This could be the first (3-week) block of training where I’ve pushed myself to average 10hrs/week. So far this year I’ve struggled to reach 7hrs/week. Part of that was from the lack of pre-season training (ankle Op rehab) and the rest from lack of time and energy. But something has finally clicked and all things being equal the body is actually able to handle a few more important hours in the week, and build.
One aspect of the new training regime (which I’ll talk about in another blog) is the re-introduction of high tempo cycling. I’ve recently immersed myself in the world of Zwift, and I’ve become a big fan. It’s tougher and more competitive than I imagined, but that’s not such a bad thing as long as you can balance the hard sessions and races so they are not hindering me in my running sessions. I’m working on this.
Following the Ludlow and Shrewsbury 10km races I was keen to get my head down and work specifically on hill and sprint intervals to develop power and form. During this period I finally started to shift the end of the recent cold, which had lingered on my lungs for several weeks. On 28 July I did a paced Parkrun pushing Annabelle in the running buggy. We came 4th overall, after working my way through the field. We have a better buggy on order so I’m looking forward to seeing how fast we can go together in the near future.
5 AUG – TENBURY 10KM
Home turf! Nice to do a race in the town I was brought up in. I did a fun run in Tenbury in 1984 (aged 11), and a more conventional 10km race in 2007. This year saw the return of the 10km, albeit with a different organiser. I felt a little better for this race and was keen to do well. From the gun one runner went flying off the front, and was never seen again. 2nd place built a 100m gap ahead of myself and Jamie Shingler (the winner of the recent Cleobury and Ludlow 10km races). Thanks to my recent return to full health and the hill form sessions I was now able to hold my own on the uphills and keep with Jamie. I didn’t have the ability to kick off on the flat from 2-4miles in to the race, but I started to wind it up well towards the end and made 3rd with a finishing sprint. Despite being thrashed by the winner (a 29min 10km runner a few years back) it was a good confidence builder. Very well organised race, with family taking part as well as spectating.
18 AUG – BUSHY 5KM PARKUN
As I was briefly visiting London I was keen to take part in the Bushy Parkrun. The founding event of Parkrun and today hosting over 1200 runners. I was unrested going into the race and despite not going under 17mins I came away with 17:12 and 7th overall (first over 35, and a new personal age grade parkrun record). In the following weeks I’d like to get down to 16:45 individual and circa 18-19min with Annabelle.
2 SEP – WOLVERHAMPTON HALF MARATHON
My next race is the Wolverhampton Half Marathon. I’ve not raced half marathon or more since 2015. If it’s fast/flat then I may give my old PB a shot, at least try the pace out from the start and adapt as I go.