Winter workload

Welcome to the first post since 2012! Blogging had taken a back seat to Christmas and everything that comes in tow with it, such as shopping, work parties, socialising and so on. Running also took a back seat to these things, though it still made guest appearances so at least I managed to get out there.

Parkrun

December saw me take a bit of a Parkrun tour where I visited the Cardiff event. Rated as one of the UK’s faster courses, with average finish times over a minute faster than Cannon Hill, I figured it would allow for an easy PB, that’s the theory anyway. The reality was quite far from the truth, with a very crowded start line and very narrow initial path. The faster average finish time is probably down to more club and competitive runners compared to Cannon Hill’s more recreational group. I’ve now run this event twice and failed to PB on both occasions, though I now know the tactics needed to maximise a potential PB attempt.

Cannon Hill hasn’t yielded any PBs either since early December with a time of 20:53 and my longest period so far without a new PB. I am however only 17 Parkruns away from joining the 50 club, which I estimate will happen in May.

Marathon training

Training for the marathon has well and truly begun with several long runs of 15, 16, 17 and 18 miles completed. With each run, the final mile has felt stronger than the last and will lay out a good base for the 5x 20+ miles I still need to run.

I’ve just discovered the Marathon Talk podcast which I took out with me on today’s long run and it served as the ideal training companion, giving you something to focus on during all those lonely miles. Content wise, I can only call it a running magazine meets a running talk show containing news, tips, interviews and so on. I will be loading a couple of these episodes on to my iPod shuffle for each Sunday between now and the London Marathon.

Race calendar

So, how’s the racing horizon looking for me? I have the Bath Half Marathon coming up in early March, with Dave and I looking to smash our respective PBs of 1:45:27 and 1:45:22 set at the Great Birmingham Run. We’ve set sub 1:40 finishes as our targets and I think we’ll nail it come the first Sunday in March.

After that, there’s obviously the London Marathon. I have a small entourage going to London to cheer me on and I’ll need to co-ordinate where I want certain people to be to minimise problems of not seeing each other.

I would like to do one or two Summer 10k races, though there aren’t too many of these around the Midlands unfortunately, so will have to find alternatives elsewhere. I hope the Cardiff 10k is back on again, if only because of the convenience of getting there!

My Autumnal plans are still up in the air. It’s a shame really because there are so many high profile half marathons in the Autumn that I would like to participate in, with the Royal Parks Half, Nike Run to the Beat, Cardiff Half and Great Birmingham Run on my Radar. Royals Parks is touted as a mini London Marathon with all the best sights and none of the filler in the early stages. Nike Run to the Beat is a unique half where the course is lined with live music from big acts. Cardiff needs to be slayed because of the blow-up I suffered there in 2011 due to overcooking it in the first few miles. And of course, the Great Birmingham Run is literally just on my doorstep and training for the course is easy as pie. I hope I get a ballot place for Royal Parks and failing that, Cardiff will be my B race and I’d dare say I’ll enter the Great Birmingham Run again anyway.

I promise to blog a bit more often on here so until next time, run to win!

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