Sunday, 8 May 2011

Week 8 - 12 training - Canada, Hinckley Half Marathon & 200miles completed

It's been a while since my last blog so I thought it high time I let you good people know how my training is progressing.

Easter was spent visiting my brother and his wife in Toronto, Canada which meant I was able to run my most spectacular route to date, Niagara Falls. Despite the torrential rain
I managed a wonderful 10 miles, passing the famous falls on my way up river and again on the way back - truly unforgettable.

A couple of other runs over there, including a 10 miler round Centenary Park in Mississauga, made me realise how easy it is for me to plan routes back in the UK, without the need to worry about of avoiding blocks and blocks of roads and traffic lights.

I returned from Canada with my eye on the next goal, improving my personal best for the Half Marathon. To help me I took the plunge and bought myself a snazzy GPS running watch. My Garmin Forerunner 305, although looking somewhat futuristic, gives every conceivable stat for me to track my progress and compare with other runs. The added heart rate monitor has also given me something else to focus my training on, rather
than simply time, distance and pacing.

Sunday 8th May was the Hinckley Half Marathon where I was determined to beat my Half Marathon time of 1:58:55 from last summer. My training showed I should be capable of a 1:45, with some online calculators predicting sub 1:40. I decided I would set myself an A-goal of sub 1:40 but a back-up 1:45 B-goal if I felt the pace was too quick.

The start of the race was quite crammed as we ran out of the water park and down a fairly narrow country lane. I was concious the pace was quite slow and way behind my 7:37/mile target pace. As I reached mile 3 I was already nearly 2 minutes down on 1:40 pace so I made the decision to go for my B goal of 1:45, trying to stay as close to sub 8min miles as possible. I managed this for most of the race, with the exception of a couple of slow miles up the hill. Although I had to dig in towards the end of the race, I finished the race feeling pretty good and as proud as punch, smashing my personal best by over 15mins and clocking a time of 1:43:45. Although not my A goal I don't think I can complain and this definitely gives me confidence of a achieving a sub 4hr marathon time in September.

I felt pretty good the week after the half marathon and carried on training as usual, including an 11miler the following Sunday. Although I kept to a steady 9mins/mile my body felt really stiff right up until the Tuesday after - 10 times worse than after the half marathon. Anyway, after a couple of easier runs this week I feel much better and am ready for my next long run (11miles) this coming Sunday around the rural villages of Rotherham.

My next race is in 5 weeks time at the Mansfield Half Marathon on 26th June, where hopefully the elusive 1:40 will be achieved.

Thanks again for all your continued support and don't forget to sponsor me for September at

Till next time!


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