XC 2015/16 | Training Diary | Week 5

XC 2015/16 | Training Diary | Week 5

Key aim for the week –

I was pleased with my run on Saturday last week so I come into Week 5 with renewed vigour. Feel like I’m building momentum and I know weeks 5-8 of any plan can see big fitness improvements and gains. I do feel like I’ll start turning something of a corner if I keep this going. All going to plan and feeling good and strong. Lets get stuck into week 5!

In terms of the plan its very similar to Week 4 with Saturdays race replaced by a threshold run.

Weight on Monday morning –


Didn’t check again.

General mental state –

9.5 – feeling a boost after the XC race on Saturday and looking to keep the motivation high. I am very keen to get the sub 17 minute 5k put to bed over the coming weeks as well although it will no doubt have to be a parkrun due to the lack of 5k races around.

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being exhausted need a break and 10 being 100% motivated and raring to go

Plan – Easy run, 45mins

Got out, the weather was good and everything fell into place. 6.6 miles in 45 minutes at an average HR of 153bpm. Afterwards I completed 5 times 20 seconds strides just to get a little bit of 5k race pace in the legs.

All in all feeling strong and interested to see if the improved easy zone pace translates into some improvement at threshold intensity. If I can start to see my threshold pace threatening 6 minutes per mile at the right intensity for 40 minutes then I know I am shape to break 17 minutes for 5k!

Plan – Threshold run, 40mins

The weather was great again so I decided on a change of run route. I have the Newcastle Town Moor on my doorstep and there is a nice loop probably over a mile round. I have completed a threshold run around there before so after a warm up I got stuck in.

I was hoping to threaten 6 minutes per mile and the weather was so good I pretty much did so. I was enjoying the run and giving it some effort.

I only started hurting a little in the last 5-10 minutes and I had to battle a little but I was still ticking off miles in 5.56 on the Garmin.

All in all a great workout. Strava reported that I’d completed 10K in ~37.30 and overall 6.6 miles in 40mins at an average HR of 170bpm. Pleasing.

Plan – Recovery run, 45mins

I felt like I might suffer a bit for yesterday’s effort but instead I put in my strongest “easy” run to date!

It just felt like I could push the pace and the heart rate felt controlled and never threatened to spill into a true threshold.

I take this as a positive sign that my strength and fitness is improving.

6.6 miles were ticked off in the 45mins at an average HR of only 150bpm.

Plan – Threshold run, 40mins

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – Thursday workouts are tough! I’ve always got one eye on the Friday rest day to be honest but actually this was a pleasing run. That said I had to work for at and in many regards it felt like it might never end.

Again my heart rate was generally staying lower than I am used to despite the perceived threshold effort. I was aiming for 6.08s on the Garmin but, after getting into my stride the first two miles, I got miles 4 and 5 slotted in sub 6 minute miling fairly comfortably. As a result I was sitting on 6.02/3s and feeling good for it.

Slowed a little coming home but that is normal and I ended up with 7.3 miles in 45mins and an average HR of only 163bpm which strictly speaking isn’t even threshold! That said it was tough and I felt it. Rest day tomorrow feels well deserved!

Plan – Rest

Plan – Threshold run, 45mins

I would usually run on a Saturday morning but I had some errands to run and also an article to write for my other website RUN 5k FASTER so it was afternoon before I got out.

If honest I wasn’t fully up for another effort like Thursday so I had a half plan of building into it the first half and then pushing on the second half.

The first mile was a lot slower than normal but then I threw in a few efforts and it was becoming more of a fartlek than anything.

First 5k was done sub 20mins comfortably and had a little go pushing on a bit. Wasn’t feeling amazing and maybe huffed and puffed for it a little towards the end.

I wasn’t desperate to run all 45 minutes and ended up clicking the watch just under 42 with 6.6 miles completed at an average HR of 163bpm again. Fair dos.

Plan – Long run, 80mins

Got to bed a bit late so didn’t get out in the morning. Watched Callum Hawkins absolutely bossing the Half Marathon in Glasgow. Impressive stuff.

Didn’t get out until the afternoon after a family meal. What an awful run first half.

Was fighting a sickly feeling and dialed everything right back. Was one of those runs where you dreaded being 6 miles from home! Luckily things settled down and I improved on the way home.

Overall wondered whether I was coming down with something but heart rate was under control. Did about 72 minutes which is slightly down on previous weeks and slower average pace of 7.30/mile.

Got it done and hopefully no adverse reactions as was touch and go whether it was sensible to run. That said got a work trip early next week which will put a spanner in the works so was keen to get it done.

Weekly totals and Summary

Duration – 5h 4m

Mileage – 45.2 miles

A strong week ended with a slightly subdued weekend. Attention turns to next week and preparing for the Sherman Cup race at the weekend. Its not an A race as such so I’ll see how this week goes training wise with the work trip. If I need to change race plans I will do.

This week I have been listening to –

Kurt Viles new album “b’lieve I’m going down…”

Some lovely tunes on there and certainly a lot more chilled out than Sleaford Mods but I expect to get back on the agro stuff as my next race is next week!

This week I have been thinking a lot about –

Getting RUN 5k FASTER gaining some traction. Like running the key to succeeding with any blog is consistency. I am trying hard to post a regular weekly article that I believe delivers value and good info to runners who want to improve. I’m keen to give this a good go and also to help others.

I’m working with a couple of runners at the moment and really enjoying it. I’m genuinely interested in this sport and am enthusiastic about keeping involved for the long term. I do hope I can make my plans come to fruition. Check out www.run5kfaster.com and let me know what you think!

Contact me

Follow my training on Strava –
Kev Richardson Strava profile

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