Contenders ready. Gladiators ready.

So the first event of the year is just around the corner, in fact it is this weekend.

It’s not an ‘A’ race but (for me) it is a very very important ‘B’ race. It will be a key marker to see where my fitness is at and more importantly, how my running has come on over the past two years.

I am doing the Dorney Lakes ‘Race your Pace’ half marathon. I have done this event several times before. The first time in 2012 I finished in 2 hours 8 minutes, the following year was 2 hours and 1 minute (which is still my current PB), last year I finished in 2 hours and 7 minutes. But last year was a bit of a curve ball because A) I was ill for a lot of the winter and hardly trained from November – January and B) In view of a) I was using the event to practice pacing myself for a marathon, so I ran slow for the first half of the event.

So I haven’t run a fresh half marathon in anger, for two years. So this will be a key indicator of progress.  Training is going very well. In the past 5 weeks I have run 189k an average of 38K per week, some weeks hitting 52K of running. I have also run 4 long training runs each of which were more than half marathon in distance, in the past three weeks.

This running volume is in addition to 18 and a half hours of cycling (and 12 hours of Yoga).

So I am as physically prepared as I could be. How I get on the weekend is going to be down to two things 1) my ability to pace the run correctly (and not go too hard too soon) and 2) being mentally ready to push it when needed.

So what would be a realistic time? Well my friends that is the question . . .

2 minutes off of my current PB is the minimum I will accept.

3 – 4 minutes off my current PB would be ideal.

5 minutes off would a dream come true.

Anything less than 1 hour 55 minutes – I am turning professional!

Thanks for reading.

Run Forest

Before January a long run for me was 10K – anything over an hour was a long run.

Nowadays a long run is a minimum of a half marathon, circa 2 hours running, which I have been doing on a weekly basis. However, this weekend was a 2 hour run on Saturday followed by a 2 hour 20 minute run on Sunday, then a turbo Sunday afternoon.

Saturday’s run was in the cold and slight drizzle around the streets where I live. A run from home, 40 minutes out at an easy pace, 40 minutes at a stronger pace and then 40 minutes easy.

The last 40 minutes was hard going which meant the 40 minutes strong was perhaps a bit too strong, but better to practise the effect of different pacing on a training run then on THE day.

I had the ‘utility’ belt on so I was also practicing with gels and sports drink (last week was gels and water).

Sunday was such a different experience. I drove to Richmond Park and run two loops of the park. The weather was gorgeous (it wasn’t that good when I started so I was over dressed and very warm when the sun came out half way through the first lap). I aimed to run two laps as circa 1hr 10 mins per lap as each lap was 11K. This was a run speed of circa 10kmph which is my (predicted) fresh marathon pace (FMP) which would give me a marathon time of 4 hour 15 mins. Which is my aim for the Brighton Marathon.

The environment was out of this world. So many runners, so many cyclists, so many walkers etc the trails were packed as in a nice vibe but not so packed that people got in the way. The first lap went so quick I hit the lap counter but didn’t look to see how long it had taken. I didn’t really look at the Garmin at all whilst running I just went on feel.

When I finished it was 2 hour 24 mins so slower than I wanted to run, but when I downloaded the data off the Garmin I got a pleasant surprise. Lap one 11.7K in 1 hour 12 mins and lap two 1 hour 11 mins. So the pace was spot on, the time difference was due to a longer lap of 11.7K not just 11K. Both laps almost the same time and same pace.

The pace on Sunday was also the same pace as the initial easy part of the Saturday run.

So over the last two days I ran a total of four and a half hours covering a total distance of 44.65K which is 27.7 miles (1.5 miles more than the marathon).

Four hours later I was sitting in the shed on the turbo doing an easy 40 mins set.

What more can I say ‘BOOM”

Thanks for reading.

Tempting fate!

I am hoping this blog doesn’t jinx what has been a really good block of January training.

I am hoping I don’t publish this update today and wake up tomorrow with a sore throat!!

Well here goes . . . Training is going really really well.

My last post was about the first week of Jan (WC 5th Jan) being good and that has just snowballed (pun fully intended!) into a very solid 4 week block of training.

January has consisted of 17 and a half hours of cycling in addition to 11 and a quarter hours running. I have run a total of 115k since 5th January, with my long Sunday run now being circa 2 hours 10 minutes duration covering just over a half marathon distance.

Throw in two Yoga sessions a week and the odd swim and you can see why I am anxious about saying how well everything is going as I am averaging a solid 10 hours training per week.

This time last year, due to illness, I did 6 and a half hours cycling in Jan 2014 and just 1 hour 40 minutes of running – in the entire month.

This training does mean a change in my ‘chores to rest’ balance, my Sunday afternoon’s are spent laying on the settee being a couch potato and chores around the house are limited to emergencies only. Also, I have really struck it lucky so far with the weather. 50% of my cycling has been outdoors and all of the running has been outdoors and I have only been caught in bad weather once. As the saying goes ‘there’s no such  thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’.

So come on February, let’s be having you.

Thanks for reading.