Saturday, November 17, 2018

Run#7 spring marathon training block

Run#7 of my journey to spring marathons (my 48th parkrun)

This morning I got myself down to the Blackweir parkrun (Cardiff), my outing was split into three parts:

Part 1 - warm-up on the way to the parkrun start

This morning I used the 1km commute to parkrun to jog, and do a dynamic warm-up (including a bit of plyometric skipping). It was a really good warm-up and happily I wasn't skipping when I passed two fellow Pegs Ellen and Caroline. Both of them looked to be well set for a good run and were doing their warm-ups looking relaxed.

At the start area I took of the extra layers that thought it wise to use for a change and left them in the parkrun baggage drop. Near enough the first time I have used it for warm clothes because I usually barrel down in my running kit, survive whatever the weather throws at me and then run home before I get to cold / wet (or both). Once I had sorted myself I stood waiting feeling clear in my purpose for my run session, a warm "good morning" from another Peg, Colin, made me feel even more at my ease.

Part 2 - Blackweir parkrun (A course)

So I set out this morning with a fully formed plan for both preparation and the run, and happily ended up nailing a good parkrun for the third in a row. The middle 3k were as balanced an effort as possible and the numbers look nye on perfect. Today was about borrowing some last kilometre speed and spreading it through the first 4k to take me to sub-30mins for parkrun for the first time this year. The last km was still a controlled burn and happily felt as strong as my last parkrun.

My kilometre splits according to Strava were quite staggering 5:59, 5:37, 5:37, 5:37, 5:00 - I focused hard in the middle on technique and rhythm but was surprised by the quality of the outcome when I interrogated my watch once I got home.

As soon as I got out of the finish token collecting funnel I enjoyed a quick catch up with Luke (another Peg runner), he finished well ahead of me and looked fresh but reported that he has been wrestling with some niggles that are stubbornly not clearing up. I hope he is back to full fitness soon as I hope to be chasing him around some more parkruns in coming months.

Once I was done I got my kit back on and stretched before setting off for home. Pre-warm-up and layers to put back on afterwards were all part of trying to go into each run from here with the best approach / preparation that I can.

Part 3 - the strategic walk home

So then it was the final element in my cunning plan... walking home warming down gradually. It felt good in the moment and I hope that the active stretching of the walk home will improve my post-parkrun recovery time.

#parkrun #blackweir #strava #2018PB #runningwithaplan #marathontraining #brightonmarthon2019training #running #pegasusrc #persistantpegs #dontcallitacomeback

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sunday long steady run that wasn't quite...

It was not really a steady run it was more of a marathon paced run, to see how I would get on. This run turned out to be one of those eventful ones that will stick in the memory for a while. The run started out close to my old marathon pace and then saw how long it would - not long as my post run Strava km splits revealed. I was really pleased with how much better this run went than last weeks run, I felt far more fluid and was in a really good frame of mind setting out.

The plan was to practice gels and take one an hour with one before - having gone around Cardiff Bay to the second gel at two hours of running I discovered I'd lost it somewhere (it must have worked its way out of my run belt). Happily I had packed a pack of 'just in case' sports beans, so I smashed those down and finished of the bottle of water I had carried / used until that point.

On the way back towards town I realised the park entrances to the Taff trial would be locked and I couldn't retrace my steps, new plan hatched (that I calculated wouldn't add too much distance) I ploughed on. Into town it was quite busy and I was greeted by three lads who yelled "Oi, fat slob!!" as I passed them. Already feeling a bit out of sorts at other hiccups this just about mentally finished me off... the long gradual hill up North road was incredibly hard.

Finally I got within a kilometer of home and entertained thoughts of a final push, to which my legs said "no chance!", and then the wall hit and I was in gripped by a full energy bonk as I got back. Breathing rate up, heart rate up, deep fatigue, legs legs jelly... yeah, it was not a long steady run, it was basically a 3 hour tempo run. Glad it was done, glad that I stayed focused (for the most part), and glad that it sets me up to get round Bournemouth marathon (albeit now perhaps as a recce for a better attempt at it another year).

Monday, August 20, 2018

Bournemouth calling (soon)

Why Bournemouth?
It will be an opportunity to meet up with a school friend who has also signed up to run the marathon. Though that said my biggest motivation is to try to take some time off of my most recent marathon time of 5hr 21mins. Initially when I signed up I was thinking of knocking an hour off, from here though I will be happy with simply bettering my last marathon time in a way that builds me into the winter and a crack at Newport again next year.

What is Bournemouth?
The Bournemouth Marathon is ’running as it should be.’ Beautiful coastal views, a chance to run the Boscombe and Bournemouth piers and a spectacular finish.
Held this year on Sunday 7th October 2018 (Start time:10am)
It's 2018 lead charity partner is Macmillan Cancer Support.

To answer this another way I turn to
The Bournemouth Marathon is a road race run over the distance of 42.195 km or 26 miles and 385 yards. It takes place each October in Bournemouth on the south coast of England. The inaugural Bournemouth Marathon took place on 6 October 2013. It is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race. It is part of a festival of running which includes a half marathon, 10km run along with shorter races.
18 week training plan
The fulsome training plan went out of the window with the summer holidays, a change of job role, and well life in general really. Back on the road now and following a hastily assemble 9 week progression aimed at getting me around in one piece. The plan is my own and relies somewhat on prior experience of what works for me, the big issue (as it has been in most training phases of late) is to try and avoid injury whilst building up time on my feet.

Stretching and strength
I am almost permanently broken these days so I have to find some core strength and fascia responsiveness

Mental preparation
At the time in the Newport marathon when things began to unravel and the lack of preparation became fully evident I didn't have the mental preparation of having run long and hard through fatigue in my recent memory. I far from mentally imploded but it was evident that I was wrestling with plan B the rest of the way without the preparation that would have made the last 10k less emotional.

The biggest challenge?
Overcoming myself and the obstacles that I will no doubt put in my own way - the run with too much intensity, the run when I should have rested, the extra helping of food I don't need, the slavish dedication to a preset plan rather than listening intelligently to my body, and probably above all the pressure to run the time that I want to.

The way forwards
Training sessions will pop up on instagram and strava, and periodically be summarised here so that I can track my efforts and reflect upon progressions (weekly or fortnightly posts - I haven't decided yet). Most of all (and again a theme I keep coming back to) I have to get moving.

Hashtag cloud - #bmf2018 #runbournemouth #andyonthemove #autumnmarathontraining #comebackkid #anothermarathon #marathontraining #newtonrunning #garminrunning #stravarunning #chasingfitness #letsdoit #persistentrunner #slowandsteadywinstherace

Thursday, May 10, 2018

2018 so far

Apologies for the distinct lack of blogging, I have been very busy instagram'ing, strava'ing, and so forth but not sitting down to write and build blog posts. But then I realised that I have been missing writing about my running in a longer form, so I am trying to get back here a little more.

Running wise it was a brilliant start the year, a 10 week marathon training block that went about as well as any training plan ever has for me, and then I ran a half marathon. The Llanelli half went fabulously well, it was my fourth fastest ever, the bit that didn't go so well was the aftermath. As I healed up after the race it became clear that I had more than just little niggles, I had the kind of niggles that were going to keep me out of running for some time. The good part was that I really really really enjoyed the 10 weeks, and that I found lots of elements that worked for me.

At the end of the April I managed to get myself to the Newport Wales Marathon... more on that at the beginning of next week...