2020 Base Building Week 7

Just a quick post to update on week 7 of the base building plan. It wasn’t the best week. Given the weather and the shifts at work I wasn’t able to get out at the beginning of the week. Then at the backend of the week I was first travelling down to my parents and then down to Sutton Coldfield to visit my nephew.Continue reading “2020 Base Building Week 7”

2020 Base Building Week 6

This week was much better in terms of consistency. Also the weather this week by and large has been much more conducive to consistency.

For the first run of the week I finally managed to get myself out of bed for an early morning pre work run. 25 minutes easy pace to start and finish, with 10 x 15 seconds of strides with 1 minute recovery to work on getting the legs turning over and used to running a bit quicker.

The second run of the week was a steady state run with 20 minutes easy to warm up, followed by 40 minutes steady at a pace of 8:32-8:53 per mile, and 20 minutes easy pace to warm down. There were some difficult parts to this run which was largely down to the weather, a little bit of sun, rain, hail, sleet and snow along with a whole lot of wind. For the 40 minute steady section I averaged 8:30 per mile, so a little quick but largely pretty comfortable.

Saturdays run was 50 minutes easy pace. Again it was windy, when the sun was out it was quite nice although it was pretty horrible when the hail was coming down into the headwind. I covered 5.44 miles in the 50 minutes at 9:11 per mile.

Sunday’s long run felt really good. The weather was very variable, pretty heavy snow at the halfway point of the run and gorgeous sunshine by the end. My body felt really good and I was pretty happy that I was able to finish up with a couple of quicker miles.

All in I’m pretty happy with how this week went, nice and consistent and looking forward to building on it going forward.

2020 Base Building Week 5

As with week 4, this weeks schedule required some fairly major moving things around because of the weather. Next week looks as though it may require the same, we appear to be experiencing a significant period of stormy weather.

Given the forecast for snow and ice, along with the gale force winds at the beginning I thought I might be stuck with the treadmill. However there was a gap in the weather on Tuesday after finishing work for me to get out for my 45 minutes easy pace run. It was still cold and windy but the run was a fine and fairly uneventful 4.91 miles at 9:09 per mile.

Wednesdays run was the first run in this block that wasn’t an easy pace run or a long run. It was a steady pace run that called for 20 minutes warm up, followed by 30 minutes at 8:32-8:53 per mile, and 25 minutes warm down to finish. As this is the first run in a while since I’ve done anything but an easy pace run, I found it a little difficult to hit the right pace for the steady state part of the run and ended up averaging 8:20 per mile for that part.

Friday saw me out for 50 minutes easy pace. Pretty happy with even the pacing was because the first half of the run was with a strong tailwind and the second half was into a strong headwind. 50 minutes done at 9:08 per mile for 5.47 miles.

Saturday was a bit of a mini disaster. The intention for Saturday was to get my long run done pretty early before Storm Dennis arrived on Saturday afternoon and particularly with the wind forecasted for Sunday. That plan was scuppered when I was still wide awake at 1:30 on Saturday morning. In the end I eventually headed out at lunchtime. It was very wet and very windy and I ended up looking like a drowned rat. The intention was for 1 hour 40 minutes at 9:07-10:25 per mile. By 1 hour 30 minutes into the run I was pretty fed up and decided to call it a day at 9.51 miles and 9:28 per mile.

Overall a much more consistent week. Hopefully a bit more helpful weather next week means the consistency can continue but looking at the forecast for next week it looks like we may be due another storm for next Friday/Saturday.

2020 Goals

At the end of 2019 I knew that if I was setting goals for 2020 I needed to be smarter about it than when I did it for 2019.

I believe that the time based goals I have set for myself are achievable. Having ran 22:41 last year, sub 22:00 for 5K may not seem very challenging but I know that I am not in the same shape as I apparently was early in 2019. I know that I shocked myself with my 2019 5K times and I may shock myself again this year but I’m not sure how much faster than that I can go. My 10K pb is 52:04 but that was set way back in August 2018 and I think I’ve improved enough to challenge that. I’ve entered the Great Birmingham 10K on 31st May and there are a couple of others I’m looking at later in the year. I think with proper preparation the half marathon goal is achievable. The only half marathon I’ve entered so far, and probably will be the only one for the year is the Great North Run. It’s not really a PB course given the crowds of runners but fingers crossed everything clicks.

In order to reach those goals I’m going to need to be much more consistent in my training, especially my strength training and also in my nutrition.

2019 a year in review

As I mentioned in my previous post, my first year of running taught me that I work best when I have a goal to aim for otherwise I just drift and procrastinate. So going into 2019 I decided that at the start of the year I would give myself some goals to work towards.

It quickly turned out that my 5K goal of sub 23:00 was perhaps not exactly a stretching target, when I ran 23:57 on New Years Day at Strathclyde parkrun. That’s was quickly followed up with 22:53 and 22:41 on the 5th and 12th of January respectively. I think I did maybe 1 more parkrun in 2019 so didn’t lower my PB any further.

My goal of completing a marathon was a complete and utter disaster. I’d entered the Edinburgh marathon which was the last Sunday in May. The training was a real mess, I struggled to complete sessions and generally my body was not coping with the volume of training either. Eventually I abandoned all hope of a decent time and just hoped I could somehow get myself to the finish line. Unfortunately come the day of the marathon I made it through 4 pretty uneventful miles before I injured my foot. Every time my foot made contact with the ground I was in agony, I made it to about 10 miles before deciding that I was just risking doing some serious damage.

About the only positive thing to come out of the Edinburgh training block was the Haweswater Half Marathon. It was a race that I really enjoyed with beautiful scenery. It was however windy and freezing cold something that was reinforced by the snow falling as I was driving the 15 miles or so back to my parents. I wasn’t trying to hit a particular time largely because, despite the official description saying the course was undulating, it was extremely hilly compared to what I was used to. Somehow despite suffering with some calf issues in the last 3 or 4 miles I managed to creep under 2 hours finishing in 1:59:03.

In September I ran the Great North Run. My training started really well and the disaster of the Edinburgh training block seemed so far away. however about 2/3 of the way through the training I just hit a wall and really struggled from then on. Going into the day I was massively under prepared, yet despite a poor performance it was possibly my most enjoyable race. The weather was glorious sunshine and despite shivering whilst waiting for the Metro after parking up, I really struggled with the heat throughout the run. I also really under estimated how hilly the course is given that it is net downhill. But all that being said it was so enjoyable the atmosphere from the crowds and fellow runners was brilliant. There were spectators on every bit of the course and the ones handing out ice pops were especially welcome. The beer handed out between mile 10 and 11 by the Newcastle Hash House Harriers club was strangely the thing that picked me up and got me to manage to finish somewhat strongly. I have entered the race again in 2020 and am determined to do better and be better prepared this year.

Looking back on my goals for 2019 some of them were obviously a bit too stretching. I didn’t run any 10k races in 2019 so obviously couldn’t hit that target. If 2019 has taught me anything it’s that I’m still relatively new to running and that I need to be careful not to do too much too soon. I was obviously not physically or mentally ready for a marathon and a such if I do ever do one it will only be when I am capable of it.