Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Well,  I'm not sure if this marks a return to blogging or not, but it's been a while hasn't it?

While running last week I had a fancy to write a blog post but as with many of the good ideas that drift into my relaxed mind while running they're gone by the time I'm out of the shower and facing up to the challenges and responsibilities of the real world.

Anyway, here I am now, so I'll take a tentative step back by giving a quick re-cap-cum-update on where I am now:

All seems good here.  I've carried on running, and whilst I still get some soreness on the back of the right heel its not debilitating and doesn't seem to be getting any worse.  On the left (the initial issue) there's no pain at all.  Occasional I think I imagine something there and some weeks ago I squeezed the tendon and felt a tiny bit of soreness on the inside.  So now I don't squeeze the tendon....ignorance is bliss.

I'm just coming up to the midway point of the 18 week Pfitzinger & Douglas 'up to 55 miles a week' plan.  Pre-injury I'd hoped to follow the '55-70 miles' plan but settled on the lower level for obvious reasons. 

Tempting fate here, but its been going shockingly well.  I've yet to miss a prescribed run or to cut one short. In fact, through adding in a little here and there, especially to long runs, I'm about 10% ahead of prescribed mileage and around 140 miles ahead of the same point last year.  Last week I topped 60 miles for the first time, something that seemed unthinkable six months ago.

With nearly 10 weeks to go I've done three 20+ mile runs already (including 22.1 miles in heavy snow on Sunday) so I'm very happy that the endurance training is very much on track.

Speed wise its less clear.  With no speed work since March of last year I've found the half marathon pace tempo runs tough.  I've hit the pace target every time but have tended to 'need' a short break at some stage.  Last Friday I did 6 miles of a 10 mile run at that pace and even with the break would still have been under target though as I'd averaged 7:20 a mile.  That was pleasing.  Its only been the last 2 weeks that the speed element has really been introduced to the programme and that continues in the coming weeks so...cautiously optimistic...but I'm thinking about sacrificing an LSR for a half marathon race in order to get myself toughened up to the psychological demands of pushing on when really tired.

I've done a couple of long runs with marathon paced elements too.  Last one was 20.67 miles with 10 miles at 7:49 pace.  That also included a couple of short breaks though, and the 10 miles were the middle miles rather than the last ones.  I have a similar run scheduled for Sunday so will learn a bit more from that.

Cross training
Here is where I haven't stuck to the plan.

In theory I was doing 2 core sessions, 2 weights sessions, 1 bike/rower session, 2 stretching sessions and running drills per week.  In other words, 64 sessions by this point.  So far I've done 9.  The weights I'm ditching, probably the same with the drills but I'm trying to get back onto the other elements.

Weight & Nutrition
Pre-Christmas my weight had generally gone down from the injury induced high point.  I can't remember the figures but whilst I'd set myself targets and failed to reach them I'd at least got within sight of the top end of them.

Over Christmas I predictably gained.  I lost most of that in the week or two after but since then I've really struggled to get a hold of it.  At recent mileage levels I'd have expected my weight to fall off but the higher the mileage the tougher its been. 

At 30-35 miles a week I find weight control easy as I'm doing enough exercise to allow myself to eat a fair amount yet still lose weight.  Over 50 miles a week and I find I'm hungry but also lack motivation to even try calorie counting.  I hit Friday tea time and start to over eat, on Saturday I very deliberately over indulge on carbs but also give in to cravings for chocolate or sweets.  On Sunday I burn off a large amount but by the evening am ready to eat quite steadily for the rest of the day.  Similarly on Monday I feel the need to re-fuel.

I'm not sure what objective I'll be setting myself now.  I suspect I could still hit my ultimate target but that would have me dieting for 7/8 weeks consistently.  I may have to set myself a gold/silver/bronze and take it from there.

Looking back at last year its difficult to do a weight comparison as so often my entries talked about a change in weight but not absolute figures, but I'd hazard a guess that I might be close to where I was then and quite possibly a pound or two lighter.  Maybe that's a good incentive?

I think that's pretty much got me back up to date?