Running further than I had done before last week meant I really felt now I was really in marathon training mode. Given the miles already logged this seems a bit silly, but I could have been training for another half. However, with less than 10wks to go now, everything is lining up for Manchester, if only I didn’t have a cold!

I mentioned last week how my weekend runs had been hampered by a cold and I was really hopeful it would be gone quickly. Unfortunately it’s been a continual background factor all week as it moved around my head, eventually settling in my sinus. However, it didn’t stop the miles ticking over in the mornings.

After Monday’s rest day, Tuesday was time for some 400m intervals with 200m recovery. Fortunately for me there is a stretch of path just round the corner perfect for this kind of exercise. At exactly 800m end to end, the wise path has only 2 turns and is as if it was purpose made for interval training. Indeed local running clubs often use it so you can usually see markers chalked out each 200m. Speed work that early in the morning, with a cold and with a biting wind in one direction meant no records would be broken. However, I was able to get through and make sure the week started well.

Wednesday called for one of the longest early morning runs that sits on my plan. 8 miles in 75mins. Fortunately I was working from home that day so there was less time pressure and I was able to make my way round and just let the miles tick over. Running these kind of distances before most people are out of bed still feels strange but very rewarding.

Thursday’s strength and conditioning session was the first time during the week my cold did leave me feeling a bit week and I could have quite happily lied in Friday as a result. There was though one thing that was always going to get me out of bed. I have managed 100km in a month before a few times but had never even got close to 200km (I think record had been about 150km last month when training started). However, I knew that knocking out my final run of the month would get me across that line, and also unlock the all important badge on Strava!! Obviously 200km is a completely arbitrary amount but random targets like this do drive me so I was up, out and happy by breakfast. Now to see what February can bring!

Saturday is parkrun day but not for me this week as my son had a football match. They may have lost but it was a very close encounter and I do love watching him play and grow with confidence each match. I still got my 5km in though as he joined me on his bike for an afternoon jog.

If Saturday if parkrun day, then Sunday is definitely Junior parkrun day in our house. My daughter decided to stay home this week so I headed up with the two boys. The elder runs straight off and I ran with the youngest in his last “unofficial” Junior parkrun as by next week he’ll be 4 and be able to collect a time. I love doing Junior parkrun with the kids and even picked up a cheeky volunteer credit at the end. The queue for barcode scanning was getting huge so I jumped in with the app to support. I really do recommend that you install the parkrun app to help out as and when the need arises.

Then it was time for my long run. After breaking my personal record last week, today called for another 2 miles. This time, knowing I’d be running in daylight, I plotted out a brand new route into the countryside. I was headed out in a direction I had never been before so every step was going to be a discovery.

The first 2/3 was really enjoyable. I found a couple of hamlets and villages, an English Heritage site and even the site of a new solar farm I have seen signs for but had no idea on location. Most of the run was on country roads but they were quiet and everyone was able to give me a wide berth.

Unfortunately on my way home, the road became much busier. Most cars still would give me a wide berth if they could. However, some would give no space while bombing past at 60mph. It is a bit scarier and focus was just on getting back to pavement. The pleasing thing was though that I didn’t get bored this week (possibly because the route is new) which is reassuring. I also didn’t really feel the extra miles were much more work. Just another 10 miles to go!

  • Monday – Rest Day
  • Tuesday – 10x 400m 8.68km
  • Wednesday – 13.02km @ 5:51 pace
  • Thursday – Strength and Conditioning session
  • Friday – 11.29km @ 5:24 pace
  • Saturday – 5.21km @ 5:34 pace
  • Sunday – Junior parkrun (2km) then 26.58km @ 5:45 pace
  • Total – 66.78km
  • Overall Total – 328.67km

By Mike