Training

The Next Phase, Going Long & Going Up

A look ahead to the summer of 2019

So this is technically part 2 of a three part story. With my previous blog being part 1 and my race report being part 3. I have this week entered my next phase of training. This will take me through June, July and August. This phase is going to be a very interesting one, as I’m doing a lot of things I have sworn in the past not to do, as listed below;

  • Race on the fells
  • Race in longer format races
  • Join another club

I will be the first to hold my hands up and say yes I’ve changed my view points on a lot of things. This year has been a year of me rediscovering myself as a runner. I still love road racing but grinding out road races all year, wears you down and when things don’t go right it can become a downward spiral. This happened to me from April 2017 till my enforced semi retirement last year. So this year I split my year up into 4 parts.

  • Winter base with no racing
  • Short spring road racing season
  • Summer on the fells and doing longer format races
  • Autumn road racing season

I had a cracking short spring season, winning 4 races, setting a new 5k and 25k PB as well as getting my half marathon racing legs back. Only thing I missed was the actual half marathon race. I know from experience I don’t race well in heat and instead of trying to chase my road times over the summer, this year I will be patient and wait till my autumn season. When the conditions are more suitable to me. So that’s my autumn plan to have a crack at my road PBs.

But that did leave the summer months. Now I had two options, track or fell. I tried the track back for past two summers. Now I had plenty of excellent results. Posting personal bests at 800m, 1500m, mile, 3000m and 5000m. But it never gave me the same satisfaction as road racing. I know my family didn’t like it as much as with track events It could take all day. Plus when I won some races and medals, there was no commotion so felt like I hadn’t earned it as much as when I win on the roads. With my long term goal being to smash the marathon distance and to have a go at an ultra. I need to (as I’ve repeated I need to learn to pace myself better). So with that in mind I started to venture off road, first on my own then with a coached client who is a very experienced fell runner.

I’ve grown to appreciate the fells and really enjoying switching off and just running, not pushing pace and learning the craft. Now I’m a complete novice and always avoided the fells after I dabbled in it back in 2014. However, I can now see the benefit of heading to the hills. Hills is another form of speed work and one I’ve always neglected. It will help me get stronger for when road races get tougher. Lighter on my feet as it’s vital you are light on the fells. Plus for me the mental side of it. I need to learn to keep going when it gets tough. On the fells it’s tough from the onset as I was reminded at Monday’s race.

So the summer will be spent trying to improve my fell running skills in local fell races. Weekend races I’ve gone for the longer hour challenge races. I have mentioned I’ve grown fond of See York Run York and Saxon, Vikings and Normans event organisers and really want to put in a quality marathon time so I am using their events to build up my endurance. I also want to at some point have a crack at running something further. This is more about learning to pace and keep going over raw speed. I have picked one in June and one in July. I’ve not looked at August yet but aim is to have one main race a month, with a few mid week races instead of speed sessions.

That’s the first change in mindset covered. I also wrote I wouldn’t be in another club. However………….. I’ve joined Dark Peak for the fells only, however it means I’m covered on the fells which knowing me is probably a wise choice. For the road I am still unattached and will continue to be “officially unattached”, although I may opt to run in a Dark Peak vest just to wind folk up hahaha.

With my new job means it has taken a bit of trial and error over my recovery period to workout when I can do what. My new week if things go to plan will look like this:

  • Mon: 2 runs both easy with one being off road or on the fells (or a short fell race)
  • Tue: 2 runs with one being a speed session* (or a short fell race) (unless I raced on the Monday)
  • Wed: Medium long run 10-12 miles
  • Thu: Main speed session. Intervals between 800m up to 2000m. (Or a short feel race)
  • Fri: 2 runs both easy pace
  • Sat: Rest day or easy day (or a fell race)
  • Sun: long run 16 miles plus

Aim is to get the mileage up to 75 a week and my body used to it. So long as I can get either one speed session or one short race in a week, the rest will be easy stuff. Tuesday will be my secondary speed session depending on how easy my Sunday run was and if I raced the previous day. Good thing is I can do my Tuesday session at the gym so can control the speed. Plus as this week has shown it’s now Wednesday and I have had serious DOMS so i’d rather recover and miss a speed session then risk over doing it again. I’ve have two weekends in July where I’m on my next stage of my personal training as I look to get more qualifications so those weeks I might have to switch my long run day to a Thursday and then do two split runs on the Sunday. My next recovery week will fall when I go to Spain at the back end of August. Then I can come back ready and refreshed for the autumn racing season. I will spend the next few weeks looking at my target races for autumn but I already have a few races in mind for the distances I want to tackle.

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One Comment

  1. I have to be totally honest when I say I don’t like Fell races at all! But being the awesome wife I am, I am supporting you through your crazy trial and we will see how it goes. Running down steep hillsides and over rough terrain seems crazy to me, but if it helps your future running career then I give you my full support 🙂

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