TR - Good to have you back. Let's hope that's the end of your injury woes. I'm guessing you are feeling fit/strong enough to undertake the training load for your mara build up then? Have you set yourself a revised target yet or is it a case of seeing how the next few weeks go first? No I ditched the coaching as it wasn't working out for me. I didn't like being so restricted in terms of having a fixed schedule to work with. Added to the fact I was only able to do easy running through Jan/Feb due to health trouble and it didn't seem worth persevering with. I'm glad I tried it though and there's certainly lots I've taken from it and integrated into my training.
I think experience feeds into the whole improvement thing as well. The longer you’ve been running the better you can judge and understand your body and how you are progressing and responding. The reality is progress doesn’t happen in a nice straight line as we’d all like but there are peaks and troughs. To ensure long term improvement, you’ll also be mixing up training stimuli and having different periods focusing on different aspects (i.e base training) and of course that means you won’t always be in race shape or PB shape. But it does mean that somewhere down the line you’ll be a better runner. It’s definitely not a game for the impatient! I remember in the old days getting frustrated or annoyed when I wasn’t running PBs when I felt my training warranted it. Then of course I’d start questioning whether my training was right. But I take a more relaxed approach now, trust in the training and just accept the progress will come when its ready rather than when I want it. I think the hardest time is when the rapid progress of the first year or so levels out and you assume your training can’t be right because you are not lopping chunks off your times like you used to.
A decent but not too taxing session for me last night. 8.5 including 10k at MP on a windy, hilly course. 10K section was done in 40:45 (6.35 pace) which is the slower end of MP but fine considering the profile of the route. Pleasing thing was just how easy it was, I felt I could have run at that pace all day. Will probably build the MP up to 10 miles over the next couple of sessions although I haven’t actually got many MP sessions planned.
DT – I’ve had long periods where my times seemed to stagnate followed by a breakthrough. Between my previous 10k PB and my current one there was an 18 month gap but then I knocked over a minute off my time. I knew I was improving during that period but never managed to ‘nail’ a race. Now my current PB is 10 months old but again I know I’ve improved (problems of the last 2/3 months aside) and will have another big breakthrough sooner or later. I guess my point is that PBs aren’t always the full picture. The question I would ask is are you training quicker/stronger than a year ago and are you general race performances stronger (even if you haven’t actually PBd)? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t mix up your training, just that you may have improved more than you think. Go easy on the quads. If it was me I’d rest until Sunday. Perhaps do a little 3 mile loosener plus strides on Saturday to assess how it feels and get things turning over.
Dan – Good session. Will help make mara pace feel easy!
Mr V - More positive noises from you, good to hear. Be a shame if the wind stops you getting out for a proper test, but hold tight as there's rumours of something much more spring like for all of us next week.
Especially for me as I'll be in portugal and its saying 24 degrees at the moment
Bob - Nice session there by the way, there's nothing more motivating than seeing clear improvement.
WJH - A change is often a good stimulus for improvement. As Bob suggests perhaps post some of your training and see what feedback you get.
Duck – Epic summary there. I always like hearing 5/10K splits in longer races as it gives a nice feel to how fast you are moving. How much do you think being light has influenced your improvement?
Bob – Looking like a trim racing machine there! You must have shed a few pounds from your profile pic or maybe it’s just the baggy t shirt…. Looking windy for the weekend so I might skip the raced parkrun if things don’t improve. I reckon you should be fine with a LT run if the body feels genuinely recovered – though I think being strict with rest and recovery is sensible looking long term, especially if you don’t take regular periods of extended downtime.
Andrew – Did you ever get a confirmed diagnosis?
DT – Don’t think that will really affect you at all come the weekend. In fact probably a good session to get the legs turning over.
3x2 miles for me last night off 90 seconds. Pace wasn’t blistering but it’s good to be back being able to train properly and feeling reasonably strong.