Monday, 31 January 2011

January 2011 - Training

So one month of 2011 gone, and my how it's flown. Works been busy and I have had plenty else going on to keep me occupied.

To get my targets for the year of 1500 miles running and 3000 miles cycling I needed 125 miles of running and 250 miles of cycling a month. I fell well short of both managing to get 102 miles of running and 119 miles of cycling.

I had also set myself a minimum running mileage of 100 miles every month and so did manage to achieve that. I'm still pleased with my January running efforts I did 2 training runs of just over 10 miles each as well as the Benfleet 15 mile XC race where I set a 12minute PB. I also ran 27 miles more than January 2010.The running breakdown looked like this:

Runs less than 5 miles - 6

Runs 5 - 10 miles - 8

Runs greater than 10 miles - 3

I couldn't motivate myself for the commute in on the bike very often and wanted to take the week off prior to the Benfleet 15 and so my bike mileage was low. The 3000 mile target won't be spread evenly over the year, with the bulk of it happening when we undertake LEJOG in July and so I am not too concerned by being so far behind so early. I was pleased to get out for my longest ride on the bike on Sunday though managing nearly 32 miles, 10 of those were with Dad, the LEJOG team are starting to get the fitness wheels in motion. The months cycling looked like this:

Commutes - 5.5

Rides of 25-50 miles - 1

So all in all a solid month of training if not spectacular. 5/10.

Looking forward to February I am hoping to do around 115 miles running and something like 250 miles on the bike. With a big bike test in the last weekend of Feb. I also have a Half Marathon and a 5K race planned so hoping to have PB's to tell you of through the month. Look out next Monday for my Great Bentley race report.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Benfleet 15 - Race Report - 23/01/11

So after last years miserable performance of 2:18:55 I swore never to do the Benfleet 15 mudfest ever again! But I decided a few months back that I had unfinished business with the race and so decided to book myself in for Jan 2011.

The dreaded day arrived and I felt ok. I set myself what I felt was the achievable target of 2hrs 10mins. That doesn't compare favourably with my 10k and HM PB's but cross country and the Benfleet 15 are a very different kettle of fish compared to a nice flat road race.

The race start is down a steep slope so I got to the start line early to make sure I could navigate my way down safely without hundreds of watching eyes. I made it down safely and then the masses arrived.

The race started on time and we were away on the easiest part of the course. The first 5 or so miles is along the seawall, fairly flat and only the odd puddle to avoid. During this period I was running at sub 8 min miles, I need 8:40's for my 2hrs 10 target.

You then arrive at Benfleet train station where u hang a left and slog it up a decent incline on your way to the start of the Hadleigh Downs. I took over a group of 4 or 5 guys and felt good up the hill. I probably over cooked it, but I do enjoy attacking the hills. Once onto the Downs I coasted the first downhill or so to get my breath back after attacking on the hill.

The next 4 miles are what gives this race it's status as a very difficult mudfest slog. Having run it last year, I had an idea of what was to come but even so it's still a shock when the mud and water start sucking at your trainers. I could feel the time flowing away as at points you were reduced to walking, particuarly the hill after about 7 miles. But I tried to keep calm and I was still ahead of my 2hr 10min target. The first five miles had gone so well I had revised my target to sub 2hrs, but after the mud I knew that just wasn't on.

As you leave the Hadleigh Downs and head towards Leigh station you pass the 9 mile marker. Just 6 hard miles back along the sea wall. I think the terrain is fairly similar to the first 5 miles, but my trainers now weighed twice their original weight and my muscles were aching from the hammering of slip sliding in the mud and the different stresses this puts on the muscles.

I settled into a rythm, the field had thinned out considerably and I was running alone for large parts of the homeward leg. A guy got chatting to me with a mile or so to go and that distracted me from the slog. I managed to pick it up as I passed the 14 mile mark, 2hrs 5mins was now out, but I was looking for something in the 2hrs 7mins region. The school and finish line were insight for the last half mile and that kept my legs moving, over the hill and then pushed for the line. Got a cheer from Lauren as I neared the line, she was only able to see me start and finish as the course isn't spectator friendly. She had me strip down in the carpark and got me into something warm before getting me home safe.

The offical results have just come in and I did big 12 min PB and finished in 2:06:41 and finished 203 out of 583. A very pleasing mornings work all round!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I can't be trusted with an upbeat playlist!

I have the Benfleet 15 this Sunday, it's a local 15 mile cross country race and I did it last year. The course is notorious for it's mud and I did it in a very pedestrian 2:18:55 last year, I am hoping for sub 2:10 this year.

So this week I have four - 4 Mile easy runs planned. Just keep everything ticking over and getting me to the start line sharp, ready for a big PB.

I went for my first of these runs this evening, armed with my I-Pod and my newly installed running playlist. Lots of hard, pumping music, that gets me in the mood for running. Unfortunately it got me hyped up and I went off like a train, I didn't fight it though and ran my intended four miles hard and finished in 28:57 much faster than the 32 or so mins I had envisaged. I don't think I'll pay for it on race day, but tommorows run must be slower! Wish me luck for Sunday. Will report back then.