Road to London

Week 4

The road to London Marathon...

Week 4

Miles ran - 43
Toblerone's eaten - 0
Red wine drunk - 1 bottle
Weight - Monday 172lbs - Sunday 170lbs

Monday 23rd Jan

Yesterday was my 16 miler, longest I had run in a long time so had a feeling today would be a bit painful but woke up and felt good, reckon my coach actually knows what the hell he's doing.

Gym session as always with Graham, lots of kettlebells and planks going on and lots of philosophical discussions with G about running, racing and my mara plan.  Reckon my S&C coach actually knows what the hell he's doing.

Home to shower and start working, had a few marathon runners in today who are training for London and Manchester and some niggles and tight spots starting, being the award winning masseur that I am I naturally sorted them out and talked them through training plans, rest days and pacing which luckily are some of my favourite topics of conversation.  Then grabbed the foam roller and did 20 mins, I say 20 but it was closer to 10 mins.

It was 5, just 5 minutes.  

Okay I just sat on it for a minute and then lay on the settee.

Reckon my foam roller instructor would be really disappointed with me.

Then spent the afternoon rewriting large parts of my website, whilst you're here why not take a look around and don't just read my blog, have a look at it all, ask me some running or massage type questions or book yourself in for a massage, I'm bloody good you know.

Tuesday 24th Jan

A fun session tonight of 500m reps down on the prom, so this one is fairly straightforward.  Usually it's 8 reps with 60 second recoveries between each one at 10km pace, aiming for around 2 mins per rep.  Let's hope it's just the 'usual' session then.

Graham changed the session.

It's now a horrible session.

There are more reps.

There are less recoveries.

10 reps with reducing recoveries starting at 60 secs and dropping 5 seconds after each rep but at least the pace is do'able, aim for 2 mins and it's not eyeballs out.  Yes, that's 'eyeballs' fellas, that's not a conversation or mental image I want to be having again.

Naturally we didn't hit 2 mins for a single one of the ten reps, instead they ranged from 1:57 down to 1:51, none of those numbers are 2's, not a single one of them.  

I need a massage, or maybe I could just do some foam rolling.

I booked a massage.

Wednesday 25th Jan

Just going to cut and paste from last Wednesday as it started the same but I wont talk about Christina Ricci this time...

Wednesday is easy run day, 4-5 miles at around 9:00-9:30 mile pace along the coast, it was cold, damn, damn cold fairly mild.

Decided to try out the new trainers today, a very bright pair of Alphafly 2's that Evri lost and found again.

I hate Evri (I still hate Evri).

This is my in depth review of Alphafly's.  They still feel weird, they feel slightly less very soft and weird, they still feel very bouncy and weird, they look weird, they are a weird shoe.

Not much else to say about today so to answer some of the questions about my blog that have been asked at training and on FB.

Yes the pictures obviously have something to do with the days.

That was Whigfield, she sang a song called Saturday night, you're too young to remember her and that depresses me, not because she was good but because it makes me feel old.

No I'm not changing all the pictures each week because I'll run out of songs, films and albums very quickly, I just change a couple.

No, Ben will not feature every week.

Yes I do like Christina Ricci.

No Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine are not a band I made up and yes one of them was called Fruitbat, the other fella was Jim-Bob.  There's a twitter rumour they're reforming, this makes me very happy.

Phillip Schofield is not so happy.

Thursday 26th Jan

Thursday is becoming threshold day, basically intervals at threshold pace with jog recoveries.  Each week the number and duration increases with the ultimate aim of them becoming easier and that pace feeling comfortable.

Today was 4 reps of 10 minutes each with a warm up and cool down and 4 minute jog recoveries between each one.  

Headed out for a warm up and it was cold, regretted not checking the weather and t shirt may well have been a mistake.

Started the first rep and it started raining, regretted not checking the weather and glasses and no cap may well have been a mistake.

It was raining, cold and the wind was picking up, regretted not checking the weather and doing threshold reps today may well have been a mistake.

First one done with no issues, easy jog and turned to head back and the rain in the face meant had to take the glasses off which meant I couldn't see a thing and nearly wiped out a very tall lady wearing a grey coat, I thought she was a lamppost.  Obviously she wasn't as tall as a lamppost but with my eyesight you can never be sure.

All 4 reps done, first 2 bang on pace and last 2 both a little fast as I just wanted to go home and get dry, thought I'd get home and have a coffee and a healthy breakfast and feel smug.

I ate Gail's cream cake out the fridge for breakfast.  It was a bit stale and I don't actually like cream cakes.

Ate it anyway.

Joked on Facebook that I might have some fruit pastilles for lunch, couldn't stop thinking about fruit pastilles.

Went to Tesco and bought a big bag of fruit pastilles, ate them while walking home.  It's a 5 minute walk.

Went to the club for an easy leg stretcher and jogged along at the back encouraging all the groups doing intervals,  had already done my session so wasn't doing anything silly and Natasha trying to encourage me into B group wasn't happening.

Waited at the back with D team on their recovery and thought I'd jog back behind them on the final 4 min rep. 

C team arrived.

I joined C team and sensibly sat at the back watching them accelerate away on the 4 min rep.

I weaved my way through C team, I was at the front of C team, I encouraged C team to go faster, I'm an idiot.

It was Bain's fault.

My legs hate me.

Friday 27th Jan

Friday was an easy 5 miles but a few factors today that changed that plan:

Cup of coffee and a chat with mum and then home to work, Parkrun tomorrow at threshold pace which is a nice sensible 23 mins'ish.

Now you're desperate to read tomorrow's entry to see if I followed my own advice or went off like an idiot and raced Parkrun aren't you?

Read on...

You know what's coming don't you...

Oh God, here we go...

Saturday 28th Jan

Parkrun mile 1 - a bit above threshold pace

Parkrun mile 2 - a bit above mile 1 pace

Parkrun mile 3 - 40 seconds faster than mile 2

I sort of count this as a success, mainly because the first 2 miles were within 10 seconds of where I wanted them to be, mile 3 was the last mile and I pushed on, shouldn't have done that but I did anyway and that's that.

Headed home and didn't go to co-op to buy a chocolate croissant because I'm an athlete and I don't do things like that.

No honestly, I didn't.

Sunday 29th Jan

Saturday night was entirely red wine free, I'm now in the habit of Friday being wine night and Saturday being sensible night ready for the challenges of Sunday long run.

Sunday was due to be a warm up, 12 miles at 8 min miles and a cool down if I could be bothered to do one which means no cool down and buy a coffee instead and walk home.

Ran up Monkseaton Drive into the wind for my warm up and hit lap on my watch at the top and started my 12 miles, ran for a bit and then realised I slightly messed up as my average pace was set overall so I was always starting from the pace of my warm up so spent next 5 mins faffing around with my watch as I ran.

Now, here's me getting serious for a bit.  If you look on Strava you will see I ran 13.16 miles and my average pace was exactly 8:00 min miles but.....

That does not tell the full picture and this is why me and Graham bang on and on about pacing all the bloody time.  

To hit 8 min miles I give myself a 10 second buffer zone, so I'm aiming for 7:55-8:05. My 12 miles today ranged from 7:35 to 8:15, 7 of the 12 were too fast, 2 of the 12 were too slow which means only 3 were actually on pace and these were 8:05, 8:02 and 8:02.  So at first sight it was a good run but proper analysis shows I'm pushing too hard but thankfully at no point am I struggling.  The lesson to be learnt from this is don't lie to yourself, if a run is not what it was supposed to be then accept that and next time get it right.

Anyway, enough of proper run talk and back to me talking about food, wine and other such things.

Went to Tynemouth market and ate a massive slice of white creme egg blondie and had a pint in Head of Steam, home for a bath and to try out my new bath pillow which was bloody brilliant, fell asleep in the bath for an hour which was also bloody brilliant.

Gym tomorrow and it's final week of marathon block 1 which means it's recovery week with a reduction in mileage and intensity.

and I'm gonna get the paces right this coming week.

Previous Blogs

All previous blogs are available to read HERE