Training: Weekend Running – 10k + 5k

Friday first! I fully intended on going for a run on Friday however the weather was lovely , I’d been in an office all day and I live 30 minutes from the beach…you do the math!

A Saturday 10k

I have two races this week, one on Tues and on Friday, so although I haven’t done a long (70mins+) run for a while, I opted for a 10k yesterday (Sat) and 5k today. The 10k was really warm and humid, sapping all the energy from my legs. I planned to do about 15k but couldn’t go on! Also watched my wife run a Parkrun PB in 21:14 – very proud!

Fast-ish 5k on Sunday

Today I ran 5k in a fairly pacey 19:53. I intentionally pushed myself as there is a 5k race on Tuesday, so needed a bit of tuning up. I ran today in my Newton MV3′s which, I’m pleased to say my calves have finally got used to! They really do throw you forward, but with zero drop I’d still be wary about wearing them even for a 10k.

I liked this photo of me and my wife walking toward the start line for a race last week!


Next Training
A race on Tuesday – The Corfe Mullen 5k followed by a race on Friday – the Purbeck 10k.

Summer Evening Runs

Surely what we in more temperate climes dream of through the cold winter months. A day spent inside at work, legs jigging underneath the desk and full of twitching energy. Evenings warm, bright and with sounds of lawnmowers and kids playing in the street.

Unfortunately I’ve had a bit of a virus this week, nothing too bad but just generally feeling tired and rubbish. So after a 10k race in the heat on Sunday, I took two days rest before heading out last night for a 10k in which I felt terrible. I swear I felt like I hadn’t been running for a month! My legs felt heavy and my breathing was laboured after just five minutes of running. Did 10k in 45minutes and definitely feeling a bit off.

Tonight I headed out for an easy 5k in 20:28 which didn’t feel too bad.

Next Training
Try and fit in a run tomorrow night but the beach beckons in this nice warm weather! Definitely get some miles in over the weekend.

Training: Track Speed Session

Pain (the good type

“Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch…” Was what I said as I got in the door from tonight’s speed session on the track at Ashdown!

Getting Used To Zero Drop Newton MV3 Racing Flats

My legs are still getting used to running on my zero drop Newton MV3s. This was the first time I’d worn them for a proper speed session and they didn’t disappoint speed-wise! I’ve read reviews of these shoes where the writer talks of them begging you to run faster and I can attest that they really do! I went in to it in more detail in a post specifically about the Newtons. This zero drop thing is taking a while for my calfs to adjust to (I’ve only worn them three times in two weeks) but I’m confident we’ll get there in a few weeks!

Enough about Newton trainers and my legs (ouch, ouch!)

The Speed Session Itself

Tonight’s speed session was a three lap warm up (1200m), followed by the following sets of repeats; 2x400m + 5x800m + 2x400m. The 400′s had approx 1m30s rests between them and the 800′s about 2m30s. I ran the first 400′s slow (1:20), as my dodgy ankle was complaining. I then ran each of the 800′s, increasing the pace with each one finishing on a 2:45. Then in the final 400m I went all out (as much as you can at the end of a speed session!) in 1:02.

I often say that I’m not satisfied with a training session unless I feel like I couldn’t run another step… Well tonight it was all I could do to force myself to run a warm down lap at the end, before sliding exhausted into my car! Maximum satisfaction!

Total distance run was 7.5k including warmup/down, on my feet for about an hour.

Next Training
I shall see how my calfs feel when I wake up tomorrow! If not too bad then an easy 7-8k.

Training: A Reluctant 5.5 Miles

After a really hard, fast and hilly 5k on Tues my legs were feeling unusually empty – I don’t usually feel tired the day after a training run (hill session excepted!) But as I’m not going to be able to run much over the next week I forced myself out the front door!

Having just borrowed a Garmin heart monitor I was tempted to do some zonal training but figured that’s an entirely different post/experiment! I’d maxed out my heart rate the previous night and for now all I know is my resting rate is 53bpm and my rasping for breath rate is 188bpm!

Back to last nights run… It should have been nice; a lovely spring evening, country lanes and a gentle pace. However the whole way round was agony. Thinking I must be going really fast, I glanced at my watch to see I was only doing just under 7minute miles for less than 10k! By the end the nice sunny weather was making me rue not taking a drink (note to self: take drink on hot days over 5k).

Miles in the bag though!

Next Training
Parkrun on Saturday…from a surprise location. Watch this space!

Training: A Fast 5k and Newton MV3 Sizing Issues!

Tuesday arrived and with it the promise of a new pair of racing flats (more on those later) and an evening speed session on the track. Rushing in the door from work, whilst my wife rushed out the door to go to her running club I spotted a package with my name on!

New Shoes (Upset Number 1)

Taking out my gleaming new Newton MV3′s from the box, I brimmed with excitement as I felt their weight. So, so light and very minimal upper. I was advised by Newton to order a full size up from my usual 9, to a 10 which I duely did… And regretted. Slipping the Newtons on they instantly felt too big. Optimistically, I laced up the second shoe and mock-jogged and the house but there was definite slippage and so much space at the toe end, the show pinched my big toe with every take off. There was a good 2cm/half inch gap at the end of the trainer so reluctantly I put them back in the box to return them for a size 9. Width wise they felt perfect so I am slightly wary of how the 9s will feel here – watch this space!

Upset Number 2

The second disappointment of the day was rushing off to the track session and doing several warm up laps, before looking up and realising there wasn’t the usual smattering of people warming up. Realising it must have been cancelled I drove back home and headed out for a fast and furious 5k by myself! I’d just borrowed my dad’s Garmin heart monitor so my aim was to push to the limit and see what my maximum heart rate was.

I did 5k in 21 minutes (very hilly) and definitely got my heart rate to the max!

Next Training
10k this evening if I can fit it in!

Training: The Long Sunday Run

Although it wasn’t that long… I suppose ‘long’ is a subjective word. To an ultrarunner, long would be 50 miles and my 10 mile Sunday run becomes a relatively short run!

I digress.

One of my aims for this year was to try to do at least one longer run and one speed session each week. The aim was for each long run to last a minimum of 90 minutes as apparently it’s ‘time on feet’ that matters, rather than distance. So a slow 10 miles that takes 90 minutes to run is good for a training run, teaching your body to convert fat in to energy efficiently etc.

However… I get SO bored running by myself that 90 minutes of solo running is not an exciting prospect. So yesterday’s run was 9.8 miles and lasted for 70 minutes. It was a very hilly route – I always try to make my longer run hilly to add an extra dimension to the training and sprint up the hills when I have the energy!

Training: The Self Conducted Speed Session

This will never, EVER be as good as a track speed session with a proper coach but… needs must! I couldn’t make it to the Poole A.C. Tuesday night speed sessions this week, so took myself out for one of my own, which proceeded as follows.

I began with a 1km slow warm up before going straight into 1km at 4 min per k pace. After this I found the flattest road I could in my moderately hilly village and started a set of sprint repeats. To be precise; 5km worth of 200m, jog back for 100m, sprint for 100m. When thoroughly exhausted I warmed down with a gentle jog for 1km – 7k in total!



Training: Easy 5k, Tempo 8 Miles

Sunday – 5k Easy
On Saturday I ran my socks off to get a PB at Parkrun. I usually recover quickly but there was definitely a bit of residual tiredness in my legs on Sunday, so I opted for an easy 5k at around 6:40 minute miles.

Monday – Intended Long Run
On Monday, it was a Bank Holiday here in the UK, so I took the opportunity to do my long run of the week. Bored of my usual routes, I headed out in the car to explore. I remembered a nature reserve I used to go when we were kids called Arne so went in that direction.

Parking at my old high school, The Purbeck School, I ran a mile alongside a busy bypass before reaching the village of Stoborough, just the other side of the flood plains from Saxon walled Wareham. This was where the road split off in to a quiet lane, undulating for 3 miles towards Arne.

However… I hadn’t accounted for the sun being out and the time of day. It was only around 19 degrees c but having not taken any water with me, I started to feel really, really thirsty! So I turned around at 4 miles making the distance at the end exactly 8 miles, not exactly a long run but I’d already run 9 miles mid-week so I didn’t worry too much!

Some photos I took along the way, beautiful scenery with the ruins of Corfe Castle growing closer with every step…




Next Training
Purbeck Runners club night if I can make it home from work in time, otherwise a tempo 10k with a few hills thrown in!

Training: Round the Lake in Hamburg

Variety is the spice of life, so they say! I get so, SO bored running the same lanes and paths near my home that it almost a puts me off going for a run sometimes. Argh! Not that same flippin route again!

So whilst in Hamburg, Germany on business I took the opportunity to do a little sightseeing – runner style! With a meeting beginning at 9:30, my alarm woke me at 6:45 (I was already awake, that comes with having young kids!) fortunately the colleague I was with is also a runner – a very good one at that. So good in fact, that I was a little nervous running with her. Her marathon PB, she told me as we were running, is 3:01. It turned out that we were both fairly matched for training though as she hadn’t run for a while, and I was looking to push myself.

We ran around a lake/river Alsenalster which flows in to the river Elba and which was 4.5 miles all around. We did two laps so a total of 9 miles in 75 minutes. Not bad for a quick jog pre work!

I would say, if you’re ever in Hamburg then do this run – it’s as though it were designed purely for runners! Wide, flat tracks, beautiful views across the water and water fountains at halfway points. It was such a popular spot for running it almost felt like a race!

Some photos






Training: Upping The Mileage, Keeping The Speed

I always try to maintain a balance between long runs and short runs, easy and hard pace, flat and hilly, for both endurance and speed.

Wednesday was club night and this was a gently paced but hilly 9k. The mist on top of the hills was so bad, at one point I could barely see 20 metres ahead of me! Fortunately it was in the National Park that I grew up in, so I know my way around pretty well… This easyish but longer run followed a pretty high tempo speed session the previous evening so worked well to keep the mileage up and so allow my legs to recover.

On Thursday my wife and I ran in shifts! Her club nights begin at 7:15pm and I get in from work at just after 6pm, giving me 30 minutes to go for a run! As I take 10 minutes to warm up and stretch this left me with around 20 minutes left to run, so I decided to do a fast but hilly 5K. This I did in 21 minutes – a short but intense workout. I then took Friday and Saturday off running due to no time and as I have a race on Sunday a 10k entitled the ‘Southbourne Fast and Flat’. The weather is meant to be appalling so whether it’s fast or not, we shall see!

Next Training
10k fast race tomorrow, recovery 8-10k on Monday.