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Winter Training

So the 10k training plan has come and gone. While I didn’t race my target race at Leeds Abbey Dash, the actual training had gone really well. During the period of September to end of October, I had gotten over the bad summer and learnt that my biggest downfall had been running too hard on my easy days. I’ve had it preached to me for a number of years but I could never buy in to the idea. Yet since I’ve slowed down on easy runs and long runs, it’s allowed me to nail my speed sessions and also run PB’s at the following distances; 1 mile, 3000m, 5k and 5 miles. This means this year excluding the marathon the only distance I’ve not set a new PB at is 10 miles!

Every race since I started training smarter has resulted in a top 10 finish, with most in top 5 and even picked up my first race win of 2016. I would call that a good return on a excellent block of training. So firstly I still would like to have a crack at a 10k before end of 2016. I didn’t fancy Barnsley 10k, I would have done Bolsover again but being an ARC race does not appear on Power of 10. Instead I’ve elected the Ribble Valley 10k on 27/12. The quality field means it has potential and just down to me not to over indulge over Xmas.

My main aim of the winter is to build up the mileage, especially on my long runs. So far this year 30 weeks I’ve topped out over 50 miles and gotten used to double days on at least 3 days a week. The aim now is to build miles up to over 60 and then cut back down to 50, with the main increase in miles coming from my long runs. I still have a few races before the years out but my last Sunday race is in a few weeks and then I’ve not got one till mid-January which will be a half marathon.

The main aim of increase, is just mainly to have a good winter base, so come spring and summer I can focus on more speed for track season and the short road races. At moment I’m on week 4 of the winter plan and I’m working to a 4 up 1 down routine. This means I up mileage for 4 weeks then cut back on week 5 to just 50 miles. My weeks are looking roughly like this:

  • Monday: 4 miles AM / 6 miles PM
  • Tuesday: 10 miles PM
  • Wednesday: 6 miles AM/ 4 miles PM
  • Thursday: 3 miles AM / 5 miles PM (track night)
  • Friday: 12 miles AM
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: 14 miles AM

Obviously this is just a rough idea of what I do, things do change slightly at weekend depending on if I’ve got a race. Next few weeks I’ve got a few races lined up but then my Sundays I will be looking at increasing my long run to 16 miles plus every Sunday. One thing that I’ve benefited from is running with others on my long runs. The time passes faster and the pace means I don’t spend the rest of Sunday laid on the sofa as too knackered to do anything.

Next week is the first cut back week, with this week should see me top out at around 64 miles and I will bring you a recap of how the first four weeks of my winter plan has gone. What’s been working, what’s been hard and things I’ve learnt etc.

I just hope that when winter does arrive (technically the astronomical winter begins on 21 December 2016 and ends on 19 March 2017. The astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. Both equinoxes and solstices are related to the Earth’s orbit around the sun.) that we have a mild one, so it does not effect training too much.

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