Friday, 20 March 2009

When I grow up, I wanna be a proper runner

I know many proper runners. You know, the 1:3x:xx Half Marathon types. I'm not one of them and never will be but I'd like to at least be a better runner. See I have a dream. My dream is for my PB for a half to start 1:4x:xx by the end of 2009. I have 3 more HM's set for this year (Prague, Down Tow Up Flow and then the Royal Parks). Obviously I can't count Prague as that's in 8 days and taking 8 and a half minutes off in 8 days is not very likely. DTUF is at the end of July and I'm thinking it will be pretty warm but could may be a chance to get in the low 1:50's but not under that. So it looks like it could all come down to Royal Parks. Which is a lot of pressure on one race so firstly I'm thinking of doing the Surrey Badger in Sept (which I'm sure will delight my g/f) but secondly and more importantly, I'm going to change my training, and this.... will be the subject of today's blog. (It took a while but I got to the point eventually).

So currently, when training, I have never run more than 10.1 miles leading up to a HM. I really felt this during 'Snotfest 2009' when in the last 3 miles my legs started feeling so, so heavy. Therefore:

Plan number 1: is that I'm going to increase my longest weekly run, firstly to 12 then maybe onwards to 14/15 miles (that's going to hurt right?) and by that point I'll be running further than I need to so my legs will be used to it and therefore I won't look quite so hideous and close to death by the time I cross the line. This will obviously benefit any spectators too.

Plan number 2: is going to be to start running hills. I cannot explain how bad this is gonna be. I mean, running up hills hurts. I get a burning feeling in my thighs and that's just not healthy! But I have been told on a number of occasions that running hills is one of the best things I can do and I guess I can't really argue considering the person telling me is one of those annoying 1:3x:xx Half Marathon types.

Plan number 3: will be to introduce short sprints to my long distance runs which I reckon will hurt just as much as the hills. In fact, the first (and only) time I ever tried this, across Hammersmith Bridge as a flat out sprint at around mile 4, I'm actually convinced my lungs exploded. I cannot begin to explain how much this hurt.

With all these tweaks to my training, I'm reckoning that it will increase both my strength and lactate threshold and this along with losing a little weight (boo hiss) will help me meet my 2009 goal!

See... Simple. That's all it's gonna take. 6 months of pain, numerous pairs of trainers and the will not to give up and go to the pub!


  1. I've found a lot of stamina and easy pace in the hills of Hastings over the last 2 years and they do work. But watch for injury running down them. And changing my style got me under 7 minute miles for a 5k race before Christmas, too, so have a look at that (with a bit of advice from a "proper" runner for how to do it (nope, that's not me!), of course!

  2. My goal for my next half marathon is to also sneak into the 1:4X:XX range. That race is coming up on April 5. Since I'm training for a marathon right now and my longs runs are pushing into the 18-19-20 miles range, doing "only" 13.1 is going to seem easy. (I can't believe I just said that running 13 miles is easy. What the hell is wrong with me?)

  3. Good luck for your race on the 5th sun runner. It sounds like you should do well. Iliketocount, what did you do to change your style? Sounds interesting!!

  4. "considering the person telling me is one of those annoying 1:3x:xx Half Marathon types." Could that possibly be me?

    I'm going to help you with plan number 4: I'll haul your carcass out the pie shop every time I see you in there! ; )

    Having run with you before I know you're certainly capable of a 1:4X:XX. Enjoy those hills.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog, will be adding you to my blogroll....yes I know I'm brave, I should challenge everyone to a contest on being the most uncool!

  6. go for it! sounds like a good plan stan.