A Sporting Holiday

19-25 March 2018

I enjoyed a much-needed week-long holiday. I visited my parents on the sunny (and windy) Spanish Costa del Sol. My week was filled with long walks and sports, including golf, tennis and walking football. This was not planned but I enjoyed my personal version of cross-training.

I ran only twice: two slow 5k distances, one along a boardwalk [Tuesday], the other along a beach [Friday].

The latter was the toughest easy-paced 3.1-mile route I had ever run, as the uneven soft sand and fierce winds made every step a struggle.

Selfie on Costa del Sol

I relaxed and was pleased to stay active without expectation to complete specific workouts. However, despite the relatively low physical stress on my body, the numerous strokes I took on the driving range after many years away from playing golf strained some of my back muscles [Monday].

The fast walking I committed to during the walking football match, despite competing with men over 50 years old, caused my legs to ache in unfamiliar ways. I felt it was worth it, as I scored twice to help my team draw 4-4 [Thursday].

Selfie whilst playing Walking Football

Even an hour of playing tennis resulted in further aching in my feet, legs and arms, as I ran around the court quickly and hit powerful shots [Friday].

A rest on Sunday back home felt well-deserved. Although my back and left quadricep still ache I feel ready to attempt time-trials for my One Mile Challenge in the coming days.

My twelve weeks of training and tapering are now complete, and I have mentally devised my flat, mostly traffic-free routes as I did not get my opportunity to race any earlier.

Taper for Postponed Race

12-18 March 2018

Wednesday – workout #29

3x (3-4x 20-25 second) sprints with jogging recoveries in between (with 2-minute standing recoveries between sets)

I wanted to stay in control of my efforts the entire session.
Others recognised my lack of complete effort.
I told them I was saving myself for my race on Saturday.
So I didn’t lead from the front from the start.
Instead I gradually increased my speed for each interval.
The only struggle was to keep from running flat out as I stretched my legs further.
But I stayed behind the leader throughout the session, keeping my recoveries consistent.
Mentally I felt strong and always able to accelerate.
I was content knowing I had more to give when the time came.
I ended the session relaxed and without much energy expended.

Thursday – workout #30

2x 1,2,3,2,1-minute intervals with 1 minute jogging recoveries in between (and 2 minutes jogging recovery between sets)

Another club session in the evening and again I knew I couldn’t give my maximum effort.
Thankfully some of the top runners at the club didn’t turn up so my competitive spirit wasn’t challenged.
Instead I ran my intervals around a local lake, under the stars, at my own tempo pace.
I wasn’t competing against anyone and so I could maintain a steady rhythm and consistent jogging recoveries.
For a few intervals I ran harder to replicate moments at my upcoming goal race pace*.
This ensured I felt confident, and relatively comfortable, at that pace before my race on Saturday.
I kept passing other runners as I continued to run the winding circuit around the lake.
Another runner told me after the session that he was impressed with the strength and speed of my leg turnover.
I thanked him and realised that I should measure my cadence to assess whether I had developed a quick and more efficient step count per minute.

One Mile Challenge: Week 11

My week was essentially a taper for the Roger One Mile time-trial, a track event to commemorate the achievements of Sir Roger Bannister, who recently passed away. Unfortunately due to a random influx of snow over the weekend the event was cancelled and so my first attempt at breaking the five-minute mile was delayed. 

As a result I enjoyed three rest days (Monday, Friday and Saturday) and two easy days of running amounting to 14 miles.

Despite the uncontrollable setback I remain positive about my challenge as I head on holiday next week to see family.


*5:00 per mile

How I Trained for my Quickest Marathon

Early May – Mid October 2017

After a promising spring marathon, I wanted to continue towards qualifying for the London Marathon. So after a week of rest to recover from a local 5 mile race, I began training for a familiar autumn marathon.

I devised a flexible training plan that aimed to increase my mileage of my spring training (34 miles per week) over a period of 24 weeks. After thorough research I intended to run 7 days a week. After 5 weeks I had to include a weekly rest day to ensure adequate recovery between workouts.

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