Saturday, 30 April 2011

Africa & April

April was a race free month and was very nearly a training free month too. I had a decent 10 days of training before heading off to South Africa for the wedding of Mr Rowlings & Miss Kettleborough. Had the most incredible two weeks Shark Diving, Table Mountain, Robben Island, Water Park, Wedding, Safari, Playing with Lion Cubs, Drinking, Beaches, Putt Putt, Cape Point, watching crazy friends bungee jumping. I don' think I missed anything.

But my plans for 15 and 18 mile runs whilst on holiday proved too ambitious. I did manage to run 7 times whilst in SA but that only totalled 25 miles, with a longest run of 5.5 miles. It was nice to run with company though, and got out with Sim once and Katie a couple of times which made the dull routes much more pleasant.

In the last week of April I managed a longish run of 11 miles. This was at slightly faster than Marathon Pace, and it was alot harder than it should have been. Confidence is definately low for the Stratford Marathon next Sunday, My targets will range from a minimum of a PB so sub 3:50, mid target of 3:40 and 3:30 as my ultimate result. I should definately be capable of sub 3:30 but my preparation has been poor as it has been for my previous two marathons. A longest run of just 15 miles is far from ideal! I have already started mapping out my training for the Chester Marathon in October and that MUST include 2 x 18 mile, 2 x 20 mile and 1 x 22 mile runs. So then I can see what I really am capable of when properly prepared.

In addition to the run I went for a cycle of just over 35 miles. It was pretty successful averaging just under 16mph, the first hour was at 16.25mph and the second hour 15.75mph. This slow down continued for the last few miles home and I was struggling to get out of the saddle on the hills near the end. I am hoping to cycle again tommorow and on Monday for around 40 miles each day, so it should be interesting to see how the legs react.

So with two weeks out of four spent in beautiful, sunny South Africa with friends I was pretty pleased to string together 74 miles of running and 189 miles of cycling. Will report back on my Marathon PB or total blow up next weekend.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Mixed March

March started off so well with the Half Marathon PB at Norwich and then the 5K PB in Middlesbrough. But the training went downhill from there, particuarly the running. I have found after my last 2 5K Parkruns that my calf is tight afterwards and that leads to my achilles hurting a little so I took it easy for a couple of runs after that. Unfortunately the last of those short recovery runs was the 23rd March and I haven't run since!

The reasons for my 8 day lay off are many and varied, but none of them is very good. I had a stag weekend which took out 3 days and late nights at work that took out another 2 days, and 1 evening spent celebrating Lauren being an Outstanding teacher (x2!). All of the hurdles apart from perhaps one day of the stag could have been worked around, and so the real reason for March ending on 80 miles running was me being a lazy git for a week.

I am really disappointed, missing out on my target of at least 100miles a month every month of 2011. It also leaves me 80 or so miles behind the annual target, and 36 miles short of last Marchs running mileage. Added to all of that, and in the long run most important, is how it will affect my Stratford Marathon performance, in about a months time! Two weeks of which will be spent enjoying some sun in South Africa for a friends wedding. This weekend has now become cruical so I will withhold predictions until after my planned long run, which should let me know how bad the damage to my fitness is.

On the plus side I did add 2 more PB's to my 2011 stash which is now 5 from 5 this year. The bike mileage of 170 was the best since November last year, but was just made up of commuting to and from the office. The puncture saga appears to have come to an end and the days are getting lighter and longer so the ride is faster and much more pleasant. So as the title suggests a Mixed March for me. No races planned for April, and it's going to stay that way. A couple of long rides and runs are planned though, and hopefully no repeat of March's lazy week.