Royal Parks Half marathon Training: Week 9 getting through the bad times!

I seem to have hit a wall this last couple of weeks. Well since we returned from the Lake district really! After having a not so good week on the running front last week and ending it feeling a little disappointed with how things had gone I had hoped for a better week. However it didn’t get off to the best start.

When things are not going your way

I went out on Tuesday with no pressure on myself to achieve a tempo time! Or at least thats what I told myself and my Instagram followers. I wanted to believe it but in reality I also wanted to prove to myself I had it in me to do it. I don’t see myself as a slow runner even after these weeks I just didn’t want to be doing any walking during my runs. It starts to make you feel really unfit which is something I haven’t felt since the very early days of running!

When I took to social media to share how I was feeling I was given so much sound advice it really gave me the wake up call I needed.

I decided then and there to dump the training plan for the week and get out there and enjoy it. Take the pressure off and leave the watch behind… thanks Mark!

Some people may have decided there and then just to forget running for a week but as crazy as this sounds I still want to be out there doing it. Especially this week as I had been looking forward to running somewhere different.

Thats what I love about running! Being able to explore different places that you wouldn’t usually see otherwise.

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Taking the pressure off!

I have been putting so much pressure on myself to become this quicker runner that I thought I should be! But in reality by doing that I took the fun factor away and lost myself a bit. I forgot the real reason I was doing it!

I have never enjoyed training for a race before now but this time was different. This time I had really begun to see the benefits to running mentally because I had stopped worrying about the physical changes I wanted to see in my fat loss and was focusing on the physical changes to my strength and fitness.

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Going off plan!

I have never been very good at following a training plan anyway and this was a first for me to try and follow it as closely as I could during a busy school holidays.

Adding in the faster runs was my downfall. Getting the miles in is far more suited to me because I’m not too bothered about times… ok thats a little bit of a lie obviously I’d love to get a PB every time, who wouldn’t but I do not want any miracle times. To match my PB or beat it by a few seconds would be nice.

I won’t be putting this pressure on anymore. You can see my vlog here…

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Tuesday 4.5 miles 45:42 minutes 10:07/mile

I had done some strength training in the morning after being a little distracted from doing it on Monday like I had planned because its something I have let slip over the summer holidays and with all the calf pain I have been having I started to wonder if it was why.

I knew I would be running in the evening so I didn’t do anything too strenuous and certainly nothing heavy. I even rolled my legs so that they were prepared for the evenings run.

I set off at a nice steady pace of 10/mile and it felt ok. I wasn’t really feeling any pains in my calves apart from normal muscle ache. I decided to do a couple of laps of the local park so that I wasn’t too far from home if things went wrong. I completed 2 laps but I didn’t manage any kind of great speed and I needed to walk a few times when my legs begun to feel like heavy weights. I was feeling pain in my knee as well.

After a bit of a cry with my sister I decided to order the new trainers I was holding out for a bit sooner as I know I can not go on feeling this way about running.

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Wednesday untracked (how it should be) estimated 3 mile bike ride with lunch stop!

I decided to take a active rest day and go off schedule. Rather than run the planned 3 miles I dug my bike out and me and the girls biked just over a mile up the road to get some lunch and then a bike ride back again.

It felt good to be getting out there and doing something but not putting the pressure on myself to run.

I think it was just what the doctor ordered! Plus I had so much pre-wedding stuff to get done it actually helped my mind to know I could get on with that.

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Friday 3 miles 31:59 minutes 10:28/mile

I decided to take my brother in laws advice and leave the watch behind and enjoy it. When we were in the Lake district my watch wasn’t even working and I really enjoyed putting my trainers on and getting out there to explore.

I wanted to do the same while we were in Norfolk as its so much prettier with lots of off road routes to take. I had a few planned routes but decided to just see what was around the house and took Buddy my sisters dog for a run. I felt so comfortable and had no real aches and pains. It was such a refreshing run after what had been a rubbish few weeks.

We were just exploring and I had no plan of how far I was going to go. We just kept running until Buddy had enough. We managed to see most of the small villages main sites…

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Saturday 4.5 miles 53:58 minutes 11:54/mile

Well so much to say about this run… I had set out to try and run 6.5 miles following a route I had planned before we came away. For some reason it wasn’t showing up in my routes on Strava so I went with the shorter 4.5 mile route and was just going to see how I got on.

The run started well and I managed to follow the map fairly easily but I was having pains in my calves. Rather than get upset by it I just decided to run/walk and just explore the area.

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I got to a section of the route where there were some obvious roads but the route I had planned wanted to take me directly through the middle of a field with no sign of a public footpath and a mound to climb I had a few wasted minutes while I decided the best way to go.

It ended up taking me a way that would mean I cut a chunk of my planned route off. I managed to add the lost mileage in by going off track and making decisions as I got to new paths and using Strava map as a bit of guidance to where I was.

It did however take a large chunk of my time to read a map and make these decisions. I still felt good to be out exploring and I am not the slightest bit worried that it was such a slow run. The breaks for map reading meant I wasn’t walking too much but I obviously was stood still.

I had taken my normal trainers instead of trail trainers which seems a bit daft as I knew I was hoping to run trails… ended up with wet feet but it all added to the fun of it.

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Total mileage

12.1 miles Not quite what I planned but I got out and ran what I could with out the pressure! I would have liked to have run another day while there but 3 days on the trot with my legs as they are seemed a bit crazy so instead I enjoyed a lay in and making breakfast for the wedding party to enjoy!

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Week 10 Training

Tuesday: 4.5 miles

Wednesday: 4.5 miles

Saturday: Park run

Sunday: 10 miles (should be 12 this week but I am down on my miles from this week so I will not push my luck)

Running aids!

I had a light bulb moment when reading an article on the National Running Shows blog. It was about using kinesiology tape. I decided it was definitely something I needed to give a go but it also helped me realise that even though some may think I just need to stop and rest in reality I would likely be doing more damage than good.  It kind of reinforced all that I had planned to try for the week ahead!

The tips they advise for sore muscles is actually to keep running a little bit and making changes to technique or shoes and terrain so that the muscles that were absorbing all the shock and weight turn to different ones allowing them time to rest but with out actually resting. Slowing it down and strength training to help build the muscles, and reducing the pain by foam rolling, applying ice and heat and using the tape.

I gave my compression socks a try and I can feel the difference but my legs are still aching so I know my new trainers have arrived and am looking forward to giving them a try with the socks when we get home!

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Focus for the Week ahead

I won’t be putting any pressure on to do speed work for the remainder of this training. Not for this race anyway. That can come when I am ready.

The focus for me will be to put the miles in and find myself again. Try out my new trainers and get them ready for race day. I have some elastic laces to put on them and other things to try but for me to know what is helping and isn’t helping I will introduce them gradually!

I need to look at my nutrition and get back to where I was now that I have all the barriers out of the way stopping me from staying focused. We have one more week of the school holidays and then its back to  normal routine… although I will now have to work a couple of hours a day so there will be some adjustments to be made.

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Hope you have all enjoyed your bank holiday weekend.

Jaimee x

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