P&D Spring Marathon 2020

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  • Macca - I'm so sorry to hear that mate. Hope you're coping with it as best as possible. Thinking of you pal.

    Jools - good to see you getting properly stuck back in.

    John - Enjoy Japan, somewhere I've always wanted to go.

    After a bike session last night, motivation was low this morning. I woke up, already resigned to binning off my planned session, and I just wanted to 'jog' to work. Did the classic, I'll just do one rep, to prove it's impossible, and then just leave and jog to work.

    As usual, one rep becomes two, and before you know it, you're done. 2 lots of 5 x (1 min hard, 1 min steady) - hard bits around 5:30mm. 

    Also written a short review of 2019 if anyone want's distractions;

    https://spragginsblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/08/2019-review-racing-training-summary/
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    Joe: loved the blog - even during a tough year you've done some incredible things, and it certainly helps me knowing that others in a similar position have suffered with depression. I hope Katie isn't reading the blog otherwise you've blown the surpise of her birthday present! And the dreaded shoe lace incident makes an appearance again :) Still at least it won't happen in 2020...
  • AWC - Thanks mate, appreciate that. I need someone on hand at the Big Half in March to prevent a repeat.. Anyone on here going to be there? Missing my annual Wokingham trip this year..
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Joe - tuck the loopy bits of the bow under the laces in front. They'll never come untied, promise. You can see this in the obligatory post-Squerryes parkrun muddy foot photo here (mine are the feet at the top with the yellow laces. And those are the shoes I just had to throw out. Can you believe they were once bright purple?)
  • Another ultra, AWC? You’re packing them in! Huge good luck in the UTMB ballot. I’ve just finished reading Adharanand Finn’s latest book The Rise of the Ultra Runners. Have you read it? Really enjoy his writing style and loads in there about the UTMB. Not sure about the 24 hour track race though. Good luck for the ‘easy’ 43M run 😆. 
    Will have a good read of the blog later on, Joe. Well done on getting the session done this morning. I love the classic, just do one. Oh and another, oh we’re half way through...
    Macca - I’m really sorry to hear this. You and the family are in my thoughts. 
    TR I’d echo about running in the rain being fairly infrequent. It makes you realise that whilst it may rain on a fair proportion of days at times, it certainly isn’t all day. 
    Punchy start to the week, Jools. 
    John the cold weeing anecdote is very random! Japan looks amazing. Certainly one way to escape the bush fires and heat. Hope your friends and family aren’t too badly affected. 
    Hope the niggles are ok, Cal. I’ve been moving from just body weight core work to weighted stuff in the last few months. Have really noticed the difference during the Christmas holidays (my gym is at the school I work out so didn’t go for quite a while). So it was good to get back in again on Monday and today. 
    Certainly back into the swing of things, hamo. 
    Back pain seemed to have migrated from lower right back, to glute then round to hip flexor. I kinda think this a positive rather than just one area getting worse. Tried a yoga video today that seemed to help release the hip, and then did squats and deadlifts, albeit much lighter than before Christmas. This all seemed to really help, although when I then went for an hour easy run, (7.3M at 8:00 pace), the lower back hurt on impact when starting from any minor stop. I’d agree that the physio would be the obvious step, but I’ve just seen my new year bank balance 😬 so I’ll hold out a little longer. Trying to do all the things they will probably tell me to do anyway, and if I can still run I mustn’t grumble. 
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Cal - race day magic ! In training i wouldnt get anywhere near 10k pace and struggle to get near hmp on the LT runs. Well done on the 5am mlr, i read that just before my 5pm mlr, so if you can do it at 5am then i had no excuses.....

    Hamo - your legs bounced back quick, that shows you had some in reserve on sunday

    AWC - fingers crossed. ....dont let Hamo think he has it worse than us, he'll think we're southern softies. Hope saturday goes well.

    Joe - well done for getting the session done, getting outvthe door can sometimes be the toughest part of a run.

    SQ - sounds like you are loosening up your back a bit. I tweaked my hammy a bit with a few light squats and deadlifts Sunday.......after thinking how good theyd been lately !

    15m today, 10 degrees and no rain. Its grim at times here in the South Hamo!
  • Sounds like my ongoing issue SQ. Pain in the arse which has resulted in a weak leg/misfiring glute 20M into a marathon before now. Currently suffering in the back/hip dept. 
    Legs were pretty sore & borderline cramping last night so figured I'd be kind to them today. Just the 5M Runch + 2x10M bike commute. Double day tomorrow :)
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    Macca - Sorry to hear the bad news, hope you're coping alright

    AWC - Good luck with the UTMB entry. That would be great ..... and scary. Good luck with another casual ultra too.

    Joe - I'm often like that with reps, but I find it crazy how much my mindset changes as the halfway point in the session approaches. Nice blogging as usual - great number of races for the year too.

    Hamo - The way things are going at the moment, I think you'll be well ahead of me in London. I think you'll be sub 2:30 and, unless I really up my game, I won't be close to my PB. Great work on the casual win.

    SQ - Hope that back issue settles. Sub 3 - are you serious??? If you're consistent with sessions and long runs I don't think you'll slow down much at all, even if you do drop the mileage.

    TR - I always thinks the rain looks worse from inside and much worse when you're driving. When you're out in it, it's usually not that bad. 

    Madbee - Sounds a good plan and seems you're off to a good start. Hopefully training goes well and you can revise the target down.

    Nothing special this, a bit of fartlek yesterday and easy lunch runs previous 2 days.
  • AWC...Hope the recoveries sort out the last bits of the cold for you. All that rain is why we were born with gills sure :wink::lol:

    Joe...well done on getting it done when you weren't feeling it, i was a bit the same myself this morning. Brilliant blog as always, i'd agree with AWC, you've had a cracker year all things considered.

    Cal...I can see now why they were binned, bright purple you say, i wouldn't believe it :lol:

    SQ...Hope you can sort the back out quickly, but it's the best time of the plan to not be 100%, so don't stress it too much.

    TR...FFS, you'd get sunburn in that kind of weather, you'd need to watch :lol: Nice MLR, how are you finding the early parts of following p&d? You seem to be hitting every required run consistently, with no hassle anyway.

    Jools...Well done on listening to the legs and readjusting appropriately.

    HA...Thanks for the confidence, not sure myself, but I'll see how the training goes. Last year everything just seemed to click and i'd to reevaluate my goals after a few 'tune up races', hoping for the same this year again, but we'll see. Nice Fartlek.


    10 with 5 at LT pace this morning. If i'm honest id been dreading it and talking myself out of it (sure i cold swap it with next week strides, yada yada) since last night, not sure why, just tired and cba'd a bit with Sunday still in the legs/body. Decided to go out the door and see how i felt after 1 mile of effort, a la Joe (cheers), felt ok, so pushed on and ended up getting it done. It was tough, slower than my last couple of LT's pace (5.30's) but still in the LT range (5.30 - 5.40's) and the effort was definitely right. The LT miles came out between 5.32 and 5.43 (the last mile which was uphill, woulda struggled on the flat too though :flushed:) with an average of 5.37 min miles. More than happy now on reflection, that i toughed it out (good mental training) and was faster than i'd expected it to be half way through the session. 

    4 mile recovery planned for this evening, the legs and mind will be more than thankful. :lol:


  • TR - Agreed on the rain front, seems to rain a lot but we can sometimes dodge it when running! nice MLR.
    Jools - Nice easier day!
    Joe - I'll take a read of the blog later, nice reps.
    A heavy legged 12 miles this morning, quite warm for the time of year, but very windy. Saw a crashed car, dead fox and a load of horse manure...so very scenic :-)!!
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    HA: you do like your fartleks!
    SQ: hopefully the weight/strength work will help with the issue. I love Finn's books - he's a great writer and I can identify with his running journey a bit. I've also tried a few of the things he did e.g. Feldenkrais, Anatomy in Motion and found them really helpful
    No joy in the UTMB lottery which in some ways is a relief as well as a disappointment. At least I can now plan my year properly and focus on my main race which is the Lakeland 100 in July.
  • Very sorry to hear about you mum Macca. All the best.

    Yes I’m sadly all too familiar with the two-day hangover these days SQ! Great work at the XC.

    Bad luck on the virus over Christmas Joe, but sounds like you’re getting back in to things nicely. Great blog as ever.

    Great MP run TR.

    Congrats on the 10K PB Cal, that’s a big chunk to take off your PB. Funny how different people like different distances… I’d take a 10K over a 5K any day.

    I agree with the others SBD, MP can be very tough to hit especially for longer periods. Using races is a great tactic, indeed I’m not sure I’d attempt a long MP session unless it was in a race these days.

    Well done on the parkrun improvements Jooligan.

    Good to hear from you Madbee. Good work getting the [email protected] done.

    Congrats on 5th in the XC HA.

    Great work on the marathon win Hamo, superb. Sensible to delay the [email protected] if you weren’t feeling recovered enough. Sounds like it went well in the end.

    Get well soon Millsy.

    Good luck for the ultra AWC. Bad luck / congratulations on missing out on UTMB :D

    Quite the contrast John! It’s cool you got to run part of the Olympic marathon course.

    Eventful run Steve! Agreed it’s very mild at the moment.

    I’m currently paying for a lazy December, and feeling very unfit. Only managed 20:18 at parkrun on Saturday, which was a bit disappointing but hopefully things can only improve from there. Forced myself out to do some 400m reps yesterday, averaged 1:28.5 which wasn’t great, but every rep was ±2 seconds of that, so consistent at least. I’m still running without a plan at the moment, I'll wait until I hopefully feel a bit more myself before I decide exactly how I want to approach the spring.

  • SQ/AWC - love Finn's books too. I'm currently reading Lizzy Hawker's book about the UTMB and it seems so effortless for her - I can definitely relate to Finn's struggles a lot more.
    Re: the track race, Tooting Bec track is a mile away from me - I joined recently (mainly for the gym, but will use the track at some point I'm sure). I remember running past it very early one morning at the start of a 20 miler and seeing all these zombies shuffling around, and realised it was the fabled 24 hour race. I'd have stayed to cheer them on but I had to get my own run done. Marathon ain't going to run itself.
    AWC - sorry you didn't get in. Is it a ballot?

    I saw Helen Hall a few times last year too (AIM) - very interesting although bloody expensive. But my achilles, which was niggling (and occassionally screaming) for around 18 months seems to have finally settled down and my form seems to be a lot better. Not that it's good, but it was very uneven before with my right leg doing twice as much work as the left (no wonder it was pissed off!)

    SQ - your back pain sounds a bit like mine. I know my SI joints get a bit sticky and it can cause niggles all the way down the chain, as well as making my QL tighten  up a lot. Might be worth Googling some SI joint releases to see if that helps you.

    TR - got to be careful with those gym exercises sometimes. I absolutely fucked my groin up doing squats when I was training for my first marathon. I still have no idea exactly what it was that I did but I was out for over a month (and I'm surprised it was only that long - I couldn't cross my legs or even stand with my feet together for a few weeks). Managed to get back in time for the marathon but it was, as you might imagine, a pretty wretched experience as I didn't have enough long runs under my belt. The last six miles were horrendous.

    Steve - sounds like most of my runs, tbh. The one thing I experience a lot in London is the smell of weed. I'm almost disappointed if I don't smell it at least once during a run.

    HA - there's quite a bit of farting goes on in my runs. Not so much leking, though.

    hamo - good job toughing that one out.

    Had a bash at LT myself today. 10 miler, so five miles warming up (easy/steady pace), then four at pace, then another mile cool-down. I used the same road triangle as last time (on the map it's more of a shark's fin than a triangle, really). First two miles were slightly slower than I was aiming for but the longer side of the shark fin had a headwind, so I'll let that one slide. It was still pretty tough. I was wearing my Zoom Flys and the balls of my feet got pretty sore, which hasn't happend for a while - perhaps this was down to doing this one the day after my 14 miler. (I have thin fat pads on my feet and shoes with plates have caused soreness on occassion, although sometimes it's been fine, too).
    Getting through the cool-down mile took some willpower as I really just wanted to stop and walk by that point, I was cream crackered.
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    That’s worrying, Jools. Let me know when you have a solution!

    Squeezing the long runs is proving challenging at the moment, HA. But I’m sure I’ll figure something out. Fingers crossed you are right! But as I said a while ago, I am motivated to do my best this year, but not stressing about times too much. One reason I loved the Immortal and XC so much. 

    That’s a ridiculously good LT in the circumstances, hamo. Nice one on ‘doing a Joe’.
    Sounds like a messy crash, Steve!

    Very well done on the reps, spoons. You’ll keep building well with sessions like that. And it was very windy, which will definitely affect times. I’m missing our morning runs and catch ups - I’ll have to organise a pass soon.

    Bad luck, AWC. Am I right in saying three ballots and then you’re definitely in?

    Thanks, Cal. I’ll look up the SI releases. Well done on getting the LT done.

    This week’s ‘long run’ was 1h40 steady, which came out at 14M at 7:11 pace. Explored some new areas to the north, which are now more accessible due to a fancy new bridge. Felt hard work towards the end, despite not really pushing the pace. Back noticeable but definitely runnable. Incredibly, my plan still has a hill session (3 x 8 mins continuous hills) and a light progression run in the week. Lots of quality and not very P&D! WIll miss out whatever feels like my push me over the edge. 
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    CJ: I read Hawker's book for the 2nd time over Christmas. Love that book and whilst she made it all sound easy she ended up with 5 or 6 stress fractures so clearly something was going wrong somewhere. I'm interested in doing her Ultra Trail Monte Rosa some year. UTMB is a ballot but you do get an addiitonal ticket each year so your chances go up the more you fail! (Just like Western States). Interesting re Helen Hall as she's a pupil of Gary Ward. I've been to see a guy called Dominic Koch (Decrypt Bodywork) for AIM - he's more like Gary in working with ordinary people rather than Helen who is specifically about running. I do notice my posture and my feet/ankles have improved loads from doing the AIM stuff - I have another session next week, and hoping for more improvements!
    SQ: UTMB used to work like that until this year. The new ballot system means there is no guaranteed entry. However you can now guarantee yourself entry by finishing one of their other races which is what I might do - the closest is VAL D’ARAN by UTMB® which is in Spain. Its essentially a money making exercise - get loads of people to do their other races to get a UTMB entry. Lots of runners not very happy for obvious reasons.
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Hopefully not that bad SQ. That's a decent MLR
    Sounds like my recent times Spoons. Stick at it & they'll soon start tumbling again.
    Double day today 13K w8x200m before work then a messy Runch session. Started out with my classic 1K rep session on the TM but then some kids finally showed up for XC club so I only got the wu & 1 rep (+ recovery) done before heading out for 5.5K of MT. Horribly muddy & slippery on the local hill which totally killed the pace. Plenty wind about here too today Cal :p
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Hamo- your legs have bounced back quickly ! I cant get sunburnt in the dark, but do sunbur easily (plenty of times on vlm day). Re P and D, ive done the LT runs, and a couple of mp runs plus a 10%/20% long run. Im keeping the mlrs easy. Im used to lots of miles but mostly easy so i need to be careful. So I'll target the LT and mp. Bizarrely the 85m plan only has 2 mp runs left as there no 14m mp at the same time as the 70m plan (due to build up race 6wks and 4 wks out - i have booked a 1/2 and a 10).

    AWC - shame re the race entry.

    Spoons - still aiming to race yrself fit? Still at worthing ?
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Cal - sounds like a bad time after that s and c, well done on the LT.

    SQ - nice pace there, wise to be careful this far out.

    Jools - getting back to normal service.

    6m inc strides today, need to get the weary legs firing for Sundays 10k blast with Millsy.
  • My geography letting me down there, do in fact mean south 🤦‍♂️. AWC us - it sounds a little like Ironman in that respect. Nice one getting out with the young ‘ins, Jools. Hope you kept up 😉 Best of luck in the 10k, TR. will be good to get a marker.
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    SQ - hopefully better than last yrs result which is a 10k pw. Although i did go on to run Gosport 1/2 at the same pace in November. Forecast is breezy, but it was breezy last yr too (unsurprisingly as its on the coast).
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    TR: nice course Stubbington. Did it a few years ago when it was absolutely baltic and people were slipping about everywhere. Hope you have a good one
  • Steve...Interesting run you had there, well done getting your 12 done with tired legs, good training.

    AWC...Commiserations on the UTMB, hope you have better luck next year. As you say, good that you can fully focus on the Lakeland 100 now though.

    Spoons...Stick at it, and It'll come flooding back. A 20 min 5k is a good base to start from In fairness though.

    Cal...Nice LT. I find the cool downs from them tough too, legs are knackered after the effort and you just want to go home, well done toughing it out.

    SQ...Good pace over the LR. Glad the back wasn't too bad.

    Jools...Well done on your double day, good work.

    TR...Good thinking with the need to be careful, very sensible. The 85 plus plan is the same with no 14 at MP. I missed that run out last year following a lesser mile plan, and ran a half @ race pace instead, so plan to do the same this year and swap a 'standard' LR with a raced half around the same time as the [email protected] should be scheduled. Best of luck on Sunday.


    A 12 very slippy icy mile MLR for me this morning. 2 pair of gloves on and my fingers were still froze solid, still made for a lovely misty sunrise/bright full moon, so every cloud and all that :lol:
  • I'm actually missing weather like that, hamo. Feel like we haven't had a frosty morning for ages. Hope you've defrosted now.

    45 minute light progression this morning, from 8:30 down to a short spot of 6:40 pace, probably just shy of 6M in total. Did another bit of 'meathead yoga' to try to loosen off the back, and also fannied around with a band around my knee s(before the run, rather than during...). Back still stiff nonetheless and feeling clunky when running, but not actually painful other than when accelerating from standing. 
  • Stick with the yoga SQ. I've always found it helps to keep me loose. That & steady running rather than intervals/races etc which can aggravate it.
    Have a good race TR & Millsy (are you still lurking?)
    No frost here Hamo but a noticeable drop in temp this am: enough to make me dig the gloves back out after a week or so without. Perfect weather really - cold but no ice, dry & still after a windy day yesterday. Did my morning 13K canal route as a tempo fartlek today with efforts of 2K/3K/600m/1K with steady running between for 7:06 average which is the fastest I've run it. Hopefully 24hrs will be enough recovery to have a decent bash at parkrun tomorrow. Back in Devon & it's gonna be breezy so I'll probably see if I can better my Xmas Day time at Bideford rather than chase my tail at Barnstaple.
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    AWC - agreed, its a decent race, not Chichester fast, but not slow.

    Nice mlr there Hamo. I could make my 1/2 6weeks out a mp run, but id be able to hit mo comfortably in a 1/2, maybe thats the point. Id like the 1/2 as a mara indicator really though.

    Thats a nice run SQ sounds enjoyable.

    Hope you go well again jools.

    6m inc strides again today, no long run tomorrow due to sundays race.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Hi, I`m still here, just. been travelling all over the country for work will very little time to think, although it has given me a chance to rest and get over the virus. I`ll be well tapered for Stubbington if nothing else. See you there TR.
  • Thanks again for the well wishes.

    Good luck to all the racers this weekend.

    Hopefully see you tomorrow morning AWC.
  • Best of luck tomorrow Macca & AWC.
    Hope it's fully cleared up Millsy & you get to have a proper race.
  • Good luck Macca and AWC on your long jaunts.

    Good luck TR and Millsy on the 10ks. Painful in a different way.
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Hope Macca and AWC go well.

    See you Sunday Millsy, ill bring my elastic (possibly my 4% too). Stubby 10k is worth doing as a local just for the long sleeve training top they give you.
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