Sub 17 5k – Week 16 training diary

Very quiet week last week running wise as I try to put this injury behind me. But as I said, injuries can be a blessing in disguise and I certainly start a new week feeling fresher in the mind and I’m thinking hard (again) about how I come out of this little blip stronger as a result.

More work travel this week and next. Luckily I have an active weekend in the lakes in the middle this weekend to break it up.

The next cross country fixture isn’t far away on 28th Feb. Despite what’s been going on I plan to still put in a strong showing and carry on the great season I’ve been having.

Training Diary

Monday
Plan – 45mins recovery

Got the message from my coach to get back to recovery running this week and certainly felt ready to do so.

Did an early morning 20 minutes on my new turbo trainer. Just keeping it steady in 125 – 150 bpm heart rate zone. It’s amazing how much sweat is produced by 15 – 20mins! Feel really good and a great way to start the day. Will be doing this as a matter of routine and building as I feel it get too easy.

After work I got out for a 40min recovery run. Really focussed on form and cadence. Felt unbelievably fresh and zippy and tried to resist temptation to fly off too fast. Was aware of the ankle/shin so just tried to keep every step light, short and quick.

Ended up with 5.7 miles in 40mins around mid 150s HR wise. Cadence 170 steps per minute. Made sure to stretch out afterwards. Shins a little tender but keeping close watch.

Tuesday
Plan – 45mins recovery

Got up early for the 20mins turbo and then straight out for 35mins recovery zone run. It was a beautiful crisp morning and the sun was coming up large.

Really enjoyed the “brick” type session. I have no desires to become a triathlete. I think a short duathlon would be fun. But I will try more of these if only to get properly warmed up and the blood flowing before running.

I felt strong again and I was ticking off 6.47-6.55 miles with little effort in my recovery zone. Again, the shin was there as a reminder to keep the cadence up and keep it light.

Overall though really pleased and just hoping the issue can clear up so I can sharpen right back up. But the fitness still feels there.

Trip to Brussels and looking to get a gym session in tomorrow including bike/run again to cover the duration cardio whilst not pushing the leg too far.

Wednesday
Plan – 50mins recovery

Was really pleased that the hotel had exercise bike and treadmill facilities and they were decent quality. Set my alarm for 6am (5am UK time) and got down. Was also pleased to be the only person there for the whole session.

I did my usual 20mins on the bike and then straight into 35mins on the treadmill. Kept it on a 1% incline. After a mile I settled into sub 7 min miles at 155-160bpm. It was quite warm in the gym and I sweated it out a lot. I won’t deny that the time dragged a lot but I kept my cadence high (178spm) and was happy with my mornings work.

Shin still tender afterwards but I’m not too aware of it when running so I’m comfortable keeping on at the moment.

Thursday
Plan – 40mins recovery

Decided on the 20 minute turbo trainer warm up and straight out for a recovery run. I’ve been doing a 1 mile loop round my house where half is down hill and the other half is back up again.

I ticked the first mile off nett downhill in 6.25 which was a bit quick but got me in the mood for seeing what I can do at the top end of my recovery zone. Basically the downhill section was middle of recovery zone (153-163bpm) and the uphill section went into my lower threshold zone (164-170bpm).

I got about 4 miles ticked off in about 27 mins. I was feeling good and felt like an effort for the final 8mins. The next mile was done in 5.51 taking in the uphill section. Heart rate pushed up to a max of 180bpm which is close to the top end of my threshold zone. It’s a fact that I haven’t had my HR above 180 in training for half a year.

All in all did 5.5 miles in 35mins. Felt good.

Friday
Plan – rest

Nice weekend away down to the Lakes so rest today.

Saturday
Plan – 45min recovery

Went on a long walk in the Lakes. It was the first time I’d had a proper walk around the area and it was amazing.

The change in weather from down in the village in Thornthwaite, the drive down the narrow windy roads to Buttermere and the freezing cold conditions up on top of Red Pike. A great experience. Here’s a pic from the top of one of the peaks –

image

Sunday
Plan – 70mins recovery

No run as relaxing in Lakes.

Weekly Totals

Running – just over 20miles
Turbo Trainer/exercise bike – 60mins

Glad to get back to running. As I’ve said, I don’t think my fitness has left me. The shin is still only 80-90% so not going to push the mileage too much. I’ll hope to do something similar next week but still put in a shift at the Cross Country in Alnwick and see how I get on.

Sub 17 5k – Week 15 training diary

We are into February now and I’m starting to turn my attention to final preparations for a very good stab at a sub 17 5k.

The goal is to have at least one attempt before the end of April and to actually do the sub 17 on that attempt.

I am starting to truly believe that my cardiovascular system is in the right ball park. I do. What I’m not sure about is whether the legs are there to in support.

I would have to confess that my strength and conditioning work has fallen by the way side. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m now suffering with shin problems and it will be key to get the strength work back on track over the coming weeks.

Into the week at hand I write this as I fly into Amsterdam at 6.46am (alarm wake up today at 4.30am). It might actually be a good thing having a reduced week this week in Barcelona as the right shin is very tender today.

So the focus will be on good diet, sleep, hydration and rest (harder done than said amongst the bread, cheese, wine and coffee in Spain) in order to keep the fitness where it is.

So maintenance is the key this week.

Training Diary

Monday
Plan – 45min recovery

Unfortunately the shin feels terrible just walking around the airport etc. Rest day.

Tuesday
Plan – 45min threshold

Shin is no better. Feeling injured. This injury has crept up on me but I had warning signs after the XC race and I didn’t listen to them. Cardinal sin. Then went a little bit in denial and ignored and now forced out. This is fairly typical of most running injuries. Very rarely are injuries acute, more commonly over use and I believe this is such.

Problem is, I typically always have some degree of shin discomfort. I’ve come to accept it as part and parcel of my running. It comes and goes. I’d prefer it not to be there. I always balanced it off with not overdoing concrete road training. That’s manageable in summer but not winter.

I’m applying ibuprofen gel and further rest.

Wednesday
Plan – 50min recovery

More rest and reflection.

Thursday
Plan – 40min threshold

Finish off work in Barcelona and set off for home. I always find the flight home a great time to reflect. I find it weird when you’ve been pretty much solid stuck into training for a prolonged period and then you are forced out for whatever reason, be it injury or illness. The worst bits the denial stage. The second worst the “I might as well give up” phase. That always passes and then you enter the ‘how am I going to do this better next time” phase.

I’m probably being a bit of a drama queen. I’ve only had a few days off.

Anyway, I plan to get down to the gym and try some cross training to keep the cardio ticking over and get the blood flowing. Then I can assess how and when I get back to giving jogging a go.

Friday
Plan – rest

Hectic return back to work but still got down to the gym. I did 35 mins on the cross trainer in my recovery zone. Only a few little moans from the right ankle/shin. Main issue is foot pain and on getting home had cramp in both feet. I suspect I have some weakness in the feet and ankles and need to work on it. Will decide whether to continue with cross training or try some light jogging on grass.

Saturday
Plan – 45min threshold

Did two things today. Got out for a run and also purchased a turbo trainer for my bike.

The run was ok. Put the cross country shoes on and went off road for 35 minutes to avoid the pounding. Ended up doing 5 miles in about 36mins. Was aware of the leg but not painful. Maybe a bit uncomfortable but I haven’t regretted getting the legs turning over and I’ll continue to monitor it.

As for the turbo trainer I couldn’t get it setup but should do over the next few days. The plan will be to use it for 20-30mins per day just spinning in a low aerobic zone to start the day. Just get in a good early morning routine.

Sunday
Plan – 80min recovery

20mins on the bike turbo trainer. Sweaty work, just trying it out. Average hr 148bpm. Will start regularly using this for cardio.

Decided on no run today and start thinking about what’s best for next week.

Weekly Totals

Running – 5 miles only

It sucks being injured but often you come out with some better ideas of how to move to the next level. You realise you were absorbed in training at the detriment of other things and also that some balance in other areas is required. I don’t think this injury impacts me too much at this stage in terms of what I want to achieve. Let’s see.

Sub 17 5k – Week 14 training diary

I felt great after the cross country race on Saturday. I had a good look at the results and it certainly looked like my best result of the season. That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

I’ve been working purely on stamina and strength through the winter. I have completed no speed sessions…yet. But my results are getting better.

I’m also very pleased to be currently lying in 15th place in the Harrier League individual grand prix after 4 races. Granted, I will no doubt be demoted once the fast lads stack up the required number of races but we’ll see. As I said in my Running Goals post I am looking to finish top 50 (having finished 97th last season) and I’m certainly on target for that.

So I felt a spring in my step return going into February and week 14. I received my plan for the month and again we are looking to consolidate this stamina base that I’m building. I’ll also be looking to throw in a parkrun or two to keep sharp before Alnwick XC at the end of the month. I feel ready to put in something sub 17.30 if conditions suit.

Training Diary

Monday
Plan – 45min recovery

Did 6.9 miles in 48mins with an average HR of 155bpm. Fairly standard Monday run. Slight soreness in right ankle, lower shin. Thought nothing of it, probably just aches from XC on Saturday.

Tuesday
Plan – 45min threshold

Decided on the gym for a treadmill session. Was late out of work and then had to rush so reduced this to 30mins threshold with 5mins warm up, warm down.

The pain in the ankle, shin was noticeable but subsided as I got into the run. I think this was the second time I’ve done 5 miles in under 30 minutes. Didn’t feel great but my average heart rate was only 172bpm for the 30mins and I have 11bpm to work with in my threshold zone.

Ankle/shin was sore afterwards and starting to play on the mind some more.

Wednesday
Plan – 50min recovery

Again rushing around somewhat. Got the run sandwiched in between work and a retirement dinner. Did 6.7 miles in 47 mins averaging 153bpm. Lower leg still sore but not thinking much of it.

Thursday
Plan – 40min threshold

Absolutely shattered after work so decided to pull tomorrow’s rest forward to today and perhaps do Recovery Run Friday night and parkrun on Saturday.

Friday
Plan – rest

Got out for a jog and was not happy with right ankle/shin. Aborted run after couple of minutes. Did not want to risk it. Will see what its like tomorrow.

Saturday
Plan – 45min threshold

Hummed and harred all morning about getting out for a run whilst running some errands in the house. Got out finally about 12.30 and didn’t feel too bad. Ended up with 45mins recovery and 6.2 miles averaging 152bpm. Although I’m aware of the ankle/shin I think I can keep ticking over without problems. I’m not sure about pushing beyond recovery running at the moment though. Will probably reduce tomorrow’s run duration as well. Travelling next week again so probably a disrupted week of training as they don’t seem to do hotel gyms in Barcelona, or at least not in the ones I stay in… #firstworldprobs

Sunday
Plan – 80min recovery

Had what can only be described as a selfish (or silly) run. Shin wasn’t right but threw on an old pair of trainers and bashed on 7.8 miles in 50mins which included beating my own Strava segment on Wingrove Road (5min miling). Put another effort in so it became somewhat of a weird fartlek.

Felt ok. Was worried I was just pushing the limit of my shin injury to see if it would pop. I realise this is silly. I’ve been here before. One day I’ll get my come uppance with a proper injury. Hopefully not.

See what next week brings…

Weekly Totals

Running – ~33 miles

Sub 17 5k – Week 13 training diary

I was a bit disappointed with the parkrun 17.57 but I had to remind myself the conditions were slippy. Funnily enough someone at runbritain towers viewed the run favourably as my handicap was slashed to 3.2. I’ve never been quite sure about the handicap system but it did make me feel a bit better. What can I say, I love numbers and stats…

Hopefully it would give me a bit of a boost in the lead up to the next North East Harrier League fixture…

Last week was my highest weekly mileage ever and I’m feeling a little bit fatigued. It’s not all to do with running, I’ve been promoted at work and its pretty full on at the moment so I’m struggling a bit with the stress of the work, training, life balance.

Training Diary

Monday
Plan – 45min threshold

I’d been having a load of problems with my heart rate monitor and I was pretty hacked off with it. So it felt liberating to throw it away, order a new strap and get on without it.

So for this run I decided to shoot for 6.30 miles which I knew was low end threshold on my usual route. I wasn’t feeling too good so this seemed sensible to keep it low end.

Wasn’t a bad run, feeling very easy first 3 miles and progressively harder thereon.

Despite a decent showing (7 miles in 45mins) I just felt fatigued, as if last week’s mileage and everything (read “work”) was getting on top of me.

Tuesday
Plan – 45min threshold

Unfortunately the feeling of feeling run down reared it’s ugly head with a load of cold sores.

As a kid I got these all the time it felt like. I hate them but it was a bit of a running joke that I’d always get them when it was time for school photos! Ha ha.

Anyway, I rarely get them now thank goodness and when I do it’s a classic warning sign. Coach Tune was asking for another threshold on the plan before slight taper for race but I got in touch and we scaled back to a very easy run.

Even a jog felt laboured and I was starting to get paranoid about slipping back into anaemia. This was classic “me” negativity…

Wednesday
Plan – 50min recovery

Felt like shit. My brain is being taxed 10hrs a day and is draining every bit of energy I have it seems like. I’m eating well, sleeping well and hydrating well but I feel absolutely shattered on getting home. Contacted coach again to express concerns. We agreed I’m stressed and to relax and rest. No run.

Thursday
Plan – 45min recovery

Felt a bit livelier for the rest and got out for a 35min recovery run which felt a lot better than Tuesday.

Friday
Plan – rest

Used the rest to get ready for tomorrow’s race. Still feel mentally weak but resolving to give it my all for myself, coach and club.

Saturday
Plan – NEHL XC fixture #4

Tried to have a lie in. Got up at 9ish. My race day routine seems a bit weird. Bowl of porridge at 10am. A pint of beetroot juice. Some water. A bath. Put race gear on and race number. Tracksuit over top. Jump in car and go to see Glen who lives right next to Bedewell Park. Have a great chat. My mate Glen is a great runner and an inspiration to me. He planted the seed for me to get back into it. I love him to bits. His ethos, his ideas, his attitude.

Left Glen’s and walked to the course. The tented area was a muddy mess. I knew I should have put the wellies on!

I felt emotionless. I owe Coach Tune a lot. He tried to call me earlier. I was driving but he sent a text. Something like “your training says you WILL run well”. This was all I needed.

There was a bit of “chaos” surrounding our Men’s club team. People had dropped out and we could be short. I was emotionless. I was going to run hard and that was it.

I did a short warm up and got on line for the medium pack start. It was filling out a bit but I got a decent starting spot. Started quite strongly, probably about top 10 or 15. The wind was strong and the ground boggy. Although the course was relatively short (less than 6 miles) it was going to be a tough day at the office.

Almost straight away I was running alongside a couple of runners I had beaten at the North Eastern counties. I resolved to stay with them but they were a bit stronger the first two laps.

That said, I ran the first lap strong despite a fall which I recovered well from. I always find the second lap the hardest but I was picking off slow pack runners well and pressed on into the last lap.

image

Mud bath at Bedewell Park XC

It was around 1/3 of the way through the last lap that I realised I’d pulled the two runners from NE counties back to me. It became my last challenge to beat them both. And some challenge it was. It wasn’t until the last straight that I pulled out a sprint finish.

I finished 70th from the medium pack and was 61st quickest on the day. This represents my best performance of the season. If this doesn’t get my confidence back on track someone needs to give me a slap.

Sunday
Plan – 60min recovery

After the cross country myself and “Jesmond Jogger champ” Michael Hedley loosely decided to have a longish run together in the morning. We chatted about how we were both a bit low on confidence, more to do with being a bit under the weather than anything.

I met Michael at the club and we have kept in touch since. Michael is a great runner with bags of potential. We are both keen to do our best and we encourage each other, talking about how we are getting on, our goals, targets etc. It makes sense to train together more. We live close and I am starting to get more in line with the type of training paces Michael needs to operate at.

Having raced yesterday I was eager to keep it easy. We ran a slightly different route to my usual and there was a decent hill thrown in.

I was really happy with how I felt. We went our separate ways back home and I ended up bagging 9 and a bit miles in 65mins. Average HR was 155bpm. Just what I needed as a consistent long run is going to be key going forwards and something I’ve never had.

Hopefully more long runs with Jogger champ in the coming weeks and months as we both try to hit our goals of pbs come Spring.

Weekly Totals

Running ~31 miles

After what felt like a potentially disappointing week turned out well with a solid performance in the XC race and a good longer run to end the week on a high.