Tuesday, November 28, 2006


That's a season worst if you were wondering. Ran the Bridge Inn tonight and ran it intentionally slow. I was running at 4:11 km pace for the first 4km, on target for 21 minutes. I was very nearly almost breaking into a sweat. But with 1 km to go I just couldn't contain myself any longer and burnt up the last km in about 3:35 with a ridiculous last 100 hundred metres. I was pretty much sprinting flat out as fast as I can go. I now have to chastise myself for being such a doofus and not taking that last km as easy as the first four. Sean had a race in his first 5k road race. He dipped just under 17 minutes - something I'm sure I'll never manage.

I am definitely not training tomorrow night. If anyone sees me train they have my permission to slap me - but not so hard as to make me cry!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back on the straight and narrow

No running for me today (turns to camera) - nice. Just an easy weights session at the gym. Upper body only. I will partaking of the Bridge Inn tomorrow but I will be running very very slowly. This week is all about rest rest rest ahead of Sunday. My right hip is a bit bruised and battered (after a little slip on the weekend - and before you say it, it's got nothing to do with my exertions on Saturday night, it happened Saturday afternoon - alright) and I need it to get better real quick. I'm sure it will. The hotel is booked and nothings gonna stop me now.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Too much stupid juice

Over did the booze a bit last night at the club do. Can't help myself, once I start I can't stop. As per normal, once I'd downed a few, I became a total arse. Hence the reason I don't normally drink. Think I might have annoyed a few of those sitting close by who bore the brunt of my inanity. If I did I apologise.

Anyway, got out for a run of sorts this morning up on Ashton Court. Could only manage forty minutes. The others put in fifty but I had to cut it short as my legs felt tired (not to mention the slightly dodgy head, which actually isn't too bad considering).

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Out with the posse

Got out for a run this morning with the posse, Graham, Mark, Clive and Terry. We haven't run together for six months or more. These boys, brave and strong, got me into running a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Well, five years ago in Bristol but that doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

We did ye olde Bitton railway loop, about 9k. We were lucky with the weather. The rain held off, although it was wet under foot. It was good to see the others and hopefully it won't be so long before we're out there doing it all again.

Went out for another run this afternoon. Put in about 18k. It was a steady run with 10 small efforts thrown into the mix. We ran through Ashton Court into Leigh Woods and along the tow path. It rained in places but again we were pretty lucky with the weather. It could have been a lot worse. There were some big puddles out there and unfortunately I kept splashing the person I was running with. I have to say it wasn't intentional or was it....... ;)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Round the square we go

It was the Clifton college session tonight. Eight 1 lap reps with a pretty tight recovery. I managed five really good strong ones and another lesser one. On my sixth, and final lap, my legs just went. There was nothing left. I had given my all. I decided to call it a day, or should that be night.

The lap is about 660m, according to the gps, which I have to say is usually spot on. The turns on the lap are tight and with the leafs under foot, it was a little slippy in places. My splits were 2:13, 2:16, 2:15, 2:14, 2:15 and 2:35 (but I'd slowed to a jog on that last one). That equates to 81s for 400m and taking into account the slippery tight turns I'm actually really pleased with the way the session went. My third hard day in a row and I have to say I've surprised myself how well I've gone.

I have an easy run planned for tomorrow. In fact, I shall be taking it easy from here on in to the marathon. The hard sessions are over for at least a few weeks. Oh am I looking forward to the rest.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mad Wednesday

Good session tonight. Two 800's followed by four 500's with a 400 to finish. The 8's were 2:43 and 2:38. The 5's were 1:36's and the 400 to finish was a 68. The lads worked slightly harder than me tonight. They ran 1000's instead of the 8's and 6's instead of the 5's with an 800 to finish. I had officially ended my session after the 5's but I could see Harry fading on the final 800 rep and knew he'd fight to hold me off if I joined in for the last lap. Subsequently he put in a really strong effort as did Sean to hold off Harry's charge. All three of us ran the last lap in about 68s which was really top notch. Nick was a little bit ahead but both Sean and Harry closed him down somewhat on that majestic last lap. Unfortunately the crowd had already left the stadium so there was no one there to see it! The lads all worked hard tonight and can give themselves a pat on the back - but no slacking - I want to see more of the same next week.

It's been a good two days for me in the aftermath of the half-marathon. I've trained far better than I thought I would. I actually felt quite strong tonight and held my form (or what little form I have) throughout the session. I was really focused on relaxing and keeping the posture good.

Nick came up with, what I think is, an absolutely brilliant idea for next weeks session. Unfortunately I shall only be watching as I'll be resting before the marathon, which is a real shame. During the session he posed the interesting question, 'How long would Ten 3 mile reps take?' It was then 'politely' pointed out to him that this was in fact 30 miles! Next week the lads are bringing their camping gear as the session might be going on into the early morning......

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Back to the grind stone

Got back into training tonight. It was the Aztec mile reps. We ran four reps with a two to three minute recovery. I didn't run too hard because I'm still feeling it a bit in the quads from Sunday. Surprisingly though, my legs felt like they had lots of spring in them. I felt I could have really legged it if I'd wanted to. I had to fight the urge to do so.

I'm looking forward to tomorrows track session. Like tonight, I'm not going to run too hard. I'm going to be taking it easy in all my sessions up to the marathon so I'll be fresh and ready to rumble on race day. Don't know why but as I type this I feel really positive. Things seem to be going ace for me at the moment. I listened to few words of wisdom from father Clive earlier today and maybe that did the trick. Either way, nothing is going to stop me now in my bid for world domination (evil laugh) ha ha ha ha ha - scratch that, I mean in my bid for a decent marathon time.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Legs a bit knackered

My legs are feeling a little knackered today. Mostly in the quads. Put in an easy(ish - you know me by now) half hour interval session on the exercise bike down at the gym. Coupled with half an hour on the weights and I clocked up 210 ab crunches, a new record. Hopefully I will be able to train normally tomorrow but I guess I should force myself to take it easy. We'll see.....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The reason revealed

........ I snuck off (got to be careful how I say that one!) for a low key half marathon down in sunny Gosport. All that resting didn't really work though, boo hoo. It was a two lap course, completely flat but prone to the wind coming in off the sea. The first lap was mostly calm but the wind kicked up a bit at the very end of the first lap and stayed there for the second which made it a bit tougher but not overly so.

So how did I go? Sadly not the best. It was, as they say in the trade, a bit rubbish. I was aiming to run 6:10's which would have given me a time of around 1:21. I managed a reasonably pathetic 1:23:21.

I don't know what was wrong but I just didn't have it in the tank. When I got there the cupboard was bare, so to speak, (thanks to old mother hubbard for that one). The only mile I managed to hit target was the first one, and it was spot on 6:10 but I just couldn't sustain it. Basically, I didn't have the speed. I didn't fade and I finished reasonably strong. I even managed to pick up the pace slightly in the last couple of miles but I just couldn't make the legs move quickly enough. Most of my mile splits were between 6:16 - 6:20 but one slipped to 6:25 during the windiest part of the course. It was all very consistent and I'm pleased with that but I think I need a few weeks off. I'm now going to get the marathon done and out the way and then take it really easy through December and maybe the first part of January so I can come back recharged and inspired to push back the boundaries.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Is there a reason for this training lapse?

Didn't train today. That's the third day in a row! What's going on?

I've decided to give up running and gym work and take up pie eating. Always been partial to a nice bit o' pie washed down with a jug of finest ale.

The story continues..........

Friday, November 17, 2006


Another bad day for training. Didn't do one jot. Made myself a lush Spaghetti Bolognese though. Ho hum.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Slippery teeth and bananas

The talk at the track turned high brow tonight with talk of banana eating and slippery smooth teeth. I don't know what they're putting in the lads water but I think I should try it!

It was a wet and windy night and after yesterdays run I felt a bit tired. I ran an 800m followed immediately by a 400m then three more 800's with about three minute recovery. The 800's where slow at between 2:40 and 2:43 with the 400 at 74s. Never the less I pushed as hard as I could. The head wind into the home straight got stronger with each lap making the times slower than the effort would suggest. My heart rate hit 182 on the final 800 which is getting on for 95% of my maximum (which is about 190). That's pretty high for such a slow session but I guess the wind played its part. I'm definitely ready for a rest. Going to take it easy for the next three or four days.

The lads did well tonight, they ran an 800m followed by a 30s recovery then a 400m with a two minute recovery before repeating twice more. Then they finished off with four 300m reps with a 90s recovery. They all ran well and although they went the way of exploding lap on the first 800m - as usual - way too fast, they finished strong and had some storming 300's. Sean and Rob gave it some on the third 300m, thinking it was the last one, beating Nick and Harry. To their credit they gave it some again on the final one, not quite as quick but they gave everything so hats off - Harry and Nick got their revenge.

Now where are those bananas.......

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Running from the gym

Back down the gym tonight for a nice easy run with my pals in the running club. (Managed to get in 198 ab crunches before we headed out. Next stop 202!) Well my plans for easy one were shattered when it was decided we would go and run some short reps and then a few hill reps. Ended up with a twenty minute warm up, twenty minute session and then twenty minute cool down. The session was six flat out 200m reps followed by five minutes of easy jogging before hitting four 300m hill reps. It was a good session and we'll soon have our little group licked into shape. Hopefully, because the session was pretty short, I should be ready for tomorrow's track session with Rick.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Biking in the interval

Decided not to run today. Instead I headed down to the gym after a very successful day at the office. Did thirty minutes hard interval session on the exercise bike. It was slightly harder work than normal. Indicating that giving the running a miss was probably the right thing to do after yesterdays race. Then I worked on my biceps, pectoralis majors (that's the pecs to you and I) and, most importantly for us runners, the core stability muscles of the back and abdomen. 194 various position ab crunches including giving the obliques a thorough seeing to. Soon be clocking over two hundred!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Magic 153

Had an ace race at Bath this afternoon. Amazingly I finished in exactly the same position this year as last year, 153. How consistent is that! But my time was over three and a half minutes quicker though (that's about a 9% improvement which is pretty damn fine). Just outside forty minutes in 40:30. I'm really pleased because I've felt really tired over the last couple of days. Resting up obviously did the trick. Conditions this year were pretty similar to last so I think the time comparison to last is fair and I'm chuffed with the big improvement.

I wanted to go off steady and increase the pace on each lap and I executed the plan with military precision. I took it easy on the first (short) lap, 4:07 min/km pace (possible slightly too easy but who's to say). Then increased to 4:02 min/km pace on the second lap. Increased it again to 4:01 on the third before letting rip (oh er) on the final one to hit 3:57 min/km pace.

In terms of racing, the bath course suits me well because my killing ground comes towards the end of the lap on the long uphill section. After the initial few hundred meters nobody came past me during the race, and the hill was were I gained places voraciously. My tactic was to make sure I closed down any nearby large groups before the hill and then gather myself before taking it away up the hill.

I don't normally enjoy cross country - I guess because usually it's all boggy and soggy (and I'm a bit namby pamby after all). With it being a bit firmer it was excellent and I had a real buzz at the end. Whoo hoo....

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Operation lie in

Well I didn't get out to run this morning. In fact I was so tired last night I hit the hay by 10 and slept through until about 5am solid which is a season best. Then I drifted back off until 11! A thirteen hour sleep fest - beauty. Hopefully I'm now fully recharged and raring to go. Must admit I do feel a lot sharper today - maybe not the full scalpel but certainly a fine quality steak knife. With the rest I guess I have no excuse to take it easy tomorrow over at Bath in the Gwent league.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In need of rest

The Sneyd Park hill reps were tough. Beginning to feel really tired. Managed 6 reps where some only ran four but that was the high point. I suppose it was good to run consistent times, about 4:13's but that was way down on last times efforts. My legs just felt heavy. I guess the last six days training have caught up with me. Looking back it's been a week of solid training with some hard sessions and some less so. The highlight has to have been the 25 miler. Anyway, I shall be resting tomorrow - and I mean completely. I'm not going down the gym or a gentle jog. Exercise wise it will be a nothing day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Why does it always rain on me?

Is it because ...... I go training when the forecast says showers? Could be!

Ran the same session as last week but there was a bit more wind about tonight - shut it, I'm not talking beans. The wind was strong into us on the finish straight which made it tough. It was my fifth straight day so I can afford to feel a little tired. The 9's were run in 3:02/3:01/3:01 followed by the 5's in 1:36/1:36/1:37 finished off with the 3's in 55/54/52. I was 4 seconds down on last weeks reps and generally felt more tired before the session started (staying out till the early hours this morning probably didn't help but that's my own fault) and the wind played a part. Overall though, I'm not too disappointed. I certainly worked hard and didn't slack so who cares if the times were a bit slower? (well I do actually but I'm damned if it'll get me down).

Once again, got to wish Nick a happy birthday and thanks for the choc cake - nice.

And finally, oh yeah, scalped Sean on the last 300 m rep. Picture the scene. 100m to go. Sean 3m ahead. The Mad Runner, digging deep. The crowd lift to their feet. 50m to go. Sean 2m ahead. Me, digging even deeper. The crowd silent in anticipation. 10m to go. On the heals of Sean. On the line - have it. The crowd go wild.

Easy does it

Just an easy one tonight with the boys (and girls) from the gym. Only about 40 minutes but I should be recovered enough to give a strong effort on the track tomorrow night. Not much more to say except I hope this bloomin' fog clears as it is getting on my wick. Come on Sun - give it some.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Meet the Aztecs

It was really foggy tonight. During each lap the visibility was reduced to almost zero - and that was just my glasses misting up! I took it really steady on the first four mile laps, stringing together a 6:30, and three 6:40's. I had good company on the way round and helped pull the young lady round to complete a consistent paced session. I didn't want to push to hard after the weekend so I was happy to help. On the last two laps I went commando - oops - I mean solo (I kept my pants on). I gave it a bit of a blast and knocked out a 5:45 and 5:54 to finish. I was pleased to have gone so quick on the last two. I was hoping to maybe hit 6's so the 5:45 was a real surprise.

Must rush, my smoked chilli, sweet pepper and (fake) chicken is just about to finish cooking and I am well ready for it. I can smell it from here and if I say so myself it smells gert lush.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Damn tired legs

Not much to report today. Went out from Ashton Court with the gang this morning. The legs didn't feel the best but I managed to go for about 40 minutes which wasn't too bad. And to be honest the legs felt the better for it. Went straight down the gym afterwards and did another 30 minutes interval on the exercise bike while finishing off my latest read.

I hope that the easy day today will give the pegs a bit of recovery ahead of the Aztec mile reps tomorrow night. Suspect I might be taking them a bit slower than normal. I recon I should be able to knock them out at about 6 minute miles.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

40 kilometers of beautiful hell

Well the final long run was a success and almost exactly 40km and no cramping. I ran up through Ashton Court then down to the towpath and along to Pill and then over to Portishead along the cycle path. Are there ever a lot of cars stored over there! Then I pretty much turned around and ran back.

My GPS gizmo helped me to keep the pace pretty even all the way. Total time, 3 hours and 8 minutes. Again, as with my run of a month or so ago this is the fastest I've ever covered 40km, far quicker than in any of my marathons.

All in all, things are in good shape to hit 3:10 at the Luton Marathon. Now it's just a case of tapering back. I have 28 days to get ready, which should be plenty of time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Legs not up to the job

Couldn't face running tonight. The legs feel lifeless so there was no point in just going through the motions. I went down the gym for some upper body and abs work. Also put in 30 minutes hard interval on the exercise bike which worked up quite a sweat - like you needed to know that! I find the bike work really useful because I can put in hard effort when I wouldn't be able to do so with a run.

If I rest up tomorrow I should be able to put in a really strong long run on Saturday. I'm aiming for 24 miles and thinking out to Pill/Portbury and back through to Failand with a few laps in Ashton Court. It will be my last longish run before Luton which isn't really that far away now.

Jack Frost

Bit of a frosty start this morning. It gladdens the heart to know my car is safely tucked up in its little garage and that I won't be doing an scraping - excellent. All those people with cold hands busy trying to get the ice cleared before they get away to work - and there was me in my shorts and t-shirt plodding past.

It was a real battle to get up and run though. I woke early and decided I couldn't be bothered, I'd trained hard last night so it was alright. Then I had pangs of guilt at such thoughts ...... but still decided I deserved the lie in. Then at the last moment, I pulled back the sheets and I was away. Glad I did.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rocket man

A nineteen seventies clapped out Russian rocket maybe but a rocket never the less.

Ran a cracking track session tonight. Three 900's in 2:58 with a 3 minute recovery per rep followed by three 500's in 1:30 again with a 3 minute recovery and finished off with three 300's in 51s with a 2 minute recovery. My reps were really consistent. The last set of three 300's was killer - I had a few wobbly leg moments. I was pleased by my mental strength almost as much as the physical. I kept pushing to the line each time and didn't at any stage bottle it. After the 500's I considered ending the session but talked myself out of that to carry on and I'm pleased I did.

That has to be my fastest and most consistent session so far. Considering I raced last night, tonight's session was doubly pleasing. I even managed to get my arse out of bed early this morning and go for a 3 mile run before work - now that's dedication. There's nothing quite like a disappointment to concentrate the mind and make you raise your game. And boy am I going to raise it. I may be a bit pants compared to the really fast boys but I am determined to go as fast as my body can take me.

The young uns looked good tonight as well. They seemed stronger. Especially on the last rep of each set of three. Normally they fade a little bit but tonight they maintained consistent pace - now that's a first. All this training seems to be taking them in the right direction. Now, if we could only get them all out for the Sunday hour run, that would be even better. Got to wish them good luck for Saturdays cross country relays though.

I wonder if I can shift my arse out of bed tomorrow morning for another run before work.........