Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Early bird catches the worm

This morning I managed to drag myself out of bed early again so that I could fit in a decent run before commuting to London.

So by 5am this morning I was running on the treadmill. My aim was to run a steady 5 mile run but as I started the run I knew it wouldn't be plain sailing. I felt tired (not surprising I suppose given that it was so early!) but I also couldn't get into a rhythm, my breathing seemed heavy. Anyway, after about 20 minutes things sorted themselves out the run turned into a more enjoyable experience. I also added in a few walk breaks (4 minutes running to 1 minute walking) like I did during my long run last Sunday and this really helped me again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nike+ Milton Keynes Half Marathon 8th March

Got my instructions and race number in the post today - this will be the first race I have done since 2005 (wow 4 years, it doesn't seem possible that its that long ago!) and I am nervous and excited in the same measures! I am not really going to be 'racing' as such, but using it as part of my marathon training. Even so, I am looking forward to it. Also its at the Open University which is within a 5 minute walk from home so this makes it even better :-)

Half way there!

Yesterday I did a really good 13.1 mile run.

I was determined this weekend just gone to get in a really good long run to finish my running week off well and thankfully that is just what happened. I was a little apprehensive before I set out as this is the furthest I have run for some time but I knew that I needed to up my running to the next level this week and start to get some decent longer runs in (after all its only 2 months now until the marathon!). I also tried out Galloway's run/walk technique during this long run and I think this really helped me both physically and psychologically. I did just over three miles before I started to introduce the walking breaks and then I did 4 minutes of running to 1 minute of walking and it worked out really well. I think the fact that I was concentrating on the clock was also a valuable added distraction!

I would be lying if I said the run was easy; it was a challenge and physically my legs did start to ache at around 10 miles but I am so pleased that I persevered and finished it. I felt relieved but extremely pleased with myself when I got home! It has also given me more confidence, knowing that I can do a half marathon distance, so hopefully the two half marathon races that I am aiming to run in March now won't be so daunting. The first race that I am doing is the Nike+ Milton Keynes Half, this race is on the 8th March and the second one is the following weekend and this one is at Silverstone (running around the formula 1 race track!).

My pace and finishing time for my run yesterday wasn't great, but I was pleased that during each of my 4 minutes of running I managed to up my running pace to slightly faster than a normal long run pace. The question I am asking myself at the moment though is, if I continue to get on well using the run/walk technique should I use this in races?

Anyway this week has been another successful running week and to summarise, below are the runs I completed for the week:

Wednesday: 3.84 miles, 34:52

Thursday: 5.23 miles, 49:43(treadmill)

Friday: 2.35 miles, 21:13 (did feel very well on Friday so had to cut my run short!)

Sunday: 13.1 miles, 2:09:50

Total of 4 runs covering 24.5 miles for the week with 3 hours, 55 minutes and 38 seconds 'time on my feet'.

Ideally I would like to see my mileage increase to over 30 miles per week this is the aim anyway!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trading my cosy bed for the treadmill

This morning I traded my cosy warm bed for an early morning run; and I do mean early (4:45am!).......the reason it was this early is that I am working in London today and I had to get a train at 7:14am. Ordinarily if I cannot run in the morning then I try to get out at lunchtime or early evening, but being in London all day means that I won't get home until late too (the joys of commuting!) so the only option was to get up and do my run before the day began. Anyway I am really pleased that I did and it reminded me of a few years back when I used to do pretty much all of my running early in the morning. Somehow, once you have got yourself up (obviously this is the hardest part!) everything else just seems to fall into place and as well as achieving the run that you set out to do, you also feel as if you have achieved so much more (well this is exactly how I felt this morning). I think this feeling comes from the fact that you have done something very worthwhile whilst most others around you (in my house definitely!) are still giving it big Z's!

To the run itself; I did 30 minutes at a steady pace (around 6.2mph) then I decided to try the Galloway Run/Walk method for the final 20 minutes; doing 4 minutes running to 1 minute walking, with an increased pace (around 7mph) when running, and it worked out really well. I have been reading up a little about this method and think that it is something that I will investigate further. I especially think it may be useful for my longer training runs. Anyway this week I thought that I would trial it on a few of my runs and see how it goes; as they say 'nothing ventured nothing gained!'

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Touch and go for a little while!

This week has turned out well although it was touch and go in the middle of the week as due to the way things panned out during the first half of the week, by Thursday I found myself with only one run under my belt! However, I managed to claw everything back on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and ended my running week on a high, with my longest run to date.

So all in all everything has turned out OK, but I am still a little concerned that I am not getting the longer runs in and realistically I should be running a lot further than 9 miles as a long run at this stage in my training; so I think this coming week I need to really up my training to the next level. I also feel as if I need to get a couple of races lined up to get me used to racing again, as it has been a few years since I did a 'proper' race.

It will be a challenge this week as I am going to be working in London a few more days than normal and I think this will be the case for the next few weeks, so I don't think I have any other choice than to start getting up earlier and getting some running done before the day starts! A few years back I used to do all of my running early in the morning, I had no trouble getting up as early as 4am if I needed to get a decent run in before the day began, but these days (perhaps this is an age thing?) I find it a lot harder to get up earlier! However, I do remember the feeling of satisfaction of getting a good run in and completed before most others had even risen for the day; it gave me a real sense of achievement and did set me up well for the day ahead!

In summary, my runs this week were as follows:

Monday: 4.59 miles, paced run on the treadmill

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: Rest Days

Friday: 4.55, steady run on the treadmill

Saturday: 3.33 miles, easy run outside

Sunday: 9.07 miles, easy/long run outside

Total of 21.5 miles for the week, with 3 hours, 17 minutes and 4 seconds 'time on feet'

Monday, February 09, 2009

A really good ‘paced’ run

This morning I did a really good treadmill run. I felt strong and in control the whole time, which is good as I had set out to run a 'paced' run, trying to maintain my speed at between 6.8 and 7mph for the duration and I managed this for the 40 minutes quite comfortably. For this run my overall pace was 8:46 per/mile which is the fastest pace I have achieved this year for a run, so I am really happy with this. A superb start to the running week!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Lots of snow....

...which although it is lovely and I do in fact enjoy the snow, it isn't good for marathon training; however I am lucky enough to have a treadmill at home and this past week it has been a life saver in terms of my training. The red ways, paths and roads are today still covered with patches of snow, but more dangerous now is the ice. Anyway, it looks as if I will have to resign myself to treadmill training again for most of the coming week too.....oh well, as I say I am lucky, but I will be very glad when I can venture outdoors again.

This last week didn't go quite as I had planned it; but this was mainly because I was using the treadmill for every run and mentally I couldn't bring myself to do more than an hour on the treadmill at any given time. I did do two one hour sessions during the week, a 30 minute interval session and a 40 minute cross-country programme, so I feel I at least did some good training, but I missed my longer run this week and this is a little disappointing. If I do have to continue to use the treadmill all of this coming week, then I think I will have to dig out a really good DVD to watch that will enable me to pass through this mental 'hour' barrier that I seem to have with the treadmill. I haven't always been like this, as for previous marathons I have often had to resort to the treadmill because of bad weather or because I am travelling; and in the past I have done runs of up to 17 miles on the treadmill (insane I know!)...oh well maybe it's just because I have been so used to the fresh air over the past couple of months that it will just take me a little longer to get used to the treadmill and its limited surroundings.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Weekly round-up

I have had another good running week although my weekend running was a little disappointing and didn't exactly go to plan. However, I am happy with the progress I am making and as long as I am making progress each week I don't mind the odd disappointment! I did a really good long run this week too (8.59 miles) and a good interval session at the beginning of the these made up for the low mileage at the weekend.

Again I am not planning any major changes for my running this coming week, I'm just going to ensure that I get one longer run in and that I run at least 4 times (5 would be nice, but......).....however due to the weather forecasts I think most of my running this week maybe on the treadmill!! I am not a fair weather runner and don't mind venturing out in the cold, wet and windy conditions but I'm not so sure about running in the snow!