The Road to Stockholm – Week Three

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Week Breakdown Nutritional Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
3 (MON 20TH APRIL) COMMUTE

RETESTING

  • no difference
  • Look to have fruit as well.
  • Gauge how you feel.
  • Weigh in
TUES WU1M/I50m/E100mREPEAT30min/CD1M

COMMUTE

  • No Variant
  • Race on Wednesday so just to get the legs used to pace
WED – RACE 5M SERIES
  • +200kcals
  • Take additional calories 2hr pre workout.
  •  Report how you feel
  • mobility stretches
  •  muscle massage after
THURS REST
  • no variant
  • Remember to be taking on micro nutrients wherever possible.
FRI REST – CAR JOURNEY
  • +500kcals
  • try to maintain eating plan despite the drive to Kent
  •  Get an early night!
  • have a bath if possible
SAT – FOWLMEAD MARATHON WU1M/E300MIN/CD1M
  • +1000kcals
  • Eat what you feel like eating
  •  the drive back needs to be taken easy
  • Stretch post event
  • Self-massage
  • Ice to areas of tightness if exist.
  • Tissue flossing.
SUN REST

optional

WU1M/I50m/E100mREPEAT30min/CD1M

  • no variant
  • stretch
  •  Tissue flossing

The Road to Stockholm – Week Two

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Week Breakdown Nutritional Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
2 (MON 13TH APRIL) COMMUTE

4.5M run instead

  • no variant
  • Weigh in
 ave speed of 9:03min/mil

splits of 8:56/8:52/9:00/9:09/9:29

calories: 1,729

+1lb on last week’s weigh in

TUES WU1M/T3M/CD1M
  • +200kcals
  • Spread extra over day.
·  Keep rules such as low GI  5.5M

ave speed of 9:12min/mil

splits of 9:01/9:09/9:12/9:28/9:26/8:46

calories: 1,734

WED ASLAKE COURT
  • no variant
·  Make sure you are taking on at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruit this week.  The first sunny day of the year warranted dinner with the Mr

calories 2,195

THURS COMMUTE
  • no variant
  • Same as normal
·  Make sure you are planning rest at every possible opportunity.  Cycle felt great outwards ave speed of 11.4mph, incoming ave speed of 9.8mph (nice relaxing ride!)

calories 2,380

FRI WU1Mi/T1Mi/WD1Mi
  • +300kcals
  • Split additional between pre and post workout.
  • Protein and fat before, protein and carbohydrate after.
·  Keep intakes of food fairly regular and try not to have huge meals.

·         Tempo should be run at 20-30 seconds above marathon goal pace

 ave pace 9:09min/mil

9:31/7:39/10:04/ half mile at 9:36

calories 2,077

Had protein snack of bounce ball before run – felt great.

Fell over that evening, bruised my left knee pretty badly. Felt okay to run on though

SAT parkrun
  • +500kcals
  • Pay attention to the breakdown
·  Most runners make the mistake of eating late and going to bed with undigested food in their stomach.  This means the body has to work at rest.

  • go for it!

·         try to keep the splits even

 ave pace 8:03min/mil – 25:04

7:58/7:57/8:15/7:48 (0.1)

Had protein shake before parkrun. Felt much better than usual and not hungry at all. Did feel tired in the third mile though.

calories 3,198

SUN WU1M/E60min/T2M/MP2M/E30min/CD1M (approx 15M)
  • +1000kcals
  • Have a protein and fat breakfast at least 2 hrs before run
  • Start to use snacks from mile 8.
·  Afterwards eat what is appealing.

·  Try to be rested when eating and avoid eating on the move.

·  Take sips whilst rehydrating rather than guzzling water.

9:43min/mil ave pace for 14:75miles.

Maintained 9:30s until  mile 14 then dropped to 10:33. Coincides on when I decided to go home!

Did not follow the plan at all. Goal was to get round without stopping.

Didn’t use snacks, took 500ml of nuun. Was thirsty when I got home.

calories 2,259

Weekly mileage total: 41.16miles

running – 31.46miles

cycling: 9.69miles

Weekly calorie total: 15,572

Weekly calorie goal: 12,500

Difference: +3072

Weight: +1.5lbs

This tells me that I am eating too much! The good news is that I can tell where my extra calories are coming in – snacks. A little biscuit here, a few chocolates there. That’s where it’s adding up. So next week I am not going to snack.

My protein/fat/carbohydrate breakdown is doing well and I am consistently hitting the 20%/30%/50% recommendation from Myfitnesspal.

This is my race calendar

spongebob
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Imma just going to go ahead and leave this here

Date Race
Bathalf 1st March
Larmer Tree marathon 15th March
Fulham & Putney half marathon 12th April
Great Yarmouth 5M series #1 22nd April
Fowlmeade marathon 25th April
Great Yarmouth 5M series #2 6th May
Great Yarmouth 5M series #3 20th May
Stockholm marathon 31st May
Dorset Invader 18th July
Norwich 10k TBC 30th August
Amsterdam marathon 18th October
St Neots half marathon 15th November
Adnams Southwold 10k TBC 22nd November (TBC)

spongebob

The road to Stockholm – Week One

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This is what my week’s training looks like.

I’ll update this with comments at the end of the week. If I’m feeling extremely energetic, I’ll update it as I do each session. I ain’t promising, though.

Week Breakdown Nutrition Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
1 (Monday April 6th) REST
  • No difference
·         Take measurements and report any changes.  no food logged.

slept until 1pm, still jet lagged

Tues WU1M/I200m x 10/CD1M
  • +200kcals
  • Take additional calories after training session.
 Went to club instead, did pyramid session. Felt weak so had to stop.  Ave pace 9:10min/mil, fastest 5:02. 3.33miles

2,203 calories

Wed COMMUTE/ASLAKE COURT
  • +200kcals
  • Again take additional calories after training.
 2,226 calories

Cycling felt pretty good, tyres have been fixed

Thurs – BOOK CLUB CIRCUIT 2
  • no difference
 1,394 calories

cycled to book club

Fri 8M – WU1M/E1M/MP3M/T3M/CD1M
  • +500kcals
  • Use 500kcals for refuel after training the rest can be spread throughout the day.
·         This will feel a long day.  2,280

7.85miles

splits:

WU9:28

E1M 9:04

MP 3M 8:54/8:51/9:06

T3M10:00/10:15

CD1M 9:54

Sat RETESTING
  • +500kcals
  • fuel for half marathon
  • Spread extra throughout day.
·         Travel to London – try to stay off your feet 2,380calories

no retesting,train was earlier than thought. Will be rescheduled

Sun – FULHAM PUTNEY HALF WU1Mi/E40M/M40M/WD1Mi
  • +1200kcals
  • Make sure to take a few little snacks with you on your run.  I would advise a mixture of fat, protein and sugar will allow for enjoyment whilst running.
  • Try not to consume any more than 300kcals whilst out on the run.
·         Try to get at least 8+ portions of vegetables and fruit in on this day to help with recovery.  3,135 calories

3 portions of veg

Tough half, 2:09 ish (splits below)

Fulham Putney splits

Analysis

So, I clearly eat too much.

I need to keep a much more stringent eye on what I eat as it’s consistently 300 calories higher a day than it should be. Over ten days, that’s a 1lb gain.

I am reasonably happy with my cycling and my macronutrients split i.e. protein/fat/carbs though.

So basically, I’m eating what I need to, but just too much of it.

Onwards and upwards!

Tempus Fugit when you’re training and working and having fun

Larmer jump
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Well, here we are, past New Year and Easter and the first races of 2015. How does that happen?

For the first three months of 2015 I had a Plan. I had a Coach. I had Plans to Blog about it. And then life took over and I realised I couldn’t manage the doing and the blogging.

So here I am, sans Coach but with my own Plan and eight weeks to go until Stockholm marathon.

Actually, here I am on Noosa beach, pretending to be a lifeguard. I visited lovely family for a week, a couple of weeks ago. It was lush.
Sooz lifeguard

I even managed to do a parkrun! This was Noosa. It was 24 degrees when we started, at 7am. Phew. I like to think I was going so fast the photographer couldn’t catch me.

Noosa parkrun

I think this is one of my favourite all time pics of me running. We’re a few hundred metres in to the Larmer Tree marathon, run by the amazing White Star Running. Look at my air!

We did Larmer Tree in 5hours 40, walking and running. It was lovely. I can’t recommend WSR enough, honestly.  The races are reasonably priced and you feel like they actually care about you, instead of trying to wring as much dosh as they can out of you. Food at the end was included, photos are free (yes, free) and the aid stations are well stocked with proper food and hugs.  Oh yes, and the races are all in the beautiful surroundings of Dorset. I’m hoping to do the Dorset Invader there in the summer.

Larmer jump

Well, this is obviously Bath – The Royal Crescent, hilariously referred to as ‘a row of terraced houses’. Not where I’m from, thanks.

I did the Bath half marathon at the start of March, in 1:56. My first sub 2 since my PB a year ago (of 1:50). I feel much better now, but I think there’s more where that came from.
royal crescent

Sub Four or Die!!!

sub four or die
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Okay, so that is a bit tongue in cheek.

sub four or die

It’s an arbitrary number. It doesn’t mean anything.

But.

It does. a marathon with a 3:xx means you’re a proper runner. It means you’re in the same league as the athletes, the ones who run 3:02. In the same hour!

It’s a thumb to the fat you, the unfit you, the one who cringed away from photos and friends and who desperately wished to not be known as ‘the fat one’.

It’s a reward for the hours and hours and miles and miles spent pounding away. In good times and bad.

Running is its own reward, I know that.

But.

I still want that time, that one with a 3:xx.

I thought Loch Ness would be The One. I cried when I finished at 4:18. In fact, I cried through the race, once I realised that I’d missed the target. Gone off too fast, too slow, too something. I’d missed the training cues which told me that my pace wasn’t right. Missed them, or ignored them.

My pace steadily declined from March 2014, where I could easily maintain an 8:30min/mil pace, getting a half marathon PB where my pace was 8:17min/mil. Boy, did that hurt. But it felt good. I did 5 miles in under 40 minutes – sub 8min/mil. I got a marathon PB by ten minutes in Paris – 4:12.

Not there though.

Not quite.

So I tried again with Loch Ness. I followed a Plan. I missed the paces. Tried again. Tried harder – longer, faster, earlier sessions. Less food. More food. Different shoes. More bad training runs than good.

Still I got slower.

In the race, something happened. Or rather, nothing happened. I was clipping along quite nicely when I got a stitch. Then my brain whispered (you can’t do this, you’re too slow)

So I started 2015 afresh, with a Coach who’s helped lots of people tumble their PBs and shed pounds. Hooray.

Except. I put on weight. Frustration. Sessions weren’t under my control and sometimes there were inconsistencies – human error or should I be cycling to work on a Sunday?

Did get a parkrun PB though – yay!

Now moving in the right direction but have my own plan. PBs galore have not come my way and I’m heavier than ever. But I have just under eight weeks before Stockholm and I am confident I can do it.

C’mon inner me, let’s do this.

Dos and Don’ts of Races

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bunnies

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  1. Do a bit of training

Yes, 13.1 miles is a long way. It’s an even longer way if you can’t run three miles without stopping, trust me.  The reason that most people will sponsor you money for charity is not just the time spent walking round the race course, but the effort you’ve put in in the lead up to it. The hours of training, the mental growth, the cold/hot runs, the early starts, the DOMs, the abstaining from alcohol, the chaffage, the blisters, the dietary change as you realise that a McDonalds/apple/chilli an hour before a run ‘doesn’t agree with you’ and so on.

Do yourself, your fellow runners around you and your waiting spectators a favour and put some training in.

This is a great app to get you started:  http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k-plan.aspx

 white-rabbit-im-late

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  1. Don’t get the start time wrong

Check, double check and triple check the start time. Make sure you leave enough time to get there and then leave half an hour earlier. The queues for the toilets will be long, the baggage queues might be massive, the queue to the car park might take thirty minutes to get in. It’s better to wait around a bit and know you’re ready to go, than to do what  a friend of mine (yes, this might be me) did and mis-read the start time as 11am when it was actually 9am, and realise this at 8:10 am on race morning. Apart from the stress of getting there (which we did), we were  in a slower pen than we wanted to be , hadn’t had breakfast and weren’t really in ‘race mode’ when we started. Oops.

 rabbit sunglasses 2

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  1. Dress for ten degrees warmer

It might be chilly when you’re waiting around, having got in early and done everything you need to do with plenty of time. Do wear old clothes for this, or bring a spectator along who’ll be happy to hold your jumper while you do the run.  Don’t do the run in layers which you then have to peel off within ten minutes – that’ll be really uncomfortable for you and if you ditch your clothes, might get in the way of runners, marshals or spectators.

A general rule of thumb for any runs, races or otherwise, is to dress for ten degrees warmer than it is as you’ll soon warm up.  So, if it’s 15 degrees, you might want to be in shorts and a vest. It’s something that’s really personal but worth thinking about – you don’t want to be schlepping a jumper and joggers or tying them round your waist while you’re in mile 6 of a half marathon.

  1. Pin your number on your front – four safety pins, one on each corner

I’ve seen more and more people with their numbers on their back. I can’t see the reason for that (if anyone wants to enlighten me, please do).

 The reasons you put it on your front are: so marshalls and other officials can identify you as an official entrant and that you’re in the right place and so that the photography software can identify you for photos.

 rabbit selfie 3

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  1. If you must stop to take selfies, don’t do it in the middle of the track

You would think that this would be fairly obvious, but apparently not. Running down the finishing straight of my most recent half marathon (and in the miles before that) I had to dodge other runners fumbling with their phones in an attempt to take a selfie.  There’s no need to do that mid race (or in the last 400m) but if you must, at least try and do it off to one side, away from other runners who are probably tired and looking forward to crossing the line. I’ve witnessed a guy in the last 100m of Paris marathon stop in front of the official photographers, unravel a flag and bust out some different poses. Not only was he blocking other people from getting their photos taken, but he looked like a berk doing it. Still, he was happy.

overtaking 4

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  1. Don’t overtake without looking behind you first

In some ways, running is like driving. Keep to the left if you’re slowing down/walking and if you’re overtaking, take a little glance over your shoulder. That tells you if the path is clear and it also lets the people behind you know that you’re looking to move out.

If you launch yourself sideways you run the risk of causing a pile up which, in the best case scenario, interrupts your rhythm and the runner(s) behind you. At worst you’ll trip someone up and they won’t finish the race – or you won’t.  I’ve heard of runners who’ve been involved in a trip and been out of running for months, requiring operations and physiotherapy too.

There is another point to this – if you are walking, stick to the left and be mindful of other people coming by.  By all means walk with your mate, but keep an eye out for other runners coming through and move over when they do, especially on a hill. It’s tough to keep running when there are others walking in front of you. It’s even tougher to use more energy than you would getting up that hill, by needing to swerve around people as well.

  1. Water stations as Spaghetti junction

Most races now have water stations on both sides of the road, well signposted ahead of time.  Don’t careen across the road to the first table, tripping over discarded bottles and pushing through people on the way. Take your time, move to the right side and know that there will be plenty of water for everyone, usually at lovely long tables.

There’s that driving metaphor again – you wouldn’t drive cross four lanes of the M25 without looking, would you?

Also, be careful of stepping on discarded bottles. A runner next to me in the London marathon stood on a nearly full Lucozade sport bottle, spraying it everywhere and scaring the life out of everyone (mostly herself, I think!). Besides getting sticky (arf) you could fall over and hurt yourself.

Spectators

Ah you lovely, lovely supporters. Thank you. Thank you for standing in the heat/cold/wind/rain/snow for hours, shouting at random strangers shuffling along a course.  We wouldn’t tell you this normally, but you as our loved ones are a big part of doing the race. It’s the reason we lie to your faces as we grin and cheer past you at mile 25 of a marathon.  Heck, most of the time it’s the only reason to get to mile 25 of a marathon.

There are a couple of things that would make you even more angel like, if you would care to take heed:

 carousel pile up

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  1. Keep off the path

I love races where there aren’t barriers all the way along the footpaths, separating the runners from the spectators.  It makes for a nicer run as with metal fencing along both sides of you, it can feel a bit claustrophobic.

I do not love it when spectators do that thing that most people do when they’re waiting for their luggage to come round a carousel. You know what I mean. One person edges forward so they can see. The person behind them edges forward so they can see. Before you know it, there’s a beautiful rainbow effect pattern with twenty people in it, straining to see their bag/runner but actually spilling onto the carousel/road.

When you’re concentrating on pace, cadence, breathing, thinking, eating, drinking and whether or not you might need to wee, one other thing you don’t want to do is think about the path narrowing by 50% up ahead  because the over zealous spectators have infringed onto the race course. I’ve seen the racing line obscured by crowds, making for an uncomfortable bit of the run.

 more cowbell

More cowbell 

  1. Shout and cheer and make loads of noise

This is a big ask, and I know it’s hard if you’ve already been out for six hours and your hands are sore and you’re losing your voice, but there’s nothing like a bit of encouragement to  ‘keep running’ to, well, keep running. Spot that face in the crowd, shout out their name, spur them on. I know it’s tempting to save all of your energy for your runner(s), but it’ll make the time pass more quickly to pick on other people and it’ll get you all warmed up for when you finally see the person you’ve been waiting for! If you don’t want to clap for eight hours, why not bring something noisy? Cowbell, bike bell, air raid siren – they’re all great.

Apart from anything else, it’s a bit eerie to run along a road enclosed by entirely silent people…

 dfd518a8b13147bf98f36861ad66348a-jim-and-pam-air-five

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  1. Get ready for lots of high fives

High fives are great. It’s a bit of human contact within an hour/two/ten when you’re battling physically and mentally which pushes you along, into the next meter/km/mile.

Including jelly beans/babies in this are welcome too, as are witty signs. When I did Plymouth half marathon (in the rain) I was so pleased to see my family, all holding a beautiful handmade banner, I stopped and gave them big, sweaty, damp hugs.

signs

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  1. Be truthful

This is a really specific one. When you’re at mile 2 of a marathon, hearing ‘not far left now, you’re doing well’, is actually a bit demotivating. I know, that sounds really ungrateful of me, but it would be so appreciated to hear a cheer or words of encouragement that are meaningful. Think of stock phrases which fit your position, such as ‘looking good’, ‘good running’ etc.

This also sounds churlish but if you’re going to cheer someone on using their name, getting it right would be good too. I’ve been called ‘Susie’, ‘Sam’ and ‘Sarah’ in races, which is just a bit confusing. The intention is honourable but it would be even better if it was aimed at the right name.

I was once cheered on by a bored looking guy  who told me to ‘go on Big Suze’. I spent the last three miles of that race wondering if he meant the Peep Show character or if I was just so much bigger than everyone else. Still, it made me run a bit faster!

And finally, my favourite gif ever – after the race – relax! Have a beer/tea/ice cream. You did it!

bath bunny

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