Sunday, 27 March 2011

Week 5 Training - Long runs & Sore Legs!

5 weeks in and the training is starting to mount up, as well as take its toll. Current totals stand at,

Miles this week - 15
Miles this month - 57.7
Miles total - 73.7

Still reeling from last week's Bradford 10K, and after a well earned rest day from running, I enjoyed an easy 3 mile recovery run on Tuesday and felt full of energy and as fit as a fiddle. A shortened interval session on Wednesday, due to Charlotte's 30th Birthday celebrations (welcome to the 30s club my darling!), and I still felt great. Thursday evening was when the wheels well and truly came off and a scheduled 3 mile tempo run was out of the question as I shivered and ached myself into bed for a 3 hour nap before forcing down some food and heading back to bed. I struggled through Friday at work, barking and grunting at anyone who remotely dared to annoy me or give me a hard time. Evening came and plans of making up my runs disappeared as another early night was what the doctor, or at least the wife, ordered!

By Saturday I felt much better and decided to do my long run that was scheduled for Sunday. A 7 miler and my longest run so far in this round of training. I took it really steady around this very hilly route (10min/mile) and felt good for most of the way round. At about mile 5 my old ITB knee injury threatened to take hold but never developed any further. After 1hr10mins I was back home and cooking some protein rich Fish Fingers to help my muscles recover. I spent the rest of the day feeling quite sore and realising that I need to add much more stretching and core stability work into my training if I am going to cope with being on my feet running for greater and greater durations as my training develops.

You will recall I dedicated last week's 10K to Run for Japan whose fundraising currently stands at a staggering £15,243.95 with 569 runners from around the world dedicating 10,433 running miles to the people of Japan. It is humbling to be a part of such an amazing and inspiring community and I am sure this total will keep on rising as more and more runners dedicate runs and raise more and more well needed money.

20 miles of running to do next week along with plenty of stretches and core muscle exercises to keep those pesky arches and pains away. Thank you once again to those who have sponsored me in support of the British Heart Foundation, I have now reached 17% of my £1000 target. If you would like to donate please go to my charity page at\stevetrotter

Till next week,


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Week 4 Training - Bradford 10K Race Report

A big week for me was nearly put in jeopardy due to an ongoing battle with my mouth and jaw since my wisdom tooth extraction 10 days ago. Still in a lot of pain, I managed a 3 mile easy run on Monday but was forced to miss my interval session on Wednesday because of said mouth and jaw. I was back out for a 4 mile 10K race pace run on Thursday but pulled up after the 2nd mile as my left calf and quads felt really tight and I didn't want to push it. A steady 2 miles on Saturday evening felt fine but I was obviously not quite as prepared as I wanted to be for my 1st 10k race at Bradford this morning.

With an early 9am start time I was up with the early bird, washed, breakfasted and out the door by 7.10am - far from my usual Sunday morning start! I arrived with about 35 mins to the start of the race and felt really good. I'd had a decent breakfast, a banana on the way and was half way through a Lucozade 500ml body fuel drink.

With my target time of 49min59secs I put myself at the back of the Sub 50min section at the start and set off trying has hard as a could to take it steady and not go out too hard. The 1st 1km was a bit of an obsticle course as we navigated our way down and round a fair few little roads before getting out onto the main, and wider, part of the course. It is these starts that I'm going to have to get used to as many runners wanted to charge forward with the odd slip and tumble along the way. Not for me though, at least not this time!

I went through 2km in 9 minutes and realised I was running 30 seconds faster per kilometre than had planned to. I was conscious from that point I needed take it steady in the 1st half of the race, aiming to run a negative split (a quicker 2nd half than 1st) and not burning out in the later stages of the race.

At the half way point I was 2 - 3 mins up and still feeling relatively fresh. Although my heart was telling me I needed to push on and try to break 45mins my head was quick to overule, instisting I ran my planned race and didn't start my final push until 8km. My head of course turned out to be right and by 8km I was over 4 minutes up on my time with enough energy left for a strong finish.

It started hurting with about 400m to go but I knew that a sub 45min time was close, really close. I dug deep on the final straight, passing a few more club runners on the way and came through just under 45mins with a time of 44min56secs. I'm obviously over the moon with this race and am definitely going to revise my marathon time for September, 3h45min - 3h50min perhaps.

I dedicated my run today to Run for Japan, a website set up for the global running community to do their bit for the victims of the teribble earthquake and tsunami. The idea is to cover 24,901 miles (right around the world) in 28 days with at least one run dedicated from every country in the World. Each runner then donates at least one unit of their home currency per mile run, or km in my case. For any runners who would like to be involved in this worthwhile cause check out their website at

A 19 mile week next week which I hope will be a little less up and down than this week has been. I've well and truly got the running bug now and can't wait for my next race at the Hinckley Half Maraton on 8th May - Who wants to join me?!!

Till next week,



Matthew Clough - Leeds City AC - 32:31

Margaret Beever - Stainland Lions RC - 38:58

Race Results can be viewed here.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Week 3 Training - Teeth, Training and Tunage!

Another busy week which saw me again squeezing in the runs as and when, including a 10pm run on Wednesday. 5 runs completed with a total of 15.5 miles for the week, that's 44.5 miles so far!

It was great to get the sponsorship off the mark this week and I have now raised 7% of my target total of £1000, thanks to those who have sponsored me in support of the British Heart Foundation. If you would like to donate please go to or, if you would prefer, grab a sponsorship form next time you see me.

Key sessions this week included a hard 6 x 1/4 mile interval run and, more importantly, 4 miles at my 10K target pace of 8mins/mile. The latter felt really good and gives me a lot of confidence going into my first 10K race at the Epilepsy Action 10k setting off at 9.00am on Sunday from Centenary Sq, Bradford.

I managed a shortened 1.5 mile hill session on Friday before my date with the hospital dentist for an extraction of a wisdom tooth. My appointment time was of course 2:30pm (that's tooth-hurty!) and by the end of Friday I certainly did have a tooth that was hurting very much!

After taking it easy on Saturday I managed an enjoyable long run of 5 miles on Sunday, trying out a Motion Traxx podcast using a 170bpm track. Although the music was a little TRANCE for my liking it did make it easier to keep my run at an even pace and, with an average pace of 8.38mins/mile, I was slightly faster than expected. Still, felt surprisingly fresh after the run and have started to consider possibly increasing my marathon target pace from 9.00mins/mile to 8:45mins/miles - this would give me a target marathon time of 3hr 50mins.

A steady training week next week in the build up to my 10k race, here's hoping the tooth (or at least the hole where the tooth used to be) carries on as just a very dull ache and doesn't get any worse.

Till next week,


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Week 2 Training - Squeezing in the runs!

Another full and injury-free week of training with 5 runs covering a total of 15 miles. It's been a busy week and I'm learning that if I'm going to keep up with my training schedule I am going to have to be prepared to run at any time and in any place.

Wednesday saw me fitting my interval run in between a late evening at school and the start of my regular rehearsal at Thurcroft Theatre Group, where I 'act' as Musical Director! So there I was 6:30pm looking for a secluded place to park the car up and get changed into my running gear (and yes my tights too, it was pretty cold).!I managed my intervals (4 x1/4 mile efforts) along a 1/2 mile flat stretch, passing the same person washing their car 4 times, much to his bemusement. At the end of the run I got back to my car to find it was much more difficult getting changed out of running gear than into it. I was obviously pretty warm by this point as the car windows steamed up, making the few passing cars somewhat suspicious as to what I was up to. I had visions of a police car pulling up and them asking my to step out of the car and me replying,
"I've just taken my tights off Officer can you give me a minute while I put my trousers on!"

On Thursday I managed to squeeze in a 3 miles tempo run while I was picking up the little one from my Mother-in-law's. She was quite surprised when I cheekily asked if she would mind me nipping out for a quick run before I took the little lady home. It's these little actions of support that I know I will come to rely on as my training progresses, so thanks in advance for the support of all those around me.

My Saturday 3 miler was more of a psychological run and would hopefully fill me with confidence in the lead up to my 10K race in Bradford on 20th March. My target time is 49:59 which means 8 min/mile pace and bearing in mind my 4hr marathon pace is 9 min/mile I know this may be something of a stretch. The plan was to go out and try to run 3 miles at 8 min/ mile pace. Using a running audio track for the 1st time from Audio Fuel I ran along with the 175bpm track which was described as a 'mid intensity long run' which turned out to be around 8 min/mile pace. Although I did find it quite tough at times I was fairly comfortable running at this pace and I managed to complete my run in 22:49, under 8min/mile pace. I'm obviously well pleased with this run, although 3 miles at race pace is very different to keeping it going for the full 10K (6.2 miles).

The final run of the week today (Sunday) gave me a nice and steady 5 mile long run with an average 9:10 min/mile which felt really comfortable.

Next week is much the same as this week with the exception of a 4 mile 10K race pace run on Wednesday rather than Saturday. Having a wisdom tooth removed at the hospital on Friday afternoon but hopefully my Sunday 5 mile run won't be affected.

Till next week!