Monday, February 29, 2016

London Training Week 9 - Back to the Races

London is fast approaching with only 6 weeks of "proper" training left before the taper starts.

It's a decent time to appraise where I am so far. This build-up is going very well but I'm left with a sneaking suspicion that it could end up being just short of what I want. Maybe I'm wrong. I've seen a huge improvement in fitness from the end of week 3 to the end of week 7.

If I can make anything like that same jump from week 7 to the end of week 12 when I run in the Southern 12 stage (my next major race) then I'll be very pleased with my progress. I'm not sure what exactly that will look like because of the new course at the road relays but hopefully I'll be able to measure it.

In the meantime - with this sinking sensation of unjustified frustration - I'm focusing on the training and trying to do what I can to improve performance in terms of stretching and loosening tired muscles. That said - I've done a short article here on the 5 things you can still do to improve your marathon performance.

This week is probably my best week of training in a long time - high mileage (106) with "something" fast most days. Something I've found very beneficial in the past and need to use more often is "half" sessions - where I do about half the volume of a normal session at a slightly faster pace or do a full session but at a slower pace - these help me develop a relaxed posture whilst running at speed and keep me fresh.

Training this week...

Monday: wu, 8 x 870m stretch in BP off a minute averaging 5:25mm (3:06; 2:53; 2:55; 2:57; 2:55; 2:53; 2:52; 2:54 - AVG 2:56 - nice improvement over the 3:01 average 2 weeks ago), wd 

Tuesday: 11 easy @ 8:23mm AM; PM wu, 10 x 200m off 200 jog in 33 (averaging 4:25mm), wd 

Wednesday: 8 easy @ 8:22mm AM; PM wu, 3.5 miles @ 5:57mm, wd

Thursday: 6 easy @ 8:30mm AM; PM 11 @ 7:22mm including a fast mile (5:34)

Friday: 8 steady with Kev @ 7:43mm AM; PM 6 easy at 8:22mm

Saturday: 8 steady around Henham @ 7:26mm AM; PM 4.5 steady on treadmill @ 7:17mm

Sunday: wu, Stortford XC - 27:17 / 4.7 miles / 5:48mm, wd

Total: 106.1 miles

Overall am very pleased with both the volume of work and the intensity. I worked at a variety of paces in the sessions with a decent work-out at 10k pace on the Monday, some short fast reps on the Tuesday and some MP "ish" work on Wednesday.

The race on Sunday was okay... The course was really good underfoot - after checking it out on my morning run I decided that it was frozen enough that as I would be coming through near the front I could get away with my Skechers Go Run Ride (road shoes with minimal grip, reducing injury risk slightly at the expense of grip and perhaps a bit of pace as they're not quite as light as all out racing shoes).

After winning last time, given I'm about 2 minutes quicker over that distance, I was hoping for a relatively easy win! Not quite. George Cook, a junior elite triathlete with a 4:14 1500 and 9:01 3000 (both equivalent to my best times) had turned up and wasn't going to let me go easily. Luckily I could tell by his heavy breathing that he was unlikely to be able to maintain the pace the whole way and I managed to get clear without too intense an effort about 2 miles into the race.

I didn't push after that but just kept a strong steady effort going. I was worried about the final section as I knew it was muddier and almost came a cropper on a bar going over a bridge (the final section had 3 separate "hurdles" to go over).

I'd have liked a faster average pace but to race reasonably after a 106 mile week is probably a good sign.

Training Table Week 9

Week Commencing Mileage Time Running Average Pace Key Sessions Longest Run Most Efficient Run Sunday Weight
28th December 2015
55.4
6h 22m
6:54mm
Newport XC
9.1 miles
952 BPM
11 st 13.25 lbs
4th January 2016
54.4
6h 57m
7:40mm
15 miles / 7:21mm
995 BPM
11 st 13 lbs
11th January 2016
63.2
8h 20m (+2h XT )
7:57mm
16 miles / 9:12mm
N/A
11 st 10.25 lbs
18th January 2016
61.8
9h 30m
(+ 6h XT )
9:13mm
None
9.7 miles / 8:36mm
N/A
11 st
8.5 lbs
25th January 2016
79.8
11h 40m
(+4h 45m XT )
8:46mm
10.8 miles / 7:57mm
N/A
11 st 7.5 lbs
1st February 2016
100.0
13h 30m
8:06mm
20.3 miles / 7:19mm
N/A
11 st .5.5 lbs
8th February 2016
100.0
13h 31m
8:06mm
20.7 miles / 6:58mm
N/A
11 st 4.5 lbs
15th February 2016
63.0
8h 43m
8:20mm
None
N/A
11 st 4 lbs
22nd February 2016
106.1
13h 52m7:50mm
8 x 870m 
10 x 200
Bishop St. XC
None
N/A
11 st 2.5 lbs

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Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.