#VMLM2016 training – Week 9

Monday – 400’s with club. My legs were still pretty heavy from Brighton Half so this was not going to be much of a speed session for me! Luckily, one of our club members is coming back from injury, so we stuck together and chatted throughout our 400 metre lap. I think I managed 5 in total.

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 8 miles. My legs still felt very heavy and tired, and I really had to work hard on this run, so I was shocked when I looked down at my watch and I was doing 10:15 pace. I really felt as though it should have at least started with a 9:xx! Another 8 miles banked, so happy with that.

Thursday -800’s tonight and it felt like I was running in treacle. My legs felt like they did not belong to me and this was hard. I even gave up and missed the final lap. Dare I say it, I am actually looking forward to my 18 miles this weekend, so I can plod. Everything in this last week has been about running as fast as I could, and I’m hoping I am going to feel the difference on Saturday!

Friday – Sports Massage – glad to report, no injuries, just tired legs that have now been renewed (I hope).

Friday night was our club awards night, and I only went and won an award!

Saturday – 18 miles – This was a tough one. The logistics of this run meant that I was going solo! Considering I haven’t run on my own for AGES, I was not sure how I felt about 18 miles solo. I procrastinated all morning, but knew I just had to get out! The first few miles went ok, although I knew I was going too fast. At mile 7, the heavens opened, but I was feeling ok. From mile 10, the pace dropped and I was over it, but I did complete the full 18 miles. I took some walk breaks, as I knew today wasn’t about pace, it was just time on my feet. My quads felt heavy, but I know marathon training is about learning to run on tired legs, so today was mission accomplished. I have 18 again next week and I’m hoping I will have learnt from this, and pace it much better!

I used my Torq gels again today. I love that they are so easy to open, the whole top comes off easily, without it going all over my hands. The flavour is nice, I did worry that it was too sweet, but today I had three and I didn’t really notice the sweetness. I will definitely buying more, and using these for London.



Sunday – Rest

This week I have felt really tired. Marathon training is tough, and I think I need to up my game with nutrition and hydration this week. I think these were not good last week and that contributed to my tiredness.

Next week I am running Silverstone Half as part of my long run. Anyone else running Silverstone?





#VMLM2016 training – Week 8

Half way point!!! It’s all down hill from here…. (I hope not!)

Monday – 5k time trial at club. I was slightly disappointed with my run at Parkrun. All this training I am doing, I expect to be a little closer to my PB, but when I keep fading in the final mile, It’s frustrating! And as much as I whine about running 5K’s, as they are HARD, I was surprisingly pleased when I arrived at club and was told we were running a 5K time trial.

I was determined to run my own race, and NOT fade at the end, and I did. I managed a 26:54, with pretty consistent splits; 8:24, 8:39, 8:39 ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 10 Miles – The sun was out, and I headed out to meet friends when it was still light! 3 miles to meet them, 5 miles nattering all the way round – well not nattering, but moaning about being cold! For my final 2 miles, I headed home but cranking up the pace. I think my final mile was my fastest, it felt good.

Thursday – Hills with club – My legs were destroyed from last nights run, and I have Brighton half Sunday, so I took this one EASY! (A little lazy really!)

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest

SundayBrighton Half Marathon – I LOVE this race. This is my third year in a row, and I really enjoyed it again. I completed it in 2:02:11 – my second fastest time ever! A full report will follow later.

It was great to get my first race of 2016 completed. 2 weeks until Silverstone and 4 weeks until Cardiff ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope training is going well for everyone. What races have you got lined up?




#VMLM2016 training – Week 7

Can you believe that we are now in to single digits for the weekly countdown!! That’s just a little bit scary – 9 weeks to go….

Monday – As I said last week, I am away this week, so I messaged my club coach to ask what the session was, so I could complete the same session on my own. I had all day to complete the session, but as always everything else got in the way, so I finally headed out just as it was getting dark! Luckily my club session was a pyramid session, so I picked a road next to my hotel and ran up and down, and up and down, and up and down… 5 miles in total! I think the locals must have thought I was mad! The session was 2, 4, 6, 8, 6, 4, 2 minutes tempo with half the time recovery. I was pleased that I managed to complete it and all efforts started with an 8: xx pace, but I wasn’t very consistent. I ranged from 8:00 to 8:54! It was a tough session, but I enjoyed it once I had completed it!

This picture was obviously taken earlier in the day, but I didn’t think you’d want to see a black picture!

Tuesday – Rest day – well in terms of running, but having a 4-year-old who is very active means you’re pretty much on the go all day!

Wednesday – My plan said that I needed to complete 10 miles today. I am always very conscious of how much time I spend away for my family when training, so thought it would be a good idea, to get up early and use the hotel treadmill. So whilst they were sleeping, I headed downstairs. I knew I was going to have to be mentally tough to complete the 10 miles, but it was worse than I could imagine! This was my view:

Pretty predictable, but I didn’t complete the 10 miles, after 1 hour and 20 I had just about had enough, so gave up. I headed back upstairs to find both my daughter and husband still fast asleep! How did Susie Chan ever manage to stay on a treadmill for 12 hours! Respect!

Thursday – Today was our day to travel home, so 9 hours in the car, meant this really was a rest day!

Friday – I completed some of the hip exercises I spoke about in week 3. They are really making a difference, the niggleย I was getting in my knee has not reared its head for the last couple of weeks!

SaturdayBedford Park run – I always dread 5k – I just haven’t really run them enough. Also, I always think I should be quicker than I actually am! They are hard, I set off too fast and then die at the end. I tried to warm up a little this time, as last time I just walked to the start, and then wondered why it was so hard! Doh! It still wasn’t enough, but next time I WILL get there earlier enough to warm up properly.

I did the usual and started too fast, so faded at the end, but it didn’t feel as horrendous as last time, so that made me feel a little better. The text that came through said it was a PB of 27:31. It isn’t actually, but it was better than the last month so I am happy with that!

Sunday – Strength and Conditioning – I really need to do more of this!

I am really looking forward to getting back to a routine and getting a good weeks worth of training in. I have Brighton Half marathon next weekend, which I have done for the last 2 years. (Read 2014 report here, obviously didn’t do one for 2015?!?) I really like this race. I love running by the sea, and it’s an out and back, so I spend most of my race watching the speedy ones on the other side!

I like running half marathons! I think I need a year concentrating on just halves, and try to gain myself that elusive sub 2 hour time that I so want!

Which distance do you prefer to run?




#VMLM2016 training – Week 6

Yay, finally a full week!! So here is what a complete week looks like:

Monday – 1.5 mile repeats with club. The weather was hideous. I don’t think I’ve ever trained in so much wind! Our 1.5 mile loop incorporated a hill, which is usually quite tough. We turn around at the top and head back down – the bit we all look forward too. Not today, going down hill against the the wind was like running in treacle. Lots of effort but not really going anywhere. Pace went out the window and it was a case of just getting it done! Tuesday – Nike Training Club – yoga for runners and runners strength and balance.

Wednesday – 9 miles. For the first time, I ran on my own for the first and last 2 miles of this run, and I actually really enjoyed it! I put marathon talk podcast on and enjoyed running my own pace. It did make a difference as I was also running earlier than normal,so it was still light: Spring is on its way ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday – HILLS – I really do not like hills, but this session was worse than just hills, after we had completed one hill rep we ended with a 400m lap (which was supposed to be fast) This was tough.  Friday – Rest

Saturday – 16 miles. I was lucky as a few club mates planned their runs around me to keep me company and it made this run SO much easier. I ran 2 miles to meet someone, we both ran another 3 miles to meet 2 others. The four of us then did a 7 mile loop, after the loop we were back to 2, and then 3 miles later, on my own to finish the last 2. I did find mile 13 a struggle as there was a hill, and I really DO NOT like hills!! Running with people is awesome and joining a running club was the best thing ever. If you are thinking about it, do it! 

Shortly after my run, we were on a road trip up to Scotland so my trustee RMR compression socks were on, and a hot water bottle stopped my hips seizing up!

  Sunday – Rest

All in all a good week. Next week will be a test, as I am away, so no club sessions and 3 solo sessions!

I’ll leave you with this…..

Do you like running on your own?

#VMLM2016 training – Week 5

I am pleased to report that I actually got more than ONE run in this week. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t a 100% week due to work commitments, but it was an improvement!!

Monday – 4 x mile repeats. A really tough session at club. I was originally told I was in the 7:50-8:10 group. I’m not sure I have ever run a mile that started with a 7:xx, let alone run 4, so I soon moved myself back a group! I wasn’t too sure how I would find the session having missed 2 weeks of quality training, but actually (once it was over) I really enjoyed it! I think my pace was around 8:30/8:40 pace for each of the miles which I was pretty happy with.

Tuesday – Strength and stretches. I keep telling myself I NEED to do strength work and stretch and then don’t do it! Whenever anyone asks about strength and stretches on #ukrunchat I always suggest the Nike training app. So today, I listened to my own advice and used the app; I completed the runners strength and balance workout, and then finished with run ready yoga.

Wednesday – 9 Miles. Running long after a full day at work, never appeals. An hour before I had to go, I really didn’t want too!

Luckily, I had arranged to run with friends, so there was no backing out. 9 miles were completed and it felt so good. I trialled a Science in Sport gel during this run. It has been a long time since I took gels. I am not keen on the actual taking of them; so sticky and not particularly nice tasting, but I definitely felt strong right up to the end of this run, which I think was helped by the gel!

Thursday – A LONG day at work, meant that this was a rest day (well in terms of running!)

Friday – I was SO tired that I took another rest day. But, I did manage to order my #oneinamillion t-shirt. Read here for more information.

Saturday – 15 Miles. The weather forecast was not good for this run, and I had contemplated moving it to Sunday morning. Again, friends were joining me, and they couldn’t do Sunday, so my alarm went off at 6AM Saturday morning for breakfast! At 8am we set off for 15 miles. I took my fluid in my nathan backpack and this time I was trialling High 5 gels. For the last couple of years I have always carried Lucozade sport in my backpack, but I’m now finding this too sickly, so I have been taking water with a Nuun tablet. It’s much more refreshing.

So pros/cons of the run:


  1. No chaffing this week – thank God for vaseline!
  2. Average pace of 10.37
  3. I love running with people
  4. The High 5 Gels didn’t upset my stomach
  5. This run made me finally break through the 100 miles so far in 2016.


  1. I found 15 miles HARD – only 11.2 miles still left to go for the marathon!!
  2. The weather – rain and wind are not my friends.
  3. Early morning alarms on a Saturday are not my friend!
  4. The High 5 gels were sticky on my hands!
  5. My hamstrings were tight. I think my exercises are helping, but my lazy glutes are really making my hamstrings work hard!
  6. Mentally I feel I am losing my toughness. I wanted to give up SO many times, and had I not been running with people, I think I may have. I tried mantras and every PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) tactic I could think of, but still I wanted to quit and wondered why I was doing it!

Sunday – I really wanted to do more strength work today, but I never really found the time. At one point I asked my daughter if she wanted to do some exercises with me (she’s 4) when she said NO, I knew there was a strong possibility it wouldn’t happen at all. So another rest day!

I am finding the nutrition part of running REALLY confusing at the moment, so if anyone has any links to good articles, please post below. What gels/sweets/food do you take with you on long runs?

#VMLM2016 training – Week 4

Yet another week that hasn’t gone quite how I would like it, but here goes…

Monday – My calf was really sore yesterday, so I discreetly wore my compression socks under my work trousers! I messaged my coach to tell him about the horrible week last week and tight calf. I had planned to go to club tonight, but he suggested more rest, as his words were ‘never run when anything is tight’. So, again I missed club, booked myself in for a sports massage and completed some stretches.

Tuesday – Sports Massage. One of the runners at out club does sports massage, so I was lucky to get an appointment for today! She asked me what was hurting – I think my response was, “what wasn’t”! She worked her magic as always and I did feel so much better on Wednesday, but she advised not to run until Thursday, to let my body recover some more!

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Wednesday – More rest, so instead I stretched and did my hip exercises (see here)

Thursday – Today, I had planned to go to the gym after work and try a little run on the treadmill. Gym bag was packed, finished work and drove home! Not the plan, but I had such a headache and really did not feel up to running!

Friday – Rest

SaturdayBedford Park run – I still was not feeling great, but I had planned to run with others, so there was no backing out! I moaned most of the way there, could have quite easily got back in the car at the start, but when the gun went, I started running. I have completed the course before, but only once and it was a while back. The course is 2 and a half laps around Bedford Park, and you know it is going well, when after 400m you are trying to remember if its 2 and a bit laps or 1 and a bit! As you can imagine, I wanted it to be 1 and a bit laps!!! I ran with club mates for the first lap, and that was probably a mistake as I went off too fast. The 2nd lap was a constant battle to keep pushing the pace and the 3rd lap was a battle not to walk! Luckily, a man tried to overtake me on the final stretch which made my competitive nature kick in, so I at least finished with a sprint. My legs were ruined and I quite nearly brought my breakfast up, but now its over, I’m glad I did it! At the beginning of the year, I thought I this could be a potential PB run, but having not trained properly for 2 weeks, I was fairly happy with 27:51 (I think this might be my 3rd best 5k time!)

IMG_8479 IMG_8476

Sunday – Rest – I was so glad that I didn’t have to run long again today, as I am really still not 100%. I spent A LOT of time on the couch and some of the time sleeping! I am hoping this is going to help next week be better. I am fed up of feeling ill and just want to get some quality training in!

Again, another week that was not good, but I did still complete 81 miles in January. February has to be my month!


How many miles did you manage in January?ย