New to Triathlons, New to Shropshire. An Orthotist tracks her training with a love of spreadsheets, graphs, photos and prose.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I change my mind more often than... underwear - almost!

I can't be bothered to go back and count how many times i have said 'i have a plan' but here goes number 465th time. I have a plan!  I used the Runners World template and modified it a bit. I like what i see. Running 4 days at the most and alternating tempo and speed weekly. It seems feasible, i have good recovery time between hard runs and if i want, i can cycle or do other cross training as i feel like it. 

I did my long run this morning, 6.2 miles in 1:05:12 avg pace 10:45. The first 3 miles were tough on my calves then they eased off and didn't bother me. Not sure why but i'm glad they got better. To keep my pace slow enough, like i'm supposed to be running them-between 10:30 and 11:30-i when i thought i was speeding up i'd sing to my ipod so i kept a conversational pace. It really worked, though it also made me get some odd looks, i was running a really busy wide path round the beach, during the school holidays.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I just can't decide on a training plan for my half marathon.  there are just too many theories.  I set myself a plan for my first 5K and completely failed to stick to it. The closest i came was to mostly stick to the off days as i know i shouldn't start off too fast. But this HM is a whole different ball game.

My basic plan, and if i don't find a better option i will probably stick to this, is to do a speed work, hill work, easy run and long run per week. I just looked at a plan Runner World calculated for me using my 5K race pace and it has runs of 2 miles at 11.07 pace. That just doesn't seem worth lacing up my shoes for. It's slower than my easy pace, and only two miles! what will i get out of that.  And those runs are still in the plan in the later weeks.

But it does alternate speed and tempo runs each week, so maybe i need to do the tempo runs, they seem valuable. I like the idea. 5 miles inc warm up with 2 miles at race pace, then they get longer through the programme.  And i know we get stronger while we rest so perhaps only one hills workout every fortnight, alternating it with an additional easy run.

I have enjoyed the last week, where i have set out with a plan, so i don't understand why i can't stick to a programme, it must be that i haven't found one i like.  Well, with boredom kicking in, in this jobless world i live in, i may tackle a training plan tonight.

Yesterday i did a nice easy run, though at one point hit some uphills and then immediately a set of 40 ish steps with another hill at the top. I was thankful that i didn't do my long run, i could feel Thursday's hill workout in my calves still.  Today i had a very gentle, very short, bike ride and a very short 5 minute run. Tomorrow i'm going long. 6 miles on the calender.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slowly Getting Faster.

I had a day off on Monday after the race so on Tuesday i was raring to go.  Decided before i set off, for once, what i was doing, where i was going.  Decided that with the new info on how fast i can actually run, that i should start pushing it more, up my usual easy pace to get more out of myself. Make those junk miles in to quality miles. That way i can keep getting better.

So i ran my usual route up the Mount, down then up QMR which is just over 3 miles.  Knocked an average of 30sec/m off my usual time. 3.34m in 29:23 avg pace 9:03 Just a month ago i did a tempo on the same route at a 9:33 pace.

Today i just did my first real hill workout in forever.  I used the Mount again, its nice and quiet up there.  Its a mile warm up up to the hill then I ran 4 hill repeats and managed to stay pretty close together with the times. 1:33, 1:38 1:30, 1:34.  Recovery was about 1:50/2:00 jog down. I'm going to add one more repeat every week. I then added a couple of miles on after for good measure, or rather, as i didn't think i was going to feel that 4 hill repeats was enough of a work out, but i was wrong. Just the mile home would have been fine, but no i went the other way and ended up doing 4.5 miles in total.

On my way home i heard lots of cheering as i passed a school sports day, i saw the runners making it around the route and had an over whelming urge to join in.  I think it was the screaming and cheering, i really wanted to participate.  Since the Race for Life i have found that i really want to race more, i love that feeling, all those other runners around me, all running for a goal, each one different but all doing the same thing.  Wish there were more around here i could participate in.

Oh yeah, i was in the local paper from the Race for Life.  Thankfully i'm not in focus!

On the right in my pink. Glad i was wearing it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Race Report: Race for Life 5K

Today was the Race for Life 5K - which isn't actually a 5K and barely a race, but still an event of good worth and a reason to wear pink. Pink is not my colour at all haven't worn it in about a decade, but I did buy a hot pink Adidas top on holiday which i love, so my dislike for the colour is waning and i may even bring it in to my none-workout wear at some point.  The race is super close to my house so i did a walk run there and arrived just minutes before the start. I sneaked up to the front, noticing that there were few 'real' runners. You know the ones, they look like they can run a sub 20 minute 5K (which they can), they form a line of short shorts, GPS watches and properly warmed up quads.  There were very few of this breed.  I placed myself maybe 6 rows from the front and i soon realised that i should have been only two rows back.  When the horn blew it took me 2-3 seconds to hit the start and i was immediately weaving round those in front of me so i could run a decent pace. My new fast pace, that one that starts with an eight.

There were some young ones running, when i say young, like 10 to 14 yr olds.  They are speedy from the get go, with their pink tutus and effervescent running form - oh to be 13 again.  I was hoping to catch them later on when they flagged from improper pacing.  I noticed that few people were passing me yet i was still passing a few here and there.  I liked this being at the front thing.  The race was not held on the route i thought, and most of it was on grass.  A lap round the field then on to the road and back for an inside loop on the grass again. There were plenty of spectators all around the course which was great for my motivation. 

The first mile is some down hill, mostly up hill then starts to go down after the mile marker (beep on my watch) so i increased my pace a little, knowing there was another uphill to come later, in which i'd likely slow down a tad. After said incline (its small but significant) i again picked up my pace and started picking off ladies. Then there were just four girls in front of me on the course still (some had finished already, i wasn't 5th or anything) so i aimed to pick these last girls off as we came round the final 600 meters or so. One girl in pink, and her friend. Done.  As we round the corner the race line works for me and there's the other. 300m left and just as the steward says 'Stong finish girls' i pull out all effort and sneak past the last girl in sight. I think i may puke for the last 50m and i hope no one is taking any photos as my red grimacing face sees the clock ahead reading 22:51. Weird, i think but focus on remembering to stop my watch as i run through the finish arch. I don't puke. I'm elated. I take my medal with pride.

2.67m in 22:56 avg pace 8:35
Splits 8:43,  8:41,  5:31 avg pace 8:11

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fast Feet

I ran what i thought was the Race for Life route today as a practice to i would have a goal time.  I ran 3.15m in 27:08 and i'm well pleased with that time!  I doubt i'll be able to get that on race day, esp now i have found that part of it is on grass.  I wanted to know what my long run mile times should be too, so i plugged my 5K time in to the McMillan Running Calc and this is what it calc'd for me.

So according to this if i work my ass of in the next 2 months then i should be able to run a 2:05:25 HM

So that is my plan!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Okay I have a plan. Every fortnight I will complete
  • 2 easy runs 3-4 miles. 
  • 1 tempo run 3-4 miles. 
  • 2 speed - 3-4 miles of intervals or fartleks. 
  • 2 long runs. Building up from 5 by about one mile per week.
  • 1 hill work out
  • 1 strength class - hopefully at the sports center
  • Cross train cycling for an hour on off days.
That would then be running 4 days a week and cycling two and one strength class.
    I have a 5K on sunday - Race for life, which I plan to run in under 30 minutes. In fact, I think i could push for 29 mins but i find it difficult to judge what i can run, having only two races under my belt and only one being a 5K.  So i'm going to run my tempo run this week on the course so i can have an idea of what is achievable. It happens to be just off my regular Olivers mount run, but he flat part that i normally leave out - coz its flat. I know that i'm going to push my self to the front of the pack to get a realistic race time from the official clock and not get stuck behind slower runners - miss spey gonzales that i am! This time i'm being selfish and will make others run around me if they need to.  That is'nt to say i'll be on the front line, but only a few rows back.

    Did a 3 mile fartlek run today. Ran past my old school, nothings changed. 3.34 in 34:47 pace 10m/mi

    Thursday, July 8, 2010


    This whole not-having-a-job-thing is really starting to piss me off.  I really want to sign up for a race, but i just can't afford to do it.  Triathlons are expensive and once singed up, i have to get to the pool.  And pool fees aren't cheap either, especially as i would need to go 3 times a week to really make the proper effort.

    So I'm flitting between Tri's and half marathons.  I keep thinking if i just sign up for a HM and leave the Tri's till next year when i have a job - i hope, then that will ease the annoyance, provide that all important goal.  I would be able to use my bike a cross training as i do love to ride it, but not bother with the swimming part yet.  This really is not what i want, but i just can't afford to train properly.

    Really can't afford the HM either but a girl needs a goal. I need a goal. I feel unfocused.  I even had a whole bloody week off running, biking, anything, apart from walking while Jeff was here.  But its not that i couldn't have gone out for a quick run, done some sit ups or a bit of strength training, but i just didn't see the need, i wasn't feeling it. I have no motivation with no goal, apart from keeping weight off and increasing my speed.  But that's just not enough sometimes.

    So its back to the original game plan of HM training. That is until i get a job and the first thing I'm gonna do is get in the pool.  But until then, run and bike, bike and run. and run. and run. and run.

    Today, 3 miles, slow.  I did pop in to the spport center and see about classes, but even unemployed have to pay £3.45 per class. I'd love to do a Pump FX class, and may push the budget every fortnight to attend. We'll see...