Monthly Archives: January 2012


I think it’s fair to say the weather has certainly turned! Didn’t get out tonight until the little one was in bed so it was getting rather chilly. But being the slave to my schedule that I am (or just plain stupid) I put on my new thermal gloves and woolly hat and set off for a speed session of 10 x 400m.

Trying to find an adequately lit stretch of road that wasn’t too undulating is easier said than done when you live in a small village that is poorly lit at the best of times. However one benefit is the A5 and I did find a stretch of path that seemed to do the job – but could I?

Taking the cold into consideration I ended up doing 8 x 400m rather than the planned 10 – mostly due to various aches and pains on the eighth rep which made me think that it was time to call it a night. Most of them had been spot on for pace and I think I’m now old and wise enough to know when it’s time to stop to prevent further injury rather than because it just hurts.

I’m still recovering from my PF and speed work is not the best cure by any stretch so I felt at this stage in my training I’d done enough and now wasn’t the time to push it. Missing 2 reps is not going to stop me completing 26.2 miles in April – recurrence of the PF will. As for the other type of hurting – when that happens I know what will keep me going – the reminder of who I’m running London in memory of. Their parents never get a chance to give up because it hurts – they keep on, going regardless.

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Categories: Injury, London Marathon, Training | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Training for Week 5

The first month is over so the hard work really starts now.

Monday – stretching

Tuesday – 10 x 400m

Wednesday – cross training (swim)

Thursday – 5 mile tempo

Friday – stretching

Saturday – cross training (bike)

Sunday – 12 miles long run

The Sunday miles are gradually reaching the limit to which I’ve done before. I think I ran 14 once in the past, although I’ve done quite a few half marathons so should be in familiar territory up to 13 miles!

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Review of Week 4

Bit of a quiet week really. This was a recovery week where the mileage is reduced and give the body a bit of a rest.

The Tuesday speed session was a bit of a test for my new watch and I’m not sure it worked that well! But until I’ve read up a bit more I’m not sure whether it was user inefficiencies or too high expectations of base model! I’ll reserve judgement for the time being, although with another speed session this Tuesday, I’d better get reading…

The training plan had a 3 mile tempo run for Wednesday so the Run for Nothing 5km at Willen Lake was a perfect way to get the miles in at a good speed. Not a bad result, time was better than I thought it would be and I bagged the second lady spot. Wasn’t banking on the force 9 gale blowing across the North lake though – brrr!

Had a good 30 miles on the bike on Saturday, felt so much better than last week and the average speed agreed – guess last week was a bit of a blip. I enjoyed the long run today – ran a route that I used to years ago along the river and the canal. Saw quite a few other runners about although I think I scared the life out of one woman as I overtook her by the river – that’ll teach her to wear an iPod. It was such a peaceful morning seems a shame she was blocking it out with music – each to their own though.

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Training for Week 4

As we’re now into the fourth week of training, I’m making this a recovery week. Unfortunately, doesn’t mean a week off, but just a chance to reduce the miles and let the muscles recover a bit.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 3 x 1600m

Wednesday – 5km race – Run For Nothing 5km

Thursday – cross training (swim)

Friday – stretching

Saturday – cross training (bike)

Sunday – 8 miles long run

The race on Wednesday should be a good test of my fitness to date and also see how the heel is doing. I’ve also swapped the bike and run at the weekend around as I really struggled biking last week after my run.

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Review of Week 3

Quite a productive week on the training front. Stuck to the plan apart from Wednesday as I decided to do some stretching instead. The long Saturday run turned into a rather pleasant 9 mile jaunt along the canal in an effort to get an extra mile in before the week 4 recovery sessions. The long run was mostly along the canal towpath which didn’t resemble anything like a path – just mud and brambles which I managed to entangle myself in at one point. But, the hard work off the road bodes well as on my return to normal roads after 7 miles of canal the pace was much quicker and not too difficult. More off-roading to come methinks!

The long run was also made more interesting by the plethora of runners coming the opposite way – with numbers on. Looks like they were competing in the Ultra45 event and were running along the canal from Northampton to Tring – 45 miles! Makes my 9 miles pale into insignificance!

We took the bikes out on Sunday for about 35 miles but with the wind and continuous rolling hills it was a real struggle. Especially with the long run from the previous day still in my legs. I think for future weeks I’ll swap the long run and the bike around at the weekend as I don’t seem to suffer running after cycling as I do the other way round. Good job I don’t do duathlons as I’d be a bit rubbish!

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My new toy!

I’m not really one for gadgets as a rule. As a runner there’s not much in the way of gadgets to get excited about and even though there is in cycling and triathlon I’ve never really fallen into the ‘gadget trap’. I don’t even own a smart phone…

Until now that is. I am now the proud owner of a Garmin Forerunner 110 – the very poor relation (if you believe the running/tri forums) of the Garmin family but personally I think it’s pretty fab! I quite like stats from training and races and have spent many an hour on MapMyRun trying to work out distances and average speeds/paces.

With marathon training in full swing I’ve spent some time working out what training plan to follow and what speeds need to be done at what point and for how long over what distance so I finally came round to the fact that a GPS watch might actually be worth having. My initial thoughts were of the Timex Global Trainer. As an owner of a Timex Ironman watch it seemed the logical progression – until I saw how big it was – It would be like running with a saucer attached to my wrist – not very cool and with prices coming in at £300 I’d be scared to wear it.

So I started to look a bit further down the tree and stumbled across the Garmin 110. It looked simple – average speed, distance and how long – oh and it also tells the time! Due to a timely cracking deal from Sweatshop Mr Chips bought me it as a belated birthday present.

First wear today and although I spent a lot of the run looking at the watch I was pretty impressed. It is useful to see what your actual pace is at any point in time and the GPS meant I could just run a random route knowing that when I reached my 5 mile limit I could just slow down and jog back to work. Sorted!

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Training for Week 14 (week 3 really!)

Here’s the plan for week 14 or week 3 in real terms.

Monday – rest (well I did race on Sunday!)

Tuesday – 8×400

Wednesday – cross-training (bike)

Thursday – 5 miles tempo

Friday – stretching

Saturday – 8 miles long run

Sunday – cross training (bike)

Now it seems as if my heel is finally on the mend I’m going to gradually build the plan into the FIRST 3 day a week plan from Runners World. But still trying not to rack the mileage up too quickly or the speed.

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Wellingborough Multi-Terrain – Round 1

Well today was the first race of the season and also a bit of a tester for my nearly heeled (do you like what I did there?) plantar fasciitis. The Wellingborough MT – 10km is the first part of a three race series run at Irchester Park in Northamptonshire and boy was it cold!

I used to run cross-country races regularly until my late teens but haven’t done anything like this really since then so it was a bit of a blast from the past doing this race. It was good fun though, deliberately ran the first lap easy to see how I felt and was quite nice to be passing people throughout the whole of the second lap. Came in at sub 50 which I was pretty pleased with considering I was struggling to walk a few months ago. All in all and good day out and has given me a really good confidence boost for the main event in April.

Results are here Wellingborough MT Round 1 results

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Week 15 completed!

Well, the plan for the week was mostly accomplished. Monday and Tuesday went according to plan, really couldn’t face swimming on Wednesday after a long day at work so just repeated the stretching (I recommend the Matt Roberts DVD – not hard, but enough to know you’ve done something!). Thursday went really well – first run in a long while with little to no pain, even if it did take multiple laps of the village to get the miles in – got a bit dizzy! Bit more stretching on Friday rather than resting. Saturday was supposed to be a long cycle ride but at 8 am the roads were still frosty and I don’t do frost, ice or anything that could induce a falling off moment so put in 30 minutes on the turbo trainer instead. The race on Sunday went really well, in fact I was pretty pleased with myself in light of the last six months – review of the race in another post coming up.

My foot splint arrived on Thursday and I’ve worn it every night since then. So far so good, very little pain in the morning. Wouldn’t say I’m leaping out of bed but can walk straight away. The race today was also virtually pain free, bar the first mile as my heel warmed up and a slight jarring on a pebble bed halfway round. Fingers crossed the improvements continue.

So, no excuses now – need to start raising some serious cash – link below 

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A step in the right direction…

Well after nearly six months of pain and two months of physio I think I finally started to see light at the end of the tunnel today. Having suffered with plantar fasciitis since July I finally ran with almost no pain. In fact I didn’t just run I managed 5 miles at a reasonable speed (for me considering I’ve been jogging for the last four months!).

Anyone who has suffered from this pain in the heel will understand that there’s times when you think you’ve got it forever. It never gets worse, but never seems to get better, until today, it actually felt better from the minute I got up. Still had the painful first steps towards the shower but throughout the day I didn’t really notice it and then running tonight – awesome! Doesn’t take much to float my boat these days – but that did!

Not sure why it’s suddenly started to sort itself out. Perhaps I’ve been a bit more attentive to the icing and stretching, but I suspect it may well be the Matt Robert Fitness DVD that I started using on Monday. Loads of stretches to improve flexibility. Although – it might be the bionic foot that arrived today…showed the heel I mean business. I’ve got a marathon to run you know!

Just in case you think I’ve gone mad, it’s a foot brace to wear at night. The idea is that it keeps your foot at 90 degrees to stop the calf/achilles tightening up overnight, the result being the first step in the morning should be a lot less painful than usual. We shall see if it works tomorrow morning….

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