So far everything has been going to plan and I have gradually pushed the training a bit more, without suffering any set-backs.

January and February can be a tough time of the year for runners, both physically and mentally; you constantly feel like you’re running in nasty weather in the dark and it’s a period where negative thoughts can creep in. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been running for two months, two years or two decades, we all get these feelings. The most important thing is to stick at it, as the great Ron Clarke once said, “the most important part of training is that first step out of the door”. I’ve been living by that motto for many years and even more so in recent months, I have been managing 10-12 runs per week and my last day off was back in early December.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of slogging out the miles when you’re putting in a decent volume, but it cannot by stressed enough how important it is to put quality in your training, this can be done through interval sessions, fartlek runs or hard runs (aka tempo). In the last few weeks I’ve hit weekly mileage of 100, 96, 87 and 100. My speed seems to be improving and I’m benefitting from training with a decent group at my club every Tuesday, whilst adding another session and one or two hard runs each week.
Earlier this month I raced in my local 10k at Blackburn and managed to win in 32:02 and two days later, competed in my first ever indoor track race (better late than never!), which was a 1500m at Sheffield, run in a modest 4:09. So as ever, the aim is to go onwards and upwards, I don’t have any races planned for the remained of the month, but I have a busy March with three important races, which should put the final touches to my preparation for the Manchester Marathon Relay.

Past two weeks training…

Sun 5th Feb 6:30am – 1 mile easy loosen up. 11 am: Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k: 1st 32:02. 10.5 miles.

Mon 6th 11:30am – 7 miles in 47:45. 6pm – 8 miles including run with Running4CF.

Tue 7th 10am – 5 miles in 34:30. 9:15pm – BMC indoor 1500m (B race) 1st, 4:09. 6 miles total.

Wed 8th  6:15pm – 11 miles in 75 mins.

Thur 9th   7:15pm – 15 miles steady progression run. 1 hr 35.

Fri 10th 6:15pm – 15 miles home from Burnley in 1hr 39. Had managers meeting at Harrogate, squeezed in a run on way back from train station.

Sat 11th 8:15am – 10.5 miles hard to Clitheroe from Blackburn. 10 miles was in 54:55, just under 5:30 pace with an easy half-mile. 4:30pm – Session: 5x 6 min reps (2 min jog rec) at threshold effort. 11 miles total.

TOTAL: 100

Sun 12th Feb 9am – 9 miles in about 58 mins.

Mon 13th – 9am – 3.5 miles in 25 mins to work. 6 pm – 17 miles home via Clayton in 1hr 55.

Tue 14th – 6pm : Track: 2 sets of 10x 300m (1 min rec, 2 min between sets) Averaged 47 secs. 11 miles total.

Wed 15th – 8:15am – 4.5 miles to Blackburn in 29:05. 5:30pm – 15 miles home in 1hr 40.

Thur 16th – 8:15am – 4.5 miles to Blackburn 26:30. 5:30pm – Session: 5x 6 min reps (2 min) at threshold effort, 9 miles. 6:45pm – 3.5 miles with SRG Group.

Fri 17th – 8:15am – 4.5 miles to Blackburn in 29 mins. 5:30pm –  15 miles home in 1hr 41.

Sat 18th – 9am – Track: 12x 1km (jog 200 rec in 1 min) 3:02, 3:04, 3:06, 3:04, 3:04, 3:05, 3:05,  3:03, 3:04, 3:05, 3:05, 3:04.  14.5 miles. 7 pm – Hill session: 20x Wraith St. 7 miles total.

TOTAL: 118

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