This week I’ve been having a think about why I’m going through this training process. I hear stories all the time about people who just decide to run a half marathon, or even a marathon, with no training whatsoever. They usually have a good base level of fitness, but to have never run more than a 5k or 10k, and then turn up to run over twice, or even four times, that distance seems like madness to me!
I’ve come to the conclusion that the difference is how well you want to run the distance. Now don’t get me wrong. Anyone getting out there and running is great, and I’ve got no problem if you run a parkrun in under twenty minutes or over forty – you’ll get the same cheering from me whichever you do. It’s just that for me, I want to run the best race that I’m able to. To that end, it would’ve been better if I’d been able to start this training plan earlier, but injury didn’t allow for that so I’ll do the best I can in the time available.
I’ve got a target time in my head which I feel is at the upper end of achievable for me, and also a time I’d be absolutely delighted with so anywhere around that target would be amazing.
If you haven’t already, check out the introduction and week one review in the 10k to Half Marathon in 8 weeks series.
Now, onto the review of last week…
Tuesday – 3.1 Miles Inc Hills
Not as many hills as a hill session should probably include, but I’ll try and put this right next week. I also rather stupidly included a 1km sprint, which was definitely not on the plan, and this then affected the rest of the run.
Thursday – TEMPO 2x10min
I’m not sure if it was a hangover from the previous session, or just the general increase in training but I really struggled with this.
Before the session, I’d used one of the many online calculators to work out the tempo pace I should be hitting. You enter a previous race pace for a set distance and you’re given pace details for all sorts of different training methods. For the tempo runs I was a little surprised at the result, as it was quite a way short of the pace I’d been running at prior to starting the training plan. It therefore led me to post the following question out via twitter.
Anyone have experience of Jack Daniels’s running calculator/formula? My calculated threshold pace seems slower than expected. #ukrunchat
— Paul (@thisgeekruns) July 16, 2015
With this in my head, I went out for my tempo session planning on exceeding the calculator’s recommended pace, but I didn’t. In fact, I couldn’t. My legs felt tired and rather than the two ten minute tempo blocks this session turned into a regular 5k run at a mixed pace.
Going back to the tweet, unfortunately I didn’t get any feedback from the usually very helpful twitter community, but It did lead me into analysing my pace. Looking back, it seems that I’ve been trying to run every single run at what is effectively my race pace. Hill run? Race pace. Morning run? Race pace. Long run? You get the idea. With the recent increase in distance this just isn’t sustainable for me, and after a bit more reading I’ve finally managed to change my mindset and learnt it’s OK to run slow, in fact it’s essential.
And that calculator? It seems it does actually know better than me!
Saturday – Easy 3.1 Miles
Another lovely sunny Saturday morning with the parkrun guys and girls. Great run.
Sunday – LSR 7.4 Miles
With my newly acquired pace knowledge I went out for what would be my longest ever run to date. I actually clocked up 7.5 miles in the end and really enjoyed the slower pace. My legs definitely knew they’d been pumping for longer than usual and even after a session on the foam roller I could still feel it the next day. Just goes to show that you don’t need to run fast to push your body. Hopefully nothing a rest day won’t sort out though.
6 Weeks to go!