Month: March 2017

Weymouth Half Marathon

This weekend I travelled down to Weymouth to take part in their 2017 half marathon. It was a really well run event with good marshalling and I managed to get myself a PB. 

The day started with a good amount of drizzle but it was not as windy as it could have been. I woke up at 645 to get some porridge down me but in hindsight I feel I could have had too much as I was trying to force it down near the end. We started our journey over at 7:15 to get to the 8:30 start time. 

I joined in the crowds walking towards the start and made my way to the start pen. There was a kind warning by one of the marshals explaining that the first bend is quite narrow so we should not race into it too much. As we started there was a short delay as I walked across the road and began the start of the race. 

The start of the race had a little loop round the pavilion before heading out along the sea front. I had a plan to keep my pace as close to 1:30 as possible which I knew would be a challenge for me. I found myself in a little group that were going at a good pace for me to stick with. I checked my watch and was a little off pace so began to move the pace up a little bit and picked a few people in front of me to gradually catch. 

As we got off the seafront I saw the 3 mile marker which was a bit disheartening as I was on the edge of my comfort zone. Soon we had to make a very sharp turn into a small trail section near the mini golf before heading back on to the seafront. 

On our return leg we passed the 7 mile marker and I spotted Dani and her mum in the crowd which was a nice boost. Although being told where I was in the placing a was not what I wanted as I hadn’t looked at the clock at all until then. (53rd apparently). 

The route is pitched as being a flat course and I had looked at it before hand noticing there were some inclines but nothing that looked too scary. However there was definitely more hills than I expected. The first couple were ok but then disaster struck. 

From nowhere I had a stabbing pain in my chest and I was finding it so hard to catch my breath. Basically I had to walk and although I tried to jog down the hill it was still hard to breath. I thought it was a stitch at the time but think it may have been more. It took me about a mile to get over this and I had to struggle through the hilly section.  

Once past this I managed to get back to some steady rhythm but I could not get it back to where it should have been. I then got to the downhill section, went in the underpass and headed back to the beach. The crowds as I approached the finish were really positive and I got many shouts which helped keep me going as my stomach was very tight. I then rounded a corner to see the finishing area and Dani waiting, only to realise I had to go past that point and do a short, but very frustrating, loop before returning to the finish line. 

The finish line was great as there was a brilliant selection of water and sweets for us to indulge in. Whilst scoffing my face I also bumped into Tony from Instagram who managed to get close to the 1:30 I was after. 

In the end I was pleased with a PB but frustrated that it was not quite what I hoped for. 

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Consistent training

As I build up to Weymouth Half Marathon, I have been reflecting on how my training is actually going. If you have come over from my Instagram you will have a fairly good idea about that. 

Generally my training has been good but with the expected ups and downs. There have been some runs where it has been really tough and my pacing has felt well off where I want to be. But these are often quickly followed by runs with something that I can pick out as a positive. This could be getting through my intervals feeling okay, getting a good pace in a tempo or just feeling like I did exactly what I set out to. 

As I look back at last years training, the thing that is really different this year is that I am being much more consistent with my training. This means I have not been sidelined by any injury and I have also carried out nearly every single run that was on my plan – bar a few. I have been following the 80/20 method and this has meant I have been running more often but at a slower pace which has allowed me to keep ticking over. Therefore, during the week I do 2 sessions which have been a fast finish run, an interval or hill run and then on the weekend I do a long run. The other days are often slow recovery runs or a short steady run. 

By balancing these runs it has allowed me to get out the door. I often find it really hard to come home from work and go out for a run but trying to stick to my plan and knowing that these runs are achievable makes it easier. I also have to make sure I don’t sit down for too long. 

Going forwards with any training in the future I will make sure that consistency is key to my approach. This will involve running regularly and with a steady progression so that I can get out the door and hopefully avoid injuries. 

One thing I really need to think about adding into my training is all the other side of training such as core and strengthening. This is something I need to do better. 

How is everyone else approaching their training? 

How do you balance running with strength training?