I feel I run best off a high mileage training plan and my body seems to be able to cope well with a high amount of stress. I’m averaging eighty miles a week and going from strength to strength due to consistently running three threshold runs a week, which I think is key to me running well. My local running track was closed this week on Thursday evening for maintenance which is when I normally do my speed work. To fit in all my key session in I had to swop some of my training days around, which allowed me to get to the track on Tuesday evening. I repeated a session I had previously done in my build-up of, 1 x 5 min (2 min recovery) 12 x 400 (60 seconds recovery) but this time I progressed the training session on by doing, 1 x 1mi (2min recovery) 10 x 400 (45 seconds recovery) 1 x 800. Even with the longer reps at the start and finish and shorter recovery’s, I managed to run all my reps quicker which must mean I’m getting faster and fitter. At the minute I’m running a threshold run the day before I do my speed work, the reason I’m doing this is to make me slightly fatigued going in to my speed session. This means I don’t have to work as hard to get my heart rate up to the required zone and I can run my reps a little slower. I feel more relaxed and in control of the session instead of having to force my pace to get my heart rate up. The advantages of this are that it doesn’t take as much time to recover from and I can run a threshold run sooner. My rest day had to be moved to Thursday meaning I had to run back to back threshold runs on Friday and Saturday. In twenty four hours I ran twenty seven miles with nigh teen of them in my threshold heart rate zone around 6:05/mi pace. This left my legs feeling heavy and I wasn’t looking forward to Sunday’s long run. Luckily my wife knows how to do sport massage as she started to study to be a physiotherapist before becoming P.E teacher so I’m very lucky that I can get a sports massage done at home.
I had originally planned to have Monday as a recovery day after Sunday’s Inter Club XC race, but on my recovery run to work my legs felt really good so I decided to swop some of my training days around. This enable me to take advantage of feeling good and run my normal threshold route home from work. It’s normally Tuesday when my legs feel heavy after racing and this week was no different. My decision to be more flexible with my training enabled me to have a better weeks training and have my recovery day when I needed it more. This week is the first time I’ve been able to run sub 6:00/miles in my threshold zone which is really encouraging that I have got my training right. The lower my heart rate is getting the quicker I’m having to run to get in to my threshold training zone the harder mentally I’m finding it to run towards the top end of my training zones. When I was wasn’t running as well and not as fit it was a lot easier to run towards the top of my zones. I would be thinking I should be able to run faster at this heart rate and would keep pushing on. But know I’m thinking the complete opposite I look at the pace and think I shouldn’t be running this fast at such a low heart rate and start to back off. This is the reason I broke my Saturday threshold run in smaller efforts with a short recovery jog in-between each effort. The aim was to try and run towards the top end of my threshold zone to build my confidence at maintaining that speed and effort. A little recap on my training since I started training by heart rate five weeks ago. I did my first 9 mile threshold run in 1:01:21, 6:46/mi @ 165 bpm and this week that 9 mile threshold run was done in 54:45, 6:04/mi @ 161 bpm. Which is a massive improvement of over six minutes and a drop of four bpm while running forty two seconds quicker per mile. Continue reading
Friday was a welcome rest day, after three weeks of threshold training and running my quickest threshold run along my nine mile route on Wednesday evening I was ready for my day off. It is the first time since starting my training plan I have felt tired and my legs have felt heavy. To my surprise even though my legs felt heavy I was running really easy and relaxed, my pace was quicker and my heart rate was lower, which is a really good sign that everything is progressing nicely. I ran my first threshold run three weeks ago along the same nine mile route I ran on Wednesday evening at the same heart rate but thirty second per mile slower. Three weeks ago it took me 1:01:21 @ 164 bpm averaging 6:46/mi and on Wednesday evening along that same route it took me 56:25 @ 164 bpm averaging 6:15/mi. I’m running thirty seconds per mile quicker and still only working at the same effort level which I think speaks for itself. When I’m feeling tired I run in the lower part of my heart rate zones because I get the same training benefits from running at the bottom of my zone as I do from running at the top of my zone. The key is not to worry about the pace. I really enjoyed this weeks track session as I have been finding them really hard work and not really enjoying them. This weeks track session was the best I have felt and ran really well. The session we did was 1 x 5 minutes effort with a 2 minute recovery followed by 12 x 400 mete reps all with one minute’s recovery in-between each of the reps. I covered 1500 meters in the 5 minute effort before averaging 74 seconds for the 12 x 400 meter reps all off 1 min recovery. With a tough head wind down the back straight of the track, I was really pleased with how this session had gone. Continue reading
It’s time to start doing what works best for me and stick to my own plan for the next fourteen weeks and run a PB at the North Lincolnshire Half Marathon on Sunday 15th May. My current PB stands at 1:13:20 so I’ve got to be looking at running sub 1:13:00. This week has been the first time for a while I have been able to run threshold runs back to back on three consecutive days. Each run was done on my way home from work along the Chesterfield Canal and it was pleasing to see my heart rate drop but my pace increase on each run. Lactate Threshold Training is a good way to see how your training is progressing as you stick to the same heart rate zones but your pace increases to achieve the desired hear rate as you become fitter. Running back to back threshold runs did leave my legs a little heavy for my Thursday track session but I find this gets the best out off me. When running more quality threshold session in the week I try to run in the middle of my training group for my track sessions, we all take a turn on the front and try to keep the reps consistent from the first to last rep. My long run at the week end at the minute is a maximum of ninety minutes to try and keep my legs a little fresher for the more important threshold runs in the week. I will keep it like this until I get back up to running quick threshold runs. Continue reading
Coaching is something that I always saw myself going into when I was older and less able to run as far and as often myself. I thought a younger person wouldn’t be able to gain the respect and trust from the older and more experienced runners, who had been running for a lot longer than myself. I have only been running for a couple of years but in this short space of time I have found myself getting more and more interested in all aspects of training and developing as an athlete. I basically spend all of my free time reading and studying the different training methods and I have been completing my speed sessions with a variety of running clubs which I feel has helped me to see a number of different ways to plan and structure training sessions and how the different sessions stress your body and help you to improve. I have also worked hard to change my diet and improve my core strength and flexibility which has improved my running efficiency. Continue reading