Training

Good start to 2021

I hit the ground running in January

January the month that felt like it would never end! however, it did see me celebrate my 39th birthday. It’s a year since my cancer diagnosis and I’m still here still fighting. With the latest lockdown putting my treatment on hold it’s a case of stay calm and carry on. This time last year I was just coming back from a long period out injured and was slowly rebuilding the miles and was doing my local parkrun starting with 20:54 and by end of January was down to 20:03. Fast forward 12 months and I finished the month with a solo 5K time trial and knocked out 17:27 in -2’C. So despite the massive knock backs that I had in 2020, running wise I am in a good place so early in the year.

The main reason behind my good start to the year is my coach Jo Wilkinson, who has been the best thing to happen to me in running in a long time, we have a very good working relationship and it means I am not over doing it and we are gradually increasing the miles and pushing the pace. I have discussed with her my long term goals. Besides the obvious which is to beat ALL my current personal bests, with the main goal being to run sub 17 for 5K and I think with Jo I have the best chance to do it, when racing resumes (I think mid 2021 at the earliest). I mean time it’s a case of miles in the bank and head down and focus on the training.

This month has seen me change first claim clubs, joining my new local club Hillsborough and Rivelin Running Club. This meant I signed up to take part in their inter club competition vs Totley. In pairs we had to run a solo 5K and our times combined then had to be submitted. I was paired with Charlotte and we ended up in the mixed under 70 category. I opted to get a good month of training in before attempting my 5K. I almost ended out injjured when the Tuesday before I did a 15K session in brand new shoes and ended up with some serious blisters. Massive school boy error!

In the weeks leading up to it I had to contend with some bad weather with snow and ice meant some days were dangerous but I managed to achieve every session, just juggling a few days. Throughout the month my easy days (Mon and Wed) I slowly increased my miles (well technically KM), we kept my long run to 20K (with my final one I squeezed extra 1K to hit my first half marathon distance since before my heart attack last August). Speed work sessions stayed to Tuesday, Thursday and then one day over weekend. I opted to rotate my long runs in a 3 week period to Friday week 1, Saturday week 2 and Sunday week 3. This means some weeks I could run with friends and others I got Saturday off. However the first one to fall on Saturday had to be swapped due to snow!

I had some interesting speed sessions. Including 2k block progression run. 2 x 3 x 1K reps, all under 3:50 per rep. I have this session this week and my goal is to run them all under 3:40 or faster. That’s how much I’ve improved recently. I think the 1500m speed session and the pyramid session 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 (where I kept pace under 3:40 per K) really helped my speed. My goal speed wise is to start running the longer stuff under 3:30 and then 3:20 as I target that sub 17.

As I said I finished the month with that solo run. I picked the TPT so was 2.4K up then 2.6K down keeping all the reps under 3:40 but really pushing the first and final K to hit a fantastic time. But while was a good test, time trials mean nothing I need a race and get sub sub 18 times on my Power of 10. Hopefully a summer track season and sessions will help rediscover my top end speed.

Below is how January looked:

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Miles
4/1 6K 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 mins off 60s 10K 2K Block Progression Run 20K Rest 2 x 3 x 1K reps off 2:00 83K
11/1 6K Fartlekt Session 10K 7K Progression Run 20K Rest 3 x 3, 2, 1 mins off 60s rec 83K
18/1 8K 4x 1500m off 2:00 10K 10k Alternative Pace Rest 3x3x2:00 off 60s 20K 88K
25/1 8K Pryamid Session off 90s 10K 3x3x2:00off 90s 21K Rest 5K Time Trail 86k

February is more of the same I think. This week has been hard as snow fall has meant we have had to re-arrange sessions to fit conditions. I am hoping the predicted snowfall next week does not happen and hopefully another good month of training could put me in good shape heading into spring and hopefully the end of lockdown, or at least an idea of when we will be out.

If you would like to know more about Jo, please check out her website

Remember you can follow my progress daily via social media and Strava

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