Training July

A tough month with rewards

July felt like a long month it had a few highlights, a few frustrations and a whole lot of heat. The month started with the Northern Masters multi terrain race. As I covered it in last months training blog and race report I won’t say much except it was the start of a long hot month.  The first week of July was a case of weather controlling things. Everything was geared towards Leeds 10k, then I was asked to do the track 5000m at Blackpool for Harriers and also to go on Standby for the inter-areas 3000m in Birmingham.  In the end I ended up doing none! as I didn’t get a call that I wasn’t required till Sunday morning and I wasn’t prepared to race anything long in the temperatures that Sunday brought (upwards of 30’C). I ended up doing a long run at Rother Valley with family on bikes and even then it was super hot and we finished with an ice cream and dipping our legs in the lake which was awesome.

Before all that the week was another mileage increase, beginning with a very windy 11 miles on the trail with Sarah on the bike. It was hard work into a very strong headwind. Tuesday I did 6 x 1200m off 90s recovery banging out some impressive splits for me.  (Splits 4:01.75, 4:01.24, 4:00.84, 3:58.87, 3:59.22, 3:59.36) Followed by an easy recovery 4 miles later that evening. Wednesday was an easy split day of 4 miles and 6 miles then Thursday was a solo 12 x 400m off 60s session and an evening recovery run.. Again the speed session went well. Friday was another easy double day. Saturday was 7 miles over two easy runs and ended week with 12 miles as mentioned due to no racing. I think it was a smart move not to race that weekend. Had I done Leeds in that heat it would have been brutal and I would have gotten a crap time and knocking my confidence mentally.

Week 1

  • Mon: AM – 11 miles, Cross Training
  • Tue: AM – 6 x 1200m off 90s & PM 4 miles, Cross Training 20 mins
  • Wed: AM – 4 miles & PM  – 6 miles, Cross Training 20 mins
  • Thu: AM – 12 x 400m off 60s & PM 4 miles
  • Fri: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles, Cross Training 20 mins
  • Sat: AM – 3 miles & PM  – 4 miles
  • Sun: AM – 12 miles
Total mileage: 71 miles

The mileage continued with a second week of 70 miles. Starting with two easy runs on the Monday. Tuesday I nailed another quality session with 5 x 1 mile off 90s. As the mid week racing season draws to a close I will be doing more interval work on Tuesdays and track sessions on Thursday. However during the summer it’s been of case of making sure if racing midweek not to over do it. So when I do sessions and nail it, it gives my confidence a world of good. I again got back out in the evening for a recovery run. Wednesday was a double easy day, as was Thursday morning before I ran a season best at York that evening. Friday was an easy day because I had the North of England champs Saturday morning. While I got gold I wasn’t happy with my performance and think the tough week had caught up with me. That evening we ended up doing an unplanned 8 miles on the TPT and finished week with a further 12 miles on Sunday. As miles have increased and the warm weather my gym time has suffered. It something that will have to wait till after 6 weeks holidays, as I’m crazy busy at the moment and main priority is to get the runs in.

Week 2

  • Mon: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles,
  • Tue: AM – 5 x 1 mile off 90s & PM – 4 miles, Cross Training 20 mins
  • Wed: AM – 4 miles & PM  – 6 miles
  • Thu: AM – 4 miles & PM – York 5k
  • Fri: AM – 6 miles & PM 4 miles
  • Sat: AM – 1500m  & PM – 8 miles
  • Sun: AM – 12 miles
Total mileage: 72 miles

Going into this week I changed my plans and put in the Sale Sizzle, this was a mistake as I’ve previously mentioned on my blog but it meant my week started well but finished on a down note. Starting with a good 10 miles with the wife on the TPT Monday, Tuesday tried something different doing 8 x 2:00 off 60s recovery and an easy recovery run in the evening. Wednesday I did double 5 mile runs and then Thursday was race day, so easy 4 miles in the morning before baking all morning watching my daughters Sports Day then the Sizzler in the evening. A hot race and one I performed below par. After May and June seemed to be one race performance after another July already had 3 sub par races. I will be honest it knocked my confidence and made me wonder if I had been over doing it. Looking back while writing this, I think the heat played a massive factor in both my 1500m and 5k races so shouldn’t read too much into it. However I opted to take a rest day on the Friday. Just as a precaution to make sure I didn’t suffer burnout.

The weekend was good quality time with family doing 7 miles on the Saturday and 10 hilly miles round Derwent on the Sunday. I had planned on hitting 70 miles again but originally in the month would have been 60+ with Leeds 10k first week followed by two weeks of 70+. I didn’t do Leeds so got more miles in that week instead.

Week 3

  • Mon: AM – 10 miles
  • Tue: AM – 8 x 2:00 mins & PM – 4 miles
  • Wed: AM – 5 miles & PM  – 5 miles
  • Thu: AM – 4 miles & PM – Sale Sizzler 5k
  • Fri: AM – Rest
  • Sat: AM – 7 miles
  • Sun: AM – 10 miles
Total mileage: 56 miles

Just like June the final full week of July was my cut back week, I did manage to get some good sessions in the gym (probably too much). I still did my usual 10 miles on a Monday split over 2 runs, Tuesday I cut it right back to just 4 easy miles. Wednesday I ran easy 3 in the morning, followed by the Even Splits 5k in evening, only missing out on a course PB by 2s and on the hottest day of the year as well. Thursday was two easy 3 miles runs followed by 20 mins on the cross trainer. Friday was another “rest” day but stupid me still worries about weight so hit the gym twice and actually beasted my legs on the cross trainer. This meant come Saturday morning legs felt like jelly but some how managed to produce a freak result at Bakewell to end the month on a high, racing wise. My wife and I did 6 miles on a windy TPT that evening and then I produced a decent Sunday run doing a royal flush half marathon.

Week 4

  • Mon: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles, Cross Training 30 mins
  • Tue: AM – 4 miles & Cross Training 60 mins
  • Wed: AM – 3 miles & Even Splits 5k
  • Thu:  PM – 3 miles & PM – 3 miles, Cross Training 40 mins
  • Fri: Cross Training 60 mins
  • Sat: AM – parkrun & PM – 6 miles
  • Sun: AM – 13.1 miles

Total mileage: 48 miles

I will leave the final 2 days of July till next months blog but it’s been an up and down month. Some weeks not done any cross training and other weeks I’ve over done it. I’ve had a couple of good races and a couple of rubbish ones. Again I think the heat more then anything has played a massive factor in that. I found that I’m ok running 70 miles a week but learn to listen to the body and next time I have a rest day, Make sure it’s a rest day. If not come September i’m going to be knackered. I’ve now begun my final count down to my holiday and I will be doing plenty of resting while I’m there! Besides this Sunday I’ve only got a few short 5k races. My track season finished with the North of England Masters Champs as the British Masters is while i’m away and the Yorkshires is too late in September for me. It means I can now focus on making sure I’m upping my Sunday long runs so I can work on cracking out a good autumn half marathon and hopefully getting my 5k and 10k goals. The back end of the year is race loaded due to my charity challenge, it does mean doing a 10 mile or 5 mile race looks doubtful so might have to leave them till 2019 when I am free.

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