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Winter Training up to 12/3

It’s been 5 weeks since I last rambled about what I’m getting up to in training. So much has changed over the past few weeks, so grab yourself a cuppa as this might be a long blog post.

So after the crazy week I had with the 80 miles. I had a cut back week, with one eye on doing the 30k at the end of it. All week it was weather watch as heavy snow was predicted. I kept to plan though, which I needed anyway. So was my usual Monday which consisted of a double day, my speed work for week was the indoor 3000m race on Tuesday night (read report here). Wednesday was an easy run, then double day Thursday, with a progression run in the morning followed by easy 3 in evening. The snow never came so I ran the 30k race (read report here) and put in a strong performance, which I seriously benefited from both mentally and physically for future long races.

  • Mon – AM 6 miles easy / PM 4 miles steady
  • Tue –  PM Indoor 3000m
  • Wed –  PM 6 miles easy
  • Thu – AM 6 mile progression / PM 3 miles easy
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – AM 3 miles easy
  • Sun –  AM St Valentines 30k

After the 30k I was back out for another 70 mile week, Monday started with two easy runs. I really had sore calf’s after the 30k and wasn’t till midweek that they felt ok again. That meant not to push speed for a few days while I recovered. That meant an easy social 10 mile club run on Tuesday night, followed by two more easy runs on Wednesday with back end of my second run re-introducing some pace. Thursday was back to track at night with a solid 12 x 400m off a 100m recovery. Despite the windy conditions and legs still recovering I was knocking out 73/74s reps. Aim over summer is to get that back down to 70 or faster.

After Friday I was back at the track but this time a solo session. I decided to have a crack at doing the Yasso 800 session. This is 10 x 800m with roughly same recovery and it’s suppose to predict your potential marathon time. I ended up doing them all in under 2:40, added 5 minutes meant I had the potential to do a 2:45 marathon time. That would be 23 minutes quicker then my current marathon PB. It gave me food for thought about doing another marathon in the future. The week was finished with another 20 miles, 10 easy and the 10 quicker back down the trail.

That meant I had done 5 20 milers since December 27th and one 18.6 mile race. Not a bad winter base.

  • Mon – AM 6 miles easy / PM 4 miles steady
  • Tue –  PM 1o miles easy
  • Wed –  PM 6 miles easy / PM 4 miles steady
  • Thu – AM 3 mile progression / PM 12 x 400m
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – AM 10 x 800m
  • Sun –  AM 20 miles

The following week thing’s really started to get interesting, it was half term week. This meant managed to get out on a 15 mile social run on the Tuesday, this was followed by my clubs first Wednesday night track session that I’d set up. I wanted to try the session while it was a good session 2 x 2 x 400m/300m/200m/100m, Wednesday night isn’t good for me so after this session I decided to coach the session instead.

At the same time I had been in email conversation with Running Made Easy that is run by Olympians Michael Rimmer and Eilish McColgan. Now I’ve tried coaches in the past and they’ve not worked. I find it hard to let someone else control my training, however while I know myself well and the basics, I am guilty of being short sighted  with my goals, over racing. I felt if I’m to achieve my full potential I need to hand over my training to people who know what they are doing. The RME team feel I have the ability and potential to go a lot further in my running career. I just need to listen and follow the training set out. This meant for past few weeks it’s been a bit of a learning curve for all parties involved and a lot of trial and error.

The first session I was given was on the Friday which was mile and half warm up/down then 6 miles at 5:50 pace. This was a massive confidence boost. Ok the route was technically downhill on the TPT but still, I had never done 6 miles on my own under 6 minute pace…. EVER! After having Saturday off I was given 18 miles at 7:15 pace. I didn’t listen to pace and ended up running average pace of 6:59, cranking up the last 6 miles. Was a good run but showed how ill disciplined I can be with regards to controlling my pace. I did finish with a 73 mile week, my second highest mileage week ever.

  • Mon – AM 6 miles easy / PM 4 miles steady
  • Tue –  AM 15 miles easy
  • Wed –  PM 3 miles easy / 2 x 2 x 400m/300m/200m/100m
  • Thu – AM 6 mile easy / PM 4 miles steady
  • Fri – PM 6 mile tempo
  • Sat – Rest
  • Sun –  AM 18 miles steady

I was discussing races as I had one eye on doing the MK 20 miler on the Sunday, in the end opted for Trafford 10k that my friend Callum gave me. My coaching team decided to give me a proper focused build up race week. Speed all week was to run sub 35. From a personal view point I felt I was a stronger/better runner then last year and the week made me believe that a PB was all but guaranteed. Now we all know nothing is certain when it comes to running. One thing the RME introduced was swapping from double days to one longer run. All my runs now had a set pace target, something I liked but had stopped doing and simply ran my easy/steady runs more to feel rather then pace. So Monday I had 7 miles at 7:00/mi pace. I nailed session and felt good to have more structure.

We had discussed trying both Wednesdays and Tuesday for track work, Wednesday was defo a no, no for me. So this week was about trying Tuesday. Was given 8 x 400m with 60s recoveries. Only a short session but managed to run all of them faster then planned. (I felt this was a good thing but maybe not in the bigger picture). Wednesday was 7 miles at 7:15/mi pace. Followed by 5 miles on the TPT at 6:24/mi pace. Another session that would never have dreamed off but running down TPT fast is such fun! I finished build up to Trafford with 4 miles on Friday. Now I prefer 3 miles easy day before and something I need to feedback to my coaches. But as I said I went into Trafford feeling in best ever shape.

What I failed to take into account was lack of a decent sleep pattern due to a tooth issue and while my winter base was great my training lacked 10k specific sessions and I probably wasn’t as bad as it felt at that time. As regulars will know Trafford didn’t go well and in truth it could not have gone much worse (read report here) The week meant I finished on my lowest mileage week in months !

  • Mon – AM 7 miles easy
  • Tue –  AM 8 x 400m
  • Wed –  AM 7 miles easy
  • Thu – AM 5 miles tempo
  • Fri – PM 4 miles easy
  • Sat – Rest
  • Sun –  AM Trafford 10k

The problem was after a bad race, all I want is to put it right. I’m very stubborn and when I get something in my head there is no shaking it. So the new partnership was really tested as I failed to listen to them about focusing on some quality training, instead opting to race again just 6 days later. The week started with another 12 miles up to Dunford running at my targeted pace. I enjoyed this run especially as was still suffering with my tooth (would be Thursday when it finally got fixed). Tuesday was a Fartlek session, this was 5 sets of 3 mins/2 mins/1 min with 1 min recovery. I basically ran as hard as I could on each section. I ended up doing over 7 miles! Was a shock to system but it showed that I need a lot of more dedicated speed work if I’m to run a 10k PB. Wednesday was steady 8 miles then things kinda went off course.

The plan was to do track session but after having over 90 minutes of dental work I was in no shape for a track session and didn’t get to run till gone 8pm at night. I took Friday off and then instead of doing the planned 7 mile tempo run. I went and did the Shakespeare 10k. While I got the win and the confidence I got from it, I still struggled to maintain the pace I need at 10k (read report here). My shortsightedness showing why I need to be more patient with regards to my goals. Sunday because I raced my 20 miler was cut to 16 miles at 7:30 pace. I ran first half with someone, then ran it quicker on way back.

  • Mon – AM 12 miles easy
  • Tue –  AM fartlek run
  • Wed –  AM 8 miles easy
  • Thu – PM 7 miles easy
  • Fri – PM Rest
  • Sat – AM Shakespeare 10k
  • Sun –  AM 16 miles easy

Will fill you in on this week in my next post but it’s taken till today and a few back and forward conversations to get my head right and as well as both RME and myself understanding one another. As I said I need to 100% trust in the plan, if not then no point in having a coach. I need to learn that if I spend time focused on training and nailing the sessions then my PB’s will come. As I said to them, they’ve probably seen my best and worse features these past 10 days. I think having a bad 10k and then still not running 35:XX at Shakespeare has allowed me to realise what needs to be done, understand where my coaches are coming from and what needs to be done for me to achieve my goals.

I also fed back to them that track for me is better on a Thursday.  So today (16/3) is day one of my new focus and commencement to what the RME team plan for me. Let’s hope in a few months I can write that I made the right decision but I know it won’t happen over night, I have to learn to adapt to the new plan etc.

On wards and upwards!


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