North Lincolnshire Half Marathon – Week 15 & 16

This is my  final blog update before I run the North Lincolnshire Half Marathon on the 15th May, this race has been my main focus for the past sixteen weeks with all of my training been structured and planned around this race. I have been using Lactate Threshold training to get me into the best shape possible and hopefully reach peak fitness come race day. My current PB is 73:34 and my aim is to run a new PB over the half marathon distance, anything under this time I will be happy with. If I’m able to get my taper right over the next two weeks and I’m able to juggle the balancing act of not doing too much while still doing just enough to keep my legs turning over, then hopefully it will get me to the start line feeling fresh and I will be able to find them valuable seconds to help me run a sub 73 minute half marathon. 5:34/mi pace is what I will need to run and is the pace I plan to set off at and see what happens. My training has gone really well and to be honest I couldn’t have asked for a better build up, for the last sixteen weeks. I’ve managed to hit all of my weekly mileage targets which has been an average of eighty miles per week. In this I have included four key work outs, three threshold runs and one speed session per week. The biggest advantage of using heart rate training is the clear reference points it gives to your current level of fitness. I have been using the same routes for the majority of my threshold runs which has enabled me to easily track my progress over the last sixteen weeks. My training zones have stayed exactly the same but as I got fitter the faster I have been able to run at the same heart rate. The lower my heart rate at a given speed means the less energy I have to use up and the longer I’m able to maintain that given speed for. I like to track my resting heart rate as it can be used as a good indicator to becoming run down or unwell and the need for a rest day. The signs from my heart rate are really encouraging as my resting heart rate is currently 45 bpm which is the the lowest it has ever been.

A couple of weeks ago I ran the Lincoln 10k in a time of 33:48 to see how my training has come together, I was really pleased to run just over twenty seconds slower than my current 10k PB of 33:24 as I haven’t run under thirty four minutes for twelve months. I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel for the following few days and decided to have a couple of days recovery running and not really worry about the pace. I just focused on making sure I was running towards the lower end of my training zones before I started back threshold training. I have made three changes to my training plan for the final two week before I start my two weeks taper. The first change is only a very slight change but one that is helping me more mentaly than anything else. I have changed my watch display to just display my heart rate instead of the normal three data fields I have showing on my Garmin, time, heart rate and pace. I have been struggling with maintain a sustained effort in my threshold zone when running towards the top of my threshold zone. As my pace has increased I have found backing off when I look down and see the pace I’m running. I could be at the bottom of my zone but I would be concerned I would be able to maintain that pace for a long period and not push on. With just my heart rate showing I’m a lot more confident and I’m feeling stronger for the whole run as well as running more consistent splits. The next two changes have been to my training plan, the first change is to make my speed session on the track longer with the aim of improving my speed endurance and improving my VO2 max before a final short sharp speed session the week before race day. My track sessions were done at current 5k pace and not flat out as it’s at this pace I get the most out of my speed work and enables me to keep threshold training with out needing a couple of days recovery. I have based them on splitting up running around twenty five minutes at current 5k pace with short recoveries. The final change is to my Sunday morning long run and trying to increase my endurance by spending more time on my feet. I’ve been missing my normal long run on a Sunday as I have limited them to a max of nighty minutes for the majority of my training plan. I had planed to add fifth teen minutes on each week as your body doesn’t know how far it has run but dose relate to intensity and time spent at that intensity. This didn’t quite work out as we were at a wedding last weekend and I had to run from the hotel. Which always creates that little problem of not knowing where your going and have to make it up as your running along. Keeping to my normal rule when I’m running some where different which is to keep taking left turns and you will eventually run a big circle and end up back roughly where I started from and has worked really well so far. This time was no different as I managed to have a really good run along country lanes around Castle Donnington. It had been going really as I got back to the road to take me back to the hote at mile 14 but this is where it all went wrong, I could get up the road on the side I was on as it was blocked off and need to get to the other side of the road, but to do this I had to take a two mile detour to get back to the same point but on the other side of the road. With this in mind I decided to use that as my 2hr long run and only do 1:45 this week which I suppose worked out better to have a shorter long run this week.

That’s all I have to say until after race day, I hope you have enjoyed reading my training blog updates over the week and hopefully there has been some interesting points about why I have done certain things in my training plan and  to make you think about how to make changes to help you with your own training.

Training Summery – Week 15

  • Monday – AM 6mi Recovery Zone 7:19/mi @ 155 bpm PM 7mi Recovery Zone 7:00/mi @ 154 bpm
  • Tuesday – AM 6mi Recovery Zone 7:15/mi @ 154 bpm PM 7mi Recovery Zone 6:46/mi @ 152 bpm
  • Wednesday – AM 5mi Recovery Zone 7:08/mi @ 154 bpm PM 9mi Threshold Zone 6:17/mi @ 165 bpm
  • Thursday – AM 4mi Recovery Zone 7:17/mi 144 bpm PM 3mi WU 6x4min @5:15/mi 1.5mi CD
  • Friday – REST DAY
  • Saturday – 12mi Threshold Zone 6:14/mi @ 164 bpm 1mi CD
  • Sunday – 17mi Recovery Zone 6:40/mi @ 158 bpm
  • Total Miles 83 miles

Training Summery – Week 16

  • Monday – AM 5mi Recovery Zone 7:11/mi @ 148 bpm PM 8mi Recovery Zone 6:47/mi @ 154 bpm
  • Tuesday – AM 5mi Recovery Zone 7:11/mi @ 151 bpm PM 9mi Threshold Zone 6:18/mi @ 162 bpm
  • Wednesday – AM 5mi Recovery Zone 7:07/mi @ 151 bpm PM 8mi Recovery Zone 6:37/mi @ 151 bpm
  • Thursday – AM 4mi Recovery Zone 7:15/mi 144 bpm PM 3.5mi WU 10×2.5min (75 seconds) @5:15/mi 2mi CD
  • Friday – REST DAY
  • Saturday –  12mi Threshold Zone 6:08/mi @ 165 bpm 1mi CD
  • Sunday – 15mi Trail Run in the Peak District
  • Total Miles 83 miles

Previous weeks training

Lactate Threshold Training Zones set by Blizard Physiotherapy

  • Recovery Training Zone 1 – 145 bpm – 158 bpm
  • Threshold Training Zone 2 – 159 bpm – 169 bpm
  • Tempo Training Zone 3 – 170 bpm – 190 bpm
  • Interval Training Zone 4 191 +
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