Sub 17 5k – Week 4 training diary

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As I come into Week 4 I am starting to wonder how I’d fair with a decent 5k effort…

I do feel fit and strong. In hindsight I think my performance at Aykley Heads was good.

My only disappointment was I didn’t really get properly into “race mode”. I was content to keep it a little too steady at times and didn’t get aggressive enough for prolonged periods of the race.

Part of that was getting accustomed to trying to keep passing people. Sometimes I was too willing to “settle in” behind, at too slow a pace. Also, the hills were always in the back of my mind and they are a weakness. I need to improve my hill running in preparation for the North East cross country championships.

I think I’m quite good at “letting go” on downhill sections but they were too congested.

But I’m pleased overall and will be looking to get in a better place mentally for Wallington Hall this weekend.

Looking further ahead I’m toying with the idea of either entering the Norman Woodcock 5 miler on the 6th of December or alternatively having a blow out at a local Parkrun. I’ll decide nearer the time.

Training Diary

Monday
Plan – 40mins recovery

Got out for an easy run and in all honesty the legs were still a bit sore and tired. Struggled a bit to get the legs turning over. Probably a little DOMS from Saturday.

In the end did 5.6 miles in 40mins. Felt fine at the end.

Tuesday
Plan – 45mins threshold

Managed to complete exactly 7 miles in the time and only averaged 165bpm. So the heart rate is coming down and pace is around 20min 5k pace…

Can feel a slight issue in the left shin. Feels like a stress reaction so need to be careful there. I have a two day work trip to Barcelona so will be playing things by ear the next few days.

Wednesday
Plan – rest

Absolutely no chance to get out for a run today.

Thursday
Plan – 45mins recovery

Realised that I had forgotten to pack my running shoes. Left shin still very tender so will take the opportunity for rest from running. This week isn’t turning out well for Saturday.

Friday
Plan – 30mins recovery

This week has not been very focused on running and coming home from work I really didn’t want to go for a run, I felt knackered. Anyway, got out and just did 25mins. Covered 3 and a bit miles. Felt better for the run but still not happy about left shin. Not looking forward to cross country and struggling mentally to get in the mood to compete.

Saturday
Plan – NEHL Race #3, Wallington Hall

Woke up feeling a bit blah and tired. Felt I could do without the race. I helped myself by reading some Frank Horwill articles. They always inspire me and remind me to stop being soft.

I also listened to some Captain Beefheart to get in the mood some more. Felt much better. Was going to give it my best, what more can you do?

At Wallington Hall I decided to have a little walk on my own, again accompanied by Captain Beefheart. Just trying to get in the zone.

Didn’t do much of a warm up but got into my rhythm ok. I deliberately didn’t wear my heart rate monitor as I didn’t want the distraction. I knew the course and felt I could gauge my effort.

As always I felt very strong the first two laps and then had a bit of a panic the last lap feeling that I was losing momentum to push on. That said I wasn’t losing too many places, mainly to the usual fast pack. But I did lose ground on some medium pack lads ahead of me and a few I had stole a march on 2nd lap almost reeled me in on the third.

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NEHL Wallington Hall - I'll be working on the right arm crossover (Photo by Hippie Nixon)

I managed to finish quite strongly though and I finished 109th of >500 runners (handicapped) so a decent result.

I still feel like I’m leaving something in reserve on the last lap and losing time in the process.

That said my performances this season are at the highest level they have been since I started cross country running and I’m currently 24th in the individual grand prix. Just got to keep my head down and stay focussed, stop drifting into my usual negative way of thinking.

Sunday
Plan – 45mins recovery

Only ran 35mins and kept it very easy.

Weekly Totals

Running – 27 miles
Cycling – zero

Not the greatest week but got through it with a good performance on Saturday.

Thoughts now turn to maybe trying some sort of time trial on the roads next Saturday and then the North East cross country championships the week after. Need to get into a better frame of mind overall as I’m heading in the right direction.

Sub 17 5k – Week 3 training diary

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With the cross country race on Saturday I’m hoping to continue the confidence building strength training and go into the race feeling strong.

I haven’t done as much off road training as I’d like but I’m looking forward to a hard race test to get a feel for where I’m at.

Training Diary

Monday
Plan – 40min recovery zone

Every Monday I seem to go out full of good feeling in my running and go up a notch in performance versus the previous week.

And so again it proved. I pretty effortlessly ran 40mins with an average of 7 min per mile at an average HR of 158bpm (mid – top end of recovery zone). 5.7 miles total.

That’s in comparison to last week running 30mins @ 7.15 miling and 157bpm.

Long may this improvement in strength and running efficiency continue.

Tuesday
Plan – 45min recovery zone

Another strong run in my recovery zone, this time ticking off 6.3 miles in 45mins at 156bpm average and not really feeling like I’d been for a run afterwards.

Excited about the base I’m building.

Wednesday
Plan – 40min threshold zone

A little wet and windy. Quite often on these runs I feel great the first 20-30mins and then it starts to grind. Tonight was no exception. That’s why I’m focusing on recovery endurance and threshold type training so much – to build my strength and stamina.

That said I would never have thought I’d be knocking out 40min 10k pace for these runs on a regular basis and so I know I’m going in the right direction as far as the base is concerned.

I’m not quite sure how it will translate to the cross country but excited to find out. With the dark nights I’ve been unable to do much off road running but, at the end of the day, that’s what XC racing is for so bring it on.

That’s the harder training run for the week done and onto rest and recovery for Saturday.

Thursday
Plan – 45min recovery zone

Was feeling a little tired after a busy day at work so cut it down to 35mins and completed 4.9 miles in the time with an average HR of 153.

Friday
Plan – rest

Saturday
Plan – NEHL Race #2 Aykley Heads

This was my first time running from Medium Pack. In all honesty I was just looking for the experience. This was a new course and we turned up cutting it fine so there was no chance to scope it out.

So the rough plan was to get my HR up to 183 and work through the field as best I could. I was not worrying about pace at all.

The course was quite muddy for most of the way round. Each last quarter of every lap was a hard slog. I think I handled the hills really well first two laps. The third lap I gave a good go in the lead up to the last set of hills.

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A muddy right hander at Aykley Heads

I maybe over egged it and paid a price a little. I felt like I was going backwards somewhat but was well aware others were suffering as well.

I picked up in the final straight and I must admit I feel fresh as a daisy compared to how I usually feel after a hard XC run. Not sure how to interpret the result yet but fairly pleased with 145th giving 2 and a half minutes on the slow pack and think I’ll come on for this run.

Sunday
Plan – 45mins recovery

Cut the run to 36 mins and kept it easy. Felt a bit fatigued but did 4.9 miles averaging around 155bpm.

Weekly Totals

Running 34 miles
Cycling zero

Another good week and a good performance in a tough cross country race.

Onto next week I have the slight complication of a work trip to Barcelona but hoping it won’t impact too much on the good progress I’ve been making in the base building exercise as sights turn to Wallington Hall cross country next Saturday. It’s a course I really enjoyed and I think I can really come on and run a little freer.

Sub 17 5k – Week 2 training diary

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Hoping to follow on the decent first week with the same again, with a slightly higher training load in terms of duration but not intensity.

Week 2 diary

Monday
Plan – recovery 30mins

Got out on the usual streets around my home in Kenton. I’d been to see the physio at work and I’ve got to say my leg felt a lot looser. So went out in good spirits.

I continued to focus on cadence and form and the penny is definitely dropping. I’m starting to feel how quick feet are leading to a more efficient action and ultimately a faster pace for no extra effort through average HR.

Ended up 7.15 miling at an average HR of 157bpm. Good start to the week and feeling fitter.

Tuesday
Plan – recovery 40mins

Was off work today so got out early in the morning. I don’t know why but I much prefer running on an evening. Always feel a bit sluggish on a morning.
Anyway, fairly uneventful 5.4 miles averaging 159 bpm which is getting close to top end of recovery zone.

Wednesday
Plan – recovery 40mins

Decided on a work commute run home. Been a while since I’ve ran with the back pack on. Don’t love it and was reminded why by the general annoyance of it “bobbing around”. It really forces me into a slow rhythm and I struggled to keep my cadence up to the higher levels relatively that I’ve managed of late.

Anyhow, got the 6.8 odd miles done in just over 50mins.

Thursday
Plan – threshold 40mins

Again, circumstances meant it was best to run the commute home. I’d had my driving test earlier in the day and an otherwise bonkers week and I was feeling tired.

Cadence was even more difficult to get going and I generally felt tired. Anyway, ran over 5.8 miles in 40mins averaging below 170bpm which is decent going given the route is steadily uphill throughout from Felling to Kenton.

Looking forward to the rest day tomorrow.

Friday
Plan – rest

Complete rest.

Saturday
Plan – recovery 30mins

Got back out on the cross country on Kenton Dene. There had been a lot of rain the previous day so it was nice and wet. Fairly uneventful few miles, averaging 7.38/mile.

The important ones tomorrow, upping the threshold run to 45mins but still keeping it at the lower end of the threshold range.

Sunday
Plan – threshold 45mins

Did the old loop round Cowgate and Town Moor.

Got into stride quite quickly and ticked the first couple of miles off close to 6min miling. Held on quite well despite the drag back up to Kenton and ended up with just over 7 miles in 45mins. Average HR was 169 bpm.

I’ve forgotten what it’s like to get my heart rate up above 180bpm but this stamina, strength work all bodes well going into next week and the 2nd cross country fixture of the season.

Weekly Totals

Running ~34 miles
Cycle ~6 miles

A pretty stressful week personally but amongst it all managed to complete what is probably my highest mileage week since I started running. On the plus side I’m not feeling overly tired. The leg still isn’t fixed, however, but managing it and hopeful of a strong performance next Saturday in cross country.

Sub 17 5k – Week 1 training diary

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The eagle eyed amongst my regular readers will note that I’ve reset the training week to 1.

I wanted to do this as I see this as the first official week of being coached by Dave Tune and the push on towards a sub 17 minute 5k.

Although I met Dave back in June, and have been receiving guidance and encouragement since, I’m now more formally being coached and we are setting about getting me in shape for the sub 17min 5k that I have been writing this blog about for some time now.

Dave believes I have it in me based on my Lactate profile and it’s a case now of training properly.

Anyone reading my training diaries will see that I’m not really “touching the sides” of what training is required for a sub 17 5k so the winter months will see me putting the ground work in place with the plan to attack a 5 and 10k in April 2015.

An exciting time and I’m sure Dave’s guidance will be invaluable.

Week 1 Diary

Monday
Plan – rest

Still on a weekend break in Prague so rest day.

Tuesday
Plan – 30min recovery

Covered just over 4miles just focusing on form and cadence. Ended up averaging 157bpm and 7.26 miling.

Still conscious of right leg discomfort and continue to work on mobility and general strengthening of the lower legs.

Wednesday
Plan – 30min recovery

Pretty much identical run to last night only felt like I was running through a war zone! I used to hate fireworks as a kid but quite enjoyed the distraction!

Thursday
Plan – 40min low end threshold

It was a pretty dark, wet, windy and cold night. But that’s the great thing about heart rate training, you don’t need to worry about the conditions and what affect they might have on pace.

I knew I just had to keep in the range of 164-170 bpm and that’s what I did.

One of the benefits of my recent right leg issues is that I’m really paying attention to my form and, in particular, cadence. My cadence is naturally too slow and I’m consciously working to improve it. Made some progress this week and feel like it assists pace and helps keep heart rate down.

Enjoyed this run. Ended up bagging 6 miles in the 40mins and averaging 168bpm. Job done, rest day tomorrow. Plan to work on some injury prevention exercises.

Friday
Plan – rest

As planned spent 30mins on some body weight exercises. Not a fan of it, find it boring but needs must and a chance to listen to some music while I’m on.

Saturday
Plan – 30min recovery

First time I’d ran off road on the grass for sometime and it made a big difference. Wasn’t feeling great and ended up 3.9 miles. HRM playing up but averaging 155-160bpm.

Sunday
Plan – 40min low end threshold

Got out early. As usual the heart rate monitor was playing up at the start of the run. Just ran to feel for the first few miles. Suspected I was pushing a little hard as went through the first two in 6.18.

When the heart rate monitor finally came into life I was around 170bpm which is around middle of my threshold zone so stuck with that.

Things started getting harder around 30mins but finished off with just over 6 miles.

Quick shower and off out to watch the Town Moor Memorial 10k. This is the third time I’ve been a spectator. One day I will run but it was just as fun to watch Michael Hedley smash his PB. Inspiring to watch and so pleased for him. I think there’s more to come…

Weekly Totals

Running 24.2 miles
Bike ~5miles

All in all a good weeks training. The leg is still not feeling “dynamic” but its under control. I will see the physio again next week. I have a hectic week personally but hope to continue the training in this vain following a check in with Dave.

Week 11 training diary

Last week ended with me pulling out of the Sherman Cup. It was a shame as I was looking forward to it. But my leg wasn’t right so I know it was the correct decision.

This week I’ll continue to monitor it knowing that I have a few weeks to get sorted for the next Harrier League fixture at Akley Heads.

As a result of the injury just playing the plan by ear and being flexible.

Training Diary

Monday
Plan – Gym session

I was lucky enough to get an appointment with the work physio. It looks like I’ve got a nerve issue in the right lower leg so need to work on mobilising it.

Cycled down to the gym and did a 45min cross trainer session keeping in easy. Not a big fan of the XT but needs must. Got it done and cycled home.

Tuesday
Plan – cycle commute

Got royally soaked on the way home but got enjoyment out of it. Something weird about cycling in the dark through huge puddles. Anything could go wrong but nothing did, great fun!

Wednesday
Plan – 30min recovery run

“Cranky” is the best way to describe my right leg at the moment. Despite this it was time to test it out for a 30min recovery run as both coach and physio felt that it would be best to keep it moving.

Felt a bit limpy but stretched it out at half way and things improved. Got 30mins in 7.48 miling and no adverse reactions so definitely on the mend. Feeling better about things.

Thursday
Plan – 30mins cross train in threshold

Decided on the exercise bike and forgot how hard you need to work to get your heart rate up on the bike. Cue 30mins of sweat and pain…

Friday
Plan – 45min recovery run

Was on holiday so got out at 8.45am. It’s not often I run in the morning and I must admit I felt like I had to work harder.

The plus is the leg is definitetly on the mend. Ran down to the Town Moor and looped back round up hill back to home.

Ran about 5.8 miles in 45mins averaging 161bpm which is the top end of easy.

Off to Prague and I’ve packed the running shoes for a threshold run on Sunday and looking forward to getting back to what I hope will be a “proper” running week next week.

Saturday
Plan – rest

Sunday
Plan – 30min threshold run

Didn’t get to bed til 2.30am so wasn’t looking forward to trying to get out for a morning run but glad I did.

The preceding two days I’d had chance to check out a few potential routes from our apartment. And I’d checked out Strava to see if there were any decent segments.

The one that took my eye was the iconic Charles Bridge. Someone had done the 0.3 miles 4.33/miling. I thought I could give that a good go.

I also wanted a hill climb as, apart from the bridge effort, I didn’t want to push this right leg too hard. Putting in a hill climb would put me well into threshold without having to push the pace.

So I ran the 15mins uphill past the castle. Here was the view from the top –

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Prague has some stunning views!

The view was reward for a fairly tough climb and I enjoyed getting my breath back for Charles Bridge.

Unfortunately though the area was already busy with tourists. I pushed on but it quickly became apparent that I couldn’t safely run at the pace required. I was weaving through the crowds as best I could but accepted it wasn’t going to happen.

Still a very enjoyable run out and Prague seems great for runners (once you get used to the cobbles!).

Weekly Totals
Running – 14 miles
Cycling – 18miles

Kept things ticking over ok this week despite not being 100%. Hope to put the injury behind me and nail final preparations for the next two cross country fixtures at the end of this month.