Training Diary Pt.1

First of my training musings.

Two weeks into 2019 and as part of my plans for the new year I want to keep a regular training diary. This is more to put down on paper (so to speak) of how each day went for myself rather than to give visitors of my blog something to read (although re-populating the blog is an added bonus). This way I can look back and know what worked and what didn’t.

I had a decent end to 2018 training wise. 5 weeks of consistent training finishing with a 13 mile long run, then 5 weeks of 15 mile long runs then a final week with an 18 miler. The week prior to Christmas I was feeling under the weather and after a 12 miler on the Friday (21st) I knew if I didn’t take a break I’d be ill for Christmas which just wasn’t an option. So I took from the 22nd till the 30th off. Although I tested my Aftershockz on the Thursday with a short unrecorded run and again I tested the chest on the Sunday. Officially I started training/recording again on New Years Eve giving me a fresh start.

I did consider doing a half marathon race on the 6th but after not running for a week, I didn’t feel it and as I’ve repeatedly said I will race when it’s right for me and not until. So New Year (+ a day) I mapped out a basic week with the only changes for now would be the speed session on a Wednesday and increase in my Sunday long run.

My basic week I wrote down looked like this:

  • Mon: 10 miles split over two runs – 4 miles outside in the morning and 6 miles on the treadmill in the evening
  • Tue: 10 miles split over two runs – 6 miles outside in the morning and 4 miles on the treadmill in the evening
  • Wed: 8 mile speed work session – This session done in the evening giving me 24 hours recovery from Tuesday (almost a bonus rest day). Sessions will include warm up, cool down and easy jog recoveries between reps.
  • Thu: 10 miles split over two runs – 5 miles outside in the morning and 5 miles on the treadmill in the evening
  • Fri: 10 mile medium distance long run – Depending on Sunday this will be either easy or will be a speed session of some sort and will vary between outdoors or treadmill.
  • Sat: Rest Day
  • Sun: 13 miles long run – Starting year with 13 miles and slowly building that distance over the year. Like Friday it will vary between easy or speed. I aim to alternate between one week of easy Friday, hard Sunday and then switch it the following week. Same with treadmill one on Treadmill and one outside (although weather depending at this time of year.

With the plan the aim is to slowly increase the long runs on Sunday’s but keep the rest routine. Easy in the mornings and running to feel in the afternoons. Varying the 10 miles to keep it fresh. I’ve found doing half my runs on a treadmill protects my chest and my legs. It’s the first winter I’ve not had a chest infection since I started running, so that says a lot! Using a Garmin foot-pod my treadmill sessions are very accurate 90% of the time.

Below is what I’ve done for the past two weeks and the notes I made after each run.

New Years Eve – 4 miles @6:49/mi

Good start to the final day of what has been a rubbish year. Got to test the new Aftershokzuk headphones and attack some Strava segments. Getting a joint CR Going out again later for 6 miles before a nice quiet evening. Ready to start 2019 fresh and optimistic (N.B. As I was fresh from a week off I ran it faster then I would usually but I’m a firm believer of running to feel, if it feels good enjoy it)

New Years Eve – 6 miles @6:34/mi

Final run of 2018. A nice tempo run on an undulating route. Felt strong especially on the hills. Looking forward to what 2019 has in store. I would have done the gym but festive holiday hours meant it was only open 9 – 12. The first mile felt good however the last 3 miles was back up hill, I paid for it!

New Years Day – 6 miles @7:26/mi

First run of 2019 down at the gym. I forgot my watch so knowing the treadmill I ran over distance but disciplined start to the year. Out on the road later for another 4 miles. I was pissed off I had forgotten watch but I knew the settings on Treadmill so I just got on with it. It’s first year in a long time I’ve not raced or done something on New Years Day and to be honest it felt good not to be clock watching for a change.

New Years Day – 4 miles @6:52/mi

Second run of 2019. Felt good and got my second Strava segment in as many days. It’s one I wanted as it’s probably one of the closet to my home. I went earlier then planned as had been invited to the in-laws for tea.

2nd Jan – 8 x 1000m off 90s rec

Interval session, 8 x 1000m off 90s recovery. Aimed to keep it at 5k pace (5:30 avg). My footpod had issues on rep 4 and final 3. So used my backup data to make sure I hit correct distance etc. Actual splits were: 3:24, 3:24, 3:25, 3:25, 3:25, 3:24, 3:22, 3:23.

Average pace 5:28. Happy with that for first speed session of 2019

3rd Jan –  5 miles @7:13/mi

Morning run, starting to feel good. Now getting back into a routine, I had that feeling during the run that I could keep going forever. I love it when a run feels that good.

3rd Jan – 5 miles @6:59/mi

The second 5 miler of the day. I’m varying my distances on easy days so no two days are the same. Think it’s helping as that felt controlled. Next up 10 tomorrow and 18 Sunday.

4th Jan – 10 miles @6:30/mi

‪Quality 10 miles this morning on the treadmill. Mile warm, then did 8 mile progression; 7:02, 6:47, 6:37, 6:24, 6:15, 6:03, 5:56, 5:35. Then 1 mile cool down. Doing it on the treadmill means you can stay controlled early on but trust me it’s still as hard as doing it outside if not harder. Don’t believe me. You are welcome to come do it on the Treadmill next to me

6th Jan – 13 miles @6:30/mi

Morning long run. In 2014 I did a HM in 98:33. Today on a training run did it in 84:38. I need to add here I broke a rule as I ran back to back hard sessions (ok with rest day in between) However half my Friday run was easy and my route back home Sunday was point to point and was gradually downhill so didn’t feel hard. Again I like to judge each session when I start. If feel good I will push myself, if feel tired I will keep it easy.

Week 1 mileage = 61 

A great start to the year overall I had a good week, looking back I had run my second run on Monday too hard but recovered in time for Wednesday session. It annoyed me that I had foot-pod issues. I would soon workout that it’s when I slow down on the recovery it does not seem to like the slowing down and speeding up in 90s. Hopefully I fixed the issue. Friday’s session was pure quality and then to run a consistent pace for 13 miles was fab.

7th Jan – 4 miles @7:19/mi

Easy recovery run to start the week as legs feeling last weeks hard sessions. Back out again later for 6 miles.

7th Jan – 6 miles @6:40/mi

Second run of the day, felt good so 🎯 40 minutes. Last mile was swift to complete it. (N.B – writing this I know I ran my 2nd runs this week too hard, hence come Sunday I was hanging out my arse after 6 miles. Lesson learnt the hard way)

8th Jan – 6 miles @7:08/mi

Morning easy run out to local reservoir. Head wind for 3 miles. Meant way back was faster. Out again for 4 miles later

8th Jan – 4 miles @6:34/mi

2nd of the day as this morning was easy and heart rate nice and low turned tonight’s short run into a progression. With every mile 10s quicker. 6:49, 6:39, 6:29, 6:19

9th Jan – 7 x 1200m (90s rec)

Tonight’s speed session, 7 x 1200m with 90s jog recovery. Really pleased to get a solid consistent session. Splits; 4:08, 4:08, 4:08, 4:08, 4:07, 4:08, 4:07. The difference in splits was down to hundredths of a second

10th Jan – 5 miles @7:12/mi

Morning run. Was freezing but only cold if you are standing still. Another five later which will be my final run as a 36 year old!

10th Jan – 5 miles @6:38/mi

Second run of the day. Limited window so slightly faster then planned but enjoyed it.

11th Jan – 10 miles @6:11/mi

Birthday run. Decided to have a good Threshold run. Starting at a good tempo then pushing final 3 miles without redlining with final mile bang on 6:00

13th Jan – 13 miles @6:26/mi

Strava was down so failed to sync my treadmill long run and won’t allow me to upload a tcx file so had to resort to manual entry. Splits can be found on my photo.

Run wise it was tough as want to replicate running hard on tired legs. It was a struggle from halfway and not helped by the fact I went without breakfast so was a fasted run. In future will stick to one easy and one hard session on a Friday/Sunday.

Week 2 mileage = 61 

I had wanted to do 15 miles Sunday but as you can see and as I’ve noted I ran my second runs on Mon, Tue and Thu a little too hard. Now while I felt good while doing them it meant those combined with Wednesday session by end of the week, I was fucked. At start of the week I knew I was going to do a hard 10 miler as I wanted to do something tough on my birthday. In hindsight, I should’ve taken those days easier and also not tried to do a 15 miler at 6:30 pace on Sunday. Sunday’s run was from my view point shit! I wanted 15 miles, I felt tired at the start and then lost 70+ secs in mile 3 for a loo stop, So pushed hard to make up lost time. It meant come 6 miles I was struggling. Now I had two choices. Either slow down to 15 or keep going to 13. I opted to keep the pace to 13. My thinking was it would hurt but be good replication of back end of a marathon.

This week I am keeping my double days easy all over 7:00/mi pace so I can get my speed session nailed and then throw quality into my Friday run and then run 15 miles Sunday. I learnt more last week from doing things wrong then when everything goes to plan. If you happen to have made it this far, I would be interested to hear your views below.


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