Loving all the training discussions! Endlessly interesting and proof that there is no one solution. I'm going to venture out for my first run since Paris tomorrow, it's been both weird and good not to run for so long.
List Fairy - can you add me please to: 14 June - Swansea Half Marathon and 30 August - Severn Bridge Half Marathon
OK, I think I've got a plan. Can't find anything that will help with the longer runs so am just going to have to suck it up and do those on my own, but now looking at Swansea Half - 14 June - bit of a trek but counts as an international race and actually looks quite good. Also Severn Bridge Half - 30 August - includes running both on the old Severn Bridge and on closed motorway which is something I've always thought would be a good race idea! Will try and do some local 5 and 10ks if I can fit them in as part of the "tempo" distance for that training week. Going to start week of 25 May which is earlier than I'd thought, yikes, but gives me two weeks wiggle room to take breaks in July/August.
Meadower - I definitely want to do a race in Scotland some time as that also counts as international! So will pick your brains on that in future as I think you've done them all! I'm not sure if my bank balance will thank me if I include another flight in the next few months...I was actually looking at Great Scottish Run before I went and booked Berlin.
PhilPub - I did my last longest run 4 weeks before Paris, it seemed a bit far out as most plans seem to have that 3 weeks before, but it was the time I could do a race. It worked out fine. As wisdom seems to be making your last big effort 3 or 4 weeks before I'm sure you will be fine for your race, especially as you've done it before and it worked. Meadower - Not so sure about the Great North Run and two weeks difference though, I err on the side of caution and not sure how fast you could really do such a crowded course anyway, that's probably more of an "experience" one rather than "race".
Iron Rach/Andy/Natty - I just used FIRST training for Paris and really enjoyed it. I had previously done too many junk miles and not worked out pacing correctly and found it challenging but fun to have every run have a purpose. It definitely forced me to do more fast running and get over my phobia of going fast! For cross training I did a mix of spinning, rowing and Body Pump - technically Body Pump doesn't "count" under this plan, but given how much it has improved my running I wanted to include it, and it is somewhat more aerobic than doing heavy weights, which the book really doesn't encourage.
It's also nice to do something other than just running, the cross training felt more like fun sometimes and I had to remind myself that it was actually helping. It helps you develop some other muscles than running muscles and I would think means you're less likely to get injured. I was slightly concerned about the low mileage but it doesn't seem to have been an issue.
I think I may have found an issue with summer training - lack of races! I found it really helpful to do two 20 mile races in Feb/March. I'll keep looking but am struggling to find anything that's half marathon or more, and not on trail in July/August.