I can’t believe I’m already nine weeks into my training plan and only eight weeks until race day. To give me an idea of the shape I’m in I have entered the Lincoln 10k on the 17th April which is only five weeks’ away. It will be a great little sharpener before I start tapering for the North Lincolnshire Half Marathon. This week has been my birthday week and all of the treats have fuelled a really good week of training. I managed to work all of my training around going out for meals and visits from my family whilst keeping my training volume the same this week. I’m starting to consistently run low 6:00/mi threshold runs and was keen to keep the momentum going. Thursday track sessions are getting quicker as the training group gets fitter and this week the pace was a little spicy. Despite going into it with heavy legs from running a threshold run the previous evening, I managed to just about hang onto the front group for the whole session. We have been doing our club track night based on timed reps rather than distance as I think it works better for a group. The feedback from the club members was that they also felt that they get a much better work out this way. When we do distance some of the group finish before others who still have reps to do meaning they tend to cut the session short. When we do time based reps they will dig in and finish the whole session as everyone is running and resting at the same time, meaning everyone gets the most out of the training session. The signs of spring are starting to show and there have been great running conditions this weekend and for the first time I have been able to get out training in my shorts. Another great weeks training was finished off with a coffee and homemade cake.
I wouldn’t call this week a recovery week but after finding Tuesdays recovery run home from work a lot tougher than it should have been, I decided it would be a good time to have an easier week and took Wednesday completely off. I still wanted to include the sessions that give me the biggest training benefits but felt I could sacrifice my recovery runs for the rest of the week. I know when I’m feeling tired as I start to get really grumpy and snappy with my wife and this allowed me to catch up on some much needed sleep. Previously I would have kept pushing my body until it was my rest day and stuck to my training plan but I’m slowly learning. The more time I spend training the more I’m learning about what does and doesn’t work for me. I’ve started listening to what my body is telling me. If I’m feeling good I will make the training run count, if I’m not feeling good and I’m having fight to get my heart rate up I will have an easier day. I wouldn’t have gained anything by having another high mileage week and probably would have ended up injuring myself. In the long run it would have caught up with me and eventually had a negative effect on my performance, when I needed to find that little bit extra. This week was more about quality not quantity, my sixty four miles still included two threshold runs which are the most important of all my runs. A speed session and a nighty minute long run which I think made a very good weeks training. I have twelve weeks until my target race to hopefully get in to PB shape. Hopefully having a couple of treats this week and the reduced training load will help me to recharge and freshen up and allow me to make the same improvements in my next block of training. 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
Monday morning run commute problems, how to fit all your clean work clothes and food into a small running bag. It can be a real pain as I have so much stuff to take back to work but the positives far out way the negatives. Running to and from work saves me so much time and helps me to get the weekly volume of training I need to run well. On the plus side my recovery runs are getting quicker which is a good sign and shows my body is dealing with the build-up of lactate more efficiently. Training by heart rate makes training so simple, you just run within the required zone and don’t have to worry about the pace you are running. My pace will vary depending on a number of factors like terrain, weather and tiredness, Monday morning I ran at 7:28/mi @ 154bpm and on the way home my pace was 7:02/mi @ 150bpm so four bpm lower but nearly thirty seconds quicker and still within my recovery zone. If I had run my morning run at the same pace as I did in the evening, I would have worked too hard and not got the recovery run I needed. My threshold runs this week have all been run at a very similar heart rate around 165 bpm but each run has progressively got quicker. We managed to get a good training group together for this week’s long run which I’m still keeping to a maximum of nighty minutes. In the hope to keep my legs fresh for the more important threshold runs which seems to be working well. I feel like I’m having to fight with myself to get into my threshold zone at the minute which isn’t helping me run very fluently but this will start to get better over the next few weeks. 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