Josh Blatchford


Latest posts by Josh Blatchford

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The Middle Ground

Posted: 31/08/2014 at 16:50

MR V - running without the watch can definitely do you some good.  But I must admit, there feels like there is nothing worse than a flat garmin battery.  Disregard the bad race.  Your real race is the GNR.  For me, psychologically, it is hard to run fast when you know that the work for the target race is done. It sounds like that is the same as with you

Velloo - that does sound rather odd to happen on an easy run.  Did you change anything about your shoes or routine recently?

WJH - well done!  Your pacing strategy is the same as mine for 5k: run hard and pray for it to be over soon.  And it really does take time to recover from hard efforts. Don't expect to be fast again for a week or so in my experience.


This week I did 30.5 miles at 8:29min/mile and 162 bpm average.  Would have been a bit slower with a lower HR, but went on a run with a friend which got a little competitive.

Next week I will be adding strides and running 33 miles in the 150bpm range. Everything still comfortable and it is tempting me to increase mileage faster than 10% per week, but resisting that temptation so far.  I was going to add strides this week, however my calfs were a little right at the start so skipped them.  In hindsight I probably should have started them this week like TR said.

Do people here include strides in their weekly mileage totals or is that 'cheating'?


The Middle Ground

Posted: 25/08/2014 at 19:20

Thirsk - Just the one!?  I would have thought you would be racing park runs a lot if you were focusing on 5k.  Which is your best distance?

My max heart rate is 207 bpm, which I set cycling a few months ago.  When you do that and not die, you know your heart surgeon did a pretty good job  I think I know the answer to this already, but can I use my cycling max heart rate for running?  

I hate max heart rate tests - as anyone does!  When I hit 207, it just felt nasty :'( Literally sent a shiver down my spine and nearly threw up with that kind of suffering  


The Middle Ground

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 13:37

Thirsk - great racing!  What distance do you focus on?  And you are absolutely right about shorter races - my approach has generally been run hard and hold on for dear life

MR V - What was your reasoning for not going with them?

Nothing exciting to report this week.  29.5 miles, 8:30 @ 162bpm.  It's always nice to see quick improvements when you start from a break: increased distance, pace and lowered HR.  Shame this progress will slow in a couple of weeks!

The Middle Ground

Posted: 17/08/2014 at 23:09

Duck - completely forgot to congratulate you on the HM pb: congrats!!!  What distance are you focusing on these days?

Thirsk - great points.  How do you recommend finding the best time to introduce strides?

Chubby bloke - sounds like you will smash your pb with more consistency

First week back was simply to run what felt comfortable:
6 runs, 25.19 miles @ 8:37min/mile / 166 bpm. Legs feel very fresh still as well. So quite happy with that for a first week back

The Middle Ground

Posted: 14/08/2014 at 20:51

Alehouse - Thank you Great to hear from you again!  Glad to hear you seem to be over your injury

Thirsk - I have previously built up to 90mpw, and was genuinely shocked at how easy that mileage felt.  It does sound crazy to say it, but I am a strong believe in building a massive aerobic base.

Why 60?  Quite simply it becomes difficult to run more than that without adding doubles (in my opinion/experience).  Doubles help you improve a lot to overcome the 50-60mpw 'hump' that many people seem to struggle with.

Why 100?  Purely because it is a nice number. I personally believe that running 90-120mpw is incredibly valuable.  So I am choosing 100 as a target.

I know I can cope with the milage from experience.  If anything, I have been less injury prone with more volume and less intensity.  Of course I need to include intensity, but I do think volume can have some injury-proofing benefits.

That is a good shout on seperating strides and hill sprints. My past approach has to been very gradual.  So while both will start at 60 mpw, my first hill sprint session will be something like 2* 8 seconds - so super conservative.

I agree about not putting a date on things.  I will definitely be listening to my body, but in the back of my head I will be happy to do 100mpw by the end of the year.  Of course I will see how things go - if I hit that naturally then great; if not, then no problems

Thankfully my illness had nothing to do with running (helped recover if anything).

DT19 - As I said above, mainly aerobic base and later transition to ultras.  
Target distances:
2015 - 5k
2016 - 10k
2017 - 2018 - HM (I like this distance so want two years focus on it)
2019 - 2023 - Marathon
2023+ hopefully ultras if my strengths lie here
Things will change I am sure as time goes on, these are my initial thoughts

Duck - not a bad shout. Cycling is measure in hours too.  May experiment.  Congratulations to your Mum!  I am sure many more records will fall in the future thanks to her

Re: miles per week:
I think everyone doing long distance running should try high volume (80mpw+).  It really does amazing things for your aerobic capacity and running less than that, with higher intensity should be a 'back-up plan' if they cannot handle it.  I cannot explain how amazing it feels to run that and find it comfortable - look forward to experiencing it again



The Middle Ground

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 03:11

Howdy people.

Glad to see familiar names posting here still. I will have a read of recent posts soon.  
I am essentially announcing my come-back 

For those who do not know me, I used to be a slightly above average runner (1:20something HM).  I had a big hip injury, which took me out for a year. I then got back into the best shape of my life running 90mpw and I had some pretty serious health problems, and was lucky to be able to run or whatever afterwards. I struggled for about 9 months with further health complications (but less serious stuff).  I was pretty fed up with sucking at running so I got more into cycling, which I have been doing for a year or so.

But my heart is telling me to run.  I miss the simplicity of it.  The legs are staying shaved but my running comeback starts this morning.  I am too excited to sleep lol!

I will be following a Hadd/Lydiard-esque principals and do the following:
Build to 60 mpw on singles
Add doubles and strides/hill sprints
Build to 100 mpw before the end of this year, hopefully
Get a coach :P

Good night!

The Middle Ground

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 21:12

PP - insane training times.  Are you aiming for a sub 2:40 marathon?

PRF - how do you find the rate of improvement for an individual course?  Do you get much of an improvement from being familiar with the course.

Due to illness I have not run in 2 weeks I think.  I've been very ill and on the verge of being admited to hospital.  I also gave my Mum the fright of her life when I collapsed from exhaustion. 

I have decided to stop running with the intention of competing for the time-being. At the moment I am either contaminated with a very nasty strain of bacteria or have an immune weakness but need more tests with a dermatologist to confirm.

I will re-evaluate whether or not to start training in late April or early May.  Partly because I want to give my body an extended break, partly because any hardwork I do to prepare for an event is very likely going to be ruined by another bout of ill health, and partly because I don't care about chasing numbers for the time-being when I am struggling to even life a normal lifestyle these days

The Middle Ground

Posted: 28/01/2013 at 20:59

CB - why go all the way down to barefoot shoes?  Have you tried super-light racing flats like the Saucony Grid Types?

The Middle Ground

Posted: 27/01/2013 at 19:08

Curly - nice consistency

Duck - how suitable do you find your shorter sprint training for the mile?  Would a long distance runner stuggle to compete in the mile if the competition is strong?

Phil - I have been doing my early morning weekday runs before eating breakfast, but I couldn't imagine doing so much running without eating before hand.  Are you trying to encourage efficient fat-burning?

Very tough muddy 12 miler @ 8:10 pace today and 40 miles for the week.  Like Simon I am knackered.  The mud just made my run a lot harder than what it should of been and my shoes felt heavy after just 2 miles.  I am so happy it has got a bit warmer now - running is just infintely better when it isn't sub-zero.

The Middle Ground

Posted: 26/01/2013 at 11:52

PP - any particular reason to do the two tempo efforts at different paces?  How long of a recovery did you have in between?

Duck - nice race. I really struggle if I don't have any grip - my pace falls off really quickly.

Steady 6 today at 7min/mile and 169bpm.

I have been for a long time trying to incorporate team sky's principals of marginal gains into my training.  This has generally consisted of: core work, flexibility work, foam rolling, sports massage, ice baths sometimes, ice/heat rotation of sore muscles, protein recovery drinks when not trying to lose weight, slowly increasing the percentage of training done in racing flats.

I was wondering if there are any other tips/principals from any other sports than cycling that could be worth incorporating into running.  Would it be crazy to try and read up about how pros in other endurance sports train and see if there is anything that could work for running?

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