty sluggish. I won’t go into too much detail as I’ll have a full report but to summarise, a 10 mile PB by almost 3 minutes says it all.

Next week back to the 100-mile week, oh joy

Target 2:50:00 – Week 3 (16th to 22nd January)

Back to back 100-mile weeks, 6/7 years ago when I started training I never dreamed I’d be writing that. So without further ado here’s the training:

Week 3 – 106.7mi (13H 41M)

Target 2:50:00 - Week 3 (16th to 22nd January)

Monday
AM: Recovery: Easy 4
PM: 14mi – Strength workout – 2 x 4mi with 0.5mi recovery plus 3mi warm-up and 2’ish cooldown

Tuesday
PM: 10mi easy (but felt shocking) to work

Wednesday
AM: 3.9mi Easy XC
PM: 13.4mi midweek LSR

Thursday
AM: 6mi Recovery XC
PM: 12.2mi – EHH Hills workout – 15 minutes, rest, 10minutes, rest, 5 minutes

Friday
AM: 6.5mi Easy
PM: 6.2mi Easy

Saturday
PM: 10.2mi – Clubs XC Pack Run

Sunday
AM: 20mi – 3mi up + 15mi @ MP pace (6:30 per mile) + 2 mi cool down

After the previous week’s long run I expected the Monday strength session to be hard work. Obviously it was but actually felt pretty good which is reassuring.

The next key session was the hills workout. This is a club session with whoever turns up running up and down one side of a flyover in East Hull. Each loop is about 0.25 miles. I hadn’t done this session since the start of December and I could tell my fitness as improved massively. The 15minute section wasn’t much faster but felt more comfortable and the other two sections were much faster.

After that a couple of easy sessions before the mammoth LSR @ MP pace (or I should say hopeful MP pace). I can’t argue with 15 miles at 6:28 average, 2 seconds under MP pace. Yes it was hard and I couldn’t have done that much more but I won’t be doing 100 miles marathon week and the 5 loop I used is fairly rolling, technical with lots of divots etc. A nice smooth road will make a massive difference.

Next week is a recovery week with reduced mileage. I’ll do a couple of recovery weeks to coincide with races. This one is the Ferriby 10 (report to follow).

Target 2:50:00 – Week 2 (9th to 15th January)

Wow, my first ever 100-mile week (and by the way first over 85). And it felt surprisingly OK on most of my runs.

Training Log: Week 2 (9th to 15th January)

Week 2 (9th to 15th January):

Monday
PM: 13.4mi (3.2mi warm up + 8mi cut down starting at 7:10 and taking 10 seconds a mile off each mile + 2.2mi cool down)

Tuesday
AM: Easy 10.2mi commute to work

Wednesday
AM: 6.2mi Recovery XC
PM: 13mi Midweek LSR

Thursday
AM: 3mi recovery XC (as getting the bus to work)
PM: 12.4mi – 6 x 1mi @ 6:20 with 0.25 recovery (plus 3mi warm up and cool down)

Friday
AM: 5mi slightly snowy half run, half bus to work
PM: 6mi steady

Saturday
AM: 4.2mi Recovery XC
PM: 10.8mi – 8 mi Club Cross Country Champs 2016/2017 + 2mi warm up + 1 mi cool down

Sunday
AM: 16mi LSR

The key sessions are Monday’s cut-down, Thursdays mile repeats and the club championship race.

After a fairly light weekend due to the 5k race and being away Mondays cut-down felt surprisingly good. However, I still didn’t quite hit 6-minute mile pace at the end. As a side note, the run to work Tuesday felt shocking as usual. I was hoping to do closer to 12 miles but I couldn’t get much under 9-minute mile pace.

Wednesdays were all very much run of the mill therefore onto Thursday. The mile reps were done running back from work. They felt pretty hard and dodging pedestrians, dog walkers, traffic always adds to the difficulty. Happy to hit the 6:20 pace even if they were harder than I’d like.

Onto Saturday the clubs cross country was a war of attrition, to say the least. Anyway I’ll have a full report on the race on the blog, therefore, I hung in there and for cross country posted a fairly decent time of 53:18

Sunday was a good gentle run with a couple of club mates. Legs were pretty heavy but after a massive week, it was good to get another one in the bank.

Week 3 is another 100-mile week and no races.

Target 2:50:00 – Week 1 (2nd to 8th January)

Before I get into the training lets back up slightly. 2017 will be a year of transition for me with my partner expecting our first child.

Talking of which the due date is the end of March and the target is Manchester Marathon, which for those that don’t know is on the 2nd April, eeeek.

There is a plan B as I’m also in London, I’m still hopeful that I can do Manchester as I believe it’s a faster course. Many of my club mates have done it and got some good times (inc. when it was the right length!).

Whatever happens, I’ll be getting the miles in and will do a very short sharp taper, allowing me to increase the mileage if baby arrives beginning of April and I do end up missing Manchester.

From the start of January, I plan to do 1000 miles (or more) in the lead up to the marathon. One of club stalwarts said he always did that in the lead up to London and with a marathon time of around 2hour 45, who am I to argue. Each week would consist of:

  • two long runs – one at the weekend and one midweek with the weekend one being longer. Also, I’d look to do a long fast run at marathon pace every 2 to 2 weeks
  • strength workout, for example of repetitions 3 x 2 miles, 2 x 4 miles
  • tempo/threshold run of anything from 6 to 10 miles or maybe more (see long runs above)
  • And then lots of easy runs on the road and cross country

Of course, that isn’t set in stone and I will do shorter speed work, hills and the occasional Parkrun and race. Anyway without further ado onto the training:

Week 1 – 79.4 MI (10H 42M)

Training Log - Week 1 (2nd to 8th January)

Monday
AM: Easy 7 mi
PM: Easy 6 mi

Tuesday
AM: Recovery 3.7 mi
PM: 10.5 mi inc. 4.1 mi warm up + 5 x 800m, 2 x 400m + 3.4 mi cool down

Wednesday
AM: Easy 9 mi (commute)
PM: Easy 6 mi

Thursday
PM: 14.3 mi midweek LSR

Friday
AM: Easy 6.6 mi – Holyrood Park Recce as racing the 5k the next day

Saturday
AM: Raceday – 2.5 mi warm up + 3.1 mi race + 1 mi cool down

Sunday
PM: Easy/Recovery 9 mi

The target for the week was 90+ miles, however, with a Cleethorpes New Years Day 10k race on Sunday 1st plus the Great Winter Run 5k (while on vacation), it was always going to be hard to get the miles therefore 2 good races in 7 days, speed work and a midweek long run I have got to be happy. One final thing I should add is that after a couple of weeks off at the start of November I was averaging 70+ miles coming into the start of the year. And covered over 2500 coming into 2017, therefore, I had a strong base before trying to do even greater mileage for this block of marathon training.

Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 9)?

The start of a two week taper period. This week reducing my mileage from just short of 80 to 50. Training as follows:

Week 9 – 49.3 mi ( 6h 13m)

  • Monday – PM:  Easy 5 mi
  • Tuesday – PM: 10.8 mi (0.7 mi warm up + 9.4 tempo + 0.6 mi cool down)
  • Wednesday – PM: 12.1 mi LSR
  • Thursday – Rest Day
  • Friday – AM: 11.3 (3 mi warm up + 5.9 mi – 8 x 800m with 400 m recovery + 2.3 mi cool down)
  • Saturday – Easy 10 (Norfolk)
  • Sunday – Rest Day

As it’s taper time I’m no longer doing double days. Only two key sessions this week and a midweek LSR but none at the weekend as keeping mileage down plus I was at a party on the Saturday and in Liverpool all day Thursday hence 2 rest days.

The Tuesday session was super tough but happy to do just short of 10 only 2 days after a race at an average pace of 6:30.

Fridays intervals were a little slow for each 800m and it was a tough one but as it was midday in the heat I was still happy with the session overall.

Next week is race week so fingers crossed I’m on form come Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 8)?

The second of two 80 mile weeks, just fell short due to two races in one week but still as a solid weeks 75.5 miles training. Training as follow:

Week 8 – 75.5 mi (9h 42m)

  • Monday – PM:  Easy 7.8 mi
  • Tuesday –
    • AM: Easy 5.7 mi XC
    • PM: 7.3 mi (2.2 warm up + 3.1 mi race + 1.9 cool down)
  • Wednesday –
    • AM: Easy 6 recovery run
    • PM: 14.7 LSR
  • Thursday –
    • AM: Easy 4.8
    • PM: 13.1 mi (2.1 mi warm up + 9 mi strength workout: 2 x 4 mi @ 6.30 pace with 1 mil+ 2 mi cool down)
  • Friday -Rest
  • Saturday – Easy 5 pre-race day
  • Sunday – 10.9 mi (1.5 mi pre loosener: 2 hours before + 2 mi warm up + 6.2 mi race + 1 mi cool down)

Several key session if you include the two races which if they aren’t target races then they are classed as very hard tempo efforts (although happy to get a pb or a good performance at least).

Tuesday was the return of the Phil Johnson 5k and after the last race I was confident with more training that I’d hopefully pb. That was the case and a 18:19 during heavy training is very pleasing.

Another big day Wednesday before Thursdays reps which this week was only 2 as they were 4 miles long. With the aid of some music it was very pleasing to be abe to stick to the 6.30 average pace and finish very strong.

A couple of easy days so I was at least a little tapered before the Hull 10k hence packing the miles in at the start of the week. I’d have loved a sub 38 and knew I shoudl be low 38 at the very least. On a twisty course (somebody said there was over 60 turns) and cobbles I was pleased with a 38:05 showing (of course a small part of me wished I’d have been 6 seconds faster).

2 weeks, 1 5k PB, a season’s best 10k (and second fastest ever) and over 150 miles means everything looks like it’s going in the right direction. Now two weeks to taper, next week is 50 miles before a very low week in the run up to the half.