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Sunday, 17 March 2013

VLM 2013 - Week 9 of 14

VLM - Week 9 of 14
Week 9 - (Mon 11/3 - Sun 17/3)

Mon:  Rest Day
Tues: 10.0 Miles @ 8:47/mile
Weds: 16.0 Miles @ 8:44/mile
Thurs: 10.0 Miles @ 9:31/mile
Fri: 6.21 Miles @ 8:54/mile
Sat: 6.0 Miles incl. Dewsbury parkrun (5th) 18:40 (5:48,5:48,6:13)
Sun: 16.0 Miles incl. Sth Yorks HM 1:22:08 (6:16/mile) (16th/ 1st V45)

Total Mileage: 64.21 Miles

As indicated at the end of last week, this week was intended to be pretty straightforward with mostly slow, steady running midweek.

It wouldnt really have been sensible to do anything else between a big 20 mile session at Spen last Sunday and a hard run half marathon seven days later. It is when feeling good at this stage of the build up that you are at most risk of overcooking things, so caution is still the name of the game.

Saturday - Dewsbury parkrun

This week's Dewsbury parkrun was significant for a couple of reasons.

1. On a personal note it clocked up my 200th parkrun, which is no more significant than the 122nd, the 173rd or the 187th but nonetheless it does refocus on what a great concept this is.

To have had 200 5K events at something like 89 different venues all free of charge and to have met so many interesting like minded people along the way makes you realise just what a great addition this is to what was available previously.

2. The young man wearing white with green hoops in the pic above, Jack Hallas,  achieved something yesterday that seemed highly unlikely to ever happen at Dewsbury due to the difficulty of the course. That achievement was to run the fastest parkrun of all those run in England yesterday , probably 100+ events and 15-20,000 individual runs, with a 15:55 clocking.

My own run was intended to be a strong but not flat out effort. With a course PB of 18:04 I would have pushed on if I thought that was going to be achievable but after the first two miles both at 5:48 it didnt really feel there for the taking so I backed right off in order to save the legs for Sunday's half marathon. A final 18:40 with miles of 5:48, 5:48 and 6:13 is still a good leg turnover session.

And this was Tom Howard who finished just a few seconds behind to equal his Dewsbury PB of 18:46 just seven days after running his all time PB at Hull. Not too shabby for someone who was convinced things werent going too well........:

And thankfully after last week's key incident at Hull, this was a relatively incident free parkrun morning :)

Sunday - South Yorkshire Half Marathon

As mentioned last week, anything around the 1:21:xx of last year for this race would represent a decent effort and keep things on track.

The outcome was officially 1:22:08 (6:16/mile) for 16th place (1st V45) but this is a good bit better than it first looks.

A course change from last year added significantly to the difficulty by adding in an extra loop on each of the two laps. This new loop involved a pretty stiff climb just to come straight back down again to meet up with where last year's course came out.

So, being realistic, this must represent 1:20 fitness, which I am delighted about with 5 weeks to go.

The splits were: 6:06, 6:07, 6:06, 6:10, 6:28, 6:11, 6:08, 6:16, 6:30, 6:12, 6:34, 6:30, 6:08

It isnt difficult to see where the hills cropped up in the above splits but it is actually the slowest miles that I take most positives out of. Considering the steepness and length of some of the climbs it is comforting to see that the pace didnt really slip outside 2:50 marathon pace even on the toughest sections.

Big performance today came from:

Lee Smith - 1:19:59, his first sub 1:20 clocking and on a course like that is some achievement.

Next Week:

Again, the focus will be on the 'bringing to a peak' races at the weekend, so nothing other than steady running midweek and then:

1. Saturday (am): Preston parkrun - a fairly relaxed effort to act as a warm up for the next event.This is a really nice venue so it will be good to pay another visit.

This was the start of the inaugural event at Preston on a lovely sunny morning last May, I am over to the left in all black with the famous Peter Woodward to my right. We still remain the only two people to have run a 5+ mile  parkrun at Worsley Woods after getting a little lost. :p

2. Saturday (am/pm): Northern 12 Stage Road Relays, Blackpool. I think I have a short leg allocated for this (and, yes, I know short legs are something I am very familiar with before the jokes start :) ) so should be a short sharp effort.

3. Sunday - Thirsk 10.
If conditions are favourable this could lend itself to be the first genuine attempt of the year at a comeback PB. That currently stands at 59:52 so will be a tough call but even getting somewhere close will mean a decent confidence boost for VLM.

Dan Holdsworth has kindly offered to provide accommodation and fuelling for this one before he assumes the responsibility of driving the lead car. So, depending on how his navigation skills stand up, we could end up running any old random distance during this race :p


With 5 weeks to go, this is about where I wanted to be at this stage. All the 8:30-9:00/mile stuff back in Jan/Feb has started to translate pretty well into sustained speed. There is a little way to go yet but right now it is all feeling good for an enjoyable run around London.

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