Almost half the year has gone already and I feel each month this year I’ve seen improvements in my general fitness and my overall speed getting quicker. The fact that I’m now able to not only do my speed work on the local trail rather than the side of a busy A road is helping but also the track is re-opened. I only got down once in May, due to a race and then getting my Covid jab. However tomorrow is my 2nd of 3 back to back Saturday track sessions which should really sharpen my top end ready for my June race later in the month.
Also May is my 1 year anniversary of having Jo Wilkinson as my coach. It’s been a really good year and I’ve ended it feeling fitter and stronger than I have done since my break through period in late 2016 early 2017. I would also go as far as to say I’m now starting to knock out times in training that I’ve never done before. I just need to transfer this to race results. Jo came along at the right time, she helped to get me back to before my 2019 injury then despite the heart scare that set us back several months, 2021 has seen training slowly build up and I get fitter, stronger and faster. Mainly the strength & conditioning and learning to slow down the easy days have proven to be vital. For most runners they see the speed sessions as where the magic happens but it can’t if you are not allowing your body to recover on the easy days. I’ve no way perfected it but Jo has been great at drilling it into me and making sure I take a step back when required.
I should’ve started month at the track but it was closed for cleaning! So did same session on the trail – 3 x 3 x 600m off 90s rec/3:00 plus 3 x 300m at the end. This was a really good session and started to knock some really fast times out again. I look forward to seeing how I do this session on the track. The following day was 14 miles with a local running buddy which was great to have company on my long run, something I’m looking at doing more often as the miles increase. After opting to take the Bank holiday Monday off, Tuesday was another big session on the trail 3 sets of 6 min rep (2 min jog recovery) 3 min rep. Hitting 5:40/mi pace on longer reps and slightly faster on medium reps. My midweek easy run has now increased to 8 miles. It’s basically half what I would run on a Sunday. Thursday saw my first tempo run in a very long time but a little different, 2 x 2 mile tempo off 5 minutes jog recovery. Splits; 11:35 (5:47, 5:47), 11:31 (5:45, 5:45) which was happy with probably a little too fast for a tempo. The week ended with my first visit to the track in the pouring rain, knocking out sub 80 400m reps and followed that the next day with 15 mile run back home. I went too fast on this and explained that if I go to fast defeats the point of the session and also it can wreck my upcoming sessions by being too tired.
The following week saw a good strong Fartlek session on the Tuesday and a 4 mile progression run on the Thursday. I love a good progression run as it teaches pace discipline but also it’s good to know that you can knock a good mile out at the end of a session. I then had my jab on the Thursday so as precaution Jo changed my weekend to easy running. Easy 6 with friends on the Saturday and then 12 miles on Sunday but felt shocking on this one. I had no energy at all. I felt off it for several days. I was lucky that it was race week so body had more rest time to get over jab but I almost talked myself out of the race as I felt off it. I ended up getting another great 5K time despite the conditions. After talking to Jo over weekend I signed up for another crack on the 18th of June.
Saturday and Sunday was recovery runs and then was back into it the following week. Last week saw a good Fartlek on the Tuesday again these sessions are excellent sessions without realising it. A hard hill session followed on Thursday slowly accepting these in my training and know the benefit of a good hill session. The month finished with a good track session knocking out 6 sub 3:20 1K reps in the heat and another 15 mile long run the following day.
Overall a very solid month, the COVID jab put a small spanner in the works and a part of me thinks it played a small part in how my race went.
Below is how May looked:
|26/4||3 x 3 x 600m reps||14mi||52mi|
|3/5||Rest||3 x 6mins/3mins||8mi||2 x 2mile Tempo||6mi||3 x 3 400m Track||15mi||53mi|
|17/5||6mi||2 x 90s/30s hard reps||3mi||Rest||Even Splits 5k||6mi||10mi||33mi|
|24/5||6mi||Fartlek||8mi||6 Long Hills / 6 Short Hills||Rest||2 x 3 x 1k Track||15mi||52mi|
June starts with a few good weeks before I race on 18th. A short taper in lead up but main focus is on the 10K a week later so there is no real let up in the training with several big sessions in first couple of weeks. Then July marathon training really kicks off. I’m hoping that I head into that with two good race results under my belt. The training shows I’m not far off, just need to make a few adjustments for me to achieve my personal goals.
If you would like to know more about my coach Jo, please check out her website
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