C210K Week 11

Now that I’ve moved on to Couch to 10K, I need to do some longer runs and, after Saturday’s parkrun, I realised that I need to start getting out more than once a week. So this evening seemed like the perfect time to start.

Despite the weekend’s snow, the temperature was lovely and mild when I got home from work, so I dropped my bag, got changed and headed straight out. I can’t remember the last time I did that!

It was still light at 5:45pm, so I headed to the seafront where I knew it would be nice, flat and fairly safe if it started to get dark before I was done. My plan, if I had a plan, was to try to run 5K without stopping. After Saturday’s parkrun I needed to know that I could go the distance without walk breaks.

With the Burgess Hill 10K coming up in a few weeks though, I also had in mind that I needed to try to work on my endurance and start building up some distance. I wasn’t going to push it, but I figured that if I went slowly enough then I would try to hit 40 or 45 minutes, depending on how I was feeling.

With all of this in mind, I set off at a nice slow steady pace, heading East towards Hove Lawns and the Peace Statue. There were quite a few runners, dog walkers, and dog runners around, but it wasn’t so busy that you had to dodge around people.

I hit the first kilometre in 7:30 flat, which I figured should be slow enough to make sure I got my distance done, and managed to maintain that same pace through kilometres 2 and 3.

As I turned and headed West towards the lagoon, I noticed for the first time that there is a wind farm in the sea just off of Hove beach. I know it’s a while since I’ve trained along that stretch, but I had no idea they were putting in wind turbines – makes sense I guess as it can be pretty windy down there.

This evening though, there wasn’t much of a breeze and the sea itself was calm and flat. It looked lovely in the twilight with a beautiful orange sunset over the sea beyond Shoreham. I really should take my phone out with me when I run so that I can share these things.

Anyway, the run was going well. I felt happy and relaxed as I shuffled along at my 7:30 pace. 4K came and went and I knew that I had the 5K in the bag so I decided to run to the end of the promenade by the lagoon, turn round, and see if I could keep going all the way back to my starting point.

I had no idea what the distance would be, but I reckoned it would be about 6K, which with my steady pace should bring me in at about 45 minutes. As it turned out, it was 6.16K in 45:57, so close enough to the mark.

But the best part about this evening’s run was that, even though it was slow, it gave me the confidence to know that I can run at least 5K and that I’ve still got a good chance of achieving 10K by the beginning of May.

Also, the clocks go forward this weekend, which means an extra hour of light in the evenings to get some more mid week runs in after work. I can’t wait!

How’s your running going? What time of day do you like run or train? Does your routine change when the clocks change? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Time To Regroup

Now that the South Coast Challenge is out of the way, I figured it’s time to regroup and think about what I really want to get from running.

While I have, for the most part, enjoyed the challenge of longer races, I really miss that feeling of being able to run continuously without walk breaks – working to improve pace and gain a PB rather than constantly struggling to up the distance. So, I have come to a decision.

For the next few months my focus is going to be on achieving that illusive sub-30 5K. I’ve come close a few times and know that, with the right type of training, it is achievable. I just need to focus, get a training plan in place, and stick to it.

Before coming up with a realistic training plan, however, I need to see where I’m at. Although I have been running on the treadmill a fair bit recently, it has been a while since I’ve run a continuous 5K outside. So, the first step will be to have a bit of a test run this weekend and then from Monday the training begins.

I can’t wait!

How’s your training going? What are you working towards with your running? Are you aiming for a PB or trying to up your distance? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Nice Little 5K Run

Two mid week runs? Yup, that’s right, I managed to haul myself out the door again tonight for another little 5K run. Well, when I say run, it was more of a shuffle, but it was a good shuffle.

The plan was to try to keep going for as long as possible without a walk break, so I started off nice and slowly, with the  1K loop at Hove Rec. Even with my slow pace, I found it hard to keep going though. I was tired and my breathing wasn’t great, but I kept running for the first kilometre and soon started to get into my stride.

However, the more I ran, the more I realised that I really needed to get to a toilet. I reckoned I would be ok for another kilometre or so though, so I decided to head down to Hove Park and run the long way round to the public toilets.

Despite the bladder issue, I managed to keep running for almost 3 kilometres, and could probably have reached the 3K if I hadn’t reached the facilities first. But needs must, so I paused the Garmin and did what had to be done before returning to the path for another loop of the park.

In the end, I completed the 5K in 35:17 (excluding the pause) and only had one short walk break, so it feels like progress.

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How’s your running going? Have you run this week? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you’re doing – I love getting comments. 🙂

Progress

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 10.40.58This morning’s run was an early one. I left the house just after 7:30 and headed for the seafront for a nice slow 5K.

The plan was to take it easy with the running so that I could take fewer walk breaks and try to build up my endurance a bit more. I figured that, after Tuesday’s improvements, if I could keep going for 1.5 to 2K without walking, I’d be happy. But the main thing was to be out running.

It was pretty quiet down on the seafront. There were a few runners out and about as usual and some people setting up some kind of event. I’ve no idea what it was, but they were sectioning off a small area of the promenade with blocks of wood and there was a small container with what looked like surf boards inside. I guess I’ll pop down later and see what’s going on.

But back to the run itself. I headed East as usual, but when I completed the first kilometre, instead of turning round and heading West,  decided to keep going towards the pier. From what I remembered from running that part of the seafront before, it was about 2.5K from my starting point to the pier, so it would make a good ‘out and back’ while things were still relatively quiet along that stretch.

Before I knew it, the Garmin beeped at 2K and the pier was well within reach. My pace was slow, of course, but I knew I could keep running and get to 2.5K without walking, so that’s what I did.

I took about a minute of walking to catch my breath and then headed off on the return journey along the seafront, past the bars and up towards Hove Lawns.

It would have been nice to have completed the rest of the run without walking, but at 4K I decided to give myself another short break. There was no point in pushing too hard, especially as I plan to do a longer, hillier run/walk tomorrow, so I took the walk break and then upped the pace a little bit for a stronger finish.

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Overall, I completed the 5K in 35:46, which is slower than when I use a shorter run/walk ratio, but that doesn’t matter. The plan was to reduce walk breaks and build up endurance for continuous running, so progress was made, even if it was slower.

How’s your training going? Are you running or racing this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Cutting Back On Walk Breaks

I was supposed to run yesterday, but decided against it as I’d gone for a 12K walk on Sunday and my legs were feeling a bit lazy. Or maybe I was just feeling lazy in general? That’s probably more like it. But with less than 13 weeks to go until the South Coast Challenge, I knew I had to make up for it this evening.

The plan was to do 4K on the treadmill, but I didn’t really fancy it. So I procrastinated on the inter web for a few hours until I eventually realised (at 8pm) that the only way I was going to get a run in was if I went outside.

It was quite windy and a bit damp and chilly, so instead of heading for the seafront, I opted for a few laps of Hove Rec. I don’t normally run there at night, what with the narrow path, bushes and vague possibility of being killed by an axe murderer, but as it was quite light outside I figured I’d take my chances. At least there wouldn’t be any toddlers on scooters to trip me up.

There weren’t many people around, which was nice as it meant I didn’t have to dodge anyone on the path, but it wasn’t deserted either – a couple of dog walkers and an old man doing laps on his bike, who I was sure would fend off any potential villains.

The other good thing about there not being many people around was that I felt comfortable taking things nice and slowly. Not that I’m ever fast these days, but I do sometimes try to go a bit faster than I should when there are a lot of other people around.

Anyway, going slowly felt really good, so much so that I went for a full 10 minutes before taking my first walk break – something I haven’t done (except on the treadmill) for a very long time. In fact, throughout the whole session I only stopped to walk four times, and for no more than a minute each time, which gave me another much needed confidence boost!

The over all time, however, was a bit slower than my run at the weekend, but not by much and I did manage to achieve negative splits for the first time in ages too!

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All in all, I think I’m starting to feel a pretty good about running again, so hopefully I’ll be back to running 5K without walk breaks within the next few weeks – well, that’s the plan anyway.

How’s your training going? How do you feel about running in the evening? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Confidence Boost

This past week’s training has been pretty good. After last Sunday’s slow 3K on the treadmill, I topped up my training with a 11K walk along the seafront. It’s not the same as running, I know, but I figure that if I can’t run the distance then walking it is the next best thing. And, let’s face it, chances are that I’m going to do a fair bit of walking in August’s South Coast Challenge 50K.

I also managed to get a mid-week run in last week – another slow 3K on the treadmill, but slightly faster than Sunday’s effort and with fewer walk breaks, so again, it’s all good progress.

Today, I planned to do another treadmill run, but as I was getting ready I changed my mind and decided to head outside instead. For some reason, I’ve become a bit self-conscious about running outside again. I’m not sure why. Probably because I’ve slowed down a lot over the last year, but my slow treadmill runs had been getting me down a bit and I wanted needed to prove to myself that I’m not as slow as the treadmill would have me believe.

In order to get a better idea of how slow/quick I really am, I decided to head for the seafront. It’s nice and flat along the promenade, so any walk breaks would be because I needed recovery time, not because there was a great big hill in front of me.

I didn’t have any fixed plan about how to approach the run, but once I got going I decided to try a 3:1 run/walk ratio. This worked really well for the first 3K, which I completed in 20:35 (Take that Mr Treadmill!), but as the run went on I found that I was tiring and had to reduce the ratios. By the final kilometre I was down to a 1:1 ratio, but still managed to complete 5K in 35:29, which is pretty much what I was hoping for at this stage.

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As far as the treadmill goes, I’m still not sure. Maybe I am just slower on the treadmill and, if that’s the case, then it’s no bad thing as running slowly is good for endurance. However, getting outside in the sunshine really did boost my confidence and I’m finally starting to feel that I’m making some progress again.

2016-05-28_Splits

How’s your training going? Did you get out for a run this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Taking No Chances

Yesterday was supposed to be my final long run before starting my taper for the Brighton Marathon. However, ever since my 36K run two weeks ago, my left leg has been giving me a bit of grief.

I don’t think it’s anything too serious, but there’s a dull ache that goes from the top of the leg all the way down to the ankle achilles. It’s probably just a case of having to stretch out the muscles as my calves are really tight.

In fact, the left one is so tight that when I felt a spasm last week and rolled up my trousers to have a look, I could actually see a long indentation along the calf where the muscle was tightening. It would have been pretty cool had it not been so painful. But it only lasted a few seconds. So, like I said, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

Not wanting to take any chances with another long run yesterday though, I decided to spend the day doing some stretching to see if it would be any better this morning. If it was, I’d get the run in; if not, I’d just do a shorter one instead.

As it turned out, my leg still didn’t feel great so I opted for an easy 5K to Portslade and back again. I’ve been using this route as part of my longer runs and quite like it. Although it does involve crossing a few roads, the roads are pretty quiet in the morning and it makes a nice change from the seafront. It also means I don’t have to walk as far before I start running!

In terms of missing out on the long run, I am a bit worried if I’m honest about it. Even though I’ve run more than the recommended 20 miles in recent weeks, there will be a five week gap between my last long run and the marathon, which is too long for a taper; and if I do the long run next weekend, then there won’t be enough time to taper and recover before the big day.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do, but I’m thinking that I might run 13.1 miles / 21.1 km next weekend as a compromise, and try to get a couple of 10K runs in midweek if I can get my leg to behave itself. But we’ll see what happens.

Either way, I know that I will complete the marathon even if it is slower than I would like – after all, I did manage to do a 100K last year on much less training! Ok, so I walked most of that, but still, when the chips are down you just have to get on with it, right?

How’s your training going? How do you deal with niggles and injuries when you’re getting close to race day? Do you stick to the training plan or take a compromise? Please share your thoughts, tips and ideas in the comments.

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