Posted on: 15 Jan 2014

Hi all,

After reading all your blogs last week I decided to up my milage this week & see where it takes me. After last weeks blog I was cautious about pushing on due to me knee troubles, but I thought i'm never going to test myself if I keep this attitude in mind, so I thought that this weeks training would be a test of my mind & body to see what I can atually do.

With Angus's blog about believing in yourself & Hollywood Dave talking about pushing yourself to the limits before you feel alive, I thought that I needed to ask myself a few questions & really start to put this plan back on track & get focused again on smashing this sub 4 hour barrier.

I woke early Saturday morning to do my routine 10 miler & after missing Wednesday's long run last week I really wanted to push myself, I felt like I owed it to myself to test myself for the first time, instead of always taking the cautious approach.

I went out with the intention of running around 35-40 seconds quicker than my marathon pace, a kind of tempo run. The first 5 miles where around the 8.02 per mile mark, which I felt comfortable with, I then pushed myself for the final 5 miles home. I wanted to see how the knees were, I wanted to feel my heart thumping through my chest, I wanted to feel alive, and I did all these & more. Yes the knees started to niggle, but I pushed this to the back of my mind, I can't let these sort of things get to me, I need to get used to feeling discomfort & pain, because come April I will experience these & I need to learn to overcome them again.

I finished strongly & felt really good to have tested myself. I did it in 1.18.57 with an average mile pace of 7.53, which I am really happy with & I felt from this run I had got my mojo back & felt focused for the week ahead.

Tuesday was my 4 mile speed session with each mile quicker than the last. I do this around my local village where I work, I wanted to beat my time from last week so I set my app up to see if I could do this.

I set off at a steady but quick pace & I knew i was in for a fast time. I did 5K in 22 minutes which was a PB for me & finished with a time of 29.13 for 4 miles, with an average mile pace of 7.18. I had a new 4 mile PB taking over 35 seconds off my previous best. My split times were 7.42,7.21,7.08,6.55. I was surprised in how good I felt afterwards & I am really starting to see the benefits from this plan.

After missing last weeks planned 15 miler due to my knee troubles I decided to stick with the plan & do 16 miles as scheduled. I knew I had to get a long run in the bag as running will be taking a back seat next week due to working everyday, so I won't have time. I am not to worried about this as I know I can pick up where I left off the week after, knowing I have put the miles in.

I felt confident of setting a good time today after hitting a PB yesterday. To be honest I felt sluggish to get going as I had worked yesterday which I don't normally do, so I had no time to rest. On the school run I took a Lucozade with me to try & wake myself up & give myself a kick start. This seemed to work & by the time I had dropped the kids off I felt ready for the challenge ahead. I took out two SIS gels with me along with an SIS energy bar, all of which I have never tried before, but I thought of giving them a go.

I set off at a steady pace clocking up the first 4 miles at just below marathon pace (8.26). For some reason this felt hard my legs felt heavy & my breathing was all over the place. I told myself not to take a gel until you really need it. I managed to get to mile 7 before I took on my first gel. The pace was good & the gel tasted great, the fact that you don't need to take these with water was an added bonus.

At mile 10 I tackled the energy bar which again tasted nice & gave me the extra kick I need to push on for the last 6 miles. Everything seemed to be falling into place the legs & lungs felt good & I had the fuel to push for home. From mile 12 to 16 my mile pace was 8.17 down to 8.08 for the last mile.

I felt really strong at the finish & my time was 2.11.57 with an average pace of 8.14 per mile. This is quicker than my marathon pace & it'll be interesting in the weeks ahead to see whether I can sustain this pace for the whole 26.2.

With this Saturday being my last run for the week I would have clocked up 30 miles this week, which is where I want to be at this stage. If I keep icing the knee & taking regular ice baths (which are torture) then hopefully the knees will be fine.

Hopefully by the time I write my next blog I should have my Garmin back, they have told me it's on it's way!!!

Happy Training Everyone!!!

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