Monday, 24 January 2011

Training Plan: Week 4

Coming to the end of month one now - doesn't time fly when you're trying to fit lots of running into an already-crammed schedule! :D

M - Netball Match (60 mins)

T - 8 x 2 min hills jog/walk down recovery (+w/u & c/d)
Note to self - find hill!

W - Rest

T - 5mi @ 11:45-12:00 (marathon pace)

F - Rest

S - 14mi @ 13:00 (slow pace)
This will be my longest run *ever*!

S - Fly to Madrid!
Not at all relevant to my training, but something to look forward to, especially after those loooooong 14 miles! :D

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sunday Catch Up: Week 3

M - Netball training / Netball Training (60mins)

T - 6mi @ 12:15 (easy pace) / 6 x 400m @ 10:13 (average) + 1mi w/u & 1mi c/d
Decided to bite the bullet and go for a speed session! It was tough. My calves are so tight recently - they were sore even during the warm up :(
My first 3 intervals were okay, but the last 3 were slower: 09:34, 09:28, 09:50, 10:31, 11:04 and 10:54 (these splits are the pace time, rather than the run time!)

You can see the effect the intervals had on my heart rate! (This graph excludes the warm up and cool down)

W - 6 x 400m @ (10:00) with 200m recover (+w/u & c/d) / Rest

T - Rest / 4mi @ 11:54
4 reasonably steady miles. Still struggling with my calves - its very frustrating that its my legs that cause me to walk - I think it was easier to deal with when it was because I was too out of breath!

F - Rest / Rest

S - 12mi @ 13:00 (slow pace) / Rest

S - Rest / 12mi @ 12:53 (average)
Urgh, another hard slog, and still not over halfway! Did a bit of number analysis with this run, as usual, my calves and achillies were very sore to start with and I felt I was struggling, but around mile 5, I felt as though I finally relaxed into the run (about time too!), I stopped to stretch just before then, and it also co-incided with me arriving at the canal, so I was running on softer ground - all of which helped I'm sure.

For the first half I ran/walked an average of 13:10/mile and the second half was 12:36/mile - this would have been a bit quicker, but I took a gel around mile 8, and couldn't run and take it, so that mile was 14:11. The last three miles were in the top four for pace, and the last mile was my quickest one of all - 11:17 (maybe I just wanted to get home!). So although it felt very tough at the start, it did improve, and makes me feel slightly more hopeful for the longer runs coming up - maybe I am made for distance? (I'm certainly not going to win any speed awards!).

There was a note on the bottom of my gel that made me smile; "Trash the competition, not the planet! Please don't litter." :D

Total Distance: 20.25 miles

Weight: Not sure - didn't weigh in this week!

Summary: Finally managed three runs this week, so I will mark that down as a success. Still much slower than I'd have liked, but hopefully the consistency in the running, and getting used to the longer distances will help the speed drop a bit (I'm not looking for miracles!)

Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working. (Not that I'm claiming my training as a 'great achievement', but I like the sentiment of keeping going :) )

Question: What do you do about drinks on a long run? I found I was having to ration my drink towards the end, and wasn't near any shops!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Training Plans: Week 3

The start of Week Three marathon training! My plans for the week look like this:

M - Netball training (60 mins)

T - 5mi @ 12:15 (easy pace)

W - 6 x 400m @ (10:00) with 200m recover (+w/u & c/d)

T - Rest

F - Rest

S - 12mi @ 13:00 (slow pace)

S - Rest

Sunday Catch Up: Week 2

Training: End of week two, slightly more miles and another missed run...

M - Netball match / Netball match
In the wind and rain - we won 21-16 :)

T - 5mi @ 12:15 / 4mi @ 12:12
After finishing work late, I didn't have time to do the full 5 miles, so focused on matching the required pace. Although my splits weren't very even; 13:23, 11:32, 13:03, 10:52!

W - 3mi fartlek / Rest
My legs were so achey after the first netball match since before Christmas followed by the run the next day that I was sore just walking, so didn't think a speed session was a very clever idea!

T - Rest / Rest

F - Rest / Rest

S - 10mi @ 12:15 / 10mi @12:30
A bit slower than planned, but felt okay with the mileage, and not too sore the next day!

S - Rest / Rest

Total Distance: 14 miles

Weight: 0.5lbs down :)

Summary: Still only two runs of the planned three, but I knew this would happen as training clashes with the busiest thre months at work, so I'll continue to prioritise the long run over speed work - my aim is to finish, not to be fast over the first 10km then collapse!

Thought: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have now.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Weekly Plans

The start of Week Two marathon training! My plans for the week look like this:

M - Netball match (60 mins)

T - 5mi @ 12:15 (easy pace)

W - 3mi fartlek (average 10:00)

T - Rest

F - Rest

S - 10mi @ 12:15 (easy pace)

S - Rest

Here's hoping next Sunday's catch up looks identical to the plan! ;)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday Catch Up

Training: So its the end of my first 'proper' week of marathon training; here's what I've been up to - the first entry for each day is the training plan, the second - what actually happened!

M - Rest / Rest

T - 5mi @ 12:45 / 5mi @ 13:02
First run for 3 weeks - lots of calf tightness and stretching involved!

W - Rest / Rest

T - 4x800m @ 9:45 with 200m recovery, 1mi wu & cd / Rest
Not home from work until 8:15 :(

F - Rest / Rest
Not home from work until 8:30 :(

S - 7mi @11:45 (marathon pace) / 7.7mi @ 12:01
A bit slow, but much better than Tuesday, having a pace to aim for really helped me to push it towards the end, whereas I'd usually start slacking off!

S - Rest / Rest
I thought about doing the missed speedwork session today, but I could feel yesterday's run in my legs and didn't think speedwork was a good idea! Nor do I want to overdo things in the first week.

Total Distance:
12.7 miles

Weight: 2.2lbs down :)

Summary: Overall, not a great week, but its the start of some structure back in my training, and also getting into the habit of doing a long run on Saturday rather than Sunday, which will allow for extra recovery time when the runs get really long!

Thought: Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Follow Friday: Hyperbole and a Half

Those of you on Twitter may be aware of 'Follow Friday', so I thought I'd follow a similar idea and each Friday, tell you about an interesting blog or website I read. There are so many blogs and sites I read on a daily or weekly basis (if only I could work out how to get paid for it I could quit my job!); some are diet or fitness related, some introduce new ideas or companies and some are just downright funny.

This first blog defintely falls into the last category! Hyperbole and a Half tells stories through hand-drawn Paint-style pictures, which I defy you not to laugh at! :D

Image Source: Hyperbole and a Half

I should warn you not to check this blog out whilst eating, drinking or sat in a busy office - you may splutter/snort/fall of your chair! Here a couple of posts to get you started:

- The Trouble with Coupons
- Cake Versus Pie: A Scientific Approach
- Things that Can Make You Feel Like an Idiot Almost Instantly
- The God of Cake
- The Four Levels of Social Entrapment

Enjoy! And let me know what you think :)

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year, New Goals and, um, the M word...

Wow - its been a long time since I posted on here! Mainly due to a lack of races leading up to Christmas, followed by a lack of running over the holidays!

I've really got to step my training up a gear though, as I'm (attempting) to run a marathon in 13 weeks! Running a marathon has always been on my 'list of things to do before I die', long before I even thought about taking up running. I thought it was on everyone's lists, but having spoken to friends and family, it seems that's not the case! Having taken up running in 2009, and completed two half marathons in spring 2010, I thought now seemed as good a time as any to run a marathon; I can cover half the distance and I run (reasonably!) regularly, why wait 5 years when I may be out of the habit and have to start from scratch (couch to 5k again?!).

I've entered the Sussex Marathon with two friends (one of whom has run a marathon before and both of whom are much faster than me!). It'll be the first time this event takes place, so there are no reviews to rely on. Its going to be hilly and quite small, but its also possible to get there in a day (unlike Edinburgh), not sold out (London, Brighton) and not going to entail expensive travel costs (Paris). I'd have really liked my first marathon to be a bigger event, but you can't have everything! It just means I have to accept that I'll be very near, if not at, the back.

My parents were very generous at Christmas and bought me the Garmin Forerunner 405CX, which I'm hoping will help spur me on! You can set up workouts, track mileage and pace, train with a virtual partner to pace you and analyse workout sessions online. I'm using the Runner's World Training Plan (its set up to download onto a Garmin, but you can also view them online). Which brings me to...

Marathon Goals
So what are my goals for this race? Perhaps surprisingly, I'm not really thinking about my time; its my first attempt at this great distance and I don't really care how long it takes. Taking into account my current weight and fitness levels, I'm probably looking at around a 5:30 finish time (although this is a guestimate at best!) So my goals are:

1. Finish the race - it seems straightforward, but this can be a tough goal in a marathon

2. Start strong - I want to start the race feeling prepared, knowing that I've trained well, this means I'm aiming to run 2-3 x 20 miles in training and am also hoping to lose 14-20lbs before the race

3. Finish strong - I want to finish with my head held high and, since I'm aiming to run at a comfortable pace and not bust a gut, I'm aiming for the second half of the race to be as strong as the first

So there you have it! There are, of course, other running goals for 2011 including 10km PB, Thunder Run, mile PB, some half marathons and a distance target, but they will be ticking over in the background for the first 4 months of the year as I train for, run, and recover from my first marathon! So I'd better get my head down and my legs moving :D

Thought: What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.