Training

November Training

Getting stronger and fitter

So here we are, the last month of 2018. This has been a pretty rubbish year for my family and I. With my daughters illness being a major life changing event and no I do not say that likely. In terms of running, the year started badly with injury, illness and the snow pretty much writing off the first quarter. I had some highlights during late spring and summer, with more gold medals, plus I recorded new personal bests at 800m, 1500m and the mile finally breaking 5 minutes. However I was guilty of over racing and pushing my body to the extreme and September everything finally came crashing down, when I was sat in my race kit and just could not bring myself to race. It was then I made the decision to change things. For my long suffering wife it should have happened a few years back. She could see how the small bits of glory I was getting was just taping over massive cracks and she knew I had not been enjoying my running since late 2016/early 2017.

The reset has been amazing, running wise I’ve never been happier. Truth be told I don’t actually miss racing as much as I thought I would. For too long I thought racing was the be all and end all of running, however now I see it more as an after thought. I keep getting asked if or when I will return to racing, right now I can’t say. I am a firm believer in if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it and right now I’m loving running. I have a long term plan mapped out but it also allows me to tackle runs depending on how I feel on any given day. It means my long runs are really rewarding at the moment and yes I’d like to see how I fair at certain races based on my training but only when it feels right…..

Last month was about breaking things down and going back to basics. I did all of October and into November doing the same basic weekly format:

DATEMONTUEWEDTHUFRISATSUN
Oct 1-7AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Steady 6miAM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 13mi
Oct 8-14AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Steady 6miAM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 13mi
Oct 15-21AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Steady 6miAM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 13mi
Oct 22-28AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Steady 6miAM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 13mi
Oct 29-31AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Steady 6mi

November I increased my weekly mileage by 10%, so that meant 62 miles of running. To get to this total I increased my easy 3 mile morning runs to 4 miles, Wednesday I added a further mile and then my Sunday long run increased to 15 miles. Wednesday has now become my main interval session of the week. I decided to keep my double days to just the easy days and just do one session on a Wednesday. By doing this it also allows me to use both my Friday medium run and my Sunday long run to double up as a further speed session. One thing that I’ve lacked is speed endurance. I had thrown a bit of speed into my runs in October but November I kicked it up a notch.

Before I cover the main sessions, here is how my weekly training looked in November.

Each week looked like this:

DATEMONTUEWEDTHUFRISATSUN
Nov 1-4AM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 13mi
Nov 5-11AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
Intervals 7miAM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 15mi
Nov 12-18AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
Intervals 7miAM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 15mi
Nov 19-25AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
Intervals 7miAM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 15mi
Nov 26-30AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
AM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi
Intervals 7miAM Easy 4mi
PM Easy 6mi

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday were all easy days. I run these based on heart rate, keeping it below 75% max heart rate. So pace varies depending on how I feel. The whole purpose is to clock miles but at minimum effort, allowing me to tackle the big sessions. After taking October off from any specific speed work, I re-introduced sessions on a Wednesday. Keeping to one session a week was a good decision as it turned out, as it allowed me to then add speed to my other sessions on a Friday and Sunday. Wednesday session through November were as follows:

  • 6 x 1000m (90s recovery)
  • 5 x 1200m (90s recovery)
  • 5 x 1 mile (90s recovery)
  • 4 x 2000m (120s recovery)

Looking back I held back a little on the 1000s but surprised myself in my other 3 sessions clocking some fantastic splits. If you want to know my splits or any session in great detail then visit my Strava account. I have 3000m reps this week, then I go back to the start but adding more reps to each session, aim is to get faster but also be able to do more and more.

Fridays continued to stay at 10 miles, I did a couple of easy ones, two tempo runs both just over 65 minutes, plus I did an excellent progression 10 miler, with last 3 miles under 6 minute mile pace and last mile in 5:48. Something I’ve never achieved before. Sunday’s as I’ve mentioned have seen me increase to 15 miles, the first Sunday in the month was my last 13 miler, then my first 15 I had planned on keeping it easy but felt good plus I had other engagements with it being remembrance Sunday. Ended up running at target marathon pace, finishing in 1:41:31. The following Sunday was an easy one doing out and back loops from home to Midhope. My final long run of November turned into a tempo run. Again I went into this with aim to run a steady pace based on heart rate, however I felt strong and frisky so after a steady first mile, I upped pace and then focused on sustaining it for the entire run. I ended up covering the 15 miles in 1:38:10.

Making sure I fuel every 3 miles in my long runs have been really helping. Plus trying to make sure I drink every 4 miles. This helps as I’m not crashing in the back end of my runs. I’m writing this after another good long run yesterday, I have a final 15 miles this coming Sunday before I increase to 18 miles. November has been an excellent month and I’ve come out of it stronger then ever. My plan is working and running quality in my long runs is something I’ve never achieved before.

I’m excited to see how I adapt to the next 10% increase in a weeks time. My weekly mileage will go up to 68. To get in the extra miles, my intervals sessions will go to 8 miles including warm up and cool down, Fridays will increase from 10 miles to 12 miles and Sundays as mentioned up to 18. I’ve only two weeks of 68 miles before I drop back down to 56 miles for Christmas.  That week will see me take an extra day off on Christmas Day, No interval session on the Wednesday and rest of the week will be all easy stuff. Then I can hit 2019 feeling fresh and ready to tackle another 3 weeks of 68 miles.

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