The Middle Ground

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04/07/2013 at 23:36

Right - 5 miler tonight, and finally I agree with the distance!

22C of uncomfortable heat though and thus I hydrated myself far more than I have done for any previous race. Decided carrying the extra fluid was less risky than blowing up from dehydration. Still found it really tough going in the third quarter or so of the race, but think it was the right decision.

Target was 33:30 or thereabouts, though that was before I knew how warm it was going to be, but after previous disappointments in this series, decided to stick with it, and pace myself at the necessary 6:42 pace. Felt good in the first mile for 6:40, and got into a decent recent rhythm with the now familiar faces I've raced alongside for much of this series. A couple of climbs in mile 2 knocked this back to 6:47, and was hanging on a bit by the end of the 3rd mile in 6:46. Was happy that any passing going on was almost exclusively me on others rather than vice-versa however, and whilst both the pace and the heat hurt me in some further inclines in the 4th mile, I only dropped out to 6:53. The target nevertheless was slipping through my fingers by this point, so used a down slope close to the beginning of the 5th mile to start turning the legs over more quickly once again, and steeled myself to keep them going at that pace once back on the flat. Was chuffed to find I was able to do it despite the pain, and was regularly picking off those in front of me at this point. One or two tried to come back at me, but I resisted their efforts, and pulled out a 6:20 final mile! 10 seconds at 4:52 pace to get to the line in 33:34.

Despite the conditions a 33 second 5 mile PB, with that mark only being set 5 weeks ago at the end of May. Very, very satisfied with this. 22C has got to be worth at least a few seconds more in cooler conditions? WAVA rating of 68.27% according to Mr Grubb, and pleased to finally pull something out of the series that reflects where I felt I was going into it.

4 races, 3 recovery runs, an easy run, a game of cricket and a hot afternoon in the garden in the last 9 days - it's fair to say I am absolutely buggered and ready for a rest!

Edited: 04/07/2013 at 23:44
05/07/2013 at 06:22


Apologies on lack of time to comment. I start posting fully when I've got time to breathe!

Sale Sizzler 5k last night. Given lack of running for the last few weeks I was happy with 21:33, 8 secs off season's best. Just need some consistency now!

Happy running in the sun everyone

05/07/2013 at 09:29

More speedy stuff from Simon!

DT - huge congratulations! Busy times ahead but all worth it. Well done with that pyramid session ... love those but not at that stage yet.

Bob ... cracking 5M race and report.

Chubby ... nice race - you'll back once that marking is done!

I've had two days consisting of 10M bike and 5.5M easy running ... today is a sub-LT session at lunchtime, although the heat may make that difficult.

Edited: 05/07/2013 at 09:30
05/07/2013 at 22:08

Nice one last night, CB. Didn't spot you: was rather busy. Spent most of the race shouting "mind the speed bump, mind the speed bump": must record that at some point and just press the button! Off to Abney 5k in the morning to watch one of my runners who is up from London for the weekend.

05/07/2013 at 22:39

I didn't see you Alehouse, but I heard you! I've shaved my beard off now if that helps with CB spotting next time! I may even get organised to get a number in advance!

I miss the Abney races, but I'm limited to Delamere on a Saturday morning as I have babysitters 5 minutes away from it! Have fun in the sunshine.

06/07/2013 at 19:43

DT, if your HR was right down you shouldn't have been experiencing lactic. Many congrats on the baby. Have you been looing at running buggies yet?

Nice to see you racing a distance you were actually scheduled to run, Bob. Excellent PB in tough conditions.

Well done on the SB, CB.

Dan, how much does the heat affect your HR. I usually find the first week or two of it being hot really pushes it up, and then I acclimatise and it's back to normal - at least for runs of about 5 miles or less.

07/07/2013 at 16:02

Thanks guys, its all been fairly relaxed so far. Wife is breastfeeding so she sees there being no point me being disturbed at night as nothing I can do, so a bit of a winner so far! I have not looked at running buggies, may do so though for my wife as she will want to get back at it in about 8 weeks.

Bob- great news on the pb!

Looking at the weather for Wednesday night its forecast to be 23c, so by 7.30 hopefully a bit cooler, so not terrible.

I did an easy 5.5 miles Friday, rest day yesterday, then went out in the sun at 11 and did a steady 10 miles this morning which zapped me. I did what Simon suggested and threw in 4 x 2 minutes at 5k pace. Spread it out so I did it every 2 miles. Very easy 8 miles in the morning then rest ready for wed night. Last two runs now, I have felt really good and had to keep checking my pace and slowing.

Lower leg pain seems at this moment to have completely disappeared. I have been doing a basic exercise from a sports physio. Basically I just stand on one leg on a cushion 3 times a day for 1 min a leg each time. He said a lot of runners have issues with lower legs as they don't improve like quads etc just by running.

08/07/2013 at 09:33

Morning All,

Quiet times on the MG - everyone outside lapping out the sunshine? 

Good run at the Sizzler, CB. Appropriately named for once presumably...? 

Dr D with the Alehouse prescibed consistent consistency - how did the sub-LT session go?

DT - Breastfeeding - us blokes an easier time of it with the newborns since time immemorial! Was a bit of a shock to the system when the time came though, and got told, 'right, I'm not breastfeeding any more, you can take your turn with the early mornings!' You're right re: Wednesday too - looks set to be the coolest day of the week, so ideal for you! Just explain that lower leg exercise again BTW - do you really just stand on the one leg on the cushion and not do anything else?!

Quiet few days on the running front for me - have earned a bit of a rest after the last couple of weeks I reckon! 3 mile recovery run on Friday, despite the heat a not too taxing (dismissed for 1  ) game of cricket on Saturday, and then complete rest yesterday apart from a mow of the lawn. Another rest day tomorrow as am off to see The Duckworth Lewis Method with a pal, but will turn a club run into a long one tonight, by running down there and back (4 mile round trip) and looking for 6 miles or so at 8:00 to 8:30 pace with them for around 10 altogether. Will probably make use of the cooler evening on Wednesday myself and have another bash at Simon's 800m intervals session. Probably ought to be looking at a tempo session really, but there's a club 'lake hadicap' next Monday which is the 3 miles or so circuit of the Holme Pierrepont rowing lake, so will tempo that rather than blast it, as I then have my first Summer League race for them at Worksop on the Wednesday night.

Final results from the GP series have been a little slow to emerge, but as suspected with the number of runners I was passing in that last mile had my best result in the closing 5 miler with 53rd of 289, and have since realised that a bloke I piled into the back of as I ran through the line and he didn't was my new club's captain! Still waiting for the collated results, but hopefully that should bump me up into the top 45 or so for the series overall. RB handicap also now down to 8.6 having been 19.0 on the 1st Jan. 

08/07/2013 at 13:58

Not a lot going on here just some steady mileage mostly last week...just over 35 miles for the week and hoping to increase this over the coming months. But not after a scheduled week or so of downtime and perhaps some swimming, etc! Running might be a little compromised this week a job interview next Monday (4th in 4 months).

Great race yet again Bob - in fact that is remarkably similar to a 5 miler I raced last summer...6 months into my comeback after a year of little running I ran the Hayling Billy 5 in mile splits on memory were 6:42 to 6:47 and remember being very pleased at how I paced this on the day! More to come yet on the evidence of recent months...and when temperatures are more suited for maximising a performance too. Must be good to relax for a few days given the weather too! And enjoy tomorrow - looks interesting!

Nice Sale Sizzler time there CB! Maybe there will be another 5k PB by the end of the summer?

Congrats on the new addition DT! And some good continued recent training from you too.

Good sessions Duck and Simon.

Probably an easy/steady tready session for me tonight as got a few things going on and and will probably end up the best bet for me to squeeze any training in!

Edited: 08/07/2013 at 17:22
09/07/2013 at 10:20

DT, good news on the leg. I'm interested in exactly what that exercise is too. Sounds like it'd be more of a core exercise than anything else.

Great improvement on the handicap, Bob.

Busy night last night. Main race was the 800. Not a particularly interesting tale: I led the race from the start and stayed there until the finish to win in 2:08.6 for a PB of 0.2 seconds.

Then had to do a 200m 15 minutes later. If you've never done an 800 then I should explain that 15 minutes is nothing: you're still breathing heavily and generally just feel sick, so I wasn't expecting much, but had a good race with another bloke who I'd just beaten in the 800 so was in the same boat as me. We were actually laughing as we went over the line because thanks to the 800 we'd both lost the ability to run in the last 30m and it was a case of who stumbled least. He got it by 0.1 seconds. My time was 27.6, which isn't bad considering. Shame I won't get a chance to do one fresh this year.

Then straight over the the high jump, which I'd never done before. Managed to clear a few, but just missed out on 1 metre 20 and had to settle for last place with 1.15 (WAVA of 49.97! )

Then a 4 x 200m relay to finish the night off. Very keen to do a 1500 now and get that 80% WAVA

09/07/2013 at 11:38

Simon - excellent 800m and a very busy event for you!! I'm off to catch my lad's sports day 800m in an hour or so. RE: HR and heat ... the heat doesn't have too much effect on me - I'm certainly okay on slow runs but I guess it's bound to go up with the faster runs.

Bob... you asked about the sub-LT sessions. I did two this week, each run 7.55 miles with 6.25 at subLT (6 laps of the park). 83% is 145 bpm ... struggled to keep HR down on the 2nd run, most probably due to the heat, but I held the pace well. On Tuesday I held the HR and the pace drifted.

Thursday's session

1, 7:24/m, 135 bpm
2, 7:17/m, 143 bpm
3, 7:33/m, 142 bpm
4, 7:29/m, 146 bpm
5, 7:33/m, 146 bpm
6, 7:35/m, 148 bpm
6.24 miles at subLT ... 7:29/m 82% maxHR

Tuesday's session is here...

1, 7:15/m, 140 bpm
2, 7:31/m, 143 bpm
3, 7:26/m, 144bpm
4, 7:37/m, 144bpm
5, 7:36/m, 144bpm
6, 7:44/m, 144bpm
6.24M at 7:32/m 82% maxHR

I plan to extend these out to 10M, so will cut back to 1 per week for now as I'm also pushing out my LSR distance.

45 miles last week, with the two sub-LTs above and also a 13.2M hilly LSR (and 50 commuting miles on the bike). Getting there...


09/07/2013 at 14:11

Nice 800 Simon, leading from start to finish is not easy! What're your splits looking like for 800s these days?

200s after something else are hilarious. I did one last year about 15 minutes after a 400m and basically walked over the line. It was bad enough that I was 1.8s slower than the next runner. 

DT, congratulations on becoming a father 

Nice race Bob, and good to have an accurate course!!

I've had 2 good sessions since I last posted. Sunday was split 800s (similar to Thursday's session but twice the distance). Did 2*400 (60s rec) then 500/300 (60s rec).

2*400 went 59.3, 62.6 for 2:01.9 overall

500/300 went 77.1, 48.7 for 2:05.8 overall

Average them out and you get 2:03.85. I'd take that right now.

Then today the track was closed for maintenance so did a longer endurance type session on the road to keep that topped up. Ran on a quiet section which is roughly 600m, give or take, 5 reps w/ 60s rec. Won't post times as it's not going to mean much (they were all ~1:50 in duration), but average pace for each was 5:39/m, 5:08/m, 5:08/m, 5:02/m, 5:08/m for 5:13/m average. Could have done one more I reckon if I had dug really deep. Looking forward to the 3k winter series now!

Edited: 09/07/2013 at 14:18
10/07/2013 at 15:02

Nice training and racing everyone.

My recent training has been a bit hit and miss with an ongoing hamstring niggle and the heat limiting what I’ve done. On that note I had a DNF at a 5 mile race last night. I could have continued but my hamstring was seizing up and it wasn’t worth risking it. Shame as despite it being roasting hot I was running fairly well and hit halfway in 14:25ish. At least I’m in pretty decent shape at the moment and if I can shift the niggle and get some decent quality sessions in I’m reasonably hopeful of a fruitful autumn.

10/07/2013 at 17:29

Dan, do you not get bored of laps?

Duck, it looks like you're on for a really decent 800. It'll be interesting to see what you can knock out.

I've done four this year and splits have been: 61/67, 63/67, 62/66, 63/65. I think I would have run slightly faster had I gone through in 62 instead of 63 the other night: I deliberately eased up but didn't feel like I'd really saved anythingby doing so. I also think if I can get in a decent race (i.e. not front-running) I could knock 1-1.5 seconds off.

Sorry to hear about the DNF, Mr V. Wise not to risk prolonged injury, but as you say looking in pretty good shape.

2 x 1k in 2:55 with 8' recovery for me today. Still tired from Monday's racing and a bit of wind meant I missed the targets and hit 2:56 and 2:58. Moderately confident of being able to hit about 4:23 off that.

10/07/2013 at 22:33

Simon/Bob- Re the injury in the lower leg- try it, you really can fel the lower leg being worked. Ultimately my leg is ten fold better and there are two variations from routine The first is I have not been in work so not wearing work shoes, the second is, the standing on one leg on a cushion.

Race tonight did not even deliver my C target of sub 41. Not sure on official time but watch said 41.07. Course was hillier than I expected, particularly 2nd half. Went through 5k at 19.25. Not quite sure on how much the heat was to blame as well. I will need to see the vsss figure on RB before I start blaming conditions! Feel quite disappointed as all indicators from training suggested I was progressing and had over 48 hours rest and was home all day to hydrate and eat properly. Well at least I have another 10k sunday to try and restore faith!

11/07/2013 at 10:42

Morning all. Another essay - think I'll have to split this post. 

Good luck with the interview, WJH. Hope you get some joy this time. And yes, similar 5 milers in terms of time from us there, but your pacing last year was far more consistent than my all over t'shop effort!

Excellent night's racing and leaping, Simon. Great effort on the 800m PB , particularly having to lead it out yourself, and well hung on with the 200m hot on its heels. Sounds unpleasant but at least a 200 is all over quickly I suppose. High jumps though...wouldn't even know where to begin with those fellas! Speedy 1k reps since too - confident of 4:23 in a 1500m off those I'm assuming? Sounds good.

Good mix of sessions there, Dr D. I really ought to get on to making use of my HR monitor, but never seem to find the right time for a max HR test to make it meaningful. Have I read it right that LT threshold is thought to be around 85% to 90% of max-HR, and thus why you were trying to keep your HR down to around 82% of maximum? Are you avoiding straying into LT territory purely for injury avoidance purposes or is there a training effect you're targeting?

Some really tasty looking sessions again from Duck, there. Holding the pace really well in the road session - sheesh!

Commiserations on the DNF, Mr V. Sounds like the right decision, and plenty of consolation to bank away the knowledge that you were moving so well up to the halfway point. Hope the niggle clears soon and you get that strong autumn.

Ta for the clarification, DT - I will try those. My strengthening / core work has gone to pot recently with racing, cricket, more racing, a holiday, plenty of other socialising and then ensuring I squeeze some supporting easy mileage in around it all. My lower legs are definitely the part of me that feels the longer and faster runs more than anything else so could hopefully be of use. Shame about the 10k last night. Really thought you'd go well with what you've been doing recently. Perhaps it will turn out similar to the slightly disappointing 10k I had at the start of the recent GP series. Knew I was in better shape than my result suggested that night, but at least it seemed to click me into gear for the subsequent races. Good luck on Sunday.

11/07/2013 at 10:59

My 'gentle 10 miler' with the club on Monday didn't quite work out as planned, and very nearly turned into what would have been a damaging 14 miler with several miles at MP and a couple approaching HMP! The chap who was leading the group doing 6 miles at 8:30 to 8:45 pace insisted I was too quick for them, despite me assuring him that pace and distance was exactly what I was after, so I gave up in the end and ran with the club captain's quicker group - the guy I'd bundled into at the line last Thursday. That was a prescribed 8 miles at 8:00 pace, which would have been 12 miles in total with my 4+ mile round trip from home, but as per the above, was a good deal pacier than that. One guy then decided he didn't fancy going via what can apparently be a nettle filled route (fair enough!), so another 2 mile loop was added. I'd got no idea where we were by now so had no choice but to go with it, and suddenly the potential total mileage was heading upwards of 3 miles further than I've run before! Fortunately, we ended up passing not too far from home on the way back to the club, so I managed to divert off, keep it at an 11.2 miler for me and also stay in the good books of the wife who needed me back for babysitting purposes. Phew! Really enjoyed it though, and actually felt comfortable throughout the run despite the unexpected extra pace and distance, and was able to keep up almost constant conversation with the others despite the swifter paces which I took to be an encouraging sign of continued improvements in my fitness. The quicker miles covered off 'tempo' running for this week too I suppose!

Was then back last night to the half mile interval session I've adapted slightly from one Simon worked out for me a while back: -

5 x 0.5 mile with 0.15 mile recovery is how it's setup on the watch, or 5 x 805m with just over 240m recovery if you prefer metric - call it 5 x 800m! Anyway, point of the complication being that it all adds up to exactly 5k to make it simple to track improvements over time.

My aim is to progress this one primarily by cutting the recovery time rather than trying to 'beat' the 3:05 target time for the repeats, though did want to make at least the last one a bit quicker last night if I could. Splits came out at 3:05, 3:05, 3:04, 3:03 and 3:00 with an average of 1:31 walk / jog recovery and covered the 5k in a total of 21:21. I think my 5k PB of 20:57 is now in some serious need of revision! For further comparison, I completed last night's session about 40 seconds quicker overall than last time I ran it 4 weeks ago, and virtually all of that improvement was in quicker recoveries. Perceived effort was also dramatically reduced, and where I was hopeful of being able to complete another rep last time, I know I could have completed at least one more last night. Adding that further rep might be another way to progress this session in due course.

Might look at introducing some 600m intervals at a slightly quicker pace a bit later this month / early next, as regularly mixing up the quality runs seems to be working well for me, but will definitely keep this one in the armoury. Probably my favourite session at the moment.

11/07/2013 at 15:45
Simon Edward wrote (see)

Dan, do you not get bored of laps?


Yep, a bit ... but compensated by OCD on collecting reliable data from sub-LT splits ... and extending/shortening sessions if the body says so.

Bob wrote
Have I read it right that LT threshold is thought to be around 85% to 90% of max-HR, and thus why you were trying to keep your HR down to around 82% of maximum? Are you avoiding straying into LT territory purely for injury avoidance purposes or is there a training effect you're targeting?


Bob - I'm following a "Hadd" base training approach as the preliminary stages for my marathon build up. raining-plan/181933-177.html

These sub-LT sessions are designed to push back LT by working just under it. They start at about 80-82% maxHR ... when you can consistently run 10M at this HR, without the pace slowing, then you can up the percentage slightly (this is why I run 1M laps, as it helps to check pace drift). Ideally I woudl do two per week but will cut back to one for now as I build mileage. All the rest of my runs are at sub-70% maxHR.

Edited: 11/07/2013 at 15:46
11/07/2013 at 19:20

Evening all.

Well over the past week or so I've just been slowly cranking up the mileage and also a combination of long runs, shorter easy runs and also an interval session (2km warm up, 4 x 400m intervals with 400m recoveries and then a 1km warm down). Long run on Tuesday was up to 8.5km so nearly up to race length and each time I do a long run I feel stronger and last longer into the run before I start to feel any tiredness.

Had a 6.5km easy run on Sunday morning (early before the heat) up at my future in-law's in Derbyshire - to descibe where they live as hilly doesn't really do it justice (unless it just seems hilly compared to flat old Hertfordshire!) - good experience though and helped to run off the BBQ from the night before!

Hoping the warm weather continues but maybe disappears come race day in August - but if it is still very hot, at least it means that any time I get in the race I know will be easily beatable the next one I do in the autumn when it's a bit cooler!

11/07/2013 at 21:23

Still reading back! Still marking, still working despite school finishing yesterday (3 meetings with parents today - interview sheets to fill in and classroom displays to sort tomorrow!)

Did get to take Little Miss CB to her swimming lesson today though

Some great running going on, apart from Mr V's DNF, hope it's just a niggle.

WJH I've written this year off in terms of PBs and just want to keep mileage up and enjoy running.

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