Running Training 12/12/2016 – 18/12/2016

So this is the last “training” week, next week there will be some casual easy running but this week is about finishing strongly and getting some good volume in.  To be honest, I am still buzzing from last weeks race so I was more than up for some intense workouts this week!

Monday

Tempo Run – A better week this week, not the best but certainly consistent and steady.  I never hit the heights of what I can achieve on these morning sessions but that’s because I never eat properly so I go into it under fuelled, but I prefer this because it gets me used to running quicker on less fuel.

Tuesday

8 x 800m reps – Today I really wasn’t feeling the workout, I knew from rep 2 that this was going to have to become a “grinding” session.  What didn’t help is that James had just come back from a weeks break so he was fresh, ready to go and leaving me in his dust!  However I was delighted to record 8 of them as I really didn’t think I would manage it.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Workout Day – 3 x 2 mile repeats were on the cards and wow did we improve from last time.  Our first attempt at these 6 weeks ago were in the range of 12.50 for two miles, however this time we clocked 12.30, 12.29 & 12.24.

From the off, James and I decided we needed to up the pace from last time to get ourselves into the right zone but again, this completely exceeded my expectations.  These reps were done at an average of 6.12 / 6.15 min mile pace.

A great last and quality workout to finish the year on.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Finished the week off with a nice 17 mile long run.  Unintentionally ate a very “protein” heavy day on the Friday, finished with an omlette & vegetarian sausages for dinner so I was feeling very depleted of energy by this morning.  Again, like Tuesday, I decided I needed to grind this out as it was going to be the last long run of 2016 so I pushed for 17 miles.

Sunday

Rest

Summary

Delighted with this weeks training, couldn’t of asked for more.  A couple of occasions I had to push hard to grind out what needed to be done but a very satisfying feeling completing a 40 mile week.

Running Training 05/12/2016 – 11/12/2016

So we are into the last couple of weeks “intense” training before a well earned week off over Christmas and this week, we booked a last minute night race entry for Wednesday evening. Therefore due to this I decided to have an easier week so I could really push myself to the limits of what I am capable of over a shorter distance.

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

Today I just went out of an easy 6 mile run, just to get the legs moving but not wanting to put any more stress through them than I needed too. All in preparation for tomorrow night.

Wednesday

Severn Bridge 5 Mile Night Race – As mentioned above, I was really looking forward to testing my legs over a shorter distance and see how this years training has helped my shorter distance speed. After last months “Newent 9 Race”, I had high hopes this for this race.

The race was at 7.15pm and it was a short and sweet 5 mile race over and back across the Severn Bridge. Luckily, the weather was perfect, it was cold but not too windy or raining….the gun went off and the 2 leaders ran off into the night, there was then a pack of 5 (which included myself) which broke away within the first quarter of a mile. Slowly over the first mile I managed to get myself up to 4th place and tag along with 3rd….we ended up exchanging places over the next 3 miles but neither of us could shake each other.

The final mile proved that he had stronger legs than I did and on the final climb he pulled away and finished 9 seconds in front of me. Chatting after the race he was a great chap and we ended up pushing eachother to a new PB, which is what is so exciting about racing!

The final result was a 4th place finish in 30.11 (6.11 min mile pace) over 5 miles!

I am absolutely delighted with this result, I could never of dreamed to of run a 6.11 min mile pace over 5 miles at the beginning of the year, training in this second half has really paid off.

Thursday

Rest

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Rest

Sunday

Long run – I ended up resting for most of the week after the race and work has been crazy so I thought I would just save my legs for the final day of the week and get in a super quality long run of 15.5 miles and a nice easy pace.

Summary

A quieter week on the running volume but that was made up for by having a last minute….and awesome race! Final “intense” week next week before and easy week then finish up for a nice week off!

Running Training 28/11/2016 – 04/12/2016

Week 9….where are the weeks going!  I had so much I wanted to get done before Christmas and time is slipping away.  This week the routine was disrupted a bit but not as much as last week, we got all the key sessions in we needed to and finished strong with an awesome 18 mile long run.

Monday

Tempo run….I went back to and older hilly route that I haven’t done for a few months… for me its a leg strength builder as you are pushing super hard up hills and flying down them.  To my delight I managed to clock a PB on the route of over 30 seconds!

Tuesday

13.1 easy spin on the bike

Wednesday

12 x 400m reps!  Did a great warm up, rep session and cool down….the pleasing thing was that thanks to James, we worked out the difference in pace & HR compared to our last 400 session 6 weeks ago and the averages have dropped.  His dropped moreso than mine but I managed to get my average pace down from 1.22 to 1.18.  It must be said though that the session started slowly with the cold night, clocking the first few at 1.22 & 1.21…as we hit the 5th rep I managed to get a consistent run of 4 x 1.18 done and peaked at a 1.16, which is awesome!

Thursday

Workout day!  I do not normally do a workout straight after a rep session and I had no intention of doing that either….I stepped out of my front door ready for a nice easy run and thought it was too cold to run slow… so thought I would aim for a threshold pace….after 3 miles I realised I got quicker….6.41, 6.33, 6.27 so just thought I would blast the last mile in 5.59 and finish on a small but effective 4 mile progressive run.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Rest

Sunday

Long run!  Today I just went out fully fueled and ready for anything.  I decided before I left I just wanted to see how far I could run comfortably and although the last mile was a bit of a struggle home, I managed to clock a solid 18 miles, the highest so far of this winter training block.  The key thing about today was the ave pace was 7.48 and the ave HR was 148, which is insanely low compared to what it has been.  This all goes to show that training is working very well!

Summary

Delighted with this week, especially the long run.  The long run showed me on the stats that i’m really improving my running efficiency and that these rep & workout sessions are paying off hugely.  Two more weeks to go until we have a week off for Christmas!

 

Running Training 21/11/2016 – 27/11/2016

Week 8 was upon me and I was getting back into the swing of things quite quickly…. after the easy week we recently had, the workouts were feeling fresher, the heart rate was dropping and the pace was getting quicker!  Having said that we had to substitute 2 runs this week for spins on the exercise bike due to an overload of work and childcare…. so the “easy runs” were done on the bike.

Monday

Evening spin on the exercise bike, another 13.1 miles were racked up!

Tuesday

Same as Monday, we had two easy days next to each other this week, both clocking up 13.1 miles!

Wednesday

AM: 3 mile tempo run….not the best tempo run we’ve done but consistency is key and once again we were within 4 seconds per mile of our best time….so mustn’t grumble!

PM: 7 mile easy run, just went for a nice jog around town, nothing hard at all and kept the HR down.

Thursday

Rest

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Long run! Today we ventured out for 16 miles and due to the “lack of running” this week and missing a workout session I decided to mix up the long run and do 10 miles easy, 6 miles threshold.  It is a gruelling type of run that you have to grind out but im finding these types of runs are doing me the world of good in terms of being able to finish strong.

Sunday

Rest

Summary

It’s always a bit frustrating when you can’t get out as much as you would like to but at the end of the day we made it count this week.  Life throws things at you like work & childcare and those become the priority…we just have to make up the time when we can, hence the double session on Wednesday!

Running Training 14/11/2016 – 20/11/2016

After a really nice and relaxing easy week last week…. we ramped it up again in this 7th week with one eye on the final race of the season on Sunday…the Newent 9k.  Getting back into the swing of the speedier work was the aim of the game but I also decided at the beginning of the week to swap Thursdays workout with an easy run to ensure I was fresh ready for Sunday.

Monday

Monday morning has become tempo run morning….it seems to fit in well as I get up early and get it done on only an apple for breakfast before I need to get back and get the kids ready for school.  This weeks tempo run was the best yet, which seems to prove that consistency is paying off…. a new 5k pb was set at 18:45!

Tuesday

Wasn’t able to get out on our normal Tuesday night rep session so ended up doing 13.1 miles on the exercise bike at a very easy pace.

Wednesday

Normally rest night….this Tuesday was workout night!  James and I mixed it up tonight and did a new workout….someone tweeted out an ironman hill workout which consisted of 3 x 10 minutes at threshold pace up and down hills with a 3 minute rest after each rep.   After the 3rd rep it was then a 2 mile tempo on flat terrain at the same intensity…so this workout was done moreso on heart rate rather than pace.  We gave it a go…it was challenging to say the least and you really felt it through the quads pounding the downhills but overall it was a super solid workout!

Thursday

After the workout the night before, my legs were really feeling it so we stuck to a nice easy run…albeit on a new route!  Armed with headtorches…James and I ventured up some nice hills in the dark at an easy pace….I had in the back of my mind that I wanted to go at half marathon pace for the last mile or two just to keep the legs ticking over but actually by 5 miles they were so tired that I decided against that!

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Rest

Sunday

Newent 9 race! So this was the last race of the calendar year that we have booked up….i’d been looking forward to this race for a while as I don’t race too many shorter distances throughout the year and I really enjoyed the course last year.  The long and short of it is….its a 9.5k race that climbs up for about 4.5k then comes back down for the last 5k….

Going into it this year…I had in the back of my mind that I finished 15th last year in 40:41 and this year they had an extra 100 people entered, so I simply had two goals:

  1. Beat last years time
  2. Finish 15th or higher

The race starts on a local school playing field and heads out to the end where there is a small track leading out onto the road….as expected and as what happened last year…there is a manic burst of people off the start line to try and get through the gate first so when I finally got out onto the road I worked out I was in 15th place.

As the race progressed I felt super strong and whilst holding back a bit going up the hills, I felt like I really could give it my all in the second half.  Slowly but surely, one by one I overtook people in front and managed to finish the race in 5th place.  Not only was I over the moon by getting a time of 37.31, but I was delighted about my race strategy and how I was patient in the build up.

Finishing the racing year like that really made all the training worth while and although not a big race…. coming 5th out of 260 people really made me feel like the progression I had made over the past year has been worth all the training!

And of course….I managed to get the race on film, I hope you enjoy my Newent 9 video blog!

 

Running Training 07/11/2016 – 13/11/2016

Week 6 has been and gone…well… it finishes today but I rested so for me its gone!  It dawned on me earlier this week that in the 5 hard weeks we had been “base building” we hadn’t run many straight forward easy runs….I have been spinning out on the exercise bike for my “easy miles” but sometimes that’s not enough and my body was screaming at me to slow down.  When you are training for a specific race you tend to put in 3 hard weeks then on the 4th week you slightly ease off to give your body a break but I have been so keen to speed up over winter that the “easier week” passed me by…. so after the Monday tempo run, the whole week was taken easy!

Monday

20 minute tempo run was on the cards for today….I wasn’t feeling too chipper first thing I must admit and all the hard sessions of late had been taking its toll but I ended up running a solid tempo run that was much better than last weeks….with two of the miles under 6 min mile pace.

Tuesday

After Monday’s session I spoke to James, who I train regularly with and we decided our bodies had enough of the hard weeks so the rest of the week would be completely easy…. we ended up doing a really nice 6 mile run around town at 8.23 ave pace at just 133bpm heart rate!! Somethings beginning to work….

Wednesday

Nothing exciting really except for spinning out some more easy miles on the exercise bike….just went for a 30 minute session and got 7.4 miles in.

Thursday

Another easy run was on the cards, this time is was 8 miles on an old route from last years winter training….again a lovely gentle run at 8.11 ave pace at just 134bpm…. by this point I realised this training was paying off.  Heart rate has never been that low at that pace before.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Long run day!! Loving the long runs at the moment and I was joined by James…my normal training partner and James Yemm, another local runner who will be joining us more and more over the coming weeks.  We were up and out by 7.30am and did a nice easy 11 miler on much flatter terrain, compared to the normal 15 hilly miles we have been doing of late.

Sunday

Rest

Summary

Our attempts to lower our HR is working!! After 5 intense weeks training this week was a definite easy week and much needed.  Sometimes you have to listen to your body and my body was saying “no more reps”!

All in all another quality week of training and now I am ready to tackle the next block of intense work!

Running Training 31/10/2016 – 06/11/2016

As we enter week 6 of our winter “base building” training, let me just recap on week 5 by giving you guys a blow by blow detailed description of what happened last week.

Monday

Tempo run day! Started the week off with a tempo run because Monday is a good day for me to get up early and get out the door pre breakfast.

The aim with this workout is to run for 20 minutes in the higher end of the threshold zone, getting the body used to running at a quicker pace, both mentally and physically.

The session went well, started out slower than normal in order to finish stronger, which happened nicely.  This is a technique I am working on with my running, to finish stronger on my runs.

Tuesday

James and I embarked on our “routine” rep session….we are into our 5th week now and trying to make it a permanent fixture in this base building phase.  Weeks 1-2 consisted of 400’s, weeks 3-4 consisted of 800’s so week 5 we progressed to 1200’s.

We successfully managed to run 7 x 1200 reps, which came out at the following times: 4.23, 4.19, 4.24, 4.20, 4.21, 4.25, 4.26.

Having never done 1200’s before I must say this was a bit of a struggle, I seem to be able to adapt better to the shorter reps!

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Thursday is normally a workout day and today we went for a progressive 8 mile session.  This is the first time i’d done a run of this length constantly progressing and it was certainly challenging!  The first two miles were the wrong way around but other than that we had a successful progressing session: 7:11 – 7:17 – 6:53 – 6:52 – 6:48 – 6:36 – 6:30 – 6:14.

The great thing about the session is the heart rate kept below 170bpm until just past mile 6, which is the point in the workout where I felt it turned from comfortably easy to comfortably hard.  That is a positive sign in the fact that the 6th mile was a 6.36 and my recent training half marathon effort in week 3 came in at an average pace of 6.42 so making that pace even more comfortable is really encouraging.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Long run! I must admit I look forward to the long runs each week….this was the 4th week out of the 5 week training block that we’ve gone for 15 miles and the distance is starting to become comfortable.  The key element both James and I are working on is not fueling during the run and for me especially, getting up super early and not eating a full breakfast is helping to get used to running on an emptier stomach.

As per the last 3 x 15 mile runs, we have increased the tempo pace for miles 14 & 15 to marathon pace (or quicker) and we managed to hit that spot on with a 7:01 & 7:02.

Sunday

Rest

Summary

Heart rate has really surprised me this week and it seems to be paying off doing all of these workouts & reps…..suddenly, pace that was tough earlier in the year is becoming much easier to run at, which is always a great sign!

It has however been a tough 5 week block and I have been guilty of not taking an easy week so far so week 6 will certainly be much easier than this, with just one intended workout planned!

Welcome To My First Blog

Welcome to my very first blog post here on The FOD Runner! It is currently 6am on November 5th 2016 and we are in the middle of our “base building” winter training phase. As you are joining me part way through this I would recommend you hop over to YouTube and watch some of the latest training videos i’ve put up as that will give you an indication as to what I have been up too! Or, alternatively find out what our winter goals are here:

So to fill in you guys in briefly, we are currently running 4 times a week at the moment, which consist of:

1) Rep Session
2) Easy Run
3) Workout Session
4) Long Run

This training has been ongoing for 5 weeks now so we are fully in the swing of things, progression is happening and a couple of weeks ago I ran a PB half marathon time in training of 1.27.58, which im delighted with!

We have one more race left of this year, which is the Newent 9 race, a 9.5k undulating tarmac road race in a couple of weeks but other than that….we are looking ahead to the first half marathon of next year, Newport on March 6th!

I hope you will enjoy reading my blogs and watching my videos, any feedback is always greatly appreciated!

Stay tuned for the next update where I will be documenting my weeks training!