World 100km Training – Week 5 including Birmingham Half

Mon – AM 6 miles (6:25m/m) PM 10 miles (6:12m/m)
Tue – AM 10 miles (5:52m/m) PM 6 miles (6:22m/m)
Wed – 26.21 miles (5:58m/m)
Thu – 35 miles over the Purbecks (6:57m/m)
Fri – AM 6 miles (6:42m/m) PM 6.21 miles on Hotel Treadmill (6:14m/m)
Sat – 6.21 miles on Hotel Treadmill (6:08m/m)
Sun – AM 15.6 miles incl Birmingham 1/2 (10th – 70:19) PM 10 miles (6:27m/m)

Total Mileage – 137.4 miles (6:20m/m)

A game of two halves this week…..very happy with the back to back long runs on Wednesday and Thursday but not so pleased with the half marathon yesterday – there may be a connection there ;-)

Wednesday’s flat marathon was around 9min faster than last week with a 2:36 for what felt like a similar effort so that was pleasing. Thursday’s Purbeck run was also considerably faster as well just dipping under 7m/m pace for the whole run. The legs were just as tired this week but the conditions were considerably better with no hurricane winds so that made quite a big difference.
With these midweek improvements I was hopeful of a good run out at Birmingham at the weekend but it appears the legs had other ideas!
I spent the whole weekend In Birmingham thanks to the hospitality of the Great Run team and did my last couple of runs before the race on the hotel treadmill. Resisted the temptation to start my acclimatisation training early and stuck with shorts and vest on the treadmill but the gym was hot enough anyway to get a good sweat on.
I had great fun doing some pre-race interviews for Channel 5 and then it was time to get down to business….. unfortunately though I forgot to pack my race legs and the ones that presented themselves to me after the first downhill mile were definitely the ones that remembered Thursday’s 35 miler!
It’s difficult to know how much of my below par time was down to the strong winds and hills and how much was just my fatigued legs….. I think a bit of both.
Anyway, I found myself at the front of the pack for the leading ladies and having accepted the fact it wasn’t going to be a fast day for me I had no issues with being a useful wind break for the ladies for the first 6 miles into the wind.
Watching the Channel 5 coverage back, I made such a good job of it that I even had the commentators thinking I was officially pacing them ;-)

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Once we hit a slightly faster part of the race and turned back with a tailwind the two leading ladies knocked out a sub 5m/m and all I could manage was a 5:04 with my creaky legs so I lagged behind a bit. Fortunately some late hills and headwind put the advantage back in my court and I managed to avoid being “chicked” for the first time in a while……which was fortunate seeing as it was on live National TV ;-)
So 10th place and 70:19 was not what I was looking for and although the course and conditions played a part, I certainly didn’t feel as strong as I did at Peterborough. With current mileage and training it is to be expected to have days when the legs won’t play ball but I’m hoping that this coming week will be better as I will have an extra easy day ahead of the Great South Run, just got to get Wednesday’s 50 miler in the bag first!!

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World 100km Training – Week 4 including Great Eastern Half

Mon – 10 miles (6:06m/m)
Tue – AM 6 miles (6:23m/m) PM 10 miles (6:38m/m)
Wed – 26.21 miles (6:17m/m)
Thu – 36.13 miles over the Purbecks (7:44m/m)
Fri – AM 6 miles (6:27m/m) PM 6 miles (6:13m/m)
Sat – 6 miles (6:19m/m)
Sun – AM 17.25 miles incl Great Eastern 1/2 (7th – 68:27) PM 6.76 miles (6:06m/m)

Total Mileage – 130.41 miles (6:36m/m)

This week was my first “experiment” with the midweek long running and racing at the weekend combination. It was also the first of my back to back long runs and my legs reminded me of this fact!
Wednesday’s marathon went okay although it felt a little tougher than I’d hoped at the end and then Thursday’s 36 mile Purbeck run was a whole new world of pain ;-)
A combination of fatigued legs from Wednesday and some ridiculously windy conditions led to one of my slowest Purbeck runs, I knew things were going to be tough when the first mile into a 35mph headwind came in at 9:11 !! It took quite a bit of mental strength after lap 1 (18 miles) not to just get back into the van and bugger off home but after a quick mental slap round the face I scoffed down another ChiaCharge flapjack and headed back for some more fun and games.
While out on the trails I also had a little play with my new toy from Garmin, the VIRB Elite – so keep an eye out for some videos soon! In the meantime, heres a VIRB photo I took at Old Harry rocks mid way through lap 1……any excuse to give the legs a quick rest!

VIRB Picture

So although a little tougher than hoped I successfully bagged my first “back to back” long run in this build up. My focus was then on a couple of easy days so that I could give the Great Eastern Half a good go on Sunday.
I haven’t done this race before but can’t praise it enough, the hospitality of the race organisers to me was fantastic (thanks Tim!) and the race itself was as pleasurable as a half marathon can be ;-)
It was a nice calm day and the course is flat and although I spent the whole of the 2nd half of the race running solo, the support was good and kept me going for a time of 68:27 and 7th place (1st Vet). Over a minute faster than Bournemouth which was pleasing considering my midweek “antics”

Full results HERE and my Garmin details are below.
This next week will be almost an exact repeat with perhaps a couple more miles and hopefully a slighter faster Purbeck run! Will be looking to see another performance improvement at the Great Birmingham Half although that may not equate to a faster time as the course is a little tougher.

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World 100km Training – Wks2&3 including Bournemouth 1/2

Mon – AM 6 miles (7:05m/m) PM 6 miles (6:53m/m)
Tue – 6 miles (6:29m/m)
Wed – AM 17 miles (6:01m/m) including 24/18/12/6/3 PM 6 miles (6:43m/m)
Thu – 17.68 miles over the Purbecks (6:44m/m)
Fri – 10 miles (6:59m/m)
Sat – 6 miles including Heaton parkrun (1st – 17:07)
Sun – 22 miles over the Purbecks (6:28m/m)

Total Mileage – 102.51 miles (6:34m/m)

Mon – AM 6 miles (7:00m/m) PM 6 miles (6:30m/m)
Tue – AM 6 miles (6:32m/m) PM 10 miles (5:30m/m) including 10km tempo
Wed – AM 17.58 miles over the Purbecks (6:56m/m) PM 6 miles (6:24m/m)
Thu – AM 6 miles (6:37m/m) PM 10 miles (5:40m/m) including 5 x 4min
Fri – AM 12 miles (6:43m/m) PM 6 miles (6:18m/m)
Sat – AM 6 miles (6:31m/m) PM 4 miles (6:12m/m)
Sun – AM 16.45 miles including Bournemouth Half (2nd – 69:43) PM 5 miles (6:57m/m)

Total Mileage – 117.11 miles (6:19m/m)

Sorry about the lack of blog last week, I couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm as it was a another “get it done” 7 days of training. There were a few signs that things were improving including Sunday’s 22 mile Purbeck run where I felt quite strong but I was still managing the ongoing aches and pains. The main highlights of the week were meeting up with my CWG games marathon team-mates at a Team England get together in London
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and then a parkrun photo-shoot with the legend that is DR Ron Hill on Saturday!

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This last weeks training has shown a bit more progress and I have managed to get the doubles in everyday. My Tuesday 10km tempo session was promising and the intervals on Thursday were the first sub 5m/m pace work I have done in a while…. felt a little bit “creaky” but job done!

By the time I got to yesterday I guessed that my fitness had improved enough that a shot at sub 70 was not unrealistic at the Bournemouth Half especially seeing as the weather conditions were looking good.
With the one proper hill on the course (mile 9) looking like it was going to cost around 30sec I settled into a pace around 5:15m/m to give me a slight buffer. Jacek was in 2nd place and was never more than around 200m behind me, I knew that I couldn’t afford to slow down at all otherwise he would be challenging for the win as he is in great shape with just 2 weeks until his target marathon in Amsterdam.
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When we hit the promenade for the last 3 miles I could see that Jacek if anything was closing on me and although I was sill going reasonably well, 5:20m/m was as good as I could manage.
I assumed if I could maintain this pace then it would be enough to hold off Jay-C, how wrong was I! With around 400m and just the out and back of the Bournemouth Pier to navigate, Jacek shot past me with a well timed burst of sub 5m/m pace……bugger ;-)
Jacek took the win in 69:29 with a new PB and his first time under sub 70 and I came in with 69:43 for 2nd.

Full results HERE

So although I’m still a good few minutes off my half PB (and losing to my good friend Jacek!) , I’m happy that my fitness is moving in the right direction. I now move into the phase of my training where I will be long running midweek and racing every weekend…. will be looking for some pace improvements each race!

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