Training

October Training

A look back at ground zero

A month has gone past since I stopped and pressed the reset button. I’m so glad I did, I think those closest to me would agree I was on the verge of a breakdown. Everything that’s happened this year had finally taken it’s toll on me. Everything had gotten to breaking point. I wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t eating correctly, stressed and snapping at people for nothing. I hated racing and running. I should have done it sooner but like anything sometimes you can’t see what needs to be done and outside intervention is required.

So since then running wise has been a thousand times better. I’m sleeping better then I’ve done in years (so long as my noisy neighbours don’t spend all night talking!) My mood is back to normal and my family has commented how the old me is back. I ran 27 days during October with double days on 14 of those. I’ve had awesome runs, good runs and some shitty ones. Overall. I can hand on my heart say it’s been my most enjoyable month of running for a good number of years. The stress, anxiety and pressure has gone from my runs. I’ve run most runs to feel with Wednesdays being a little quicker and I’ve even thrown in some structured runs just because I felt good when the run started and wanted to see how I responded.

I removed any specific speed sessions, gone are the days of cold Thursday nights at the track. Life throws curve balls and it means I have to look at doing different speed sessions in the future. I also decided that October would be more of an easy, build from the ground up month. My own rule was to keep the easy runs at under 75% heart rate (this was average of the whole run) then my steady runs under 85%. Other then that it was a case of learning to enjoy running again. To be frank the enjoyment soon came back when I was able to run when I wanted, as fast or as slow as I wanted and not having to have one eye on racing. I’ve been asked on numerous occasions what the future holds and right now I am sticking to what I said when I pressed the reset button. I will not race again in 2018 and I have no current plans for 2019. I’m taking it one month at a time. My focus is to enjoy running as much as possible, then build up a solid 3 month autumn/winter base. So should I decide to do a race, I can then do a 8-16 week plan for a race (weeks depend on distance etc etc).

That however is next year. November is now here and I’m looking at building on October. I’m upping my weekly mileage by 10% and also re-introducing one specific speed session a week on a Wednesday. My long run will increase to 15 miles, this follows up on 5 back to back 13 mile runs on a Sunday. Again like October I may throw in some structure to these long runs depending on how I feel etc. With the weather and me being very susceptible to chest infections, I’m also doing one of my double day runs on the treadmill and also done a few of my long runs on it too. I’ve found doing long runs on treadmill great for mental strength, something I’ve needed to work on as in past I’ve lost my head in marathons and things came crashing down. So I’m trying too work on my weaknesses.

So to October, each week was the same, with 6 days of running, Saturday being my rest day. I did double days on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. One run on a Wednesday at a steady pace, then Friday was my medium long run of 10 miles and then my long run was Sunday.

Each week looked like this:

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 6miAM Easy 3mi
PM Easy 6mi
Long 10miRest DayLong 13mi

I managed to pick a niggle up on my second week, this turned out to be some sciatic nerve pain from treadmill running and realised it was my daily trainers. Having done over 1,000 miles I decided I needed a new pair so I bought a pair of New Balance. I’m still getting used to them but already done 60 miles in them and so far been impressed with them. I won’t bore you by going into great detail for every run but highlights of the month include a progression 13 miles on treadmill on 14th then following Sunday did a tempo 13 miles at 6:25/mi average pace.

This run has to be my fav run of the year. I felt so good and so strong and happened to be my fastest 13 miles since I ran 77 minutes back in January 2017. I’m enjoying adding a bit of pace to my longer runs, plus for first time ever I’m practising fuelling on Sundays. Last Sunday as it was freezing I went to gym and did my long run on treadmill, I decided to aim for sub 90 and ended up maintaining a solid 6:4X pace, just had a glitch with foot pod at mile 11, saying I was running sub 3:00/mi. Not sure why it did that but it’s annoying but it soon righted itself and got distance in still, using the treadmill to sync correct distance. If you want to know more detail of my runs, then head over to my new Strava account, where I leave notes on all my runs both the good and not so good ones.

I’m hoping that the re-introduction of a speed session and upping my long run does not effect the balance I’ve found, will again take it week by week and should it not work, will switch back to Octobers format.

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