Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 7)?

Back on track, I’m looking to do back to back 80 mile weeks. Training as follow:

Week 7 – 82.2 mi (10h 50m)

  • Monday –
    • AM: Easy 4 mi
    • PM:  Easy 10 mi
  • Tuesday –
    • AM: Easy 5 mi
    • PM: Easy 7.7 mi
  • Wednesday – PM: 12  (1.5 mi warm up + 10 mile race + 0.5 mi cool down)
  • Thursday – PM: 10.2 mi (4.2 mi warm up + 4.7 mi hill training + 1.3 mi cool down)
  • Friday -PM: Easy 12.2 mi
  • Saturday – PM: 16 mi LSR (3 mile warm up + 4 x convoluted loops of East park getting faster each loop + 3 mile cool down)
  • Sunday – PM: Easy 5 mi recovery

Week 7 saw the start of my two highest mileage weeks before I begin the taper. The start of the week was all about easy mileage with one eye on Wednesday’s race.

Talking of Wednesday it turned out to be a epic day which you can read about in my Otley 10 race report, to summarise I’m still chasing a 10 mile PB but happy with the race and experience despite traffic and a 18 hour day.

On Thursday for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to do my clubs hill training, probably because I’m not normally in Hull on a Thursday for the club’s session and because my wife was doing hills. Anyway I surprised myself by setting one of my best time for the first 15 minutes completing 9 reps in 14:35  – the really fast lads can do 10 therefore it gives me confidence that one day I might be able to crack 10 in 15 minutes. For the full session I covered 4.7 miles inside 25 minutes which isn’t too shabby even if I do say so myself.

The next key session was Saturday afternoons progressive LSR, after a short warm up, I did loops of our local park getting progressively faster for each loop and even doing a 6:20 mi at one point before a good cool down. The timing of the run and the loops wasn’t by chance but to replicate the 2.30pm start for my half marathon at Milton Keynes consisting of 3 and half loops of a park.

All in all a good week, another couple of them and I’ll be very happy with my form going into the race.





Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 6)?

This week was always going to be a rest week and with getting poorly the timing was perfect. However I did have two 10k races planned. Training as follow:

Week 6 – 50.1 mi (6h 24m)

  • Monday – Enforced rest
  • Tuesday – PM: 8.5 mi (1.8 mi warm up + 10k race + 0.4 mi cool)
  • Wednesday – AM: Easy 5 recovery run
  • Thursday – AM: Easy 6 pre work in Liverpool
  • Friday –
    • AM: Easy 4
    • PM: Easy 7.7
  • Saturday – PM: Easy 5 (pre race day)
  • Sunday –
    • AM: 11 mi (1.9 mi warm up + 10k race + 0.9 mi cool down)
    • PM: Easy 4.8 mi recovery run

Monday wasn’t supposed to be a rest day but after cutting previous days long run short I was substantially under the weather Monday therefore thought it was best to take a rest day rather than the 8 miles easy I had planned.

Summer Leagues returned on Tuesday with gale force winds forecast for the day. They never materialised however the wind was particularly prevalent for the first  3 miles. To say I was off form is an understement, finishing  in over 40 minutes – the full write up is available in my Leven 10k post.

After Tuesday I spent the rest of the week just getting the miles in. I was out in Liverpool Wednesday night anyway therefore training was always going to be curtailed somewhat.

Sunday was another 10k, this time Woodhall Spa 10k, I wasn’t feeling 100% but much better than I had at the start of the week. Hopefully I’d get a chance to redeem myself and set a better benchmark for the 10k. I wont go into too ,uch detail as you can read about it in my report. However a sub 39 showing was more like it.

Not my greatest week due to recovering from a cough, however a solid week in the end and looking forward to next weeks 80+ mile week.



Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 5)?

Just missed my target volume of 70 miles for the week, more on why later. First off here is this weeks training schedule:

Week 5 – 71 mi (8h 54m)

  • Monday – Easy  5.7 XC
  • Tuesday –
    • AM: Easy 4 mi For the
    • PM: 11.5 mi (10 tempo plus warm up and cool down)
  • Wednesday – 11 Midweek LSR
  • Thursday – Rest day
  • Friday –
    • AM: Easy 3.6
    • PM: Easy 10
  • Saturday – 12.5 /mi – 8 mile cutdown (2.8 /mi warm up + 8 miles starting at 7:20 and cutting down by 10 seconds every mile to finish on 6:10 + 1.5 /mi cool down)
  • Sunday – 6.8 /mi LSR – Cut short!

This week’s key sessions was Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. The week started off well with my tempo run completed in 65:08 which for 10 miles is pretty much race pace. Plus the session was on my own without any music in the cold, wind and wet. On a better day with company I reckon that will be under 65.

Saturday started well but I had started to develop a cough, however like all good runners I decided to ignore it. For the “cutdown” the first 5 miles was close to the correct pace. The last 3 miles was at parkrun therefore after a short break it was a case of ignoring whatever the prescribed pace was (6:30. 6:20, 6:10) and just go for it. As it turns out what should have been the fastest 3 miles of the session were anything but. I was feeling extremely fatigued and by the last mile I went down the gears and strolled in (but not into the finish as I didn’t want to register a slow’ish time). The splits below tell the story perfectly:

  • 07:15
  • 07:06
  • 06:56
  • 06:47
  • 06:49
  • 06:11
  • 06:21
  • 06:44

It wasn’t until Sunday’s LSR that the wheel reallys came off. The intention was to do 12 miles, however within a few miles I knew the legs weren’t just fatigued. In the end I did 6.8 averaging 8:44 and decided that rest and recovery would be better than trying to finish the session.

Thankfully the coming week is a lower mileage week giving me opportunity to recovery. The only stumbling block is I do have two 10ks, 1 of which is a Summer League on Tuesday on the course when I set my current PB. I had hoped to set a sub 38 like last year.


Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 4)?

Week 4 and the mileage is stacking up. Another good week which you can see below.

Week 4 – 71 mi (8h 54m)

  • Monday – Easy  8 – run home from work
  • Tuesday – 8.8 (4 hard – Summer League  Race 3 – East Park 4 plus 2.7 mi warm up and 2 mi cool down)
  • Wednesday –
    • AM: 3.5 mi XC recover run
    • PM: 11.9 midweek LSR
  • Thursday – Hard 10.2 – tempo run (2 mi warm up + 7 @ 6.30 or faster plus 1.2 mi cool down)
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – 13 /mi – Progressive 20s – 20 minute warm up, 20 minutes @ 7.00 Min /mi, 20 minutes @ 6.30 Min /mi, 20 minutes @ 6.00 Min /mi (yeah right!) plus cool down.
  • Sunday – 15 /mi LSR

A solid week’s training with some decent volume and harder sessions. The key workouts were Tuesday’s race, Thursday and Saturday.

Although I was a little disappointed with the race and not dipping under 24, I have to be pleased with the fact that I’m racing close to an average pace of low 6 minute miling for that majority of short races. This puts me pretty much back to the same place this time next year. I just hope that I can now push on and break some of the times I set last year.

The most pleasing run was Thursday’s tempo run. Run entirely on my own in wet conditions, it was tough but good at the same time.

Saturdays progressive run wasn’t quite as good. The first two faster 20 minutes went pretty much to plan but then the lack old sleep and fatigue kicked in.

Next week plan is pretty much a repeat of this. Hopefully I’ll break 140 miles for the two weeks.,



Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 3)?

After two high mileage weeks, this week was a reduced volume week before increasing and hopefully surpassing the previous two weeks volume.

Week 3 – 49.3 mi (6h 17m)

  • Monday – Easy 4
  • Tuesday –
    • AM: Easy 4 Cross Country
    • PM: 5 mi (1 mi warm up and 0.9 mi cool down including 5k race – Phil Johnson 5k)
  • Wednesday – 12.5 mi (2 x 3 mile @ 5k pace with 1 mi recovery  plus 3 mi warm up and 1.5 mi cool down
  • Thursday – 12.1 midweek LSR
  • Friday – Easy 6.9 mi (in Dorking pre-friends wedding).
  • Saturday -5 mi (3.1mi hard – ParkRun @ Reigate plus warm up and cool down)
  • Sunday – Rest Day

The main two session this week was Tuesday and Wednesday, ideally I’d have fitted a tempo run in but with being at a Wedding on the Friday and general fatigue that just wasn’t possible. Plus the back end of the week was focused on recovery in time for my clubs next Summer League race on the Tuesday.

As for Tuesday the race went well. Overall I was happy with the pace, in hindsight it would have been nice to go under my 5k PB but to match it gives me the confidence that I’m almost back to the same level of fitness I had at the same time last year. For full details on the race, see the Phil Johnson 5k race report.

Wednesday is one of the toughest session I’m currently doing. After a steady 3 mile warm up I did 8 laps (2 x 3 mi hard with 1 mi recover) of a 1 mi loop of East Park. My legs were screaming at me but with mile splits as follows:

  • 06:28
  • 06:21
  • 06:28
  • 08:03
  • 06:27
  • 06:32
  • 06:26
  • 08:34

The end of the week was finished off in Surrey, an easy run around Dorking/Reigate plus Reigate ParkRun. The ParkRun is a good off road course and I finished in 19:33 after only 5 hours sleep and too much alcohol!I was extremely pleased to tough it out and hit my target of 6.30 mi pace  (or under) for the 2 x 3 mile reps.

Next week is all about volume (70+ miles) plus Summer League of course.

Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (Week 2)?

Summer League Race 2 - Sproatley 6

Before you know it week 2 has been and gone. Not loads to say as the training is similar to last week except for the addition of 6 mile road race in the form of “Summer League Race 2 – Sproatley 6”

Week 2 – 67 mi (8h 36m)

  • Monday – Easy 8 Cross Country
  • Tuesday – PM: 6 mi hard (race) + 2 mi warm up and 0.9 mi cool down
  • Wednesday – 12 mi midweek LSR
  • Thursday – Rest day due to being Liverpool for work all day.
  • Friday –
    • AM: Easy 4.2 mi recovery run
    • PM: Easy 10 mi
  • Saturday – Strength workout – 11.4 mi (8 x 800m with 400m recovery + 3 mi warm up and 2.5 mi cool down)
  • Sunday – 12 mi LSR

A really pleasing week. The race wasn’t quite the pace I expected but still averaged a good 6.12 per mile (maybe went out too fast with a 5.46 first mile – it is downhill!).  The easy runs were all around 7.45 /mi pace which felt very comfortable, as it should, however it’s still pleasing to know the strength in the legs is coming back.  Saturday’s strength workout was a real killer, I did plan to do 10 reps but after 8 for a total of just under 6 miles I decided that it was best to call it a day.

Now looking forward to Tuesdays 5k race, fingers crossed I’m close to PB pace (and the wind abates a little).


Enigma Need for Speed – 10 weeks to a half marathon PB (week 1)?

This years focus is all about 10 milers, so far they haven’t gone to plan. The idea was to train for less miles but increase the intensity. So far this year I’ve completed the Ferriby 10 (01:07:17), Snake Lane (01:06:07) and Vale of York 10 (01:05:13). Two of which are way off my PB of 01:05:10 set at Ferriby 10 last year when I was marathon training. Vale Of York 10 may have been better if it wasn’t for falling ill just before the week before the race. However by that time I had started to increase my weekly volume while retaining the intensity of a couple of key sessions per week.

What’s all that got to do with a half marathon? Read on to find out. My wife is doing the Enigma Need for Speed full marathon and myself the half on the 2nd July. After a slightly sub par start to the year the focus now shifts to that race and then later in the autumn, the Yorkshire 10 on the 9th October with the inaugural Manchester half marathon a week later on the 16th. For me the two distances are so close in distance that training does not have to be mutually exclusive. I can still try to bring my 10 mile time down while also targeting the half marathon in a couple of months and the two races later in the year.

Coincidentally I had purchased the Hansons Half Marathon Method Book by Luke Humphrey book, their philosophy of high volume with lots of easy running combined with some key sessions (speed, strength and the long run) sits well with my own thoughts on training anyway. The advanced plan tops out at just below 50 miles. As somebody who normally gets to that sort of volume and beyond I decided to loosely follow the elite training plan in the appendix. I don’t have enough time for 100mile weeks plus I wouldn’t want to ramp it up too quickly I have decided to do rolling three weeks over a 10 week period (the last week is race week) as follows:

  • Wk 1 – 60+ miles
  • Wk 2 – 60+ miles
  • Wk 3 – 50 miles
  • WK 4 – 70+ miles
  • WK 5 – 70+ miles
  • Wk 6 – 50 miles
  • Wk 7 – 80+ miles
  • Wk 8 – 80+ miles
  • Wk 9 – 60+ miles
  • Wk 10 – 30 to 40 miles inc. the half marathon

I’ll then have a couple of easy weeks before doing another 12 week training block before the two races in October.

Week 1 – 62.6 mi (7h 57m)

  • Monday – rest day after getting back really late from London the day before
  • Tuesday –
    • AM: Easy 3 XC
    • PM: 10 mi tempo + 1.4 mi cool down
  • Wednesday – 12.3 mi midweek LSR
  • Thursday – Another rest day due to being Liverpool for work all day.
  • Friday – Easy 10 mi
  • Saturday – Strength workout – 11. 8 mi (3 mi warm up + 2 x 3 mi @ 5 k pace with 1 mi recover + 2 mi cool down). One of the repeats included ParkRun in a slightly disappointing 19:40. The other 3 miles done in 20:04. Both 3 mile repeats were much slower than I expected, I need to be hitting 18:00 to 18:30.
  • Sunday – 14 mi LSR

A good week’s volume with three key sessions (Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday). I know I can run faster for 3 miles therefore I assume it was just fatigue from my first real big week for a while and a long day at work on Thursday. 9 weeks to go!