Target 26.2 - First Timer Steve's Journey to Paris

Long runs, speed sessions... and a pair of rather tight leggings.

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30/01/2013 at 20:30

love the drawings! I kept them in mind today when my form was starting to go as I fatigued.

Good running Steve!

 

31/01/2013 at 06:31
jenf wrote (see)

love the drawings! I kept them in mind today when my form was starting to go as I fatigued.

Good running Steve!

 

Ha ha ha, so did I, the thought of the hunchbacked, rosy cheeked sad face was all that was needed to get my head up and shoulders back during last nights intervals!!!


 

31/01/2013 at 10:06

Hi Steve, glad to hear you are feeling better it's good to run feeling strong again. How does the hamstring feel now you are back into no mention of it which is good. Keep up with the bridging which will help with your posture and fatigue.

31/01/2013 at 14:00
Steve loves bacon wrote (see)

Training – Week 7

Monday – 12 MILES LONG RUN (6 MILES AT 9:40, 6 SPEEDING UP TO 9:05)

This was originally intended to be Sunday’s run but, after Saturday, I felt seriously drained. I think the early morning, the first run in the week, the seven hours on trains... it was all a bit much after the stomach bug!

Sunday was a bit... slow. I vegged out for the first couple of hours spending a bit of time with my son and, after I had taken him home, I crashed out in front of a DVD and woke up about four hours later not having realised I had fallen asleep!

So I figured that, on this occasion at least, discretion was the better part of valour and that it was probably best the leave the 12 miles...

I had a full 9 hours sleep on top of the massive kip and felt a lot better on Monday so after work I headed out for the run. I decided that, as the distance wasn’t far off a half marathon, I would use the run as a pre-half marathon test for a gel. I used one with caffeine in, as I had discussed with Ruth and... to be honest, it felt like rocket fuel!

Maybe it was, in part at least, psychological but I really could feel a real boost after taking it. As I was running 12 miles, I decided (rather scientifically, I thought) to take it after 4 miles so that it would give me a chance to see if it had an effect and then to also see how long that effect would last.

The first six miles were pretty steady and I felt pretty good throughout. I had felt a bit worried setting out, given the stomach bug, that I might crash and burn after a bit but that didn’t really transpire and I felt strong throughout. I did the first six miles in the following splits:

Mile 1 – 9:41

Mile 2 – 9:41

Mile 3 – 9:42

Mile 4 – 9:37

Mile 5 – 9:38

Mile 6 – 9:32 (whoops! Blame the caffeine gel for that...)

I then started on the build up six miles and, again, felt surprisingly strong, especially after my sleepy Sunday! The six miles went past quickly and I was pretty impressed with myself by the end. In terms of general fitness, I finished the twelve miles breathing easily and not really feeling like I had run that distance. Obviously, pace-wise, this was well below what I will be doing at the half marathon but, given that the last six miles were building to marathon pace, I was pleased that I found that pace fairly easy... After the week before, it was very encouraging and I ended the run feeling very good about my running.

I was supposed to build up to 9:05 pace but, feeling pretty good, I did go a little faster as it felt comfortable. I did the second six miles in the following splits:

Mile 7 – 9:16

Mile 8 – 9:11

Mile 9 – 9:08

Mile 10 – 8:49

Mile 11 – 8:55

Mile 12 – 8:54

All of the above meant I completed the 12 miles in a total time of 1hr 52mins 9secs and a total pace of 9:21.

It felt like a good session and the caffeine gel didn’t have any ill effects whatsoever. Good times

Glad no ill effects with gels but will need to ensure you can  take a couple each hour without any effects so on long runs keep trying these for the moment.

Glad to hear you are feeling much better!

31/01/2013 at 16:17

Hi Steve, love your report of training day  Do I take it you are after my job then? 

One of the first steps in improving your form is simply raising your awareness of what it is you are doing when you run. In my experience many people have no idea that they are, say, leaning forward, hunching shoulders, landing heavily or whtever. That's why I use a lot of video feedback in my coaching.

Great work on the long run. You've got a fun speed session lined up for tomorrow, and then an easy long run on Sunday - but the good news is that there's a cutback week, with no long run in week 8, in preparation for the half marathon in week 9. It's all about getting the right balance of hard work and recovery.

31/01/2013 at 23:21
Glad the training day went well after all your problems over the previous couple of weeks Steve. Still impressed with how well you're doing and the effort going into your training.

For those who want to know, the chilli jellies really are spicy and came from an awesome sweetshop in Keswick: www.friarsofkeswick.co.uk/. Gotta love the Lake District.

PS: just because I'm reading this Steve, doesn't mean you have to keep saying nice things about me, but thanks anyway.
02/02/2013 at 17:11
jenf wrote (see)

love the drawings! I kept them in mind today when my form was starting to go as I fatigued.

Good running Steve! 

Thanks Jen Still loving every minute! Glad you liked the drawings - been a while since I had the old pencils out lol

02/02/2013 at 17:14
Kandinsky wrote (see)
jenf wrote (see)

love the drawings! I kept them in mind today when my form was starting to go as I fatigued.

Good running Steve!

 

Ha ha ha, so did I, the thought of the hunchbacked, rosy cheeked sad face was all that was needed to get my head up and shoulders back during last nights intervals!!!

Sounds like a great coaching tool haha.

Sam says it is all about awareness of how you are running so I've been really concentrating on form - I'm almost imagining there's a bit of string coming out the top of my head and someone pulling it straight up to pull my head up, straighten my back and pull my hips forward to in line with the rest of me...

Plus, I'm checking myself out in loads of shop windows. Just following coaches orders...

02/02/2013 at 17:19
sarah asics pro team wrote (see)

Hi Steve, glad to hear you are feeling better it's good to run feeling strong again. How does the hamstring feel now you are back into no mention of it which is good. Keep up with the bridging which will help with your posture and fatigue.

Hi Sarah, yes, it's great to be feeling good when I'm out running again! The hamstring feels good thank you - I don't think it is 100% maybe but it is certainly very close and it is loads better than it was before!

Will do - have been lots of bridging and some core work so we'll see how that goes...

02/02/2013 at 17:21
RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)
Glad no ill effects with gels but will need to ensure you can  take a couple each hour without any effects so on long runs keep trying these for the moment.

Glad to hear you are feeling much better!

Hi Ruth, thanks for all your advice!

Ok, I have a 14 mile run tomorrow so I'll make sure I take a few and see how I cope with a few. But a good start nonetheless. Maybe it was psychological but it really did seem to give me a boost when I took it.

02/02/2013 at 17:26
SamMurphyRuns wrote (see)

Hi Steve, love your report of training day  Do I take it you are after my job then? 

One of the first steps in improving your form is simply raising your awareness of what it is you are doing when you run. In my experience many people have no idea that they are, say, leaning forward, hunching shoulders, landing heavily or whtever. That's why I use a lot of video feedback in my coaching.

Great work on the long run. You've got a fun speed session lined up for tomorrow, and then an easy long run on Sunday - but the good news is that there's a cutback week, with no long run in week 8, in preparation for the half marathon in week 9. It's all about getting the right balance of hard work and recovery.

Haha I'd love your job - your job is all kinds of awesome

Yes, definitely - now I am concentrating on my form so much more, it's amazing how much I lose form and have to correct it! Makes me wonder how I used to run any kind of distance at all...!

Thanks - run report on the speed session to follow... I may have gone a bit quick on one or two of the intervals... but I'm sure that doesn't surprise you...

02/02/2013 at 17:29
Ijon Tichy wrote (see)
Glad the training day went well after all your problems over the previous couple of weeks Steve. Still impressed with how well you're doing and the effort going into your training.

For those who want to know, the chilli jellies really are spicy and came from an awesome sweetshop in Keswick: www.friarsofkeswick.co.uk/. Gotta love the Lake District.

PS: just because I'm reading this Steve, doesn't mean you have to keep saying nice things about me, but thanks anyway.

Thanks, it has been really enjoyable, which helps! Does take over your life a bit though...

Thanks for sharing the website - I knew you'd bought them in the Lake District but not from where exactly!

Haha you got up at 5am to drive me to the train station - that deserves more than a few nice comments! Really did help and appreciated it loads...

02/02/2013 at 17:59

Training - Week 7

Wednesday - 6 MILES FAST (1 MILE EASY, 4 MILES HALF MARA GOAL PACE - 8M/M - 1 MILE EASY

After training day 1, Sam had suggested amending the run on the plan and do a few miles at goal half marathon pace. The Dorney Lake Half Marathon is in a couple of weeks and the aim is for me to run it in 1hr 45mins... This would be a new PB by 7minutes!! So Sam is obviously feeling confident about how my training is going...

I am feeling great and feeling that the training has got off to a flying start, but I am a little nervous about whether I can keep up 8 m/m for a whole half marathon. Still, there is only one way to find out and I will give it a bloody good go and we'll see where we are come the finish line!

The speed work and the 5k race have gone so well but I know that they really are my strengths so it will be interesting to see how much progress has been made on the longer runs - I found the last 12 mile run pretty good. The one before was seriously tough... but then half of that was through a country park very aptly named Langdon Hills and all of it was through a shed load of snow... so tomorrow's 14 miles will be telling, I think.

Anyway, back to the point and Wednesday's run.

It was seriously, seriously windy out and that made the run very hard work. I stuck to the required paces but, to be honest, at times it was fairly easy going and I felt good and at other times when I was running headlong into the wind it was seriously tough to even move forward. I'm not exagerrating there - the wind was blowing so hard that to even stick to 8 minute miles felt seriously tough...

So, in terms of what the session was supposed to achieve, I don't think it was that effective given the massive difference in levels of efforts needed at various times to even stay close to a consistent pace. By the end of the four miles at half mara pace I genuinely felt shattered - it really was hard! But anyway, it was more miles in the legs.

If the weather is anything like that at Dorney Lake, you can forget the PB!!

Mile 1 - 8:31 (target: 8:40 - 9:30)

Mile 2 - 8:06 (target: 8:00)

Mile 3 - 7:56 (target: 8:00)

Mile 4 - 7:54 (target: 8:00)

Mile 5 - 7:59 (target: 8:00)

Mile 6 - 8:45 (target: 8:40 - 9:30)

Total: 6 miles in 51:32, meaning an overall pace of 8:13m/m

02/02/2013 at 18:24

Training - Week 7

Friday - 1 MILE COMFORTABLE then 3x ACCELERATION STRIDES then REPS then 1 MILE COMFORTABLE

The reps consisted of:

1x 800M IN 3:16 - 3:24

3 min recovery jog

2x 600M IN 2:20 - 2:26

2.5 min recover jog after each

2x 400M IN 94 - 98 SECS

2 min recovery jog after each

 

Well, needless to say and suprising nobody here I'm sure, I really enjoyed this session!

I did it at the track and had Jack along to cheer me on and take a couple of pictures... He seemed to really enjoy himself. He also wants us to do a parkrun together so I'm so happy that he seems to be getting an interest in running! Dream come true for me

I thought I'd rock the cool new tee-shirt we were given at training day:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCCyzWZCUAALX0r.jpg:large

 

The tee-shirts also have our web addresses on them so I thought I'd do a bit of advertising whilst piling round the track...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCCzhXICcAAc0Ek.jpg:large

 

We got to the track and, horror of horrors, someone else actually had the cheek to be out on the track as well! How dare they?? I was so used to having the whole track to myself...

Anyway, I got through the 1 mile comfortable (8:40 - 9:30m/m) fine, clocking in at 8:47.

The acceleration strides were also fine - and my offical photographer took a snap or two:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCDc9PhCAAEkGVf.jpg:large

 

On to the intervals. The first 800m was a little strange as I wasn't 100% sure at exactly what pcae to run at to achieve the time required, so I was constantly doing maths in my head the whole way round, working out what sort of times I should be hitting through every couple of hundred metres. The goal was to do the 800m in 3:16 - 3:24 and I thought I was on course to go ten seconds or so faster but I realised I must have miscalculated a little and had to speed up in the final 100m and went over the line in 3:23.

 

After the recovery jog, I started on the 600m reps, which I think was when this snap was taken:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCDcvznCIAA-UNm.jpg:large

 Still that striking ressemblance to the walk out of "Is This The Way to Amarillo?"

 

The 600m reps felt good. The aim was to do them in 2:20 - 2:26 and I comfortably went a bit faster. I did the first in 2:10 and the second, after the recovery jog, in 2:07.

Another recovery jog, and then on to the 400m reps. The other guy was still on track and he just going around and around and around at the same pace - as a consequence I kept flying past him at some considerable speed, then slowing down and him overtaking me again, before I would fly past him once more... It gave me someone to aim at each time I did a rep, at least!

The 400m goal was between 94 and 98 seconds... It may be apparent by this stage in my training that I do like a nice blast around a track and I think if I

...

Edited: 02/02/2013 at 18:24
02/02/2013 at 18:25

...

had actually have hit between 94 and 98 seconds, I would probably actually have been a little disappointed!

So, it won't surprise you, I'm sure, to learn that I did push myself and exceed the target time just a little. I did the first 400m in 89 seconds and, recovery done, steamed into the second 400m. I felt great and, although I was breathing hard, I did feel strong and, although I didn't chuck in 100% effort, I did give it a fair whack and fairly flew around in a rather pleasing 78 seconds... Quite chuffed with that

02/02/2013 at 18:28

We also had a little pay around with an app on my phone called "Cartoon Camera"

Here are the results!

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCDdJxPCMAEp8uD.jpg:large

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCDdUjBCQAA9QHa.jpg:large

 

02/02/2013 at 18:31

I know what you mean about the wind Steve, It gets really gusty here on the coast path where I run and I can only run a negative split if I've chosen the right way to run first.

I did my new local parkrun again today, really enjoyed it n got a new PB  I was inspired by the runner in front...he was pushing a buggy! I was determined not to let him get away! 

02/02/2013 at 18:31

I also had my BUPA fitness assessment today - I will give you the full report on how it went tomorrow when I've done the 14 miler - reckon I've posted enough on here for one evening!

Je vous verrai demain.

03/02/2013 at 09:15
jenf wrote (see)

I know what you mean about the wind Steve, It gets really gusty here on the coast path where I run and I can only run a negative split if I've chosen the right way to run first.

I did my new local parkrun again today, really enjoyed it n got a new PB  I was inspired by the runner in front...he was pushing a buggy! I was determined not to let him get away! 

Haha yeah, when it was behind me it was amazing! I don't think I was doing any work at all!

Glad you enjoyed the parkrun - they are a fantasic idea, aren't they? Planning on doing lots more in the future! Hehe I did exactly the same thing with a guy with a labrador on mine - worked a treat

03/02/2013 at 18:04

Steve, has Sarah recommended a foam roller to you yet? if so what do you think if it?  

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