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.