I do have a plan. I’m not just randomly running everyday until I have reached two miles where I then keep going until I am bored or breakdown. It may not seem obvious but I have planned each day and each week up until the end of August and have a few other targets I would like to complete this year.
Firstly, the structure of my training.
I started off with a base phase of easy running and one or two tempo runs each week. which will last until the end of March and then I will begin a strength phase by replacing one of my tempo runs with a hill session.
After the strength phase I will begin speed endurance focusing mostly on 10k paced sessions but also some VO2 max sessions at about 3k pace. This will coincide with the start of the track season and I know I will be quite out of shape when it starts but it is important that I build a base first. Speed endurance will last 8 weeks and will be followed by 4 weeks of speed work 800 to 3k pace to sharpen up for my peak period in mid-August where I will run some PBs!!!
Secondly, the mileage.
I would like to run 2,600 miles this year, which means averaging 50 miles per week. There’s no rhyme or reason for this number, its a nice round number and pre-children, anything less than 50 miles a week felt like slacking. I will achieve this by gradually increase my weekly mileage by 5 miles a week until I reach about 65 miles a week with every third week an easy week where I will drop down to 30-40 miles to allow recovery.
I have no idea what shape I will be in by the end of the year but there are a few PBs I should be able to takedown if I survive the year. It is no coincidence that my weakest PBs are for the longer distances – 10 miles (59:46) and half marathon (80:30) are easily attainable as long as my body can cope with the demand of running for so long on a hard road surface. There are also a couple of track PBs that could also go – 1500 (4:22) and 5000 (16:43) – and I will run both distances during my peak phase in August.
Fourthly, the now or never targets
I’m quite a running romantic and get misty eyed at the thought of doing 100 miles a week. It always forms the baseline of my ‘how fast could you run a marathon’ test. Most runners don’t get close to realising their potential. Do you think you can’t run faster than your PBs, ask yourself what your PBs would be if you ran 100 miles a week for 5 years! I would like to run 100 miles in a week, just for one week to feel what it is like, and I would also like to do a run commute every day for a week – yes, double days for a 5 day working week. It might be easier to combine the two but it would be the equivalent of a New Year’s Eve firework display to conclude my challenge with a 100 mile week and I can’t think of a better way to begin next year than be in shape to handle a 100 mile week!
Day 43 – Sunday 12 February
7 miles – 8:16 – 136bpm
Feel surprisingly good. Must have been the stretches last night.
Day 44 – Monday 13 February
Run 1 – 3.8 miles – 8:22
Hip flexors feeling sore. Calves very tender. Right achilles quite painful to touch.
Run 2 – 4 miles – 8:13
Daylight when I left work, great to run home on the grass through the park.
Day 45 – Tuesday 14 February
6 miles – 7:28
Ran a bit harder than my normal easy pace because I wanted to stretch my legs. It felt ok. I forgot my Garmin so had to run holding my phone and record my run straight to Strava. I also forgot my pants so ran commando in tights and because it was a bit warmer than I expected – I should have worn shorts – there may have been a little bit of chaffing. Ok, towards the end of the run every step felt like someone was trying to lift me up using cheese cutting wire.
Day 46 – Wednesday 15 February
Run 1 – 4.2 miles – 7:54
Run 2 – 3.7 miles – 7:51
Day 47 – Thursday 16 February
3.8 miles – 7:33 – 125bpm
Felt really good today so decided to end the run with 8x20s strides.
Day 48 – Friday 17 February
7.3 miles – 7:11 – 159bpm
Woke up with very sore legs. Tempo was good. Not as fast as I wanted and I regret doing the strides yesterday, which left my legs too tired. I should have saved them for today.
Day 49 – Saturday 18 February
5.8 miles – 8:59 – 119bpm
My first buggy run for a long time and I took my youngest. She was very excited at the start, partly because of the novelty of being in the buggy and also I started my run with J and my eldest on her bicycle. Even after J left us my youngest was still kicking her legs in excitement but that all change when she wanted a snack and I couldn’t oblige. She then cried for a mile and fell asleep.
- 9 runs
- 7 days
- 45.6 miles
- 7/10 leg freshness score
- 57 runs
- 49 days
- 293.8 miles