Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Recovery Week?

I decided to take this week as a recovery week but also to try out my new Altra The One running shoes. Excellent service from Accelerate means I had the shoes in 4 days even returning the first pair, too small. I've done two runs in them this week just over 3 miles. Yes, they are zero drop but with some added cushioning which makes them distinct from my Vivobarefoots. I bought them thinking that they will be better for me on longer runs.

 New shoes of any kind mean different characteristics and I've been surprised at how just a small difference in shoe style, shape etc. can make a big difference in the feel of a run. The added cushioning seems to be reminding me of my old running shoes in which I used a heel strike style of running. So I've had to concentrate on my form and be more deliberate in forefoot, midfoot striking. With this in mind, it will take a bit of time to get used to them and for them to get used to me. So, I'll spend my training weeks in my Neos, and my recovery weeks in my Altras.

 On the plus side, my average running pace is a bit quicker now after three stages of my Run The Edge Level Up 13.1 training plan, nearer to 10 minutes than 11 minutes miles, which is good. If I can keep that pace up for a 10k then I've got every chance of doing a half marathon in 2:15. We shall see!!!

Today's run:

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Stage 9 Completed

Out at 6.30 and a lovely morning contrary to the forecast. I think it was just a window in the weather. My final day on Stage 9 and the long run - 45 minutes to run. I followed the route I took last Bank Holiday Monday at the beginning of the month. On that occasion it was at the beginning of the week after a couple of days rest. This time it was at the end of the week and weighing 4 pounds heavier than I was three weeks ago, due to being away on holiday; and my decision to finish with 'dieting'. Towards the end of the run I could see that I was just ahead of my previous time so kept it going as best I could. Eventually I finished a few seconds ahead. All in all it was an improvement because last time I abandoned the stage but this week I've completed it. The stages aren't easy so I've decided to think more about how I tackle them, what order to take the days in for example and to have a 'recovery week' in between each stage with shorter, slower pace runs and a distance run. But all in all I'm pleased with the three stages I've completed now. There's 9 more to go before the event. I'm looking forward to getting fitter and maybe a bit faster at the same time. If I can complete the half marathon in 2.15 I'll be very happy indeed. And that means an average pace of 10.20. Well, we'll see. Here's today's run

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Stage 9 Day 3

Today was a simple run 20 minutes. I topped and tailed it with a 5 minute or so jog. But I also ran up Beech Hill Avenue, the most challenging hill around here. Altogether my pace was very good for the challenge. So I'm definitely getting fitter. And I wasn't wiped afterwards too. Rest again tomorrow and then the long run on Saturday. Then we'll see if the revised plan worked any better.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Holiday Running

We went to the island of Mykonos, Greece last week for a holiday. I got 2 longer and 2 shorter runs in. The landscape is very hilly but beautiful and of course it was sunny and warm even between 7 and 8 in the morning. I didn't take my TomTom watch but had Endomondo on my BlackBerry so used that to record the runs and take to take some photos and publish them on the app too. Here's a couple of the runs and photos:

Stage 9 Rethink

After trying to do the long and short run first I felt really wiped out so decided to abandon stage 9 until after my holiday and then to rethink it. It's obvious that a rest day either side of the long run is sensible with perhaps the short run between the long run and the tempo/ladder etc. runs. So, having got back from holiday last Saturday, on Sunday, still being off work I did Run 10 jog 2 Run 15 walk 3 Run 10 jog 2. It was hard mainly because I didn't get much sleep on holiday and certainly didn't sleep at all well on Saturday night. So I started tired. Here's the run:
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This morning I did the second Run/Jog - Run 20 jog 2 Run 10 jog 2 Run 5 jog 2. Again it was hard even though I'd had a day off in between. When I started out I felt stiff and wooden but eventually got going. Here's the run:

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So, these runs are really pushing me. I'll see how I get on with the rest of the stage and then I'll have a proper rest week next week before Stage 10. My hips are a bit painful today after this morning's run, my right one especially. It's not bad but it's an effect I've not experienced before. So let's look, listen and learn.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Stage 9 Day 1 - Run 45

May Bank Holiday Monday and the third week of my half marathon training plan. A lovely morning so off I go. I decided to do the key stage in stage 9 of my plan today for 7 points and work down from that during the week instead of up to that. So it's a 45 minute run today, which means piling it on for 45 mins after I spend 5 minutes warming up jog and then slowing down for any remaining time after the 45 mins. I ran my best pace for distance. 6 miles in slightly over 60 minutes. Still not the 55 minutes I achieved for 10k in the Great Manchester Run in 2005 but then I'm a bit older aren't I? Also, my run this morning included trail as well as road which usually means a slower pace for me and a pretty long uphill stretch from Crooke to Shevington, longer than I did in my last two runs. On my way up to Shevington suddenly I found myself imagining a pacer just in front of me, which was me as I was in that GMR years ago. Weird but effective! Over all, quite an achievement. Stiff legs will be the penalty I think.

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Saturday, 3 May 2014

Half Marathon in View

I've come quite a way since February, trying to lose some weight and keep running despite my arthritic left foot and a stiff neck troubling me most of the time. The weight loss isn't going to plan but I'm a stone and a half lighter than I was this time last year so that's progress at least. I've kept running, 2, 3 or 4 times a week. A couple of weeks ago I surprised myself and ran 9 miles. It was a beautiful morning and what I thought was probably not much more than 6 miles turned out to be just over 9. Here it is:

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So that got me thinking that maybe I could do a half marathon some time in the future. I was about a week thinking about it and the idea gathered momentum in my head and heart. A search began for one that wasn't too far away and to cut a long story short I decided on the Lancaster Castle Half Marathon on Sunday 21st September. This will be two weeks after I finish work for retirement. A celebration of a new found freedom if you like. For from the 7th September it will be for me to decide what I do on a Sunday. As most races are on a Sunday, those of quality and popularity anyway I will more than cherish the opportunities my retirement will give me.

I needed a training plan and found Run The Edge Premium 13.1. I'm 2 weeks into it now and really enjoying it. Already I can feel the benefit. I'll soon be able to run again at the pace I ran the Great Manchester Run 8 years ago. And I hope it'll help me get the weight off too.

More to come on my training.

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