Starting Back Threshold Training

Over the next sixteen weeks I have decided to blog every couple of weeks about my winter training block, giving you an insight into the training I do on a weekly basics. The main focus of this training block is to try and find my form again after struggling to run well since running 2:42:37 at the Manchester Marathon. Hopefully I can start running well to improve my PB’S overall the race distances next year.

Current PB’s

  • 5k – 16:16
  • 10k – 33:24
  • 10mi – 55:46
  • Half Marathon – 73:34
  • Marathon – 2:42:27

I have spent most of this summer trying to improve my overall speed endurance by introducing more speed specific sessions into my training plan and I have really enjoyed this kind of training. I don’t normally include much speed work so it made a nice change as I felt I needed a change from my normal threshold training. It was more of an experiment to see how I would cope with this kind of training and to see if it could help to improve my times. The sessions were taking more out of my legs than my normal training meaning I was having to run the day’s in-between each training sessions much slower to try and maintain my normal weekly mileage of around 85 miles per week.

The core of my winter’s training is going to be built around heart rate training and running within my threshold heart rate zone of 158 bpm -169 bpm. This is the training that I have found gets the best out of me and with a few little tweaks to include some elements of the speed endurance training block I have just done that I feel will benefit me and help me to improve.

Monday was a complete rest day after racing Leeds Abby Dash 10k in awful conditions, where I ran 34:40 compared to last year’s 33:30.

Tuesday was a nice and easy recovery day running to and from work, living four miles away, makes it perfect for a thirty minute recovery run. My legs felt ok apart from a little niggle in both of my calves but this is quite normal for me after racing so I wasn’t too concerned. I just ran at the low end of my recovery zone and later that evening while watching television, I had a good stretch and had the pleasure of a painful foam roller session to work out the knots in my calves. The foam roller is never the most enjoyable tool to use but you can definitely feel the benefits afterwards.

Wednesday started off with a nice, easy recovery run to work as I had planned to do my first threshold run for a few month and wasn’t sure how I was going to find it. For the first couple of weeks I decided to ease myself back into threshold training and slowly build it up as this was at the core of last year’s winters training. I finished work and started to get changed into my running gear I could hear outside we were starting to feel the effects of hurricane Barney. The pace isn’t important when threshold training the main focus is to maintain a steady heart rate in the middle of my zone which is around 165 bpm.

Thursday evenings I have been coaching for Clowne Road Runners, who are the club that I run for. They are putting me through my coaching qualifications and tonight’s session was 5 x 6 minutes efforts with 2 minutes recovery in-between each rep. I ran the whole session as a threshold run without any recovery, making it easy to maintain a consistent heart rate. I was able to keep an eye on the training group whilst running around the track and made sure that everyone was working hard by calling out there start and stop times. The training group seems to be going from strength to strength with over 20 people attending and all enjoying working hard to improve.

Friday morning started off with an easy recovery run to work as I had planned to do my third threshold run of the week that evening. This would be the first time I had only run within my threshold heart rate zone since my marathon training at the start of the year. I was doing four threshold runs and a speed session every week while running over eighty miles per week. I wanted to start my training off with a solid week of threshold running without the added stress of a track session and a slightly reduced volume of training to help me recover better.

Saturday morning was my long run of the week and headed out on a fifteen mile road run with Gareth Lowe. Winter had finally arrived as there was a scattering of snow on the ground and a driving icy wind. We headed out with the wind on our backs for the first eight mile which made for really good running but we knew as we looped around to head back it wasn’t going to be as easy. As soon as we turned the corner to head back the wind hit us, making the second part of the run really tough and not very pleasant at all. The wind had slowed us down considerably meaning we was running around one minute per mile slower and made any conversation near impossible. I was pleased to get this run out of the way and have a nice warm coffee with homemade flapjack that was made for the finishers of the Clowne Half Marathon.

Sunday we had a lot of things to get sorted so I had to take advantage of the time I had available and squeezed in a double recovery day. The first run being at 6:30 am and was six miles nice and easy just to wake my legs up and get the blood flowing through my muscles to help repair any damage done over the past few days of threshold training. I was able to fit my second run of the day in just before tea and head out on to the local trails with my boxer dog for company.

Overall I’m really happy with the way my first week of threshold training has gone and feeling really positive about the changes I have made to my training.

Training Summery

  • Monday – Rest Day
  • Tuesday – AM 4mi @ 7:24/mi 155 bpm / PM 4mi @ 6:46/mi 150 bpm
  • Wednesday – AM 4mi @ 7:15/mi 150 bpm / PM 7mi @ 6:17/mi 165 bpm
  • Thursday – PM 7mi @ 6:10/mi 165 bpm
  • Friday – AM 4mi @ 7:32/mi 154 bpm / PM 7mi @ 6:10/mi 161 bpm
  • Saturday – AM 15mi @ 6:47/mi 160 bpm
  • Sunday – AM 6mi @ 7:16/mi 145 bpm / PM 6mi @ 7:03/mi 145 bpm

Total Mileage – 64


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