November started high and took a gargantuan dip in the middle of it before starting to peak again towards the end.
Early in the month I felt amazing, smashing my times, hitting my splits and felt on top of the world. in the first week of November I topped my first ever Strava segment leaderboard!
Rather stupidly perhaps, i followed this up with the toughest tempo run I’ve ever attempted. I finished it feeling fantastic. But the day after I was much the worse for wear. My planned 13 mile LSR was cut back to 11 as my legs just couldn’t take it any more. My foot hurt along the bridge for some reason and I generally felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I resorted to almost exclusively easy running for 2 weeks with only a couple of “Progression” sessions to try and get some speed back.
I’m not convinced I fell victim to over-training – but I’m pretty sure I was walking the fine line. The easy runs recovered me well, and I’m finishing the month doing much better, at a new lowest ever weight. I’ve rethought about my training and am now sticking to the rules of easy, tough days and I’ve adjusted my marathon training plan to compensate for this.
With this in mind, I look back on the goals I set and have to question if they were realistic or sensible. Lets look at them in turn.
- Complete 25 runs – Achieved. This was still sensible, it was the intensity and volume I was struggling with.
- Increase average speed to 6.6mph+ – Not Achieved. This is one of the less sensible targets. Basic running dictates that your easy runs should be the bulk of your mileage and your sessions should be where you do the faster stuff. So averaging a whole months worth of speed across including easy runs is only going to cause an increase in the pace of the easy runs – and whats the point in that? They won;t have the desired recovery effect and just end up fatiguing the body more. Lesson learned.
- Increase elevation gain to > 90 – Achieved. Running hills is still the best way to improve leg strength, even at easy pace. Looking back on some of my marathon training, this was really important and will continue to try and improve this.
- Go sub 21 at Yeovil Montacute parkrun OR Sub 20 at Poole parkrun (Depending where I decide to go on 30th November – Not Achieved – My wobble in the middle of the month hit me for 6 and I couldn’t have a good enough crack at it.
So though I didn’t achieve all I wanted, I learned a lot from the month. As I move into December and my marathon training starts, I have been warned not to push the body too much, and the training plan I’ve chosen (I will be posting separately about my marathon training plan) will have me resting 2 days a week instead of one and adheres to the basic principles very well.
As December rolls around, its a quiet enough month, and as mentioned, Marathon Training begins. That said, I have some time goals I’d like to break in the races I do have planned as well as a weight target.
- Sub-42 at the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k
- Sub-20 at the Street 5k OR Basingstoke parkrun
- Reach a weight of 13st 13lbs