I’ve now been following the 80/20 running plan for about 2 weeks. It has felt really good to actually have a plan to stick to for my training. It has previously been very haphazard and I’ve just headed out as and when I’ve felt like it and with no particular structure in place, other than “run as fast as you can”. I have very tentatively chosen the Marathon training plan at level 2 (of 3). I have my eye on my first marathon at the end of May but haven’t actually committed to entering yet. I wanted to see how the training plan pans out before officially entering and letting everyone else know what my intentions are.
I have to say, so far I am very pleased with how the training has been going. As I write this I am up to 85 miles in January (with a whole week of January left to go). This is the best month I have ever had distance wise, with my previous best being 70.5 in October. Last week was also my best ever week as I clocked up just over 31 miles in a week. Running slower under this plan has certainly helped. At the moment moat of the runs are no more than 40 minutes, at a pace a lot slower than I am used to. This has certainly helped in terms of recovery and being able to run the next day. I am up to 11 days of consecutive running so have my own little run streak going.
Whilst I get accustomed to the plan and this new way of running, I have been using the treadmill more than I have done previously, as it is a lot easier to manage the speed and set a steady pace to monitor my heart rate. I even invested in a foot pod to team up with my Garmin so the speed, cadence and distance of my treadmill runs are tracked more accurately than they were before. Whilst these runs haven’t been as interesting as getting out on the roads, it has certainly helped me to get used to this new running style.
Although I am very happy with the distances I have been able to run, my one concern remains that I am going to lose what little speed I had managed to build up. Other than a few interval sprints, I haven;t really got anywhere near the 8 minute mile speed I used to run at. I am sure this will come with time as my endurance improves and I am able to run faster whilst keeping my heart rate within the correct zones. However, this Saturday will be the first real test.
It is the Warrington Running Club Winter 5 mile race (organised by my home club) so I am making this my first attempt at running “in anger” this year to see what I can manage to do. Whilst I am happy that I will be OK getting round (even though a section of the course is off road) I am worried that I will be a lot slower than last time I did this race. Earlier in 2016 I managed 40:07 for this 5 miles, so if i can get under this I would be delighted. I have to run consistently just under 8 minute miles to achieve this so we will have to see if this is achievable or whether the long and slow method has sapped all my speed.
On a lighter note, I have also changed up my playlist for the gym. I was getting bored with hearing the same old songs, and resorted to getting a playlist off Spotify. I stumbled upon a 90’s workout playlist which brought back a lot of memories fro school days. I guess it is a bit of a guilty pleasure but it has been fun hearing some songs that haven’t been dusted off in a long time.