HM Training: 17.5k and a schoolboy er... - Marathon Running ...

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HM Training: 17.5k and a schoolboy error!!


Hello everyone!

Well, this will be my first proper post here, discounting my introduction the other day.

Before I forget to post it, and in lieu of the photographs I didn't take because I was too busy running, here's a quick Relive of the whole thing:

For some odd reason I felt that today's run needed to be my longest ever, and I had worked out a nice route, which turned out to be 17.5k, great for HM training, right? Not that I've committed to do a HM yet, but even if I don't, I still want to be able to run the distance. That would still count, right? Anyway, off I set. It was a tad parky outside, about 1 or 2°C, but I donned my long running pants, a tshirt, and my cycling-repurposed-as-running jacket, remember that seemingly insignificant but important detail for later, and off I trotted.

For once in my life I got the layering just right. Although it was a bit chilly for the first 0.5k, I soon warmed up, but was greatful for the hat and thin gloves I had donned as an afterthought before setting off.

The first leg was a slow climb from High Lane to near Lyme Park, one of my running haunts with which I have a love-hate relationship, and then a gentle descent into Disley. Because of the gentle upwards gradient this is great to get me warmed up, and the hill stops me going mad and trying to run a sub-5:30 first km or anything daft like that. Next there's a kind-of rollercoaster with a down, a severe up and then a severe down, leading to the Upper Peak Forest Canal. I like canals. I completed C25K running by a canal. They are flat, due to the wonderful laws of physics! So - along the canal for a few km to Marple. I struggled more than I thought I would, and at about 6km in I was considering stopping at the nearest pub, but fortunately at 9:30am there weren't any open, and we don't happen to have a Weatherspoons in the middle of nowhere!! I digress, so yes I kept going, just reducing my pace slightly, and was soon at the point where the Macclesfield Canal branches off. My toes were now feeling a bit twingy, so I made a mental note to contact the podiatrist and see if anything needed adjusting with my insoles.

Next up was a nice downhill run to the Middlewood way. I enjoy this stretch, even though it is along a road, as it's welcome recovery for tired muscles. The middlewood way is great for tricking runners into doing hills. It's a disused railway line running from Marple most of the way to Macclesfield, and it was converted into a bridleway at some point around 1985. You think it's flat, but it's actually a long, gentle but quite punishing gradient, probably climbing about 40m steadily over the length I ran today, which was probably something like 6k. There's then a short but steep climb up to the Macclesfield canal. I'll be honest, I stopped at the bottom for 30 seconds whilst I fiddled with my music and caught my breath. Also made another mental note to sort those insoles out, toes definitely hurting now.

I finished the run with a 2.5k jaunt back up the canal to home. Nice and flat, a few dogs with or without leads to contend with, but I made it back in one piece, and finished off with a 5 minute walk back home.

I should mention at this point that at about 16.5k I had worked out why my lovely new trail shoes weren't as comfortable as they usually are, particularly on the toes. I have some othotic insoles that the podiatrist sorted for me, and they were in my other pair of ons, which meant that I had just run the entire run with no insoles at all, not even the stock ones! No wonder my feet were complaining. When I finally took my shoes and socks off, I discovered I have a nasty blister on the side of each big toe, all because I was daft and somehow managed to forget to put my insoles in. Honestly. OK, now you can all laugh :)

The other unwelcome thing was that I seem to have developed a case of joggers nipple! If you don't want the TMI bit, skip this paragraph!! I've always just run in shorts and tshirt, or maybe my long sleeved compression top which I hate because it makes me look fat even though I'm not overweight. This time, as it was particularly chilly, as previously mentioned, I had put on my cycling jacket. I've done a few runs in this, and it works brilliantly, In this case, I think it was putting more pressure and making my tshirt rub against my nipple. Maybe I need a sports bra? :P I would apply a little plaster, but given that I have some hair in that area, I fear the pain of removing it would be worse!

So - there you have it. If you've read this far, well done :)

Happy running folks!


28 Replies
Sadie-runsHalf Marathon

A riveting read, Neil! Phew. I was with you every step of the way (though kinda glad it was in spirit rather than in body – I could not imagine doing that distance!) Massive well done, fella! And regarding the schoolboy errors, you live and learn! And you lived to learn, so that's all good! Hope you get some relief for your poorly feet and nips. Ouch! I am sure the very good people of this forum (with more experience than I), will have some good tips and tricks for you – though of course the blister prob could have probably been averted if you had popped your insoles in!

You must be buzzing! I hope this gives you lots of confidence in terms of making the half marathon distance – you so can do this! Brilliantly done with tenacity and resolve, you are my hero!

Sadie-runs xxx

Hidden in reply to Sadie-runs

Awww thank you my dear VRB! I’m hurting now a bit, as I suspect I was weight bearing differently resulting in tight muscles, but I’m so happy I did it. For what it’s worth pushing past 10k has been a challenge, but do-able, and I’m convinced you have it in you too, after all, you’re a way better runner than I! Currently I’m having great fun resting :P

ClareO65Half Marathon

Nip-eaze for nipple rub I’m told. You will breeze the HM with a pair of inner soles 😂 Well done!

Hidden in reply to ClareO65

Thanks Clare, I’m daft I know :) thanks for the tip about Nip-ease, otherwise I would have had to google “nipple rub” and goodness knows what I would have found 😂

mountaindreamerHalf Marathon

Blimey Neil - huge well done, but I hope your feet forgive you soon! (Perhaps try compeed blister plasters if not?) As Clare says, stick in some inner soles and you’ll probably be fine to just run that HM straightaway. 😂😂😃❤️ I’m nibbling away at the elephant more slowly...😁

Hidden in reply to mountaindreamer

Thank you! I’ll try and get myself some of those plaster things, I should probably have some in just in case anyway. Not sure I’m quite ready for the HM just yet though :)

Anyway the best way to eat an elephant is, I gather, one bite at a time...

SqkrHalf Marathon

An epic run! 😄 And at least you only discovered the blisters once you got home, there's few things worse than realising you have a blister part way round—then it's all you can think of the rest of the way!

Hidden in reply to Sqkr

Blisters and sore nipples are a completely new thing to me, it’s come as a bit of a shock. As runs go though, it was tough, but I feel great for having done it.

Tomorrow is definitely a rest day though :)


Fantastic run Neil, Very well done on the 17.5K ...with no insoles, my gosh your poor toes! It looks like you’ll be hitting that HM distance in no time at all. Great stuff.

Out of interest, roughly how long did you consolidate your 10K before starting to up the distance of your long run?


Hidden in reply to Hidden

Thanks :) oh I feel so silly for the mixup with the insoles lol

From what I can see, I consolidated for something like 7 weeks before pushing the distance, after I hit my first 10k. Not sure that was planned though :)

SW16Half Marathon

Sounds a lovely varied run, apart from the sore bits! Its really not far now to the HM. Hope everything is feeling a bit better this morning.

Hidden in reply to SW16

Sorry, I seem to have missed a few replies here! Yes - it's actually a really nice run to do. If I was feeling particularly adventurous, I could make it up to virtually HM distance by adding some insane hills at the start :P

Today I'm feeling much better thanks, though my calf muscles have been hellishly tight. Nipples have settled right down, blisters seem to have mostly gone down which is great.

TbaeMetric Marathon

So well done Neil on the distance.

Gosh you really are a member of the terror team.🙈😂

As others have said be kind to yourself and you will have a good HM.

I am so slow Neil ,so was not willing to go further than 15k ( 150 mins) 🤔 on my preparation.

Juju gave me few tips on 5k fuelling and rewards,and other stuff to keep me interested/distracted during 3.5 hours.Juju’s recommendation of locking the distance in and just go for it,🤔Your ready Neil when you want to do it.Just ran on my own,so for me it counts.Long shift for me, but not for you.

You have good pace Neil and have endurance and determination in spades.Not to mention insoles etc and how you just make a laugh of it all.👏👏

I think Sadie beat you to the 10K , now it is your turn to notch up the HM.👊👏👏

Atb Neil with your running plans for 2019.

Look forward to seeing that badge next to your name.


Hidden in reply to Tbae

Thanks Tbae, I do my best, and thank you for cheering me on and encouraging me. Now just to set the record straight, the lovely Sadie-runs was way ahead of me on Couch to 5k, but actually beat her to 10k. I had to cheat to do it though, by missing out a couple of the repeat weeks later in the plan I think :P Sadie is a much more technical and disciplined runner than I will ever be, plus way faster!

I think for me I'll probably try and actually do the HM distance before I actually do a proper half marathon, in fact I may never actually enter an event, as in general I don't do well in large crowds. Even parkruns are a bit much.

Oh - and may as well laugh at myself, it's supposed to be good for us, right? I still can't believe that stupid insoles thing!!!

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Hidden

*Blushing madly* Oh shush Neil! Technical and disciplined?! I love that, though not sure it is entirely accurate (though I AM queen of the negative splits). As for speed, only by a few seconds, and as we all know, speed is not everything. 👍😁 You are a fine runner, and will leave me trailing in your wake (especially if there are hills involved!) x

Hidden in reply to Sadie-runs

I know what you can do on your sabatical, you can hop on a train and have a run round Lyme Park with me :D

MutleyShuffleHalf Marathon

Sounds like a great run Neil, blisters and sore nips aside! Once you get your insoles in you should reach HM distance with ease 😊 I got a blister for the first time today too, by wearing old shoes when I have a nice new pair just waiting to be broken in! You learn by your mistakes... Hope your sore bits get better soon!

Hidden in reply to MutleyShuffle

Thanks, yes it was. The nips have settled down, didn't even need to buy a sports bra ;) The blisters are all but gone, and once I get rid of this stupid tightness in my calves, I'll be back in the game. I think weight bearing slightly differently without my insoles has been quite hard on them. Well done on your 15k btw, sorry I haven't had chance to reply yet.


Amazing run Neil! With this distance in your pocket, HM will be no problem. Sorry about the blisters and nip issues. Re the nip issue: For any runs over 15k, i use a half bandaid on each just in case. 🙂 I wonder if a double layer sock may also help with the blister issue? Wright Sock is one brand that make these. I use thin run socks too made by Stance which helped me there too.

Hidden in reply to Decker

Thanks Decker, now you've been around for a while now, I seem to remember you popping up on C25k, so you must know what you're talking about then :)

Daft question - my worry about the bandaid thing is that I have a bit of hair in the whole nipple area (sorry if TMI) and was rather worried about the bandaid removal process!!!

As for the blisters, I'm hoping actually using my insoles will aleviate that problem. I've never had a hint of that sort of problem before.

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Hidden

Shave nipple area first. 😂😂😂

Hidden in reply to Sadie-runs

I love it when you point out the blindingly obvious that I've missed Sadie, you make my day xxx Why do I never think of these things myself??!

Seriously though, I'm worried I might shave the actual nipple off. I suppose that would be OK, men don't really need them, right? I suspect it would smart just a little though ;D

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Hidden

Waxing is another option, and that way you get to hang on to your nips. 👍 However, as a man, you might pass out from the pain when pulling off wax strips, which kind of defeats the object as you were already scared of pulling off a band aid 😂😂😂

Hidden in reply to Sadie-runs

I'm in fits of laughter now at the thought of pulling off a wax strip and finding a nipple on it!!! 😂

Sadie-runsHalf Marathon in reply to Hidden


Hidden in reply to Hidden

...Might take your mind off the blisters though Neil 🤷🏼‍♂️ 😁

DeckerModerator in reply to Hidden

The replies here made me laugh 😂 I don’t have the hair issue quite so much so it works for me. Though splitting the bandaid vertically into two thin strips makes removal a bit easier. Maybe you are best with one of the other solutions 😁

WhatsappHalf Marathon

Well done.

Your cycling jacket is most likely the problem causing runners nipple. So before you start waxing, lubricating and gawd knows what else take all unnecessary pressure off your chest first. Eliminate this as a problem otherwise you will find yourself taking unnecessary precautions for the rest of your running life.

A bit of hair on the chest is actually good for keeping the rubbing down as it provides a bit of a barrier. Howevr, the pressure from your jacket will be countering this.

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