Running – it’s snow joke

As is typical of the UK, we’re woefully underprepared for extremes of weather be it flooding, heat wave or snow. The recent snow has proven incredibly challenging, with everything grinding to a halt.

After my longest run ever recorded of 18 miles, I did not want to lose the momentum that I had built up because of the white stuff that had decided to suddenly invade. The ever-reliable Parkrun at Cannon Hill Park was open for business and several of us dedicated (or mad) runners turned up for our weekly gallivant. Numbers were expectedly low due to many people driving to get there, though 75 out of a usual strong 300+ made it, including Dave after a short layoff due to injury rehab. He was particularly annoyed because he was due a PB but the snow had other plans. I was just going to treat it as a speedwork session, neither having the right shoes nor the fight in me after a botched training run only days earlier.

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The usual course proved tricky in road shoes with little to no traction. The top flight runners ran with their usual speed and despite the snow, they still completed the 5km faster than I’m capable of in dry conditions. For vast stretches of the course, Dave and I were alone with nobody visible ahead or behind us. Our finishing times were roughly 4 minutes slower than our PBs achieved in optimal conditions, showing how much of a difference the snow can make.

I’m going to be in Wales again this weekend, which means another crack at the Cardiff Parkrun. Recalling past faults, I’m going to position myself much closer to the front runners, though leftover snow is likely to still be a problem so I may give up any chances of a PB – I don’t think I could face the defeat!

My long run on Sunday still happened, though not in terms of distance nor intensity. My usual haunt of the North Birmingham canals looked gorgeous in the snow, with  few souls out and about. I wore my sunglasses to help give the terrain some contrast and set off at a pace that was more than comfortable, conscious that all of my stabiliser muscles would be getting a workout.

I don’t have long before the London Marathon and my goal of accomplishing at least 5x 20 mile runs is getting very, very tight with virtually no room for adjustments.

The Bath Half Marathon is also quickly creeping up on us and sitting down to work out my plan of attack, I have devised the below:

  • Miles 1 – 3: 8 minute pace = 24 minutes
  • Miles 4 – 6: 7:45 minute pace = 23:15 minutes
  • Miles 7 – 9: 7:30 minute pace = 22:30 minutes
  • Miles 10 – 12: 7:15 minute pace = 21:45 minutes
  • Mile 13: 7:00 minute pace = 7:00 minutes
  • Grand total of 1:38:30

Based on my current 5k PB of 20:53, pacing calculators predict that I should be capable of a 1:36:41 finish so we’re getting much closer to my theoretical maximum. Dave and I are going to have to be much stricter with our pacing and time keeping on this next adventure, with only 1.5 minutes to spare for error. I’m hopeful that we can at least come back with a sub 1:40 finish based on our current abilities and 5 weeks left to hone our training.

Finally, I’ve started doing regular strength work again to help burn off a bit of additional weight, but also to primarily strengthen my arms, shoulders, neck and glutes. My glutes have been misfiring due to little use (joys of a job where you sit down all day) and after only one session of weighted squats, I could feel them working again and aiding me in my most recent mid-week run.

Stay safe out there and run to win!

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