"Summery" of a season :) - This summer's trainings: how did it go and What's next

Summer is almost over and we are starting to feel and see the process (I am now out in the dark just before 6 am after a period of glorious run in the sun at 5 :) ) and it is time to summarize what has been accomplished and how we take it from here! Time for reflection and planning.

I am going to write a bit about me now, but you can just skip this (mainly for me) long story and reply with your memories of the summer and your plans for the future ;)

So the summer began with a nice HM, half prepared, but well ran in 1:42 (great considering the hills!) and an overall placement as 172 / 700!!! I then started to plan ahead and wanted to get some more miles in (in May I hit the wall in a marathon so hard that I could not understand what was going on... and I want this to stop and get a better time in that distance). So I looked at the Dublin marathon and got inspired for the training plan. When I started the first week of July I also looked in the mirror and realized how big and fat I became in the last few years. I jumped on the scale and got scarred: 96 Kilos!!! (211.6 pounds!!!). My BMI? over 30 and close to 31. My waist? 107 cm (42 inches!!!). This not only was bad for my running but also for my health! So I looked around, I found this forum and started to look more at calories intake (this happened toward half July).

In July I ran my first Longest Streak

- 22 days and 178.5 miles. This resulted in 205 miles run in July. My speed went up a bit as well, 7:55 / mi. But the real change happened in August. at the beginning I had lost a few kilos and started to push a bit, but I still wanted to build resistance and stamina with many miles in that month to create the basis for a 10 k training in the summer (I would really like to get fast on the distance and then faster in the HM). So I still ran 170 miles in August, but the surprise came in the last week, in which I started going faster and faster, until I got to run 4 miles in 26 (6.30 per mile!). Final result for August 170 miles on an average pace of 7:49 / mile.

Finally this week I did my first long interval with 2 miles warm up 4 miles strong and 2 miles cool down, resulted in a new PB on the 8 (well the course is 7.9) miles of 59 minutes (and can be improves and I did it running 4 miles - warm up and cool down - at 8/8:30 per mile and 4 miles - the strong ones - at 6:30 per mile!!!).

I dropped 12 kilos in the meantime (still 6 to go to healthy BMI and 14 to go to my runner's healthy weight) and I think this is what made the difference in the speed work (for the healthy fit ones, have you ever tried to run with a back pack full of 12 kilos (12 liters of water for example??) Ain't easy ;)

So the future looks good I guess. I have the miles for basis to build up on (1000 in 2016, of which 120, 205 and 170 (tot of almost 500 miles) in the last 3 month. So now it is the moment for interval and speed work to prepare my first (and therefore fastest) 10K. I give my self 8 weeks on it. will do 1 session with repetitions such as (8X400 mt. fast with 2or400 recovery jog or 6X800 with recovery jog), 3 easy runs, 1 out and back run (this is interesting, never done it: I will go out fast for 10/15 minutes and come back on the same course trying to go further! Interesting change isn't it?) and one long run (1 rest or recovery day). Will try to include some core and muscle strengthening exercise... 40/50 miles per week.

The goal is running a fast 10K race on the 6th of November. In the preparation I will attempt my personal best on the 5K (park run). Aims (not sure if possible) 20' for the 5k and 40' for the 10K (never ran faster than this, even in my teenage, on these distances :) )

Looking forward I will try to prepare a fast HM for the beginning of 2017, the belfast marathon in may 2017 (cannot be fast given the hilly course) and the Dublin marathon in 2017. Any other race will be optional :)

Hope this post wasn't too boring, it will be for me a reference point where I will try to put updates in reply as motivation to keep running... as Autumn has always been my problematic period for running (usually, I simply stop...)

Enjoy your running and have a nice weekend!!!


9 Replies

  • I enjoyed reading that Marco! How did you find your streak? I'm at the point where I feel I might like to run on consecutive days, but I'm a bit nervous of injury. The weather here is all over the place as usual, boiling, chilly, boiling again, so sometimes there are 3 days when it's good for running followed by 4 or 5 when it's not so good. Carpe diem? I'm nowhere near your kind of distances though, that's mighty impressive! Do you spend a fortune on shoes?

    My summer went better than I could have hoped, I got Achilles tendonitis in March and it felt like I would never run again. A few weeks rest and re-doing C25K one run from each week got me going again, but I found now my attitude had changed. I was always trying to go further, faster, longer, push push push...now I am just so happy to be able to run at all, that I no longer care about how fast or far I'm going, I just go out and plod around, looking at the view...I'm slower than I was before, a bit under 8 mins per KM, and I don't care a bit!

    I find it hard to believe you stop running in Autumn - why is that? Autumn is just gorgeous, all the wonderful colours and crisp mornings! I am so looking forward to some cooler temperatures, and a change of scenery too. Not long until I will be back in Cambridge, which is FLAT!!!!

    Happy running xx

  • On the streak, it came after running for a few years regularly 5 days a week. In the last year i often trained for 6 days a week, never longer than that. I would not combine increase in speed with long streak (in fact I am going to interrupt it now to train for 10k in the next 2 months).

    If you have any pain (especially at the Achilles tender) do not push it, otherwise following ju-ju- strategy of run an easy short run instead of a rest day (even a 2/4 mile) is a good approach to it.

    You need to enjoy it otherwise it becomes a job and you will hate running soon...

    On the shoes, I am not really spending that much. I know what to buy (Saucony seem to be built around my feet - size 9.5) so I can buy online and when old and on offer you can buy very good shoes for less than 50 pound. Very good shoes last over 700 miles! Last year I had 2 pair and alternated them and this helps as well.

    I have 2 drops (8 mm and 4 or 0 mm) to train differently at different speed and Usually I can run over 500/700 miles with my shoes (my log online helps keeping track of the miles ran).

    On my usual stop .. well life takes over in Autumn, I use to be an academic and the semester combined with the darkness in the Belfast morning made it very difficult to run. I gave up my job as academic and now work for a research institute (no teaching for me this year ;) so I might manage to avoid the stop. Also I have a few targets to hit over autumn and winter this time, so I hope to make it through this year ;)

    enjoy your running!


  • Thanks Marco, I think I will adopt that "easy run" instead of a rest. I do enjoy my running, you probably know already, but I am lucky enough to live in UK and France half and half - Cambridge in winter and a little place called Cordes-sur-Ciel in Summer. They couldn't be more different! Cambridge is completely flat, and very easy for running, Cordes is pretty hilly and doesn't actually have many suitable routes, so I spend quite a lot of time planning, and don't run so far as I do in UK. And of course it's a wee bit hotter than UK! I am always ready for the change when it's time to go, I'm leaving here (Cordes) in about a month. I am so looking forward to some long slow runs!

    I'm interested in what you say about shoes lasting for 700 miles, when I bought mine it was said everywhere on the internet shoes should last 400 - 600 miles, now more often they say 300 - 500. What happened? Nothing if you ask me, I think it is the manufacturers trying to sell more! I have 3 pairs, all Mizuno Wave and keep an eye on the mileage with my Garmin. The oldest pair have done about 650 KM and feel like they are getting better all the time!

    I hope you do get to do some Autumn running this year, it really is glorious...

    Happy running XX

  • on the shoes it really depends on the type of shoes and the type of run (and frequency) you do with them. I know where each pair of shoes stands in terms of miles and I check sole and side for signs of breaking point. Then I guess it is also how you feel them. I am not an expert and the use of each varies depending on so many factors. I do find that more expensive shoes (when on sale I never pay more than 60 £ but they are on sale in normal shops for double the price if not more...) tend to last longer.

    If you alternate shoes in your training (giving a rest day to them as well) they tend to last longer, but again it is my perception, not an expert ;)

    looking forward to the autumn and winter this year! I do hope to keep it together :)

  • Not a boring post at all... Really fascinating to read about your triumphs and your plans. You have done brilliantly and you are reaping the benefits as the weight is dropping off. Are you counting calories or a different diet?? Well done you !!!

  • I have joined this forum starting from weight loss and started looking at calories intake. I am not too good at counting them but I now know what is too much and I know when I eat and what (wasn't really keeping track before...)

    No diet, I guess combined running, awareness of calories intake and avoid dairy products (I am probably intolerant) is doing the job... :)

  • It all sounds pretty impressive and you are certainly a lot faster than I will ever be (and I am nowhere near overweight).

    I enjoyed my summer running; some runs were a bit too sweaty, but I just love running in the sunshine and the gloom of winter does not have a good effect on my mood. I did manage to keep running last year though, although the rain threw some spanners into the work. So I am hoping for a cold, crips, but sunny winter rather than a mild, grey and wet one!

    I was glad I never signed up for a half marathon in early July - it would have been quite hard to get ready as May/June were just really busy. Now I am enjoying my long runs again and am looking forward to my HMs on 8th Oct and 12th November. Life is going to get busier again and we have a kitchen refurb pending (hopefully soon!) which will cause some more chaos, but at least I can fit my shorter midweek runs into lunch times if necessary.

  • After reaching my first goal this Saturday (19:43 in the park run 5K! with a first K at 3:30) I went for the second interval training today.

    This morning I was out at 6 am, did my 3 miles warm up in the dark and then got on the track with the first light of the day. Some stretching and strides and I started the 8X400 mt.

    I am happy to say that I managed 3 in 1:30 and the last 5 in 1:19 with jog recovery or 200 mt. Good training today and I feel ok (lots of lactic acid, but it's normal with this type of training).

    Next park run in a couple of weeks to test improvement and looking forward to the 10k in November :)

  • It is getting darker but for the moment I managed to keep the repetitions / intervals in once a week...

    This morning after the usual 3 miles warm up in the dark I got to the track and it was still dark. My plan was to run 5X1000 mt. and this is what I have done. But the first 2 were like running without references... I could only see the white lines of the track, nothing else... cloudy morning...

    I planned to warm up for 3 miles (done in the darkens ;) ) and then after stretching and strides I planned to do 5 repetitions on 1,000 meters. I aimed for be as fast as i could sustain (3:40?). As I could not know anything about the first 2 (it was too dark and I do not have a light in the watch - very old, batteries are also running out...), I did not check until the end to see how I know and can pace my self.

    1st 1000 -> 3:40; recovery 400 mt. jogging (~3')

    2nd 1000 ->3:40; recovery 400 mt. jogging (~3')

    3rd 1000 -> 3:43; recovery 400 mt. jogging (~3')

    4th 1000 -> 3:43; recovery 400 mt. jogging (~3')

    5th 1000 -> 3:36; recovery 400 mt. jogging (~3')

    For the moment I am a bit in pain (muscles) but happy :)

    enjoy your running!!!