So this week has been a cut back week, with a half marathon coming up this Sunday. It also saw me become a V35 or a plastic vet (reason being majority of races don’t class males as vets till 40). I’ve just come out of my highest 4 week block of miles EVER! and besides sniffles I feel good. Over the past 40 weeks while I’ve been clocking up the miles, I’ve made sure not to over do it pace wise.
The past 4 weeks have seen me clock 65, 65, 67 and then 69 miles. First 3 weeks I still kept to 6 days but last week I did 7 days with my 7th day just an easy 3 miles. Each week has been pretty regimented in what I did. The first week I was coming off my win at Sneyd and as I had a race on the Sunday, I opted to do my long run on the Tuesday do 16 up and down the TPT. This route while boring allows you to switch off and just grind out the miles, so every 4 miles I upped the pace, made for a solid structured session. The main speed session for the week was Thursday which was 8 x 600m with a 200m jog recovery. Wasn’t my fastest set of reps but my most consistent for a winter session. This was followed by a strong 6th place finish at the Travellers 6. I even did an afternoon run to keep the miles up.
The following week was the week leading up to Christmas. I still didn’t fancy doing a parkrun so I was race free this week. It was also a carbon copy of the previous week, with long run again on Tuesday and a medium long run on Friday. I did get out on Christmas day but did two very short runs. I was pushed for time on Thursday so did a solo track session which was 3 x 6 x 300m. A good session to do on your own, I ended the week with 65 miles making it 130 miles in two weeks, something I never achieved when I was marathon training!! The good thing now is I’m not ending the week feeling shattered as I’m not over doing my long runs. For now I’m focused on the base miles and will come spring introduce more speed work.
The week between Xmas and New Year was a interesting one. Original plan was to do Ribble Valley on the Tuesday but other things meant it wasn’t possible. I did consider doing the local Ward Green 6 on Boxing Day but wasn’t interested in racing it. So Monday was a normal day. Then arranged with club mates to do a long run and ended up clocking my first 20 mile run since London Marathon training. In fact last time I did 20 miles in a training run was 5th April 2015 and looking back I was running them way too hard. No wonder I was knackered all the time! We kept first 10 easy then ran next 10 all under 8:00/mi pace. Again still well within my easy zone but meant I wasn’t wrecked for rest of the day/week. I did usual two runs on Weds but then my planned track session was called off due to a dangerous track. In the end I ended up running a threshold 6 miles up and down the TPT. The weekend was then taken up by parkruns both days and an easy dinner time 7 on New Years Day.
So this brings me to last week and my final build up week of this section of my winter training. It also became my highest ever mileage week by a mile. I’ve still to hit the 70 mile mark but last week was a solid week and one I think come spring I’m going to really benefit from. Was a case of eat, sleep, run and repeat. My usual 10 mile double day Monday, a club easy 10 miles Tuesday night, double day Wednesday, track session Thursday. The track again was frozen so we had to switch from the planned 12 x 400m to 4 x 4 x 300m with a 30s jog recovery. This was a brutal session but came out of it with flying colours. I went up to 7 days with easy 3 on Friday. Saturday I raced the No Walk in the Park 5k and just missed out on a win by seconds! I ended the week with a 21.6 mile long run. My longest run since London and my 2nd ever longest run. Why the 0.6 is because my OCD kicks in if I don’t finish on a whole number for the week. The long run I found a little tougher due to tired legs after racing and lack of fuel in my body. However I’m still recovering faster then when I trained for a marathon.
So to this week, as I mentioned at the start it’s my cut back week with a half marathon and then I begin my next 4 weeks of high mileage with the aim to get a few more 20 milers banked and hopefully break the 70 mile mark. This will take me to the middle of Feb, I have another target race at the end of Feb before I start to lower the mileage and introduce more speed work into my training, ready for the spring racing season.