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 ☀️

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

Summer Scorcher

It’s now mid August and we’ve been going through a heat wave, and most runners would definitely say it’s been a challenging time to get out to train, but it’s definitely been challenging for me in different ways .

I ran a 5k in Lincoln ( the Lincoln Wellington 5k series) and in the first race I managed a pb of 18:00

Trying to hang on to Mr Clayton😂👍🏻

The day after this race I hit some challenges, on my evening recovery run I ran on the trails and I turned my ankle by slipping down a hole ! Ouch!!

As you can see above 👆 it swelled up like a balloon! Great ! But that was just the start, as I think I picked up covid the next day ! I felt awful for 3 days, sofa bound ! No taste, horrible cough, and headaches, it soon passed except the cough that lasted for about 3 weeks or more, had to get put on antibiotics for a week which did the trick, getting back into training was tough tho, slow runs and short, so kinda back into base building for about 2 weeks until I could put any kind of speed into my weeks again, but with a slow build up I managed to get myself back to where I was.

So the next test came pretty soon, the next Lincoln 5k race. So I put no pressure on myself with this race just wanted to see where I was. I did notice in the race that I seemed to be working harder than I should be, but again I just was coming back from illness so just the case of finishing the race, which I did in 18:27 so I certainly was happy with that given the challenges of the past couple of months.

The Heckington 10 mile road race was 4 days after that, a race that I always enjoy and done many times. So I really wanted to perform well here it was my home town race. I set out on pb pace and just tried to relax into it, first 5k felt very relaxed, but after 6 miles it started to hurt 😆 so just case of maintain and concentrate.
I came home in 63:33 so about a min PB, 2nd Vet 40 and 1st local male prize.

I need to say a Huge thank you to my coach Gary Warhurst for everything you’ve done for me over the years, getting me into the shape I’m in, setting my sessions and just generally putting up with me 😂
And another thank you my gorgeous girlfriend Anna for her support on the day and for some great pictures. Love you ❤️❤️
Thank you to the Heckington show for putting on a fantastic event as always and to all the volunteers

Looking fresh and ready to go 😆
At the start
Making small talk 😆
And we’re off !!!
Final stretch
Coming home
Last 100m
Oh the pain of coming in 😆

Post Marathon recovery & First race back

Ok so post marathon, things have definitely gone well, recovery and the return to full training, I didn’t take that much time off to be fare, the day after the marathon I sort of ran 😂 only 15-20 mins to flush out the legs, and the same the next day, then took off 3-4 days. That time was hard ! 😆 you honestly do feel a bit lost, post marathon blues, i mean you put like 16 weeks of training into this one event then have to decide what do to do next and where do you want to take your running. So I decided to do a local event, I mean the start line was 100m from my house ! So it’ll be rude not to 😆 . That was this Sunday just gone, I feel in great shape so I wanted to put myself out there and see what I could do…

Event getting set up !!
My Girl and me ready to race..

It was the first outing of this event,11.1 miles a rare distance over a undulating course, so it was gonna be challenging, but hay if it doesn’t challenge you, your not getting any benefits 😆 so set my stall out from the start, and I settled into 2nd place, but soon dropped into 3rd place by the first mile, that’s where I found myself up until mile 7.5

The guy who was on my tail most of the race overtook me, sadly I just couldn’t respond as it was getting hot and the hills was getting to me, so I just dug in and kept my pace going and see what I had in the last mile.

Above is mile 6 point, and one the climbs on the course…
About mile 8 and back into 4th place, and working hard to the finish..

The last 2 miles, they where hot, but I managed to maintain pace and keep a good rhythm going, I was pleased to see the 2 villages come into the home straight 😆 going past Little Hale, then Great Hale I knew it was half a mile to go, so just dug in, and I finished in 70 minutes, with my 2nd fastest 10k and a 10 mile Pb, on that course, so that has got me excited to see what I can do over the flat. My beautiful girl came home in 85 minutes and 2 nd lady, very proud of her x fantastic result 👏🏻👏🏻 But a big thank you to Gary ( my coach ) for getting me into fantastic shape with his great training sessions..

The event was fantastically Marshalled and great support from them, and very well organised event and definitely be doing that again, well done to the Sleaford Strides and to Martyn Pickworth for organising and putting the event on 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Next race only 2 weeks away at Grimsby, which is a flat 10k. Let’s see what happens 👍🏻

Boston Marathon UK 🇬🇧

April 18th, Easter Monday, the day has finally arrived, the work is done and I feel in the shape of my life, no niggles, no illnesses. The night before I got all my kit ready, gels, and bag, I remember waking up about 5:45 for breakfast, porridge oats with honey and a mug of coffee. I felt remarkably calm, but full of anticipation, Anna was coming with me on the day which was great. Now Boston was only a 20 min drive from me so no over night stays where needed, Anna also drove on the day which was really helpful. We arrived at the warm up area in the local park in the town, so I did an easy mile warm up to the start area, and few stride’s. The weather was perfect really, the race was set off in waves , we was called to the start area which I saw a friend of mine Mark, and I knew he was going for the same time of sub 3 hours, so I thought I’d run with him and see how these early miles went.. Gun sounds and we where off.

Starting area

We soon left the town and was out into the countryside, there wasn’t any wind and the temperature in the early part of the race soon picked up. My plan was to take a gel every 5 miles which I practiced in training…

The first few miles flew by, the pace was a little quicker than i would have liked, so in the first few miles I was pulling back the pace and trying to relax into a rhythm,

I made sure to take on some water as the temperature started to heat up and I was unexpectedly sweating 😓, but everything seemed fine and relaxed , all being a little quick still, but I stuck with it.. I hit the half marathon mark in 1h 26 , my target was 1:27 but I was still going good and I was coming to a part of the course I knew pretty well, the last 12 miles of the course I ran in training… Sadly I hit mile 15 and my race was grounded to a halt ! I had to stop to be sick !! 🤮 a gel I’d taken disagreed with me , all my energy stores had gone and was on the floor in front of me !!! I was gutted, but got going again and kept pace for the next two miles, but after that it was hard going 😞 I had to adopt a run walk strategy! I felt awful, I was getting dehydrated , I was cramping up in my legs, especially my abductors and hamstrings, was get painful. Hit 20 miles in 2h16 mins

20 miles mark

My average pace was still on target for sub 3 but it was so tough going now, my mind wasn’t focused on the time and I knew I wanted to finish, mile 23 came and my sub 3 time had gone !!! So I just needed to finish, peoples encouragement was helping and I was trying so hard to keep running as much as possible. Boston came into sight and I could see the turn into the finishing straight, so I tried to muster enough energy to run to the line and I did, and crossed the line in 3h09 mins. I was disappointed on the day, and felt bloody awful. Anna came to help me recover and gave me the biggest hug which I really needed. God it was so painful to walk back to the car 😆. But we got home and to aid recovery I filled up a bin with cold water and ice and got in !! This really helped me…

Finishing straight
Crossing the line.. 3:09

I did manage to get the Boston US QT which was something. Would I do another Marathon, I think I would, cause I know I can do better than that ! But I’ve recovered now, and looking forward to getting back into full training again after a week of very easy runs and relaxing.. What’s next !? We shall see !!!! 😉

Marathon Training Block Break Down

It’s the start of the new year, and I’ve booked my marathon place, Boston Marathon Easter Monday April 18th. I was really looking forward to getting stuck into training block, I knew the volume was gonna increase and the long runs to, but I wanted to give this my best shot to see what I could do at the distance, so staying heathy and injury free was key.

Looking now at my training log and trying to remember my journey over the past 17 weeks, it’s incredible really, cause if you’d told me at the beginning of this block the long runs I had to do and the pace I had to do them at as well as doing the weeks volume, I wouldn’t have believed you 😆..

Training diary

My training basically included a Monday long run ( the race was on a Monday so we decided to change long run day to get the body use to running longer on a Monday) these started at 15 miles all the way up to 23 miles, these where also split between easy pace and marathon pace, so half of the run could have been done at target pace ( which was 6:50 m/m) when I did target pace I always ran them a little quicker, so 6:40-6:35, just to give myself a little buffer. A mid week long run was included into training these where between 8-14 miles, and these where done at target marathon pace, then one session per week, the rest of my runs around those where done at easy comfortable pace….. Volume wise, now my body over the years has been use to running a lot of volume consistently throughout the year, so my marathon block started at 70 miles and built throughout, peaking at just over 100 miles for a week, I had two races in the build up, a 10k at Scunthorpe and a 20 miler at Bedford, i tapered slightly down for each of these races. 10k I managed a pb, 38:12 was so delighted with that and in Bedford I managed a 2:14 first time I raced a 20 miler! ….. The only issues I had throughout the block was , I had two illnesses which wiped me for 24-28 hours at a time, joys of having kids 😆 🤦🏻‍♂️and obviously training throughout the winter months ❄️ the winds where awful! I remember doing one long run and the last few miles was supposed to be marathon pace but I was being pushed backwards by a ridicules headwind !! It zaps your energy so much and you have just throughout any idea of a pace out the window and just work through it !!! I did however mix my training up, which really helped keep my body in one piece, my main runs where the 3 I mentioned, so what I meant by mixing them up was, surface, I have a good treadmill in my garage so this enabled me to do any runs on there if my body was feeling tired, or if the conditions outside where just bad, or if life just gets in the way and I have kids, they need attention first, so it could be a late evening run…..

I have definitely enjoyed this whole process, how far can I push my body and what is it capable of doing, I’ll drop some images which I took over the past few months while on training runs
Heckington village
8 sailed windmill Heckington
Heckington village
Howell ( spring has sprung)
Lincoln Canal
Skegness beach run
Treadmill session
Beach run easy day
And of course meeting this beautiful lady, definitely has been a highlight, she has been my biggest supporter throughout, given me so much encouragement, accompanying me on a few runs, which we always had a few laughs on.. She is one amazing girlfriend love Anna ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Marathon race report to come. !!!!

Coping with injury and adjustments

Ok so what the hell happened the last 5 weeks! My training had been going well up until this point, had a fantastic race season and had been injury free for the past 18 months. I was building into my last 2 races of the season, Sliverstone Half, and Lincoln 10k, It was the final week of my training block, so taper week, then boom, on a mid week long run, felt pain on the inside of my right ankle, had to abandon the run and walk home for 2 miles ! Luckily it was a nice day. But didn’t panic just decided to rest up before the race, and booked in to see my physio. The pain wasn’t going away, and I felt a hot spot on the bone on the shine 😞. Suspected stress fracture, so went to A&E to get X rayed, but got the all clear 🤷‍♂️, but had to pull out of the Half Marathon coming up on the Sunday. So focused efforts to see if I could get to the start line of the 10k, which was 3 weeks after.

So recovery process starts, full week off, no running, so out comes the bike, put in the miles on bike, as well as strength and conditioning sessions in the gym, making sure nothing irritated it. I even went and tried underwater treadmill running, which was a fantastic experience, a company in Rutland called Inspire2tri, fantastic facility! After that tried a run, it was ok, tight but manageable! As soon as i put any pace on it, it felt horrible 😞, so had to face facts and pull out of the 10k

Stability Disc, strengthening the ankle

Now there’s no pressure, focused on recovery and build into the winter. So abandon running, and bike and gym. I have to say tho, working through this injury has been very tough mentally, seeing everyone you no running well, racing well and just smashing there training, so pulled away from social media and just focused on me. Especially when running plays a massive part of your life, so switching off from going out to run was tough, trying to stay positive and making plans for races in the new year. I’ve learned over the years with injuries to listen to your body, there was a point where I had a few days of it feeling really good, no pain, no hot spots, soooo, I risked it and went out, it felt great, a little tight at the start but that soon went. As soon as I got in I stuck my foot in a ice bucket, ( only went out for 2 miles tho, did that for 2 days) during the week I put some pace into a easy run, so did a few short reps ( 30sec reps) in the middle of a easy run, and again felt great. Managed a long run of 12 miles ( all tho didn’t fuel right for it so felt rubbish lol) but on the hole managed a 31 mile week…. This was such a massive relief and now can build into winter and hopefully get stronger into races next year….

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