Royal Parks Half Marathon training: Week 3 full of PB’s

Week 3 has been a positive week in my training. I had to move my originally planned schedule around planned at the end of Week 2, because I wasn’t going to be able to do the planned 10k race.

All was not lost though because I’d got myself in the zone to get a 10k PB I decided to run my own race. Obviously it has its drawbacks… traffic, no pacers and a bit of a throw together route!

I achieved 2 PB’s and decided on what would be my next BIG challenge for next year!

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Surround yourself with positive people!

I have been really inspired and motivated to do a 100k walk/jog next year after seeing some of  the instagram running community take on the challenge. They let us see all the airs and graces, highs and lows they experienced and made us all feel that little bit involved in what has been such a massive thing for them all. I also discovered some more inspiring people to follow.

It did make my week seem a little less inspiring but it also highlights how we can all inspire and motivate each other what ever level we are at.

I am as equally inspired by those just starting out as I am those achieving massive challenges. Social media can be a wonderful place and I feel like I am starting to make some virtual friends with a mutual love of achieving similar goals!

Its so easy to sit behind a keyboard and act as though everything is rosy but sometimes its really not. Therapy for me is listening to those that are taking on big challenges and using their stories to motivate my own challenges. Its something to focus on and something to keep positive about. It lifts your spirits when having a bad day! There is always someone out there fighting bigger battles yet still continuing to stay positive and focus on the bigger picture.

Like always you can listen to my vlog or read on for an overview of my week 3 training…

I started a strength training plan I found to do alongside my running to hopefully help improve it, but I soon discovered I am not flexible at all… haha! I haven’t had much opportunity to give it a real go so I will continue to do these workouts, but I  am not really sure I am doing some of the exercises correctly or how helpful it really will be. I know I need to work on my core and posture and clearly my flexibility!

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So anyway a recap of the weeks runs…

Tuesday 3.1 miles 29:48 minutes 9:34/mile

The weather has turned cooler so I enjoyed the run I didn’t feel the usual “I can’t be bothered” mood I usually do at that time of day!

It always takes me a mile or two to settle into a run but once I have warmed up I feel comfortable.

I tried out some postural exercises… well I thought I did until I read back and realised I needed to make slight variations on the traditional exercise using a swiss ball and dumbbells. I didn’t have a ball but have now purchased one so will try again this week. Part of the routine was to do pull ups. I haven’t practiced these in a long time. I ached a lot the next day. I still need to do them assisted but I’m sure one day I will be doing them unaided!!

Wednesday 5 miles 49:50 minutes 9:48/mile

Today was supposed to be a fast run but my legs felt really heavy and it took me a while to get into the run. I could have pushed myself more but I just wasn’t in the mood.

I did however decide not to avoid the hill I always run around and take it head on! It beat me. I ended up walking some of it and it left me so breathless. My legs just wouldn’t take me up there.

I will be making the hill a regular part of my runs from now on. No avoiding it. It only lets me down when I do races because when do we ever enter completely flat races.

I have always focused on distance and going further with my runs rather than speed. I know I can run the distance now so I want to be able to run a sub 2hr half marathon with a little bit more guarantee than just winging it like I did when I managed a PB at the St Neots half marathon in November.

I gave the stabilisation workout a try but the exercises seemed so hard I am really not sure I was doing them correctly. It was a lot of twisting whilst balancing on a swiss ball. I am going to keep going with them as its probably down to my own lack of flexibility. I do wonder if yoga may be a better option for me than this new training plan I am working with.

Friday 6.2 miles 57:13 minutes 9:12/mile set a new PB

I love strava! As well as a PB I got tons of strava medals for achieving personal records for segments of my run. It breaks it down so you can see where your at your worst and best.. usually the hills!

I wanted to set my own 10k race today because I couldn’t do it on Sunday. I had mentally prepared myself that this is what I would be doing. I roughly planned a route using strava just to check the distance.

I had some pain in my left knee and sciatic nerve before I set off but it eased off once I started. As usual my pace started off where I always feel comfortable 10/mile pace. I knew I needed to pick up the pace if I was going to get a PB. It was hard but not totally out of my comfort zone.

I faced the hill and conquered the hill. A little breathless at the top so I am no longer going to avoid my weaknesses but tackle them!

I felt at my best on the cross country parts of the route than the roads. I think its because I have too much distraction when I’m running along by the roads. I have planned my long run next week with this in mind. Although I think its still going to be along country roads but hopefully some of it a bit less busy and more at home with nature.

Saturday 3.1 miles 26:26 minutes 8:29/mile another PB

While I was in the zone I wanted to try running the park run alone to see how quickly I could do it. The kids went off with their dad and I joined the front.

I paced myself using the faster runners and my breathing was out of my comfort zone for all of the run. Each time I wanted to slow down I kept telling myself to keep going its not that far!

I made it to the end wanting to lay down or vomit. I struggle to see how I could maintain that continuously for a half marathon or even a 10k. Speed work is not my forte but I am trying to turn that around.

The only frustrating thing is Chris still has a faster time than me but for the next few weeks Ellie is my focus as she really missed not running with me and she’s trying so hard to get her target.

Total mileage

17.5 miles

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Week 4 training schedule (getting faster)

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 miles with hill sprints

Wednesday: 5 miles

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Strength training

Saturday: Park run

Sunday: 7.5 miles

I will include some postural and stabilisation exercises throughout the week also.

Using strava to motivate yourself…

Strava is really good for helping to motivate yourself to achieve little goals on your runs. You can join strava challenges. This month I joined the July 10k and obviously achieved that on Friday.

I also achieved little goals on each of my runs that I received rewards for.. One of which was on the dreaded hill!

My latest challenge on strava is to reach an elevation climb of 2,500 metres which I hope will encourage me to run those hills.

You can plan less mundane runs and venturing outside of your usual zone making it a bit more enjoyable and mixing up those boring runs a little.

Focus for the week…

My diet has slowly started to creep in with a few too many treats and cheat days. The next 2 weeks I am really going to focus on nipping it in the butt as I will soon be going on holiday and I want to feel comfortable and at my fittest before I go.

There is no doubting that a little weight gain can make your runs feel that little bit more sluggish so I’m hoping by improving my diet a little will also benefit my running.

Its also the last week to train with out the worry of the kids so I need to make it a good one!

Have a good week all of you

Jaimee x

 

 

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