Sub 17 5k – Week 12 training diary

Two weeks until the next cross country fixture and I’m hopeful of putting the finishing touches together to run a big race.

The next fixture is at Jarrow, it’s a course that suits me as its a little shorter (just under 6 miles) and fairly benign with no real hills. The only thing that defends it is the mud.

So I’m hoping to get sharp.

Training diary

Plan – 45min recovery

The only thing I don’t like about heart rate training is how temperamental the damn things are! I’ve been having a lot of issues with mine of late and its just a bit annoying. I suppose I am a bit addicted. I like stats and I like them to be right.

Anyway, felt strong tonight despite the HRM issues. I ran 6.50 miling for 48 mins averaging about 156bpm (when it finally kicked in). Felt like I was flying with little effort.

Plan – 45min threshold

Decided to go to the gym. Time was tight so I decided to cut this down to a 20minute harder threshold. I ran 20mins at 5.45/mile. It felt tough but more due to the heat in the gym. Did a 10 minute warm up and warm down making it 40mins total running.

Plan – 50 min recovery

Felt tired tonight and had one eye on the threshold tomorrow. At about 30mins felt drained but got it done.

Plan – 45 min threshold

Bit of a strange one tonight. Struggled to keep the heart rate above 165bpm but still managed 7.4 miles @ 6.16/mile which I think is the strongest 45min threshold I’ve done. Still felt a bit disappointed but I think I’ve just lost a bit of perspective. When you start increasing the amount of running you do it’s quite easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. That’s where having a coach helps a lot.

Plan – rest

Was glad of the rest. I was worried about the tempo run tomorrow. Tempo running for me means getting my HR >183bpm and I haven’t run that hard in a long time. I looked for a 10k race to help me but there was nothing. So I planned a parkrun and decided I’d run that hard in tempo and add an extra 20mins after. An early night for an earlyish drive to the Riverside.

Plan – 45min tempo

Got up at 7.30am and had my usual glass of water and a few dates. I had some beetroot juice in the fridge so had a bit of that as well. Enjoyed the drive over as the roads were quiet.

Although this was just a training run I did wonder whether I might have a chance to finish first, what with the Northerns being on in Pontefract.

Those hopes were slightly knocked when I pulled up and saw Terry Scott and Marc Fenwick. I had a quick warm up (it was very cold) and noticed that the pavements were fairly icy. Not to worry. Luckily the HRM seemed in good working order during the warm up. Important because I needed that to get the HR up over 183 and to help keep it there – if I got lazy I would push on.

3,2,1 and off. I started strongly and ran straight into first. This was the first time this has ever happened. About a quarter way into the first lap I glanced at the watch – heart rate 120bpm! Fuck! The HRM isn’t working!

It felt weird. Here I was running hard in first. I couldn’t hear anyone behind me. I didn’t look round. But what to do?

I pushed on, prodded the hrm but it wasn’t working. I forgot about it and focussed on running. But mentally I wasn’t there. I hadn’t really prepared. I’d prepared to run >183bpm and because I didn’t have the data (and because it’d been December since my last hard 5k) I was not in tune with how hard I was working.

I went through the first mile in 5.36. That was about what I wanted. But I didn’t feel great about it. And the icy pavements were starting to take their toll. Coming into the second lap I was aware of a long shadow of the second placed runner. I knew it would be Terry, I know him from Newcastle parkrun. I knew he is capable of 16.– 5ks. I wasn’t intimidated but I knew I’d struggle to stay in front, and I wasn’t up for trying. That said I pushed on and kept in front until about 3/4 round the second lap.

We came to lap some runners and Terry showed me a clean pair of heels. I was alone in second. A chance to glance at the watch. The HRM had come to life – 178bpm! I was still in threshold but felt like I had not much left to give…

I kind of kept on one paced for the last lap. Terry was away and I was spending my time slipping around and struggling at every corner, almost stopping to avoid falling over.

Only other thing to report was Terry taking a wrong turn at the end and having to run back down the finish straight and back again. He was so far in front it didn’t matter. I’d like to think I would have done the gentlemanly thing had it meant I’d caught up.

Coming over the finish line I’d finished in 17.57. I wasn’t that tired and I was confused as to why I couldn’t give more out on the course. Why can’t I get my heart rate above 180? My max HR is estimated at 204. I feel like I’ve got at least 10bpm I’m not utilising in a 5k. Maybe it’s tiredness, or maybe a little bit over training. Maybe running my easy runs too hard and threshold runs too easy.

Whatever the reason, again, I was a little bit disappointed despite knocking 52 seconds off my Riverside Parkrun pb. Again I think I’m losing perspective. Conditions were poor and I’m running well. Need to take the positives.

I was coughing like a dog after a 2 mile warm down. I’d decided against more hard running.

Plan – 80min recovery

Had at least 9.5hrs sleep and woke about 9.30. Wasn’t in the mood for a run but was really lucky to have a supportive girlfriend telling me “go and do it”.

Enjoyed the run and the conditions were much better underfoot, the sun was shining brightly.

Ran 10.5 miles in 75mins. The quads were burning towards the end but a strong longer run.

Weekly Totals

Running ~42 miles

Without realising my highest ever mileage week. Mentally not appreciating what I’m doing. My training paces are improving all of the time and just need to keep perspective. Just need to be positive.

Mentally I need to get stronger and learn how to channel my fitness into a performance in a race. I don’t want to leave it all I training.


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