Summer Holiday training

Are we all surviving the Summer Holidays?  I’ve heard lots of comments about it being harder to get out for a run when the kids aren’t at school.   Even though my son is older and I can leave him at home on his own I still find the holidays difficult.  I think it is because we are out of routine – and I’ve realised that I thrive on routine!

I’ve not taken any time off work so far these holidays (I’ve got a week off right at the end!), so work continues as normal – although I’m lucky that I work from home but everything just feels out of sync.  I’m sure that this shows in my running too: I don’t feel as focused; I don’t feel as though I’m improving.

Running with The 401 Challenge seems ages ago, but it was only last week !  I was a bit sore for a few days afterwards – hips as usual.  I did a very short run a couple of days afterwards and parkrun as usual on Saturday but by the beginning of this week felt OK again.  A short early morning run on Monday to start off the week and club run Tuesday evening.  I wish I’d taken some pictures as it was a perfect evening, we were running through the countryside as the sun went down – it was gorgeous.  8 miles done.

It was a club track session last night – not often that I go to two club sessions in a week!  I didn’t feel quite on form so found it hard, but session completed.

I did do something different last night with my Garmin.  I normally have the auto lap feature turned on, lapping every 1 mile.  I find this really useful when looking back on runs to see where my pace drops.  However, it isn’t so useful on track / interval sessions.  So I turned it off !  Which means you can press to manually create a lap (once you’ve worked out which button……).  Obviously this depends on remembering to press the button……  I only forgot once or twice!

The session we did was:

30, 60, 90, 120 sec efforts with half the length of effort as rest (15, 30, 45, 60 secs) x 2

We were supposed to be aiming for 85% effort throughout (I find this bit hard to judge).

track splits
Track Intervals session

I like track sessions and definitely think they have done me some good – we will soon be finishing them until next year and I will miss them.

I’m currently putting together a 16 week training plan – this takes me through to November and the last race that I think I’ll be doing.   I’ve realised that whatever plan I do needs to be fairly flexible, but I work better when following a plan rather than making it up as I go along.  Any tips?


The 401 Challenge

Yesterday I joined in with someone doing the unimaginable – 401 marathons, in 401 days.  Ben, raising money and awareness for two anti bullying charities, is aiming to set this world record –


Along the way he is inviting people to run with him, for as little or as much as you would like to.  Yesterday was marathon number 344, starting in Hull, heading to Beverley and completing the Beverley 10k loop, before returning to Hull.

I was going to join in part way along the route, with an aim of about 10 miles…….. but was persuaded by a friend to go to the start.

My son wanted to join in and had decided he wanted to aim for 10k – bear in mind that the furthest he has run before is 5k and you’ll see that this was a personal challenge!  Meet up point arranged and off I went.

Meeting up with a group of strangers, to head out for a run further than you’ve ever run before….. yep, I found that quite nerve racking!  I’m pleased to say that it turned out to be a very friendly group and after the obligatory selfies with Ben off we went.

Heading in to Beverley after 9 miles I was starting to feel a bit tired, which meant the sight of my OH running down to meet us was very welcome.  We had a stop at Beverley Minster to regroup and several people were dropping out / joining up – including my son (he was really nervous!).   More selfies taken and we were off again.  The Beverley 10k route takes you up and over the Westwood, out towards Walkington before returning over the Westwood and through the town centre.  The heavens opened as we ran the pedestrian route through Beverley so we finished wet through, but very happy and tired.

15 miles for me

6.5 miles for my son

My OH managed 7 miles without an injury flaring, so he was happy too!  More selfies with Ben to celebrate the PB’s before heading for refreshments.

Ben is not only setting himself a very personal challenge, but he is also inspiring others to achieve more than they thought they could.  The children and teens (and adults!) that have taken part in this are developing a confidence that is a pleasure to see.  The type of confidence that you only get by working hard and achieving things you didn’t think you could.

The whole point of the challenge is to raise money and awareness for two anti bullying charities – Kidscape and Stonewall.  Anyone who has ever witnessed or experienced the fall out that bullying can bring will agree that this is such an important cause.  Ben gave me the opportunity to run with him and be part of this – in return I have donated to the cause and will do what I can to spread the word.

Please take a look at the challenge website, facebook page and twitter feed and do what you can to support.