As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last post

Nearly done for 2011 then.
A good year it has to be said. Some good races, enjoyable runs, and my fastest times in many a year.

January - Just getting back into things following the few weeks layoff in Autumn '10, I had a decent enough race on the 1st at Nine Standards and then a few weeks later ran the Four Villages half marathon in exactly my anticipated time of 1hr 20min.

February was all about marathon training and the hilly 21 mile race over the lakeland passes. For something like a fourth year in a row I ran faster than the year before - good signs.

March was my holiday to the sun of Lanzarote and a lot of good training despite the horrendous wind most days.

April was the London Marathon - the climax of the previous 4 months training. It didn't go well at all. In the end I jogged home just inside the cutoff for automatic qualification for the 2012 race.

Keen top prove I was fighting fit and that the London result was NOT indicative of my true ability I entered the Keswick Half on 1st May. I got 1hr 22min and 10th place on this very hilly course and felt vindicated.

I spent the next few weeks training long in the hills for the Lakes 50 at the end of July. Again though I had a poor performance. A navigational error in the first quarter of the route and trouble eating led to my head going. I kind of gave up  on the race and  I ran the last 25 miles in good company so at least it was enjoyable if not the speed/time I had hoped for.

I minor setback in August meant missing the Dumfries 10k for a second successive year. I had planned to take a rest in September and stuck to my plan.

By October I was keen to train hard again and began a series of racing that almost proved too much.
Cross Country, a midweek half marathon, more XC, track sessions, rock hard 10 mile training runs.

On the first weekend of November I ran the Derwentwater 10 mile event. I knew I could beat the hour but then just prior to the start I said I admitted I was actually looking to run a 58. Despite having the heaviest legs ever I ran a mid 58 and was delighted.  Two weeks later and a little more tapered I ran a long 56 at the Brampton 10 miler. Not delighted (I thought I could do a 55) but pleased with my fastest time for 6 years.

I then continued racing, 10k, XC etc, most weekends through until nearly Christmas. Crucially though, I didn't train at all in between the weekends racing, so I felt relatively fresh and able to race hard. The break from formal training did me good and I have enjoyed getting out in the daylight since finishing work for Christmas and have ran most days in the last week and a half.

2012 starts as 2011 did - the Nine standards fell race - tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Alive and kicking

After the Brampton 10 I deliberately took my foot off the pedal. I did zero training mon- fri for four weeks. I did run a couple of nights, but very slowly, just a jog with scamp or an easy 5 or 7 miler.

Each weekend though I did a race on the Saturday and a long run of either 13 miles or 2 hours in the fells.
I was unconcerned about fitness ebbing away as I felt I needed the mental break to be ready to begin my next campaign.

This culminated in the Langdale Xmas pudding 10k which I ran in 35:30. Following that run I now feel assured that I can run a 34 minute 10k again.

Just as I was ready to begin regular nightly running again (if not quite structured training quite yet) I came down with a mild dose of winter bug. After a couple of days in front of the fire and some early nights I tried a tentative return to my 10 mile loop. Ouch! I had to turn for home after 3 miles and felt awful, but the next was much better again and managed 13 at 7 pace without issue.

I've been out the last two nights  - just the 5 mile loop for now but I plan to increase the pace each day.

My biggest dilemma currently is when to start my training program for London Marathon. Its exactly 16 weeks from New Years Day to the the race. In the past I have stuck to a 16 week schedule and found myself ready to race by about week 13. Thing is if I train unspecifically for January it might be a bit tough to then up the mileage/pace for a 12 week program.

I also discovered today that Berlin Marathon 2012 (September) is full!!! If I want to continue my mini ambition to run all 5 World Marathon Majors I will need to go to Chicago - but conversely that race hasn't even opened yet!

Not much else happening - Snow came to Lakeland, Penrith Stu still ugly, people still buying race photos, Scamp still cute as a pup.
Oh yes - sorry Pauline, I didn't do the Tour de Helvellyn. It was always a bit unlikely to be honest and coincided with the day I couldn't run 10 miles, so just as well I think.