Could be a chart-topping song lyric in there somewhere.
Today I’m pretty happy with where my training is. Plenty to go yet, but I need to keep reminding myself that I need to be fit in June, not January.
Truth of the matter is I’ve struggled with running (and general fitness) since I did Outlaw in 2012. My legs have failed to have any zip in them since. I’ve known why, I’ve just been too lazy* to put it right.
Basically in 2011 I followed Advanced Marathoning to PB at Edinburgh Marathon (by the best part of an hour). It was fairly time intensive (and with a young family, something I’m not likely to be in a position to repeat any time soon), but it taught me a golden nugget.
I ran in the middle ground, always. It taught me that slow and normal runs should be slow. Fast runs should be, well, fast – very fast. Before Advanced Marathoning I was training in what a goalkeeper coach would refer to ‘No Man’s Land’. I built an amazing base which essentially allowed me off very little training afterwards to PB at almost every race for the next year.
Next up was training for Outlaw 2012. Being a triathlon newbie I was following a ‘Get Me Round’ plan – which was excellent. What it continued with was long and slow base miles, but it very much neglected the hard, fast sessions. Still I felt fit, albeit without too much top-end speed.
In 2013 I decided to spend more time on the bike. For the first year for a while I didn’t enter a marathon (well I did, Snowdon Marathon, but it turned out to be my daughters due date, so that was a non-starter). Running understandably dropped backwards – cycling speed went up a gear (or a full big ring to be more accurate).
In 2014 it was about surviving as a new dad. I did Liverpool Marathon. But something in my training had changed (particularly with running). Since Outlaw 2012 I’d returned to running in ‘No Mans Land’. I knew I had. It just taken until December 2014 to do something about it.
Back to Base Work and a ‘Proper’ Training Plan
Rather than trying to gain fitness quickly, I’ve decided to follow a 27 week Half Ironman Plan. There are various periodisations (3 weeks of training volumes increasing each week, followed by a 4th week which drops back, allowing for recovery). There are 3 periods at the start focused solely on base work. I’ve repeat Period 1 twice (aware Christmas would impact, and also aware of my starting fitness). I’ve been running slowly with a heart rate monitor.
And I’ve seen my Long Runs move from being a 10m/m slog and fight (and very unenjoyable) move to sub 9m/m and being enjoyable and (dare I say) slightly easy.
Its also interesting IronHolgs has been blogging on the same subject in recent times.
* stupid. Silly perhaps?
Oh, and for Janathon – 10.25 miles today (keeping heart rate below 168bpm).