Monday, November 28, 2016

The runs

To help you understand the types of runs that training is going to involve I’ve developed a list:

Talking pace warm-up and warm-down runs: If you running at a pace where it is impossible to tell your friend how your day went; discuss the latest box set on Netflix; give out about the mess the kids are making; make predictions about tonight’s Champion’s League or reflect on the love-life then you are running way too fast for a warm-up or warm-down!

Short runs: The grain of running. The basics, which everyone can generally do. These are the short runs that fit most neatly into a working week, where you get out and do anywhere from 4 to 8 k at a nice easy pace, much slower than you’d expect to run your race. They help build up the miles and get your legs and lungs accustomed to what’s to come.

Long runs: The hops of long distance training. This is how every week you incrementally (fancy word for slowly) build up a long run from 8, 10, 12 all the way to 14 kilometres. For first time runners, the longest run will come a fortnight before race-day for this 10 mile. When completing these make sure to never do these in a new pair of runners; it can be nice to have refreshments lined up along the way; the more company you have while running these the quicker these seem to go by and again like the short runs you should be at a pace a lot slower than race pace. So expect to be still able to talk by the end.

Tough runs: The yeast of the run. These training sessions will almost inevitably last less than an hour but are often the hardest sessions. Tough runs add pace to your overall run, helping you to take minutes off any lingering personal bests. There are many types of tough run you can do and you will know them by the following:
·         You come across a lot more sweat/spit/phlegm and all the stuff that will derail any first date.
·         You find yourself cursing towards the end of it, either in general, at yourself to keep yourself motivated or at your soul-mate because it was their idea to do the tough run in the first place. (Don’t mind the latter, they will understand).
·         You will deeply appreciate the company of a club doing it because on your own it can be hellish.

Other runs that you may come across over the course of your 10 mile training, which may have no or little relation to it:

Dawn runs – Nice morning runs, which mean you have the whole day in front of you, not to be mixed up with the legendary Irish thoroughbred race-horse from the 1980’s.

Home runs – More likely in baseball but may metaphorically end up in your marathon training when everything works out.

Shopping run – Last minute bargain hunting when you realise you forgot to get your brother’s new girlfriend a Christmas present and she’s coming for dinner.

School runs – Occasional reasons why you might have to cut that long run short when you realise you have forgotten it’s your turn to pick up the kids.

The runs – Can happen at the end of a long period of training when feeling run down and slightly ill. Not good.

So good luck during the week and chat to you all next weekend.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Right, a plan!

So it’s booked, there’s no going back, the Trim 10 Mile. On Sunday February 5th, you will be lined up ready and rearing to go. But we need to get there first and we have ten weeks to do it! The great thing about training plans is that no matter how far you have run or how fast you think you can, most people’s training programmes are roughly the same.

To best understand them try to think of training programmes as if they were a beer. While there are many different variations of beer they all generally contain the same core ingredients of grain, hops, yeast and water. So that’s what we will use for our training programme (simple key ingredients not the beer!). Keeping the water as water let’s swap the grain for short slow runs, the hops for long slow runs and the yeast for our tough intense fast runs. More on each of those tomorrow.

And that is what I will base the plan on. I will give you a blueprint based on three runs a week and aimed at a time of 1 hr 30 minutes. If you want to run a bit more than a week then that’s no problem. And if you want to finish faster than 1 hr 30 that’s fine too. You can always add a small amount of time onto the short and long runs and go a little faster for the quick stuff.

Then at the end of the week I will share with you how I got on. While I will be aiming for a slightly quicker time than 1 hr 30 mins I will be enjoying and enduring the training just as you are. Along with a weekly update and schedule of runs I will occasionally add a few titbits of info of varying degrees of usefulness/uselessness.

So, to begin this week:
·         Tuesday – The short run – 30 minute slow run, which means slower than you would run at during a race.
·         Thursday – The tough fast run – Begin with a 10 minute warm up. Warm ups and warm downs should be done at talking pace, which means you are able to tell the person beside you how your day was without being out of breath. Then run at your 5 k pace for 4 minutes. When you hit 4 minutes stop and take a 3 minute rest to recover before running for another 4 minutes before another 3 minute recovery. Repeat this for two more times so that you will have ran 4 x 4 minutes. Finish with a 10 minute warm down.
·         Weekend – The long run – 50 minute slow run.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

And we’re off!

So you’ve bought an entry into the Trim 10 Mile. Or you’ve been bought an entry into the Trim 10 Mile. Or you are contemplating buying an entry into the Trim 10 Mile.

And as a result, you are left contemplating winter training.

Winter training!

Even saying it brings out the goose-bumps and the thoughts of Siberian Gulags and roads closed due to snow.

So, let’s first get this all out of the way before I continue. Reasons why you don’t look forward to winter training:
·         Cold
·         Rain
·         Wind
·         Sleet
·         Snow
and then let’s not forget
·         Cold, rainy, windy, sleety, snow.

Now that we’ve got them out of the way, let’s look at the reasons to look forward to winter training.
·         Remember the camaraderie you had from summer training? Well double that and then some. Running with those same people during winter brings people even closer (if only to protect against the wind!)
·         A hot shower after a run is nice. A hot shower after a winter’s run is nicer.
·         When most people drive by those out training during winter they sometimes feels pangs of regret, pity or remorse. When you begin winter training and you drive by others out training, you feel pride.
·         You will feel absolutely no regret. None whatsoever diving into Christmas seconds having gone out for a light 8 k on a cold crisp Christmas Day morning.
·         In fact you could even pass off a midnight snack of a turkey and ham sandwich as carb loading.
·         As for that late-night tipple with old friends who are home just for the holidays, nothing offsets guilt than the knowledge of an 8-mile long run done earlier that day.
·         And remember, there is nothing better than coming into the spring time season with lengthening days, sprouting buds and greening hedgerows than also feeling fit.

And that’s where the Trim 10 Miler comes in. A real runner’s run and a race that those who’ve braved old Jack Frost over November, December and Januember can reward themselves with. Roll on winter training. Roll on.

Finally, as for that cold, rainy, windy, sleety, snow well there has never been a weather more suited to the wearing of under-armour. For those who don’t know what this, under-armour is that body-hugging tops and bottoms that you wear under your t-shirt and shorts that makes you feel you are running covered with hot-water bottles. It is the apparel equivalent of Superman shorts and a cape. If you haven’t got any, buy some. You will rarely feel less guilty buying clothes.

After that you’re set. Go home. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine or beer. Put on the Netflix. Sleep in. (Children permitting). And tomorrow we’ll settle on a plan.

Finally, if you’re still contemplating, just press click. Trust me. We’ll be with you every step of the way.