Project Great North Run Week 4

Following on from the lack of desire to get out at the end of week 3, week 4 began in much the same way. A combination of a lack of desire, the horrible heat and a couple of days of bad headaches meant that the first time I got out for the week was Friday morning.Continue reading “Project Great North Run Week 4”

McKirdy Mile Series

In the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown, I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across some posts promoting a series of virtual mile races. The McKirdy Mile series was put together by the guys at McKirdy Trained, one of my favourite follows on the gram. The completely free 4 part series was to take place over 4 weekends in May and June and I decided to enter to give me a reason to keep running what with my 10K having been cancelled.

For the first mile on 2nd May I don’t think I’d tried running hard at that sort of distance since doing the 1500m at school over 20 years ago. That was some hard going but I managed to knock about 11 seconds off my previous best mile which was set at parkrun in January 2019. Definitely some lessons to be learned for the next one, went out far too hard and died in the middle before rallying a bit and holding on.

Despite how it looks in the picture for the second mile that felt much better than the first one. Didn’t go out as hard in the first quarter mile and hard more in the tank towards the end as a result. A different route than mile 1 but on reflection a course that was much less conducive to running quick, thanks to some obstacles so it left me thinking there was a bit more to come in 3 weeks time.

For the third mile I returned to the course from the first mile and wanted to be out early for to avoid traffic on the roads that need to crossed. Another PB making that a PB in all 3 of the miles so far but not the feeling during this mile was that there wasn’t much more to come in the final instalment in 3 weeks time.

Saturday 27th June saw the final mile of the series, given the lack of running and effort in the week leading up to the mile I wasn’t really expecting to even be close to the time from the third mile let alone have a chance of beating it. With the lack of activity in the last week or so I knew there wasn’t much chance of making it 4 PBs out of 4. The intention this morning was not to go out too quick and the first half mile felt good. Between the half mile and three quarter point there is a very slight incline and I struggled a touch there. The last quarter mile I was able to rally a bit and had some more in the tank to finish strong.

Have to say a massive thanks to the guys at McKirdy Trained for coming up with the idea for this virtual mile series, it’s been good to focus on a bit of a different distance and pace.

Project Great North Run Week 3

Week 3 began with the news we were all expecting which was the cancellation of this years Great North Run. My entry has been rolled over to next years race.

This third week of training was a bit of a down week in terms of intensity, it began well and for most of the week was pretty good but come the Sunday long run it was wet windy and I really had no desire to get out there.

The first run of the week on Tuesday was a 40 minute easy pace run. The heat meant that no pace felt particularly easy. I really felt like I was melting by the time it finished.

The second run was on Thursday afternoon, it was to be a 55 minute easy pace run. It was another really warm run. For the last mile and half I picked the pace up a bit and despite the heat I really enjoyed this run.

Friday morning saw my third run of the week and the first run where I managed to get out before work. It was a much more comfortable 55 minutes easy pace, largely I think because it had rained overnight it felt a lot cooler and fresher.

My final run of the week was done on Saturday afternoon. I procrastinated so much that by the time I’d dragged myself out it was in the hottest part of the day. 40 minutes easy pace was not too bad until about 30 minutes in and then I began to struggle a bit with the heat.

The long run on Sunday was supposed to be 1 hour 40 minutes on Sunday but as I said before I really had no desire to get out there.

Project Great North Run Week 2

Week 2 of my training for the Great North Run is now complete. It’s been a bit of a challenging week as I suffered a real lack of motivation for a couple of days in the middle of the week.

Run 1 of the week as an easy paced hour in the rain. The rain was actually quite welcome and felt pretty refreshing given the last couple of months, right up until the last 5 or so minutes when I got completely drenched.

It was following this first run of the week that I found myself lacking motivation to get out. Eventually I decided to drag myself out on Friday evening even if it was just to get 30 minutes in. I started out at an easy pace and decided to push the pace on towards the end. Felt pretty good for having got out there, however given the wind and rain I’d have been better off with some sleeves.

Saturday saw the third run of the week. The aim was to go out for 80 minutes with 70 minutes at an easy pace and finish the last 10 minutes at a quicker pace. I felt pretty good throughout the run and was very happy with how much I had left for the final 10 minutes. The aim for the the easy section was to be between 9:11 and 10:10 per mile so I was really chuffed with averaging 9:15 per mile for the first 70 minutes and then being able to average 8:16 per mile for the last 10 minutes having already run for an hour.

Today saw my long run. I decided going out that I was just going to run at a comfortable pace without focusing too much on what pace I was running. Happy to have got 10+ miles in at 9:25 per mile. Had to avoid lots of cyclists and other runners as everyone and their dog seemed to be out this morning.

For the most part next week sees a bit of a drop in intensity prior to starting some fartlek and hill sessions the following week.

Project Great North Run Week 1

So that’s the first week of training completed for the Great North Run. As I said in last weeks introduction post to Project Great North Run, I fully expect the race to be called off but as yet it is still set to go ahead. There was scheduled to be 6 runs this week but with a few long days at work I knew before the start of the week that I would not be able to fit 1 of the runs in and so rescheduled that run for next week.Continue reading “Project Great North Run Week 1”

Project Great North Run

This coming week is when my training for the Great North Run is due to begin. Given the current circumstances and the noises coming out of the organisers it is looking like it’s certain to be cancelled, however I’m intending to go through with the training plan and run a half marathon on the race day (13th September).Continue reading “Project Great North Run”

Project 10K is no more

So it’s taken quite a few weeks for me to get around to writing this post. As expected the Great Birmingham 10K was cancelled so Project 10K is no more.

Knowing that it was very likely to be cancelled I was determined to carry on with the full training block even if it meant me running a virtual race on the day the race was to go ahead. Once the UK went into lockdown I really had so little motivation for the first couple of weeks to get out there and run. I was also still having to go into work and felt that working in an office and also going out to run might be a bit more risky than things should be.

But in the last week or two my mental health was starting to struggle without running. It also wasn’t helped by my government department employer providing me with a laptop to work from home and then changing their mind a day later and having those of us with laptops still go into work for the last three and a half weeks 🤷🏻‍♂️.

The last week or two has seen me back out relatively consistently to keep myself ticking over. The intention for the rest of the year was to run the Great North Run in September, given the situation in the UK at the moment I will be extremely surprised if the race goes ahead and even if the race does go ahead some serious thinking will need to be done to decide if taking part is the best idea. The intention is to do the full training block for the race, my training is not affected much as I run on my own anyway so social distancing as I run is nothing new.

Hopefully everyone stays happy and healthy.

Project 10K Week 1

Week 1 of Project 10K has taken place while the world seems to have gone to hell. Given all the races that have been cancelled so far in March and April because of COVID 19, I’m not holding out much hope that my 10K will actually go ahead at the end of May. Although it’s still a while off and things are changing so quickly, it doesn’t appear as though everything is going to be back to normal anytime soon. I’m going to continue training as though the race is going to go ahead for as long as is possible depending on the official advice otherwise I would drive myself mad.

The first run of the Project 10K training cycle was a 45 minute easy pace run. I dragged myself out of bed and had the run done before 6am. It took a mile or so to get the legs going but it was generally a decent run even with the heavens opening for the last 10 minutes.

The second run of the week was supposed to be hill repeats but that run went by the wayside thanks to a combination of car issues and some snow and ice.

Saturday morning saw a 55 minute easy pace run. Really enjoyed the run but it was a touch faster than the plan suggested. According to the plan I should have been aiming for 9:12 per mile at the quicker end of the scale. I misjudged the temperature for the run, looking at the forecast and out the window it looked really cold so I headed out with gloves and leggings. The gloves lasted about 5 minutes and I was a touch over heated by the time I finished the run.

Sunday’s long run on the plan was to be 1 hour 25 minutes. It was actually a fairly decent morning for a run, a bit of sunshine and only a little bit of drizzle. Have to say I wasn’t expecting the breeze that was out there. Badly misjudged tMy route and ended up back at the flat after 1 hour 5 minutes and couldn’t really be bothered to do a further 10 minute out and back to reach the 1 hour 25 minutes. Again as with Saturdays run it was quicker than what I was aiming for, by average about 10 seconds per mile too quick.

Week one of Project 10K in the book. Hopefully week two is a smooth week but obviously we are all at the mercy of official guidance so although the plan is there to be followed it’s a case of playing it by ear and doing what I can to keep myself and those around me healthy.