#VMLM2016 training – Week 11

Monday – I went to club and my group were doing mile reps! My legs told me, I was NOT doing mile reps, so I joined the group below and chatted my way around a recovery run. My legs were tired and at times this run felt hard, and I was averaging 11:45 pace! I completed 3.5 miles and it was just what I needed.

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 10 miles. I met 2 of the ladies from club to complete our usually 5 mile loop. My legs still felt quite heavy, and about 2 miles in I thought I was going to be lucky to make it to 10! For my second 5 miles, I was running with one of the men from club, and during mile 3 I was really worried that I was going to slow him down too much and struggle. Then, just after 5 mile mark, my legs seemed to switch on. It was as though they had warmed up and realised that they needed to run. The second 5 miles was really nice; we picked up the pace and I actually felt quite comfortable. The route finished almost right outside my house, yet I felt I could have kept going easily!



Thursday – 400 reps. Everyone at club was pushing the pace, but our coach suggested myself and a few others that were racing this weekend, should just jog the reps. We ended up running for around 2/3 minutes and resting for the same amount of time. Even though I was running very easy, my shoulders were very tight. I was told to run, imaging that I was holding a crisp between my thumb and finger, that I was not to break. As soon as I adopted this position, my shoulders did relax, so I need to remember this.

Friday – Sports massage – I was lucky to get an extra appointment in this morning, to work on my shoulders, ready for tomorrow!

Saturday – 20 MILES! My amazing team mates at club helped me organise a route, and then come out to run with me. It was a bit of a tag team. I ran 5.5 miles with Rachel and Tracie, then 0.5 of a mile on my own, to meet Sam, Keith and Andy. They then took me on their normal 10 mile route, which was a little undulating, but I felt pretty strong throughout, and the hills that had previously annoyed me on this route, didn’t feel too bad. Finally, Tina met me to run my last 4 miles. It was amazing, they were all so supportive, all could have run much quicker than I was running, but stuck with my pace to help me. I had planned to run around 10:30 pace, but I ended up averaging a 10:21 pace. The only negative was that when my watch flashed up 20 miles, I stopped and saved it straight away. I don’t usually do this, but for some reason, I was worried that I would delete it. Once it was saved, I noticed the watch said 19.9 miles!! WHAT….. As I had saved it, I couldn’t just add it on the last 0.1 of a mile!!

Sunday – Rest day – although I have to report that I am so surprised how good my legs feel today, I think the football my daughter made me play yesterday afternoon, and the game of tag this morning, really helped my legs recover! Let’s see how they are tomorrow!

This time in FIVE weeks it will all be over!!!! I can’t believe how close it is!

#VMLM2016 training – Week 3

Monday – Speed session at club. 800 metres X 5, with 2 minutes recovery. This was a toughie! I was aiming to run at 8 minute/mile pace, and I did stay close to it, but having only completed my long run yesterday, I did slow down on the final lap! I am also battling a cold at the moment, so at times breathing was interesting.

Tuesday – rest, but with some foam rolling! I could feel some niggles from yesterdays session, so I’m hoping 10 minutes of pain in front of the TV should help.



Wednesday – Rest day as ill.

Thursday – Rest day as ill.

Friday – rest

Saturday – Long run – my plan said I should have been running 13 miles, but I only managed 11.3 miles! I am still not 100%, but I had this strange idea that perhaps as I hadย extra rest days this week, this run would be good; How wrong could I be? I wanted to give up after mile 1, mile 2, mile 3 and every mile after that! I was lucky that a club mate was running with me and she pulled me round. I found it hard to get my breath at times, and every part of my body ached. My shins were sore at the start, then my hamstrings were tight and towards the end my hip was aching; all in all it was a run to forget. Onwards and upwards.


Not the prettiest of stats, but its miles banked!

Sunday – I read an article in Runners World magazine about how important the hip muscles are. It suggests that most leg injuries stem from weak hips. They have a plan of action, so I thought it’s worth a try. Today I completed day 1, which was 10 reps of hip abductors (See photo below) and 10 reps of hip flexor strengtheners. I was not particularly good at them, so I am thinking it is very probable that it is a weak area of mine too!


Hip abductor strengthening exercise

As you can tell from above, this week did not go to plan at all! Frustrating, as I had really enjoyed the first 2 weeks, but I suppose the positive is that, it is only week 3, and its better now that later in the programme.

So how is everyone’s training going? Please accept my apologies for too much leg photos in this post!!!


#VMLM2016 training – Week 2

Monday – speed session at club. 425 metres X 7, with 2 minutes recovery. It was tough. My legs felt OK, but the route had some slight hills in it and they zapped my legs. My coach had suggested to complete the laps in 2:05 and I’m glad to say I was pretty much there or there abouts on every rep ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 7 steady miles. Had a bit of a panic when my 2 running buddies couldn’t make tonight and I thought I was heading out alone! I even resigned myself to the possibility of 7 miles on the treadmill! Luckily one of the guys from club came to the rescue and I headed out with him and one other. They are super speedy and they made me work hard. But I loved it. We averaged 9.40 pace and the 7 miles flew by. Still amazes me that I can just go out after work and run 7 miles fairly comfortable.

Thursday – hills at club. We had to complete continuous hill; hard up a short hill for 15 minutes, then 3 minutes rest. Followed by 15 minutes continuous up and down a longer hill. I felt surprisingly good, legs allowed me to push quite hard on the short hill, the longer hill was tougher! In total we covered about 4 miles. My new runners had their first outing in this session.


I am in LOVE!!

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 12 miles LR – When I saw the snow had arrived on Sunday morning, I did regret leaving my long run until today. What made it worse is that I had arranged to meet the girls at 4pm. Not sure about you, but if I leave my long run till later in the day, I spend the whole day battling with my mind – It’s too cold! I’m tired! I haven’t fuelled correctly! Luckily, arranging to meet people means you can’t opt out. I layered up, ready to brave the elements.


I do NOT like being cold!

I have had a toothache for the last 2 days, and have also developed a head cold, so I kind of felt this run was ‘kill or cure!’ I’m pleased to say that I completed all 12 miles and I’m here writing about it, so it definitely wasn’t kill, but I have sneezed numerous times whilst writing this, and my nose is streaming, so no cure either! I’m not going to lie, it was tough, but the miles are banked and I am on to week 3 ๐Ÿ™‚

So, how’s everyone else’s training going? Do you run when you have a cold? Anyone else hate hills as much as me?


Do you have to race? – Part 2

So last week I wrote a post about enjoying running and not needing to actually train for a race, read it here. I received this comment on the post from MrsB over at Mind over Matter.

I thought about this and it hit home a bit. I keep thinking how I would love to gain a place in the Berlin Marathon, but realistically, if I did get one, I’m not marathon fit now, and I’m not sure I’d have enough training time to do it justice.

I have been training pretty consistently, 3 or 4 times a week, and I have taken part in some intense sessions, but I realised I have lacked any kind of long run since the London Marathon. I haven’t run a continuous run of over 3 miles since March. If you read any training plan, they always say the long runs are the important ones, and the session not to miss, yet I have over looked it now for months!

So, on Sunday, after I had completed the C25K with my sister, I attempted to complete a long run. I wasn’t sure what kind of pace I would run or how far I could go, so I just set off. The route that I took starts with a steady hill, so when the first mile clicked up as 10:45 mm, I wasn’t too concerned. During the 2nd mile, my legs felt heavy and I didn’t feel like I was enjoying the run too much. The 2nd mile clocked in at 9.49mm. By the 3rd mile, I felt like the run was tougher than I thought it would be. I felt I should be running more relaxed, but I didn’t really want to slow down as I wanted the run to be over and done with. The 3rd mile was at 9:58 pace.

I had an option where I could have extended the run at around 3.5 miles, but I opted to head straight home. Not running long for a while was showing. I completed mile 4 in 9:49mm, and in total covered 4.33miles. Not exactly long, but when you haven’t completed a long run for a while, this was long enough.

Although I still haven’t technically booked any races for the remainder of this year (although I am close!) I still need to train like I am running an event. I think I have the easy runs covered in the C25K, and the intense sessions with my club, so now I need to start building up my long runs again.

So, long runs here I come and I’m now off to look at races again.


Sunday Summary

Monday – Rest. Should have been a club run, but I had a meal with work for someone’s leaving do instead.

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 5.30 am C25k with my sister. 2 x 8 minutes running with 5 minutes walk in between (she smashed it!) I followed this with a yoga cool down. A video(Click here) on YouTube was recommended to me via #UkRunChat a while back, and I use it as much as I can now.

LOTS of filters needed on this photo!

Thursday – Run club – 10 minutes warm up, 30 sec run at 90%, 1 min recovery, 45 sec run at 90%, 1 min recovery, 60 sec run at 90%, 1 min recovery, 45 sec run at 90%, 1 min recovery, 30 sec run at 90%, 2 min recovery. 10 minutes at 5k pace. 30 sec run at 90%, 1 min recovery, 45 sec run at 90%, 1 min recovery, 60 sec run at 90%, 1 min recovery.

My pacing was all over the place (just for a change!) The 10 minute at 5k pace was sold to us a 5 minutes and I set off way too fast – around 8.20mm! I think I ended at around 9.10 mm, so all too fast, which made the session VERY hard.

I WISH this was for a continuous mile!

Friday – 5:30am C25K with my sister. 20 minute run, no walking. She nailed it, ran the entire 20 minutes at the first attempt.

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – 8am C25K with my sister. 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 8 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running. After this work out, I tried to complete a ‘long run’.

When I look back I haven’t really run anything continuously over 3 miles since London. I haven’t actually run on my own in a very long time either. So I set off on a familiar route, hoping to run a relaxed pace and see how far I could go. I managed 4.33 miles in 43:36! I learnt a few things on this run!

This hurt far more than I thought it would.

  1. I don’t really know what a relaxed pace is! I feel myself pushing most of the time.
  2. I have neglected ‘Long Runs’ and I shouldn’t have. I wanted to give up after 1.5 miles. It felt much tougher than I had hoped for!
  3. I almost found it a little boring running on my own. I didn’t take music either.
  4. I am in desperate need of a sports massage – everything hurts!

Hope everyone has had a good week. What have you been up too? Anyone race?