Training Plan 4

An interesting 3 months. Initially the goal was for a half marathon PB. But as my speed increased I reassessed the goal and targeted sub 1.50.

That’s when things went wrong. I picked up a niggle which caused me to miss a week of training.

Then came the coronavirus, which saw all the races cancelled, but I stuck to the plan and completed my training.

  • The Goal:  Run a Half Marathon PB (Sub 1.59)

  • Weeks: 11

  • Runs Per Week: 5.36

  • Distance Per Week: 73.58k (45.7m)

  • Total Distance: 809k (502.7m)

  • Status: Success

Brighton Half Marathon
Training Half Marathon
Training 10K

The Journey

Things got off to a good start and the first 5 weeks all went to plan. This despite some pretty terrible weather. We had 4 weekends on the spin where a storm hit the UK and during this time there were only a couple of days where the wind dropped below 20 MPH. It was tough.

The first race of the year, the Pier to Pier fell to the weather. It was out of my control, so I just got on with it and wasn’t too disappointed. I struggled with a few niggles early in the plan. A bad back and a chest strain gave me some discomfort whilst running but I continue to get out there and if anything once I had a few miles under my belt the pain eased.

I took a late entry into Brighton Half but made the mistake of trying to do a full training week in the build up. I had forgotten how much a race takes out of you. The weather was shocking. 50MPH gusts, but I managed to run a half marathon PB of 1.57.

I pushed myself too hard that week and tweaked my achilles heel which needed some rest. 4 days off, and easing back into it, did the trick. But that was pretty much a whole week of training lost.

Then what came next was unprecedented. The Coronavirus landed on our shores and all races started to get cancelled as did all group running. Again something totally out of my control. But I continued to stick to my plan and found alternative, quiet routes to run, to ensure I kept away from people.

During this plan I also had some blood test relating to another health check up but they came back with some worrying results as my blood levels were very low. The doctor said I was very anaemic. I was prescribed iron supplements which towards the end of this plan really made a difference.

With no goal race in Week 12 I ended the plan a week early. My final two runs were both training runs. But I ran a half marathon PB of 1.56, it could have been much quicker but I hadn’t planned to run a decent time. Then 2 days later I knocked nearly 2 and a half minutes off my 10K PB, running 49:44 in a training run. Sub 50 was one of my season goals. So to produce it so early in the year and in training, was a massive plus for me.

Example Week

Mon: Recovery Run (8km) – Track – Short HARD Reps to work on speed
Tue: Rest Day
Wed: Long Run (28 – 32km) EASY pace
Thu: Rest Day
Fri: Recovery Run – EASY pace (10km)
Sat: Tempo Run (8-10k) – HARD
Sun: 10 Miler – EASY pace

Lessons Learned

  • Don’t add in any races midway through your plan.

  • Races can take a lot out of you, so make sure you allow time to prepare and recover.

  • If you are short on energy then get yourself blood tested. Taking iron supplements has made a big difference for me.

  • Some niggles require rest. Take each one as it comes and judge accordingly. Coming back too early could mean more time off.

  • Don’t let things you can’t control effect your training or motivation. Race cancellations or poor weather are beyond our control, just do your best in whatever the circumstances throw your way.

Celebrating a PB at a very gusty Brighton Half.