Journey to Amsterdam – Week Eight

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Week Breakdown Nutrition Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
24th August

MON

Rest or Cross Training
  • base rate of 1500kcals
  • 聽 Think about how you feel.路聽 Weigh in
  • Make sure you鈥檙e getting enough water
TUES 聽General Aerobic 8M
  • +200kcals before run as carbohydrate snack
  • Keep fluids up
Need to keep stretching
WED V02 Max 8M w 5 x 800m @ 5k race pace/50-90% jog interval time between
  • base rate
  • 聽Report how you feel.
  • Stretching
THURS 聽Recovery 5M
  • +400kcals
  • Spread additional over the whole day and look to keep GI low when taking on carbohydrates.
  • 路聽 Remember to be taking on micro nutrients where ever possible.路
  • Don鈥檛 let fluid intake drop
FRI Rest or cross training
  • no change
路 Maintain micro nutrient intake on rest days
SAT 聽Medium Long Run 14M
  • +500kcals
路 聽Stretch
SUN 聽Norwich 10k – General aerobic 8M w 8 x 100m strides
  • +300 kcals
  • Keep drinking water and fluids
  • Try to retain the nutrient balance
  • Anti-Spasms
  • Stretch
  • Self-massage

Journey to Amsterdam – Week Seven

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Week Breakdown Nutrition Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
17th August

MON

Rest or Cross Training
  • base rate of 1500kcals
  • 聽 Think about how you feel.路聽 Weigh in
  • Make sure you鈥檙e getting enough water
TUES Recovery and speed 7M w 6 x 100 m strides
  • +200kcals before run as carbohydrate snack
  • Keep fluids up
Need to keep stretching
WED Medium Long Run 12M
  • +400kcals
  • 聽Report how you feel.
  • Stretching
THURS 聽Rest or cross training
  • no change
  • 路聽 Remember to be taking on micro nutrients where ever possible.路
  • Don鈥檛 let fluid intake drop
FRI lactate threshold 10M w 5M @HMP
  • +300kcals
路Keep drinking fluids

Stretch

SAT 聽Recovery 5M
  • +500kcals
路 聽Stretch
SUN 聽Long Run 20M
  • +300 kcals
  • Keep drinking water and fluids
  • Try to retain the nutrient balance
  • Anti-Spasms
  • Stretch
  • Self-massage

Journey to Amsterdam – Week Seven

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Week Breakdown Nutrition Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
10th August

MON

Rest or Cross Training
  • base rate of 1500kcals
  • 聽 Think about how you feel.路聽 Weigh in
  • Make sure you鈥檙e getting enough water
TUES 聽Lactate Threshold 10M w 5M @HMP
  • +200kcals before run as carbohydrate snack
  • Keep fluids up
Need to keep stretching
WED Recovery 4M
  • base rate
  • 聽Report how you feel.
  • Stretching
THURS 聽Medium Long Run 11M
  • +400kcals
  • Spread additional over the whole day and look to keep GI low when taking on carbohydrates.
  • 路聽 Remember to be taking on micro nutrients where ever possible.路
  • Don鈥檛 let fluid intake drop
FRI Rest or cross training
  • no change
路 Maintain micro nutrient intake on rest days
SAT 聽General aerobic 7M w 8 x 100m strides
  • +500kcals
路 聽Stretch
SUN 聽Long Run 18M
  • +300 kcals
  • Keep drinking water and fluids
  • Try to retain the nutrient balance
  • Anti-Spasms
  • Stretch
  • Self-massage

Journey to Amsterdam – Week Six

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Week Breakdown Nutrition Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
3rd AugustMON Rest or Cross Training

Recovery 5M

  • base rate of 1500kcals
  • 聽 Think about how you feel.路聽 Weigh in
  • Make sure you鈥檙e getting enough water
TUES 聽General aerobic 8M w 10 x 100m strides
  • +200kcals before run as carbohydrate snack
  • Keep fluids up
Need to keep stretching
WED Recovery 5M

Rest or cross training

  • base rate
  • 聽Report how you feel.
  • Stretching
聽Mr Charming’s birthday
THURS 聽General aerobic 8M
  • +400kcals
  • Spread additional over the whole day and look to keep GI low when taking on carbohydrates.
  • 路聽 Remember to be taking on micro nutrients where ever possible.路
  • Don鈥檛 let fluid intake drop
FRI Rest or cross training
  • no change
路 Maintain micro nutrient intake on rest days
SAT 聽Recovery 4M

Medium Long Run 12M

  • no change
路 聽Stretch
SUN Medium Long run 12M

Recovery Run 5M

  • +300 kcals
  • Keep drinking water and fluids
  • Try to retain the nutrient balance
  • Anti-Spasms
  • Stretch
  • Self-massage

Race review: White Star Running Dorset Invader Marathon

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At the crack of dawn on Friday morning, my running bud and I drove to Dorset to spend the next 36 hours camping and running. 聽Hooray!

I love White Star Running. This was my third event with them in 12 months, and I would do them all if we were a bit closer. They specialise in trail runs with a festival atmosphere 鈥 beer, cake, excellent medals and above all, friendly people. I never feel taken advantage of with their runs, everything鈥檚 fair and balanced. The photographs are taken by volunteers and are free. The goody bags are brilliant (more on that later) and I always have a stonkingly good time.

Here鈥檚 the course map on two pages (!)

Dorset Invader page 1 route

Dorset Invader page 2

We arrived at the campsite about 12.30 after a stop at Fleet Services where I had a yummy (albeit expensive) salad from here. Avocado, edamame, roasted red pepper, chicken breast and carrot on a kale and cos lettuce base. Yum.

After chucking the tents up we went to explore. There was a bar in a barn, a caf茅 and a wee farm shop with some slightly nervous but lovely people in charge. This was the inaugural event so the hosts didn鈥檛 really know what to expect.

We had a couple of hours before dinner was served at 6.30pm, so I had a bit of naptime and a bit of reading time, which was very refreshing. The tent was pretty empty without Mr Charming in it though, and I hadn鈥檛 even bothered with a roll mat, let alone an air bed, so it felt even bigger.

Dinner was a pre booked choice which catered for vegetarians as well, which was great. I had the pasta Bolognese which was exactly what you need before a big run 鈥 hearty, healthy food. After washing it down with a聽 pint of Shark鈥檚 Head Ale (on draught in the BARn, amazing), we had strawberry and apple crumble for dessert. Thoroughly comfy, we had another pint (a shandy for me) and wandered back to the tents for a night-time cup of tea.

It was FREEZING at night! I put on all of my clothes inside my sleeping bag around 4am, including my socks, and I still woke up shivering. It had been about 26 degrees during the day so the cloud must have completely scarpered.

The campsite was awoken by the RD driving up and down, blasting the Beatles and shouting through a megaphone 鈥楾ime to get up and go for a run鈥, which was easily the best way to wake up from a tent sleep!

聽After a cup of coffee and porridge in a cup, it was time to get dressed.聽 Before I knew it, it was nearly time for the race briefing and I was once again scrambling to the bathroom (I started Larmer the same way in March).聽 We were led up the hill for the briefing when I realised that I鈥檇 forgotten to take my inhalers. Luckily the tent was only down the hill, so I nipped off for that. I soon realised that I needed another bathroom break (ridiculous) so had to wait for the race to start, nip off in front and then veer into the toilets before meeting up with my friend in the first mile, just ahead of the sweeper. Phew! To make it even more dramatic, the race started with the farmer dressed as a centurion on horseback. WSR definitely know how to start their races memorably.

Before

Before

The run was lovely.聽 We ran/walked from the beginning, walking more at the end as our legs tired and the uneven ground became more risky to run on. It was really relaxed and we picked people up on the way, chatting about favourite races and what we were going to have at the next aid station. The marshalls were amazing 鈥 dressed up in Roman gear and smiling the entire time.聽 As the course loops we visited some of them twice, and I could have kissed the marshalls that had been standing out there for six or seven hours, keeping us safe with words of encouragement and cheery waves.

cheesemakers

Having completed Larmer in 5h40, I would have liked to so Invader in around 6. However, it was an extremely hot day and there was a section of about a mile and a half where we walked the whole way as it was rutted quite deeply. I know, excuses, excuses!

flying dorset INvader

Wheeeeee

Before we knew it we were at the Lovestation for the second time, around mile 21. 10k to go! We were back on familiar ground in reverse as we were following the loop we鈥檇 taken out. As we approached a field from a little path, a couple of people on camping chairs started ringing a bell. That was lovely because we knew then that we were not far from the finish and indeed, when we came out, we realised we were only one field away from the gantry. In our excitement, we almost missed the flags, but luckily there were some lovely people who jumped up and down enough for us to realise! Ah, race brain.

Dorset Finish

We crossed the finish line and were given our amazing medals and goody bags. Packet of crisps, biscuits, special Dorset Invader muff and homemade Dorset Invader jam, carefully packed. 聽Our time, by the way, was 6 hours and 12 minutes for 27 miles.聽 Not that it matters in WSR races, of course.

dirty invader feet

I was wearing socks and shoes, honest!

After a brilliant shower in the portashowers and the discovery of chafe and sunburn, we packed the car and set off back to Norwich, stopping at McDonalds along the way.聽 Thanks to our kind camping neighbours, who let us borrow space in their fridge for milk and even made us a cup of tea after the race.

Garmin trace here, if you like.

After. Look at the size of that bling!

After. Look at the size of that bling!

I really can鈥檛 recommend these races enough and I鈥檓 already planning the next WSR 鈥 The Ox in May 2016. 聽Come along!

Previous WSR reviews here and here

Race review: Vitality British 10k London

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Race homepage

On Sunday 11th July, Mr Charming and I got up at 4am after attending a wedding the day before, to drive to London to run 10k. Runners. We do some crazy things!

2_0-vitality-british-10k-london-run-2015-map

Garmin trace

We were honoured to run for a brilliant charity called ABC Trust. 聽Their primary purpose is to give under privileged Brazilian kids another way out, an alternative to guns and drugs and gangs.聽 They instil community through art and sport, in a very tangible way.

After parking in Westfield we met up with aces neighbours and running buds on the platform, and headed to Piccadilly Circus to drop bags and meet up with the rest of the crew. 聽We actually arrived about 8am 鈥 90 minutes before the start. Mr Charming even got some naptime on the pavement, which was lovely and warm from the previous day!

before and after london 10k

As the start time inched closer, we were corralled down the steps and along the Mall. It felt like miles and miles 鈥 in reality, it聽 probably wasn鈥檛 less than a mile. Quite a long warm up for a 10k! There were plenty of charity tops around, and we saw a few that we weren鈥檛 familiar with.

To our dismay, we realised that there were no pens and we were heading towards the start in waves, where everyone was in the same place regardless of pace. It took more than thirty minutes to cross the line, and when we did, there were people who walked from the start, and people who were near their oxygen limit within 500metres. On the flipside, there were people who wanted to go much faster than that, penned in by the walkers in front. All in all, a stressful start for everyone.

The route was turnarounds, which made the non penned start even more awkward as everyone slowed down for the 180 degree turns. It was a real shame because it takes you down Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus 鈥 closed roads 鈥 but you can鈥檛 focus on that because you鈥檙e too busy trying not to trip over people.

The weather was lovely, not as warm as the day before and I was still hot in a vest and shorts, but it was really pleasant.

The water stations were well stocked and regularly placed, but it was a bit chaotic (as they always are). The marshalls were great but I was disappointed that pedestrians were able to cross in front of the runners 鈥 this resulted in me colliding with at least two people who stepped out in front. Again, not exactly stress free.

I had aimed for a steady pace and wanted a sub one hour 10k. We started off at 9:40 pace but happily, soon enough we were able to increase the speed and cruised at around 9min/miles (ish) for the next 5. I felt absolutely fine and even managed to put on a sprint for the last .2 of a mile, averaging 8:33min/mil and crossing the line with a chip time of 58:23 鈥 well under the sub 60 target. I got to finish with a dear running buddy too, which was lovely.聽 Mr Charming was just slightly behind us 鈥 one bonus of the turnarounds were that you could see who was behind you.

We moved through the finish chute and were given a bottle of water. As we continued, I realised that the medals were not in sight. We were herded up the steps again and back into the baggage area, at which point I asked a runner with a medal where he鈥檇 got his from. He explained that they came back with the bags. My friend was dismayed at that 鈥 she didn鈥檛 have a bag. As we got to the top of the steps, it was a melee of thousands of people in a square, split between baggage tents and a massive queue for people who were just getting a medal. What a mess. Better than that, I managed to get to a baggage tent which was next to the one we dropped our bags off at. There were about thirty people between me and our tent, but no barrier for the people working inside. The chap I spoke to refused to give me my bag (about three foot away from him), so I had to work my way through everyone to pick it up. Again, a stressful end.

London 10k

For a race that鈥檚 more expensive than the London marathon (and a quarter of the distance), I expected slick organisation, an interesting route, penned start and more than a water bottle in the goody bag. Something to eat is always welcome, and I don鈥檛 even mind the vouchers and trial size products that seem to be the norm.聽 At 拢50 per place, I don鈥檛 recommend this race.

Journey to Amsterdam – Week Five

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Week Breakdown Nutrition Breakdown Other Considerations Comments
27th JulyMON Rest or Cross TrainingRecovery 5M
  • base rate of 1500kcals
  • 聽 Think about how you feel.路聽 Weigh in
  • Make sure you鈥檙e getting enough water
聽Weigh in – 4.5lbs lighter than last week

5miles @ave pace 9:30ish min/mil

Calories 1,051

TUES 聽Lactate threshold 9M w 5M @HMP
  • +200kcals before run as carbohydrate snack
  • Keep fluids up
Need to keep stretching

7.5M @ave speed of 9:38min/mil. Not a great run tbh – I need to remember how to run fast!

Calories 2,415

WED Recovery 5MRest or Cross Training

General Aerobic 10M

  • base rate
  • 聽Report how you feel.
  • Stretching
7.36M @ave pace of 10:17 – terrible. 40miles in 5 days isn’t too bad though. Need better placed聽rest days!

Calories 1,588

THURS 聽Rest
  • +400kcals
  • Spread additional over the whole day and look to keep GI low when taking on carbohydrates.
  • 路聽 Remember to be taking on micro nutrients where ever possible.路
  • Don鈥檛 let fluid intake drop
聽Calories 864 + dinner which was approximately 1million calories
FRI Rest or cross training
  • no change
路 Maintain micro nutrient intake on rest days 聽Calories 2,890 wedding #1
SAT Recovery 5MLong Run 16M w 10M @MP
  • +300kcals
路 聽Stretch 16.01M with parkrun at the end ave pace of 09:26min/mil. Pretty pleased with that.

Calories 3,809 – wedding #2

SUN 聽Long Run 16M w 10M @MP

Recovery 5M

Rest/Hangover management

  • +500 kcals
  • Keep drinking water and fluids
  • Try to retain the nutrient balance
  • Anti-Spasms
  • Stretch
  • Self-massage
聽Calories 1,035 + two scoops of Ben’n’Jerrys for dinner

A taxing week as I had three lovely social things to go to, which meant shuffling the runs around a bit so the rest days were lost.

I struggled with the efforts session and was nervous about the midweek 10mile run, so struggled with that too. Saturday’s early run with excellent running buddies restored some of my confidence. I decided to take Sunday off after dealing with a horrible hangover.