Sunday, 24 February 2013

Half term - and a blip in training

It can be hard fitting in all your runs when the kids are off school for a week, and this is particularly problematic when training for a marathon. But the main reason for me having a poor week of training last week was a cold. I haven't had a sniffle since November, so I think I've been doing ok as there have been so many horrible viruses around this winter. This week was just my turn to get a runny nose, sore throat and cough...

I had a great few days at my parents with the kids. It was easy to get my runs done there as I had free babysitters! On Tuesday I ran 6 miles at my new 'easy' pace. I'm making an effort to ensure that my long runs and easy runs are slower than marathon or half marathon pace, and this run averaged 9.49 min/ miles, which felt about right.

On Wednesday I tried a more structured speed session. There is a park near my parents' house which has a path going round it in a big loop. There are markers on the path to indicate a start line, then 100m, 200m, 300m, and 400m. There is a gap of about 10- 20m between the 400m mark and the start, so it wouldn't be much good for an 800m run!

Of course I have no idea  how accurate these measurements are, but it's a great place to do some speed training as at least you know that you're running the same distance each time, and it's fast and flat. There are some little forks in the path, and it's not always obvious which route to take, but I did the same each time.

I jogged about 1 mile as a warm up, then did 6 x 400 m, with about 400m recovery jog between each one. Having looked at a pace calculator online again, it seemed that I should be aiming for each 400m to be around 1.49 mins, and although I'm not sure of the exact splits, I know that they were all between 1.40 and 1.49 mins. So it was a fun session (although I took those photos the day before when it was gorgeous weather - on Weds it was grey and overcast).

While I was at Mum and Dad's I started to get a sore throat. I could have run on Thursday or Friday, but didn't, as I was planning to do Parkrun on Saturday. But the worst of the cold came on Friday night and Saturday morning, and in the end I made the 'sensible' decision to rest.

Today I had thought about running 18 miles, but I wasn't quite sure what my plan was, as I'm running a half marathon race next Sunday. It's part of my marathon training, so I don't want to taper for it, but of course I'd like to run a good race if I can.

With the snotty nose and general lethargy brought on by feeling unwell, I cut my run to 10 miles. I felt pretty rubbish, and it was really cold and windy, which didn't help. I aimed for 10 min miles again, and averaged exactly that, so I was pleased with my pacing at least.

Now I'm feeling on the mend, I might try and get a few longer mid-week runs in this week to make up for lost mileage. Or I suppose I could add on a run after the Half next Sunday - it depends how hard I run that.

So last week was a low mileage week as I only ran 3x, totalling 20.3 miles, and did no cross-training, or strength training, and not much stretching.

But we had fun with the grandparents. Onwards and upwards!


  1. I don't think you can help but get sick a lot when your kids are still young. They get exposed to every virus going around and invariably bring it home. It gets so much better once they get a bit older.

    Hope you're feeling back to 100% soon.

  2. Sounds like a good week for not feeling well. It's good to have a recovery week now & then, right? I struggled with my cold, windy long run today but was heartened by early signs of spring: a crocus flower and cherry blossoms!

  3. I can totally relate to this! My kids have been home for yet another vacation too, and it's hard to keep up the routine of running. Then like you, I got a cold, and I had to skip three runs.

    Luckily today I could run again! I feel better already.

  4. Glad you listened to your body. that's hard to do sometimes! Good luck w/ your half!