The Middle Ground

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  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Congrats, Alehouse. That's great news! 

    Jgav, good to hear from you. Yes, the marathon ambition has moved on quite a bit now. Just paid up to get to Berlin in September and contemplating Boston in April, just trying to cost it out. 

    Looks like you've generally gone well. Good luck with the half iron man. Where is it?

    I agree re x training. I spend just over 2 hours a week on the bike and in speaking with my coach this week as to what else we squeeze in to make gains his view was very much that the bike work is worth 10m a week of running. 

    Muss, shame about covid. I found it a strange illness and had one night I woke up drenched in sweat as well. It did disappear quite quickly though and I don't seem to have any lingering side effects. 

    Legs been a bit achey this week, just not conditioned at present for big efforts like Sunday. Monday and Wednesday were bike days and Tuesday was 5m at mp which was more graft than I'm used to. I'm pulling tomorrow's session into today when it's a bit cooler then today's easy 8m will be done first thing tomorrow. 
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    I also believe in cross training, but see it as an add on rather than instead of! Consists these days of various stretching routines...or would do if I could stick to the routine! Am managing sessions on Tuesday and Sunday (30 mins/60 mins). Could do with adding something in most days: more important with age!

    Training going reasonably and ran quite hard at parkrun on Saturday; however am still just under two minutes slower than three years ago. Seems a big ask but I plan to get back there...and more!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Wow ... this thread is still going!! Looks like I was last here in early 2019. :-)
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Good to see you Dan! How's things?!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • I can't log in with my old "Dr.Dan" username it seems...

    Not bad alehouse... hope you're doing well. I see DT19's speedy antics on Strava.

    I'm mainly dabbling with mainly triathlon and a few 5K races these days, as I struggled with knee issues from end on 2018. Knee seems to be recovering now... I've entered the Leeds Marathon in 2023, so will need to get running back to the top of the agenda. Too fat and too old to regain my abilities from the last golden era (2016/17) but not dead yet haha.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Plenty of time to train for a marathon in 2023, Dan, so the key will presumably a gradual increase in volume...and consistent consistency. No rush!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Crikey, didn't think I'd see you back here, Dan.

    Are you popping in or looking to keep yourself honest as you build towards Leeds? 
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Haha - for some reason the Runners World forum popped into my head and I thought I'd see if this thread was still running 12 years later it started... and it is! I didn't run in 2019 and have just ticked over in 2020 and 2021 as cycling took up the slack. Started coached swim session over last 6 months and trying to be a more rounded triathlete but really I'm just doing 3 sports and then botching them together at very occasional races. So fat this year, I've done 30 miles in the water, 1400+ miles on the bike and 367 miles running. Run training should be about 40% of total time when Tri training but currently at about 32% (but at least I'm now running).

    Plan is to carry on with Tri Training (I have Lake Dorney standard distance in September as a target race) but plan to get my run mileage up to a consistent 30 miles/week as part of that. I'll then do a solid winter of running so I can survive the Leeds marathon (with its 3 mile climb from 17-20 miles).

    5K is all I've raced so far this year. Managed a 21:30 in March ... sub-20 was always the target for me in the past but haven't been there since 2017 (and at 56, it's unlikely to return). I do have a 1 mile race tomorrow (road not track) and the Leeds 10K on Sunday but just doing them as they're on our club champs road race list.

    My main issue is I am between 14-20 lb heavier than my former running self, so I really need to address that if I'm going to get any speed back. July is where that battle begins.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the update, DrDan! Heading in the right direction! Sounds a sensible plan (mile races apart!). Don't say never re the sub 20: plenty of 60+ year olds seem to be breaking that barrier, although I never quite managed it! 20:50 at 61 and 21:12 at 63 seem to have been the nearest! I'm sure weight loss is the biggest issue for myself as well! Have managed to lose half a stone so far this year but seem to have hit a plateau: really want to get rid of that next half a stone or so. 

    The other key of course will be consistency, which you mention! Consistent consistency with a bit of progression!

    You have made me look back at my last couple of years! Through the first 9 or 10 months of lockdown I managed 50k most weeks, including in January 2021 when I felt that I was fitter at 67 than I was at 61 and 63. Then it all went wrong in February: treatment for prostate cancer (for the second time, having been supposedly clear for almost a decade) was followed a couple of days later by my first COVID jab. This was a serious mistake and affected my whole system and I spent nearly 6 weeks having to walk with a stick. I couldn't even walk to the post box at the end of my road, a distance of only about 100 metres. Still not got to the bottom of the issue but I gradually improved and by mid May last year I was running again. Inevitably did too much too soon and ended up with a shin injury so it wasn't until September that I was able to consistently hit 30 k a week...and then November was poor with a bad chest infection. This year has been better, with over 40k 20 out of the last 24 weeks. Am not, however, back to where I was in January 2021: best parkrun has been just over 24 minutes, not that I ran flat out. Not sure that I can get back to 50k per week, or to include the speed sessions that I want to: too many niggles. I do a couple of stretching sessions a week and need to do more: I would definitely recommend anyone of a certain age to include plenty!

    I ramble! 

    39 minutes easy this morning, and there will be a long stretching session this evening!


    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Sounds like you've been through the mill Alehouse - sorry to hear that but good to see the positivity and the return to the roads.

    Yes, the "Summer Mile" race is something I'm not looking forward to but it's our club's only race ... will treat it like the first mile of a 5K but with a sprint finish.

    Bike commuting (2 x 5 mile) and a 1400m swim which included a 400m PB.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Go well tomorrow, DrD!

    parkrun report: 

    I had been chatting with one of my friends in the week, in the alehouse, and we decided to go to a parkrun that he had not been to before. Then our best laid plans were thwarted as the one that we had decided upon was off due to an event. I had quite fancied that one as it is largely flat and I don't seem to do hills too well at present. So we went to another that he hasn't done: Heaton Park, North Manchester. It is not flat. Have run the Northern 6 stage and National Vets relays there.
    Arrived in good time and we did a couple of kms warm up before the off. I had parkrun there before, twice, the last time in 2014 with Dr Hill on the day of his 50 years of running every day. Ron did cross my mind a few times before, during and after. And today's course was totally different. 
    I lined up behind the 26 and 27 minute pacers and decided initially to hang on to the 26 minute guy. He was running with a buggy and commentated all the way: " take it easy on the hill, don't push too hard, run hard off the top, shorten your stride, relax your shoulders etc etc"
    One short lap which included half of the hill that we completed in full later: first km in 5:10 which included the half-hill and lots of congestion. 4:58 for the next which was downhill or flat. Then onto the main hill itself: a 5:33 km tells the story. "Once you get to the lions push on" (stone lions outside the hall). I left my talkative companion and pushed on as instructed: 4:31 for the next km before a final km of 4:43. Tired for the last km plus it was largely on stony ground. 24:50 officially, with a WAVA a little better than my previous best at this venue. 

    Meanwhile my friend, (who only runs once a week, at parkrun, but plays squash at least four times a week, plus an hour a week at least on the exercise bike) disappeared into the distance to clock 22:55, with which he was disappointed: last week he ran 21:45 on a flat course. Not bad for someone who is 72 in a couple of weeks. I think the squash playing must have something to do with it. Anyway he said that of the nearly 300 parkruns he has done, that was one of the harder ones, so I will accept his opinion on that as it makes my time sound better. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Might take up squash!!
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Hi DrDan, good to hear you're back to running! Bike fitness is definitely the biggest component of tri fitness, so 32% doesn't sound too bad. I think people can go well off just a long run and an interval/threshold session. Don't give up on sub 20!

    Alehouse, well done on parkrun!

    I have played squash quite a bit in the past. It certainly gets your glutes fired up with all the lunging and squatting. I have tracked games on my watch, and it didn't really seem to get HR up very much (certainly not as much as it felt like), so not sure how beneficial it is for aerobic fitness. One major downside is that it's easy to hurt yourself: running/scraping into walls, falling over, getting hit by balls/rackets.

    Five runs last week, but just 40km. Felt very hard work, and HR a little too high, but pace not too far down from where I was before Hackney Half. This week things feeling a bit easier, 13km and weights/band workout yesterday and 7km recovery bright and early this morning. 
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Sounds like very some consistent work there muss. Confess that I've never fancied squash for the reasons you mentioned.

    Sub-20 was a struggle 5 years ago but I'd certainly take sub-21 (20:50 would give me an all-time all-distance WAVA PB which seems a but strange but then again I haven't raced seriously for a long time).

    Just a leg-saving slow bike commute to work today, although nearly got clipped by a rat-runner who made a late decision to use a car park as a cut-through. The 1 mile race is in the same park as my usual parkrun, and close to work, so I'll lock the bike there and cycle (even more slowly) home after my running and tidying up duties are done. I've looked back at my result from 2016 (6:13) when I was running the parkrun at about 6:25/mi pace ... as I'm currently running 7:05/mi, 6:50-55 should technically be possible (which rather sadly was my HM pace in 2016). So long as it's under 7 min I'll take it as I've dine zero speed-work.
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    6:32.4 ... that'll do!! Still a Personal Worst but better than expected.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Well done, DrDan! WAVA probably fairly close to 21 minutes for 5k I would imagine!

    Muss: I have watched my friend play squash (national masters level) and he can barely walk or talk when he comes off court! 

    Another 6k banked here this morning; probably a little more this evening when helping at the first of a 5k series. Due to be wet. 

    How's things, DT? And anyone else!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Dr Dan, decent effort on the mile. Not far off sub 20 pace so there's still some speed in the legs! 

    Alehouse, thats pretty speedy at 72. I've never played squash, and for good reason. I'd be dreadful at it. 

    Work has been busy this week so just ploughing through the schedule with little time to post. 

    8 x 1k on Tuesday and 10m mlr Wednesday. Tempo run today. 

    Local beer festival this weekend for first time since 2019 so went along as can't go rest of weekend. Feel a bit squiffy today, probably not best prep for a tempo. 

    I've booked a trip to Boston this week for the marathon next April which is exciting.

    Though to offset that, I found out last week that one of my mates was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last November. He's buried head in sand and kept to himself but took a turn last weekend and collapsed and woke up with significantly obvious symptoms. It's been fairly upsetting getting my head around it as he now isn't mobile enough to come out for beers such as last night etc. 
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    DT - that's really shit news. My gf's dad died a few years ago from MND - his deterioration was shockingly fast. As far as I understand, MND actually describes a few different conditions that have very different rates of progression, so fingers crossed things are different for your friend. It could be worth exploring some alternative therapies, there's some evidence that THC and CBD have benefits on mobility and pain. And massage and accupuncture can also bring some relief.

    Exciting news about Boston though. 

    DrDan - well done on the mile! I'm sure you'll get a decent training benefit from that, not just aerobically but neuromuscular too if you haven't done any faster running.

    16km this morning, a little harder than it should have been. Furthest I've run in over a month so to be expected! Should get 55ish km this week, and hoping for nearer 65 next week.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Everything feels harder at the minute muss. I put it down to warmer temps, even if not gloriously hot, us for me a few kg weight gain. 

    I think my mates progression will be rapid. 2 ish weeks ago were out for beers and wouldn't have known there was an issue (I didn't though could see something wasn't quite right) then last night my wife has a message saying she'd seen our mate and is there something wrong, he looks like he has had a stroke. 

    49m running this week and 3 quite high intensity spin classes. Tempo on Friday was a suffering. Having gone to the beer festival Thursday night I was feeling pretty ropey and that translated into a Reay tough session. 

    Mixed pace long today, 7m easy then 2 x 3m at mp off 1m then 1m cd. Blocks averaged 6.19 then 6.18. 

    Feel like I'm in proper training now though and I've gotten out the way most of the big social things I had on, fairly clear run now through to Mt holiday in mid August. 
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Good training folks!

    Hope you stayed dry Alehouse.

    Looks like some good mileage build up mus.

    The Boston trip sounds super-exciting DT! Sorry to hear about your mate... MND was front and centre at the Leeds 10K yesterday with Kevin Sinfield pushing around his mate Rob Burrow. Awful disease. It's the focus of the "Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon" next year.

    I had a work "away day" on Thursday which was perfect timing to get the bus to/from town and recover from the Wednesday evening mile race (my knees were in bits). Friday was back to the 2 x 5 miles bike commute and I slotted in a 2K swim to ease away the post-away-day hangover. Rest day Saturday and then Leeds 10K Sunday which came out at 45:22. So that's a 68.2 and 69.7% WAVA in the two races... 70% in my minimal acceptable target, so getting there. I felt comfortable aerobically ... need to get a bit of strength and core training in as that's definitely lacking as I get older.


    I'm also looking forward to a run of uninterrupted training now over the next 6+ weeks. I'll do some efforts at parkrun but otherwise I'll keep things easy as I build consistent mileage. A 5K race (part of a monthly series) on 27th July will be a good marker on progress. My best there was 21:30 in March, so just repeating that would give me a SB WAVA as I've had a birthday since. Main target there is 20:53 which would give me a proper WAVA PB (but that will have to wait until later in the year when I have some consistent mileage under my belt).
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Managed to slot in a 2K of non-stop freestyle/pull-buoy (to rest the legs) ... just need to cycle slowly home now. One of the benefits of triathlon is that the day after a race can still be a decent training day. Run commuting planned for tomorrow - Zone 1 probably, especially as I'm cutting back on the calories and it will take a while to adjust to low glycogen levels.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Dr Dan - in endurance freestyle, you want to do as little as possible with the legs anyway - you should be putting in just enough work to stop your legs sinking in the water and therefore increase drag. I would have thought that gentle kicking would only aid recovery. Using a pull buoy is still very useful for being able to focus on arm technique though, and 2km is a very decent session!

    I've been meaning to do more swimming on non run days - it's good aerobic training that comes at a much lower recovery cost than running, and mainly uses entirely different muscles. It's just the whole thing just takes so long when you factor in getting to a pool and getting ready.

    Good training DT - those MP training blocks would translate to PB pace? Decent long run with plenty of time to go to Berlin. Are you going to change anything in this block, or just more of the same? 

    13km progression/tempo yesterday. Ended up in the 4:35-40 min/km kind of zone. Considering I was really feeling the heat and a bit hungover, I was pretty happy to run that kind of pace without HR getting out of control. 7km recovery this morning came out fast for low HR, but still felt a struggle in pretty warm sunshine. Definitely feeling some kind of fitness coming back, but also feel quite far from smashing out a decent race performance!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    Decent effort at the 10k, Dr Dan. Yes, mnd has a reasonably high profile at present thanks to work of Kevin Sinfield. 

    You don't need to improve too much to nudge over 70% from there. 

    Just keep plugging away, Muss and the fitness will come. Much like I'm hoping, you are probably confusing lack of fitness with summer temps and humidity. 

    Mixing a few things up. Mainly looking to increase mileage slightly by increasing wu and cd distance also added in regular strides before a session so I'm fling them twice weekly. Also pushing out mlr which has generally peaked at 13m. Up to 12m next week and will peak that out at 15m. Finally, in previous campaigns on a week when I've done a mixed pace long we've dropped a session, now the mixed pace long will just come every other week as well as my sessions. We tried it a few times building to mk in April and it didn't seem to cause me a problem. 

    16 x 400m off 1 min today. Plan was to run it controlled first half then start pushing it in second. Did it pretty well with last 4 being fastest. 

    Easier few days now ready for a parkrun smash Saturday. 
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Muss - The 10 miles bike commuting was enough for the leg recovery... was happy to rely on the pull buoy to avoid anything else. I'm lucky in that I work on a Uni campus where there is a pool so I can get in a 40 min swim within lunch hour. Really enjoying swimming at the moment which is a big change after moaning about it for 10 years ... I started going to the coached tri club sessions which made a big difference.

    Good work on the 13K and 7K.

    Looks like a good session DT - I haven't done any intervals since 2018 (tend to do the high lactate stuff on the bike/turbo but even that's rare). Good luck with the parkrun prep.

    2 x 5 miles of run commuting yesterday in zones 1/2... it was a bit cooler here than the last few run commutes which was welcome. Back to bike commuting today and have then weekly Tri club swim session at 8 pm. Day 3 of the diet too, so feel like eating the desk right now.
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Tri club swim last night was lots of drills... and then today was 2 x 5 mile run commutes way down in Zone 1. It was warm though. Should get in a long ride tomorrow after work (60 miles?) if all goes to plan and then I can rest Saturday (well, do the garden). Looking hot for Sunday's long run... am at a 60th in Huddersfield Saturday,
    so a late night which may screw a preferred early run.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Sounds a tough few days, DrD...with gardening probably being the toughest. Off to tackle my daughter's wilderness shortly. 

    Just over an hour d&d this morning to get it out of the way before the above. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    DrDan - good stuff! What kind of tri distance are you targeting at the moment? As alehouse says, gardening is often a bit of a mission, particularly if you've got wilderness like me! 

    DT - hope parkrun went well.

    Decided to have a go at South Norwood Parkrun this morning. It's my closest event, but it's only the second time I've run it. Wasn't sure if I'd run it progressive and steady, or hard. I obviously went for the latter and first km was 3:54, second in 3:49. Found it quite tough going at this point and started going backwards a bit, 3:56 and 3:59 for Kms 3 and 4. Last km was a bit of a slog, came up as 4:00 on the watch but hadn't crossed the line yet. Results came through as 19:54 which was good enough for 5th finisher today. Not a straightforward course - tight bends, gravel paths and lumpy fields. Not hilly as such, but there are inclines, and all of the above makes it hard to find a rhythm. Happy enough to get under 20 on that course, and with the air feeling quite muggy this morning.

    Had a chat to second finisher afterwards who ran 2:30:00 at London Marathon a few years back and just about to start training for New York in the autumn. Nice to meet one of the guys that seems to hold a lot of local Strava segments.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    edited July 9
    Decent run out on that course by sounds of it, Muss. What did the guy you were chatting to finish in? 

    Sounds like a pretty tiring training load that that tri business, Dr Dan. I think it very much is what it is next 10 days looking at forecast. It's going to be warmer than desired foe a runner at most times on most days. 

    Parkrun exceeded expectation today, was anticipating low 18s. Went out quicker than planned as slightly downhill start and there were 2 other lads spinning off with me then after about 100m another bloke stormed passed who looked so poorly kitted it was difficult to tell if he was just going off too fast or a very good runner just out for a jog. He died off very suddenly though at 0.5m and I found myself in unfamiliar territory in the lead. By the end of mile 1 I was a good 30s ahead. Not being chased or under threat made it harder to really dig in as from mile 2 my objective was to not do anything to jeopardise the win ie blowing up, so was less focused on chasing a time.

    Somewhat pleasingly I came in 17.53 so 3s off pb and a winning margin of 72s. Another box ticked there in winning a parkrun. I think had 2nd place been closer to me I'd have dug in harder and pb'd. 
  • DrDanDrDan ✭✭✭
    Cracking run mus! Was it hot?

    "Enjoy" the gardening alehouse. Ive decided to do some inside jobs as I'm too hot and also tired from yesterday's ride. Of course it will be just as bad tomorrow.🙄

    Turned out at 61 miles. Went east to avoid the hills and felt good for 40 miles but then had a very long struggle against a firm westerly headwind from Tadcaster to Pool. Just 2 of us, so no pelton to hide behind. Was starting to struggle so pulled into Wetherby for some refuelling and more water. Started to cramp in last 10 miles and my arms were dead but in general is was ok and good to finally get in an overdue long ride.

    Recovery day today!
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Well done Muss, and particularly well done DT! I suspect in a "proper" 5k race you would be nearer to 17 than 18!

    All sounds good, DrD! Only 20 degrees this side of the Pennines today. And less for my 40 minute easy run earlier.
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
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