Saturday, 14 June 2014

TRAINING UPDATE: Half Marathon training begins!

Summer is finally here (hurrah!) whilst I am looking forward to a season of 10Ks, I also need to think about training for my autumn half marathon. The event I have chosen is Chippenham Half Marathon in early September and after I missed out on sub 1.45 at Reading in March, I want to get my training plan right to ensure I don’t repeat the same mistakes.

I haven’t been on a long run in a while and so I thought I would kick off training with a stable 10 mile run. I did one of my favourite routes, which takes me through North London into central and to Southbank for a long stretch to Tower Bridge. I really enjoy this run as it is mostly flat and I love the feeling of running along the riverbank early in the morning.

I wanted to run at nine-minute miles pace to get back into the swing of longer distances but as I started off, I was clocking off 8.30s and felt pretty good! I’ve had a few lousy runs lately and I was concerned I wouldn’t keep this pace for long. Halfway into the first mile, I also realised I left my water bottle at home which put me on edge. I do have a habit where I depend on plenty of fluids on long runs and I was really worried I would start to flag without this handy. I made sure I stopped at water fountains in Hampstead Heath (mile 2) & Regents Park (mile 5) and was really chuffed at how I coped without having my water bottle. I thought I would feel really thirsty but I didn’t feel too bad.

As I approached the Shard, I have 1.5 miles to go when the sky went really dark. I sensed a big downpour was brewing so I picked up the pace in the hope to avoid the approaching showers. At 9.8 miles, the heavens opened and a nice storm thundered over London. Sprinting the last stretch, as soon as my Garmin hit 10 miles, I stopped the clocked and scuttled for shelter under the bridge and cowered with a load of tourists. I was thrilled to see I completed my final mile in 7.40 and after spending time under the bridge stretching and cooling down, I felt fantastic, even if a bit soggy. 

Overall, my average pace was 8.20 and whilst this is much faster as I had planned, I am really pleased I kept this speed, especially as I haven’t done a long run in a while. I felt really good throughout the run – it was strong but steady and even the following day, I didn’t have any aches or pains, which must be a very good sign!

Lesson: keep steady training in mind!

Whilst I am thrilled with these results, I must remember to not be too eager. I definitely feel my training for Reading was overworked and training too hard, too much made me tired come race day. I need to keep this at the forefront of the training and make sure I don’t go off tangent again. My next long run will be two weeks after this, so I will be giving myself plenty of time to rest and recover and focus on other areas of my training.

Lipstick Runner.

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