Training Snapshot

Here’s a little snapshot as to how my own training is going. I’m managing to run in my lunchbreak at the moment which means although my mileage is fairly low compared to lots of runners, the quality is high.

Monday: I ran what I call a “Super-Tempo” effort, this is a mile warm-up followed by 12 minutes at what I would like my current 5k pace to be. Then a mile cool down. Each week, I’ll add a minute on to the length of the effort until I’m either happy to race it or step back to a shorter quicker effort and start again. Splits in the effort were 5:57, 5:58.

Tuesday: 10k (not so) easy. I thought this was going to be a really tough run as the wind had really picked up. The first 5k was straight into it and I put in a good effort, the 5k return along the seafront was much easier and I was able to coast it all the way. I was still able to chat with a guy on a bike during the last 800m so I knew it was still a fairly relaxed effort. I was quite surprised to see my splits as: 6:22, 7:02, 6:55, 6:37, 6:32, 6:27 and finishing up at 6:34. Thats more like a solid threshold pace for me.

Wednesday: Bit of a cold & felt stiff  from the previous day so decided to get to the track 10 minutes early for an extra warm-up mile. So 2 miles warm up for me, followed by 15 minutes of drills and dynamic stretches. The main set was 9x800m on 4mins. The warm up did its magic and I felt really good throughout. Pleased to be able to pick it up in the second half of the set too. 6.8 miles in total, annoying that I couldn’t round it up to 7 but I had no time for a cool-down.

DATA

Thursday: That’s today…I’m struggling a bit with a cold and I had a terrible nights sleep but the weather is glorious so I’ll be doing an easy 5 miles along the seafront at lunchtime, that should blow the cobwebs away. Then it’s Tuff Fitty Swim night and I’ll be heading over with my Breca Team-mate Tom.

Hoping to clock 35 miles this week which I haven’t done since mid Dec and then maintain for a few weeks before targeting some more specific plans. (whatever they might be!)

Enough about me…How’s YOUR training going?

 

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TEAM PROFILE – ATC TRIOLOGY

Make a cup of tea, sit yourselves down and put your feet up, it’s time for our next Breca SwimRun team to take the spotlight.  This time we’ve got some strong swimmers who may be prone to getting lost….

Team Name: ATC Triology
Team Members: Michelle Scott / Dan Halladay
Team motto: Get The Map Out!

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Dan & Michelle – taking it easy at the pool

Who are you, where are you from and how do you know each other?
Michelle Scott, from a little town called Shildon (home of the railways). Met Dan through Aycliffe Tri Club when It was discussed that I would no longer be the fastest swimmer in the club!
Dan Halladay 32 from a little town just south of Durham, we both coach and train together. Once we got talking it turned out that we both went to the same swim club as kids together and probably crossed paths before. Continue reading “TEAM PROFILE – ATC TRIOLOGY”

The Hangover 5

The second year running that I’ve done this race and it’s the perfect way to start the new year, embracing the cold, the mud and the puddles together with 500 other runners nursing hangovers or still actually pissed from last nights parties.
No such thing holding me back this year though. (Unlike last year when I was still struggling with walking when the gun went off man shouted go.) Its’s the first race in the West Sussex Fun Run League and so attracts a nice mix of competitive and funrunners.

Tuff Fitty Team pic – From Left to Right in order of most pissed.

I arrived just in time for a team photo but not quite in time for a decent warm up. In fact, by the time I arrived, the unprecedentedly large turnout meant they’d run out of numbers, mine, 535,  was handwritten on torn off notepaper! I took my jacket off and stashed it at the last possible minute and lined up on the front row. Confident? Me?  Not really, but I know how congested the climb gets and I wanted good position. If you get caught too far back it’s impossible to pass and it slows to a walk on the steepest section. Continue reading “The Hangover 5”

Thank you to the bloggers…

I’m getting back into it.

I’ve been massively inspired to get back into my running groove. I’ve recently discovered how to use the reader function properly and how to follow other people’s blogs and its been a revelation. In reading about the exploits of others, even if they’ve been out injured or feeling like they’re not running particularly well themselves, they’ve inspired me to lace up and get out.

I’ve been out 4 times this week so far, 3 easy lunchbreak runs and 1 hard track session (7×800) and should hopefully be looking at about 35 miles for the week come Sunday. Thats after at least a month of averaging a paltry 10 miles a week.

So this post is a thank you in particular to a few bloggers who have given me some motivation at last. (follow these blogs – show them some love too!)

http://fueledbylolz.com/ – this girl writes beautifully, and runs times that I’m striving for. Probably most responsible for my resurgence despite being based in the US.
https://dmrunblog.wordpress.com/ – shares my Initials and his reports are really entertaining. They make you feel like you’re cheering him on from the sidelines!
http://honestlylucy.com/ – Loving following the journey to VLM2016 for this young lady. From complete beginner to marathon runner.
https://imfithove.wordpress.com/ – I’m certain that Isobel inspires more runners than she knows. Entertaining and geeky sessions/stats in equal measures. 🙂
http://mohicanrunner.co.uk/ – Running times I dream of and that I know I can achieve if I work hard enough. Race reports with huge level of detail, don’t know how he remembers it all!

I’d like to know which blogs YOU follow for motivation? 
(help me keep this up!)

 

Why I’m not doing the Marcothon challenge

I’ve seen this running challenge posted around facebook, twitter and on various running forums, and I’ve heard fellow runners talking about doing it, some of them are quite new to running.

The challenge – Marcothon, started by a chap called Marco Consani – is pretty simple. Run 3 miles or 25 minutes minimum everyday in December. Including Christmas Day. If you miss a day, you’re out. Its a way of keeping motivation up at the end of the year for people who need a bit of a kick out the door. Its now in its 6th or 7th year and thousands of runners across the world are doing it.

Marcothon - The Rules
Marcothon – The Rules

The early winter months are a great time to do a bit of base building, preparing the legs and the cardiovascular system for a training program, perhaps for a Spring marathon. Or maybe for a strong triathlon season. The base level that winter training provides lets you build and kick on with faster paced, more specific work as racing season approaches. It gives you the cardio-fitness level required to cope with hard sessions.

Will I be doing it? No I won’t.

The problem I’ve got with it, is that you need to have a certain level of robustness to run every day. Even if its just slow paced easy miles, you need to be ready for it. A lot of the people I see who are keen to do it just aren’t in this position. Lets take the runners who run a couple of times a week, 30mins in the week, an hour at the weekend. We all know plenty of people like that right? Lets imagine that they’re currently clocking around 10 miles in total. Suddenly, they’re jumping up to 21 miles a week spread over 3 hours with NO rest days.

In my eyes, that’s asking for trouble.

Rest is important. It’s time to let the body recover, rebuild and adapt to the training load. If you don’t rest, you continually break down the body. Eventually, the stress might cause injury. Overuse of tired or under-prepared muscle is the biggest cause of injury.

For a lot of runners, 3 miles IS a rest day, and 7 days a week is not much of a step-up from what they’re already doing. If that’s you, and you’re embarking on Marcothon, just be sure to listen to your body and run EASY runs when you need to. Don’t try and beat your 5k PB every day. Like I said near the top, base building is important if you’re planning on racing well but it is supposed to be easy miles, training the heart and getting used to time on feet.

I wanted to put a little bit of context in about Marco Consani somewhere as I think its important.
To start with, he’s a phenomenal runner, take a look at his power of 10 profile below.

Marco Consani Power of 10 profile. Not too shabby!
Marco Consani Power of 10 profile. Not too shabby!

Yep, thats everything from 3k to 24 hour races. And he doesn’t just run them, he often wins them. He’s as nifty over the shorter distances as he is for the marathon. Now for clarification, that number next to his 24hrs performance is 248 Kilometres! Other wise known as 154 miles. He’s conditioned to running big miles so 3 miles every day for a month isn’t much of an ask, and remember, Marco started Marcothon as a way to keep HIMSELF motivated through the winter.

You might be thinking “well, if Marcothon helps him to run like that…..” but I would rather rephrase that as “its running like that that helps him to run Marcothon”

We’re all different, and we all have different ways of training. If Marcothon works for you then that’s great. I salute you for being able to run every day, and good luck with it. And if you’re considering it for the first time, just have a think about how much of a jump it is from your current training, are you conditioned enough to do it, is it worth the risk?
Thousands of runners complete Marcothon, or challenges just like it without problems but it’s not for me.

On the other hand – I AM interested in this… https://www.instagram.com/p/-vXEsMqL0L/ the new 30 day #RunStrongChallenge from Kinetic Revolution which starts today….

Winter Training – Benchmark No.1

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Tuff Fitty track squad. Blurry even when they’re standing still!

To complement our winter training at the track and to benchmark our progress, we’re doing a series of 3k time trials.
The first of these was last night and comes as a bit of respite after weeks of gruelling 400m reps.
Turnout was good, 23 members out testing their mettle. It will be interesting to see how these times compare with a 3k race they did a few months back, and the next one in about 8 weeks time.

Personally, I was pretty happy to go under 11 minutes and still felt comfortable. I might try a 5k out at the same pace over Christmas.

Track 3k No.1 – 10:52

My Running Week – w/e 26/7/15

Totals

  • Run: 23.2 miles
  • Bike: 42.7 miles

This is how I’m going to post about my weekly training from here on in. A quick summary at the top and a few observations/quirks/anecdotes underneath. This way, if you don’t want to read my ramblings but you’re interested in my numbers (weirdo) then its all there and easy to read.

This week started well but unfortunately a wedding at the weekend meant that I missed my long run – being stuck in the car on motorways on the busiest travelling day of the year meant the last thing I wanted to do was run 15 miles.
The good news though is that my legs have felt really strong this week, I thought the introduction of 2 bike sessions (an hour long each) might have taken its toll on me a little bit but it would appear not. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get a full quota in for a few consecutive weeks now as I’m really starting to feel like my fitness is coming back to me.
This weeks track session was mentally tough, I’d set this up so that those club members who were racing Worthing Triathlon could just do half the set leaving anyone else to continue with the 2nd 6 reps. Unfortunately for me, that meant that my group dwindled to just myself for the final 5 reps which made it really challenging to maintain the pace. I didn’t do too badly though and kept it between 5:30 and 5:45 min/miles throughout.

My 8 miles in Birmingham was good fun, it was absolutely chucking it down, a refreshing change from the humidity of late. My route was undulating and took in a few miles of Sutton Park, a fantastic place to run. I felt really strong on the uphill sections, tapping out a really good rhythm, focussing on good arm carriage, and kept a pace just over 7 minutes a mile, I’ve struggled to find this sort of run easy recently, maybe its been the heat and humidity, or maybe I’m just getting that marathon fitness back. Either way, this was a really enjoyable run.

I’m coming to the conclusion that my Nike Pegasus aren’t conducive to quicker miles, it feels much much easier to do my tempo runs in my Brooks Pure Cadence. I feel like my whole leg sinks into the Nikes on every stride, whereas the Brooks keep me a bit more springy and stiff.  I’ve also brought a pair of Adidas Adios 2’s out of retirement for my track sessions, I thought they’d long since had their day and have been wearing them exclusively for cycling for months now. It turns out they’re as good as they ever were on the forgiving surface of the running track. There’s life in the old shoes yet.

All in all, a good week. Shame about the long run not happening but I’m just going to call it a step-back week and move on!

Finally, I’l like to say thank you to Canyon Bikes as down to them, I’ve won a Team Katusha cycling top for predicting how many King of the Mountain points Joaquim Rodriguez would end up on during the week!
Its not quite the beautiful Speedmax TT bike I’ve had my eye on, but its a step in the right direction!
I’ve also signed up to the Strava 60 day premium trial with all this extra biking. I’ll let you know what I think in due course.