Tag Archives: half-marathon

Running update

I resolved, at the start of this year, to manage the relatively modest target of 10k per week run – a minimum of two 3 mile runs or so a weekend. Before the sabbatical, I was struggling a bit with that; despite a good january (65k run), February had seen me slow to a miserly 40k. Maybe just on target, but not much more than that.

The sabbatical saw a bit of a refresh; 53.5km in March and 60k in April. Progress, or so it would seem – but I continued eating at sabbatical rates, so my weight hasn’t gone down and that’s contributing to my persisting slowness.

May, to date, has also been a bit better – 30km run so far and its not even midway through the month yet. I’m trying to stick to a routine of two-three 10k runs a week, which is non-trivial as I’m not as limber, fit or light as I was when I was last doing this distance, but the only way to get there is to push along!

So, YTD I’m actually ahead of my target, modestly – 270km odd run. I’m hoping that the newly revised target, as well as the more regimented ITB rolling and stretching routine will see my overall distance rise more significantly. My speed is still poor; the weight affects everything and whilst I’m not ludicrously heavy the extra few kilos feels significant on me at the moment. I haven’t found the will to start the obsessive compulsive diet tracking yet – maybe that should be on my agenda? {sigh}.

Race plans remain thin on the ground. I’ve entered the the Basingstoke half-marathon but I’m still hopeful Ill do a second one at some point this year. Maybe a Northern summer half marathon? We’ll see…

Training update – two weeks till half marathon

So, this week saw two speedy five k runs (including  a new, sub-28 minute PB), a day spent lifting the material contents of my life in and out of a van, and today – a mammoth 18.5k LSR – pace of 6.27 / km – completing the circuit in under 2hrs. This bodes well for a 21k time of sub 2h20 (extra 2.6 or so km in 20 mins should be manageable!), and doubly so as it was on a real countryside route rather than my standard London canal runs – so involving inclines, variety, a view etc.

I am knackered – but thrilled with new home, building in anticipation for the arrival of Hippo (and for race day! have you sponsored me yet?), and pleased that I’ve more or less kept to my “5 week” half-marathon training regimen. Although the diet has slipped a little of the last few days, the weight loss seems to continue too – sub 78kg for the first time since forever ago this morning on the (lying) scales, but still indicative that I’m moving in the right direction.

Three weeks to go: training update

It’s been a mixed week of training. Monday’s 38ish minute 6k, Wednesday’s 35ish minute 6k (awesome!), Friday’s < 60 minute 10k (hurrah, on a roll)… all injury free and going well. So, to the Long Slow Run – commenced today, after breakfast (never a good thing for me at the moment)… and I powered through 15k in a not terribly impressive 100 minutes.

It was a little disheartening the extent to which my long-distance endurance has withered over the course of the injury… but I’m glad I pushed myself. On the original post-injury training plan I was only meant to be on 13k today, so have exceeded myself in both my recent LSRs.

That said, I need a rest day tomorrow and a lot of stretching before I start next week’s running training (which will also be interspersed with much carrying of boxes as I become a houseowner and move to the countryside all in one week!).

At least I’m once again reaching the point where I think of a 10k as an average distance run, which is a pretty invigorating feeling. I think I’ll be able to finish the half without a pause for walking – I hope so! – and with a little, little bit of luck it’ll be in under 2h30. Any hopes I had for a quicker speed are slightly dampened after today, but we will see!

Have you sponsored me yet, btw? Please, please do so here!

5 week LSR training for the half marathon

Right, here we go.

Having peaked early by running the full half marathon distance earlier in the year (twice!), injuring myself and been off running for the best part of the last couple of months, I need a running programme leading up to the New Forest Half in September. I made it out this morning for a more or less 30 minute 5k with no knee pain so think I can start to gradually build things up. Of course, I only have 5 weeks, and I’ll be moving over the course of that so I need to map out each weekend’s LSR. Here are my targets:

w/e 28 Aug – 7k (I’m still building up strength post-injury so think I need to restrain myself. May exceed if I feel able)
w/e 4 Sept – 10k
w/e 11 Sept – 13k
w/e 18 Sept – 15k

And I’ll taper off that last week ahead of the half marathon on the 26th. Mid week will involve runs of 5k to begin with, possibly upping to 10k is the strength builds (and I may struggle once the commute lengthens in mid September).

Sound like a plan? Wish me luck! Better yet, sponsor me here! I have a vague hope of making it to £1310 (£100 per mile and all that) but have a feeling my busy-ness will constrain fundraising.

The gradual reintroduction of the knee

No run this morning, despite earlier hopes. The pollen count is literally dismantling me. However; day 21 of Juneathon has seen 80 sit-ups and the reintroduction of the (this morning, very gentle) cycle to work (so I’ve done 5.5k and it’ll be 5.3 on the return journey tonight). The knee, whilst slightly tentative, is not too bad, which is pleasing on a number of counts:

  1. One more day off – and I’ll try a run on Weds
  2. Cycling again!
  3. The doctor was right – despite the strictures of the 7 minute NHS diagnosis mandate, he saw, assessed, diagnosed and prescribed the appropriate course of action to lead to recovery

It’s less pleasing because…

  1. The doctor was right – meaning I need to take his advice and reduce my mileage. He said it should take six months of build up before I was doing the kind of distance I was doing (it’d been three) – and I only have 3 months left until the half-marathon, so need to work out an appropriate level of training

I think I’m going to aim for a post Juneathon regimen that involves merely 4 runs a week – three at three or so miles and one longer piece which I’ll vary, between 6.5 and 13 miles over the course of the build-up – my “LSR.” I’m not sure if this is sensible or not, but I hope so… Any Senseis out there with a view? I probably do need to get a running coach…

Half marathon distance training run no 2

Ouch. I keep forgetting how far 21km is. It’s far.

This morning, ahead of a trip to India for a family wedding I ran the ridiculous distance again – hoping to improve on my previous 20k+ effort. And I think I did – maintaining a split of 6m30 per for the duration of the 2h19 minutes I was running (that’s a LOT of running). The run data is on Runkeeper here.

It was tough going though – the first 10.5k were OK but the return trip got fairly gruelling. I’d foolishly opted for no vaseline as my new running shirts had arrived (needed to apply it mid-run when I hit the 12k mark) and my endurance began to flag then too – having maintained a target beating split of 6m16 per km on the way out, the return trip saw me lose a second or two per kilometer until I finished with the final average split. The voice prompts in Runkeeper continue to be an excellent motivating force.

I crossed the 13.1m barrier (21.1k) after 2h17 minutes or thereabouts – which means that the road to the sub-2-hour half marathon is pretty steep – need to shave a minute off my splits, give or take. But I’ve got time, and am planning on dialling some interval training into Runkeeper to help with my speed training.

Any tips from anyone out there? I’m continuing to subscribe to Sensei Paul’s school of thinking that any miles under my belt will help, even if the training is slightly haphazard, so pleased that I managed to achieve the distance again.

Today’s long slow run – 9 May 2010

Because I’m ridiculous, and slightly anxious about the half-marathon in September, to prove to myself I would be OK, I decided to run one today.

Yes, really. I am an idiot.

Still, I did it, and feel pretty good about it (the achievement, not in general. My legs are jelly). The furthest I’d run before today was a 14km run a couple of weeks ago, so this was 50% on top of the previous best. I managed it in 2h11 minutes, which I am happy with – hopefully in 4 months I’ll be able to shave 15 minutes off that and come in under 2 hours. Although today’s run was pretty gentle – mostly flat, good conditions, no traffic to contend with…

I need to get some better t-shirts, though, as the chafing (I know, I know, too much information) got uncomfortable after kilometer 4, so I ended up running barechested (calm down, people) for most of the remainder of the run. Which on a blustery, drizzly Spring day raised a few eyebrows, I can tell you…

Runkeeper went a bit mental after about 16km so I don’t have proper stats on the run, but I was going at what felt like quite a gentle pace of about 9.5-10km/h (a split of 6m30s per km), which was sustainable. That said, the last 3-4 km were really tough – at the limit of my current level of fitness (if not endurance). My legs are slightly wobbly now and I think I’m going to take a few days off… especially as I’m considering entering “beat the banana” (it’s not as rude as it sounds) on Thursday. Anyone fancy joining for the 5km sprint against a man dressed as a banana?

New running blog

Sorry for the dearth of posts. I’ve slightly exhausted the ‘new soup’ supply, and have been busy with a combination of personal projects and work.

One of the personal projects, my running/fitness programme, now has its own blog (with a colleague from work, @jimbocoyle) – you can find over on WordPress.com – it’s the Long Slow Run, a reference to the longer Sunday run people do as part of their running training routine. It’s just kicked off but as my current obssession it will see quite a few posts ahead of my running the New Forest Marathon with Rach, Sensei Paul & others in September. Donate money to the World Cancer Research Fund if you fancy supporting my efforts (Thanks to Jimjamjebobo & the nice people at WCRF for organizing my donations page)…