the 2016 round up


For various reasons and to varying degrees, 2016 was a tough year. Adjustment to different working patterns and rhythms, trying to juggle family with friends and running as well as a four hour commute twice a week and learning two new jobs simultaneously is hard work.


Running just didn’t seem to be working for me either, especially in the last six months. Paris training with P&D (Advanced Marathoning) seemed to be working, and I managed a near PB in Cambridge without toooo much effort. I was basically hitting my paces in training and although I was pretty knackered from 50 mile weeks and 15 hour days, it was all worth it to get the sub 4. Except I didn’t. Didn’t even come close. The day of the race dawned bright and clear and, well, hot. I didn’t even write a race report as I was so heartsore about how it went. I stumbled through the first ten miles, worrying about the heat and not being on pace. My mind and soul were fighting the entire way and eventually I gave in about mile 16, and ran/walked the rest to come in about 4.30. I was angry and ashamed – I spent so long running and training and for what? To limp home in the slowest time I’ve had since my third marathon?

I had time to reflect and even had fun in Tromso, despite doing no long runs I actually had a great race and flew for the first ten miles.

After that, I had a couple of short races that should have been completely doable, but in fact I had a panic attack in and had to walk. I went to the GP to see about my asthma, as I couldn’t breathe for many of my runs in July and August. She told me that running was bad for my knees and then put me on symbicort – a heavy duty powder inhaler that seems to be doing the trick, although it’s not treating the cause.


With the help of the wonderful Mr Charming and our brilliant friends, I’ve started to get my confidence back with running in the last couple of months. I took October off. No runs during the week, and parkrun at the weekend. I didn’t even take my kit to work with me during the week. It felt good. I was beginning to hate running, and I don’t hate running. Friends, I highly recommend a good chunk of time off after a  long training cycle. I haven’t done that since my first marathon, and I felt like each cycle was slower than the last.


All time! 7773 miles!

Using smashrun, that actually turned out to be true. Smashrun, by the way, is a great site which brings together all of  your data from the disparate sources into one page. I started running with Nike+ and went to Garmin after my first marathon, and I was looking for a way to see it all on one page. Now my running record gores back to 2009.
Not only that, but it’s really easy to cut your data different ways. Average pace? Compare months year on year? Day by day? It’ll do PR/PB, races, run streaks etc. It’ll also tell you how many calories you’ve burned off in neat portions i.e. my run on the 28th December burned off  stick of butter (about half a pack in UK Terms). It’s definitely much more indepth than Strava or garmin  and a lot quicker.


my first six months


2013 – 1209 miles, nearly 4 times a week and 9.20min/mil average


2016 – 1393 so more miles, but 24 seconds slower on average. 3.6 runs a week too so I go out less but run for longer.

I will do a separate post about my goals for 2017 – coming up in the New Year.


Clockwise from the yellow and green people, links to 2017 race entry included where available:

My biggest lesson from 2016 is: listen to your body. Don’t blindly trust the training and don’t be afraid to re-assess if anything needs mixing up.


The Road to Stockholm – Week Five

Week Breakdown Nutrition Breakdown Other Considerations Comments


  • no variant
  • Report how you feel.
  • Weigh in
 This was so tough. 10:35 average pace but the last three miles were more walking than running. I chafed in the sun, ran out of water and everything creaked. Pleased I did it.

Weigh in – 2lbs less than last week

calories 2,921

  • 300kcal
  • split calories before and after session
  • Racing Wednesday so just get the legs used to pace

felt good for the tempo mile

calories 1,840

  • +200kcals
  • Take additional calories 2hr pre workout.
·         Report how you feel.

·         mobility exercise before the race to raise HR


took it reasonably steady

calories 2,501

-too much chocolate and had pizza that day too!



SRC Recovery run

  • no difference
  • Spread additional over the whole day and look to keep GI low when taking on carbohydrates.
·  Remember to be taking on micro nutrients wherever possible. Cycled to work and back 10miles

Sweatshop run 9:02/8:18/9:52

calories 1,806

– felt okay. Wanted a longer run but had to settle for faster



  • +200kcals
  • Keep an eye on energy level
 45 lengths (1125m) breaststroke in about 40 minutes

calories 1,969

– had a pint of ale, beer and a cocktail which are not included un the calorie count.

too much chocolate again!

  • +100kcals
  • parkrun not advised as heavy week with longest run – volunteer!
  • Still complete relaxation and therapy session.
 go karting

calories 2,429

– pastry for lunch and dinner portion (turkey and pasta) was too big


T2M/MP6M/E1M/CD1M (approx 22M)

  • +600kcals
  • Please split additional between pre and post workout.
  • I would advise Protein and complex carbohydrate makes up the majority of this.
·         Mobility stretches pre run

·         Pay attention to piriformis and glutes post run

 Tired but didn’t feel too bad considering it was a heavy week. Back, hamstrings and glutes felt extremely tight though, meaning from 13 miles I walked/ran and from 16 I walked home. Same as Monday.

calories 2,472

This was a tough week, but I felt fine. A bit fatigued but generally okay, apart from the lower back, hamstring and glute issues I experienced on the long runs. I will stretch every day (instead of twice a week) and see if that improves it.

Pleased with the weight loss but I think I need to cut out the snacks, I’m still spending too many calories on chocolate. I’d rather have more of the good stuff.

Long run splits from Sunday – I’m getting a pretty good pace on (slightly inconsistent, but okay) until almost exactly two hours in, when you can see me start to really struggle.

2015-05-11_10-49-57Mileage total 49:52miles (running) 9:65miles (cycling), 0.7miles ish (swimming) 2miles ish (go karting)

Total calories: 15,937

Target total calories 11,900

difference: 4,037

The good news is that I’m not hungry anymore, and my protein/fat/carb percentage intake are quite steady.

The Road to Stockholm – Week Two

Week Breakdown Nutritional Breakdown Other Considerations Comments

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

  • +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

  • 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

  • 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

  • +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.

The road to Stockholm – Week One


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

  • +200kcals
  • Again take additional calories after training.
 2,226 calories

Cycling felt pretty good, tyres have been fixed

  • 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




E1M 9:04

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


CD1M 9:54

  • +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

  • +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


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!

Loch Ness Week Fifteen


On the plan

Monday:  Rest

Tuesday: 5M steady run approx 9min/mil

Wednesday:  6M easy (approx 10min/mil 60 mins)

Thursday:  Rest

Friday: 1M jog, then 3M at half marathon pace, approximately 25mins, then 1M jog

Saturday: parkrun or 40min fartlek

Sunday: 9M steady at 09:30min/mil for 95 minutes

What I actually did

Monday:  Cycled to work and back

Tuesday:  5.24M @ 08:57 ave pace

Wednesday: 6.3M @09:55 ave pace

Thursday:  Cycled to work and back

Friday: Ran home from work 4.82M ave pace 09:03 min/mil – couldn’t get below 9min/mil and nowhere near the ‘half marathon pace’

Saturday:  Very gentle cycle ride around some pretty Suffolk villages, probably about 11-12 miles over about four hours

Sunday:  9.25M @09:22min/mil for 87minutes

Loch Ness Week Thirteen


On the plan

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 8M: 1M jog, 8x800m, at 10K pace (approx 4:00), with 400min in 2 mins 30 secs jog recoveries, then 1M jog

Wednesday: 7M easy 10min/mil for 70mins

Thursday: 7M – 1M jog then MP for 5M then 1M jog

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3M approx 30mins

Sunday:  15M easy approx 2h30 @10min/mil

What I actually did

Monday: 4.33M @9:08min/mil ave pace with SRC Norwich

Tuesday: 7.82M with splits as below. Reasonably even but a bit slower than I would have liked.

Tuesday splits

Wednesday: 7.37M  – overall average pace of 9:09. Felt pretty comfortable, didn’t want to slow down for the jog at the end!

Wed MP run

Thursday: cycled to work and back

Friday:  Rest – even drove to work and back!

Saturday:  20.6M. Horrible. Felt so slow and awkward and really uncomfortable. Started out slow and got slower, at least, that’s what it felt like. Ended the run sobbing on the doorstep, frustrated with my lack of pace and energy and how generally rubbish I am.  It’s hard comparing it to the run three weeks ago – that 20M was a cinch compared to this one. Le sigh.


Sunday:  6.11M with Mr KS on his LSR @09:39 average pace. Wore my new Brooks Ravennas and they were like night and day compared to the ones I wore on Saturday! I love the other ones but for some reason, they’re just not gelling with my marathon training. I think I might keep those ones for shorter races.

Have you got a marathon you’re training for?

Have you made any amazing discoveries which you want to pass on?

Ever cried on your doorstep after a really tough run? Just me?

Loch Ness Week Twelve


On the plan

Monday:  Rest

Tuesday: 7M of 10 x 400 at 5k pace with 90 sec recoveries and 1M warm up and cooldown

Wednesday: 5M easy approx 10min/mil

Thursday: 7M of alternating 9min/mil and 10min/mil approx 76 minutes

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 3M easy

Sunday: 20M first 10 at 10min/mil,  second 10 at MP 9min/mil in approx 3hrs10

What I actually did

Monday: Rest – rainy BH so went to the RAF Radar museum then watched films on the telly

Tuesday: Cycled to work and back

Paul Evans session – nearly 4M ave pace @ 7:51min/mil

Wednesday: Cycled to work and back

5M easy ave pace @9:27min/mil

Thursday: 7.38M ave pace 9:20min/mil in 1hr09

Friday: Cycled to work and back. Swam 50 lengths in approximately 45minutes. Right knee swelled up 😦

Saturday:  ran to parkrun and parkrun – 5M 9:06 average pace

RICE on the sofa

Sunday:  Rest in an attempt to get my knee back to working order.

Week Twelve. I’ve been doing my stretches following the issue I had with my left leg last week. This Friday, out of the blue, my knee swelled up and became really painful, especially when I bent it past 45degrees. A couple of grumpy days on the sofa later and it feels okay, but still a bit tender.

I’ve changed my shoes and I can only think that the stretches are encouraging muscles I’m not used to using properly, so hopefully this is temporary and will make me a better runner in the end.  Hopefully next week will be back to normal!