Loch Ness: Second Week’s Training

This week seems to have been a week of things not going quite to plan.

My first run was on Tuesday, where I went on my usual workday route, expecting my phone to shout at me to do some parts of the run faster and some parts slower. It was threshold training, and was meant to be 5 x (5+1) (that is, five sets of five minutes at 80% exertion followed by a minute of recovery time).

But for some reason, my phone wasn’t talking to me. It wasn’t that the volume wasn’t turned up, for it counted me in to start, but it just refused to sing out the distances or the threshold intervals. So I ended up with a recovery run… which was actually quite nice!

Thursday saw the Biggart Baillie Giffnock Festival of Running, in which I was down for the 10k. I have already blogged about this here, suffice to say I ran hard, achieved a good time (for me) of 47:45, and came away happy but exhausted in spite of terrible weather.
On Saturday I had planned a parkrun, but when a plea for volunteers went out I opted to help out instead. So I spent a chunk of the morning as Funnel Marshal, followed by a trip to the Stables tearoom for a chat and some coffee.

Then home, and out for my Long Slow Run (I’m going to be otherwise occupied tomorrow). I must have procrastinated for at least two hours before eventually getting out. The weather was more like October than June – strong wind, rain and dark grey sky.
On the run, however, I discovered that it was warmer than I had realised, and my running jacket was much too warm. More importantly, I discovered that I was still knackered after Thursday night.

I got round my twelve-mile route, though I did have to walk for the final thirty or so yards of Wallace Stone Brae. The pace was lower than it should have been, and while I can blame some of that on the wind the truth was that I wasn’t good for much more.

With fortuitous timing, this coming week is going to be something of a cut-back week anyway. I need to travel to Stevenage for work on Thursday; the weekend is going to be spent moving my parents’ caravan around and I’ll have precious little time to manage any running. Maybe a rest will do me some good anyway, I’m feeling pretty tired just now.

1,000 miles in 2012

Good week, with 26 miles being above the weekly average required

18-14 Jun 2012

Number of runs Three
Links – Tusesday – 5.99 miles (775 cal)
– Thursday – 6.14 miles (731 cal)
– Saturday – 12.49 miles (1624 cal)
Total mileage this week 24.62 miles
Calories burned this week 3,130
Total mileage Loch Ness training 44.75 miles
Calories burned Loch Ness training 5,643
Total mileage this year 480.60 miles
Calories burned this year 50,419

Biggart Baillie Giffnock 10k Race report

The Biggart Baillie Giffnock AAC 10k was my first race in my training for the Loch Ness marathon.  Held almost at the summer solstice, the event was far more than a simple 10k.  It was billed as a “Festival Of Running”, the event had a 1k race, a 5k race and a 10k.  It was held in the beautiful Rouken Glen park, and was clearly intended to be a great family event.  I could easily imagine families picnicking in the park, being entertained by the pipe band and proudly watching those family members who were runners running through the park, cheering as they reached the finish line.

The weather as I left the office

Sadly, the weather wasn’t playing along.  At the risk if using a colloquialism, it was… widdling down!  All day, the rain had been falling and it certainly wasn’t letting up as the evening approached.  If anything, it just got heavier and heavier.

I had a bit of a drive from Fife in the East of Scotland over to the south west side of Glasgow, and so was a bit late in arriving.  I wasn’t able to take part in the “aerobic warmup” that had been billed.  Instead, I got to the park and rushed to the pavilion to collect my race number.  Then I dashed back to the car where I changed for the race.  Well, by “changed” I mean that I took off my jacket.  There was no way that my running tights were coming off – I was much too cosy!

Talking of the car, there was ample parking space in the park, something that I much appreciated.

Having pinned my number to my vest with the pins provided by the race organisers, I rushed back to the pavilion for a visit to the gents, then joined the throngs walking to the start.

Scott Sport Photography‘s photo of me

There was a pretty decent turnout (according to the result page, 324 finishers), and we were started by a klaxon.  We ran a loop of paths within the park, back under the “start” arch and then took a different path, which led us out onto the streets.  All this way I realised that I was being swept along far too quickly by the crowd, and I struggled to “screw the nut” a bit and reduce my pace.  For heavens sake, it was 7:45pm – fifteen minutes to wine o’clock – and I was having real trouble getting myself tuned in to running at this time of night.  I think that the aerobic warmup that I missed would really have helped me get into the right frame of mind, but after the first mile or so I began to get my head into the right place.

Mile markers – or rather, kilometre markers – were provided by helium-filled balloons that struggled to stay “up” as the rain tried to push them “down”.  But I must say that I like kilometre markers – they come around so much more quickly than mile markers!

The race continued along roads that had one lane closed off for running.  Soon we turned off Rouken Glen Road and on to Stewarton Road, and at this point the climb started.  Over two miles we climbed about three hundred feet.  During this time, I found I had a reaction I’ve never had before – a gagging in my throat.  I stopped and almost was sick, but then it passed and I was able to run again.

By the time we got to mile four we were at the top of the hill, and we turned on to Ayr Road.  From this point on my pace never dropped below eight minutes / mile, and I was able to enjoy the downhill almost all of the way to the end.

Finally we reached the finish.  As well as the 10k Dri-Fit t-shirt, I was given a 5k t-short because there were some left over from that race.  A banana to help provide some energy, and we were done.  I walked back to the park, shouting encouragement to those approaching the finish line, and drove home for a well-deserved shower.

This was such a lovely event, I do feel sorry for the organisers.  It should have been the wonderful family event I described; the organisation was impeccable, the roads cleared for us to run on and a beautiful park to start and finish in.  But the weather just didn’t play ball.  Shame.

On finding the results, I came in in 47:45, a PB for me for a 10k.  I came in chip position 87 out of 324 finishers.

So, thank you to the organisers – it was a great race.  What a shame the weather let you down.  My thanks also to Scott Sports Photography for allowing me to use the picture above.

GPS track is at http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/65618908

Loch Ness: First Week’s training

Good grief, I just cannot believe that we’re back into this already!

Falkirk Parkrun In The Rain

Training started badly this week when I missed my Tuesday lunchtime run because a meeting over-ran.  But on Thursday I went for my usual six mile run out to Aberdour and back.  It was meant to be four five-minute threshold sessions with a minute recovery between times, but I misjudged the pace at the start, and blew up a bit.  So I managed three “over threshold” sessions, and an elongated cooldown!

On Saturday at Parkrun, “cool” was the word.  In fact, “Bloomin’ cold” was more appropriate.  And it was wet.  And windy.  So in fact, maybe “miserable” was the summary.  But huge credit and thanks to the organisers and the volunteers, they were there braving the weather and the run went ahead.

Ally Mckay’s photo of me from Parkrun

When I got up in the morning I decided to wear nice cosy running tights over my shorts, and a waterproof jacket over my vest, just to wear until the moments before the start of the run; I would take them off and run in vest and shorts.  Well, I managed to get the jacket off but changed my mind about baring my legs, which stayed cosy, warm and covered!

As for the time, well I forgot my barcode (idiot!), but my Garmin time was 23:49 – which is a touch faster than average, so I was happy!

Today we moved on to my first Long Slow Run of the new session.  This was a route that was one I had done many times before, but with an extra tweak at the end to get the distance up a bit.  Eleven miles, just enough to get me over twenty miles for the week.  And why did I care about my weekly total?  Well…

Which part is towpath, which canal?

1,000 miles in 2012

Apart from the “run a marathon” thing, another challenge that a lot of distance runners seem to set themselves is to run 1,000 miles in a year.  And no, I still don’t quite have the confidence to call myself a distance runner, but it might be worth going for the 1,000 miles.

As of today, I stand at 455.98 miles for the year.  And it’s mid-June.  So I reckon I’m pretty much on-target, and if I manage the distances I’m hoping to achieve in the next few weeks I should be able to get ahead of the game

So, it’s time to reset the statistics, and start the tables afresh:

11-17 Jun 2012

Number of runs Three
Links – Thursday – 6.01 miles (706 cal)
– Saturday – 3.07 miles (367 cal)
– Sunday – 11.05 miles (1440 cal)
Total mileage this week 20.13 miles
Calories burned this week 2,513
Total mileage Loch Ness training 20.13 miles
Calories burned Loch Ness training 2,513
Total mileage this year 455.98 miles
Calories burned this year 47,289

Bad training run

Having contrived to miss my very first training run of the new training plan due to an unexpected meeting, I was determined to get out today for a run.

The run I had missed was a threshold run – ten minutes of warm-up, four sets of “five minutes at threshold followed by one minute of recovery”.

Well, I managed to get out, so that was a good start.

I had recently bought myself a pair of Mizuno long running tights, which I thought might be good for the marathon itself.  So I decided to try them today.  But it was warm, so I was wearing a vest – I must have looked pretty strange in a summer-weather top and winter-weight bottom half!

I set off a bit quickly.  And within the first half mile or so I realised that the running tights I was wearing had a considerably shorter “rise” than I was used to.  So every few hundred yards I was howking them up, and then for the next few minutes worrying that I was showing off my jacksie to the world!

Eventually, though, I forgot about that and started thinking about the running.  After the warmup, my first threshold interval.  To be honest, I think I went at it a bit too enthusiastically.  I was dying on my feet at the end of five minutes, and one minute of recovery was just not enough.

Gamely, I struggled through two more threshold intervals – you can pretty much see them in the “Pace” plot from Endomondo.

But there was no way I was going to manage a third.  So I had three threshold intervals…  Oh well, it’s a start I suppose

Training Plan For Loch Ness

Last time I started marathon training, I started a blog and posted my training plan on it.

This wasn’t (just) self-aggrandisement or self-publicity.  It was an attempt to have some form of public conscience.  If I didn’t stick to the training, I would need to come to the blog and explain why – so I’d better have a pretty good excuse!

That part seemed to work, so I’m going to do the same again.

This is my training plan, which I hope will lead me to a four hour marathon at the end of September.

In the interest of brevity I have not listed all the warm-up and cool-down phases of my planned runs, rather I have listed the main “target” or “activity” part of the run. Most of the weekday runs will probably be run on the same 6 mile course that I often run, all that will change is the “how” of the run.
Parkruns are generally expected to be the “fast” run of the week – though my “fast” may be a lot less fast than other people’s “fast”!

# W/B Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Miles (approx)
1 11-Jun Rest 4 x (5+1) threshold Rest 1 x 10min threshold Rest Parkrun 90 minute LSR 25
2 18-Jun Rest 5 x (5+1) threshold Rest Giffnock 10k Rest Parkrun 120 minute LSR 28
3 25-Jun Rest 3 x (8+1.5) threshold Rest 1 x 15 min threshold Rest Parkrun 90 minute LSR 25
4 02-Jul Rest 3 x (10+1.5) threshold Rest 3 x (6+1.5) Kenyan Hills Rest Parkrun (run to & from) 120 minute LSR 34
5 09-Jul Rest 45 min recovery Rest 1 x 20min threshold Rest Parkrun 135 minute 30
6 16-Jul Rest 45 minute recovery Rest 3 x (10+1.5) Kenyan Hills Rest Parkrun (run to & from) 90 minute LSR 31
7 23-Jul Rest 45 minute reovery with hills Rest 3 x (10+1) Kenyan Hills Rest Parkrun at recovery pace Dundee Half Marathon 27
8 30-Jul Rest 45 minute recovery Rest 3 x (12+1) Kenyan Hills Rest 135 minute LSR (in Manchester) Rest 28
9 06-Aug NODA Summer School NODA Summer School NODA Summer School NODA Summer School NODA Summer School NODA Summer School 135 minute LSR (in Lancaster) 15
10 13-Aug Rest 45 minute recovery Rest 2 x (10+1.5) threshold Rest Parkrun 180 minute LSR 35
11 20-Aug Rest 45 minute recovery Rest 1 x 20 min threshold Rest Parkrun (run to & from) 90 minute LSR 31
12 27-Aug Rest 4 x (5+1) threshold Rest 5 x (5+1) threshold Rest 2 mile recovery Glasgow Half Marathon 27
13 03-Sep Rest 40 minute recovery Rest 3 x (5+1) threshold Rest Parkrun at recovery pace 22 mile LSR 37
14 10-Sep Rest 40 minute recover Rest 3 x (5+2) Kenyan hills Rest Parkrun at recovery pace 90 minute LSR 20
15 17-Sep Rest 30 minute recovery Rest 30 minute recovery Rest Parkrun at recovery pace 60 minute LSR 15
16 24-Sep Rest 2 x (5+1.5) threshold Rest 30 minute recovery Rest 20 minute recovery Race Day! 34

So… this gives me a planned grand total of something like 448 miles of training throughout the sixteen weeks. as compared to the 419 that I actually achieved last time… Let’s see what comes of it all!

First Run Since The Marathon

I went out for a run today!

I felt heavy, ungainly and knackered.  And I only ran 2.6 miles!

I drove – yes, I drove – to where the A801 meets the Union Canal, and ran along the canal to the Muiravonside aqeuduct and back.  A grand total of 2.6 miles.  And I felt every pounding, jarring step along the way.

Maybe I’m not fully recovered from the marathon yet.

Actually, the most annoying thing was my right oxter (“oxter” is Scots for “armpit”).  I seem to have rubbed it raw in the marathon; I guess that I keep my arms close to my sides and the skin of my torso and arm rubbing together has caused a series of lesions on my torso, just below my right oxter.

Union Canal Picnic Area

Even a liberal application of Vaseline before I left didn’t help.  It was sore from very early in the run, as the sweat poured into the open wound and my arm continued to rub against my body – I guess I’m going to be wearing short sleeves until it heals up.

There are lots of things going on just now, so I probably ran faster than I should, not really giving this first run the time it needed.  I felt heavy, and as if I was plodding even though I was at times running at better than 8 minutes/mile.

Still, I was able to run, even if I did feel that I was making heavy weather of it.

Now, that was 2.6.  My current training plan has something north of 430 miles on it… just 427.4 to go!

A side note on the Union Canal: it is a contour canal, that is it is built such that it is always the same height above sea level.  So in spite of what GPS says, the towpath doesn’t go up and doesn’t go down – it’s great for running on!