Sunday, 21 February 2016


The last few months, since early November, have all been about rebuilding the base by means of high volume aerobic running leading to a 50 mile effort on Christmas Eve and including a marathon distance run  for the first six weekends of the new year, culminating in a 3:13:49 9th place finish in the Clonakilty Marathon on 6th February - my first M50 win and M50 marathon PB.

The focus for the next 9 or 10 weeks is to see if I can improve on that M50 marathon PB by targeting a lifetime marathon PB (sub 2:54:35) - a tough ask perhaps, but certainly worth giving a shot - nothing ventured etc. ..... already looking forward to the pain......still etched in my memory from last year's training programme. I haven't selected a target race as the date is flexible, ideally mid to late April, which means that the start of my training programme is a bit fluid - i.e. I can have a practice week or two.

Week 1 ( x 2)

Session 1 - 3 x 2 miles @ HM Pace

The fist quality session is 8 miles warm-up followed by 3 x 2 miles @ HM pace and 2 miles cool-down. My previous sub-3 hour training plans had a 6:20 (or less!) target pace. Last week I did my practice session, which involved a much shorter warm-up and 3 x 2 miles @ 6:18/23/28 pace. This week, after the 8 miles warm-up, I had a more disappointing session with the first 2 miles slower than last weeks slowest and the pace falling apart (relatively speaking) thereafter. My paces were 6:32,36/43. The strong wind down the back straight certainly had an impact and did noting to help my confidence. The fade in pace from first to last is a little worrying as I should have buckets of endurance. Ordinarily I would probably have thrown in the towel after the second 2 miles but I reckoned that it is better to continue and complete the session at the same relative effort to get the full training benefit.

Session 2 - 18 Miles with the last two at M Pace

My plan for this weekend long run was to keep a steady pace for the first 16 miles (I had 7:30 miles in my head) with the MP miles at 6:40 or less. Both last week and this week the opening 7:30 pace did not materialise getting to 7:38 & 7:43 pace on each occasion. The marathon pace miles were on target although, as usual so early in the programme, the effort felt more like a tempo session. The paces for each run were 6:37/38 last weekend and 6:40/31 yesterday (both miles with the wind at my back and the 2nd mile a net downhill - there was no way I was going to run hard into that headwind)

So a less than inspiring start to the programme - I may just repeat Week 1 for a third time. It all depends on where my head/body is after 3 x 2 miles @ HM pace on Tuesday and my inclination/ability to tag on another 2 miles at the same pace/effort, which is the "Week 2" Session.


  1. To say these long runs are impressive would be a bit of an understatement. Your times mightn't be quite where you'd like them to be at the moment but they're still better than mine if that's any consolation.

    Keep it going but make sure to recover from those sessions!

  2. Wow - impressive streak of training marathons. And a top-10 and M50 PB to finish. Well done. Definitely think you're capable of a low 2:50 given good conditions. Keep on truckin'!