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




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