New York Marathon Training – Week 6

Finally, I am feeling a bit more like myself, and even though I didn’t manage too many hard sessions this week, I did manage to bank the miles and complete 4 sessions.

Monday

Wednesday

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Early morning miles along #Brighton beach this morning. . Should be #Tempo Wednesday, but try's no to keeping the effort level relaxed and just bank the miles this week. . Didn't look at watch as didn't want to worry about pace. Breathing all good, legs felt heavy and stiff still. Wanted to say quit for most of the first 3 miles, then it appeared that my legs warmed up and enjoyed the final 3 miles. #loverunning . . . #run #runner #running #runnerslife #runhappy #instarunners #runnersofinstagram #igrunners #runnersofig #runstagram #runslikeagirl #thisgirlcan #thisgirlruns #marathontraining #NewYorkMarathon #tcsnycmarathon #nycmarathon #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #runningcommunity

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Thursday

Sunday

My long run this week was quite strange. I almost feel like I have lost a bit of my mental toughness. I spent the first three miles telling myself that I wouldn’t be able to complete the run and that I was too weak. As I tried to block the negativity, I realised that it was all in my head, as my legs actually felt fine and I wasn’t even really out of breath! Ridiculous how your mind can make or break your runs. I really need to find some mental strategies/toughness for the next 10 weeks!

If anyone has any tips for mental toughness, please post below and let me know.

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Weekly Round Up – 25th July 2016

So I am finally on SUMMER HOLIDAYS and I’m hoping this means some rest, lots of running and a few more blog posts!! So what have I been up to this week?

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Monday – 400’s with my club. It was super hot and my legs were still a little heavy from the Parkrun PB on the Saturday! According to Strava, I clocked my faster 400 in this session! YAY I’m finally getting faster!

Tuesday – Rest day

Wednesday – Body Combat. My second body combat session, and to be honest, last week when I attempted it, I was so hungover I can’t say I really enjoyed it! This week definitely felt better, as I had some idea of what I was doing, and I wasn’t hungover. The intensity is tough, and I really feel like it is going to complement my running, as it works my back which I think is neglected when just running. Also, the high kicks work my glutes and hip flexors – both are definitely weak areas for me.

Thursday – Continuous hills with Club – It was another hot evening and this session was tough. 10 minutes continuous hills, then 10 minutes hill sprints and then some work on downhill!

Friday – Half a mile with my little lady. She is really keen to run at the moment, so we just do a loop around where I live. She choses the pace and when we walk, and generally we have a fun! After the run, she decided to copy me doing some squats and sit ups !:-)

Saturday – 11.1 miles! After London, I was really keen to keep up my long runs, but this hasn’t really happened too well! Today, I decided to accompany my friend Christine on her run. She had completed 18 miles the previous night and had 10 miles to run on Saturday (she is crazy and in training for an Ultra!!) She had planned a route, I just had to turn up! I knew I was going to find it tough over 7ish miles, but hoped a slowish pace would allow me to keep going. Let’s just say it was tough from the offset. It was hot, and lots of the route was off-road and I am not good at off-road! We ran and walked, even stopped for an ice-cream and once it had finished I did really enjoy it! Off-road is tough, and as much as I dislike it, I know I should do more, as it is good for me.

Sunday – Rest day.

So a full week, and some tough sessions to work on from! I go on holiday this week, so be sure to follow my social media accounts, as if the internet limited I will mainly post updates on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter

Also, my race report from the London 10K was published over on Miss Wheezy’s website if anyone fancies a read. Hope everyone has had a good week. Let m know what you have been up too.

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Weekly Round up – What’s been going on this week?

So, after a decent week’s training last week, I had hoped to build on that this week. I bet you noticed that I had written hoped, so you are probably already thinking that it didn’t quite happen, and yes, you are correct! I have been feeling a little under the weather this week; sore throat, sneezing, tired; the usual end of half term feeling really.

So here is what I did do:

Monday – Club speed session. I’m not totally sure what you would technically call this type of training, but we had a 300/400m loop off-road that we ran alternate loops to our partners. The loop included some hills and tight turns; and I’m just putting it out there, I am not good at downhill without screaming!

Tuesday – I was planning to do an upper body strength session, but this is when I started to feel unwell, so decided to listen to my body and take a rest day!

Wednesday – 6.6 miles – This was supposed to be an easy run, but my friend Tracie is ‘on one‘ at the moment, so it wasn’t slow and was a little longer than I thought we were going, but I did really enjoy it. Before we started, I thought that this race was going to be ‘kill or cure’, and luckily while we were running I felt ok, but 30 minutes after finishing, I was not feeling great and headed straight to bed.

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Thursday – Today was a big day and there was NO way that I could be ill! It was the GCSE maths exams, so I was putting on breakfast for my Year 11’s, I had club training and after the session I had organised our first Pilates session! I can’t say I felt great, but I managed it all, and actually really enjoyed the Pilates.

We had completed a hills session at club, short hills ( I kind of like), medium hills (I’m not liking so much) long hills (yep, you guessed it, I am not a fan of them!) Can you believe I forgot my Garmin, so I have no idea what speeds and distance we did, but more annoyingly, I have now got Vitality Life Insurance, so I didn’t get to gain my 10 points! Grrr

After Pilates, my body really did feel better. I can’t quite put my finger on why or how, but I am really looking forward to next Thursdays session!

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest from running, although I walked a lot around London. It was quite exciting to see the set up for this weekends races.

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Sunday – Rest

Not my greatest week, but not my worst either! Tomorrow is the Vitality London 10k, so let’s see what happens there!

I hope training is going well for you all. Do you do Pilates? Does it help with your running?

Grafman Triathlon

Weekly round up – What have I been up to this week?

After a few weeks with mixed training since London, this week I felt like I was getting back to training properly. I actually managed to complete both club sessions, plus yoga and a longish run! Go me! Let’s hope this can continue.

Monday – Club session. 300m hard, with 100 recovery x 8, 5 minutes rests, and then repeat. The 300’s were supposed to be hard running, but to be honest my legs were still in a world of pain, from the strength session that I had completed on Sunday. I knew I wasn’t working as hard as I was supposed too, but I just felt that if I did, I was likely to get injured. I think my 300’s were around 8:30 pace, but I’m just STILL blaming the marathon in my legs!!

Tuesday – My legs were still very sore today, so I concentrated on some upper body work and some yoga!

Wednesday – A nice 4 mile run, chatting with club mates

Thursday – Club session – 400’s but with the added bonus of every alternate 400 being up hill! Yuck. I feel like it now takes me about 4 miles to warm up, so this session was hard, and just as we were finishing I felt my legs were ready to run!

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Longish run. I am wanting to get my long runs back up to 10 miles, so that even when I am not training for an event, I can complete 10 miles at the weekend. I completed around 8 miles, and I can honestly say my legs were feeling it towards to end. I just need to build up slowly again!

Sunday – Supporting at Grafman Middle Distance Triathlon. Let’s just say I was very glad that I was just spectating. It looked tough, and much respect to those that started it, let alone finished it! Many of my team mates competed and they were awesome. I have never been tempted by a triathlon, and you guessed it….. this didn’t tempt me either!

Grafman Triathlon

So that was my week. I am hoping that I will be adding a Pilates class to next week! How is everyone’s training going?

The best running decision I ever made…joining a running club.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, and now that it is beginners month with @ukrunchat, it seemed very apt to finally finish and publish it.

If you are thinking of taking up running, or you want to take your running to the next level, join a club. It seems like the scariest thing in the world; How can you join when you are not a proper runner? Will you be too slow? What if no-one speaks to you? The negative thoughts go on and on. But seriously it is the best thing that I ever did. I’m not saying joining a run club works for everyone, but finding the right running club for you will increase your enjoyment of running x 100.

Training session with TB

I had tried a running club when I lived in Surrey, and even though I enjoyed it at the time, I got injured as I was trying to keep up with a very fast paced group and had to stop going after the third week. When I had recovered I didn’t go back, I just preferred plodding on my own, at my own pace.

Now that I have joined Team Balancise, it is awesome. Definitely, the best decision I have made for my running. From day one, I have enjoyed every session. I have met a wonderful group of people and I look forward to training every week.

YMCA??? Anyone? Photo Credit @AndyBrayford

So, what are the benefits of joining a club? Here are just a few I can think of:

  1. You meet like-minded people. Runners are a special type, and at a running club, everyone is that same ‘type’ as you! There is no such thing as TMI when it comes to runners, we share all sorts of information with each other, that any Muggles (non-runners) just wouldn’t understand!
  2. You can talk about running until your heart’s content, and your club mates will join in too! They actually like your running status on social media, and are really pleased for you when your run goes well! They understand when you are excited about the PB you got, and they are often just as excited for you.
  3. Training runs are always so much more fun as you have people to run with. My training cycle for London this year was so much more enjoyable as I chatted my way around most of my long runs, and then was pushed to work harder through all of my speed sessions.
  4. My club mates are so supportive. If I ever had a wobble during the lead up to London, they always gave sensible advice and gave me the belief that I could do it. Seeing them on the sideline at London gave me a huge boost.
  5. Being part of a club also helps you to find out about local races. I know most races are advertised all over the internet, but I have found out about so many local races through my club. I would have never competed in the Peterborough Half Marathon had it not been for TB, but I loved it and will be doing it again!
  6. The coaches push you harder than you would push yourself on your own, but they also are able to adapt the session for all abilities, so you never feel out of your depth.
  7. The sessions are always varied. Running the same route, the same pace and at the same time, each week can quickly become boring. Being part of a club means you run a variety of routes, lots of different types of sessions and quite often all the sessions you try to avoid when on your own!
  8. In the correct club, your running improves. I have definitely become a better runner since joining a club. I am better at pacing, I am better at training, and I love my running SO much more.
  9. On the days you really don’t feel like running, but you have made arrangements to meet a club mate, you go and you always feel better afterwards.
  10. Clubs are full of so much experience. For most people, there will always be people faster than you, runs longer than you and vice versa. You can learn from all of them!
Team Balancise 2019

I am sure that there are many, many more reasons to join a club, so feel free to add your reasons below. If you are not part of a club, and you are thinking about it, my advice; do it! If it’s not the right club for you, find another because when you find the right club, you’ll love running just that little bit more.

Race Recap – Kingston Breakfast Run

So my final 20-miler of this London Marathon training cycle, coincided nicely with the Kingston Breakfast Run 20 mile event, and as I was staying in the London area the same weekend, it seemed rude not to enter! The event is organised Human Race, and as with all of their events, this one did not disappoint!

Human Race Events

Date: Sunday 3rd April 2016

Time: 8am start. Yes it is an early start,  and forcing porridge down you at 6am isn’t pleasant, but it is nice that the run doesn’t take up your whole day!

Weather: Warm, sunny, with a slight breeze. After the wind and rain of last week, this was lovely.

Course: This course is a fast flat, looped course. One loop is from Kingston Bridge to Hampton Court Bridge and in total is around 8 miles. The event hosts and 8 mile (1 lap) 16 mile (2 laps) and 20 miles (2 and a bit laps) You run along the River Thames and it really is pretty, especially when the sun is shining. There are some supporters around the start/finish, but very few on the actual course. There are plenty of marshals and they are very supportive and encouraging. There were frequent water stations, 2 which had SIS gels available (shown below). I didn’t use the baggage area, but have done in the past and was easy and efficient. There are toilets near the toilets, but with 15 minutes to go before the start of the race, the queue was huge. The 8 and 16 mile races started 30 minutes later, and I’m sure it was a lot of these runners in the queue. They really could have waited or let us 20 milers sneak in ahead. There is a toilet on the route, but once I have started I am very reluctant to stop!

The website says that they have pacers from 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12 min/miles, but they were very hard to spot, as they had red t-shirts on, but nothing written on the back and no flag. I just stumbled upon the 11min/mile pace around mile 2, but I was running 10:30 pace. I went past him, but he caught me up around mile 20, and again I averaged 10:32 pace, so if you had planned to stick at 11 min/mile pace and kept with him, you would have worked a little bit harder than you wanted too.

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My race: I felt quite nervous about this race. I’m not totally sure why, as I ran 20 miles only 2 weeks ago, but I was worried as this was my last attempt and what if it all went wrong! London is only 3 weeks away and I really wanted this to be a confidence builder. Even though I was running this race on my own, I met up with some of the lovely RMR and UK Run Chat communities before the start. I also met one of my fellow RunMND runners, which was such a great surprise; she even stayed around at the end to see me 🙂 Thanks Maxine

I spent most of the early miles making myself slow down. I really didn’t want to start too fast, as I knew that it would hurt at the end of the run, AND more importantly it would make me worry about my ability to pace myself sensibly at London. I was pleased when the mile pace clocked 10:18 and 10:47 for mile 1 & 2. Around 2 miles, I  linked with a group of people and we chatted away about marathons and training. I ended up staying with one man from this group for the entire race. It so good when you run with new people, and you know that you both helped each other going!

I practiced my nutrition strategy, changing it slightly from my last 20 miler. I still had  a torq gel at 3 miles, but then extended it to every 4 miles. I missed my mile 19 gel as it didn’t seem worth it, but will take one at 19, and 23 miles too on marathon day. Around mile 19, I started to feel a little tired and was ready for it to be over, but really pleasing was that my final 3 miles got progressively quicker, and my final mile was 10:19 pace 🙂

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Lesson learned: I need to get to races earlier, this was a little too close for comfort, and did mean that I started the race needing a wee! Good pacing makes running a lot nicer. I need to stop making stupid faces when I see a photographer, otherwise I get silly pictures like this!

Silly faces for races

Pros:

  • Running 20 miles as part of an event is much better than on your own.IMG_9188
  • Great awareness for MNDA, as the official photography took a picture of me and a team-mate, fully MNDA kitted out.
  • The marshals were brilliant, and very supportive.
  • The photographers got lots of picture due to the smaller field, and they did not cost too much!

Cons

  • Toilets – there can never be too many toilets
  • Pacers – they were not easy to spot, and I’m not totally sure they stuck to their prescribed pace.

All in all, it was a confidence booster, and now it’s taper time!!

Beware Taper time

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