So there are 3 aims for 2013.
1. Get Cheltenham Parkrun going: tick it’s amazing with 170+ runners a week!
2. Get a GFA qualifying time for the 2014 London marathon this is sub 3 hours ten minutes and if achieved means I get in guaranteed without the 1 in 10 ballot nonsense. Because you’re supposedly a bit quick, there’s a separate start too, muddled in with celeb joggers.
So 2 weeks today I’ll line up at Blackpool Marathon with all the signs saying 2:59 – 3:05 is a good expectation. Fingers crossed! If this doesn’t come off I’ve got another attempt in June, and may line one more up too, because the fitness is there, I’ve just got to execute the plan. Have till end of June to achieve the 3:10 but would really rather nail it at Blackpool.
3. Run the full length of the Cotswold way in September. This is a mind boggling 102 miles! I’m loving running far and off-road more and more. It takes me back to my original love of the outdoors: fell walking, except this time it’s ultra running. I’m comfortable enough with 40 miles now, and have two 50 milers lined up late April and mid June. The step up to running through the night and aiming to do 100 hilly miles in 24 hours is a huge step up from that though. So lots of work to do!
Which brings me onto this blog title; where is it headed?
What do I want to achieve in running then? Obviously not taking this too seriously, just that if my aims are 5k & 10K times, then I need to do something different to if I want to be the best marathon runner I can be. OK yes, that one. But I also want to be the best ultra runner I can be, so need a plan that covers both marathon & ultra.
Well, having got into running a bit mid 2009 I’ve only been training consistently for 15 months (from Christmas 2011). I did 1654 miles in 2012, and hope to get to over 2000 in 2013. I feel like I could do more than 50 a week, but need to balance it with staying injury free, so building slowly. Marathon times should continue to come down, but it’s surely going to be diminishing returns from here.
April 2011: 4:09
April 2012: 3:42
October 2012: 3:18
April 2013: ?:??
I do now think there’s a chance I’ve got the engine for a 2:45 (6:18 pace which seems nuts!!!) can only try and find out. Would need to get to faster than 36:00 10K and 79:00 Half Marathon. So basically 6 min miles for the half (that’s my current 10K pace) – so looking at it like that turning 10K pace into half marathon pace is something I’ve done before more than once….we’ll see.
To do this, firstly aerobic base needs building some more, so that’s loads of steady running at sub 70% max heart rate have you heard of a Mr Hadd? Hadd’s document is somewhat of a distance runners bible, although Hadd is not the only one to preach on such matters, and there’s always plenty of debate. However Phase 1 (the base phase) seems perfect prep for the Cotswold Century. I’m really loving running on trails and will need as much trail time as running the off road needs much more stability and uses muscles in a way the road just doesn’t.
I also need to accept that I’ll get better if I work on core and other strength. I find William Sichel talks a lot of sense on training (and achieves a hell of a lot). I’m also always dreaming of escaping it all and living on an Outer Hebride, so the fact that the guy lives and trains on a tiny Orkney island before beating the rest of the world at stupidly long races mkaes me want to train like he does a little more than others I read about. From what I have read William believes that for ultra distances the body needs to be trained as much for strength as aerobic work, there’s a lot of weight training and even running with a weighted vest in his routine.
I’m not going to neglect speed work though. Even though disciples of Hadd would tell me otherwise, I’m going to a Tuesday night speed session once a week with Stroud AC. I want to run with the club, and that’s what they do! Plus It’s going to hopefully keep that sharpness for some other shorter fun races over the summer.
Other events this year will include:
27th April – Highland Fling, 53 miles (followed by a week in the highlands on foot)
19th May – Cardiff Ultra, 50 miles
15th June – 3 rings of Shap, 62 miles
13th July – Ultra tour of the Peak District, 60 miles
16th Nov – Beacons Ultra, 45 miles