Week 1 training diary

As I explained in my last blog my goals for this block of training (taking me to Christmas) are –

1. Sub 18min 5k (more specifically 17.45 – 17.59)
2. NEHL XC – qualify for medium pack
3. NE XC Champs – goal TBC

Coming into this week I’d done very little running since the 5k pb on 18th July and then had a complete rest for holidays the first two weeks of August. So Week 1 coming back was always going to be light but also knowing I only have two weeks to sharpen for the Great North 5k on 6th September. I also have the Jesmond Joggers Club Championships 4 mile race on 1st September which I’ll treat as a good tempo session.

It’s so important for me to stay healthy this winter. I would much rather undertrain and stay healthy and energetic than push too far the other way. I know my body better now and I have the knowledge that I can run better undertrained (and fresh) than I can overtrained and tired. I want to achieve my goals on as little mileage as possible.

Week 1 diary

Plan – 35 minutes easy (grass)

Notes – The first run back after a break is always rusty and so it proved. My easy runs before the break were around 8min miling at 150-155 bpm. I deliberately ran this session on grass and will seek to do the majority this way (with XC in mind) in this training block. It was difficult to keep my heart rate below 156 and I ended logging just over 3.8 miles in 35 mins averaging just over 9min miles. I know these runs will quicken with less effort.

Plan – 2 mile lactate threshold

Notes – This is a “test run” on an 800m loop in Kenton. I did this very same run on 14th June, just after the Lactate Threshold test I had in Doncaster. So I wanted to repeat as a “see where I’m at” type session. In June I averaged 6.45 miling which was bang on what the LT Test had shown on the treadmill (6.49 @ 185bpm) a few days earlier. So that’s the line in the sand so to speak.

As it happened I pushed on a little harder than plan and I ended up averaging 6.08 over the 2 miles with an average HR of 187. The course has a small incline of maybe 100-150m and I was aware I was pushing into the 190s but kept with it.

Felt ok. Enjoyed the initial burn in the lungs. Too early to take anything from it.

Plan – cycle to work

Notes – Good chance to spin the legs over and an hours easy workout for the day. I usually try to not work up a sweat but I always do, especially driving my way up the few final hills on my trusty single speed bike. Way back is harder uphill so try to minimise extra time it takes to complete. These little internal competitions keep things interesting…

Plan – 35 minutes easy (grass)

Notes – the weather was good so decided to cycle to work. The run is a repeat from Monday but decided to reduce it to ~3 miles. Tried to keep it even easier as I planned Newcastle Parkrun in the morning, but listened to some African music which always makes me want to up the tempo. I didn’t though and finished with 3miles in 27 minutes averaging 155bpm.

Got athletes foot on both feet which is mildly annoying!

Plan – 3 mile lactate threshold (or parkrun at LT)

Decided to try Newcastle Parkrun. As it turned out there was some disruption on the moor so it was a revised course. The plan was to keep it lactate threshold but my HRM was playing up the first mile so I tried to run on feel. As always though I got in a rhythm and wanted to go with it. I was undoubtedly working harder than LT from mile 2 onwards. I went through 1 mile in 5.56. The second mile was perfect with not a breath of wind. I felt good and clocked a 5.40. For the GN 5k I’ll be looking to run 5.45s even so that’s a good sign so early. The 3rd mile was much tougher and I felt myself slow. My split was 6.13. By this point I was in a little dual with an Elswick Harrier. All felt good so I pushed home in 18.37 for 3.2 miles. Strava has me at 18.14 for 5k. Happy with that.

After the run I went for breakfast with Glen and chewed the fat. Luckily we finished before the heavens opened. This was a storm close to biblical proportions and I had to cycle home. I think I was the only sucker mad enough to cycle in it and I got some quizzical looks! But I loved it. It was sunshine again on the moor. I felt slightly less mad seeing the legend Kev Lister still out running with Roberto Marzo.

Unfortunately with a mile and a half from home I had a rear tyre puncture. So, dripping wet, I had to push the bike home. Still good fun. Decided to have a hot bath, watch the brownlees then bed for a nap…

Good to be back and hopeful of exciting weeks ahead…

Weekly Totals

Running ~14 miles
Cycling ~34 miles


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