July done on to August

July best month in years

Only seems like 2 minutes since I blogged about June’s training. Since then a lot has happened. The country has slowly begun coming out of lockdown, till last week when the brakes were put on hold. We (family and I) should have been on holiday countdown, however it’s been postponed for a year and we have our fingers crossed by then Covid is over with. With restrictions easing it has allowed us to get out a bit more. This included a trip to Bridlington and I got opportunity to run somewhere different for my long run. Plus this coming Saturday I should be doing my first race since February. It’s also my first race being fully fit and under my coach Jo Wilkinson. More on that shortly.

The month kicked off with my 200th running activity of 2020 which was a nice milestone to reach. I started to do more speed sessions on the local TPT which is a flat route from Penistone to Wortley but took a few sessions to workout best start location due to the tunnel towards end which is a notorious GPS black spot. My first session on there in July was a 30 minute fartlek broken down to 6 x 2:30 at sub 6:00/mi and 2:30 at 7:00/m, almost got a full set except for the previously mentioned black spot. Sunday’s started to ramp up the distance with 12 miles for the first one. I managed to pick some different routes each week to keep it interesting. With my long runs for years always gone straight out of the door, this is probably why always find them a real slog, so July I started to go out later after breakfast. The difference on how I felt afterwards was staggering. Fueling/eating correctly is something my coach and I are addressing and working on as it’s been my Achilles heel for years.

The next two weeks saw the quality speed sessions up to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with a variety of sessions, the two sessions that stood out was my mile reps which I nailed and my 2nd fartlek session of the month which saw the 30 minutes split into 3 minutes sub 6 and 2 mins sub 7 and again I nailed that session with my average pace for session 6:26. Something I would improve on this past Saturday. Sunday saw me run my first half marathon distance in months and I repeated the distance the following week. I enjoyed both sessions and have really started to see improvements on my Sunday runs. Fueling before and during is making a massive difference.

During July I was asked by the management team at Stocksbridge to help with pre-season training and have been taking warm up plus two running sessions to help get the players fit for the upcoming season. It’s a real honor to help a team I’ve supported since I was 11 years old. The final full week of July was a consolidation week, so a cut back in mileage, with a shorter speed session on the Tuesday. I did get a bout of sciatica that week but having had it before I knew the stretches to do etc so within a few days it had gone. On the Saturday I did a solo 5K time trial clocking 18:09 on an undulating course. I feel that a sub 18 is possible in a race. Long term I want to break my PB again.

Last week saw a tough 8 x 3:30 speed session on the Tuesday, was brutal in the wind but the old me would have sacked it off early on but I ground it out and then I followed this up with a track session, where I nailed the 400s. This was a massive confidence boost as finally feel like the speed endurance is there again.


Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Miles
29/6 5 miles 3 x 1 min, 2 mins, 3 mins off 60s 5 miles 6 miles w/h Strava CR Rest 30 min Fartlek 12 miles 43 miles
6/7 5 miles 5 x 1K 5 miles 12 x 400m off 60s Rest 4 mile Progression 13 miles 42 miles
13/7 5 miles 4 x 1 mile off 2:00 5 miles 3 mile tempo run Rest 30 min Fartlek 13  miles 43 miles
20/7 5 miles 5 x 2 mins off 90s 4 miles 5 miles w/h Strava CR Rest 5K Hard 10 miles 39 miles
27/7 5 miles 8 x 3:30 off 90s 5 miles 4 x 3 x 400m off 60s Rest 30 min Fartlek 13 miles 45 miles

August will be a strange month, this week is race taper week with me finally doing a Podium 5K race. I have gone in the slowest race sub 19 with majority of field sub 18 minute runners. We have a race plan so its a case of hoping the weather is kind and I am able to deliver on the day. Next week is a family break. Now while we are not jetting off to Spain we are aiming to make the most of next week. So mileage will be low and then on 22/8 there is potential of another race if I can get in. So mileage might be down but the quality will be there plus the down time is something that’s been ignored in past but something that’s needed to recharge the batteries. Hopefully August will see more races re-starting up and a more of a return to normal.

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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