Sunday, 18 August 2013

New Goals and Renewed Motivation

After the disappointment of the Thunder Run I was keen to focus my efforts on my next race the Great North Run 7 weeks later. 3 weeks have passed since and I've been really pleased with how I have managed to remotivate myself, and have used the Thunder Run as a push out the door when I have contemplated sacking off a run.

The weeks post Thunder have looked as follows:

1 - 15.80 miles ( 4 runs - longest of 5.1 miles) - 1st week post TR24, nice and steady recovery stuff. Just to keep myself moving.
2 - 31.60 miles ( 6 runs - longest of 6.2 miles) - A good week, not often I run 30 + miles. Nothing too long, just consistent, did have some quality in there with an interval session as well as a parkrun at Southend. Managed to run my fastest time there since they extended the course to the true 5km distance.
3 - 38.8 miles ( 6 runs - longest of 10.1 miles) - I was off work this week and so managed to string together some really good runs. Including 2 runs of 10 miles plus another parkrun, a touch slower than the previous week but a very satisfying 6 runs.

Looking back pre TR24 I managed 6 weeks of training between 20-30 miles averaging nearly 26 miles per week, before I overdid the taper heading into the race and so only did 3 short runs in the fortnight leading up to the Thunder Run. So that is 3 months of pretty sustained training by my standards. I have also achieved the following mileages in the months of:

June - 106 miles (previous June best 95 miles)
July - 112 miles (previous July best 78 miles)
August - 82 miles (As of the 18th so 13 days left to get myself well over 120 miles)(previous August best 72 miles)

100 mile months are rare for me and particularly in those 3 calendar months. With the days long, and the weather fair, you would expect me to run regularly over this period. But for whatever reason I have always struggled to get out the door, perhaps finding more enjoyable ways to spend the long summer evenings. In addition most of the big races, particularly marathons are in the spring and so my bigger mileage months tend to be December - March.

So as you can see on a lot of measures this block of training is something to be pleased with. However I am not going to set myself a crazy Great North Run goal, I am still not super sharp and with my recent parkrun best of 20:51 this is way short of my 19:21 PB and also well short of sub 20 which I see as key indicator of how I will race, particularly up to Half Marathon distance. I ran Southend HM in 1:43 in June and so I will be pleased with anything under 1:40. I also have parkruns planned for the rest of the year as well as a 10km race at the start of November in Billercaey. I hope to run well at these, but I still don't feel I will be in PB shape by the time the races roll around.

The remainder of 2013 is there for me to build a really good base, and to get myself sharp to really attack my PB's across all distances in the early part of 2014. I haven't booked any races yet but my calendar looks like this:

- Benfleet 15 - Cross-country PB - 2:06:41
- Great Bentley HM - PB - 1:30:05
- Essex 20 - PB - 2:50:28
- London Marathon - PB 3:34:28
- Great Baddow 10 - PB - 1:12:05
- BUPA 10K - PB - 42:09

There are definitely some soft PB's the 15 miler is cross country, but definitely beatable. Whilst the Essex 20 miler is definitely one I should comfortably beat. I am desperate to get PB's again, and ones without the assistance of 1000 miles of cycling in 2 weeks to boost my cardio. These new PB's are going to come from slogging it out and running biggish miles.

So there you have it, the current state of affairs with my running. I'm feeling good, and just need to keep on trucking even with my return to work tomorrow as well as listening to my body so as not to injury myself and undo the good work thus far. Will report back in 4 weeks time to let you know how the Great North Run went.

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