Monthly Archives: June 2013

Juneathon Day 29

June is nearly over, and with it the Juneathon challenge. Tomorrow I have an extra long run planned to finish the month, so today was a short run, making sure I’d be home in time for the Lions Test. Only 4.5 miles, but steadily increasing the pace with every mile, from a 9 min mile warm up to a 6:15 min mile finish.

Strides – how did I forget?

I used to add strides to nearly every run, but some how they slipped out of my routine, and I forgot all about them. However I recently read a blog by Skora that reminded me to include them. If you have never run strides, or like me, just forgotten, I’d encourage you to try them out. The idea is to run at speed, but only for a short duration: 30 strides perhaps. This ensures you don’t get tired, and can focus on technique while running at a race pace. Too often in interval training or tempo runs, i’m working so hard that my mind is busy with thoughts of quitting and reasons not to. As a result I don’t have the space to analyse my style and focus on an upright posture, quick leg turnover, cadence etc. Incorporating strides in your running gives you that opportunity. 

This morning, after the first mile, I hit a straight flat section of road and steadily accelerated to race pace, while counting out 30 strides. At the end I simple eased off and slowed back down to my steady pace again. I then repeated this every 3 of 4 minutes, trying to time it so my strides would be on level pavements with no junctions etc. It was good to break up the routine, and easy to time the strides to coincide with the street lights on the road. I’ll try and remember to include them in 2 or 3 runs every week.

Juneathon Stats

  • Day 28: 4 miles with strides
  • June total: 204 miles

Juneathon Day 27

The hardest part about Juneathon is writing the blog every day. The exercise thing is simple by comparison, as I have a regular routine, and it is now a habit run. However, while blogging is becoming a habit, finding a topic is more of a challenge. On a run I just have to decide whether to turn left or right. Here the scope is much broader and it’s easy to get lost.

So I’ll stick to one subject and share this link: a BBC quiz about ultramarathons. I ran my first ultra last year, jumping in at the deep end and taking on a 100 mile race as my first step up from a marathon. In hindsight I’m not sure this was a great idea, and my body paid the price. I finished it, and with a sub 24 hr time, but I also had a stress fracture in my foot, two fewer toe nails, and an enforced 6 week lay off before I could run again.

Needless to say it did not put me off, and the more I read of other runners blogs, the more inspired I am, and so I have entered another Ultra.This weekend I have the first of my long training runs: a 40 mile jaunt from Hastings to home with my running club (Tunbridge Wells Harriers). I did this event last year and at the time it was my longest ever run. I’ll blog about it on Sunday.

Good luck with the quiz!

Today’s exercise

  • 1 mile on treadmill
  • Weights in the gym
  • Stretching and ‘The Stick’

 

Ankles again

I went to see my Physio this morning for him to check out my ankles. I knew there was nothing too serious wrong; they hurt, but I’ve increased my weekly mileage and training intensity. My Achilles tendons have been sore, but work on loosening my calves would fix this and improving hip flexibility should help too. However the ligaments on top of my feet have also been sure and this is a new symptom, so I wanted some advice and reassurance.

A friction massage on the anterior tibial ligaments, and a yelp inducing calf massage, with a healthy dose of advice, and I’m fine again. I was advised to take it easy for a few days and to stretch / foam roll several times a day. I also need to avoid hills for a while! Yay!

So this evening I had a slow and flat 4 mile jog and then a good stretch, followed by a session on the foam roller.

Recovery runs

The track session last night was good, but hard work, and i’m feeling it a little today. We ran intervals of 400m, 800m, 1200m, 800m and 400m. I managed to keep my pace fairly consistent throughout at 84-85 seconds per lap (05:35 per mile), and then hammered round the last 400 in 75 seconds.

Interval Training

Interval Training

My ankles felt a little tender and swollen last night, but I iced them and stretched well and they feel fine for now, but could do with a rest. Today’s run was therefore a ‘recovery’ run, dodging tourists along the embankment and then a lap of St James’s Park. I made sure I had a good warm up before the run, and after getting back to the office I spent a good 20 minutes stretching, so they should be ready to go again tomorrow.

As I have now entered the London Marathon for next year, I was thinking about how it will feel in April to run along the embankment and into Parliament Square and Birdcage Walk. Excited already!

Juneathon Numbers

  • Day 25:  4 miles
  • Total run: 195 miles
  • 3 Yoga sessions
  • 3 track running sessions
  • 3 weights sessions

London Marathon 2014

Today I’ll finally apply for a place in the Virgin London Marathon. I ran my first big race (the Great North Run) in 1996, and hated every step of it. I hated it so much I didn’t enter another race for ten years, and swore I’d never bother with another big race. My main gripe about GNR was that it was a long slow shuffle in a huge crowd and I couldn’t physically run for the first three miles because of the crowds. 

However this year I ran the Brighton Marathon and my predicted time meant the organisers gave me a place in the Elite start – no crowds, very civilised starting area, and running at race speed from the line. As a result I achieved a PB and a Good For Age qualification for London. My running mates who have run London, tell me the good for age runners get their own starting pen, and it is also very well managed, so I won’t get caught in the crush again.

Now if the VLM team will get round to activating the entry link on their site (the promised date is 24th June, but it’s still not there!), i’ll enter… 

Juneathon

  • Day 24: 1 mile treadmill then Yoga
  • Pyramid intervals on track- 400m 800m 1200m 800m 400m all at 5k pace

Ankles

After my 13 mile run on Saturday my ankles were very sore. I spent a good half hour stretching after my run, and another 30 minutes stretching and using a foam roller before bed. I half expected to cancel Sunday’s run, but after a brief warm up I felt good so went out early for a short easy paced run. After 40 minutes running my legs still felt good, so I added on another loop.

I’ve booked a physio appointment for Wednesday, and in the meantime, i’ll keep up the hip flexing exercises and ankle strengthening work.

  • Day 23: 6.5 miles
  • June total: 182 miles