Another month has ended and so I am here to share with you the runs that I managed this month. I did this for the first time last month and really enjoyed the process of assessing where I did well and where I needed a little bit more improvement.
My overall goal for this month was to train for and complete a half marathon. I originally signed up for a half last year, but it was snowed off (2018 Bath Half). I did the distance a few weeks later as I felt I had trained for it and should at least do it. I took a different route to the one that would have been the official route and so I feel it was more of a long run than anything else. But this month I wanted to try a half marathon again and signed up for the first ever Exmouth Half Marathon. Last month I had to change my training plan a little earlier than expected to give myself a little longer to train for this race, so this month was really all about getting out there doing what I had planned and getting to the race on time. I completed the Half Marathon on the 28th of April in an official time of 2:07:10, behind my goal of two hours but within my ‘good’ range.
Here’s the breakdown of exactly what I was planning on getting up to;
- Week 1 (wc/1st April): 10km/18km/X-Train/Intervals/5km [Total: 38km]
- Week 2 (wc/8th April): 8km Negative Splits/20km/Recovery 5km/Intervals/5km [Total: 43km]
- Week 3 (wc/15th April): 5km/10km/X-Train/5km/Half Marathon [Total: 41km]
- Week 4 (wc/22nd April: 5km/Intervals [10km]
- Week 5 (29th and 30th): 5km/8km Hills [13km]
For the more observant you may have noticed that during my planning of this month I messed up! I planned for the Half Marathon a week before the actual date. I found out on the first week of this month the mix up I had done and so tried to adjust my plan accordingly to accomodate the change.
SO HOW DID I GET ON?
Despite not running the half marathon in the time I wanted I still think I did pretty well, there was a bit of rain this month and so sometimes getting out wasn’t a thing I really wanted to do. One long run took me all week to finally do and the rain was that bad! My times for each of the longer runs were a little slower than I would have liked but I put that down to still being a little uncomfortable in the city, as I’m not 100% fine with navigating it yet.
- Week 1 (wc/ 1st April): 5km/3km/16.5km/7km [Intended Total: 38km] [Actual: 31.5km]
- Week 2 (wc/ 8th April): 8km Negative Splits/20km/5km Recovery/Tempo 5km [Intended Total: 43km] [Actual: 38km]
- Week 3 (wc/ 15th April): 5km/10km/5km [Intended Total: 41km] [Actual: 20km]
- Week 4 (wc/ 22nd April): 5km/Half Marathon [Intended Total: 10km] [Actual: 26km]
- Week 5 (29th and 30th): Recovery 5km [Intended Total: 13km] [Actual: 5km]
While I didn’t manage to hit my intended mileage for quite a few of these weeks my overall monthly target was still met with flying colours, which I’m quite happy about. I enjoyed getting back to doing a few long runs and do want to continue doing them a little bit more frequently once work allows for this.
Things I’ve learnt this monthly:
1 – Define what you mean by intervals, I’ve found that if I don’t exactly plan out what I’m doing in that session I either won’t do it or I’ll just do a steady pace the whole way round. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but as I was wanting to improve my pace a little speed work sessions would definitely have helped this. Going forward I’ve planned exactly what I’m doing in each session, no more vague ‘intervals’.
2 – Podcasts. I’ve found more and more often I’ve been reaching to put on a podcast over music when I run, I don’t know why but throughout the Half Marathon I had Marathon Talk on and found it somewhat relaxing just being able to tune in and out of people talking about running. I think it also makes my runs feel even more productive as I’m also learning about something else. Another I reach for on Monday morning runs is the No Such Thing as a Fish Podcast created by the QI Elves.
3 – I didn’t do enough hill training. I said it in a post a little while ago, hills are important. While I prefer hill repeats to sprints I still found that I hadn’t done enough to prepare myself for the Half Marathon along Devon Cliffs. I think I’ve become used to the currently gradients I’ve been using and so having to go up something much much steeper and longer, felt so much harder. I didn’t have the determination and will power to tell myself I could do it, and as such I lost out on my goal time of 2 hours. Over summer (A world away yet, but still), I’m going to find a few harder hills around me and test my mental resolve to get over them.
4 – This continues on from last month, and that’s that pre-hab has been working. I’ve ran and cycled a lot more this month and have only felt my knee twinge a couple of times (cycling up steep hills in the cheddar gorge).
I hope this gives you a little inspiration and a little bit of truth behind all the pictures I share on my instagram. You can also find all the other bits of exercise I do over on Strava, there’s a lot of cycling.