Friday, 30 April 2010

The post mortem, the plan and the future - To infinity and beyond

As you can imagine since Sunday I have dissected everything in order to try to establish what went wrong - so much so that writing this I am wondering whether the fact that Terry Lonergan, in his blog quotes Polonius from Hamlet whereas I quote Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story is significant.

Anyhow, I have also (on the insistence of Anita, my wife) been to the doctors and am having a blood test etc. But working on the assumption that everything is OK and It just went wrong on the day, the findings are:

- Too much too quickly - Having done very little last year due to injury I dived headfirst into marathon training and did not allow my body to adapt properly.

- Not enough races - Again last year only 9 races for the whole year and only 3 in the build up to the marathon (ok there were another 2 Harrier League cross country races - but I really only jogged around those). There is a difference between being fit and being race fit.

So the Plan in the short term is to have another easy week, build up training and fit in a couple of low key races - perhaps using the Parkrun in Newcastle. This should set me up for the Blaydon Race on 9th June, while I continue to build up towards the Yorkshire Wolds half marathon in July. Fitting in possibly another couple of races as we go.

Mid - term - keep racing and ensure that I keep the long 20 mile plus Sunday runs going at least once a month throughout.

Longer - term - The marathon and getting it right this time. I need to decide whether I should try to get into London again or run somewhere else.

So lets get started - its a warm sunny day and a gentle run accross the fields and tracks would seem to fit the bill as a good starting point

Monday, 26 April 2010

Not just the wheels came off

Yes it was a bad day in London yesterday (at least for me). Had decided on race pace of 6.40, as I felt this was well within range and would bring me home in 2.54. Things started OK - went though first mile in 6.5o but that was due to the congestion at the start and by 3 miles was spot on target, as were the next 8 miles. Although I was not as comfortable as I should have been I didn't feel there were any problems. However, mile 12 was 10 seconds slower, mile 13 was a shade over 7 minutes and by the time I reached 15 I could hardly lift my feet. I have had bad patches before, but not like this and not so early. So I pushed myself on, but only succeeded in getting even slower, mile 17 was over 10 minutes and by the time I had reached 20 I was finished, dropping out at just before 21 miles.

Prior to the race I had thought that this would probably be the last time I did the Marathon, but can not end on a DNF - so back to the drawing board.

The rest of the group I have trained with - all had a more successful day:

Peter 2.58 a pb and first time under 3hrs - a great run, well done Peter!
Liam 3.16
Eric 3.29
Glyn 3.39
Brian 3.58

Well ran - all

Friday, 23 April 2010

Busy doing nothing

Well, from a training point of view - this week has been - busy doing nothing. Rest and carbo loading are the priorities now. However a quick look at the weather forecast and I had better invest in some sun screen.

Predictions are currently warning of a mini heatwave with temperatures of between 22C and 25C. Considering it was only 7C here last night, when I had completed my easy run (5 miles), this is some difference in temperature.

So its plenty of fluids and off to buy sun screen

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

L Day plus 4

A very easy 5 miles (8 min mile pace) and I resisted the temptation to pick up the pace. My hamstrings are still tight and knees still sore but with care I will be there - The London Marathon

Well with only 4 days to go, here is a potted history as to how I reached this point:

W/C 4 Jan - 67 miles

W/C 11 Jan - 71 miles including- a 3 mile tempo run, a 4 x 3min interval session on 2 min jog recovery and a 4 mile tempo run, 18 miles long run.

W/C 18 Jan - 71 miles including - a 4-3-2-1 min interval session on 1 min jog recovery and a 5 mile tempo, 13 miles long run.

W/C 25 Jan - 80 miles including- a 3 mile tempo run, a pyramid session, 5x4min interval session on 2 min jog recovery, a 4 mile tempo, turned out for Harrier League cross-country race and long run of 20 miles.

W/C 1 Feb- 85 miles including - 2 x 3 mile tempo runs, 3x1 mile on 3 min recovery and a 22 mile long run.

W/C 8 Feb - 80 miles including - a 3 mile tempo, 2x4 and 4x2 mins interval all on 2 min recovery, a 5 mile tempo, cross country race and a long run of 22 miles.

W/C 15 Feb - 85 miles including - a 3 mile tempo, 6x3 mins on 90 sec recovery, a 5 mile tempo and long run 22 miles.

W/C 22 Feb - 65 miles including - 2(6x2) on 90 sec recovery - 3 mins between sets, a 3 mile tempo and long run of 22 miles.

W/C 1 March - 90 miles including - interval session of 1x6min, 2min jog, 1x12min, 4 min jog, 2X3min on 2 min jog between; a 4 mile tempo and long run of 22 miles.

W/C 8 March - 100 miles including - 3(2x4min) on 2 min jog recovery; a 10 mile tempo and long run of 22 miles.

W/C 15 March - 71 miles including - an interval of 1x3min, 1x6min, 2x3min, 1x3mile all on 2 min jog rec; a 5 mile tempo and a long run of 22 miles.

W/C 22 March -61 miles including - a 3 mile tempo; 3x6min on 2 min jog recovery and East Hull 20 mile race (2hr 15min 08sec).

W/C 29 March - 64 miles including - 10x90 sec with 90 sec jog recovery and North Tyneside 10km (38.29).

W/C 5 April - 57 miles including - 8x3min on 2 min jog recovery, a 5 mile tempo and Parkrun 5km (19.25); and long run of 18 miles.

W/C 12 April 32 miles including - 3x4min on 2 min jog recovery; a 3 mile tempo.

Total mileage since 1st January - 1120 miles

Monday, 19 April 2010

Running under a cloud

While the Icelandic volcanic dust cloud is the centre of all the news, my personal cloud is the re-emergence of the knee and hamstring problems, that hampered me so much last year, just a week before London.

Last year these problems limited me to just 9 races when I would normally do in excess of 35. One of the aims of doing the London Marathon this year was to try and get some focus back after having so long out and now with only days to go they have reared their ugly heads once again.

On the positive side - at least I have all the hard work is in and so hopefully a couple of days rest will see me get the situation back under control.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Park Run

Park Run seems to be taking off all over the country and I did my first one on Newcastle Town Moor on Saturday. Park run is a timed 5km, in a race format, but very low key. The runs take place every Saturday morning at 9am. There has been some controversy surrounding the Park Run in the North East recently. However, anything that attracts more people to running and hopefully running clubs has to be a good thing.

Running seems to be having some sort of mini boom at the moment, however running/athletics clubs do not seem to be reaping the benefits. Take the recent North Tyneside 10km for example, a look at the full results will reveal that there were 1686 finishers. However, a more in depth look will show that of these 1686, 1254 were non-attached. 12 of them finishing in the top 60.

Anyhow back to Saturday morning, it was a bright and sunny spring morning, and a chance for me to have one last blast before 'London'. I managed 19.25, finishing 10th (1st M50). This is seemingly age graded at 77.17% (all of this information being emailed to you following the event).

Not the greatest result, but I certainly enjoyed the morning and will be back for more once I have the marathon behind me. They are definitely another tool for the training armoury. Providing the opportunity for a time trial type effort with some competition.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Tuesday Club Night

Despite feeling a little under the weather did a satisfying session last night - 12 miles with 8 x 3mins on 2mins jog recovery. I felt that I was moving well and the legs were not too heavy from Sundays race. In fact I think I am going better in training than in the races. Running with a group definitely helps with this sort of session - so thanks Luke, Alex, Nick, Andy and Mike.

It made a change to be running in the relative warmth last night and with it becoming increasingly lighter in the evenings we will soon be able to get off road a bit more often. The routes we have been using during the winter have served their purpose but are becoming a little boring - time for change.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


Well my slowest ever 20 mile race was followed this weekend by my slowest ever 10km race and to make matters worse I now have a cold! With the London Marathon now only just over two weeks away its a case of staying calm and focused.

Easter Sunday saw good conditions with only a slight headwind for the North Tyneside 10km. The race was won in a new course record by ex Blaydon Harrier Mathew Armstrong, now running for Coventry Godiva in 31.29, from Morpeth pair Michael Morris 2nd in 32.05 and Ross Floyd 3rd in 32.18. I managed 49th place (2nd M50) in 38.29. First M50 was Stephen Hirst in 36.44. so well beaten there.