Wales Marathon 2014 – TW5 – 63 miles!

Athletics - Virgin Money London Marathon 2014Well Mo was disappointed with his London performance but considering he recorded the 4th fastest British male marathon time in history and came 8th in what was probably the most competitive London marathon field ever assembled, he shouldn’t be too down trodden. I have to say a lot of the commentary and media write ups about it have all been over the top, with many pundits saying Mo should stick to the track and one pundit even writing about Mo being far off the pace at the half way point, being 45 seconds behind the leader…….I dont know about you, but a 45 second gap, over the 13.1 miles is closeable …..something told me the author of that article isn’t a runner. This was confirmed when he went on about how marathon running slows you down and entering London could affect Mo’s track times……again if the author researched things a little better he would of found out, that marathon training involves speed work, so that you don’t loose pace……..something i am pretty sure an elite runner like Mo would know all about.

The next major marathon is over in Boston next week, and after what happened last year, lets hope for a truly special race day and good luck to anyone running it.

So training week (tw) five is done and dusted, 63 miles conquered another new record for me and i actually didn’t struggle as much as last week…….perhaps my body is finally starting to adapt to this new training programme.

Tuesday – 9 Miles with 5 @ HM pace

The week began with a mixed pace run, Ive not done one these for a bit and it was telling as i kept slipping back into normal training pace when i was supposed to be going at my half marathon pace!! The result, a very fast finish, as i attempted to cover the final five miles in around 33 minutes. Which i did, but only just.

Other than that, it was just one those runs were nothing very much happens, the weather was good a little breezy at times but manageable.

Time : 01:10:10

Wednesday 14 mile medium long run

What a palava!!!!!

I left work half an hour early, my new trainers had arrived and where waiting for me at the post office and it was quite a walk to go and get them. On arriving at the post office i discovered, i had been sent two pairs of trainers. It turns out its not so easy to walk along with a rucksack and a box of trainers under each arm.

Making it home, i discovered i had forgotten my house keys!!! This day is not going well…..

After a few minutes deliberation, i decided the best thing to do……………..yes i did do this………..was to remove the running gear which was out drying on the line, get changed into said running gear……in the garage.…….put on new trainers and run to work, retrieve keys and then go on to complete my 14 mile route, which luckily did pass my place of work, so i was able to fit it in………However, i had just thirty minutes to make it back to work before the building closed, so it was a race pace dash down to work to obtain my keys and receive some very strange looks from the security and cleaning staff.

During my run, i found out the advice to wear in new trainers on smaller runs, is sound advice…….returning home with very sore feet in 2:01:08

Thursday 5 mile

Despite having sore thighs after the previous days chaos i got out and completed this recovery run in 41:38, although it was very tempting to skip it. I am on a good run, training wise, having missed only a couple of runs all year, thanks to the Jantastic programme i took part in and that thought pushed me out of the door and onto the streets.

Friday 12 miles

Still feeling sore after Wednesday disaster, i completed this run 7 minutes slower than i planned in 1:37:13.

I am hoping that as i got out on this run, during the afternoon, it will give me additional time to recover, in time for Saturdays run. Which for a change will be my long run, as i want to watch the London marathon on Sunday.

Saturday 18 miles

So for a change, i was out on a long run, on a Saturday. All so i could sit back and enjoy the London marathon live on Sunday…..i hope its a good race!!

Waking up in the morning my thighs felt a lot better than on previous days but my hamstrings were feeling quite tight, so five minutes on the roller were called for, then it was out of the door.

Running 18 miles on a Saturday was quite a different experience there are a lot more people and cars about the place and as i ran by the Preston ParkRun it was so very tempting to head over and join in with them…….but i figured i wouldnt be able to correctly guess an 18 mile run if i did that, so i stuck with my plan. Also, i doubt i would of been able to cover an 18 mile run after running in a 5k event.

I actually, found this run easier than my previous few long runs and i think that was because i had not been off running a ParkRun event the day before, with no sub20 5K in my legs i felt a lot fresher and managed to take 10 minutes off my previous weeks 18 mile time, running exactly the same route competing it in 2:25:41

Sunday 5 Miles

Going against all sensible advice, i was out running the day after a long run, all in the aid of meeting my weekly target. I probably could of missed it, i certainly didn’t feel like running but because i wanted to complete my weeks target, i was out the door. And as I wanted to watch the marathon i couldn’t plod round too slowly but feeling tired, it took me 43:37 to compete the run, giving me just 15 minutes to get showed and sat in front of the TV in time for the big race.


So week six is up next and its the last week of mesocycle 1 , which looks like this :

Tuesday – 8 Miles with 10 * 100 strides

Wednesday – 12 Mile medium long run

Thursday – 5 Mile recovery

Friday – 10 Miles

Saturday – 5 Mile recovery

Sunday – 15 Miles

However, i already need to move things around as on Saturday i will be running in the Valiants half marathon, a brand new race which boasts a flat course……So i need to change things around. My 15 mile long run, becomes a 13 mile race, moved to Saturday. I will then switch Fridays 10 mile run, to Sunday and add the missing two miles to it and Saturdays 5 miles to Friday. This gives me two recovery runs in a row before Saturdays race, so i should be in good shape for that. Its just running a 12 miler on Sunday, the day after a race which might be the tricky part….

I need to decide if i am going to race in my new or old trainers…….i guess i will see how they feel Thursday / Friday. Tactics wise, i will use my usual plan of producing a pace band based on my HM PB. Which currently stands at 1:27:26 and then when i reach the 10 miles point, I will go all out and use up what energy i have left.

In Other news

London Marathon Pictures

London Marathon razzmatazz shows track and field the wacky way to go

Farah faces marathon dilemma

Kipsang rules on roads of London

Win a pair of Mizuno Wave Hitogami

Win a month’s supply of SOS Rehydrate





The Wales Marathon 2014 – Week four another PB

paris marathon

This was the week that the global marathon season kicked off in Paris, with Kenenisa Bekele laying down an early marker with a course record of 2:05:04 on his marathon debut no less. I wish mine had gone just as well……i guess his first marathon was only 2 and bit hours quicker than mine, so not much in it………..

So it’s over to the guys in London next Sunday where the majority of the world’s top male distance runners will be competing, including Britain’s Mo Farah who makes his marathon debut, it’s not to missed.

Looking at the course route in Paris, it looks very much a must do race, passing some of Paris’s most famous sites. I will have to add to my marathon bucket list!

So here’s how four week of training for Wales went :

Tuesday 9 miles with 10*100

What lovely day, the sun was out and the temperature was high. It was so warm in fact that for the first time this year not only did I head out, without a run jacket but also without my gloves or cap. I can’t remember the last time I did that.

Once out running I found that there were loads of runners and cyclists about the place, all in high spirits with waving, nods and smiles a plenty, it was as if everyone was high on sunshine. It was great running weather and whilst, I didn’t quite manage the nine miles in my planned pace plan, I worked hard in each of the strides although again not recording the times to keep my focus on the longer distances.

Time : 1:13:27  

Wednesday 14 miles

I got the feeling I had over done things on the previous night almost immediately into this run, as i was suffering with stiff legs. However, I pressed on making the half way point within my pace plan time,  around 53 minutes. A mile or so later on the tougher half of my run things started to go wrong as yesterday’s hard work took its toll. Running on empty may have also had an affect and by the ten mile point I was doing my best to beat the plod returning home in 2:00:08.

Annoyed……a little, but I’ve still got out there after walking to and from work and completed so 14 mile run on empty, so I shouldn’t be too disheartened.

Next up a recovery run, thank goodness!!!

Thursday 5 miles

With less than 12 hours, between last nights poor 14 miler and today’s pre-work run, i was again feeling the strain….

Perhaps its more than just over doing the strides on Tuesday, perhaps its my new training programme taking affect. Thoughts of maybe this is too much for me, begin to creep in, its a big step up and it is hard work getting out there six times a week, but then a reminder creeps in……..Last year i moved up from a 4 times a week 30-40 miles a week runner, to a 5 times a week up to 55 miles per week runner. Early on in that training plan, I had the same thoughts, the same doubts and the same tiredness, i went on to record my greatest ever marathon time, narrowly missing out on a sub 3:30, my target was sub 3:40. Hang on in there, i say to myself, hang on in there!

So off plodding i went through the early morning streets, thank goodness it was a recovery run, as instantly i knew there couldn’t have met any time targets during this one! I also noticed, that my heels were sore, i had a twinge in my angle and a little bit of tightness in my shin muscles…….all the signs that it’s time for some new trainers!! And i have decided to buy the updated version of my current pair, the KipRun MD, from Kalenji. Ive found these to be a great pair of trainers and 500+ miles in, i can see why they were Runners World new comer of the year 2013. They are lightweight, cushioned and durable, basically they feel like a pair of asics and your get the same amount of wear out of them, as you would with a pair of New Balance , for a very reasonable price.

KIPRUN MDFriday 5 miles

7 AM and another pre-work recovery run, i am quite enjoying these, although for a change, it had to happen one day, that on this day it was raining – my first experience of a pre-work rain run. Although it was more a misty drizzle than actual rain and after a 24 hour rest since my last run i was feeling in much better shape completing my run in 41:46

Saturday 11 miles including ParkRun

Part of me will always regret doing a ParkRun and a good few miles on top of it the day before a long run, but what can you do, it’s a great event and it’s great to catch up with some of my running friends.

With having to run eleven miles miles, I opted to run three miles before ParkRun and then five afterwards. Although as I set off five minutes late I was forced to run the three miles there at a much quicker pace than I planned covering the distance in 23:33 but luckily I had a good ten minutes before the event to recover from this.

Having spent the previous two days running recovery runs, I felt in fairly good shape and was contemplating going for a fast time and when the runner I remembered from a sprint off some time back, went by me with in the first 100 metres my mind was made up. I decided to stick with him for a while, resulting in a six minute first lap , sticking to my plan of never over working the climbs I waited until the top of the hill on the second lap before passing him and catching up with the next runner along, which resulted in a bit of duel between myself and this new runner, before I moved on past him.

At the beginning of the third lap my sprint off rival returned and with the effort he was putting in it was clear he had decided to make a go of it for the entire third lap. I kept pace with him and again sticking to my plan of not working too hard on the hill as he powered by me only to slow down as he reached the summit, where I caught him up and went by him before pushing on myself.

I could see the next two runners where in sight. One, the fastest of junior runners that takes part in this event and the other, one of the quicker club runners who always finishes amongst the top lot. I quickly caught the junior runner and pasted him before gradually running down and catching the fast club runner, passing him as we entered the final half of the last lap. I pushed on further but I wasn’t able to loose him and he remained just a few seconds behind me as we both sped up towards the finish. Entering the final straight and a sprint off…..but I had worked so hard during this event, that I knew, as he drew level with me I could not hold him off and having coming from behind he had the element of surprise and all the momentum allowing him to pip me to the finish.

Slightly disappointed, being a competitive so and so. But that said I had worked hard and it showed with a new PB of 19:25. I’m getting faster!!  Advanced Marathoning really is the best running book I’ve ever bought. After watching the the remaining runners finish and catching up with friends, I headed home completing the 11 miles in 1:23:45

Sunday 18 miles

Surprisingly I didn’t feel too sore after yesterday’s ParkRun PB, which may of been down to some extensive foam rolling action the previous night and this morning. Although I was a little sore it was manageable and having made the decision to set my pace plan using both the upper and lower range suggested to me by the runners world pace calculator 7:55 – 8:57 per mile pace. I set off at much more comfortable pace than on last weeks long run and ran my route Kenyan style, speeding up when I felt like it and easing off when I didn’t, all the while keeping note of my target time range and how far off the finish i was. Then on the final three miles or so I found myself in a really good running rhythm , which just as well as the end of my route saw me take on a couple of tough climbs and the time I saved by speeding up here helped ensure I didn’t reach this point with too much work to do. Arriving home in 2:33:49


Progress so far :

progress at week 4

The week ahead

So what does next week bring me :

Tuesday 9 miles with 5 at half marathon pace

Wednesday 14 mile medium long run

Thursday 5 mile recovery run

Friday 12 mile medium long run

Saturday 5 mile recovery run

Sunday 18 miles with 10 at marathon pace


 In other news :

Sheffield Half Marathon water shortage causes chaos

What it takes to run a 2:15 marathon 

When Should I Run My First Marathon?

Bekele breaks Paris course record with 2:05:04 on marathon debut

Triathlete injured in drone incident


And finally

Please check out this guys charity page and donate , even if its just one pound :

Ben’s Bowel Movements

Your find his blog here :

Smile, it’s not so bad! (Ben’s Bowel Movements)

Its all very inspiring and you should at least give it a read.



Wales Marathon 2014 – Training Week 3


Jantastic_2014_logoWell Jantastic and week three are complete, in regards to Jantastic i founded it an added extra motivator and i recommend that everyone should give it a go next year. If you’ve not got a race to train for, little things like Jantastic will give you that added pressure to get out there and pound those streets.

Until the next Jantastic, there is always the Runners World, RunHub, to keep you going if you’ve no big events planned. Your find it here

So week three :

Tuesday- March 25th

11 miles [See Route]

It was a miserable day for running, with constant rain and to make matters worse, i got stopped at the same railway crossing twice and standing still in the rain, in running gear, waiting for a train to pass by, is not something i would recommend as a past time.

Additionally, i hadn’t eaten before i set off and discovered that for me, 11 miles is too far to run on an empty stomach having felt hungry before i set off, i gradually ran out of steam and slowed to a plod, competing the run in 1:33:31.

I really need to invest in some water proof running gloves, but on the plus my seal skinz socks held out, these were a great investment.

Wednesday - March 26th

5 miles [See Route]

As i got ready for this run, i instantly regretted not having put my trainers on the radiator overnight, as i found out that putting on wet trainers is more unpleasant than your trainers becoming wet as your out running…..

I got out on this recovery run before work, taking it casually in 41:54

Thursday - March 27th

13 Miles [See Route]

Who turned the tap on!!!…….a classic, cheesy and terribly movie joke and running in 13 miles of rain and cold winds proved just as humorous! It was so bad, that for a while I could barely move my hands as they tensed up with a driving pain in my fingers.

Character building, I believe they call it, horrendous is what I call it! And i started to wish id invested in two pairs of seal skinz water proof socks!! Annoyingly as i moved into the final three miles of the run, the rains eased off and other runners started to appear…..i wish i had waited!! At this point, drenched and in pain, i decided just to get home as quick as i could and moved up to a much faster pace returning home in 1:49:09

Friday - March 28th

5 Miles [See Route]

And it was another pre-work run, this time the reason why i was putting myself through an early morning mid-week run, was so i could attend an after works drinking session due to a number of people leaving work.

The run was done at a plod from start to finish, as my body suffered from last night’s 13 miler. On the plus, it wasn’t raining and I had remembered to put my trainers on the radiator the night before, dry trainers!!

Time : 44:30

Saturday – March 29th

Despite the after work drinks, ok I only had a few pints………….I was up on time and after a quick breakfast and 15 minutes of The Saint Strikes Back…………a very strange film which i am not sure would of made much more sense, had i been fully awake and paying attention to it, I was out the door and on time for a change!!

Today, i was making my way to the cuerden valley parkrun for what would be only my second attempt at this trail version of ParkRun. The last time I tried to go to this event, I arrived in time to see a mass of runners heading off into the distance, arriving two minutes too late!! Blast!!

This time no such disaster, with all traffic lights turning in my favor and after passing a crashed car, whose occupants smelled as if they’d had a big night out (The police were dealing with it, i hadn’t simply left a load of people in a crashed car…….just in case you wondered), I made it to the start line with a ten minutes to spare. It would seem that this event has become far more organised than when I last participated and on this day it was being used by local running club the Chorley Athletic and Triathlon Club as part of their grand prix, giving me some added motivation and some targets to chase down.

With being early I as able to hear the pre-run talk, where I found out it was a two lap course, something I’d forgotten about and something I could use to work out how well I was doing being that there are no mile markers and i dont own a GPS watch. Knowing the valley to be a series of climbs and descents, my plan was to fling myself down all descents and not to over work myself on the climbs. With this tactic you can both catch runners ahead of you and pull away from any around you, also Ive heard that there is no point pushing yourself up a hill, unless your going to push on, once you get to the top.

The result, I got myself a course PB which admittedly I was confident of before hand but as a bonus it turned out I’d finished in 7th place…..however I think that might of been because there where a number of races this weekend, so perhaps the faster runners were taking a day off ParkRun.

ParkRun time 21:33

9 mile run time 1:13:28

Sunday – March 30th

15 miles

What a great day for running!! the sun was out and there was nice cool breeze about…..that said with the clock change it was certainly much harder to get up this morning. But once I was out, besides a little stiffness from yesterdays ParkRun, I had a great run out with no strange guys inviting themselves along to Wales with me or coming across any road races and with it being mothers day, it was very quiet out with just the odd runner and cyclist about, which made for a relaxing run completed in 2:00:09

Week three down!!

Stats to date :

Runs completed 17 / 18

Miles run 167 / 167

progress at week 3Below shows, what week four was install for me and for the first time ever i will be running (well planning on running) 62 miles in a one week period. New territory!! Scary Darey!!

Tuesday : 9 miles with 10 * 100 m strides

Wednesday : 14 mile medium long run

Thursday : 5 mile recovery

Friday : 11 miles medium long run

Saturday : 5 mile recovery

Sunday : 18 mile long run

In other news :

Mo Farah & Galen Rupp’s Stability Routine

5 Core Workouts for Stronger Running

Daley Thompson talks athletics

Still time to enter the Berlin marathon






The Wales Marathon 2014 – week two


This week gave me a chance to follow up my great performance at Trimpell with a week off work, meaning lay-ins and meals on time for a change, I can’t wait……

Tuesday – 8 miles with 10 x 100 strides

Preparing to set off on this run it appeared I had avoided the rain which had been on and off all day, however by the time I was ready to head out the back door it was pouring down once more. So I quickly popped back in and plastered up my nipples. Red raw nipple showers, are not fun!! 

200 metres into the run however the rain came to an end, which was good in one sense but in another it meant that I got quite warm, fairly quick and the cap I’d brought along with me quickly became a hindrance. I believe they say the body heats up by as much as 10 degrees when working out.

Surprisingly despite Sundays efforts, the first few miles felt great, perhaps extra sleep really does aid recovery. Although a couple of miles later I was beginning to feel some affects from Trimpell so much so, I considered skipping the strides and it was so tempting!! But I talked myself out of the easy option and took on the strides regardless finding I actually enjoyed doing them. Some were controlled, some were into strong headwinds and others flew by leaving me wishing I’d felt that fresh on those final few metres of trimpell……

I didn’t bother recording my strides, I’m not a sprinter any way and getting better over short distances isn’t really my aim. The eight miles were completed in 01:01:29


Mixing things up a little and to keep a good home / running balance I swaped the planned 12 miles with Thursdays planned 5 mile recovery run, which after spending all day in the garden I took at leisurely pace. Although I did decide to take on kittlingborne brow, a local challenge of a hill with a 10% gradient, which on my way too I past several runners heading in the opposite direction……..yes I did envy them. That said, I didn’t push it to hard on the climb as it was a recovery run after all and slowly jogged up the thing.


I returned home, passing a discarded rubber bat…… in 41:57 not bad considering I didn’t push myself at all on this run.


Getting up early, well 8 am seems early when the latest you’ve been getting up at is 9 am…….

I got out on my twelve mile run at 9.30 and boy did I feel it, my legs were heavily and my motivation low. I really wasn’t up for it physical or mentality, but plod on I did finding a second wind, annoyingly though just as I reached a long up hill section, so that didn’t last. I managed to pick up the place again when I reached the long down hill section, well going down hill does help….

This third wind, was taken out of me when I reached the notorious kittlingborne brow, which took me five minutes to climb and unlike yesterday’s easy accent it was a struggle to the top today, what a difference 24 hour little hours make…….

After that it was a mixture of brief energy bursts and slow plodding to make it home in 1:44:18 not my greatest run but heck there will always be days like these and they make the good times, extra special.


Having spent the day painting , it was great to get out in the fresh air , not so great returning home as my nose had forgotten the smell of paint only to be rudely reminded of it as soon as I stepped through the door.

The run itself was a five mile recovery run and as as per my previous recovery run, I took it at a comfortable pace, although this time I took the kittlingborne descent rather than climb that thing for a third time in one week. Unlike yesterday’s run, I felt much better going round this time with no stiffness and no tiredness which was a good job as I planned to head down to parkrun in the morning, not that I will be aiming for a pb mind you!!!

Run time 42:01

Incidentally, at this point, I was just one mile short of 500 miles, so I’ve made a note of when the magic 500 as to be reached. Which I will sadly enjoy…….runners hey!


What a kerfuffle!! The plan was simple, get up at seven out at 8.20, three miles run to parkrun, then parkrun, finished off with a three mile run home. In reality, it was up at 7:30, quick breakfast, out the door at 8:30, two minutes later realise I’d forgotten my bar code, turn around run home, get bar code back out at 8:35. Fast 2 mile run to parkrun. Catch breath, then parkrun then four mile run home…… laid plans hey!!

As for parkrun itself I wasn’t planning on working hard today but then my friend Louisa said to me that’s my neighbor over there you have to beat her, she’s quick but you should still beat her…….., so being the competitive type, I set off at a fast pace only to find that even before I’d even made it to the top of the first hill climb my shoe lace had come undone!!! uff!! This was the second time that this had happened to me at a parkrun, most likely caused by my often getting up late and having to rush out the door to make it to the start line on time!!

I waited until the top of the hill climb on the second lap before stopping to do my lace, as I figured, less runners would over take me whilst I was tying my lace and if they did then they could be still over coming the affects of the tough hill climb. In fact only two did pass me and quickly caught up and passed them once the offending shoe lace had been dealt with.

Working hard to regain my position, which took me the rest of the second lap to do, I passed the guy who was just ahead of me, when I had stopped for a shoe lace pit stop, just as we began the third lap. Looking ahead, I spotted the very next runner was a guy I once pipped in a sprint to the finish, at parkrun. It took me almost the entire final lap to catch him up, he has clearly as been improving at the same rate as myself.

We both worked hard over the final lap moving up the rankings and lapping some of the slower runners and when we got to the bottom of the down hill section on the third lap he was just two meters ahead of me and I could hear that he was breathing heavily. This told me that I could beat him, if I could only catch him up and pass him. With perhaps just 100 metres to go, I did just that (despite the thought going through my head, that I wouldn’t be able too) and as I moved into the final straight I moved up into a sprint then with a glance over my shoulder I could see day light between us and I was able to ease down over the final two meters or so.

Finishing the run, with a surprising PB of 19:29, a good days work and after a bit of break watching others finish, I set off for a slow four mile run home completing my 9 mile target in 1:06:59

Sunday with 8 miles at marathon pace

My 16 miler and it was perfect weather for it, sunny with a cool breeze, although occasionally there was a strong cold gust that hit you just when you didn’t need it. And after yesterday’s surprise parkrun PB I didnt need it or any of the inclines I came across during this run. While I made my initial 8 mile target time, as I moved up to marathon pace for the final 8 miles, I began to run out of steam and by the 13 mile point I had, had enough. But as it was a training run, I could afford the luxury of slowing down and plodding home.

During this run there were two incidents of note. The first being stopped by a fellow runner who asked if I was doing a marathon this year and when I said yes he went on to explain how he had entered the London and Manchester marathons only to now be suffering with an injury. After telling me about his plight, he then invited himself along to the wales marathon with me, explaining how we could either take my car or go by train………

Unfortunately, when he found out the marathon was in July. He announced he couldn’t make it after all as July wasn’t a good month for me……………a very strange incident indeed

The next incident occurred when I entered Avenham Park in Preston and found myself amongst the Preston sport relief event, luckily they were running the opposite direction to me, although I did get some strange looks from the race marshals as I ran against the tide of charity runners. Afterwards I couldn’t help but think they should of joined up with parkrun, what a missed opportunity.

Run time 2:12:45

On to week 3 it is and 58 miles of running joy or misery depending on how it all goes

Tuesday : Medium long run 11 miles

Wednesday : Medium long run 13 miles

Thursday : 5 mile recovery

Friday : 9 miles with 4 miles at half marathon pace

Saturday : 5 mile recovery

Sunday : 15 miles medium long run

In other news :

8 Reasons to love Half Marathons

To reach your best, you must venture out of your comfort zone and into the unknown

Breakfast for athletes

Win a pair of Mizuno Wave Hitogami




The Wales Marathon 2014 – Week one

Run 1 : 9 Miles with 4 miles at HM pace – Tuesday

Well this run didn’t go quite to plan, I took a slight wrong turn and ended up covering 9.75 miles. However, I had left my 4 miles @ HM pace until the last four miles and luckily I knew exactly were that point was. Other than that mishap the only thing of note was seeing some young boy on the other side of the road rolling along on a skate board arms stretched out to the sides, as if he had scored a goal , staring at the cars that went by him. And who said kids have nothing to do these day!

I completed the run in 1:16:42 which is quite good going.

Run 2 : 11 Miles – Wednesday

On this run, I learnt whilst we have had a few sunny days of late in the England, it still gets dark early. Leaving me running around the country lanes in the dark…….granted I had my hi-vis  running jacket on, so it wasn’t quite a kamakarzi run but I really should of taken my torch with me!! That said I got home in one piece, learnt a valuable lesson and completed the run in 1:28:31

You can see my 11 mile route here :

Run 3 : 5 Mile Recovery – Thursday

Nothing of interest occurred during this run……it was a plane simple 5 mile recovery run.

Time 42:00

Route :

Run 4 : 9 Miles – Friday

Taking advantage of being a agile worker, I worked from home on this day, allowing me to complete my 9 mile run during the early afternoon, giving my body an additional few hours to recover in time for Sundays 20 mile race. Which considering ive not specifically trained for or taper for will come in handy.

There was a strange incidence during this run when a bird flew all around me and I had to leap over the little thing three times, as it went down around my legs before landing on the ground in front of me. Thinking about it afterwards, perhaps I should of stopped to check it out and make sure the little guy was ok. This left me feeling quite guilty, but I guess if it was flying around then, it was probably stunned by a car or something will of no doubt of recovered…….I hope so anyway!!

Time : 01:16:52

Route :

Run 5 – 5 Miles – Saturday

I skipped this run, as I am racing 20 miles on the Sunday, on what should of been a 15 mile medium long run. So while I wont meet six runs this week, I will complete my mileage target and I get a rest day before racing……it will be needed.

The Trimpell 20 Mile

So it was race day and my return to the Trimpell 20, a race I first and last did in March 2009, as a taster in preparation for finally moving up to the marathon. On that day, I chose to run 10 miles at an 8 mins per mile pace and then race the last 10 miles……just from reading that statement you would have easily guessed, that I was someone who had never run over 13.1 miles before at that point in time. Surely enough things didn’t go to plan and by the 17 mile point my legs were shot and I staggered to the finish line.

Five years later, 7 a.m. Sunday March 16th 2014 and I am slowly waking up to get ready and head back to the scene of one of my disappointing races experiences. However, I am more experienced over longer distances now and I have more of a realistic plan. 7.45 mins per mile until the 17 mile point and then see if I can either make a dash for the line or continue with my plan if I cant. While 7.45 per mile is faster than my marathon PB pace, i was confident that as this race is 6 miles shorter than a marathon, I should be able to maintain it for 20 miles and its a good minute per mile slower than my half marathon PB pace.

I set of 10 minutes later than planned, which if you know me isn’t a real surprise at all. However, If I had known about all the road works I might of actually gotten around to setting of on time!! Stress levels were high, especially as I was sat in queuing traffic in Lancaster, walking distance from the race HQ with just 40 minutes until the off…….


10:35 and ive finally parked up!! Thank goodness!! Enough time to get my number and carry out the traditional pre-race visit to the bathroom and get my stuff together before heading to the start line.

Lining up at the start it was clear that this race has gotten slightly bigger than when I last ran it, with club vests from all over the country on show, with the Barnsley Harriers, South Shields Harriers and the Winchester & District AC to name just three. To top it off a strong cold wind was blowing and as the instructions about running over timing maps and how traffic free the course was, were read out all you could think of, was hurry up and start the damn thing!

3,2, 1 and we’re off!!

As I hit the one mile marker, I could tell I had gone too fast and sure enough my watch read 07:06 ooops! Not to worry, I could slow down , which I did. However for each of the next four mile markers, taking me to the five mile point, i found my self 30 seconds ahead of schedule. I had also noticed, that a young club runner in blue would speed up when ever I got near him. To prove this theory, I ran up along side him and sure enough he pushed on… to be sure I tried it once more and yep he did it again. Noticing he had no gels with him and how competitive he was being just five miles into a 20 mile race I figured he must be new to the distance and slightly cruel as it may seem, I figured I might as well use it as an opportunity to practice some competitive running, all be it, I was running at a controlled pace and he was racing. So I edged ahead of him a couple of more times to see him up his pace and fly by me again……..However, this fun was brought to an end when I passed him just as we headed into a narrow path and another runner in green came along side me, meaning there was no space for any one to by us for perhaps 150 metres. I never saw the chap in blue again, but had an interesting conversation with this new runner about running into the wind and we shared a couple wind hit race stories….

By the 6 mile point I found myself 1 minute ahead of plan and I decided that the green runner was bad for my plan, so I let him push on slowing down so much that by the 8 mile point I was just 20 seconds off my plan. However, by mile 10 I was back to being a minute ahead of my plan…… doh!

Also at mile 10, I started to notice less and less runners going by me , whilst I took over more and more with actually trying too hard. It was clear, that those who had taken the first half the race too quickly were either slowing down intentionally, realising they still had another 10 miles to go or they were running out of stream.

The stats for the 10 mile point, show that I was in 123rd place with a time of 01:15:24.

By the 13th mile, I knew that we would be entering territory that a lot of runners had never been to before, mostly due to the fact that there very few races between the half marathon and marathon distances. So I decided to stop, trying to slow down and carry on with what I was doing. I also decided, if I still felt good at the 16 mile point, I would take the last of my gels and just go for it from that point rather than wait for the 17 miles marker.

Sure enough, that it was what happened and I got a feeling a lot of the runners I past, were surprised to see someone pushing on so far from the finish, with only the occasional runner trying to keep with me. If I am being honest, in the back of my head was the concern, that would I run out of steam and had I gone too soon. Only time would tell and carried on with my plan passing a number of runners and getting some excellent feed back from the numerous race marshals.

As I entered the race track for the final 300 metres, I could see only one more runner ahead of me, about 100 metres up the track, so pushed on even hard, passing him with perhaps just 100 metres to go. As I passed him, I though to myself, that I couldn’t push any harder, I will just maintain this pace, he was plodding as it was, so I should be good. However, just as that thought passed, another runner came speeding by, I tried to keep pace with him, but perhaps 10 metres from the line, I realised I couldn’t do and as he upped another gear, I let him go. Its not often I am beaten over the last few metres, but I had nothing left to give, having working so hard for the past four miles. So I was kinda of pleased with that effort, but It will bug me that I was out sprinted at the end, he had obiviously more left to give than me, so hats off to him.

My finishing time 2:27:53, place 97.

So I had managed to over take 26 people in the second half of the race, with the guy who piped me, showing as having been a whole 7 minutes head of me at the half way point, almost a mile!! So I think, that in itself shows how hard I worked in the second half of this race. Perhaps I could of pushed harder, sooner or set myself a quicker average pace, who knows. Either way, I did well, I got a confidence boosting time and my first week of marathon training is over.

Also this represents a race PB by a good 16 minutes, as my previous time in the race and for the distance was 2:44:07

Race splits : 0 – 10 Miles : 1:15:34 , 10-20 miles 1:12:19  – Finish time 1:27:53

Training week one states

Runs 5 / 6       -      Miles 54 / 54

progress1So what does week 2 have in stall for me :

Monday  : Rest / Cross train

Tuesday : 8 miles with 10 * 100 metre strides

Wednesday : 12 miles

Thursday : 5 miles recovery

Friday : 9 miles aerobic

Saturday : 5 miles recovery

Sunday  : 16 miles with 8 miles at marathon pace

In other news :

Mo Farah collapses after finishing second in New York half-marathon

Danish study challenges pronation fears

Susan Partridge to lead GB team at World Half Marathon Champs



The Wales Marathon 2014 – The journey begins

So this week marks the start of my journey to the Wales Marathon 2014, with 123 days until I line up in Wales for what, going off the course profile, will be my toughest marathon yet. It will also be my first ever summer time marathon, so it could get pretty warm out there.

The Wales Marathon profile-marathonFor this challenge, i will taking on the 55 – 70 miles training plan from the Advanced Marathoning book. This plan features four training mesocycle’s made up of 1st – six weeks, 2nd – five weeks, 3rd – four weeks and then finally a 3 week taper period.

Post race there is a recovery mesocycle of 5 weeks. Which was something brand new to me, when i used the 55 miles per week training plan, from this book for the Dublin marathon in 2013. And it seemed to work, it forced me to stay away from racing for a months and when i did come back i got y first every sub20 5k at the Preston ParkRun, so the proof is in the pudding as they say.

Its going to be a tough step up, but i eventually got used to training 5 times a week last year, so hopefully i will be able to conquer running six times a week as well. No doubt there will be tough times ahead, but when i cross that finish line in Wales, it will prove to have been well worth it all the effort and sacrifice i’m sure.

First up this week 1 :

Tuesday : 9 miles with 4 miles at HM pace

Wednesday : 11 mile medium long run

Thursday : 5 mile recovery

Friday : 9 mile general aerobic

Saturday : 5 mile recovery

Sunday : 15 mile medium long run

Total : 6 runs – 54 miles

Life being life, well actually its my fault this one. I have entered a twenty mile race, which takes place this Sunday, meaning already one week on, I’m shifting things around. However, thanks to my custom training, plan which features the first two weeks of the 55 – 70 plan i should be ok. What i will do, is drop Saturdays 5 mile recovery run, meaning i complete my mileage target and get a rest the day before the race.

In other news, ive have been doing book reviews for a website called ‘Running Stores‘ the first of which you will find here :

Running with Kenyans – Book Review



Quick Update

ImageI have finally gotten around to loading up a page of my race results and from it you will see that i have made some big improvements over time, which if i can do, then so can all of you.

Check it out here :

In other news, my home town of Preston is in mourning after the death of legendary footballer / soccer player and all around gent Sir Tom Finney. To find out more about this, see this :

Running wise, i’m feeling pretty tried this week……but will still be aiming to cover 45 miles. However, i’m now just two weeks off the start of my new marathon misson, as we are now just 20 weeks away from the Marathon of Wales. Eck!!!!!



Pacing & Punishment

aly dixon in KenyaWhat a great opening picture, it comes from team GB starlet Aly Dixon who is over in Kenyan training hard. She posted up this picture of herself on a quiet Sunday morning 20 miler. On the same day i had run 16 miles in rain, gales and along a muddy canal path……i did ask her if she wanted to trade places but she declined my offer. One day, like many runners, id love to have a go at running in Kenya and the runners mecca of Iten.

So on to the post, a lot of chatter on the forums of Runners World and of late, have been around pacing, so i thought id give my two pence.

For a long time, i made the mistake of just going out for every run, as hard or as fast as i could. Then it clicked that i didnt really enjoy training like that and i wasn’t making much progress in races. So then i started doing a lot of junk miles, running that is, at a slow pace. I found that training was a lot easier, surprisingly……(kidding) and that i wasn’t as tired going into races. Over time i also increased the number of miles i was running and i slowly started chipping off seconds here and there in races.

However, it wasn’t until last year when i read about having a training pace , ditching junk miles, introducing speed work and doing hill repeats that i really started to make progress on my times with 5k, 10k, 10 mile, half marathon and marathon PBs all tumbling within one year. And although, again i had increased my millage last year. It was with this combination of new training methods, that i found myself not only getting fast but also more confident going into races, if i could go for a 4 mile run, do 10*100 strides and then run another 4 miles, what had i really to worry about running a 10k race and so on.

Also with a standard training pace i wasn’t going out too hard, too often leaving myself fresh for races and i became accustom to running for long periods of time at a faster pace than i might of done if i was plodding around, doing the miles.

So i recommend to all of you to make use of the Runners World training pace calculator, whilst you can, and find out, how fast or slow you should be aiming to do your training runs.

The RW training pace calculator

And here is a good RW article about PACE

So on to punishment……..and in the UK the mister for education has taken the unusual step of suggesting that schools should use physical education as a means to which, to punish children……im no expert but something tells me that having future generations grow up seeing things such as running, as a punishment rather than something you do to enjoy and to keep healthy, might not solve the obesity crisis currently facing the UK. You can read more about this clanger here :

In other news, i completed the first cycle of the five week training plan i made myself (see here) and i have to say, having spent the past two weeks running six times a week, that, that is hard to do. I got through it mind you, but there was a few times, i felt tried and with the miserable weather i was so tempted to hit the on button of the TV…..but as im signed up to Jantastic and the Runners world 1000 mile challenge, the competitive person in me, pushed me out of the door, not to mention there are chances to win prizes for doing them……I was glad i did those two weeks, it was great learning experience, im not looking forward to them coming back around mind you. But if i am to continue to improve Ive got to do it.

So back to week 1, and easy week 35 miles  and im looking forward to it!!

Here are some other great links you may of missed :

Cross purposes

Scott Overall’s winter training tips

10 ways to wake up and run; the secret to early morning workouts

And finally there is still time to vote in the Running Awards :

The Running Awards



Jantastic Stage One Done

ImageWill we be seeing her over take on the 26.2 mile challenge again : Paula Radcliffe wants one final marathon

The great Paula Radcliffe has announced she is targeting one more marathon, possibly in 2015 & in London. That would be amazing too see and gives any one thinking about running London 2015 added bit of motivation, to run in Paula’s last marathon… that would be special. I am so tempted to sign up. That said this years mens marathon is going to be very special too, check this line up :

Mens Elite Runners : London 2014

Sooo Jantastic, well stage one is done and despite the weather i somehow managed to keep a 100% record through the first stage running 5 times a week, each week, for 4 weeks. This includes one18 miler in constant rain, hail and freezing cold gale strength winds. That was hell! and ranks up there with my experience at the Preston Guild Marathon. This final week was the toughest period of the last 4 weeks, as my self produced training plan (See here) had me running six times, a step up for me, having only moved up to running five times a week last year for the Dublin Marathon. Tuesday saw me run 11 miles followed by 9 on the Wednesday which was followed up by a 5 on the Thursday.

So along came Friday and i was due to run 9 miles again, however feeling pretty sore and wanting to head on down to the Preston ParkRun on the Saturday. I switched it with Saturdays 5 miler much to my bodies pleasure.

Waking up on Saturday morning, i really didn’t want to be running 9 miles let alone taking part in ParkRun. However, there was i was sore, tried and sluggishly setting off on my 2.5 mile run down to Preston ParkRun. What happened next surprised me, being a particularly cold morning i decided to start the ParkRun at a fast pace, so that i could warm up quicker. Finding myself in the chasing pack with just a few runners up ahead in the lead, i decided to maintain what i was doing but to ignore any one that went by me. Then my shoe lace came undone so i had to stop and re-tie that, re-starting running was tough, but i decided to get myself back into the position i was in. By the end of the second lap, my shoe lace was undone once again……i was wearing gloves and getting a decent knot in them without taking my gloves off, was beyond me. So i decided to ignore it and ran the whole of the last lap with my shoe lace flying about, again i kept my position but without over pushing myself, i crossed the line in 19:54!!! my second ever sub 20 5k finish time…….i am not sure how i did that, other than to suggest that my training over the past few months must be such that i can now finish sub20 without putting myself at 100% which is a bit of confidence boost and a nice surprise.

On the Sunday something similar happened, again I felt tired and with the added aches of having run a sub20 5k in amongst a 9 mile run, the previous day. I set off feeling sluggish on a 15 mile run and decided not to aim for my usual 8.20 pace and just take it how i felt #kenyanstyle. However i reached the half way point in one hour three and then returned home in 02:03:02 giving me an average pace of 08:20 which is even more surprising when you consider this is what i was taking on :

ImageAnd that was Jantasitc stage one, if your not in it, i recommend it for next year :

I am also in the Runners World 1000 mile challenge which is also another great motivation resource with prizes to be one. So far im to 190 miles, just 810 to go…..Still time to enter this if your not. Its worth it and you get some interesting stats out of it.

In other news, the great sub 2 hour marathon question continues to gain media space, with this latest piece by the Guardian newspaper putting it in prospective what the runner who finally does it, needs to achieve and boy would it be tough……

Will anyone ever run a sub-two-hour marathon?

If your thinking about entering the Liverpool half marathon, get signed up quick as you can get your name on your number, Which i think is a very nice touch and having run in this event, in 2013 i can say its a nice one to do, the course is a bit of of a hassle…..anchors and such laying around, but a  big crowd come out to see you and Liverpool is a great city to visit.

Runners World published this interesting article about staying injury free during your marathon training :

Marathon Training – Boom and Bust

If you’ve an interest in physical activity facts, figures and advice in the Lancashire area, see this : Physical Activity

And finally wouldn’t it be special to get to join this club : [Here]








The Inskip Half Marathon


derby arms inskipSo Sunday 19th of January was my first race of the year. The Inskip half marathon, a great chance to test out, if i have gotten faster over the longer distances and according to the folks of the runners world forum this was a fast course so PB potential was in the air and thoughts of getting my first ever sub 1:30 HM were creeping in.

I had decided the night before the race, after encouragement from some of my runners world forum friends, to go for my first sub 1:30 HM , this would mean taking my PB of 1:32:58 down by three minutes. And to achieve this, I made myself a brave pacing band, based on mile splits of 6:50 per mile.

In week leading up to the race, it pretty much rained every day and i took a break from my training plan to taper off running 6, 4, 6, 4 miles for this event. I might not of trained specifically for it, but its wise to taper if you want to do well. Then came race day and the weather report promised that it would be the best day of the week, with the rains clearing up by 9 a.m. However, it rained for pretty much the entire journey to the race HQ. So i was beginning to regret putting all my faith in the weather report and not taking any rain precautions.

Luckily by the time we arrived at the race, the rain had vanished and skies cleared up, although it was quite cold. Getting my number was easy enough , with little time spent queuing. Next came the queue for loo’s , a pre-race tradition for all runners and whilst 12 cabins sounded a lot in the event email, it turned out to be a bit of wait to get into one. Mostly caused by the fact you had spectators as well as runners queuing up to use the facilities.

Time for the race to begin and a little bit of chaos was thrown in the mix. We all lined up under a large banner reading ‘Start’ and as half ten (The race start time) approached suddenly and without warning (there was probably warning, but i didnt hear anything) those at the very front, i was perhaps 8 rows in. Started jogging down the road, we all followed, with several runners starting their watches and others, myself included. Asking around if the race had started. About 100 metres down the road, the pace suddenly picked up, it seemed that the race, had now really started.

So off i was, and off too fast i was too. Passing the first miler marker in 6 minutes, i slowed down a little but passed the second mile marker in 12:40, again too fast. 3 miles in 19:10 still too fast and so on. Eventually, I managed to get onto my pace plan at mile six, well i was 10 seconds behind, but that was better than being a minute ahead i decided. Although by mile eight i was back ahead of time by 40 seconds.

Then i reached the nine mile point and i thought to myself, well i was planning on going for it at 10 miles, in a marathon i would be pushing on till the end from the twenty mile point and i am feeling good……so heck, why not just go for it now and that’s just what i did.

I flew past numerous runners and found myself running by myself after the 11 mile point, were down the road i could see two more runners, spaced out from one another by about 100 metres. One suddenly, briefly walked for, perhaps just a few seconds. However, that was enough for me to know i could catch that guy and when i did, he probably wouldnt be able to stop me passing him and thats what happened.

The other runner, had remained still, a runner down the road, i had seemly had made no inroads in that gap. However, as i passed the 12 miler marker on 1:20, i thought to myself this is it, i’m going to get sub 1:30 and unless disaster strikes, if i push myself i might be able to catch that guy and perhaps kick on at the 13 miler maker to beat him over the finally point one of the course. So i pushed on hard and i started gaining on him and by the time i was maybe 10 seconds behind him, i could see the 13 mile marker appearing maybe 400 metres down the road. I thought to myself dont wait till the 13 miler maker, because he will go then too, go now and then try and hang on. So i pushed on, once more upping my pace and passing him by. As i turned into the final straight, moving into a sprint i glanced over my shoulder and saw……… one, i had left him behind. A tough race was finished with a nice finish. No painful sprint for the line for me, which was a nice change.

My finish time……1 : 27 : 36 a fantastic PB!! i was really, really pleased. Although part of me was disappointed to see that the last mile and a bit was my slowest , i knew i had worked hard throughout the race, recording an average pace of 6:44 per mile , so i shouldnt be so hard on myself.

After the race we were all treated to hot pot and within the goodie bag, i found both a medal, a woollen hat and a large bar of chocolate. A great reward for a hard days work and i did enjoy getting to sit amongst other runners, eating my hot pot talking, about the race.

It was fast, it was competitive and its well worth turning out for. I might even line up in Inskip again next year.

Your find my race review for this event here

In other news Scott Overalls posted up some winter training tips, on the Athletics weekly website, which you will find here

And i cut my thumb open whislt slicing potatoes last night, which is a bit annoying!! And its still bleeding on and off!! Uff!! Oh well, i got a sub 1:30 HM so its all good.