Marathon Training Week 5

And that’s the end of week 5 ! God these weeks are flying by ! I have to say tho, that has been the toughest week so far in this block! The tiredness, the weather, the lack of motivation, but it did get better throughout the week and I’ve come through the other side….. Monday started with a 18 mile run at 7:30 pace, now bearing in mind this was the day after the 10k race in Leicester, my legs just would not respond, the race definitely took more out of me than I thought!! I felt tired, legs felt heavy and very sluggish, surprised me a bit, I tried to hit the pace but didn’t happen. I was wearing the Endorphin Pro 3’s and have to say they really didn’t do me any favours! They just hurt my feet, I can feel that carbon plate with most steps, very uncomfortable 🥴. So adding that into the equation, the run really wasn’t the greatest! But I finished the 18 and banked the miles, that’s the positive…

Double easy day the next day, legs started to feel better and took it easy, decided to run along the coast, get a change of scenery and some sea air, also pick up my new club kit to which was great 😊

Skeggy running 🏃🏼‍♂️
Coastal path views
Love running by the sea 🌊

Wednesday was 15 miles at Marathon pace 6:50, the weather, well the wind especially was awful today, so again i decided to do loops of the village to shelter myself from the winds, it sort of worked, but when I did hit head wind I knew about it, cause the wind funnel down the streets where it was head wind! But 3 loops of the village gave me 15 at marathon pace and job done.

Sunset run, easy miles…

Session day I did on the treadmill, which was 5x1mile then 5x1min all off 2 minutes jog recovery. This went well, better than I expected, nailed the paces I wanted. Body and mind started to feel much better by mid week, seem to got back on top of sleep, hydration and recovered from the race. Completed the weekly volume in 85 miles which was what I wanted.

Weekly target hit 👍🏻🏃🏼‍♂️

Leading into another week, slightly changing things around next week, racing on the Sunday in Nottingham in a Half Marathon, let’s go get it 🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏼‍♂️👊🏻💪🏻

Leicester City 10k Race Day

January 29th, and my first race of 2023, going into this race I wasn’t sure what to expect from the race being deep in marathon training, but I felt in good shape so took the race as a pb opportunity. The morning of the race me and my girl (Anna) headed out from her house and made our way down to Leicester city to the start line, it was quite a fresh morning, but feeling good about the race and typical race nervous kicked in.

Morning selfie with Anna xxx
Start line
Starting area

We both got our numbers from the collection point, and of course the usual toilet stop 🤭. Went off to do my usual warm up and drills. So started at the start and did just over a mile, a selection of drills and a handful of strides. Got into the starting area and looked around at the competition, the starting official ushered us to the start line, I was on the 2nd row, the wheelchair athletes went off first then the count down and we were off, the start was at a blistering fast pace ! I rained the pace in and kept myself in check as some of the guys went off way to quick, so I settled into a pace of 5:50 which was fine. Clipping along nicely, after the 2nd right hand bend I noticed this hill ! And thought “ are we going up that “ ! Thinking this was a flat course, anyway I worked up the hill and it levelled out and we took another right hand turn and low and behold there was another hill ! 😳 after getting to the top of this one I really had to switch my mine set from running a pb to just finishing and having a strong run. We then ran around the University and on approach to the Uni there was a pretty short and steep hill which really was a leg burner, going through the Uni we headed into Victoria Park, this was nice until the 180 degree bends kicked in ! Which just killed your pace, there was 2 or 3 of these bends around the park. Coming home into the last 3k was good cause it started coming back into the city and the last 1-2k was a slight downhill, the crowd support was building to, so at this point just gave everything I had left and got these little legs turning 😆, but the final right had turn came and I saw the finish line I kicked again and came home in 38:40, my 3rd fastest 10k of all time, 5th Vet 40 and 35 over all out of just over 800 entries.

Finished results
Course…
In the first mile
Think is my favourite shot of the day
Running down the finish stretch
Think I was checking the clock coming in 😆
Determined to finish
Job done !

Happy with the result especially on that course, and straight back into marathon training now.

At the finish with my girl, and celebrating, good day, and a big congratulations to Anna coming home under 50 minutes especially with feeling under the weather to. Well done babe xxxx

Week 4 of Marathon Training completed

These weeks seem to be flying by, so this week was a reduced mileage week due to racing on the Sunday. The week started off a 20 mile long run split, 13 @ 7min pace then 7 @ 6:50 pace, this was the first 20 mile run of the training block. For the I decided to do an out n back course, wore an other pair of Alphaflys, seeing as this was going to be my marathon shoe, and have to admit the run went pretty great, keeping disciplined and keeping that pace in the correct zones was tricky but it’s something that has to be done and teaches you not to go off to hard on race day, but ticking off my 20 miler and nailing it felt great. Luckily next day was a double run easy day, but wow the first run of the day was a 7 miler and I felt so stiff it was crazy, so pulled the pace right back and just shuffled along, I remember that day being incredibly cold 🥶 face and figures were numb ! Lucky I did feel better on the evening run, I jumped onto the treadmill on zwift and ticked over nicely over a 10k.

Wednesday mid week long run was 13 @ marathon pace, and again felt good, and was definitely warmer to, crazy weather ! No session this week due to race. So weekly mileage finished off at 77 miles.. Race day was at the Leicester 10k, I will do a race report on my day in the coming days so will talk about that experience in another blog, but marathon training is on going, eek 5 starts on Monday… 👍🏻

Weekly mileage

Marathon Training week 3 completed….

Well that brings to an end to a 90 mile week, forgotten how time consuming a 90 mile week was 😆 🥱. Week started with a 19 mile long run, split 13 at 7:05 pace and 6 at marathon pace 6:50. The route I took was a big loop took me through, a number of villages. The course was a little undulating and the weather certainly played its part again, head winds, cross winds, rain. But managed to hit pace targets tho, but I didn’t take any gels on the run and I was feeling it in the last 4 miles, I suppose that was inevitably gonna happen.

The next day was a double easy day, but the weather was certainly turning very cold again, I normally go for a walk most mornings just loosen up the legs, it was very slippery out, but took it very easy. Opted for the treadmill on one of the runs. Mid week long was again a treadmill run, it was just to slippery under foot, so zwift kept me motivated, 13 miles at 7 min pace was nailed. I did manage a group run on the Wednesday evening, with my beautiful girlfriend coming along to, the Heckington village run, it was nice just to get out and have company on a run. But sadly this cold snap was the trend for the week, my session for this week was 10x1k off 1 min jog. My little was with me from Friday so having to fit the last couple of runs around him to finish off the week. Figures crossed for better weather this week 🤞

Frosty 🥶 morning
Wednesday evening run with my Girl xxx
Great Hale Church on a frosty morning

Above is a few photos I took around the village, I suppose the thing about this time of year is that it makes the landscape so picturesque ☺️

Weekly mileage completed

Mileage coming down next week due to racing, my first race in this marathon block, Leicester 10k on Sunday, my girl is also competing, should be fun, another race together 🥰. No session this coming week either.

Training shoe of 2022

Should have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but sadly life gets in the way sometimes, but I’m finding myself with a little time on my hands this afternoon, so here’s my thoughts on my ‘Go To’ shoe of 2022.

The On Cloud Monster !!!

This shoe for me has surprised me the most, now I’ve ran in On before and I’ve just not got on with the shoe company, found them way to firm, no energy return, and the durability was terrible! However, this came along, and wow ! The shoe just keeps on giving, I’ve logged over 450 miles in this now, long runs, easy runs and stead ish runs, for me the shoe felt so light underfoot, it felt bouncy, but not zoom x squishy, it had the right amount of firmness, there is a plate in the shoe which isn’t to ridged. Taking this shoe on a long easy run felt great. The shoe has got over 450 miles in it and I’ll see how many more I can get out of it. Would I buy this again ? 100%, yes.. the shoe just worked for me and my biomechanics…

Shoe rotation to date….

Marathon Training Week # 2

2nd week of training started off with a 18 mile long run split, 11 mile @ 7:05 pace then 7 @ 6:50 pace. Headed out and bang straight away the brutal head winds hit ! But I soon turned out of the winds and headed into the fen roads, long clear straight roads! Was sitting comfortably at 7:05 pace, got to about mile 6 and had to turn around to head back into the village and was caught by those winds, so had to think on my feet a bit about the route, so I changed it as soon as I got into the village and did 2 loops around it, to keep changing direction and to get some shelter from those winds, kinda enjoyed the twisty turns at pace, got into the marathon paced miles and found that extra burst of energy and settled into a good rhythm, only used 1 gel today, felt fine and last week I practiced taking gels at every 5k and my stomach felt good on it. Before I knew 18 miles where done and run completed 👍🏻… Tuesday was a double day, but both easy miles, Wednesday was 11 & 6:50 pace, same again with the winds 🤔 definitely playing a big part of my training so far, especially where I should run, so for me again was 2 loops of my village, but the 11 miles felt good and the pace was within comfort zone. So far so good 😊

Easy miles on the treadmill, saving my legs from pounding the tarmac

My session this week was 3x2miles and 6x1min, this felt tough, suppose I was still feeling a little fatigued from the 2 big runs of the week, but got the job done.

Recovery is so important throughout the week for me, weather is putting my feet up when I’m feeling tired after the runs, or even going for a slow walk afterwards if I’m feeling to stiff, I really just try and listen to my body and what it wants.

Easy Thursday night miles. What I love about evening running on my own is sometimes it can be so quite, and you can just ppl going about there own business in there homes, even the smell of foods as you run by ppl’s homes and what there having for tea.
Easy miles on a Sunday morning to finish my week off. 80 miles for the week and feeling ready for the next.

Manchester Marathon Training, week 1 completed

Well back into marathon training officially on the 2nd January, I would say feeling more confident this time round, but there is work to be done. So last year I put done a solid base leading into this, regularly banking 65-75 mile weeks, consistently has been great.

So week 1, my coach sends me my weekly schedule on a Sunday, and Monday for me is long run day, so this week was 16 miles split, 10 @ 7:10 pace, then 6 @ 6:50 min miles, which went great did have a problem with that. Wednesday, 10 miles @ 7 min pace, this day was particularly windy ( 45mph ) so I did 2 loops of my village, just to kinda shelter from the high winds! It worked and again banked the miles. Thursday was a session day, 5x2k, normally I would probably do this the day after doing what I did on a Wednesday, but have to juggle training with seeing my little boy, the session went fine and legs felt good so no complaints.. the rest of the volume for the week is Easy miles,! Easy days Easy, Hard days Hard….. I try and switch the surface I run on just to keep the pounding of the tarmac where I need to, so I use my treadmill and grass where I can…Weekly volume of 75 miles, great start to a marathon block. Let’s see what week 2 brings.. 👍🏻🏃🏃🏼‍♂️😁

Manchester Marathon route map..

2022, that’s a wrap

As 2022 comes to a close, thought it would be a good time to reflect on the year. It’s the 20th of December, and was looking back on my performances throughout the year and training in general, and I have to say I think it’s been one of my best years of running, and life in general 😊

My year didn’t get the greatest of starts tho, January 1st news years day 10k and dropping out of that race at 5k ! I was gutted and I remember feeling very disappointed, but I was coming back from covid at the time, breathing in that race was so difficult…. But moving forward and putting that behind, I went into a marathon training block, my first proper marathon block, Boston marathon Uk. Training was great, no real problems at all throughout, and I was on course for a sub 3, but race day had other ideas, being sick at mile 15, and just finishing the race was the new plan, but finish I did and a base mark was drawn, 3:09.

I had some great races this year and even some great Pb’s, 5k – 18:00, 5mile – 30:08, 10k – 37:33, 10 mile – 63:29, Half Marathon – 85:40. Marathon – 3:09….. Some great local races to, Heckington 10 mile is always a special race for me, love it, coming 2nd Vet 40 and fastest local male this year. Competing in the first ever 11 mile 8 Sailed Windmill race was great, great course and coming home in 4th place over all, something special in finishing your hometown race.

Valentines 10k February
Heckington 10miles
8 Sailed Windmill 11 miles
Gainsborough 10k
Newark Half Marathon
Lincoln 5k race 3

A selection of race photos above 👆 😊

Training this year has seen another step up to, keeping the overall volume at a high level for me does seem to work, so after returning from my Marathon break, easing backing things, I kept the volume at around 65-70 miles per week, seems to be like a sweet spot, didn’t suffer any tiredness, and the only injury I suffered this year was when I put my foot in a hold while out on the trails, which made my ankle swell up like a balloon for a few days!! but as soon as that cleared up, I was back into the swing of things, I do switch my running surface up , from the road, treadmill, grass, think this definitely helped with keeping me healthy, I don’t like to pound the tarmac all the time, plus I do en corporate stretch bands into my training, so I use them for 10-15 mins before going out before most runs, static stretching is not for me I’ve found a good dynamic warm up more beneficial. Treadmill running has helped me a lot this year, especially when I’ve had the kids over and I have no choice but to get it done, but also splitting my sessions on there, I’ve really found the benefits of this, it’s definitely helped with locking in certain paces and getting me to feel what that pace is like with no pace fluctuating. So when I go and to a session on the road or grass I found myself to be more efficient.

Leg swings with a resistance band

I’ve also got to train is beautiful places across the Uk, from trail running in The Lake District, beach running along the coast, and exploring Lincolnshire’s pretty hidden villages,

And I got to explore most of these with my beautiful new training buddy and girlfriend Anna 💕🥰. She came into my life this year and stole my heart, we shared our passions, and love exploring across the country

Love you darling and here’s to many more adventures together in 2023 🥰🥰

I know this is a typical British thing to talk about, but the weather has certainly played it’s part this year, from going down to -8 c ❄️ to hitting highs of 40 c in the summer ☀️

December
Definitely the hottest race I’ve ran in, if I remember it was around the 32 degrees C

Throughout the different seasons though you do get some beautiful imagery, love capturing beautiful photos when out and about, weather it’s on an easy run or just a walk or a hike.

Finishing off the year, running the local Santa run in Great Hale, fantastic little event and very well organised, so much fun. 1st home and winning a bit of wine. My gorgeous girl came in 2nd lady. But the fun factor was 100% there.

2022 you have been kind, in many ways, through races and performed well in, and in meeting my beautiful girl. So many memories made this year, but we move forward into 2023, and I’ll be starting the year off into a marathon block, Manchester Marathon and sub 3 is in my sights, let’s see what happens 😉👍🏻

One last Thank you goes to my coach, Gary, who again has supported me throughout the year, who plans all my sessions for me, I honestly don’t know what I do without you, thank you for all your time and support 👍🏻

Gainsborough 10k

Final 10k of the year was last weekend, and I felt in great shape. Morning of the race I woke with typical race day nervous, but got myself sorted for the morning, usual breakfast ( Porridge and coffee, and an electrolyte drink) . I packed warm clothes cause the day before the weather had been awful! it was a cold ish morning, but as soon as the sun came out it turned out surprisingly warm. I was meeting my better half there ( Anna) who also was racing, we met up at the village hall, collected race numbers and I did my usual warm up, about a mile and a half jog with some strides. Then both walked to the start line, kissed and wished each other good luck, I left Anna and moved closer to the front.

Lead car…

We were seemed to be kept waiting at the start line for quite a while for some reason, but eventually we where off !

I settled into my rhythm quite quickly, wanted to stay about 5:50m/m, the first 5k when to plan and I was feeling pretty good, working but in control, we went through a section just before 5k where the tree coverage was thick, so the garmin couldn’t pick up a signal! Now it could have been easy to panic about pace, but many many times in training I run to feel, so running 5:50 pace I knew how that felt, so the watch was telling me I was going slower but I knew I wasn’t, stayed patient and come through that section and watch was reading right.

First corner

Just after that section, about mile 4 I got a terrible stitch down the right hand side, I had to pull the pace back about 20/30 seconds, controlled my breathing and rubbed my side, again not panicking kept the pace good I managed to dig in deep and keep pushing forward, final 3k to go the stitch was nearly gone so picked up the pace and gave it everything I had. The crowds were great encouragement and seeing the final bend was a great sight ! And especially seeing that clock and I was on for a great PB, so final push for 100m and crossed the line in 37:33, previous 10k time was 38:08. Happy with that but as runner you have thoughts in your mind, like what could have I done if I didn’t get that stitch !! But a PB is just that ! So happy runner 🏃🏼‍♂️

Final bend, seeing the finish line and clock !
Final 100m
Approaching the line

After crossing the line, receiving the medal and sausage roll 😆 , I went back to cheer on my girl, Anna came home looking very comfortable and controlled and completing the race which was her aim for the day, so very proud of her xx

Crossing the line xx
Happy runners 🏃‍♀️ 🏃🏼‍♂️

Newark Half Marathon + training

This past Sunday I raced the Newark Half Marathon, this would be my first Half in about 4 yrs ! Now training had been going well in the build up to this race, managed to avoid pot holes 😆, it’s definitely been challenging in this heat we’ve been experiencing, but have still be getting out but the treadmill has been helping out when it has just been to hot out! So there has been a few sessions on there to get the quality in, also been running a lot near the coast line where it’s been fresher !

The morning of the Half Marathon comes around and I felt great, calm relaxed and ready to go, the heat on the day was definitely gonna play a big part in the race, so hand to be sensible with pace. I set out 5-10 secs slower, then tried to pick it up and relaxed into the race.

Walking to the start

The organisers put on extra water stations on course, which I took advantage of, even just to tip water over my head and shoulders to keep the body cool, but it started to hurt about mile 8, I went through 10 miles in about 64 min, but the last 5k was tough and the wheels started to come off so was maintaining pace as best I could , the last mile seemed to go on forever 😆 but seeing the village where we started definitely lifted me, and crossing that finish line just felt so good that day. I did come away with a 5 min Pb and in a time of 1:25..

Just settling into my pace, early part of the race
About mile 12, definitely hurting 😂 🥵
Coming into the finish

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