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Bacon Steve was glowing from a combination of being deprived of his takeaways and fever, having been forced from his sick bed by the thought of a nice run in the snow with the rest of the Target 262 group. However, he rose to the challenge and knocked out a set of perfect laps of the campus.
(Pic: The icy canal path)
Our training session today was supposed to be mile repeats on the scenic canal paths, but due to the amount of packed snow and ice and the fact they hadn’t brought grappling hooks to fish us out of the canal after we undoubtedly fell in through sliding on the aforementioned, the Asics and Runner’s World team decided we would do the laps on the track ....
Which wasn’t to be. The track was under a couple of inches of snow and also had a couple of snowmen sitting proudly on the inner lanes. Hmmm.
Sam spotted a runner and smoothly accosted him. Apparently there was an almost perfect loop of the campus which worked out at about .8 of a mile. All on tarmac and practically snow free. Just the odd car and running group to dodge. Perfect.
The first lap was at marathon pace which worked out for me neatly at an 8 min/mile, the next was marathon pace -15 seconds a mile at 7:45 min/mile, then 7:30 min/mile, 7:15 min/mile and the last lap was to be as fast as I liked. Steve Smythe and Sam Murphy had all of our times worked out perfectly so we’d all start at different times and then finish by crossing the line all together. Nice.
It was fun although difficult not to try and catch up the person in front. This was supposed to be a pacing exercise, but trying to maintain pace rather than catching up Ady who started each lap just 10 seconds in front of me was difficult. Had to get brain to outshout legs ... is NOT a race!
I managed to maintain the correct paces for my laps and managed to resist the urge to chase the others (I’m sure I was a Labrador or a Springer Spaniel or some other equally loopy dog in a previous life) and was rewarded by being allowed to do the final lap as fast as I liked. So ran it at a 5:55 min/mile.
Marathon Coach Steve had been watching how we were running and gave me some valuable tips. Apparently I keep my arms and shoulders quite hunched and he suggested relaxing these which made the arm action more comfortable and was a lot smoother. He also suggested trying Power Bars or protein Shakes as I don’t eat a lot of carbs so these may act as an additional insurance.
Sam Murphy ran with us on our cool down lap and helped us find a more efficient style of running as we all had a tendency to overstretch our legs. She got Alex – our super-speedy chap - to run at a comfortable speed – for him!! - then to run faster and made us watch the difference. It sounds so basic but it really did illustrate the point. His arms came higher in front and his feet kicked up high
Got back to the room with all of our kit in it and arranged to have a shower. Best of all the coffee shop was now open and Elaine had brought us all coffee!! Amazing!!! I put the coffee down in a safe place on one of the benches and went off to have my shower, safe in the knowledge that it would be the perfect temperature when I got back.
Got to the showers and realised I’d forgotten my towel. Face/palm. However, I HAD brought a very large and drapey scarf ... now just to explain the black bobbly bits of wool stuck all over me...
Got back to lecture theatre ... my coffee had disappeared! Argh! No time to get another so postponed that until after I’d spoken to Ruth.
Ruth is lovely! She is also tiny – which was unexpected as judging by her photo was expecting someone tall and intimidating! We had a good chat and she suggested carb loading before races and the types of foods to try. She also said that if there were gels or sports drinks I hadn’t tried at a race that I could always wash my mouth out with these if I wasn’t going to drink them. There had been a recent study showing that athletes (not sure if I class myself as one of these, mind) who washed their mouths out with sugary drinks or gel got a burst of energy even if none of the substance was absorbed. Apparently the body was expecting the extra energy so had a bit more of a push! A really, really useful tip! Especially if you’re accident prone like me and may end up dropping your final gel or squirting all over the floor. We had a chat about my ‘delicate stomach’ and we decided to go pretty much gluten and wheat free. Especially on the days leading up to a race. It was really nice to chat and to get an idea of sensible fuelling.
Finished up and went to get a coffee ... Coffee shop shut. Head-bang-wall. Repeat.
Had a sit down and a chat with Marathon Coach Steve and he outlined the training plan for the next few weeks, including when the long runs were likely to be and fitting these in around races scheduled such as Dorney lakes Half (Race your Pace) and the Silverstone Half Marathon. It was really nice to sit down and chat to Steve. He REALLY knows his stuff.
Had an MOT with Sarah Connors and she put me through my paces. She could tell I’d been foam rollering my ITB ... but also she could tell that I hadn’t been doing the bridges as diligently as I should have! No secrets from a good physio! She loosened off my knee and showed me how tight my hip flexors were ... With her elbow. I could feel the pain right down in my foot. She looks so sweet too! But it’s definitely a lesson to make sure I foam roller my hip flexors properly and do the ITB stretch using a partner.
We all got called outside separately to shiver in the snow and to have an interview in front of the camera! Wow! Felt like a celebrity ... although came across as a gibbering idiot. Oh well. At least I came across as myself.
Time to head home and back to the station. Next time we’d all be together would be the March Bootcamp! And that sounds SUCH a long way away ... but I know the time will fly by. Fingers crossed for some good long runs, no injuries and lots of smiles!
P.s. I finally got a cup of coffee at the train station. I went to pour some milk in and the lid fell in. As did all the milk.
Hi RRR - sorry to see you are still suffering. It's all part of being a marathoner I guess. I've been under the weather this week as well but thankfully not nearly as bad as you.
Have you managed your run today? Sometimes an extra day recovering won't hurt. You have trained really well. I ran for the first time since Sunday today and my legs felt refreshed. It was like I'd had a mini taper. Sometimes it can be a blessing if you are ahead of where you are expecting to be.
Onwards & Upwards!
I assume you're feeling better given the lengthy write up of Bootcamp 2. Enteratining as ever
Hopefully we'll have more luck finding coffee on Sunday
I suspect the only way I'll finish in front of Sarah on Sunday is if she's chasing behind me with a blunt instrument
Are you running on Sunday also? Forecast not too promising - cold with 12 mph easterly winds gusting to 24 mph At least it should be dry
Andrew - yes I'm at Silverstone too. The forecasts I've looked at today aren't too bad... 42F (feels like 37F), 8mph easterly winds, no gusts. I'll take that, given some of the garbage we've been running through since the start of the year (rain, floods, snow, floods, ice, floods and high winds).
Tenjiso - I prefer your weather forecast to mine (Met Office app). Can we choose yours?
Sorry to hear you're still feeling poopy, fingers crossed the anti-b's will do the trick. Loved the Boot Camp report!
Sending lots of piss-off-sicky-germ-vibes your way
Great reporting! Just letting you know I won't be at boot camp tomorrow but will catch up on the reports on Sunday!
Thank you for your kind words. I hope you’re feeling better too. I managed the run yesterday which was a big relief! Also feeling better again today so hopefully the antibiotics have kicked in and this cold’s on it’s way out!
How’s your training for Halstead coming on?
Yep! When the waffle-meter is working again I MUST be feeling better! It’s when I go quiet you need to worry! J Glad you liked the write up! I felt very guilty when I found it on my computer and realised it hadn’t ever been posted … sorry!!
I am bringing my OWN coffee tomorrow!! No more relying on coffee shops and their silly opening times!! Grrr!!
Weather report looks good!! Fingers crossed for no rain. And no wind. Can we hope for some sunshine too?! Or is that going too far?
I’m feeling so much better today thanks! Still haven’t quite shifted the cough but I’m feeling a lot more like me and have more energy which is a relief!! I just wanted to sleep last week … and cough!!
How’s the training coming on?
Your ‘piss-off-sicky-germ-vibes’ worked!!
Feeling MUCH better today!! Thank you!! Reckon it was your threat to the germs that worked not the anti-bs!!
Half a stone?! Right! Sending a shipment of crème eggs up to Hull! Can’t have you wasting away now!
Granola? Bleurgh! Chocolate is MUCH nicer
Am DEFINITELY taking my own coffee tomorrow. Otherwise I may be forced to break into a flat in the halls of residence. I’ll be found slumped in a kitchen with a ring of instant coffee bits around my mouth!
Sorry to hear you won’t be at Bootcamp tomorrow! Don’t worry! I’ll behave and keep away from the sweets in the café!
Week 11, Day 4
Goal: 6 mile build up run starting at 9 min/miles finishing at 6:30 min/miles
Back in the game! Feeling a lot better after the antibiotics have finally kicked in so tackled the 6 mile build up run. I took it very steadily and stopped for 30 secs after the 7:30 min/mile to gauge how I was feeling (fine … not too coughy!) and after the 7 min/mile (again fine!) and managed to complete the run without too much coughing or complaining! It felt a bit harder than it should have but that could just have been the result of a week off and finally venturing out into the dark and cold from my nice warm house!
The times look ok, but when I checked the HR data (new HR strap thanks to a Twitter buddy!), it looks as though my heart rate is still about 10 – 15 BPM quicker than normal.
Mile 1: 9:01
Mile 2: 8:29
Mile 3: 7:59
Mile 4: 7:33
Mile 5: 7:02
Mile 6: 6:29
Cool down for .75 mile at 8:24 min/mile.
Garmin Info Here
So glad you are feeling better! I have only managed two very short, very slow runs as I'm still feeling tired and a bit achy. However, it did cheer me up a bit to get back on the road. I don't think I can jump straight back in like you!
Good luck with bootcamp - can't wait to hear the details!
sarah osborne wrote (see)
Dont normally eat chocolate and cakes but ive had to start...its so strange, im not use to it.
I don't normally go within a mile of chocolate and biscuits, but I've been laying into them like they are the last available food following armageddon!
Enjoy the bootcamp Sarah (the other Sarah ).
Hi Sarah, congratulations on getting round your half today despite your illness, youve done really well. Hope your feeling ok now and that the race wasnt too painful
Derrick. the 20 may be ok if you run it controlled and slower than marathon pace or at least just a section at marathon pace but it is a risk if you are really targetting a fast HM.
If the main aim is 100% the marathon and the HM is more for sharpening or you just want to get 13 fast miles in then the 20 may be the better run (not race) for marathon preparation.
Im glad its not just me tenjiso., lol! Went to tescos yesterday and had a big blow out.....love bread and cereal so stocked up the cupboards with these...fingers crossed ive enough now so I dont have to reach for the sweater stuff....I have grapes for that (my husband thinks im very odd). Dont worry Sarah im making sure that im not going to loose anything else (otherwise im going to need a new wardrobe)....had two huge meals yesterday after my long run...lancashire (lamb) hotpot and veg for lunch and spag bol for tea..mmm Im so glad to see that you had a successful run yesterday and felt ok, lets hope thats it now during marathon training. Hope youve had fun at bootcamp today. Ruth can I pick your brains again, Ive decided im going to stick to having Cliff Shot blocks during the marathon. Last year I made the mistake of not having anything until about mile 14 but this time im going to start early. I was wondering how you would recommend me having them. Theres 24g of carbohydrates in 3 blocks. I didnt know if I would be best taking one (8g) every three miles or two (16g) every 5 miles. I think I would struggle to have three at once as they are quite chewy. I was thinking that i could have a jelly baby (my favourite) every 5 miles also to top up the carbs...what do you think? Thankyou
I would go for the drip feed option with the chews when you find them heavy. My first guideline to you would be no less then 30g of carb per hour (so 4 shot blocks or 3 shot blocks and 2 jelly babies (jelly babies around 4.5g of carbs per sweet) per hour. You may need up to 50g of carbs per hour but some runners seem to get by on less and you may be one of these runners as you are light. What carbs per hour have you taken before and how have you felt? A little more history may help me decide on how much to have per hour. But my initial thoughts are one sweet every 15minutes or 2 jelly babies, this may seem a lot to you so if really think this is not doable reduce to 24-25g per hour and have over two feedings say at 30, 60mins, 90mins etc
Let me know your thoughts on above.