Johnno's sort-of-training-log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Johnno, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Thanks! Everything seems to be going in the right direction at the moment, but I could do with a little bit of good luck, in terms of keeping my ancient, creaky body free of injury, and hopefully not getting any unwanted illness close to the event. (Had colds/flu just before my last two half marathons, which didn't help at all.) I'm really hoping that if I can stay healthy then I might actually enjoy this marathon, rather than just suffering my way around!
  2. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Thursday 2015/08/20. Local run, 6.4 miles, averaged about 9.24. Took the first mile VERY steadily, close to 10.00, as I was feeling a bit creaky. Picked up after that, but never felt particularly energetic this morning. Always a good workout though, doing them thar hills!
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  3. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Saturday 2015/08/22. The usual routine: did my regular parkrun as a gentle 'warm up' and the first three miles of my long run, which this week was up to seventeen miles. So I followed the parkrun with four laps of a 3.5 mile circuit, with a quick mouthful of water in between each lap.

    I felt very comfortable during the parkrun, but for some reason my right quad tightened right up within a mile of the start of the first of my laps. Slowed down and managed to run it off, but I felt hungry and tired and I knew that I was in for a REAL slog! I wasn't mistaken: this run was a swine.

    I had had the idea all along of getting accustomed to using energy gels from about the 'mid teens', but hadn't actually done anything about it until Friday, when I ordered some online. Funnily enough they arrived shortly after I got home on the Saturday, but I really could have done with some on my run! I'll start testing them next week.

    My thighs are developing new bulges on top of the existing bulges. I think I must be getting stronger!
  4. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Tuesday 2015/08/25. Running club, group 5. We did 7.0 miles at an average 8.42 mpm. Only such a low average because of the long steep climbs!
  5. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Saturday 2015/08/29. Made a point of having something to eat before ny long run this week, because I realise now that doing on an empty stomach is a bit daft (although I would imagine that I lose more weight doing it that way!) Was supposed to be doing 18 miles, but strangely it only registered as 17.7 on Strava. It usually records as up to half a mile OVER what I had planned to do.

    Had a banana about an hour before, and then tried out energy gels for the first time during my run. The first one seemed to give me a significant boost, but the next two did very little, apart from giving me rather impressive levels of flatulance. But I was pleased that I got them down without difficulty, as I know that some people find that they make them feel sick.

    The last 3.5 mile 'lap' of my route was a real slog. I was barely even jogging on the last long climb, but I made myself get up on my toes and get running properly again, however much I was suffering, and I'm glad I did. I can always push myself to keep going even with gritted teeth when I'm running with a group, so I need to find the same determination when I'm on my own. It isn't enough just to keep going when I'm exhausted: I've got to really push myself.

    Only three more long runs to go: 19, 20 and 21 miles. I think I'll get up early next Saturday and having a proper breakfast beforehand.
  6. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Tuesday 2015/09/01. Running club, monthly hill sprint session.

    Chucked it down with rain most of the time we were running. Which changed from being annoying to being refreshing about half way through!

    A really good workout as always, and I'm getting much better now at running back down the hills without jarring my knees, so I didn't get left behind! :)
  7. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Wednesday 2015/09/02. Taiji classes back on after a long summer break.

    I was in the area anyway and ended up getting there rather early, but the instructor is always early so I took the opportunity to ask him to teach me a chunk of the sabre form which I hadn't covered before. Practised that over and over until class started.

    In class we did warm-up excercises, then ran through the empty-hand form and then the sabre form, repeating bits where the teacher felt we needed to improve.
  8. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Saturday 2015/09/05. Gentle parkrun followed by weekly 'long run'. Grand total 19.5 miles.

    Got up early in order to have a proper breakfast well in advance, and had an energy gel at regular intervals throughout. Seemed to last the distance a lot better with more fuel on board.

    Also, I made a point of 'up on my toes' rather than 'down on my heels' when running up the climbs, no matter how tired I felt, and I think that was a big psychological help. in fact, I felt by the end that I had really stepped up a level, in a way that is hard to define but felt very real nonetheless.

    The bad news was that my knee started giving me a bit of gyp again, although only in short bursts. I also found that my hamstrings started to feel a little bit tight rather early on, but I think that may be due to having done less stretching lately due to missing out on my Thursday morning run for the last two weeks. So I'll make a big effort to go this week, and to stretch every day whether I'm running or not - although I feel much more benefit from stretching after a good run.


    Sunday 2015/09/06. Went to visit my sister in York, and we drove around the marathon route for a bit of a recce. It's generally very flat, and the climbs are mostly either shore and mdoerate or else long but gentle. The exception is the one about a quarter of a mile before the finish, which would be a nasty little climb at the best of times, but after 26 miles will be downright brutal. But at least I will know what to expect!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  9. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Tuesday 2015/09/08. Running club, group 5.

    The plan was to do about 7 miles at about 8.5 minute mile pace. We only had one group leader this week instead of two, so I offered to stand in as back marker. Which meant that I didn't feel like I was pushing myself as hard - although really I was doing just the same as everyone else! But it's nice to help out anyone who is perhaps struggling slightly with the pace of the group, and it was quite satisfying to realise that I was running well within my limits by the end, where I had been the person having to step up to that pace when I changed up a group earlier this year.

    When I checked the running app on my phone afterwards, it said that we had done 7.5 miles at an average of about 8.5 mpm. Which seemed reasonable on the face of it, but whereas the first 5 miles were all very close to 9 mpm, the sixth one was about 7.5 and the seventh one was about 6.45. That seems VERY suspicious to me. I didn't think we had got anywhere near that pace.
  10. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Wednesday 2015/09/09. Taiji class.

    Ran through the long form, then through the sabre form. Then started going through the sabre form from the beginning, working on the detail.


    Thursday 2015/09/10. Local run.

    Felt noticably quicker and stronger than last time I did this route. Didn't overdo it though, because I want to be fresh for Saturday's long run.

    The average pace for each mile (which is the most detailed breakdown that my running app gives me) was about 8.5 on the mainly downhill/flat miles, about 9.0 on the flat/undulating miles, and about 9.5 on the mostly climbing miles. I was pretty happy with that. I think it was 6.3 miles in total.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  11. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Saturday 2015/09/12. Parkrun, then 'long run', with an intended total of 20 miles. But it actually recorded as 20.8.

    Totally and utterly exhausting. Would have LOVED to have just jacked it in at almost any point from about 13 miles onwards. But I kept going, so I suppose I should feel proud of myself. Right now though, I'm too knackered to feel anything at all! (Except 'sore'.)
  12. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Tuesday 2015/09/15. Running club, group 5.

    A different group leader this week (Dan) and a slightly different routine. A relatively flat route overall, so he threw in a few hill sprints. Since we had quite a few new runners and people who were stepping up a group, we did end up waiting for everyone to catch up a few times. Which may be why it felt a lot quicker than the 8.5 miles per minute that we avaeraged overall.

    We did 7.5 miles in 61 minutes, so I think that the actual pace must have been quicker than it appeared to be.
  13. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    How does the group work? Do you just run together or learn the technique too?
    What about the groups? Are there different groups for different abilities? How often do you meet?
  14. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Cool. You doing the York marathon then Johnno?
    I might pop out and cheer you on/trip you up. :)
  15. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Yes, that's the one. (It's actually called the Yorkshire Marathon, but it takes place in and around York.)

    I shall look forward to being cheered on and/or tripped up by you then!
  16. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Last I checked, you'd just completed your half-milestone.

    That's some progress you've made!
  17. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member


    The long runs have been tough as I progressed through the 'high teens', but I do feel a lot stronger in my legs as a result of all that sloggery. Hopefully it'll all pay off on the day.
  18. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Wednesday 2015/09/16. Taiji class.

    Excercises, then a bit of pushing hands, then the long form, then quite a bit of time spent on the sabre form.


    Thursday 2015/09/17. Local run, 6.4 miles.

    Lovely morning for a run, but surprisingly warm when out of the breeze. Was glad of the shade wherever there was some.

    Soon realised that my legs were still recovering from Tuesday evening's run! As a result, I didn't do a very quick one this morning, just nice and steady.
  19. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Saturday 2015/09/19. Last 'long run' before the marathon.

    Did my usual slow parkrun as a warm-up (and the first three miles) but did it slightly quicker than last week because I fel in with a little group of friends from the club, including one chap who is working towards his 100th marathon, so I picked his brains a bit as we ran round.

    Afterwards, did 16 miles, but my running app gave up the ghost after 10 of them, so I didn't have a complete analysis of pace etc, or even confirmation of the exact distance.

    But anyway, I'm so glad to have got all those long runs over and done with! Now I can enjoy three weeks of 'tapering' before the event itself.
  20. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Sorry Bozza, but I completely missed this post before! I didn't mean to ignore you, honest. :eek:

    The groups are simply divided up by the pace that they intend to run at. They tend to go up in thrity second increments, so you might get one group doing 9.5 minutes miles, the next one doing 9's, the next one 8.5s, and so forth. The distances covered will vary too, but it's simply a matter of the group leader reckoning how far they are likely to go in one hour, and planning their route accordingly. Some group leaders are quite strict about getting their group back an hour after they set off, others are a bit more flexible.

    The only group that is a bit different is the slowest one. I believe that they sometimes do run/walk sessions for those who want to. They might split the group to do that, but I'm not exactly sure how it works because I never actually ran in that group.

    Anyone can run with whatever group they like. I have worked my way up from the second slowest (Group 2) to the fifth slowest (Group 5) - which is also the third fastest, since we currently have seven groups. But I occasionally drop down a group or two if I'm recovering from a gruelling race or something like that. They are hoping to split some of the groups up a bit though, because when you get thirty people in one group it becomes a bit impractical.

    That is how a normal Tuesday club night works. The exception is the first Tuesday of each month, when there is a choice between the hill sprint session or else an interval session. You can do whichever one you want to. I always do the hill sprints.

    Thursday nights are strength and speed training. Unfortunately I can't make these, as I have to work on Thursday evenings. I've heard that the sessions are brutal, but really effective. They usually get a few 'guest runners' from other clubs, but they are welcome to join in. The club is unusual in that regard, because they are always happy for non-members to come along as much as they want. I don't think many clubs allow that.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015

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