This week’s running – 16th to 22nd of May 2016


Back to 40+ mile weeks

Week 2 of the 22 week marathon schedule. A pretty positive week of training and firmly back in running normality.

4x 1600m at 10k pace

Not a great session, no sir-ee.

A busy weekend away from home and a busy beginning of the week at work meant I was lacking a certain snap, crackle and pop. What also didn’t help were the dodgy weather conditions; drizzle left the ground slick and an awkward 10mph crosswind hit on three out of four sides of the park.

The first rep was off as expected.

The second rep was faster, but I doubted if I could pull another two.

The third rep, I went clattering into a Kings Heath Running Club member due to a blind corner where I couldn’t see them and nor could they see me. Bizarrely, this was somehow the fastest split of the four!

The final rep was an absolute mess and I had zilch left in the tank.

  1. 6:18
  2. 6:16
  3. 6:12
  4. 6:25

Here’s the Strava data for the session.

5 miles from city centre

Due to the piss poor weather of late, I ended up getting changed into my running gear at New Street Station rather than change at work and freeze my arse off on the commute into the city centre. Turned out Grand Central/New Street Station’s facilities aren’t half bad with large and very clean cubicles etc!

As is expected of a recovery run, there were no dramatics at all when running at an easy pace. I even left my Garmin on its watch face, so I had little to no data to go by bar the occasional lap summary.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

9 miles from work

Last week’s medium-long run from the office taught me that I needed to jettison a lot more of the crap I normally carry in a backpack so that it would fit inside a Flipbelt. No point making a run harder than it already has to be!

Well, I did just the above and needless to say, covering 9 miles without the literal weight on my shoulders was most welcome.

The weather continued to be disturbed, which did me a favour by clearing people off the canal towpaths, especially around the busy Brindley Place portion of the route.

No longer frequenting the canal as often as I used to, this run was my first encounter of the season with an angry goose protective of its young – definitely something I’ve not missed!

A strange observation I’ve made on my last couple of longer runs is the amount of time it takes for me to warm-up at the moment; I’m often not getting into my stride until sometimes halfway in.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

I knew from the get-go that I needed a slower run at Cannon Hill, with the pace more akin to somewhere between 10k and half marathon rather than 5k. Not only was it to compensate for my marathon schedule that’s been stripped of half marathon pace, but also because I was feeling it after 3 weeks back on the prescribed training bandwagon after an extended period of purely maintenance effort.

I jogged once more to Cannon Hill Park and convinced myself that the 2+ mile run there does me a world of good as a warm-up.

Dropping my pace down to 19:30 5k equivalent allowed me to tag on to the final km of Alex Eden’s run and push him along to a new PB – his third in almost as many weeks.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

With Cannon Hill closing its doors temporarily on the 4th of June, the gang and I have decided to go on tour to Arrow Valley Parkrun instead. Only Simon’s been to Arrow Valley before, so it’ll be a welcome change of scenery for the rest of us.

14 miles – to Brueton Park and back

Dave fancied joining me on this jaunt out to Solihull’s Brueton Park and back, though he’s still yet to visit Brueton Parkrun itself.

Our training paces over the last few weeks have been uncannily similar, only differing by a second or two. I knew we’d complement each other quite well, though not without some caution because both of us are at quite different places in our training objectives; Dave’s chasing after shorter 5k and 10k goals with an eye on an autumn half marathon, whilst I’m all about going further without slowing down too dramatically.

For a novelty, conversation between us was actually rarely about running; Dave described it to Lis as more “Radio 4”, so make of that what you will.

Around 10 miles in, I noticed Dave wasn’t looking quite as fresh as he did several miles earlier and discussion between us turned into more of a monologue from me. Mile 13’s climb up Brook Lane nearly broke him; thankfully, a gentle cool-down mile came immediately afterwards as the reward for several minutes of suffering.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.


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