Never Ending November

The month that seemed to last forever.

Only 17 more sleeps till Santa! Yes I am in full Christmas mode. This is thanks to my amazing wife. She lives, breathes and sleeps Christmas. When I was a child it sucked and those that know my backstory will know why but Sarah has made it special every year I’ve been with her. This year even more so, Sarah has worked all year providing a front line service throughout the first lockdown and since Xmas last year she has had a total of 5 days holiday, so she is very much ready for a break and I for one can’t wait to spoil her and Molly. I am using every session between now and Xmas as my own personal countdown. Before I talk about December, here is how my training went in what felt like a never ending month. I always find November drags and usually I have races to keep me occupied but this is the 3rd autumn/winter that I’ve not raced. 2018 I took a break from racing to spend more time with Molly who was still seriously poorly, last year I was out with my Quad/leg injury and this year races are very limited due to COVID.

It was my second month back in training. My coach Jo has her work cut out as she has to not only rebuild me AGAIN but also keep me on a short leash so as I don’t over do it. My heart is doing ok, I do know there is stuff still to fix but that’s further down the line. The same with my Prostrate Cancer, I’m over due my next PSA test/biopsy but COVID again has meant things get pushed back . I’m hoping my tests take place before Xmas so don’t need to worry over the festive period.  Jo has been great at slowly dipping me back into speed work. I’m still a work in progress especially with my strength and conditioning side of it, something I want to improve.

November with a 15K long run. I picked wrong route as turned out to have 3 tough climbs in it and my heart did not like it at the end. The first full week again began with just base mileage before my first bit of speed work on Thursday in the form of a progression run. (I love this run as you have to be disciplined but also you get to go through the gears) I finished with a 3:55 last K not bad but my own personal target is to get my 5K down to 3:30 per K. Saturday was my first social run in a long time with Jodie. Was fab to catch up with her but also allowed me to get some bonus miles in before I did another 16K long run to round off the week. In the afternoons I started doing a second session with my daughter who has begun a run walk programme.

The following week was more of the same with one speed session on Thursday, with rest all easy stuff. The session was my first Fartlek and last time Jo introduced them they made a massive difference to my speed. This was only a 20 minute session of 4 x 2:30 hard, 2:30 easy. 10 minute cool down. Targets were 4:10/km hard & 5:10/km easy. Was in fact closer to 3:52/km & 4:48/km. Was good although I should have been more disciplined with holding back pace for now. Again finished week with another long run of 16K

The following week saw the Tuesday sessions return, this meant two hard sessions again. First interval session since heart attack. 2 sets 2 x 1k reps off 2 min recovery. Dipping my feet into speed work aim was 4 mins splits managed sub 4 every time. Thursday was a repeat of last week but I listened to coach this time and help back with the pace. It did feel moderately easy. Saturday again ran with Jodie before I had an awesome long run where it just clicked.

The final full week of the month was another week of two speed sessions but I switched my long run to Saturday so could run with friends. Tuesday session was Intervals 8 x 2:30 off 60s recovery with 3K warm up and 2K cool down. Hitting 3:52 per 2:30 approx which again was another tick in the right direction. Thursday was another progression run.  Finished this time with a 3:48 last K, was buzzing with that as only 18s off my target of 3:30 per K for 5K. Saturday I did a hilly 18K with friends, having company really helped and for now Jo and I have opted to keep long runs to Saturday so can do it as a social run and keep me from running them too hard, which I seem to do when solo.

Again everyday I did a second session with Molly, who has really taken to running, more for fitness then anything else.

Below is how November (my own sessions only) looked:

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Miles
2/11 5K 8K 6K 5K Progression Run 3K 11K 16K 55K
9/11 5K 8K 6K Fartlek Session 7K 3K 16K 55K
16/11 5K 2 x 2K off 2 mins 8K Fartlek Session 5K 11K 16K 64K
23/11 5K 8 x 2:30 off 60s 10K 5K Progression run 10K 18K 5K 67k
30/11 3K

December is more of the same but we build week on week.  I have a Santa 5K on Xmas Eve to look forward to then will sit down with Jo and look at races in the new year as hopefully 2021 will be better than 2020, I have already had 3 awesome speed sessions this month. I’m looking forward to some quality time with the Family over the festive period.

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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