If you’ve been following along you’ll know that at the beginning of this week, I started a new, 16-week training program to lead me up to the Edinburgh Marathon on May 29th 2016. I’m pleased to say that I have reached the end of the first week successfully, and with decent results, not that I was expecting miracles after five days of running mind!
It’s been quite mentally challenging to get out too, as the weather in the UK at the moment is abominable, as storm after storm rushes in from the Atlantic, battering our western coasts. I’m in North West Wales and along with Northern Ireland, Cumbria and North Western Scotland, we tend to be hit pretty hard by said storms, but not as badly as Cumbria, who suffered incredibly over Christmas and the New Year, and still are. We do get flooding here but it is thankfully, rarely as bad.
So there’s been a few days where I’ve looked out the window and thought “really, I have to go running in this?“. But I sucked it up and just got my head down 🙂
Anyway, so here’s how the week of running panned out for me, with stats, as I know all runners love the numbers: 😉
Monday – Easy 5 miles, 48:29, 9:40/m
I found this surprisingly difficult, to actually run at a very slow pace for the entirety of the run; required a lot of discipline not to speed up!
Tuesday – REST (although I did a long mountain walk of 9 miles up and around Snowdon; still valuable ‘time on feet’)
Wednesday – Steady 6.7 miles, 54:28, 8:15/m
A fairly ‘normal’ outing for me, but still pretty easy.
Thursday – Fartlek 5.1 miles, 38:40, 7:27/mile
This was a structured run, whereby I had planned to run: 10 minute warm-up, 6 x 500 metres, 1 x 200 metres. Between each ‘spurt’ I’d recover for 500 metres. I think I may have ran each section faster than I should have done as fartlek is not really intended as an interval session where running ‘all out’ is the key during each rep, so next time I may run each part slightly slower. But knowing I had a rest day afterwards, probably pushed me to go harder. It was a tough session but fun 🙂
Friday – REST (no mountain walking!)
Saturday – Easy 5 miles, 46:44, 9:22/mile
This was identical to Monday’s route, but I decided to run it slightly faster. Still extremely easy, although Sunday was long run day so I didn’t chastise myself for going slowly, as per the program.
Sunday – Medium Distance Run, 10 miles, 1:17.55, 7:49/mile
Now where I live, it is very difficult to go for a totally flat run; you have to drive to the coast in order to do this. And I mean, literally, on the coast! Which also means strong onshore winds yaaaaay! I chose to run along a lovely section of road that leaves from near Caernarfon Castle called ‘Y Foryd‘. It is pan flat and is right on the edge of the Menai Strait (literally, metres from the water), the large body of tidal water that separates mainland North Wales and the beautiful Ynys Mon, or Anglesey.
The tide was in as I started the run and the wind was ferocious blowing spray off the tops of the white horses that were powering up the strait on the tide, and it was quite a struggle to maintain any kind of consistent pace until the road heads east and a little inland. My plan was to run this with a negative split. This basically means that I would gradually increase my pace, each kilometre or two, all the way to the end of the run. I had a mind to finish fairly strong, but I wasn’t feeling brilliant today and found it hard to get going. Instead of running faster gradually from the start, I decided to increase my pace from the half way point, which in this case, was 8 kilometres.
Starting off on about a 4:50/km, I whittled this down at the last kilometre to 4:07/km or 6:33/mile. The last two kilometres were quite hard and as soon as I hit 16K I stopped recording and walked/jogged to warm down.
The wind was trying its best to push me, but I resisted the urge and stuck to my chosen paces for each kilometre, so as not to ‘cheat’.
The above strategy is how I will run Edinburgh, but not at that pace! I must learn from the mistakes at the Snowdonia Marathon if I am to succeed and get a good time without blowing up. It’s a flat marathon however, which is why I’m finding flat sections of road to train on for my longer runs, as this will give me a more ‘realistic’ idea of pace times.
Week Two is going to be harder as there is only one rest day and incorporates intervals and ‘constant speed’ sessions.
Thanks so much for reading 🙂