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Sunday, 10 March 2013

VLM 2013 - Week 8 of 14

VLM - Week 8 of 14
Week 8 - (Mon 4/3 - Sun 10/3)

Mon: 10.0 Miles @ 8:27/mile
Tues: 8.0 Miles incl. 3 x 1 mile (400 jog recov) 5:50, 5:44, 5:46 (Avg. 5:47/mile)
Weds: 11.0 Miles @ 8:18/mile
Thurs: 10.0 Miles @ 8:01/mile
Fri: 6.21 Miles @ 8:46/mile
Sat: 8.0 Miles incl. Hull parkrun 17:54 (6th) (5:50, 5:46, 5:47) (Avg. 5:45/mile)
Sun: 21.0 Miles incl. Spen 20 2:18:02 (1:12:29 (7:15/mile), 1:05:33 (6:33/mile))

Total Mileage: 74.21 Miles

This week turned out pretty much as scripted.

After all the weeks of very relaxed slow mileage, it was time to start encouraging a bit of speed development to come through in the final 5 weeks of full training and I was very pleased with the response.

Tues - Track Interval Session 3 x 1 mile (400 jog)

The aim with this session was just to liven the legs up a bit to get them ready for having a go at landing a 17:xx 5K at Hull parkrun four days later.As such, it wasnt really about running each rep as quickly as possible but concentrating on accelerating the final 400m of each one to experience some faster paces.

The rep times were 5:50, 5:46, 5:47, nothing spectacular but there was enough in the way they felt to convince that a 17:xx was very realistic and probably with a bit to spare.

Saturday - Hull parkrun. After the mile reps on Tuesday this run was approached with plenty confidence that the first 17:xx of the year would be there if I could execute it properly.

However, that was on the assumption that conditions would be reasonably kind. What we were actually greeted with was a pretty grim, wet and windy East Park, which was clearly going to cost some time.

But that doesnt affect the execution of getting the effort level right, so it was just a case of getting stuck in and seeing what came out of the other end. As long as there was some sign of speed coming through I was going to be reasonably happy.

It turned out well, feeling strong and controlled but certainly hampered by the wind and wet feet. So got to be happy with 17:54 with splits of 5:50, 5:46, 5:47. The splits are almost identical to the rep times on Tuesday, so it was effectively the three reps strung together.

Considering the overall 5K comeback PB is 17:25, which was run twice on this same course, and considering that the conditions were easily worth 20 seconds,  I am delighted to be back within touching distance of it already. It feels like a potential 16:xx isnt totally out of the question in the coming weeks. Dawn Broom actually managed to achieve the near impossible by getting a picture of me actually putting a decent amount of effort into a run :p

But the drama of the day was nothing to do with the run, it was more related to this second picture above.
That is a car key which travelled to Hull without its associated car, then decided it wanted to stay in Hull, unbeknown to me, while we returned to Leeds.

It was back in Leeds when ready to get back in my own car that this key was suddenly reclassified as 'whereabouts unknown'.

There then ensued a period of several hours that involved phone calls to the RAC, locksmiths quoting £300 for a replacement, and a very lucky break that finally resolved the matter about 9:30pm (more than 12 hours after the parkrun) at a place called Walkington, just outside Hull, where the above pic was taken.

The lucky break involved a rare good idea from Hannah Oldroyd, some exceptional helpfulness from Hull parkrun volunteer Peter Rodmell and a brilliant effort from Jason Newell, who readily volunteered to drive the 140 mile round trip to Hull for the second time in the day in order to save my bacon!

Many thanks to the rescuers :)

Sunday - Spen 20

Surely after yesterday's events, the day of the Spen 20 had to be a little more incident free?

The idea for this race was to start breeding some marathon confidence and, as such, what was intended was to take the first half of this very hilly 20 miler steadily, ie no faster than 70 mins, and then start upping the effort level over the second half but without feeling like I was hanging on for the finish. Something around 65 minutes, or 2:50 marathon pace, would be ideal for the second half.

The first half was run with John Broom and felt very comfortable in 1:12:29 (7:15/mile).

From the 10 mile marker it was then time to starting asking the legs some questions and seeing how they responded. Suffice to say, I was a little taken by surprise at just how well they did respond. Following the 10th mile in 7:12, the tough 11th was covered in 6:09! I was expecting something around 6:20-6:30, but it was feeling good so there was no real concern that there was going to be a price to pay for this acceleration.

The remaining miles were ticked off in 6:30, 6:31, 6:20, 6:25, 6:37, 6:59, 6:59, 6:35, 6:17.

The two 6:59s were slowed quite significantly by a freezing wind picking up strength on the top of the moor, so an overall second half of 1:05:33 (6:33/mile) was very pleasing.

The last part of the plan of not feeling as though I was hanging on for the finish was also achieved to the point that, if push came to shove, a 42 minute 10K could probably have been tagged on the end to complete a sub 3 marathon today. Off such a steady start that is a really nice position to be in 6 weeks out from VLM :)

It also earned a small trophy for becoming Yorkshire Vets V45 Champ. Now, that isnt the same as saying that I was first V45 in the race, which I definitely wasnt, but we'll quickly gloss over that bit ;)

This is moi, Dawn Broom (ladies V45 champ) and Dave Thompson (2nd overall):

Much hilarity and calorie laden huge desserts were had during the post race refuelling (with Hannah Oldroyd valiantly trying to avoid being photographed, Dawn and John Broom and photographer Jason Newell) :

And following on from the shenanigans with the missing car key yesterday, it now looks like the trophy pictured above has been taken as hostage against its will to some secret location. The kidnapper has issued a photo to show that it is safe and well but hasnt yet entered into negotiations for its safe release:

Next Week

Quite a straightforward week coming up consisting of plenty mid week steady miles and another overall 70-80 mile week.

There may be another interval session but not as a main priority, if I feel up for it I'll do one, if not I'll wait for the weekend for the next chunk of speed development.

1. Saturday - Dewsbury parkrun. This will actually clock up the milestone of my 200th parkrun and therefore the last metre before the finishing line will be the 1,000,000th official parkrun metre - that sounds a lot!

This will be a strongish effort but certainly not flat out because the emphasis will be on Sunday's race:

2. Sunday - South Yorkshire Half Marathon

This will be the next of the 'bringing to a peak' races. It is an undulating race with some decent climbs involved but the benchmark will be getting somewhere close to last year's time of 1:21:xx. Anything around there will be a pretty decent effort.

As for progress towards VLM, it is a very fortunate position to be in where I'm looking forward to it more and more the closer the race gets, which tends to suggest that things are going pretty well. Six weeks feels just about right to get to the start line feeling ready for the challenge. Fingers crossed of course, plenty can happen in 6 weeks.....


  1. Solid weekend mate, loving your positivity :-)

  2. Thanks Tom.

    After VLM it will be time to move on to the next project of scouring your blog for mile training info :)