It has been a while since I wrote about my training. With regards to training it has been a roller coaster of a year. Peaking too early for the marathon, then suffering burnout from said marathon. Then losing my way a bit then before getting into a new routine that saw me improve my track racing. September for me was a complete washout. October I started with a new plan but also decided to go quiet, which I blogged about. This allowed me to focus on my goals without being distracted by outside influences. It meant I went into my target race at Leeds, feeling no pressure and I came away with my strongest 10k performance in 19 months.
With training it was a case of a few trial and errors to get a new routine that worked for me but would also take me to the next level. The first new trial was to move my rest days from Friday to Monday. Next it was a case of doing intervals on a Tuesday and then flat-out speed session on the track Thursday. Weekends I wanted to get some race practice in to regain road racing fitness as well as re-building my endurance level. With track training I had not done many long runs on a consistent basis.
The first week in October look like this;
So not a bad week. Tuesday started with an easy run, then my Tuesday session was 10 x 800m off 60s rolling recovery. Wasn’t particularly flat-out but was more about maintaining a consistent speed throughout the session. After easy runs Wednesday, Thursday morning I did a track session which was 4 x 1200m at 5k pace with 800m at 7:00/mi pace. So the 800’s were recoveries of sort. The idea behind it was to learn to hold pace while tired, it was a proper brutal session. Rest of the week was easy running then did the Golden Gate Gallop 5 mile race. Finished 5th but there was plenty to do.
Second week of October;
This week is when I felt like I was getting into a routine again. After rest day Monday, Tuesday was one big session, 2 mile warm up and down then 8 x 1000m off 90s recovery, all done at or faster than my 10k pace. The session was all about working on my 10k speed. The following day I cut out the shorter double day and did a 10 mile run. Looking back though my logs I felt having a second 10 mile + run a week really helped my endurance, so it was something I was keen to put back in. The main thing was to not over cook it between my two-speed sessions. Thursday was 8 x 800m these were a lot quicker then the road set I did, the shorter recoveries meant I wasn’t running flat-out but maintaining the best pace throughout, I was happy with this session. The weekend saw me do my first Cross Country race at Heaton Park followed by a hilly 12 mile long run on Sunday. Was an excellent week and felt like for first time since Jan/Feb I was heading in the right direction on the road.
Third week of October:
I decided to try a 7 day week, just doing an easy run on the Monday. Tuesday was another road speed session, this time 6 x 1200m off 90s recovery. Again this was all about 10k pace training. Another midweek 10 miler, followed by a brutal all out speed session on the track, 4 x 200/400/600/400/200m. Was 60s between reps and 3:00 between sets. The turn of speed was tough especially last set when there was only two of us left standing. The rain that night was horizontal! Saturday was the epic fail of a parkrun at Stretford. Followed by another 12 mile run to give me my highest mileage for a week in months. Besides Stretford it was another solid week and feeling fitter that I’ve felt in ages.
Fourth week of October
I tweaked this week as I wanted to prove Stretford was due to running head on into runners (read report for full rant!) So my Wednesday 10 miler was moved to Monday, I then did easy 6 Tuesday morning followed by a steady 4 miles Tuesday evening. Wednesday was race day. So easy run in the morning then I posted a season best 5k at the Even Splits 5k race. I had plans for weekend so instead of track it was another 10 mile run Thursday. I wanted to be fresh for weekend as originally planned on racing both days, so opted to drop back to 6 days, which I feel works better for me. I enjoy the one day off a week. Saturday was the Manchester University XC Relays as it was a relay at lunch my time was limited on Saturday so meant I was unable to get the second run in. I did race well and still had plans to race the following day at Fairclough. However, I felt tired in legs after two races, I knew it wasn’t worth the 2 hour drive if wasn’t firing on all cylinders for what was in truth only a “B” race. I did two 5 milers between spending quality time with the family.
Looking back October was a good month. I tried a few things as I said but I’ve learnt 6 days works better for me and Friday is better as my rest day. It allows me to recover from the midweek sessions and then have an excellent weekend. I know if I could get another quality month in December, going into 2018 would be a very interesting race time wise.
However no road is ever straight…………………..