Week 7 and in a continuing busy working life I need to get that long run in…
This week’s blog is brought to you by my right knee, because it appears to be the determining factor in my training.
Not actually my right knee
Monday 16 February 2015
I am going to follow The Marathon News Advanced training plan to the letter this week to see how I feel when I get to the long run. It suggested this first run of the week be 40 minutes at an easy pace, and I was thinking it would be easy to get out and do that during the day, but work got in the way of that plan yet again. In the evening Debbie suggested we should do plank together, so I stayed doing it for the minute and a half she wanted. I should do plank more often because I was still steady when we stopped.
I had been conscious that my right knee had ached during the day, and I still have the stiffness and aches at the back of my legs, just below the calves, and between there and the ankles, and especially in the right leg, but even so did not really go at strictly an easy pace for the 40 minutes run and instead went at the pace I want to be going at. On that basis, the pace of the third mile was not ideal but the start of that had seen me clock-watching so I knew when to turn around because I ran out for just over 20 minutes before turning and going back. I was pleased with how I picked it up in the fourth mile, and overall it was a good start to the week. Now I need to start using the foam roller on my legs with serious intent.
- Plank – 1 minute 30 seconds
- Run (St Albans) – 4.2 miles – 40 minutes 05 seconds
Tuesday 17 February 2015
It had rained during the day yesterday, but had felt milder when I went out for my run in the evening, and now the sun was shining brightly this morning. The Marathon News Advanced training plan set out the 60 minute interval run I should be running today, doing 12 minutes easy, then 4 minutes tempo with 2 minutes jogging recovery done 6 times, and finished off with another 12 minutes easy. I got a work conference call out of the way and decided to spend my lunchtime doing the run. And then the plan went out of the window, but in a different way. My first mile was at quite a good pace and while I was enjoying the sun, the run felt a little tough pushing against the headwind, which meant that the 7 minutes 24 seconds pace of my second mile came as a complete surprise to me. That is only 3 seconds off my personal best for a mile. I decided to push hard to keep that going, almost immediately realising that if I did that I would not be able to sustain it for the planned run, so although I got a PR on the Prospect Road segment on Strava and also ran my 3rd best estimated 5k effort, running a 5k like that was not what I was supposed to be doing.
Which meant I had to go out again later to do the proper training run. So, 12 minutes easy, then 4 minutes tempo with 2 minutes jogging recovery done 6 times, and finishing off with another 12 minutes easy, done at a much easier pace, and I really slowed as it continued. The fact that it had got a lot colder since lunchtime probably did not help. However, it did make me think that I should try my long run at the weekend at an 11 minutes per mile pace from the beginning, to see how that goes. I also need to get that foam roller on my legs again.
- Run (St Albans) – 3.1 miles – 26 minutes 09 seconds
- Run (St Albans) – 5.6 miles – 1 hour oo minutes 06 seconds
Wednesday 18 February 2015
There would be no running today. However, I did end up walking Debbie to and from her rehearsal, which was a mile and a quarter each way for me, four times. So that was a nice stretch for the legs.
- Walk (St Albans) – 5 miles
Thursday 19 February 2015
The Marathon News Advanced training plan had me down for a 65 minute steady run. I decided I would try it at 11 minutes per mile to see how that went, but I never found out because work was too busy.
Friday 20 February 2015
I was in London for meetings all day so I did not do any running. Part of me is quite pleased about that because my right knee has been aching since I drove into the office on Wednesday. I would just have to make sure that I put in at least two runs over the weekend, my long run and at least one of the other two I should have done this week.
Saturday 21 February 2015
I decided to swap around Saturday and Sunday, because I thought that would give me the best chance of getting everything done. That meant it was time for my long run according to the Marathon News Advanced training plan, and that in turn meant going out for 17 miles at a steady pace. I had already decided that I would try to go at 11 minutes per mile, and that felt slow and easy. I kept it going pretty well for the first 6 miles, although I still had the aching in my right knee from earlier in the week, and then I took an energy gel and it had a bad effect on me. It definitely did not give me any extra energy and my legs suddenly felt heavy and I felt bloated. The Marathon News had said this run should be to practice my fuelling and hydration strategies, and clearly the fuelling had not worked, despite the fact I had used these gels successfully many times before, and I could not really try out my hydration strategy because I did not have a group of volunteers available with tables covered in plastic cups full of water. Instead, I had left a bottle of water outside the house, so when I got to around 8 miles I drank that as I did a lap near the house. I definitely felt better for taking on water. Those miles 6 to 7 and 7 to 8 were the bad ones, and I am confident that in a race with water available they would be better. I pushed on, realising that I was not going to make the 17 miles, but determined that I would complete a half-marathon distance, which would leave me a week behind the schedule for long runs. I ended up posting my best estimated half-marathon effort, and my best estimated 20k effort, but that means nothing when I consider what that is compared to. I very much expect to better those times at least twice more this year. I also posted my 3rd best estimated 10 miles effort, and my 3rd best estimated 15k effort. The time is not important for me in the context of the London Marathon, but I will need to improve my best estimated 10 miles time a lot for other events I have planned this year. Anyway, for now I was pleased to get in a long run, although it left both my knees and my left shoulder aching, which are the usual areas for my aches and pains, and I really should get them checked out some time. On the plus side, I was not really feeling any pain in that part of the back of my legs, just below the calves, and between there and the ankles.
- Run (St Albans) – 13.2 miles – 2 hours 33 minutes 12 seconds
Sunday 22 February 2015
On Thursday, the Marathon News Advanced training plan had me down for a 65 minute steady run, which had not happened, and I had decided that would be a good recovery run after yesterday’s long run. Debbie also needed to run 6 miles for her half-marathon training, so the two fitted in well together. We took it at a steady 11 minutes per mile pace and at the turnaround point Debbie walked for a couple of minutes while I did a ‘Kramar’ (which you can read about here), running out and circling back until Debbie was ready to run again. My right knee was aching at the beginning of the run and while it seemed to ease off a little as it continued, and while the run did not feel hard at all, it did feel like as much as my legs could take right now.
The Marathon News Advanced training plan had one more run for me this week and I had been looking forward to it, so it was disappointed that it did not happen. I should have been running 12 minutes easy then doing 10 lots of 45 seconds hard uphill, with jogging down to recover, finishing off with another 12 minutes easy. I knew the hill I could use for this, near to the lake at the park in St Albans, and it is ideally placed for the runs before and after, so I will just have to find another time to do that.
So I find myself a week behind schedule with an aching right knee. I suppose it could be a lot worse.
- Run (St Albans) – 6 miles – 1 hour 06 minutes 01 seconds
Positives from this week – I got in a long run, and pretty much kept to the training plan despite work and pain.