Silverstone Half-Marathon 2014 training : Week 11

Week 11, and I need to get in a long run…

In case you do not realise, I am running the Silverstone Half-Marathon in aid of charity, specifically Helen & Douglas House, who provide hospice care to children and young adults, so it is a very worthshile cause.  If you want to sponsor me then you can find my Just Giving page here.

Go on, sponsor these legs to run 13.1 miles

Go on, sponsor these legs to run 13.1 miles

Monday 10 February 2014

I was working from home to try to dig into a large wall of work, which meant I had little time available for anything else, but I did want to get out for as long a run as I could manage in what time I did have available.  It was cold but at least it was dry and although I felt a few niggles in my left shoulder and the outside of my left thigh from time to time, the run went well and I completed 8 miles in a decent enough time.  What was actually important was getting in the longish run at this stage of my preparation.

  1. Run (home) – 8 miles – 1 hour 19 minutes 23 seconds

Tuesday 11 February 2014

I woke up too tired to do my morning exercises, which is something I have to deal with going forward.  I ate an apple during my drive in to the office.  I ate some dates and walnuts, drank a cup of water with a Redoxon vitamin C plus zinc tablet, and took a Wellman Sport tablet and a Seven Seas cod liver oil plus multivitamins tablet.  I drank more water through the morning before eating my special porridge (Rude Health fruity date porridge (which is excellent in itself, containing porridge oats, jumbo oats, oatmeal, dates, apricots, apple, ground apple and cinnamon), to which I added spirulina, hemp, flaxseed, and chia.  For the liquid I added a cup of yerba mate tea from Teapigs) – and if you want to know more about why I am eating what I am then you can read about it in one of my previous blogs here.  Today I was doing an Interval Workout, which would be six sets of 800 metres at 5km pace, each followed by 400 metres at 10km pace.  I ran 3 minutes of warm up followed by six sets of 2 minutes at the full pace, with a minute after each at the recovery pace.   Doing that in the cold and very windy conditions I managed to complete one big lap and got round to the bus stop beyond the disabled sign on the main road on the small lap, which is further than the last time I ran this Interval Workout, before I continued on to finish 2.5 miles in 22 minutes and 58 seconds, which is faster than the last time I ran this Interval Workout.  I got back into the office and ate a couple of dates and some cashew nuts while drinking half a cup of milk, did some squats and took my shower, then ate a vanilla bean Chia Pod with maca, hemp and flaxseed.  I drank water through the afternoon and ate some dates, to try to make sure I was ready for the evening.  But then work got in the way and I never got to the Regiment Fitness session I had planned for the evening.

I got home and Debbie had cooked us a delicious butternut squash, mushroom and caramalised red onion pizza on a gluten-free base.  We followed that up with strawberries in Greek yoghurt with agave syrup.

  1. Run (work) – 6 x 800 Interval Workout
  2. Squats – 50

Wednesday 12 February 2014

I have no idea why I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning, but I took the opportunity to do my plank.  I was working from home so I could take a succession of conference calls without being interrupted, and while I was doing that I ate some apple cinnamon chia granola Debbie had baked from the Thrive Fitness book (oats, hemp, chia, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia leaf, sea salt, hemp oil, molasses and apple juice, baked on a low heat), to which I added my usual spirulina, flaxseed, hemp and chia, and I used the yerba mate tea as the liquid.  I set off for a lunchtime run with that inside me, and very soon realised that it was far too cold, far too wet and far too windy to be outside for a run.  I ran two big laps and completed 4.6 miles in 45 minutes and 50 seconds, which was good enough considering the conditions.  I did some squats when I got in and ate some cottage cheese with flaxseed, chia and maca, and also ate two boiled eggs.

We were planning to go to yoga in the evening but then the heaven’s opened and instead of getting washed away in the walk to the Yoga Hall, we stayed dry inside.  So I did my press ups and some work on my shoulders.

  1. Plank – 150 seconds
  2. Run (home) – 4.6 miles – 45 minutes 50 seconds
  3. Squats – 50
  4. Press ups – 4 x 32
  5. Thrive – Shoulders

Thursday 13 February 2014

I was too tired to do any exercises this morning and ate an apple during my drive in to work.  I ate some dates and walnuts, drank a cup of water with a Redoxon vitamin C plus zinc tablet, and took a Wellman Sport tablet and a Seven Seas cod liver oil plus multivitamins tablet.  I drank a camomile tea and more water through the morning but my work schedule was going to prevent me doing a run at lunchtime.

I got home too late from work to be able to do anything more than my indoor exercises.

  1. Plank – 150 seconds
  2. Press ups – 4 x 32
  3. Squats – 50

Friday 14 February 2014

I had to go into London for a meeting so I was working from home in the morning.  I started early, did my exercises, and freed up some time for the session with Regiment Fitness in St Albans, which was being taken by Shaun.  The park was still saturated so he had set things up in the far corner, but once we got there it did not seem any drier than anywhere else, and once we got into the running warm up it soon became as muddy.  We did a square circuit, with a big square and a smaller square inside it, and we could mix and match depending on whether we wanted to do more or less running, or higher or lower repetitions.  I decided to do the inside square and the higher repetitions, so did 30 press ups at three corners and then ran the inside square, did 30 sit ups at three corners and then ran the big square, did 12 burpees at three corners then ran the inside square, and finished off going round the inside square with lunges down one side, then sumo squats, then ankle holds, and finally power jumps.  Then we had a quick sprint over to the van before continuing with a tyre shuttle in teams of four, bringing the tyres back towards us by leapfrogging them over each other, although the hardest part of the exercise seemed to be staying on our feet.   Next up were shuttle runs with a jerry can, carrying it there and back four times, and again the turns were really trying my balance.  It was still quite cold outside so we were given the choice of doing something different to the static boxing, and we almost instantly regretted agreeing to that when Shaun decided we would do daisy chain shuttle runs instead.  I suppose it did keep us warm, even if I did have to slow down about ten steps before I was due to turn around !  It had been a fun and testing session.

Happy Friday !!!

Happy Friday !!!

We went to Vanilla Black, a vegetarian restaurant, in the evening, and you can read more about that here.

brie ice cream and poached raspberries, quinoa and pickled spring onions

brie ice cream and poached raspberries, quinoa and pickled spring onions

  1. Plank – 150 seconds
  2. Press ups – 4 x 32
  3. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Saturday 15 February 2014

I had eaten an apple and a banana as I drove over to Dunstable Downs to do my hill climbs before the Warrior Adrenaline Race training camp.  I did the same as last week, running along the top path until it dropped down to the grass area where Regiment Fitness set up the zipline as part of their Warrior Adrenaline Race, then turned around on myself to take the bottom path below the Downs, and this week I managed it without slipping over, getting to the bottom of Regiment Hill after running for 20 minutes and 02 seconds, a time which is over a minute better than last week.  Then began the hard slog to get to the top of the hill, and I certainly could not run it all.  It was no easier coming down it and trying to run down would have been reckless given the ground conditions, although I am not sure coming down will be any easier with better ground conditions.  I managed to do three climbs in the time I had available, which is more than last time and I will be aiming to do more than that next time.

I went back to my car and ate some dates and cashew nuts before taking part in the Warrior Adrenaline Race training camp, which you can read about here.

I'm screaming because I now have to put the bergen back on !

I’m screaming because I now have to put the bergen back on !

  1. Run (Dunstable) – 20 minutes 02 seconds
  2. Hill climbs – 3
  3. Regiment Fitness – WAR training – 1 hour 30 minutes

Sunday 16 February 2014

My running schedule called for a long but I was not going to have enough time for that so I decided to run down to Regiment Fitness in St Albans instead, and took a run up the hill on my way back.  The session itself was being taken by Graham, as if I had not seen more than enough of him at the Warrior Adrenaline Race training camp yesterday.  The weather was dry and the sun was out but the park was still soaking wet.  We did a running warm up in a circle and the ground very quickly turned to mud, giving us an idea of what was to come.  Of course we picked up a number of burpee forfeits during the warm up and one final run over to the bench and we were ready for the gate circuit, where we work in pairs with one of us exercising while the other is running.  So we had wide arm press ups during one outside or inside lap, close hand press ups during one lap,  squat jumps during two laps, then a combination of three individual laps and burpees, before we finished off the gate circuit with five laps and squat tuck jumps.  We were not finished with the laps, though, because after a quick run over to the bench and the van we were back with jerry cans to run round the laps three times in teams of three.  I carried the jerry can in my right hand for two of the laps, and in my left for the other one, and took every precaution to stay on my feet in the mud.  We moved on to the logs next, in teams of threes, and after the bergen run yesterday we had a log run today, carrying the log over to the far side of the park before lifting it up and down on our left shoulders in time to Graham’s commands, and then lifting it up and down 20 times.  We moved to another part of the park and did the same thing on our right shoulders, before lining up in two ranks so that we could race each other back to the van.  There was just the matter of getting all the equipment into the van before we had a quick warm down after another brilliant session.  I walked over to the road side of the park and ran up the hill to take me home, where I ate some cottage cheese with hemp, flaxseed and maca, and two hard boiled eggs.

It's still wet out there

It’s still wet out there

We went to yoga in the evening, which seemed to bring out all the pain in my back from everything else I had done over the weekend.  I felt some good stretches in my legs and I know that this is good for me.

  1. Run (home) – 1 mile
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
  3. Yoga – 1 hour 30 minutes

Positives from this week – I managed to get some running in and finished off the week with excellent sessions from Regiment Fitness, so I am keeping things ticking over as I approach race day.

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