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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tuesday and the days that follwed it

This was our easy week, meaning less distance to be covered each night but not necessarily slower.

Tuesday was Marathon pace night -5 miles (it was 8 last week). After a nice little warm up I belted round the circuit to record 6:20 per mile. Same pace as last weeks 8 but with a slightly lower average heart rate. I was hoping to run nearer 6:15 really though.

Wednesday was easy run night. We had been up to 9 miles recently but this night was just 8. It went off well enough. 7:03 was inside last weeks result and again, average heart rate was lower.

Since Saturdays 21miler I'd had a mild head cold and irritable cough. I hadn't felt the symptoms were severe enough to warrant missing training but by Thursday I was really snotted up quite badly and didn't feel 100%. We were at the track for 4x 1mile. I took the first one very steady indeed to record 6:02, followed by a little more input for number 2 - 5:45. I was running the first 400m of each of these reps with Milly, and on the third he ran it in 79 seconds (5:16 pace), too fast so I quit at 800m. For the fourth effort I opted to pace Milly to a 'fast' mile and ran the first 600m sheltering him from the wind. I then rested while he ran lap 3 and then helped him again for the headwind section of lap 4. He made it round in 5:18 which is his fastest mile for a year or more. I feel sure tat in the forthcoming weeks we will both be running sub 5:30 as an average for this session.

Speaking of Milly it has to be said what a remarkable comeback he has made following the injury and time off training he was forced to take last year. I wrote some time ago about how we might be too far apart in ability to train together for this Marathon. It is clear however that he has made great progress, mainly on his own, over the early winter, to reclaim a good fitness level - as there is now very little between us in terms of ability/speed.

Friday was a day off

Saturday was long run day. A mere 16miles this week. I took the opportunity to have a slightly longer lie in and begin the run later than normal. We were still finished soon after 12 and without the usual tired legs, I was looking forward to getting some jobs done in the afternoon. I was called out to work though and got nowt done. The run itself went well for me - 7:02 per mile is a little slower than last weeks 21 mile result but I saw no point in raising the effort to run a quicker average on our 'easy week'. There will be many, many chances to run hard and hurt myself in the next 12 weeks. Milly didn't have a good run. After apparently sorting out his stomach troubles by changing brand of Gels used - this week he developed two stitches following the consumption of the ice cold water he had placed on the course the previous evening (and which had more or less froze overnight.) At about 12miles we changed our route run straight home which cut it back to 15miles for the day. Milly also missed out a small section which allowed me to keep on pace whilst I caught him up again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sub 7? Oh yes

What a great run we had today. Conditions were almost perfect for running, possibly a little cold at only 2 deg C but just about as good as is ever likely in the British winter. We were running 7 pace from the start and actually made 6:57 per mile for the 21 miles covered. This was with an average pulse of 155 which is pretty low for me and means I am at least as fit as 12 months ago and possibly even a smidgen fitter.

It may be a bit tough to maintain this every week but next week is the easy week (16) and the following week is the Buttermere race, so we will see how we get on in 3 weeks time.

Speaking of the Buttermere race, last year I ran it at 7:03 pace without putting in much real effort in the first 90 mins or so. Although the route is very hilly, including the climbs of Honister and Newlands passes, based on todays run of more or less the same distance I reckon I should be able to run 5 to 10 seconds inside 7's.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Midweek roundup

Tuesday I was on my own for mile reps. The first was scarcely more than a raised jog effort and took me 6:16. Thereafter I ran 5:47, 5:41, 5:41. These times are a long way from what I was achieving in the Autumn but I am fairly confident I will soon be under 5:30 again.

Wednesday was easy-pace-run night with Milly. I ran 9 miles and felt dreadful for over 8 of them. I think it may have been due to being overdressed and therefore overheating. An average pulse of about 160 for the run was far too high given that we ran 7:05 average pace.

Lesson learned re being too hot, I set out on Thursday in just two thin tops and shorts (no gloves, tights or hat). This was our marathon-pace effort which is thankfully only 8 miles at present. I felt pretty good throughout this run and the result was 6:20 pace with an average pulse only 5 beats higher than the previous evening. This run will increase in length each week (apart from the recovery week every fourth) and is becoming difficult to plan in terms of where we can go that is safe from vehicles and well lit. What a pain it is having to constantly backtrack and cover old ground again and again. The lighter evenings will be most welcome over the coming few weeks.

Tomorrow morning is 21 miles. Would be great to break 7 minute miling. Now that the ice has completely gone it should be a possibility.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

sometimes its hard to think of a title

Thursday was reps. We ran approx 6 or 7 miles with 8 intervals within the run. 6 were about half a mile long, the other 2 were about a minute each. This was the best session we could manage given the conditions. The track was still closed, but it looks quite clear now so I think we should be able to get the 5x 1mile done this coming week.

Saturday was long run day. Ideally Sunday would be the day for a long run as I would always do approx 10miles the day before. When I've ran long on a Saturday its easy to miss training altogether on the Sunday (as happened today)

We ran 20 miles at 7:17 per mile. I was hoping for a quicker run than this - around 7:05 really. However, it was a dreadful day to run in terms of the weather with strong winds and icy rain for the first hour.

Milly struggled a little in the final couple of miles. I was overheating at first with my coat and gloves on but then felt better once I had shed them when it faired up a bit.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Good start to the week

Still a bit too much ice knocking about for my liking. Some fresh snow last night (Tues) too. It's nice to look at but it's a bugger for getting decent training done - i wish it would all melt and not come back until next Christmas.

Tuesday we (me and Milly) ran a marathon pace effort for 7 miles. I expected to run outside 6:20 pace due to the remnants of ice forcing us to take care on corners and continually jump from the pavement to the road (to avoid icy stretches) and vice versa (to avoid speeding motorists). We made 6:22 pace - not bad going. This is the key run of the midweek and will soon begin to hurt as we increase length by a mile each week.

Tonight was easy pace night. Last year we ran these at around 7minute miling. For this year I thought that 6:50 pace should be achievable whilst still keeping the effort at minimal. The fresh snow made some parts treacherous but overall we mostly found good dry roads to run along so I was a little disappointed to record 7:13 for the 9 miles covered. However, the heartrate data proved no major effort was involved. The most important aspect of this run is to cover the distance, get the running into the legs, muscles, tendons.

Tomorrow should be mile intervals. Theres no chance we be able to do these. We may do a fartlek session instead.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Two hats day (say it carefully)

It's been some time since I posted my training details and lately I have been inundated with requests for me to continue where I left off last year . (OK, no requests, I made that up, but one enquiry - really)

After the Brampton race I had a week or so away from training. Following that I had an easy week of fast but short runs (5m in 30mins). Then we were off to New York. I didnt take any trainers with me. I expected to buy some whilst there, then go running in Central Park. That didnt happen though, and by the time I got home and got over jetlag then got back into work routine etc I had had nearly two weeks off. Not ideal.

I did get a decent spell of training done over Christmas - mainly long stuff, including a superb day on the Fairfield Horseshoe where we took 4hrs+ in the deep snow to cover a 2hr route. After christmas I succumbed to a bit of a cough and cold that lasted 4 days (unknown for me to ever be poorly so 4 days felt like a lifetime).

I am pleased to say that Milly is now right back into the thick of things, doing 6 runs per week.
We have done 16, 14 and 19 miles over the last three weekends. It's been a struggle to run properly in this snow and ice though. The track has been closed since xmas eve so we haven't been able to do proper, fast interval work at all yet. The marathon pace run due last week was supposed to be 7 miles. We only had a 2.5mile 'black' section of road to run on so we just covered that then retraced. It felt quite steady, never hard, but we managed 6:27 pace which was very pleasing. Thinking about what pace to aim for in the upcoming weeks, when the ice has gone, we have decided that 6:20 per mile will be the target, and hopefully the result will be nearer 6:15's. Thats at least 10 seconds per mile faster than last year.

I have a place in The London Marathon (25th April). Milly is also doing it. He is hoping to run around 2:48. I am looking at sub 2:45. My training from now through to the marathon will be mostly road based. I may make the occasional trip up the fells (like yesterday).

May, June, July and August, like last year will include lots of long days in the fells. There's also the small matter of our wedding on July 31st. Our honeymoon will be a few nights at Langdale Country Club and Hotel, followed later in the year by a trip to America for the Chicago Marathon - extended to take in the West coast and Vegas.

Yesterday I set off to Keswick with the dogs. Struggling up the steep road through Applethwaite and beyond up to the the Gale Rd carpark (AKA Latrigg carpark) we drove to within 100yds of the top where 6ft drifts blocked the route. Once on foot we made our way to the bottom of Jenkin Hill, the main path up Skiddaw. The wind was blowing fierce and very very cold. So cold that I decided against going any higher. (I was already wearing a hat but felt it would be wise to don the extra one I had in my backpack, hence the post title.) Instead we took the path around the side of Lonscale Fell, up the valley toward Skiddaw House. After a while we darted right, down to the valley floor and up onto the high level path that skirts Blencathra back around to the field centre, from where we dropped down again to the river then up onto Latrigg and back to the car. An easy couple of hours. Not much running. The snow was mostly too deep or the paths too icy.