Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tuesday: wu, 8 x 800 (80), wd - averaged about 2:50 for the first 7 then for the last one ran a 2:21 split 73 / 68. (8)
Wednesday: wu, 12.25 at 6:20mm, wd - bitterly cold (16)
Thursday: wu, 4 x mile (90), wd (6:20, 5:35, 5:45, 5:28) (7)
Friday: 4.5 easy (4.5)
Saturday: wu, 2 laps BP (11:58, 10:39), wd (6)
Sunday: 13 miles at 6:52mm at GNW half pacing for RW (13)
Total: 65.5 miles
Annoyingly my foot felt very sore in the last couple of miles of the GNW which in general is a very fast course on the right day. It seems to be plantar fascitis which is something I've never had before although it seems odd that it's come on so quickly. Hopefully it'll ease off relatively quickly.
On the plus side the shin and the groin are feeling better!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Monday: 4 easy miles AM; PM 6 easy/steady miles ~7:15mm with Chasers (10)
Tuesday: wu, 2 x 3600m (60) (12:56 [5:44] / 12:23 [5:30]), wd (9)
Wednesday: Rest - shin sore so moved rest day up one.
Thursday: long wu, mile hard (0.75 recovery), wd (6)
Friday: Rest - shin sore so took additional rest day.
Saturday: warm-up, steady lap BP, tempo-lite lap BP (6:09mm), warm-down (6)
Sunday: wu, 18.6 steady (7:09mm), wd (20.5)
Total: 51.5 Miles
Another not great week but definitely an improvement on the previous one. The one issue with getting in quite long Sunday runs is that they can flatter your training week's mileage to a certain extent. 40 miles a week is probably enough for some people but if 23 miles of that is single long run then your training won't be great and I think this can be a trap a lot of amateur marathoners can fall into. I think the Hansons or one of their athletes has written a training guide based on this.
With a low-level virus/cold all week (tickling the back of my throat and just not going away or developing into something more tangible), my hip flexor/groin issue on the left leg still causing a few niggles and my shin marginally sore at the start of the week I'd got the excuses in early.
I was pretty much okay until after the session on Tuesday. As Chasers were doing 4x mile off a 90 second recovery I was planning to run steady in the group for each rep and just carry on through for the rest lap at 85-90 second pace before joining on again. This would give me a really good work-out and let me run with the group. Unfortunately as I came through after the first mile as I entered the backstraight I saw the group setting off as they'd taken a slightly shorter recovery from the lead runner. I pushed a little bit more in the next mile to catch the group and then took the middle recovery and it ended up as 2 longish reps rather than a 5 mile straight tempo. Unfortunately jogging home my shin was tight as anything.
Took Wednesday as recovery. Thursday I ran over to set the group off and it really wasn't in a good state so I called it after 1 lap of the park. The pain was feeling worryingly deep. Friday was again to recover - Hayley did me a very deep massage on my muscles and as the pain disappeared it was fairly clear that it was muscular rather than anything in the bone (big relief - although past experiences have led me to believe this is regularly the case). Saturday was a bit better as I took Hayley for her first semi-serious effort after surgery although still a bit sore but another massage and Sunday went really well as I knocked out 20 miles. First 9 or so miles were pretty relaxed but the last 9 were all very low or sub 7mm bringing the pace down.
Hopefully with some more massage and foam rolling I can get myself into decent nick and get another block of good training in now.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
1 x 20 easy, strides, 20 easy
warm-up, 20 minute threshold session, warm-down
warm-up, 5k-10k pace intervals, warm-down
warm-up, mile pace intervals, warm-down
Week 15: 6 x 500m off a lap jog at mile pace
Week 16: 10 x 400m (equal recovery to repetition time)
Weeks 5-8 - Incorporate threshold running and strides into your schedule.
Week 9 - Easy Week
Week 10-12 Hard Training (5k/10k Pace Work)
Week 13 - Easy Week
Week 14-16 Hard Training (Mile Pace Work)
Week 17- Recovery Week
Monday, February 04, 2013
20 easy, strides, 20 easy
15 warm-up, 5k/10k pace session, 15 warm-down
15 warm-up, 20 @ threshold, 15 warm-down
8 x 1000 at 5 mile pace off 200 fast jog
8 x 1200 at 10k pace off 200 fast jog
Weeks 5-8 - Incorporate threshold running and strides into your schedule.
Week 9 - Easy Week
Week 10-12 Hard Training (5k/10k Pace Work)
Week 13 - Easy Week
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Tuesday: Rest + 60 cycling.
Wednesday: 6 miles v. slow (6)
Thursday: wu, 3 progressive laps BP from easy to steady, wd (8)
Saturday: wu, 2.5 miles XC (4)
Sunday: wu, 16.7 miles at 6:54mm (18)
Total: 36 miles
A pretty poor week by all standards but one I'm not totally unhappy with.
Before last Sunday's long run I'd felt a bit of tightness in my left groin. I'd ignored it as it'd gone away as soon as I started running but on Monday morning it definitely felt worse and I decided that running on it would be a bad idea. I hit the massage pretty hard but unfortunately
Annoyingly it then felt even worse on the Tuesday morning and I decided that rather than risk trying to do a track session it'd be better to do an easy exercise bike.
Wednesday I was feeling just about ready for a very slow run. It really was slow as I barely crawled around Wandsworth Common but at that slow pace the groin felt just about okay.
Thursday was a bigger test and for the first 300m of the run I was pretty terrified as my groin was feeling very tight. I pretty much decided I was just going to jog up to the track and set people off before I took the bus back. Thankfully after that 300m my groin eased off and I was able to get a couple of laps in. I took Friday off just to be careful before the XC.
Unfortunately I ended up pulling out of the XC mid-race. I felt dizzy on the morning of the race but decided I'd give it a go anyway. It hit again mid-race and I managed to keep going until our 10th scorer passed me at which point I was happy to drop out. Never like doing it but I'm glad I started rather than DNSed. Later in the evening my throat went pretty sore and I was a bit relieved that I had a virus rather than just some random dizzy thing.
Sunday's run was solid with the first half averaging about 7:14 and a much faster second half bringing the pace down to 6:54 as I kept switching the lead with Nick Burkitt and Tom Mitchell.
So - pretty poor week on the whole from the training front but at least I seem to have recovered from a potentially troublesome niggle and can start moving forward. Realistically this should probably have been an easier week anyway and so I'm probably only down 20-30 miles.
Onward and upward as they say.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Coming off a good 2 weeks with fairly tired legs this was a crucial week to keep the mileage high.
Monday: 9.5 steady (7:33) + Core/Lifting (9.5)
Tuesday: long wu, 4,8,12,2k,12 (60) [75,2:31,3:59,7:00,4:14], wd (9.5)
Thursday: Easy run into work AM; PM long w/u, 2 laps at MP, 4 x 900 hard , 2 laps at MP (no recovery before first or last 900), short wd (19.5)
Times: (20:20, 2:59, 2:51, 2:56, 2:59, 20:22)
Paces: (05:48, 5:25, 5:16, 5:22, 5:29, 05:48).
Friday: Easy run into work AM; PM 4 easy (9.5)
Saturday: 10 easy at 8:13mm (10)
Sunday: wu, 18.75 at 7:42mm (20)
Total: 78 miles
Another good week - Wednesday is working well as my rest day. I was really pleased with the Thursday session where I'm now averaging 10:10 laps. It's clearly a bit different from the other sessions with it being split into two sections but I think I'm making solid progress towards in the relatively near future being able to average 10 minutes per lap and feel strong.
The flip-side of having the strong Thursday sessions is that I've definitely noted the effect on the Sunday (and other) runs with the pace substantially increasing. I'm going to hit the massage implements a lot harder in the next couple of weeks and see what the effect is and hopefully the pace will start dropping - although I was pleased to cover 20 miles this week.
The next week brings a different challenge as I'm now working from Canary Wharf for 3 of the next 4 weeks with an office without showers (although there is another office with them about 15 minutes walk-away). The hours should however be shorter as I'll be studying. The focus is more likely to shift to big singles which given that I'm training for a marathon may be no bad thing. This will likely cause my average pace to drop even further and so I'm going to need to make sure that I'm incorporating form drills on a regular basis (which I have struggled with recently in the snow and cold) so that when my legs start to freshen up I'm able to race at my best.
I've also got the last Surrey League XC of the season. After a disastrous last fixture it'll be interesting to see if I run a bit better this time on tired but significantly fitter legs.
Right - that's it for this week. Catch you on the trails.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Monday: 4 easy AM; PM 11 steady mostly at mid 6s with a few 5:4x miles thrown in. (15)
Tuesday: 4 easy AM; PM long wu, 10 x 800 (75 / 200m jog), wd - first 6 were at about 2:38/39 pace with next 4 about 2:52 as I eased off and ran comfortably - very icy track. (15.5)
Wednesday: wu, 2 laps BP steady, wd (6)
Thursday: 4 easy AM; long wu, 6 x (mile hard, 0.75 recovery) paces for miles were:- 5:44; 49; 38; 27; 33 and 35 (5:38mm AVG) recovery paces were:- 6:49, 50, 40, 36, 33 and 52 (6:43mm AVG) , Total = 6 laps at 64:06 ( AVG: 10:40 per lap / 6:06mm), wd (20)
Saturday: 10 easy/steady (8mm) - 2 very slow miles on the snow then the rest of the run probably averaged 7:30 pace.
Sunday: wu then just short of 16 miles at 7:30mm around a very snowy and slippy Richmond park (running on snow / ice the entire team which made the run a lot harder!). (17)
Total mileage: 84
First "proper" mileage week in a while. Really enjoying the training at the moment. Reps are slowing down a little bit but I'm speeding up my steady runs over previous years (where 8mm could even be a "fast" run). That said the last two weeks had about 10-12 days of "hard" work but unfortunately a bad day either side made them look a bit poor.
Really pleased with the Thursday session as I haven't done a lot of that type of session in the past and it went pretty well. Especially pleased to average for the whole run as I was really worrying about my fitness to get extended tempos of that description done without redlining. Actual reps were 0.96 miles and 0.78 for the recoveries so I've just given paces above.
The Sunday run was okay - it was quite an experience running 16 miles around a totally snowed Richmond Park and I was shocked at how many people there were going around! Pace wasn't quick and the distance wasn't far but to be honest just to get a half decent effort in in poor conditions without slipping or picking up a niggle is pretty good.
Next week is gonna be a tough one.
As most people know I'm somewhat of a shoe geek. You know it's a bad thing when you have more significantly pairs of shoes than your significant other...
Despite this I've never really written much about shoes despite the fact that more than one training method, weekly mileage or surface I'm fairly sure they're the primary determinant of whether I get injured or not. The better you get the more you realise running is far more about staying injury free than actually training hard.
Firstly a little bit about me and shoes... Due to a structural abnormality in a bone around my achilles I can't run in shoes which have anything other than a very soft back. It's taken years of pain and achilles problems to get to this point. Usually I'd gradually build up my running until I decided I was fit enough to try running "properly" usually involving spikes or flats or just plain different shoes. I'd tweak something soon afterwards and my achilles would get progressively painful until I had to stop running. At one point at university I was fairly sure that I'd never be able to run without some fairly intense pain around my achilles.
It always bugged me that the pain was never in the actual achilles or in the flex of my foot. It always seemed to come from a "rubbing" sensation on the back of my ankle that just made my runs a nightmare. Different physios looked at it over the years and the diagnoses varied although I perhaps should have listened better to one who said "there's nothing there that could get injured, just a bit of bone".
Anyways - after many years of pain I finally found a shoe that I seemed to be able to train in as much as I wanted and have no pain at all. That shoe? The Vaporfly. A Nike shoe that came into being after the short-lived Mayfly. Noticeably more cushioned and with a fabric upper I suddenly found myself training on a regularly basis with almost no achilles pain. I still wore other shoes for the odd run but being able to put the majority of my mileage in these shoes helped my running make a quantum leap. I knocked up a solid 6 months of training and before I knew it I was running huge PBs including a sub 70 half.
Unfortunately... I didn't realise what the issue was or why my running had improved so much. I knew that the Vaporfly suited me but I couldn't tell you how or why. The shoes gradually fell apart (special thanks to Dave Norman who gave me a pair for free that he had lying around) and despite some amateur attempts at stitching them back together I ended up racing in some Nike Zoom Streak 2s. A very nice shoe and very fast (I actually wore them for my sub 70 half - and could barely walk after!) but not great for my achilles.
Wearing them at the Green Belt Relay along the towpath near Ware and Hertford 8 miles of constantly shifting underfoot and I was in severe pain. The next day I couldn't walk when I woke up. I ended up winning a stage after hiding behind the other bloke for 7 miles because I didn't want him to see I was limping whilst I was running... I never said I was clever... My achilles had managed to hold together for one more race but it was clear that they were going to need a lot of time to recover.
This time it was even worse and I seriously started to doubt whether I'd be able to race or even run again. Finally I just looked for a pair of shoes most like the Vaporfly. I still hadn't cottoned on totally and at one point was considering the Green Silence. A very nice shoe but one with a stiff back. Finally I settled on the Kinvara. The Kinvara had a tiny bit at the back that was fixed but was mostly very loose. As I started to clock up the miles I finally realised what was happening and that only shoes with a soft back gave me any relief.
A trip to Mark Buckingham confirmed the underlying reason. A small section of bone had developed at some point (possibly from birth) that would rub on the achilles and cause bad pain if I wore any sort of hard backed shoe. This wasn't just for my running shoes but also my formal/work shoes.
The Kinvara suited me well and I started to get into fantastic shape with some very fast tempos (7 miles at 5:20mm feeling very strong stands out) and more mileage than I'd ever run before. It had taken a long while to get over the injury from Green Belt but I was now making progress. Unfortunately my winter campaign hit a road block when I finally got to Reading. The previous year I'd been sick as a dog at the start but had gradually improved. This time I was struggling from the start and despite going through halfway in a similar time where I'd been kicking on then, now I was running awfully. Blood tests a few weeks later revealed I was anaemic. I'd never run enough mileage for that to happen before. The shoes were now working but my body wasn't! It took a lot of time for my body to recover and when it finally managed to I managed to strain a ligament in my back going down an escalator!
The final "big" shoe was the Nike Free. As I recovered from the ligament I tried a pair on randomly in Nike town and I was in love. The Free Run 2 was the perfect shoe for me with a soft back and a totally flexible sole. I'd always assumed that they were no good for anything but a quick trip to the gym or for warm up drills but I swiftly realised that this shoe totally matched my stride, had a lot of cushioning and most important would flex with my heel. It took a bit of time to get completely used to them but they swiftly became my stock trainer. There were a couple of niggles to begin with (mostly around my ankles and the side of my calves which struggled with the extra stability needed) but these have gradually disappeared.
I'm now running well, finally able to get the mileage in and, whilst I may have a few niggles from time to time, these are increasingly muscular and short-lived.
It's been a long journey, involving lots of miles and lots of shoes. I'm going to review a couple of the pairs I use in the next few months and hopefully it'll help at least a couple of other people sort out their problems.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tuesday: 30 minutes slow up and down a hill (3.5)
Wednesday: 4 steady (6:58mm) AM; PM 6 steady (7:10ish) PM (10)
Thursday: wu, 3 laps BP (12:35,12:17,11:58 - AVG 12:17 / 7:00mm), short wd (7)
Saturday: 4 miles easy AM; PM wu, 2 laps BP (12:38, 12:21 - AVG 12:30 / 7:08mm), wd (11.25)
Sunday: wu, 15.75 steady (AVG 6:57mm with last 1.75 @ 6:02mm) (17)
Total: 48.75 miles