Weekly Training Review

Weekly Training Review – 18th-24th February 2019

18th-24th February

Last week’s report can be found here.

Weekly Training:

This week I had planned 7 sessions; 5 runs, 1 Yoga session and 1 weights sessions.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Weights Club Run Run Club Run Yoga Parkrun Long Run

Monday 18th February:

Today was supposed to be my weights session, however I opted for a full rest day. The niggle in my hip was still giving me a bit of grief and I wanted to try and recover a little before my Tuesday club run. I know that this was a bit unnecessary as I could have still done some upper body work, but mentally it allowed me a complete break to try and put the niggle to the back of my mind.

Tuesday 19th February:

Club night! Not only club night, but also the day that I will be officially putting in my membership request. Unfortunately, however, this didn’t go as I had planned! I arrived at the club and was directed to the main office where I filled out my application form. It had to be signed by two other members so I asked my run leader and a member of my group. My passport photo was attached and I was just about to pay my membership fee when the bad news broke. There had been a committee meeting the night before, which I knew of, however I didn’t know that these were only once a month or so! That now meant that I would have to wait until around the end of March to get my membership card and UKA discount for any future races. I was quite disappointed as I was really looking forward to having it all tied up and being a fully registered member so that I could wear the club vest for events. If I had have known that the committee meetings were so infrequent then I would have made a special trip down on a non-training day last week to submit my application. So for now, I can’t enter events under the club name. I have changed my club on my Parkrun profile though as this doesn’t need the UKA number. Despite the fact that I won’t be getting my membership card for a while, I couldn’t resist getting my club vest and jacket already! I’m really enjoying chatting with other club members and being part of a group. Yup, I’m proud to be a Stag (and the jacket is awesome!).

At 6:30pm my group all met up outside of the club and started with a 1.65 mile warm up. This week was a little different though as we were heading to someone’s house first. A few weeks ago, a member of our group had fallen and required stitches. A lady in a nearby house had given her a blanket and waited with the group until help arrived. Today we were returning the blanket and also sending flowers to say thank you. This was a short stop before we then proceeded to the area where we would start our reps.

The plan was 6 laps of a 0.2 mile triangle. These would be continuous laps with no rest periods. I set off and completed the first lap in 1:58.3. I wanted to try and get quicker with each lap. Lap 2 came in at 1:55.5 and lap 3 in 1:54.8. Not exactly the improvement I was looking for, but they were at least slightly faster than the previous! Things started to get tough for lap 4 and I had to push myself to not slow down. Still, I completed the lap slightly faster than the previous in 1:54.0. By this point I had started to close the distance on the lady ahead of me and made it my aim to try and overtake her. Lap 5 saw me close the distance a little more as I completed the lap in 1:51.1. Just before the halfway mark of lap 6 I managed to start running alongside her as we both pushed on towards the finish. Consequently lap 6 was the fastest in 1:45.8. We then had a steady run back to the club to round up to the 5 mile mark.

I was a bit disappointed with my pacing. The effort that I had put in on all 6 laps had felt like I was running a lot faster. It certainly felt like more effort than my most recent half marathon where I averaged a 10 minute per mile pace, with the last 4 laps all being between 9:31 and 9:51. I hadn’t even touched my 5k race pace! My 5k personal best saw me run with an average pace of 8:50. I know that I tend to run faster in races due to tapering and just the general atmosphere, but those 6 short laps had taken a lot of effort. I compared my splits and heart rate to my most recent half marathon and decided to amend this week’s plan. Looking back, I haven’t had a real cut back week for a while, so I may be a little fatigued. It doesn’t really make sense to have a cut back week next week or the week after as I will soon be tapering for my half marathon. As such, I’ll have a complete rest day on Wednesday and then a club run on Thursday which will probably be around 5 miles. I’ll most likely also cut my long run back to try and freshen my legs up for next week where the club session is a track run.

19th Splits

19th HR Zones

Wednesday 20th February:

Originally this was planned for a 9 mile zone 2 run, however as mentioned above I decided to take a complete day of rest. Hopefully I will be feeling fresh for a steady run on Thursday and if I cut back my long run on Sunday then I may try to race Parkrun on the Saturday. I’ve increased my mileage a fair amount over the last 6 months, so I may be overdue a break!

Just to break it down:

  • September = 67.54 miles
  • October = 60.37 miles
  • November = 92.43 miles
  • December = 122.54 miles
  • January = 113.43 miles (missed some sessions due to illness and then taper)
  • February = 118.26 miles (with at least another 19 miles planned before the end of the month)

So yeah, I can’t be too disappointed with taking a lighter training week!

Thursday 21st February:

This was only my second Thursday run with my club. The first one was 5.15 miles, so I was anticipating another session of around that distance.

We set off at 6:30pm for a steady run. There were no intervals for today. I started off slower than usual as I was keeping someone company at the back of the pack. Eventually, I picked up the pace a little and moved towards the front. There were some tough hills along the route and I definitely felt my heart rate increase on the inclines.

It’s hard to just my running pace as there was a lot of stopping and starting for traffic, and I also ran back a few times to run alongside the back runner so that they weren’t left alone. The total distance came to 6.75 miles. I actually felt quite strong during this run. At one point my watch indicated that I was running at 10:30 minute per mile and faster, yet I felt comfortable. I think having a rest Wednesday may have helped. I’m now debating whether to run hard on Saturday or use it as a zone 2 run.

21st Splits

21st HR Zones

Friday 22nd February:

Ok, I had totally forgotten that we had plans for tonight! Due to having to go out almost straight from work, I didn’t have time to train. Really I should have added my Yoga session in on Monday and had my full rest day today, however it completely slipped my mind. I guess it fits with the theme of the week though as it allows me some more down time, but I have been feeling better after my recent Yoga / stretching / massage sessions.

Saturday 23rd February:

As I’d had a pretty easy week, I decided that I wanted to try and get a new personal best at Parkrun. The last time I raced it was on New Year’s Day when I set a personal best of 27:22. With the weather warming up a little, I was hopeful of having a good run. My cousin and her fiancé were also going to be participating.

I had my Quaker Oats and had wanted to also eat a banana as my breakfast hadn’t touched the sides! However, by the time I had gotten dressed and ready, I completely forgot to pick up my banana so left without it. We arrived at West Park and my stomach was growling. At this point I really wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run flat out. Regardless, I figured I would give it a try as I had opted to wear my club vest and Nike Elite 10s (my racing shoes!).

Lining up towards the front of the pack, I was feeling okay. I had my club vest over a compression t-shirt base layer and was hoping that would spur me on. The claxon sounded and we all set off. My initial set off was a little faster, so I dropped the pace as I didn’t want to burn my legs out too soon. I then looked at my watch and saw that my pace was around 10:20, which was disappointing as I felt like I was running a lot harder. Still, I decided to ignore my watch and just push on as hard as I could to try and get sub-27.

My watch vibrated for mile 1 and I was impressed! The time read 8:29, meaning that I was 21 seconds ahead of my average pace from my personal best. I was a bit nervy though and was unsure if I was going to be able to hold that pace. The hill was tough but I pushed through. My cousin’s fiancé was around 25 seconds ahead of me. I knew that if I could keep him in my sights then I should get a personal best as he usually runs around the 25-6 minute mark.

Mile 2 eventually arrived and my watch notified me that I had ran it quicker with a pace of 8:22. I was now definitely on for a personal best, as long as it didn’t all go horribly wrong in the final lap. That thought crossed my mind, and then immediately became a reality. I started to get really bad stitch in my right side. To try and give myself a physical and mental reset I decided to take a short walk break of 20 seconds. I didn’t want to lose too much time so quickly tried to find my running pace again. 5 and a half minutes later and I was struggling again. I had been fighting the stitch but now it was getting too painful. Putting pressure on it was no longer really helping. Losing the battle, I took another short walk of around 25 seconds. I managed to pick the pace back up, but it was short-lived. Just under 2 minutes later and I was battling the final hill. This battle was too much and I ended up crawling up it. Another 20 seconds later and I had made it to the top. I was determined to give it my all so pushed myself to run the final 0.1 mile.

I was so happy when I turned the corner and saw the finish line! Upon crossing the line, I stopped my watch and regained my breath. I was just under 20 seconds behind my cousin’s fiancé and we had both managed personal bests. My Garmin time and official time both matched at exactly 25:58. Unfortunately, my Garmin only picked up my distance as 3 miles, so I had to manually edit it to show the full 3.1 mile distance.

I rang the PB bell and spectated as we waited for my cousin to finish. Surprisingly, I felt quite refreshed afterwards, albeit still feeling hungry! When I ran 27:22 on New Year’s Day, I crossed the finish line and was struggling. I could feel the acid burn and I had indigestion from pushing so hard. Today, however, I hadn’t experienced that.

This was a good run for me and at a good time too as I had been worrying about my pace during my training runs. I felt like I was losing my speed over the shorter distances as I focused on improving my endurance for longer events. Now I’d really like to break the sub-25 minute barrier! Maybe by the end of the year. I’m not sure what my plan will be after the Blackpool Marathon in April. I don’t want to lose the base that I have built up, however I do need to start looking into some speed work.

I rang the PB bell and spectated as we waited for my cousin to finish. Surprisingly, I felt quite refreshed afterwards, albeit still feeling hungry! When I ran 27:22 on New Year’s Day, I crossed the finish line and was struggling. I could feel the acid burn and I had indigestion from pushing so hard. Today, however, I hadn’t experienced that.

Parkrun PB Bell!

This was a good run for me and at a good
time too as I had been worrying about my
pace during my training runs. I felt like I was
losing my speed over the shorter distances as
I focused on improving my endurance for longer events. Now I’d really like to break the sub-25
minute barrier! Maybe by the end of the year.
I’m not sure what my plan will be after the
Blackpool Marathon in April. I don’t want to
lose the base that I have built up, however
I do need to start looking into some speed
work. For now though, my focus is purely
on my marathon performance. My first
marathon attempt didn’t go as planned, so
I am hoping to get my revenge this time
around!

23rd Splits

23rd HR Zones

Sunday 24th February:

I actually felt a bit guilty that my long run would “only” be 12 miles. That statement also shocked me as I never imagined seeing 12 miles as a short distance! Due to the decreased distance, I was tempted to attempt to run it at my targeted marathon race pace. In the end, I decided against this as the whole point of shortening the run was to give my body some recovery time, and pushing the pace wouldn’t achieve that.

So off I set with the simple aim of remaining in zone 2 whilst listening to my audio book. I did still run a little quicker than usual though, but nothing strenuous. It feels good to be able to run around 10:30 minute miles without too much effort. I wasn’t watching my pace at all, and the only time I saw it was when the mile notification screen popped up on my watch with my mile split and cumulative time.

The last 2 miles I had to keep an eye on my heart rate as I was reaching the top of zone 2. I didn’t want to push into zone 3 so I had to slow myself down a few times. This was especially the case in mile 12, hence the time was significantly slower than earlier miles.

I’m happy with the average pace of the run; this is definitely improving whilst remaining in zone 2. Although the run was “only” 12 miles, it did feel tougher than usual towards the end. I think a lot of this was mental though, as I did underestimate my run. I guess that now I am used to running further I took this run for granted more than I should have.

24th Splits

24th HR Zones

Weekly Summary:

Total Miles = 26.85

Training Hours = 5:06:28

Positives = My first Parkrun as a Birchfield Harrier, which also resulted in a new 5k personal best of 25:58 (was 27:22). Lighter training week should help me to feel a bit more refreshed for next week.

Negatives = I mentioned having a lighter training week as being a positive, however I am a bit disappointed as I enjoy seeing my weekly mileage in the 35-40 miles per week range. No Yoga or strength training this week either, which is not a good thing at all! I really need to focus more effort on this, especially as I’m currently battling a niggling hip injury which may be a sign of weakness due to the lack of strengthening I do. I have bought a strength training book though, so the intention is there!

Next Week = I’m hoping, as long as my niggle doesn’t complicate things, to be back into the 40 miles per week range across 5 runs. The plan is to get an 18 miler under my belt on Sunday as my longest ever run, with 2 club sessions and an easy session in the week, before a steady Parkrun on the Saturday. I need to try and focus some energy on ensuring that my strength and Yoga sessions are completed. On this note, I may look into getting an appointment with a physio soon, as I want to try and nip this niggle in the bud before it becomes anything serious.

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