If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you may recall my last half marathon of the year last year was also my PB at the Keyworth Turkey Trot in December, where i ran as father Christmas and came in with an amazing time of 1:34 ish.
This year, i had my first half marathon at Hampton Court and second one a week later at Thorpe Park, with of which i came in sub 90, which i was soo thrilled about.
Hampton court was my fastest time so far at 1:25:40.
So how did i take off almost 10 minutes in just a couple of months? Will probably have to add some tips in my up coming book, Train Race Pizza.
The three magic ingredients!
See below the two VLOGs i had done for each race and they were both amazing!
I think last Sunday i was the happiest runner in the world.
I was fortunate enough to take part in my first ever Keyworth Turkey Trot, which is a half marathon around the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside. Little did i know how much i would have as i decided to run the race in full santa outfit. Beard and all!
The course profile is brutal with a 1300 ft ascent, so i had not plans on running my fastest half marathon simply because of the route, never mind being in a full santa outfit.
Barely 1 mile into the race, i could already feel the sweat pouring off me.
The crowd on the route were amazing with all cheering COME ON SANTA!
After getting over the first major hill at mile 3, i was feeling good, so i decided to start pushing the pace and even with all those hills, i managed to run my fastest ever half marathon with a time of 1:34.
Below is the VLOG of the race of which i would highly recommend. Great organisation, super support all around the course, and a great way to get ready for Christmas!
After last weeks longest training run on Saturday of 35km through the Malvern Hills in gusting wind and rain, it is with great relief that the tapering now begins.
For those who don’t know what tapering is, this is where the length of the training runs start to reduce prior to the main race. there is a science behind why this is done, but that will be for another blog post, or maybe even a YouTube video!
Still in Easter holiday mode, i was still in Ledbury till Tuesday after bank holiday, so my 10km training run was in Ledbury town itself. I wasn’t feeling it at all and felt very slow and cumbersome. I think the long run had really taken it out of me. The pace for the 10km was almost same as pace for 35km on Saturday before. What happened, what went wrong? Nothing. That’s just how it is sometimes. We accept it and move on.
Was it because i also missed my normal yoga class on a Monday evening or trip to my physio?
Wednesday back at work i felt so exhausted, i was advised to rest. So i skipped my usual spin class and rowing session and went home for an early nights sleep.
When i ran my route on Thursday morning, the pace was almost back to race pace and i felt good. Most of time it’s all psychological, not physical.
As i missed yoga on Monday evening i decided to goto Yoga class on Thursday lunchtime.
Sunday saw me do my last race before the BIG one at Brighton. This was the Reading Half Marathon and it was brilliant.
For me it was very hot, but a nice route and i goto meet British Athletics legend Iwan Thomas, which you can see it all on video below….. am soon enjoying the tapering!
The training is definitely stepping up a gear as the weekly ‘short runs’ of 10k are getting quicker, so i am running further to get the timed runs in and the longer runs are getting longer.
The training days have been pretty much the same as other weeks, which are namely:
Monday – Yoga night, although a slipped in a steady 20 minute rowing beforehand
Tuesday – Morning 10ish km as the mornings are getting lighter
Wednesday – 30 minute hard row, with a new PB of 6,400m
Thurday – Lunchtime run of 10ish km with Matt Richardson
Saturday – 26ish km long run around the Lickey Hills
Whilst the locations may vary week on week, depending where i am, the distances and times i try and keep the same.
This weekend i was with folks for Mothers day on Sunday, hence my long run on Saturday, so i could relax and have a lush lunch at posh restaurant with them.
Some significant happening that make the training more real was the arrivals of the bib numbers for the two half marathons i’m doing as part of my training. The North London and Reading Half marathons. These will be real tests on how my training has gone and to have the free run of closed roads.
Also i got myself a new gadget. The GoPro Hero 4 Session to hopefully record a lot of my training runs and maybe even the marathon itself. What do you think?
Below is the recording from my Tuesday morning training run. Enjoy!
We are now getting to the serious stuff! Only 11 weeks till Brighton Marathon Day, 2016.
Following an amazing training day the previous Saturday with professional marathon coaches from Running With Us, i thought i needed to kick start some things i had learnt from that day.
Because of the current dark mornings and evenings, i wanted to try out some running in daylight, which meant running at lunchtimes.
Tuesday would be my Threshold running day, which you may recall was running at 80% sprint, and then Thursday would be hill running.
Monday evening stayed the same. Ashtanga Yoga for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Thankfully near where i work, there is a park that is just over 1km around the perimeter path and is uphill, so great for both sets of training.
Tuesday was 3 sets of 5 minute threshold running with about 1 minute gentle jog after each set, which including the jog to and from the gym, that was around 25 minutes running.
Thursday was 5 times around the park, attacking the uphill parts and jogging the downhill parts.
Thankfully it’s still quite cold and grey, so not many members of the public out on their lunch break wondering who this crazy guy is running round and round the park is!
In addition to the new lunchtimes run, i also tried a lunchtime spin class on Wednesday as i was out on a curry night that evening with some friends.
To cap off all the changes, looking at the weather forecast for the weekend it said rain on Saturday and Sunday, i decided to go on my long run on Saturday morning. Forecasts was right. rain. Lots of it! I completed just over 22km without breakfast starting at 8am. Running without having breakfast was another suggestion from the professional running coaches to train my body to burn the right type of energy. Something to do with increasing fat burn.
At the ned of the run i felt energised and a great sense of achievement as this is the longest run i have ever completed in my life, albeit by 1km, and i was on my own for the whole way. Not forgetting getting totally soaked in the process!
I find it somewhat hard to believe that back in June last year, i was terrified even thinking about running a half marathon distance. And yet on Saturday i completed that. And unlike during the half marathon race, there was no crowds to cheer me on, there were no fellow runners to pace me, no flat roads. Just hills, hills and more hills!
Onwards and literally upwards!
Maybe if i had the below song playing i could of ran up the hills faster?