London marathon blog – month 2
After a confidence boosting January I was keen to crack on with the training….
Week 5: Monday morning & still feeling high after my Ferriby 10 I decided on a steady paced recovery run to turn the legs over, legs felt good & I’m really enjoying these early morning runs, with Dewsbury 10k coming up at the weekend i thought another track session would be beneficial & despite the slightly cold & windy conditions an enjoyable session as always. Keen to keep my miles at around 25 a week I needed to fit in another run before weekend & with most members at hills I did a solo Swine 7 mile loop run was good to give my new headtorch a run out. On Saturday morning I made a return to Hull Parkrun in preparation for Dewsbury 10k the following day, it escalated quickly & I ended up with my best Parkrun time in 18 months – Dewsbury 10k a favourite race of mine as it’s a good marker with it been so early in the year, myself, Tony Cross, Paul Bennett & Guy Gibson made the trip to West Yorkshire. In my mind I was thinking sub 40 would be decent having not ran a 10k since last May but like Ferriby 10 I came away with a PB of 38.10 & an edge closer to sub 38. It’s a fast out & back course with a slight incline before the switch back point, my strategy was similar to Ferriby only on a smaller scale – fast first mile, hold on to the 5k point then all in to the finish. Tony Cross also got a PB coming in just after me I was chuffed for TC after last years long course debacle, a solid sub 40 for Paul but unfortunately a DNF for Guy maybe he should stick to long stuff. This rounded off another good week, next weekend brings a trip to Barcelona for the half marathon.
Total miles – 24.5
Week 6: Monday morning a 5k recovery run, these mornings runs seems to be good for getting rid of the lactic acid out my legs so plan to keep on doing them throughout the summer for Champagne & Summer league. On Tuesday night I was supposed to be doing the Cleethorpes 5k but this was cancelled due to the arctic conditions the hull daily mail keeps promising us, so I opted for a headtorch run on the Wednesday organised by Scunthorpe AC around Brantingham / Welton despite a few wrong turns an enjoyable 7 miles – Barcelona Half Marathon – back in September myself Steve Taylor, Vinny McGowan & Dan Newton booked on to the Barca half, I’d heard good things about it & now knowing I’m in London it fits in well with my training plan. Flights, accommodation & the race itself were all reasonably priced so we were good to go on the Friday evening, lead by our drinking ringleader Vinny we had one too many drinks, I lost count how many times we said one more….. Waking up a little fuzzy headed on the Saturday I did a 5k to clear my head & turn my legs over. We collected our numbers from the expo & did a bit of sightseeing around the town before an early night in preparation for race day – Having not ran a half marathon on road since May 2015 I was keen to have a crack at a getting a PB & to be fair my form suggested I should. Knowing the course was relatively flat I aimed to average around the 6.30 miles mark which was my pace at Ferriby. It was fairly congested at the start so I opted for a fast start, the first 5 miles flew past & I was on 6.20’s & felt really comfortable so hadn’t gone out too quick, the route wasn’t too technical with some slightly downhill long straights to get the foot down, as I approached the switch back point at around the 9 mile point the 1.25 pacers went past me & I thought try & cling on to them. A little gap appeared over the next few miles & I was fighting to keep up with them, I closed the gap a little in the 13th mile as I battled to get sub 1.25, just falling short in the end with a time of 1:25.20 which I was well chuffed with beating my previous best by three & a half minutes, I managed to keep my mile splits pretty much the same for the last 9 which was really pleasing having dropped off in previous races I’d ran. A seasons best for Steve & back under 1.30 for him but a personal worst Vinny who claims to be “back on it” & unfortunately a DNF for Dan who had hamstring issues but was the right decision to pull out. An enjoyable afternoon at the nou camp to watch Barcelona followed by a few drinks on the evening to celebrate my PB. A really good weekend was had by all & would highly recommend the race.
Total miles – 26.4 miles
Week 7: As I have found over the years running can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride with some highs & lows, this week was one of those low weeks – a steady recovery run on the Tuesday & I started to feel a few niggles with tightness in my calves & pain in my left knee I opted for a few days rest so didn’t run until Saturday attending the Sproatley pack run organised by Nippy, a nice steady paced run with a bit of pace added in on the road section to test the legs out. A good turnout from club members & a decent spread put on in the constable arms afterwards. I had planned on doing 12/13 miles on the Sunday but decided to can it & rest up.
Total miles – 13.5 miles
Week 8: Having rested up Sunday & Monday I went out early Tuesday morning for a 5k, calves feeling much & knee not hurting whilst running just twinges when getting up or moving about certain ways, I’ve now realised my new gym trainers were the issue with my calves so much for reebok floatrides been the ultimate Bodyattack trainers !! so it’s back to the tried & tested Nike Pegasus. On Thursday night I had planned on doing the Sproatley 10 mile loop but decided to tag along with Matty & Nige as they was doing around 9, Matty dropped off after 4 miles due to a hammy issue so for the last 5 I was dragged along by Nige with the pace been a little tasty for me but was grateful for the push. National XC cross country champs – on the Saturday 11 brave men & Alison made our way to Parliament Hill in London for the XC champs, having done a few of these events in the past it always good to run against the best in the country. It was 12k for the men & 8k for the women & some rather angry wintry weather conditions greeted us. As 3pm approached we made our way down to the already packed pens to join the eager 2300 men raring to charge the uphill start, stood at the back of the pen I managed to get a decent start until the track bottlenecked & for the next half mile there was a lot of walking & jogging until the field spread out a bit, there first mile came in at just over 9 minutes not really the start I wanted but I made my way the shorter loop which was to be followed by two longer loops. The course was cut up quite bad after all the others age categories had ran but the inov8’s held up really well, by the start of my first longer loop I was fatiguing quite badly with the uphill sections been a bit of a struggle, I dug in & battled on making some time back up on the flat & downhill section. I managed to settle down a little on the second big loop which made the hills a little easier, as I approached the finish I glanced down at my watch which was closing in on the hour mark, I thought under the hour would be decent so put my foot down for the descent to the finish line clocking a time of 59.28. Some cracking performances from the usual suspects & a great day out was had by all. Big thanks to Matty & Alison for organising entries etc & Matty again for driving. Keen to get my miles back up to 25 a week I did a recovery 10k on the Sunday afternoon with the legs not feeling too heavy from the previous day’s exerts. Having had a sports massage during the week & another one booked in for next week hopefully I can iron out these niggles.
Total miles – 26.2 miles
The second four weeks in my training hasn’t gone as planned but still pleased to get PB’s in 10k & half marathon distance following on from Ferriby 10 in the first four weeks, next month is a key month with the east hull 20 on the 18th March the real focus, hopefully can shake off these annoying niggles & crack on.