Training hasn’t gone right all year. I won’t bore you with the details as those who follow me will know the roller coaster year I’ve had. When I have been able to run, I got stuck into this obsession of running all my runs at sub 7 pace. This was no good, it wasn’t fast enough to help me get quicker but wasn’t slow enough to help me recover for the next session. I’ve been told by enough people that easy runs are just if not as important as speed work. My issues is I could never get my head round the idea of running slow to run fast. However, having just come off my highest mileage week in over a year with over 80% at very easy pace and two season bests, I’ve kinda come round to that way of thinking………
….basically it takes a while for things to sink in or listen. My wife has probably been the best person when it comes to advice but then I never listen to her. Yet others say the same and I do. It frustrates the hell out of her. So after speaking to John and Dan I decided I had the best opportunity to start fresh and try a new method of training. I’ve looked back at past training and last time I had a good spell of PB’s I was knocking out 50+ plus miles with 2 or 3 dedicated speed sessions. I’ve been very frustrated for the past year with my road running but I think looking back my training plateaued. I wasn’t doing anything different, up to 50 miles a week and same speed sessions and at first yes it worked, just like it did when I first got to 30 miles a week and then 40 miles a week. The same can be said when I first started doing speed sessions and track sessions. However, if you continue doing the same, the outcome will only be the same and sitting here typing this I think that is why I’ve not improved on the road since back end of 2016 because I’ve not taken the next natural progression in my training.
So the “new” plan is nothing amazing and not some magic wand but I’ve gone back to the basics. Aim is to do around 70 miles a week, with 2 or 3 speed sessions. A basic week for me will look like this:
- Monday: 10 miles, split over two runs. Easy pace
- Tuesday: 10 miles +, easy run in the morning and then intervals session. Sessions will be 1k, 1200m, 1 mile, 2k or 3k reps. Off either 90s or 2:00 minute recoveries. This sessions will be at target paces depending. Aim of these sessions will be to get body used to running at a target pace.
- Wednesday: 10 miles, either split over two runs or one medium long run done in the morning.
- Thursday: 9 miles, easy run in the morning then a track session in the evening. The track sessions will be VO2max, with aim to improve my top end pace, sessions range from 300m up to 800m during the summer.
- Friday: 10 miles, split over two runs. Easy pace
- Saturday: parkrun or hill or tempo session in the morning. Easy evening run. Depending on plans with family, will depend on the session I’ll do. parkruns are great way to do a 5k and test your fitness level.
- Sunday: 15 miles + this is an important session done easy to build endurance. During summer I will stick to between 15-18 and look at building this up over the winter months.
On top of that,my aim is to get to the gym Monday – Friday to cross train and work on injury prevention. Easy pace is simply done to heart rate, on watch for easy runs I turn screen to just show heart rate with aim to keep it around 145 BPM or lower. So far I’ve clocked more miles in a week and yet don’t feel as tired as I did knocking out 40 miles at sub 7 pace over 5 days.
Another thing I’ve done is to come off Strava. I’ve been a massive fan of the social platform but it wasn’t healthy for me. I’m easily taken in chasing segments when I should be recovering and easily become distracted to how others are training and racing, instead of focusing on what I should have been doing. It became more of a negative rather then a positive thing when it came to my training. So I’m sticking to just Garmin, as I still can get all the data I want but not getting sidetracked. It’s taken me a few weeks to get used to the interface but I’ve now gotten used to it and prefer it. Easier to share on social media, easier to upload photos and edit runs etc. Plus it also works with my other Garmin allowing me to now record my cross training sessions.
So in the next part of my new training blog I will cover the week building up to North Lincs HM and then last week which included a 5k race, a parkrun and 70 miles under my belt.