Running Training: Track/Speed Session with Poole A.C.

Speed session last night which I love! There’s nothing like getting on the track with a group of other runners, even if it’s just training. I like the fact that you know exactly what distance there is left to run and even the feel of the track underfoot.

The speed sessions vary each week (I only manage to go one a month) and last night it was 12×400 metre repeats. I started with four laps slowly as a warm up and then got into to session itself. We started with a 2:30 rest between repeats, knocking ten seconds off the recovery time after each repeat. The idea is to run all 12 at a consistent pace, which for me is usually around 1:10… Last night though I was itching to go fast, so after a 1800 metre warm up and 5x 400m at around 1:15 pace I put my foot down and did a 56 second 400m. This felt great but left me struggling to keep the pace, so I dropped right down to 1:20 400’s for the next three repeats, before going back up to 1:10 minute 400’s to finish. Ended with slow jogging and warm down.

All done on a lovely sunny summer’s evening, what could be better?

Legs hurting today so must have been a good workout!

Next Training
Have a 4 mile race on Thursday night so resting today, off to Camp Bestival until Sunday and then doing the Stur Half Marathon on Sunday, so no training for a while, just races and a festival.

Race: The D’urberville Dash 10k

Must be brief as off out to dinner but in short – excellent run!

Located in the village of Wool, Dorset, the D’urberville Dash is a multi-terrain race across roads, fields, woodland trails and country lanes. The fields are prospers, unpaved, grassy meadows, the wooded trails have enough roots and tree stumps to warrant 100% attention and the hills are hard enough to sort the wheat from the chaff, but not so taxing that you have to stop and walk…There’s even a sandy section! I saw (and heard) a few people fall in the wooded sections – treacherous stuff but it makes for an interesting run in my opinion, probably because I didn’t fall!

I’m the sort of runner who, instead of worrying about the race, worries about the parking… Getting my number…. Will there be enough portaloos etc etc… No need to worry with this race though as there’s a huge field with ample parking and I signed up for £12 (affiliated) in seconds.

Great technical tee for all finishers which fits well and a good club turnout too for Purbeck Runners!

My dad was first Purbeck Runner in 39:36, I came in second PR in 40:51 and mum was second female Purbeck Runner in 52:25! Managed to cut my time down by four minutes from last year.

Next Training
Speed session tomorrow night (Tuesday) and then a possible race on Thursday evening, depending on whether I can run out of Camp Bestival to quickly do it and run back! Half Marathon on Sunday : ( yuck.

Race: The Very First Blandford Parkrun

Ah the Parkrun community… The best group of people you’ll find! A new Parkrun starts in Blandford and Parkrunners rush to support the inaugural event from far and wide. Personally, yes I wanted to support them, but I also like running new routes!

This was a lovely course:


It’s run along a beautiful trail way, starting near an unassuming underpass. Five minutes in to the run though and the above sight greets you! Apparently if you wanted to, you could carry on for many more miles along the route – maybe another day! The course is generally flat. It starts on a bit of an incline, dips down and up again under another underpass, flat again to the halfway mark and back again.

6th out of 175 in 18:23 : )

Me, closely followed by The Doc at the start!

Blandford Parkrun

Training: A Quicky and a Longy (with pictures)

Monday was a rest day after my exertions of the week before so on Tuesday, with limited time but Runner’s Guilt setting in, I popped out for a fairly pacey 5k. Last week I did three races in a row on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to a total of 20k and I can attest that doing this feels ok at the time, but you pay for it the following week! Running just 5k on Tuesday my legs felt like they were in the last stages of a half marathon! I ran the 5k in 20:40 which is nearly two and a half minutes slower than my regular 5k race time.

Then on Wednesday I had the rare opportunity to go running at my club night with Purbeck Runners. It’s a thirty minute drive from my house but if you ever saw the town of Swanage and the rolling Purbeck hills on a summer’s evening you’d agree that it’s worth it! We ran 10.5k but took our time over it (very hilly), taking 60 minutes.

Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks in Purbeck

Above shows a section of last night’s route. We ran over the hill from Swanage, down into a small village called Studland (home of Enid Blighton) and back to Swanage across Ballard Down, running up the hill pictured above.

The way down into Swanage (in the distance)


The route along the top of Ballard Down

The route along the top of Ballard Down


Next Training

Off paddle boarding / kayaking tonight so no running and probably won’t do anything tomorrow (Friday) either. Then Parkrun on Saturday and a long 14 miler planned for Sunday in prep for a half marathon the week after (yuk)!

A Rest Day – Listen To your Body

Training volume/quality and race confidence are closely linked for me. If I haven’t done any proper* training for a while and then enter a race, I already think that I’m not going to do very well before the start. On the other hand, if I’ve been training intensively (for me) in the lead up to a race, I begin it feeling like I could win (never gonna happen!)

*When I say ‘proper’ training, I mean structured speed sessions, fartleks, hill repeat sessions and at least one 70-90 minute run per week.

In doing this ‘proper’ training you are intentionally stressing your muscles, breaking down fibres so that they regenerate stronger than before and improving your cardio fitness. But all this takes it’s toll, so it’s very important to listen to your body and if you feel tired, achey, overly dehydrated or start to get niggles or strains just stop. Take a day or two off to re-energise, let your muscles rebuild stronger and flush the lactic acid out.

After training Mon, Tues & Wed last week and then doing races at 110% on Fri, Sat and Sun, I really felt it yesterday. In fact, I really felt it halfway through the 10k race on Sunday! So I took a day off running, enjoyed my dinner, played with the kids, watched TV and generally relaxed!

Today I’m raring to run again, muscles tensed to run like a caged animal that can see the zookeeper reaching for the bolt…

Next Training

5k plus 5x 300 meter sprint repeats tonight


Race: Tarrant Valley 10k

A busy weekend of running! Upton Time Trial (3.5 mile) on Friday night, Parkrun (5k) on Saturday and this 10k race on Sunday. Sitting down a lot today!

The Tarrant Valley 10k is a picture perfect, model village, rolling hills, winding lanes, wooded track type of race. Beginning next to a village green beside an English country pub you soon get a sneak peek of the hidden menace in the beautiful route – the hills. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind the odd hill but after two races in two days each at full pace, my legs really didn’t appreciate it!

After the tranquil start to the race, you go straight up a steep narrow grass path. The dirt/gravel paths carry you along through fields of grass and corn, through a forest and out on to a path that runs parallel to the edge of another forest – uphill – FOR 5 KILOMETRES! OMG it nearly killed me and my legs turned to jelly at about 7k. Coupled with the fact that it was a hot day and I spent most of this race focused on the path in front of me, face set in a grimace, longing for the end. Which was a shame as the surroundings really were amazing. But that hill. Sheesh.

I finished around 4 minutes slower than the 10k PB I set only four weeks ago of 38:50, coming in at 42:40.

As I always say when a race doesn’t work out – a good training run!

*Update* Tarrant Valley 10k 2014 results now available here

Race: Poole Parkrun (A New PB and Closer to #50)

Another week, another Parkrun! Number 42 in fact. I heard a rumour that so many people are starting to reach the milestone of 50 Parkruns that t-shirt sponsors Adidas may stop them soon due to the increasing cost. So I’m now hell bent on reaching 50 ASAP! Parkruns in Scotland are run at 9:30am due to the morning light in winter, so someone suggested I run a Parkrun in England and then skip across the border to Scotland to do two in one day!

I shouldn’t have really done this Parkrun as I ran an Upton Summer Time Trial (3.5 miles) the night before at 110% effort, with a 10k race the following day – but my motto is ‘if I CAN do Parkrun, I WILL do Parkrun’!

It was the perfect temperature after a night of thunderstorms and I managed to just get in a PB of 18:17. Sub 18 minutes is getting closer (bar injury or illness – touch wood).

Good news is Parkrun results are now back on Power of 10 #runninggeek