Training

Training May

Best month of training in a long time!

May for me was my best month of running since back end of 2016. This years roller coaster has been well documented but just before North Lincs HM, I did a reset. After having a serious look at what I had been doing, what I wanted and how to get back to where I wanted. I covered this in detail in my previous blog post. In this post I will cover what I did in May and a look at what I’ve got planned for June.

May kicked off with a cut back week with the North Lincs HM at the end of it. The majority of runs were all done as easy as possible. I’ve made a point of turning off my pace data on my watch on these runs now. I simply use it for the distance. I have my other watch to keep an eye on my heart rate, my aim is to keep my heart rate under 145 BPM. I also did a full week of cross training in the gym. I feel this has been one of the biggest changes in my training and May was first month that it started to show in my overall fitness. I did two speed sessions before North Lincs. Tuesday was 5 x 1k reps off 90s recoveries. All splits between 3:30 and 3:27. Then Thursday track was shut so opted to do a 3000m paced effort in 10:54. Aim was to run it just faster then my HM PB. I ended with a season best HM time but some 7 mins down on my PB. However, had it not been as hot I reckon I was closer to 80 mins which I think was more reflective of my current fitness/form at that point.

Week 1

  • Mon: AM – 6 miles & PM – Cross Training 30 mins
  • Tue: AM – 4 miles & PM – 5 x 1000m  (90s), Cross Training 30 mins
  • Wed: AM – 5 miles & PM  – Cross Training 30 mins
  • Thu: AM – 4 miles & PM – 1 x 3000m, Cross Training 30 mins
  • Fri: PM – Cross Training 40 mins
  • Sat: AM 4 miles
  • Sun: AM – North Lincs HM

Total mileage: 45 miles

Despite racing the previous day, the legs didn’t feel too bad, probably helped I slowed down in second half due to heat. The week was 7 days of running, with aim to clock 70 miles. Bare in mind I usually only topped out at 70 miles when I marathon trained. However I firmly believe looking back every time I built up the weekly mileage the better I got. For first few years of running I slowly went from 3 days, up to 4, 5 and then 6 days. Mileage went from 30, 40 and up to 50. However I seemed to top out at around 50 miles with the occasional 60 miles for past two years. The last round of road PB’s all happened when I last upped to 70 miles and slowed down the pace. So main aim in training is for 70 miles to be my new normal week. So with that being said I have a basic week plan of 10 miles each day from Mon – Fri over two runs each day. Varying the distances. Plus Tuesday and Thursday one of the two runs being a speed session. Then something speedy on a Saturday and then a long run of over 15 miles on a Sunday, unless racing on Sunday. If I am it’s easy on a Saturday, race on Sunday morning and then a 10 miler in the evening depending on how body is.

So week two of May was the first real test of my new plan. As I said week started off ok and suffered from no after effects from the race. The easy runs ticked over nicely. Tuesday afternoon I did 6 x 1200m off 90s jog recovery. Splits were between 4:21 and 4:13. Took me a couple of reps to gauge my correct speed. Thursday though instead of track (as yet again regulars were kicked off to make way for a school event. Why these cant be held during school hours when track is closed is beyond me) I ended up racing up in York and posting a fast 17:34. I followed this up with my fastest parkrun of the year on Saturday morning and my longest run of the year on the Sunday. I was chuffed to clock 70 miles. More importantly I didn’t feel tired as besides the speed session and two 5k’s everything else had been easy as possible. Meaning I wasn’t going into sessions still recovering from running too hard on my easy days. When you write about it, it seems silly but it’s taken me all this time to accept that it’s not about running hard all the time and yes in order to improve you actually have to slow down sometimes.

Week 2


  • Mon: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles
  • Tue: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 x 1200m  (90s), Cross Training 20 mins
  • Wed: AM – 4 miles & PM  – 6 miles, Cross Training 30 mins
  • Thu: AM – 4 miles & PM – Even Splits 5k
  • Fri: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles
  • Sat: AM – parkrun & PM – 4 miles
  • Sun: AM – 15 miles

Total mileage: 70 miles

As the month progressed I was starting to enjoy running again. I was sleeping better, training was fun again and I was hitting the key sessions. I also had started to work on mental strength. I often found myself physicking myself out of racing last year. I constantly had a negative attitude and was worried about what could go wrong. I’ve not start to use visualisation techniques ahead of each race. Get a firm idea of where I want to be at key parts of the race. What to do when it gets tough etc. The more I’ve raced the more these simple things have helped. Also having more then one goal at a race helps take the pressure off (this is pressure I put on myself as I continue to want to better myself). Week 3 had my first 10k of the year at the end. I knew it was going to be a 1pm start and another hot day. So I planned accordingly. Setting my halfway goal and my 3 race goals. I achieved both my halfway goal of running sub 18 before the heat began to take effect but I also ran a sub 37 which was my biggest target. However I had planned on doing another run but due to not racing till 1pm it meant it was near 4pm by time I got home and made decision to not run again and be happy with 60 miles and another hard race. I think long term my body would appreciate that, rather then another 10 miles and risking over doing it. The build up to Manchester had seen another similar week of running. With 5 x 1 mile Tuesday evening again off 90s recoveries. Again it took me a couple of reps to get speed right, clocking 5:48, 5:45 and then nailing 3 back to back 5:37 miles. Thursday yet again track was closed (this is becoming a bit of a gripe with me!) so did 6 x 800m on my own. I ran these around my 5k pace, clocking splits between 2:45 and 2:42. My aim when I get this session on track is to get down to 2:35’s again.

Week 3


  • Mon: AM – 5 miles & PM – 5 miles, Cross Training 30 mins
  • Tue: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 x 1 mile (90s), Cross Training 20 mins
  • Wed: AM – 10 miles & PM  – Cross Training 30 mins
  • Thu: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 x 800m (60s), Cross Training 20 mins
  • Fri: AM – 7 miles & PM – 3 miles, Cross Training 20 mins
  • Sat: AM – 4 miles
  • Sun: AM – Great Manchester Run

Total mileage: 60 miles

After Manchester it was business as usual with another 70 mile week. This week I had another midweek race on Wednesday night, so I dropped the sessions on Tuesday and Thursday to make sure I didn’t over do it. The week ticked over nicely with easy runs throughout the week and then Wednesday night I smashed another quick 5k time running 17:23 my 3rd fastest time ever. However by Friday I was feeling tired so opted to keep the rest of the week easy and dropped my planned parkrun Saturday morning. Instead opted to do a Fartlek Friday evening. I finished week off with a solo 15 miles.

Week 4


  • Mon: AM – 7 miles & PM – 3 miles, Cross Training 20 mins
  • Tue: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles Cross Training 20 mins
  • Wed: AM – 4 miles & PM  – Even Splits 5k
  • Thu: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles, Cross Training 20 mins
  • Fri: AM – 6 miles & PM – Fartlek
  • Sat: AM – 3 miles & PM – 5 miles
  • Sun: AM – 15 miles

Total mileage: 70 miles

After 3 weeks of building up the miles. I took the final week of May as a cut back week, dropping down to 45 miles. Taking Friday as my first rest day since the 4th but complete rest this time. I also did two track races. Clocking a 800m on the Wednesday night and finishing the week off with a 5000m PM, originally I had one planned on Monday but conditions meant wasn’t worth the trip. Although May ended on the Thursday for arguments sake I will cover the entire week up to Sunday. My hip was sore after my long run Sunday and I think it was my body’s way of telling me that it was tired and need some downtime. Coming out of last week I felt refreshed. Having a massage also got rid of all the knots and niggles. I still kept the double days but short 3 and 4 mile runs.

Week 5


  • Mon: AM – 4 miles & PM – 6 miles
  • Tue: AM – 3 miles & PM – 4 miles Cross Training 20 mins
  • Wed: AM – 4 miles & PM  – BAC 800m Champs
  • Thu: AM – 4 miles & PM – 3 miles, Cross Training 10 mins
  • Fri: Rest
  • Sat: AM – 3 miles & PM – 4 miles
  • Sun: AM – 4 miles & PM – North of England 5000m

Total mileage: 45 miles

Overall I think it was a successful month. The lack of track sessions is a bone of contention, thankfully I was saved by a few mid week races and adjusting sessions when needed. Going into June I have a fair few midweek races both on the road and track so hoping the changes in speed will pay dividends over all distances. Again aim is to get 3 good weeks of training before cutting back at the end. However with a few Sunday races, I will have to double up on a Sunday and switch my long run to a different day. I will adjust accordingly and main thing is to listen to my body and make sure I don’t over do it. I’d rather need a few more weeks then burning out and having to go back to square one.

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