After 5 weeks of training already, week 6 of the training plan contained a personal milestone. The furthest I had ever previously run was a half marathon (or technically just over at the St Aidans Trail Half last year). However, with this weeks long run sat at 14 miles, I’d be going further than I ever had before. Obviously between now and race day that record will be broken several times, but to better it for the first time made the training seem more real. That said, I had a week of training to attack first.

After Monday’s rest day, Tuesday called for some hill training. Now as I have said several times on this blog, where I live is rather flat. Therefore, finding a hill that I could do 2mins climbing on, and that was in a sensible warm up distance was not easy. In the end I settled for a stretch of road that would give me about 10m of climb for each set. Tuesday was the first really cold session of the plan and I was very grateful I had finally found my gloves again as I stepped out into negative temperatures and slightly icy ground. The session itself was a bit harder work but enjoyable to mix up a bit, even if the guy waiting at the bus stop did start giving me weird looks after my 3rd time past him. Then again, I was questioning my own sanity!

As I have mentioned the past couple of weeks, Wednesday is becoming my Achilles heel. Unfortunately this week it struck again and the day ended up as a day off. I was working from home as I had a dentist appointment so had made the decision to get a bit more sleep and run after my sons football training in the evening. What I hadn’t budgeted on was developing a massive headache during the day. Fortunately I don’t often get headaches but when I do they can knock me for six. It had lifted by the evening but I thought better to give my body the full time to recover rather than risk putting myself back.

Last week I was thankful to Kev, my PT, for being so understanding of me over sleeping. This was obviously playing on my mind this week as I kept startling myself awake, convinced I had overslept again. Not great prep but another good session with him.

Friday morning was strange. I was dreaming that I was out for my 6 mile training run at a slow pace. Suddenly loads of runners were coming the other way and I realised I was in a race and needed to pick up the pace. The thing is I then woke up so have no idea how I did! The weird thing was for what seemed an age, I was left lying there trying to work out, had I actually been for my run!

Saturday saw karma bite me in the arse. The previous day I had confidently told a colleague how, whilst I was shattered from not enough sleep, my body itself was holding up. Saturday morning and I had developed the stinking cold a couple of other colleagues had been fighting all day Friday. I considered still going out using the neck rule as all the cold was above my shoulders. But in the end, with a football match for my son and a catch up with friends planned, I left the 7 miles I was hoping to catch up from Wednesday to give me a better chance on the long run Sunday.

With the cold still lingering though, it was no given I’d get this long run in. I managed to wake up nice and early on Sunday morning and get myself all sorted. Because of the dark I’d created a route that incorporated a couple of my usual routes with a little flourish just to round up the distance. The plan was simple, food delivery would arrive, I’d get it put away, do my run, quick breakfast and then take kids swimming (unfortunately Junior parkrun was cancelled due to flooding) before it got too crazy. This was all prerequisite on the food delivery coming in the earlier part of our 6-7am slot. Typically, it arrived at 6.55 so perfectly on time, but throwing a spanner in the works!

Fortunately the day was relatively quiet so after a quick chat with my wife it was settled, I’d head out after we’d been swimming with the kids. Now I could (and probably) should have taken the opportunity to shake up the planned route and head out into the country roads now I would be running in the light. However, I didn’t think that far ahead so headed out on the pre planned route.

The run itself was pretty uneventful. My cold seemed to ease off when I was running (although back with vengeance post run!) and I gradually made my way, crisscrossing across town. To be honest this was the first time I’ve felt a bit bored on a run. I think the common scenery just not being as engaging so will need to factor this in for future weeks. That said, I was able to keep going in the pace zone and get home I just enough time to miss the rain.

The primary goal was hit and with 10wks until I line up in Manchester, it was nice to hit this personal milestone of a new distance record. I know I’ll be beating it almost weekly over the coming weeks but it definitely started to make everything seem real to do it this first time.

Now for a rest day and hopefully I’ll kisk this cold so that I can get on with next weeks plan (and all being well unlock the 200km in a month badge at Strava for the first time ever!)
  • Monday – Rest Day
  • Tuesday – 8x 2min hill climbs 10.82km
  • Wednesday – Rest Day
  • Thursday – Strength and Conditioning session
  • Friday – 9.78km @ 5:04 pace
  • Saturday – Rest Day
  • Sunday – 22.50km @ 5:50 pace
  • Total – 43.1km
  • Overall Total – 261.89km

By Mike

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