The Middle Ground

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18/02/2013 at 13:47

Sounds like a great weekends racing and training from everyone.

Phil - well done on finishing top V40 again. Reading on the amount of miles you run and training's obvious there is a lot of talent but a massive amount of hard work put into the training too! It's been an eye opener for me since joining the thread...

CB - well done on the 10k improvement from last year....and I have noted the amount of morning running you do as well. My partner thinks I don't do enough morning runs (apart from races) and this could be an area of improvement for me to work upon.

YD - some huge mileage from you there...and to balance that with family commitments with the flexibility and organisation required is very admirable.

BBB - well done on equalling your parkrun PB on Saturday...I also matched my parkrun PB on Saturday (for the Netley Abbey course). This is indeed very picturesque and worth a visit if ever down this way even just for an afternoon out...some lovely views across Southampton Water here.... 

Hope your 20 miler went ok Curly? I always enjoy my steady runs when feeling 'bouncey' and sometimes really have to reel the pace back when it's just meant to be one of those steady runs!

So the Netley Abbey parkrun on Saturday...It's not the fastest of courses as noted previously, although they had a different route this time with the drier weather. Three climbs rather than 6 as a result but long stretches across damp grass with trainers (rather than trail shoes) which made it slightly slippery in places allbeit manageable. Happy to have equalled my PB there of 20:04 and finish in 7th. Also getting to get a feel of other runners there now and there are one or two who I am looking to beat/get closer to over the months ahead - one of which pulled away on the last lap to finish a good 20 odd seconds ahead of me (a case of a slightly slower last mile or so but fastest more likely for him).

Ran a total of almost 36 miles last week. Was planning an easy 5 last night but decided against it after two inline hockey matches yesterday afternoon which really do take it out on my legs and energy levels. Also felt like I had slightly bruised hip after a collision in the first match - I think this is very minor though and will be unlikely to affect my training. Looking to consolidate on the increased mileage I have been running recently this week.

Edited: 18/02/2013 at 13:51
18/02/2013 at 13:51

Training for me this last week has been decent - 26M overall over 6 days, including a 70 minute long run Thursday.

Topped it off with 20*200 (yep) w/60s standing rec yesterday, which I averaged 32.9 for, with the fastest being the final rep at 29.4. Despite the volume this didn't actually feel that hard of a session.

18/02/2013 at 13:58
The Duckinator wrote (see)

Anyone remember me?

I do.

18/02/2013 at 14:04


Nice, Phil!

Glad I'm not a Ranelagh Harrier lady!

CB:  I was thinking about your training the other day after you posted your 5 x a mile off one miniute, or whatever it was! That is a hard session on your own, but I feel that if you are trying to improve your 10k time  you need sessions that are faster than your 10k pace. I would be looking at something like 4 x 1k in 4mins with 2 mins recovery. The other sessions that I would suggest are fartlek work, or 200s, approximately: both of these will get your legs turning over more quickly. The "200" session that I have in mind is actually on a gentle hill, ideally: 8 x 45 seconds with 90 seconds recovery, initially, building over time to 12 x 45 seconds. These are run at a pace where you "just" manage to finish the session! Not sure that I would recommend these at 5.30 in the morning! Or 6.30!

Still feeling bruised, but generally feeling much better than I expected. Off for a walk shortly: how far will simply depend on how I feel. Thanks for the thoughts!

is anyone doing the National Cross Country?

18/02/2013 at 14:04

WJH, take it easy with the road sprints. Starting to do them without some faster, progressive-like strides first may increase injury risk.


Will certainly not push it has hard with the quality this week Duck...will see how I am feeling tomorrow before planning anything too strenuous on the legs. Perhaps 3/4 mile reps at 10k pace rather than anything faster if I am feeling ok at my club (there is always a warm up/warm down). All depends upon the slightly bruised hip too! Other than that I am not looking to parkrun this coming weekend and will be aiming to run a long threshold run a week Tuesday - a session I have tended to find works well prior to my previous two half marathons last year (have the Llanelli half coming up a week Sunday). My mileage for the rest of the month is likely to be mostly steady.

Sounds like things are going well for you training wise for you too! That sounds like a very tough session even if it didn't feel that hard...

18/02/2013 at 19:12

Thanks for the comments everyone.

WJH the early morning runs are a consequence of squeezing things in when I can with a demanding (unless you listen to the Daily Mail!) job, a hefty commute, a dog and a toddler!

Alehouse - I try to get in 2 quality sessions a week. One will be faster than 10k pace, and the other will be tempo based - 10k to MP. I'm struggling to get the speed in either! Mind you, looking back at last year's training the fastest mile I managed in a tempo run was slower than the pace I set at Trafford, so I'm not going to worry too much, keep putting the effort in and hoping it'll come good in the end. Ive noted your sessions though, and will try to squeeze them in. I've got a 10 mile race this weekend so that should be a good tempo effort!

Waiting to get monkey into bed so I can wash up then get out for another 4 miles.

18/02/2013 at 21:26

Curly – Congrats on the club captaincy. 

Phil and YD – Thanks. Easy long-ish run on Saturday it is then. Whilst I’ll keep the basic structure in mind for the next couple of weeks, will try to be flexible with it depending on how I’m feeling day-to-day. Will then look to build the long run up to 10 miles in the month or so following the 10k, though still feels a bit odd even contemplating that with my background! 

Duck – I played the classic British ‘holy trinity’ of sports at school (cricket, rugby, football) and have been ‘into’ most sports throughout my life, both participating and spectating, though with the balance unhelpfully towards the latter since 1994 when I ripped a quad playing football, the doctor wouldn’t refer me, and I couldn’t at the time afford to have it treated privately. It’s still not right now, I wouldn’t be able to cope with the twisting and turning of football for instance, but after getting increasingly lardy for a few years got back into playing cricket aged 27 in 1998. This gave me the motivation to get and keep a bit fitter, particularly as my cricket progressed, and I briefly ended up playing one level shy of Premier league standard in 2011. I lost my place in the 1st XI that season though after a couple of dodgy innings, and some repeatedly abject fielding displays (too old, not fit enough!) and returned to my local club last season, where the miserable weather and the lack of motivation of playing 2nd XI cricket saw me slip towards 14 stone. Snapped myself out of it in the immediate aftermath of the Olympics (perhaps it had an influence) and with a combination of exercise bike in the loft and the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting diet some may have read about, lost over 2 stone in the next 3 months, and then stumbled into running almost by accident in mid-November. As well as the knackered quad I’ve also got shonky knees (bit of a mess really!), but the weight loss has taken the strain off all my joints and I found that for the first time in my life running is both largely pain free and just as importantly enjoyable! Thanks for the advice as well, and yes, will try to concentrate on building up more slow miles after my race in a couple of weeks. How the cricket and running end up dovetailing, we’ll have to wait and see though…might depend on whether I can win a 1st XI place back! Good training from you again – 20*200?! Madman. 

WJH – Congrats too on equalling your Parkrun PB, sounds like a good run. I’ve found it very motivating to target specific fellow runners at Parkrun as my times have progressed over the weeks. Will keep the Netley Abbey site in mind next time we’re holidaying in that direction as we do from time to time. Hope the hip doesn’t hamper your running week.

18/02/2013 at 22:09

BBB - how did you find the 5:2 diet? Heard about it but not from first hand experience. 

Interesting background of sport there! I originally planned 16*200 but felt good so did a few more  considering my 800 pb has average 200 splits of 32.4, I'm very confident I can really knock chunks off my pb this year.

WJH - it's good to regularly do the same parkrun as it's good to see progress if you're ahead/behind other runners etc. I've gotten to the point where I can normally predict where I'll finish with good accuracy after the first 2-300m. Unfortunately I also know it's a bit thin in the 18'00 range!

If you're planning long threshold workout Tuesday then something like 1200s as the second workout would be good. You could start just slower than 10kp and finish off around 5kp - say 5*1200 going 10k-10k-8k-5kp would give race pace/intensity work and quicker running too. 

Thinking about entering the Garioch 5k in April. Winning time last year was mid-17s so a bit of pot-hunting for top 3 may be in order if I can drag myself around 

19/02/2013 at 09:08

Right, so, working back.

Race of the thread, Duck, I would go for the interest of Simon vs. PP on video, or the sheer virtual thrill of Simon vs Duck and that last 50m...

PP, I find it thoroughly intriguing to chart the ballooning of your talent in line with the ever growing quantity and quality of your training!

Hilly, I did wonder where you were in the last few pages, but technical difficulties keeping you off?  Probably those Nike ads.  And where is BR?  It's Spring marathon season and we need the hand to steady the ship!

Chubby, don't you do a faster session than 5kP?  Are you getting at least strides in there somewhere?

WJH, always improving!  BBB, hi!

alehouse, it's good to read of your progression.  MrV, are you in the niggles at the moment?

Stevie, nice half!

YD, looks like you're going with the plan I had, not just in the sessions.  Conservative in the head, well-trained in the legs.  Always remember it will be a PB as long as you finish!  After that you'll know where to improve.

Like prf, I had an enforced consolidation week last week, living out of a hotel in Moscow.  Treadmill was available and used a few times but my legs were feeling the efforts of the last few weeks so a down week was probably wise.  Probably not wise to go quite as far down as I went!  This weekend was a bit of a rough one, so the first proper run for a while was last night.  I think it was about 10, I know it was eighty mins.  I'll map it in a mo.

Best thing about the run last night was the new Saucony Kinvara 3's that I treated myself to yesterday.  Putting them on for the first time was like pulling on kidskin gloves. I felt like I was floating in them!  Only downside?  Blue.  They didn't have the red in my size.  So I'll order in the red pair for the big day.  I might post a pic of my old trainers - K-Swiss that I bought to run in the last mara...

19/02/2013 at 09:57

Monster 200 session Duck.

Ratzer wrote (see)

Chubby, don't you do a faster session than 5kP?  Are you getting at least strides in there somewhere?

 Have done some 2:30 reps and 200s so far this year. And some strides occasionally. When I said faster than 10k pace, I meant aiming for 5k or faster, depending on the session. Thinking of 200s tonight, probably not as many (or as fast) as Duck though!

19/02/2013 at 15:21

Ratzer, good to see someone going for the Kinvara after I've been harping on about it for months  really comfy aren't they? One thing you may find is the sole is a bit soft so they look like they're wearing out quite quickly - regardless of footstrike - however I was assured it's only cosmetic. I'll reserve judgement for another 6 months!

cb, all relative to the person at hand  if you're looking at 200s purely for speed development, do 6-8 and make them feel like you're giving them a good stride out without straining. Fast and relaxed is the name of the game!

5*600 (3'00 rec) today - distances approaching the point where I start to drop off a bit, so never a session that's easy. 1'50.1, 1'49.2, 1'46.9, 1'46.7, 1'46.3 for 4:49/m avg. Aerobically a challenging workout but not tying up at all, thanks to the longer than usual recoveries. Job done. 

Also if anyone has time to kill today, check out the 5000m WR video on youtube. They they're pushing it from the word go - insane!

Edited: 19/02/2013 at 15:23
19/02/2013 at 15:28
PhilPub wrote (see)

*Some time over the past few days, the website prize list entry for First V40 Male changed from a trophy to £30 Sweatshop voucher.  Curious!  I await postal delivery with baited breath...

Unexpected bonus eh!

Had similar myself. I completely didn't realise, but my lot won the team prize at the Wokingham half. Pretty good result with some of the quality clubs that are often involved.

Turns out we get an individual trophy, AND a voucher. Also, there's a presentation in April, so I didn't just miss it after the race luckily.

Got the voucher this week...expecting £10. Was £50! Behave


Are the Yorkshire 3, P-Brilly alright? Haven't seen much from them for a while

19/02/2013 at 15:37

Duck - 5:2 worked a treat for me. I'd have dismissed it as a fad diet had I not looked into it in a bit of detail. I saw the Horizon documentary that Michael Mosley made about fasting, and that was what got me interested. I'd also seen another documentary of his about exercise, and how you could get some of the training benefits of more conventional exercise off just a few minutes of high intensity training per week, and actually started doing both things at the same time. As well as changing my attitude to food, between them they gave me so much more energy and motivation that I was soon introducing longer sessions on the bike as well as the HIT...and ultimately of course the running. I'd like to get back into doing the 5:2 perhaps as a 6:1 at some point for the other apparent benefits, but have had to abandon it for the time being since I upped my running mileage as I don't want to drop any more weight (over 6' 1", just over 11 and a half stone, and bought my first 30" waist jeans as an adult at the weekend), and also obviously want to make sure I'm properly nourished and refuelling after my runs. Whatever some think of the 5:2 plan, and I completely understand the scepticism, there's no doubt that I wouldn't be running now if I'd not had a few months at the 5:2.

Ratzer - Hello!

19/02/2013 at 15:41

CB:  Is your 10 at Radcliffe?

Prizes: I would have hoped that Phil would have won more than £30 for first vet at a race like Brighton half. After all there will have been about 8000 entries at £25+ a time from what I remember. I know we are not in it for the prizes, but I think that there should be a decent recognition of achievement at the sharp end. Was there a team race?

First  decent walk here post op: 4.5k hilly, muddy and sunny. Hopefully try a short run later in the week.

19/02/2013 at 16:27

Captain Curly - That's got a great ring to it!  Nicely done.

Duck - Those 600 paces look pretty good to me considering you've been complaining about aerobic fitness lately.  I'll save the 5,000m for later; I watched a video of the 3,000m WR recently and it knackered me out!

BBB - I wouldn't knock the 5:2 diet if it works for someone. I suppose you might want to consider whether it's compatible with a heavy training load, although I suppose you could coincide fast days with rest/easy days.  I just like my food too much and I think I've got it all under control.  Having a bar of Lindt Excellence 70% chocolate in my desk drawer and making it last a week is clear indication that my will power is top-notch! 

SG - Nice one!  I wish I'd been in our team's triumphant London Marathon team last year, the medals kept on coming!  Besides coming 2nd in the UKA championships, it was officially also the EA champs (UKA/EA still confuses me) and the Southern champs.  If it all goes to plan this year, I could be the slowest member of a rather nippy team!

alehouse - Team prize... it's only just occurred to me that this is a very pertinent question.  We only found out a few days before the race that a newish and fast improving club member was doing it; he ended up smashing 3 minutes off his PB with 1:16:00!!  By my reckoning, if there was a 3 to score comp (1:12, 1:14, 1:16) we would've won it.  Unfortunately, no mention of a team prize on the website.  I might have a word anyway.  The spread of prizes is a little odd, I'd have to say.  Compared to my £30 voucher, the winner of the youth race, age 7-10 category got a £65 voucher and a trophy, and £50 for the school towards sports equipment.  Ah well, I should be pleased that they're encouraging our younger folk into the sport.  (Harrumph!)

Not sure what I'll be getting up to at the track this evening.  The B group is supposed to be splitting into the faster/slower groups but the way my calves are feeling (not too bad actually, but definitely still got a HM in them) I'm not sure I want to be hanging off the back of the fast group, so may join in for a pyramid session to loosen things up a bit.

Edited: 19/02/2013 at 16:28
19/02/2013 at 16:48

Phil - Yes, that was exactly what I was doing for a while. Had no particular reason to assume that it was doing any harm, but maintaining weight was becoming more difficult and decided combining the 5:2 along with the increased mileage was too many variables to be chucking at my body at once. I'm the same as you now with food. Ended up chucking some fudge that I'd had in my desk drawer at work for several weeks as it had gone out of date. I think that's one thing the 5:2 really educated me on - looking for nutrition in food. You need to when you've only got 5-600 calories per day to play with! I still enjoy the odd treat, and my diet wasn't that bad even beforehand, but I just don't go seeking out the crap food choices when I'm tired or hungry as I would have done in the past now.

Easy 4 or 5 miles for me when I get home this evening. Looking forward to it.


Edited: 19/02/2013 at 16:48
19/02/2013 at 20:28

Alehouse - Yes. Any pointers on what to expect?

19/02/2013 at 21:30

CB: one of the Uni guys wrote the following to the rest of their cross country club the other day...
"There's a 10 mile multi-terrain race in Radcliffe (North Manchester) on Sunday. 4 or 5 of us did it last year and it was a pretty good race. Its a relatively slow course and not a very high standard (I managed to win it in 57 minutes last year, the women's race was won in about 67) but almost 300 people do it and its a good opportunity to get a 10-miler under your belt.  It says multi-terrain but I just about got away with wearing racing flats last year. There's a few little hills and some muddy patches but bits on road/paths as well and it finishes on a track."
Hope that helps!

19/02/2013 at 21:39

Thanks Alehouse. It sounds like a good workout without being too nasty!

19/02/2013 at 21:54

CB:  I would say that Radcliffe is about 3 minutes or so slower than a flat road 10 miler. As you say, it should be a good workout and one way to get in a decent quality long Sunday run.

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