Getting up to speed

Ok, so I would like to begin by apologising for my lack of activity on the blogging front in the last couple of weeks and therefore this blog is aimed to keep you guys up to speed. Not blogging much has mainly been due to being busy at work and also running a fair amount.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks really but one of the most important things for me, aiming for that sub 3 marathon in Manchester, is that I seem to be picking up speed. One of the reasons I believe this has happened is because I set challenges in January and February to do 300 miles in both months.Picture 21

Although that may seem a bit excessive it has worked well in giving me a really good, what I would call, base fitness to work off. Some of you may ask how have I had the time to do those miles and the simple answer is I tend to sleep a little less and run early in the mornings before work. The fact I can now run to and from work probably helps and I also take the run club for work, so ran 8 times last week through that and all the miles soon add up!

Another shift in my, run by feel, “training plan” is that I realised I was tending to run within my comfort zone, so around the 7.30-8 min/mile pace for 10 or so mile runs and this was becoming normal. I think I realised this after doing the Regents Park 10k which made me push myself to race and run at 6 min/mile pace. Doing 5k Parkruns and 10k races has also definitely helped me pick up pace so my speed endurance is definitely improving.

The biggest indication that my speed is improving was my latest race result from the RunThrough Brixton Brockwell Park 10k which was last Sunday. I signed up to this race on the Saturday evening off the back of a 12 mile run that morning and so wasn’t expecting much. Something seemed to click that day and for some reason I felt amazing. It was probably a combination of getting use to race days and feeling really relaxed and not really worrying about a certain time that helped me achieve my 3rd place finish in a time of 37:09 which I was incredibly proud of especially having run what is an up and down course around Brockwell Park.

Picture 20

Something else that was incredibly enjoyable about this race was that I could see the guy in 3rd position throughout the race. This led me to try and out sprint him for 3rd place on the mud at the finish line. I got incredibly close but he took 3rd on place but I got it on time, pretty happy with that! Sure it was fun for the spectators to watch to!

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Finishing 3rd out of a field of 389 people has given me good confidence in my running and I am now really looking forward to see what I can do in future 5ks, 10ks, Halfs and Full Marathons etc. The training seems to be paying off and I want to keep this momentum going now for the next few months and beyond.

Another reason I believe my speed is increasing is because I am paying more attention to the quality/pace of the miles I do. Whereas before I was layed back about that and just doing the distance, I am now focusing on running at sub 7 min/mile pace for as long as I can. I will do a run one day at this pace for so many miles and then the next run or two will be more relaxed and more of a loosener, so could act as a slight rest day. Today I ran probably one of if not my best run. I decided to go out and run at around the 7 min/mile pace and do a good few miles.

I really enjoyed this run and running at that pace felt reasonably comfortable and as if I could have completed a marathon maintaining a speed there or thereabouts. Of course the sights I got to take in, so Regents Canal, Victoria Park, The London Eye, Westminster, Tower Bridge etc made the run more enjoyable and the weather was immense!

Something that inspired me to run this far and fast was that I got to go to a London Marathon Meet The Experts day yesterday, so I was truly inspired by what was said by Richard Whitehead, Sam Murphy, Sophie Raworth and Liz Yelling, to name a few. I will maybe have to post a separate blog about this either on here or on the UK Run Chat website which I blog for aswell. My first blog for them with the topic “The Inspirational Nature of a Runner” is now up so if you want to read that or check that out then please do.

http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/the-inspirational-nature-of-a-runner/

As always feedback, interactions, RTs, shares and such like are really appreciated!

Hope everyone is having a good Sunday Run Day!!

Steve

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