Change is as good as a rest

I’m having a bit of a change to my running training.

Rather than see Adam for crack of dawn training sessions on Sundays in the park, I’m going to do strength and conditioning training with him in the gym on a weekday evening instead. I know, the gym, but that’s where the weights are. He can’t get it all in the back of the car.

Strength and conditioning – makes me sound like a show pony doesn’t it ūüėČ

The plan is to build my body strength to make my running more efficient. It also means I can do long runs at the weekend and not try to push them into a weekday evening.

I’ve¬†been having a long think about the Manchester 10k. It just wasn’t quite what I expected but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on racing, just maybe look for a different kind of race and accept the big ones for what they are – entertainment fundraisers. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to do them, but I am going to do them differently.

Anyway, first session of strength training with Adam, tomorrow after work, I’ll let you know how I get on.

I’ve got half an eye on a half marathon in the Autumn, but shhh… Secret just now.


Last tempo run before Manchester 10k

If being dedicated to the cause could make you faster I’ll be whipping round that course next Sunday like a rocket.

Text from Adam yesterday:
‘Hi Deana, are we still ok for our very early start tomorrow? I’ll have to be in Bolton for 7 so it would mean starting at 6.15. That’s no problem for me, i just wanted to check with you.’

Text from me:
‘That’s fine with me, see you then. Appreciate the early start commitment.’

Text from Adam:
‘ No probs, I think it’s work a good-paced run before you taper off a little through the week in prep for Sunday.’

So, there I was, at 5am, mixing protein shake. At 5.45am I was out the door and by 6.15am we were warming up. Pretty gorgeous out there this morning.

wood path to Whythenshawe Park

Check out that early morning light

Trees at whythenshawe park

Look up, so beautiful

We did a 4.2 mile circuit at a fair lick, just enough to make me wheeze, just on the edge of uncomfortable, but not full-pelt sprint. We did this loop a few months ago and I’d had to walk some of it and i felt much stronger so much more pleased, though i had the strangest feeling someone else had been running with us that day, which can’t be right.

Anyway – round in 43 mins, 40 secs which means I’m running at 10.30 pace which is pretty good.

Quite pleased, frankly. I know I want to do an hour, but you know, it’s the taking part that counts and goodness knows I’ve put the miles in. And the weight training in. And the Grid sessions in.

So this afternoon. An hour’s yoga and some more hip rolling. And then a couple of paced, but nothing sprinty runs during the week. ūüôā

Nervous, but prepped – and that’s all you can do.

Feather in the dewy grass

Delicate little feather in the dewy grass – I’m being all metaphoric here! ūüėČ


Running in rotten weather

Firstly, big shout out for iddex today who is running in the Manchester marathon right now in what can only be described as… crap weather.

It’s raining, it’s lashing down. Sometimes it’s sleeting and it’s hideously windy. The man is a real trouper going out in this – I admire his determination, never mind he can actually run 26 miles. The marathon is an incredible feat of mental strength as well as physical endurance. And running in today’s weather he requires gills and fins.

I know how crappy the weather is today because I was out training earlier for an hour.

I have to say my Alpha Me was more interested in staying curled up under the duvet than heading out into sleet this morning.

Along the way I spotted flowers out and I thought, ‘well, if a bluebell can survive in this weather, i probably can’.






And some forget-me-nots

Aren’t they pretty? The weather may be wintery but it’s lovely to see more greenery and there’s something so charming about flowers growing along the pathways.

Running training was a bit full-on today. As I had a weights session on Monday, today was intervals at real pace. An eight-minute mile, two nines, working on form and breath control.

Remember the other week when I did this and I was running 7.5 minute miles? Turned out I’d misunderstood – I was running at 7.5mph pace, but for two-thirds of a mile, not the whole mile. So apologies for giving the impression I’m faster than I am.

We then did some sprints for the last 15 minutes. Apparently I have really powerful acceleration. Adam keeps going on about how strong my legs are now. This is all thanks to squats and lunges, folks. They do form the backbone of my strength training and they definitely pay off. I hated them to start with, but I’ve got the hang of them now I’m stronger, they really are worth persevering with.

My homework: keep doing what you’re doing – one set of intervals, one long run. Don’t up your mileage, don’t do anything new. Steady as we go.

PS from roller girl

Just to say Adam the running trainer is keen I keep using my roller.

We did some at the end of last night. Adam laughing, me silently screaming. I am not very good with pain. He swears it will get easier. I’m not convinced.

But anyway, just to say I’ve been scooting around the sitting room floor in my pyjamas as I experiment with taking my roller seriously and do some every night. But only a bit. Because it kills.

Dilettante of the gym

Apparently I’m a bit of a dilettante.

MrM¬†hoots with laughter when we walk past the golf course and I’m watching the golfers trundle¬† their clubs about in their natty smart casual clothes. He just says ‘no’ and then gaffaws a bit more. He¬†knows how interests go with me… He likes to remind me how I’ve read every Henning Mankell¬†novel ever written and¬†seen every Jean Cocteau film.

You see, I am an obsessive, but I’m an obsessive dilettante so ‘yes’ I¬†do wear a Breton¬†top every time we go out (I own five, what’s not to like about stripes?). I can be really, really, REALLY into something and then… not so much. I’ll be over¬†Breton¬†tops by September, even if two of them are real sailing tops from the cutest little shop on Shaftsbury Avenue where they sell sailing ropes and hooks and not much else…

And at the moment I am really, really not into running on the treadmill in the gym. Over it. I get too hot, I keep banging my hands and I swear I run worse on it than I do outside. I did one mile of steady pace, speeding up for a tenth of a mile, but it felt hard work. And not fun hard work.

But I am loving the weights. Well they’re a new toy aren’t they – and so many of them.

At last night’s training session with Adam¬†I did 12kg¬†kettlebell¬†(Hello? Anyone want¬†to buy a 6kg¬†kettlebell, bought at Christmas? I want a bigger one), stepping onto a box swinging an 8kg¬†medicine ball (was using 4kg¬†last winter) and doing lunges while pushing 5kg¬†dumbbells. I can jump forever, till my calves are on fire, and I’m a fan of the¬†bosu contraption. I had a go at rowing and learning how to use your whole body, not just your arms, and I did squats walking sideways like a hot sweaty crab (not one for impressing anyone,¬†I can tell you).

This week is all about one-mile intervals and now my blistered throat has cleared up I’m thinking good to go.

I’m planning on doing three sets of three-mile intervals this week.

What are everyone’s training goals this week? Do you set goals every week or do you have chill-out weeks too?

Does anyone else find their treadmill running isn’t as good as their outside performance?

Bit poorly, but still running

I have a touch of tonsilitis. Or something similar.

The back of my mouth, going down to my throat, is sore, raw and possibly a bit blistered. Tricky seeing down there.

Anyhoo, nice spicy food is off the menu, as is anything salty, acidy, lemony…it all stings most unpleasantly.

But it’s not going to stop me running. Fortunately I like milk and I can get that down. I had mushroom tortellino and avocado yesterday. strangely pleasant.

And this unpleasant little throat infection is above the throat, well not below it anyway. So I am off for a run in a bit.

Adam the running trainer is running Bolton 10k today. Wonder how he’ll get on in the rain. It’s super hilly, that course. You virtually have to take on an escarpment in Leverhulme Park.

Good luck, Adam!

I’m going out in a minute to do a six-mile loop. Can’t do splits because i forgot to charge the garmin. Tsk. I’ll let you know how i get on in a bit…

Legs on fire!

Today’s gym session with Adam has been all about the legs today. Strong legs, strong runner. Tough glutes, strong runner. Steely calves, strong runner.

We did a bit of arm and core work too *everybody now ‘STRONG RUNNER’*. But mostly legs, legs and more legs.

This is what we did:
* five minutes warm up jog

* running on the spot like a maniac for 10 seconds then jogging for 10 seconds, for 2 minutes
* dead-lifting a 15kg weight bag x 10
* lunges with arms in the air clenching fists above head x 12 each leg

repeat x 3

Stepping machine – 5 minutes of stair-climbing

* some weight machine guaranteed to make your bum burn as you pull weight to waist while simultaneously pulling leg from lunge positing to waist height (don’t ask me, I am the sweating guinea-pig)
* semi squad position, holding an 8kg medicine ball, swing from left side at thigh level, swinging to head height on opposite side
* buso ball, flat side up. Hand each side, step into plank position, hold for 10 seconds, step back. Repeat x 3

repeat x 3

Stepping machine – 5 minutes of stair climbing

running machine Р30secs walk at 3mph,  30 secs 5mph, 30 secs 8mph and back to 30 secs of 3mph, 5mph etc. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Looks a lot all written down but it only took one hour and the time flew by.

I was sweating fiercely after five minutes but I¬†wasn’t out of breath until i stopped the exercises. Even when I was pacing about breathing fast I wasn’t wheezing and it wasn’t for long.

Apparently my recovery is improving massively. “Remember that when you’re doing intervals,” said Adam. “Your recovery after intensive work is much quicker.”

So that’s me told!

“Oh and don’t do anything tomorrow, have ¬†rest day.”

No need to tell me that. Legs on fire!

In conclusion though can we have a big ‘yay’ for my 8mph sprints after a full-on legs session. Those legs were jelly, but they kept going… though as much because I¬†was visualising a messy, bloody tangle of hair, nose and broken bone if I tried to stop! Call me vain… ūüôā