Tag Archives: Bournemouth Marathon 2016

Bournemouth Marathon 2016: Week 2 of 18

Following week 1’s relative success, I came into this week feeling reasonably fresh. I wanted to carry through 2 key principles I learned last week.

  1. By not looking at my pace during a run, I feel like I am running slower than I actually am. This has a psychological benefit to me.
  2. When tired, use the lower end of the zone. When fresh, use the higher end.

This week’s training was exactly as is prescribed in the book, though I couldn’t run on Thursday due to travel, so ran Friday instead.

Day Book Plan My Plan
Monday
Tuesday 8m General Aerobic (8 x 100m Strides)  8m General Aerobic (8 x 100m Strides)
Wednesday 4m Recovery 4m Recovery
Thursday 10m General Aerobic 10m General Aerobic
Friday
Saturday 4m Recovery 4m Recovery
Sunday 14m Medium-long (8 @ Marathon pace) 14m Medium-long (8 @ Marathon pace)

This is a nice small mileage increment week on week. The key session of the week being the Marathon pace run. I am trying to identify 1 or 2 target sessions per week to make sure I am fully ready for them, by dialling back the effort on other runs (Whilst staying in the right effort zones) and it’ll be interesting to see if this strategy pays off.

Midweek

On Tuesday I had an 8 mile general aerobic run with a set of strides. For whatever reason, I got less than an hours sleep before I had to get up ridiculously early for my Birmingham commute, so I elected to keep this as the lower end of the zone, targeting 140-145 bpm. At this pace i seemed to find a natural rhythm and “groove” i feel like I’ve been lacking in recently. perhaps this is my “Sweet spot”. I felt like my form had sharpened a bit and I found myself mid-foot striking as I was able to keep my stride more balanced and felt more nible – I suspect this is because my legs feel fresher and more trained. This is a good thing! During the strides I had a case of the gingerbread man, so they were a bit broken during the recoveries, but the Average HR of 141 for an Average GAP of 8:15 (First six miles) is a much lower pace-for-HR than last week! Though last weeks route was hillier, by using Strava’s GAP as a performance indicator, this mitigates the effect of elevation for effort. This is clear evidence that something is working.

Wednesday’s 5 mile recovery was a bit of a late one. I had to travel to Manchester for a meeting in the morning so didn’t end up heading out til nearly 8. But it was a really lovely evening for a jog around the Salford Quays. I also took in Old Trafford football ground and cricket ground. Handily I’d walked the area a lot during my 2 marathon trips here which meant I didn’t need to follow a map! Average HR of 131 for an Average GAP of 8:57.

quays

Thursdays run was rescheduled due to travel arrangements, but the 10 mile general aerobic run was actually a bit of a struggle – the second half in particular. I think my travelling may have caught up. It was a relatively hilly route though, as I like to throw some elevation into my GA runs to increase the net gains from the effort. Average HR of 142 for an Average GAP of 8:28.

parkrunday

As Jodie was away I couldn’t in good conscience go and visit a new parkrun, so stayed “home” at Yeovil Montacute. It was great to see everyone again and had a good chat with Jan and Edri talking babies and marathon training! Meanwhile I extended the usual parkrun distance to make it the 5 mile recovery run the plan said I needed to do.

parkrun

Sunday

Sunday didn’t start well. After the disappointment of the football, and with a mild hangover I was up early to help at the Yeovil Marathon, where the club were manning a water station. It was the hangover and early start that were what made the morning start badly though, as I had a brilliant time at the water station! Very rewarding morning and we had some great feedback from the runners. Great for the club!

water

Meanwhile I was struggling to move my legs a bit as I had done some garden maintenance on Saturday morning and I think I’d worked some muscles in ways I hadn’t before, because they were stiff as a board! I only got 1 mile into my 14 miler with 8 at Marathon Pace that I worked out Marathon Pace wasn’t going to happen, so I went for a standard 14 mile “miles in the bank” run. My heart rate was really good, but my pace was dictated my the state of my glutes and hips which were in a world of pain. I did decide to make it a hillier route though to add a bit of spice which I paid for in the last few miles! Average HR was 136 and Average GAP was 08:47.

Summary

Its all heading in the right direction. I’ve started a spreadsheet to record my HR and GAP to see how it tracks over time and it does look to be improving, but theres still too little data to draw any early conclusions to state that its working or not working, but I’m encouraged.

I’m not going to try and “catch up” the marathon paced section I missed, I think I’m better off sticking to the plan and seeing how I get on with the next MP session.

Next week’s is another step up in distance and has a lactate Threshold run chucked in for good measure, so should be an interesting week!

 

Bournemouth Marathon 2016: Week 1 of 18

If I’m honest, I am extremely glad that the time has finally come to start Marathon training again. With my long term goal being a London GFA time, running between plans has felt a little aimless and demotivating. I hope that the next 18 weeks reinvigorates my spark for running.

As I already posted about, this training regime will me primarily heart-rate based. A step away from my usual “pace zone” based training.

The weeks training was scheduled to look like this.

Day Book Plan My Plan
Monday Vitality London 10,000 (Race)
Tuesday 8m general Aerobic (4m Lactate Threshold)
Wednesday 4m Recovery
Thursday 9m General Aerobic 9m General Aerobic
Friday
Saturday 4m Recovery 4m Recovery
Sunday 12m Medium-long 12m Medium-long

I’d already signed up for the Vitality London 10,000 before I knew my training plan would clash with the race, however it fit in quite nicely. As my 10k pace would (roughly) be around threshold heart rate zone I did a simple swap, and as the race was in on the Monday I added a short recovery run in there too, just to make up some miles.

Midweek

Monday’s race went pretty well – better than I thought. I had a couple of days rest before which really helped and I felt reasonably fresh because of this. I have written a race report for it which contains all the details, but from a training point of view, this was classed as Lactate Threshold. Average HR: 167, Average Pace: 6:37 which is actually a pretty decent indicator of current form. An excellent starting point. If I compare this to the first tempo run I did last year, the Average HR was 169 for an average pace of 6:47 – So I am in better shape than pre-Manchester – encouraging!

10kanalysis

Wednesday saw a 4 mile recovery run with Jodie on a common route in Basingstoke we use a lot. She is doing so well considering she is nearly 8 months pregnant, very proud of her! Nice easy pace, just what the legs needed after racing on Monday. Average HR: 125, Average Pace: 10:43

Due to having to coach the club interval session on Thursday, I had to run my 9 mile General Aerobic run on Friday. Really lovely weather and a pleasure to go for a run. My legs really do feel better, but I’m not quite sure how much of that is psychological. Ran a similar route to that I ran the equivalent session last cycle. What I noticed was I felt that I was going very fast early on and then slowed up as the miles ticked over. This makes sense – you’ll always feel fresher early in a  run. What made this run interesting is that I didn’t look at my pace once on my watch, I had it on my HR screen all the way round. It had a noticeable effect on my perceived pace – I thought I was running much slower than I actually was – a very interesting finding. Average HR: 148 bpm, Average Pace: 8:16 compared to last cycles (153 bpm/7:37). This is noticeably slower, and ultimately the whole purpose of using this method. I would hope my pace increases for the same HR as time progresses.

parkrunday

No parkrun! We were meant to have antenatal class all day but when we arrived they cancelled! Very disappointing, not only as we missed the class but because we missed parkrun too!

Anyway, I headed out for an early 4m recovery run. Again, I didn’t look at the pace once and when I came back and looked at my lap times the pace/HR ratio was about where I thought it should be. Once more, by not knowing my pace I just felt like I was running slower than I actually was. Average HR: 133bpm, Average GAP: 9:10.

Sunday

A nice short long run for Sunday, comparatively speaking. Just 12 miles. I used this as a bit of an experiment as according to the book, the Long Run effort zone is pretty wide ranging. Additionally, it recommends finishing faster, progressing up through the zone. So I broke it up into thirds and ran the first 4 at 140-145bpm, then the 5-8 at 145-150bpm, and ran the final third at 150-155bpm (The top end of my zone is 158).

When I look at the GAP chart you can see this progression resulted in relatively even splits that increased in line with the effort I put in.

sundaygap

And when you compare that with the actual pace, its amazing what a range of mile paces the same effort equated to.

sundaypace

It was quite a useful experiment. My General Aerobic zone tops out at 152bpm, and the book says my Long Runs should be slower/less effort than my GA runs. So I think, at least in the short-term, any progression I make will top out at 150, just to stop myself overexerting on the longer distances. Average HR: 148, Average GAP: 8:05.

Summary

So far, I am encouraged with the results. My general aerobic runs have been forced to be slower, as have my recovery runs.

I am noticing that my runs “feel” slower for the efforts, like I’m not working hard enough – again, this is a good thing, save myself for the sessions that matter.

I have found that my pace drops off as the run goes along compared to the effort. So the same effort in the last mile is always slower than the same effort in the first mile. This is naturally because the body is fresher at the start than the end, so this emphasises the importance of progression through the effort zones to ensure there is a strong finish,

Generally speaking I am feeling fresher and more “up for it” before heading out than I have been for the last couple of months.

Next week sees a marathon-paced effort, this will be a real test of current fitness and a good comparison to the last cycle to see if my target marathon time is achievable.