Shades Marathon Training

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  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    It's a lot of time on your feet, Big G - not surprised you are tired. Having to stay upright on mud also works the stabilising muscles a lot more (I hate mud too!)

    I opted to have a crack at the route I'd planned last week up to Wimbledon Common and around the Wimbledon Trail Series route. It was a complete fail (navigationally speaking).

    It didn't look that hard when I checked the map from when I ran it in 2019...how wrong I was. A comedy of errors including:

    1) Overshooting the first turn and then, realising my error, still taking the wrong path and ending up on the A3.

    2) Getting so disorientated that I mistook the Kingsmere lake for the Queensmere.

    3) Missing the Queensmere altogther and therefore the Rifle Butts hill.

    4) Turning off the path onto what I thought was the Rifle Butts only to find myself trying to scale a slippery slope that got so steep I had to resort to all fours. It was not a path.

    5) Running into the playing fields instead of around them and somehow managing to do a loop the loop.

    6) Thinking I knew where the Toast Rack (path) turn was because I'd found it on my own once before. I did not.

    7) Stacked it on a tree root trying to find the aforementioned Toast Rack it so I had to go home with dirt all up one side of me (fortunately the ground was soft so I wasn't hurt, aside from my pride).

    On the plus side, I got some practise running around the common again (which is a lovely place to run - saw quite a few bunnies today as well as a heron), and I covered 15 miles which is the furthest since January. Pace was terrible on the common due to the terrain, trying to figure out where I was going and stopping to (firstly) check a map board and (secondly) asking for directions, not to mention picking myself up after falling over. It was decent on the way home until I got to the last couple of miles. The penultimate mile goes uphill...not that steep but a grind when you're tired as it's quite long...so I slowed a lot there and then didn't have much energy left for the last mile. I did consider stopping at 14 and walking it in but told myself to man up and I'd be home quicker if I ran. Pretty much the same self talk I use during marathons. :lol:

  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - sorry, I knew you had a race that day but couldn't think which it was.

    The Exe Estuary event doesn't interest me so much, not keen on having to carry water and phone etc.   I've pencilled in Plym Trail that day anyway.   :'(

    Glad Tigg got out for his run with you today.   I always used to find I was more tired the following day after an off road event, I think concentrating on the terrain etc makes me more tired.   But physically you should recover quickly.

    Cal - sounds like you had a most entertaining run today, not sure how some people can say long runs are boring.   :)

    I did just over 14 miles today, longest run since Shepperdine marathon.   Headed out on my quiet country lanes, knew it would be fairly hilly but when I came to a village I dithered about which way to continue and ended up choosing what turned out to be a very hilly route, total climb for the whole run was 1259 feet, would be good DD training!.
    Saw two teenage fox cubs in the road (thought of you Cal), first time I've seen young foxes for years.   Then a bit further on I saw 3 giraffes, honest, not hallucinating.   They were model (plastic?) giraffes in the front garden of a house, not full size but the tallest was probably about 10 to 12 feet tall, not sure I'd want to live next door to that house.   There was a truck outside and on the back was 3 meercats, looked like carved in wood and they were about 3 to 4 feet tall.

    That brings me up to 49 miles for the week, highest mileage since April and ankle injury.   Ankle was fine today.


  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Hoping that Rcouture gets a moment to update us on his half marathon today  :)    As I am impatient I have snuck a look at the results.   🤐


    Big G - I've just entered that Starcross Shuffle, thanks for that.   :)
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Yes I've seen it on Strava, too. That's funny about the giraffes...I wonder what they were for?
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    edited July 11
    Big G - Well done toughing it out on what seems like a brutal course. 

    Shades/Cal - Nice long runs

    Farnborough half this morning for me. We’d stayed in an Airbnb on the South Downs over the weekend and had a great time. Unfortunately it did mean the usual madness getting the girls sorted this morning which meant I arrived with only 30 minutes till gun time and I had to muck about finding pins for my bib and then was desperate for the loo. It meant that I ended up in the last wave of <3hrs. It made for an odd race as I basically spent the entire time passing much of the field as it was quite a big race. Another chap who was in the same situation caught up with me at mile 7 or so and we ran together to the end which was nice. Course wasn’t great (as mentioned by Cal) as it’s around an airfield and industrial estates mostly and while it was advertised as flat, it was actually undulating. Not sure the elevation gain was that much but it felt more somehow. Anyway finished ok in 1:34:50 which is an official PB by 11 minutes from my only other road half in feb last year and a minute or so faster than my dodgy time trial from December so happy with that. Think I have scope to do better at royal parks in October as my heart rate never went above 170 whereas it was above that for half my marathon which doesn’t make sense. 


  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Rcouture - that's a huge PB, well done.   Especially with the stressful pre race stuff and having to start with the slower runners.    You know there is more to come but for now, job done.   :)


    Cal - from the look of that house/garden I suspect the occupants are 'collectors'.     I have run past there once before a couple of years ago and don't even remember the house then.   I will run there again but won't be too often as it is really hilly, even for me.
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Big G-Well done,sounds like a tough run.
    Rcouture-That was a great race,lots of overtaking would slow you down a bit,and takes a lot of mental effort watching where to go etc.
    After thinking my run went well,I went for another run on Thursday and it was terrible,my leg felt tight like Tuesday so carried on but after 5,it was agony,like a switch got tripped,and I could barely walk.I had to call OH to come and get me and I spent the rest of the day limping badly.Friday was another limping day but I can walk normally now.Not sure what it is,but the soreness was coming more from the calf,but I seem to have some swelling on the inside of the leg and it is very tender when I press on it.
    I've spent the last few days really feeling sorry for myself but mainly shook it off now.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Oh Ian, I'm sorry to hear that - could be a grade 1 calf tear. Can you see a physio?

    Rcouture - that's a huge PB! My experience was a little different as I ran it in January although it wasn't too bad, weather-wise (they've had snow in previous years). I made it 81m of gain which isn't much but there were definitely some gradients in there. Have you joined the club yet? (If you have I can include your result in my weekly round-up).
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Cal-From reading Dr Google,I think it could be a grade 2 soleus strain,everything on the symptoms list fits,and I remember mentioning a bit back about the soleus being sore.
    I'm already thinking that London is a no go,at least I'll have the option to defer.
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Cal - I have indeed joined. Bit early to include me as I’ve not actually been to a session yet no 😬? Looking forward to buying the singlet!

    Shades - Is it weird that my HR would be lower for a half than a full? Average for this half was 165 vs 167 for full and as mentioned I never stayed above 170 in the half whereas I was there for half the full. 
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Ian - so sorry to hear that discomfort/niggle has turned into a full blown injury.  It must have been bad for you to phone for a lift home, sure sign of a tear.  Get to physio if you can as rehab work on calf/soleus is usually very effective.
    I've often heard that some pain/niggle can precede a tear.

    That's one of the better aspects of London that you can defer to next year, then you can prepare for it and aim for a GFA time too.

    Rcouture - re your HR stats, I expect for the marathon adrenaline might have been a little higher, after all the cancellations and anticipation of running your first marathon.   Also in the marathon you probably had to work a lot harder in the latter stages to maintain your race pace so spent more running time having to push on.   So even though the pace for the last few miles of the marathon was slower than in the half you were tired so had to work harder.
    Maybe comparison of mile splits HR for the two races might reveal more.
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Ian - That really sucks mate. How long would you give it before deferring London you think? 

    Shades - Splits of full below: it does actually indeed look like by 13mi on the full, the HR was lower so not that strange to be fair. Given I can run at higher HR for the second half of the full, shouldn’t that suggest that I can push more on the standalone half? 


  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Rcouture-I think you can defer pretty late so I will leave it a while yet,if I can get recovered with 8 weeks to go I may be able to squeeze some fitness in so will see how it goes.
    I've not bothered setting the bike up since we moved as I got bored of it,but I'm going to set it up again as it did keep an OK level of fitness so hopefully that will help.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Rcouture - yes, it does mean you should expect to be able to push the pace/HR for a half marathon.    But there are other factors on the day to consider, how you're feeling, heat/humidity/headwind, and the nature of the course, hills etc.

    The more race stats you have the better for comparison purposes.


    Ian - years ago you could defer very close to race date, when it was postal I think the deferment form had to arrive on the Monday morning by post.   That was to stop runners taking part if they were injured or ill.

    No jumping around tonight when watching that match, that will damage your calf even more.   ;)
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Sorry to hear that Ian. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the bike when you get back on it. 

    Rcouture, well done!  Great time and more to come, most definitely. 

    Shades, for the list the official time from yesterday was 4:56:37. 
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Way to cheer yourself up,just had a look at strava and this time last year I ran 22 miles at 7:40 pace,and it didn't feel hard.
    Long way to go to get to that level again.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Ian - you will get back there again.   If you remember this time last year you were so fit and training so well but weren't able to put it to use in a marathon as no races.   Different reasons for frustration this year.


    8 miles this morning, very humid, 98% 😰   My legs felt a bit heavy and a couple of twinges in ankle, not unexpected after steep camber and hills in yesterday's run.   Ran out on the main road and then back on the quiet back roads.   At 6 miles a tree had come down blocking the whole road, there was a chap with a chainsaw chopping off the branches, pretty sure he wasn't from the Council as although he had a safety vest on, no van, helmet or goggles.   I didn't want to turn around as that would have added nearly another mile to my run and my legs were a bit tired so I asked it I could get through and he let me squeeze through the branches to the other side.   There was a lorry and a few cars queuing, the first car had the boot open and then I realised the chap cutting down the tree was one of the motorists, just happened to have a chainsaw in the boot of his car, as you do.    :smiley:


    Gym later
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    That's really frustrating Ian.  You were running so well last year but didn't have a chance to convert it into a marathon time :(  

    Shades, that's a strange coincidence about the guy having a chainsaw.  At my house in Kingskerswell, I had a tree taken down (it was *just* outside the tree preservation area, and it was rotting so it had to come down), and the tree surgeons cut it all up and left the logs/stumps/branches up there - it was a very wild area, and not really a "garden" as such, but attracted lots of wildlife.  The next-door neighbour contacted me to ask if they could take some for their wood burner, and I just said they could come and take as much as they wanted at any time as I had no use for it, which they were very pleased about.  

    Talking about Ian's injury/recovery and RCouture's stats has prompted me to ask a question that has been bothering me for a couple of  years really.  How can it be that at the start of June I did a great time at DD, and just a couple of months before that did a decent for me marathon time, but now I'm really, really struggling.  I can't believe it's all down to loss of fitness - maybe some, but not all, as it's not like I've been doing nothing.  I honestly feel I'd struggle a lot to go under 3:40 at the moment in a race situation, but I'm a decent weight.  It can't be that I'm still recovering from DD, can it, surely?  Why these massive swings though?  I think it's the weather conditions mainly and possibly hayfever , but is there something else I'm missing?
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - I remember you having that tree taken down.   This one today was a young tree, I guess it came down due to the rain/landslide as there are steep banks there, on the left hand side between Kerswell and the storage container site, before the first of the 'new ' roundabouts on the back road.

    As to having a chainsaw to hand in the boot of your car, maybe we live more in hillbilly country than we thought.   :/

    I don't have a chainsaw in the boot of my car but I do have your books and some copies of RW which I've been driving around with since Shepperdine, are you doing Frome this weekend?   If not I'll see you at RED the following weekend.

    Re your current form, I don't think you're missing anything and I'm sure you've recovered from DD well.   Many runners struggle at certain times of the year, I think you're right, a combination of hay fever, hamstring niggle, both limiting your training for a while plus the very humid weather and lack of training consistency is enough to seem like a setback in such a short time.     I guess there's a good reason why the best marathons are usually in spring and autumn.    
    Have you looked back at previous years' training diaries to see if this is usual for you at this time of year?

    Forecast for Frome on Sunday is 25 degrees, I don't think I've run in anything warmer than 17-18 this year, but humidity should be lower, I hope.


  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    That's the thing, Shades.  In August last year I did my 5K PB having trained through the summer, but I know I'm way off that, whereas I reckon I could probably have got her it or broken it just 6-8 weeks ago.  I was doing more consistent mileage this time last year, with lack of races, and obviously I didn't do DD last year, so I was more consistent with several back-to-back weeks of decent mileage.  But my training diary from last year is littered with comments such as "tough run", "slow pace" from around this time last year, too.

    I do have an entry for Frome, but I'm not sure I'm going to do it at the moment, so I'll just have to see how the week pans out and decide for sure nearer the time.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - I do seem to remember you saying last year how the high humidity affects your HR.   It's often humid around June/early July time, thunderstorms etc.

    I've dithered a bit about Frome myself.   Yesterday they were forecasting 27 degrees for Sunday plus its a long drive for a half.   I have completed the Health/Covid form and my number arrived in today's post, so I'll see how I feel about it later in the week.

    Will watch Boris later today.   I did ask at the gym what might happen from next week and although details aren't fully decided yet it looks like we will still have to book in but won't be limited to one hour slots.  I think they still want to keep control of the numbers for now.
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Big G - Was last summer the most consistent you’d been with training ever pretty much given the lack of races? I recall very big mileage then. 

    Rest day for me today. Was going to go for a recovery run but it started tipping it down so decided to leave it. Had a 30 minute walk to watch the game at a friend’s yesterday evening which might have helped as doms isn’t too bad today. However I’ve signed up to the Chasers tempo session on Thursday and wondering whether a hard workout so soon is advisable or should I just play it by feel? There’s a waiting list system so don’t think it’s the end of the world if I call it on the morning of. Aside from being keen to start club events, I’d also like to get sessions in ahead of this 5k sub 20 attempt on the 8th of august. I know more miles will get me there eventually but I do seem to respond well to a weekly workout. 
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    RCouture, I did have a good block of training for several weeks last summer....but then I got injured and didn't run much at all for about 2-3 months :(  Then just as I was getting going again I face planted late January and didn't run much at all for another month, which is why I was quite pleased with my Shepperdine Marathon attempt as that was off about 9 weeks of reasonable training, but hardly any long runs.  I do think though that my Zwifting from December, and some virtual classes at the gym before that, helped maintain some level of fitness from the summer training whilst I wasn't running much.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Rcouture - that's good that the legs don't feel too bad after your race on Sunday.   You should be fine by Thursday for your tempo run, just don't run it too hard, which can take some control especially when running in company.

    Big G - I'm sure your Zwift has helped maintain your aerobic fitness when you've not been able to run.


    5 miles this morning, legs not too bad after the gym.  Nice morning but humid again.
    First class in dreaded foam rolling this morning at Pilates.   I am going to wear my tightest and smoothest compression tights hoping that will help, still going to hurt though.   :'(
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    7-miles for me this morning on my regular route.  I was out early for me, with a 5:15am start as I couldn't sleep again so thought I'd just get it done a bit earlier than usual.  Came back and then walked the dog, all before 7:30am.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - you were out 5 minutes before me, it's a bit cooler at that time even if it's still very humid.    Sounds like you're recovering well from Saturday's race.   :)


    Well today was beginner's class in foam rolling, a whole new world of pain.  Only hamstrings and piriformis were 'comfortable pain', calves and quads were excruciatingly painful.   At the end of that we had to go back and do 2 minutes on whichever had been the most painful, for me calves and 2nd time round not quite so painful.    Legs very tired walking home.   Those of us with our own foam rollers are supposed to practise at home, I won't be doing that.

    Next week is where we will stretch a muscle to its max and then foam roll it back into place, that's going to hurt too.

    Re end of restrictions, next week we will be able to use changing rooms and showers, no queuing at the front door to be checked in and no one way system in the building.   We've never had to wear masks there, thankfully.  Numbers in this Pilates class will increase from 17 to 24, used to be 30 pre pandemic but that's a bit tight space wise in that studio.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Shades, it was Trotters committee last night and we're going to halt the booking system after next Monday's training session, but the thought is that it won't drastically increase numbers at the sessions anyway, except possibly for one of the Monday groups which might get a few more.  We're going to hold August's meeting on Zoom, with the hope then that we'll be able to cancel.  I'm not really sure how it's going to go at the moment - the main issue seems to me to be that more people start getting "pinged" by the app, so have to self-isolate, and then we'll need Zoom.  Let's see.

    I've decided to stand down from Haytor Heller Chief Marshal role after this year.  On the face of it, it may seem easy - basically get a team of marshals together and allocate them roles.  But I've found it pretty stressful this year as people are going on holiday or not wanting to commit (for very valid reasons), so I'm stepping down now.   I know the RD (who is the new RD of DD) is having issues with the council regarding risk assessments etc, and is having to do waved starts and has even got in chip timing for what is essentially a very tough off-road race!  Hopefully the race will go off okay on Saturday and no one gets lost, which is always the risk on that course :)   I can't actually be there on Saturday (I told the RD this a long time ago), so I've just got the roster together as she requested, and someone else is doing the "on the day" role, which is mainly handing out the marshal bibs and counting them back in.

    We were looking to go over to NL in September, but the Amber rules are still a bit of a pain in the neck, having to get a test in NL (or France, as that is where we departing from?) before travelling back to England.  Maybe things will become a bit clearer as time goes on, but so far we're not booking anything just yet, although OH is very keen to see her family as she's not seen them for many months.  If we do go, we'll take the campervan, which we are picking up a week today :D 
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Just saw a video of Davey's new course.  I don't know the area well at all, but it's nothing like Clearbrook with a different HQ, so it seems his comment the other day was a red herring!
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - yes, from 16th August the self isolating for double jabbed won't be a necessity but I suppose they still need to get a PCR test and self isolate only if positive I guess.

    I don't blame you for standing down at HH.   When I was a Trotter I used to help with entries/results which I was promised a laptop, never happened.   The last time I did it I was in a tent in Dartmoor weather, rain lashing down an the wind was so strong they tied the tent to my car to stop it blowing away, the following year the RD didn't dare ask me again.   It always was a difficult event to get help with.   However, one year my marshalling duties was to stay with the Dartmoor Ranger so I sat in his Land Rover with him, which was good, we never got called to any emergency.    

    I haven't made any further plans re IOM yet, am phoning my friend tonight that goes over there for the marathon too.    IOM issue an exemption certificate to travellers from UK that are double jabbed and we have to complete a landing form but we don't have to take any Covid tests.    But the long time I'll have to spend at the airport plus the flight is just something to consider, my friend would sail over so she has the same issue on the Steam Packet ferry.   

    It's impossible to know how travel restrictions are going to change, but at least I guess you can book fairly last minute with the camper van especially if after the kids are back at school and holiday travel should be easier to book.

    I've just looked at Davey's video too, it looks flattish, or Devon Flat, I love that description that Winding Paths use on their race info.   The venue looks good too, did you see there's a breakfast takeaway van?  :)    Are you thinking of doing all 4?

    He's just messaged me offering me a place for marshalling so I've replied saying I'll run on the Saturday of the October and marshall on the Sunday.

    Just have to decide what to enter for the Easter Weekend now.
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