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Winter Training up to 5/2

Time for another training recap. A lot has transpired since my last ramblings back in early January, regulars will know but for those who only visit every so often, here is a recap to bring you up to speed. The last time I blogged I was on a cut back (mini taper week) with plan to race the Brass Monkey HM on the 15th. Well a sinus issue in the days leading up to that meant I had to withdraw from the race. I knew I wasn’t 100% so if I had raced one of two things would have happened, either I raced and not gotten the time I wanted or pushed my body to point where the sinus issue became something much worse, undoing all my hard work.

So the week leading up to Brass Monkey looked like a normal cutback week without the race at the end, instead I still ran but did a long run with friends with some marathon paced efforts thrown in (these efforts was done at John’s target pace).

I ended the week with 51 miles and a few decent efforts but I was gutted to miss my targeted half marathon. When people ask what easy pace means to me it’s run in my easy aerobic zone, so my heart rate should be between 70% and 75% of my max heart rate, this equates to between 134 – 143 BPM. This is worked out using Jack Daniels Training Tables. Back in September this was around 7:30 – 7:40 mile pace, I’m now running them between 7:10 and 7:30 pace, so shows the training has had an interesting effect.

Back to training, I knew I was in the right shape to post a new PB but only half marathon was Inskip near Preston but entries were closed, I emailed Alan Taylor and in return for my wife and daughter helping out at the end he would give me a place, it would also cost me £20! I owe Sarah a massive favour for helping out as she was frozen from handing out the goodie bags. She is my biggest supporter and also knew I had a good time in me. What this meant for training was I decided to use the previous week as a bonus taper week and keep mileage down going into Inskip on the 22nd. I had thought about moving my planned long run to Monday. However John & Dawn both advised against it. So I lost around 20 miles over the week but meant I was probably fresher going into Inskip then I was if I had raced Brass Monkey. As regulars know I lowered by half marathon PB from 79:15 to 77:26 and also set unofficial 5 and 10 mile PB’s during the race. You can read that report by clicking here.

Now I’m never one to rest on my laurels, as soon as I’ve achieved a PB, I want to break it. Plus the half marathon was for me just the start of my goals in 2017. Because I raced a week later it meant I only had a few days between my half marathon and my next race on Wednesday night, which was the Barnsley AC 3000m. I had missed the 5000m due to the weather but conditions were as good as you could possibly get on a January evening. I also still had another month of my planned winter training to get through, so mileage while easy was to top out at 70 miles for the week.

Most of week was same but switched my usual speed session on Thursday to Wednesday for the 3000m and did my Wednesday runs Thursday. The 3000m went well, I probably paced it as good as any race I’ve ever done to finish 2nd and dip under 10 minutes for the distance. I also ran parkrun on Saturday and looking back it was a race too much as I struggled to 2nd. Yes sounds weird writing that but I was race fatigued and should have known better. I did though clock 21 miles on Sunday, another big long run in the bag!

January was a good month both in terms of winter mileage and race results but I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t tired as it was a tough month and with normal life issues, last week I was running on empty. My plan had to do as many of the No Walk in the Park races as possible this year (taking place on first Saturday of every month) but with a route change and feeling drained my head wasn’t in it. What’s frustrating is I opted to miss both Dewsbury and Alsager races in favour of doing the NWiP and long run option instead. I still need to run another good 10k as not gone sub 36 since last April and if I’m to go sub 35 I need to first start running regular sub 36 times. I had done it at Inskip but I know on right course I’ve got a fast time in me.

Anyway back to last week. After 70 miles the aim was for another 70 mile plus week, Tuesday I took the clubs speed session and did 6 x 1000m at 5:50 pace, even this pace felt an effort. Wednesday I ran with a friend and body needed it. Thursday was my track session and I was happy to clock 6 x 800m efforts at 5:18 pace despite the wind. Then come Saturday things changed. I couldn’t sleep so went out for a 5am run and just kept going and in end I clocked 22 miles. Oops! as I was suppose to be racing at 9:30, we still went as Molly wanted to do her race. I got there and one thing led to another and ended up pacing for first two KM of race, clocking 3:12 and 3:17.

Trust me I was dead on my feet but was good to give my new kit a run out and also shows I can still dig deep when needed. Molly had another fab race.  After taking family to movies I needed to shake off the dead legs after sitting in pictures for 2 hours, so went for another run bringing my daily mileage to 28.5!!!!, meant I had 67 miles for week. Now for some stupid reason I decided to do another long run on Sunday, I had a great sleep and set off just after 9:30 and ran 13 miles to Meadowhall taking in 4 different Costa Coffee shops and ended the week with 80 miles. So a week after hitting 70 miles, I went and smashed my record by 10 miles.

Now depending on weather, depends on how this week turns out but after last two weeks, I’ve decided to have a cut back week in terms of mileage as I really pushed body to it’s limits and if i’m not careful I will get injured. So back to 51 miles this week and then will see how this week goes before I make my next move. From next week I start the clubs track sessions so will be moving a few of my training days around, so will see how I react to the new timetable.

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