Figures at the end of the previous month, April 2019

Distance ran in April / distance ran for the year by the end of April / goal for the year:

124.7 kilometres / 451.43 kilometres / 1092 kilometres

Recorded in my little tracking spreadsheet.

Goal(s) for May 2019

👍🏼 Run at least 120 kilometres

👎🏼 Eight runs of at least 10 kilometres

👎🏼 At least six weekday morning runs over the month

👎🏼 Try to only have eight days in the month off running

The numbers for the month (May)

Total distance ran in the month / total distance for the year so far:

150.1 kilometres / 601.4 kilometres (55% of the way to the yearly goal) 🤘🏼

Ran on 22 days out of 31. (Nine days off.)

(You can look at my simple Numbers spreadsheet that helps me keep track.)

The words

I started the month reading about Fartlek and 80/20 training and wondered a bit about slowing down my overall speed to help with my overall endurance. Sharing last month’s notes on Twitter last month, Greg Brant sent me a really helpful note around stretches, building up speed, and having some downtime isn’t a bad thing. I’ve put a bit more of an onus on stretches before running, after running – and once a week when I am not running. I was doing some stretch work as part of my ankle rehabilitation but opened up to a few more types of stretches and for longer. Some of these involve the ignominy of laying on the floor on my side, which doesn’t feel as sultry and seductive as I thought it might. 😞

Early in the month I got in a few circuits of the Rec. It didn’t chalk up too much in distance (two circuits equals 800 metres), but mornings were getting tight so it got some running in while taking Rosie out for her morning walk (and before heading off to work). I started working from Harrogate a lot more this month though which hit the morning pre-work run plan.

Work was particularly tough for a few days in the first half of the month. The 9th May I ended the day at work with a meeting that felt like an attack, and a very personal attack at that, and couldn’t get it out of my head on the drive home. It was still light enough at 7:45pm to go for a run. Also nice to just head out down the road rather than the fields – because of the rain I was worried about how slippy the fields might be – and see where I went. Down Hemingway Drive, to the canal, east a bit and back. Also cleared my head. Fuck that guy, eh. Reading a lot about how running is good/better for mental health, but wondering is treating running as a head healer masking over we’re just having to absorb and put up with more shit. 🤔

Did the Leeds half marathon in the middle of the month. The getting into town, waiting for the start, and ALL THE PEOPLE were a bit of an annoyance compared to just rolling out of the front door and setting off. But the run itself was alright. A steady uphill for the first ~8km and surprised by how many people came out to line the streets. The seemingly endless offerings of sweets! the drums, the bands, and a couple of choirs! Moving along the ring road with a bus alongside me was a different experience. There was an amazing VW camper van parked on someone’s drive somewhere in Horsforth.

I would have been happy with 2 hours and 30 minutes, and 2 hours 15 minutes would have been a good stretch goal. I crossed the line in 2 hours and 8 minutes so that was… unexpected and nice. There were a couple of moments in the last 4 kilometres I had to walk for 30 seconds and then get my pace up again, but I don’t think there was much in those to have shaved 8 minutes off for a sub-2 hour time. In the final stretch, coming along Headrow and then turning the corner to the finish line I could see the clock ticking and it being well under 2:15:00 made me a little emotional for a second. Not sure why. They were pouring out alcohol-free Erdinger at the end too. Here’s the run on Strava.

I felt surprisingly fresh the day after the half marathon and was back running already, albeit gently.

Afterwards I pulled together a list of other organised run near-ish where I live. It’s a Google Sheet. You can see it here. Might be useful to you, might not. I need to work out doing some of those runs.

Bank holiday weekend I tried a couple of breaks from the usual: On the Saturday I went down to the canal but headed north over the river to see how far it was up to the The Avenue. A nice little 1.75 kilometre route along trails (and about 3.5 kilometres for a return journey).

Monday, I set off in the opposite direction I usually go, heading up into Idle, towards the Moor, and seeing where the tracks go. About halfway through I ended in Cote Farm and ran back along Leeds Road. Heading uphill at the start was KNACKERING, but it was all pretty steady once that enduro was out of the way. Bit spoilt for potential routes round here.

Lots of treadmilling in the last week of the month: Would have been nice to be outside a bit more, but working out of Harrogate a bit at the moment and finding time short in the evenings.

It’s been a mixed month overall though, of many different distances, some free flowing runs, some that have just been grinds. I tried using my earphones again and found during those runs my head was full of too many thoughts and uuurrrrr. I can feel I can make it through 5 kilometre runs in better nick now and zero asthma attacks on any of this month’s runs. 👍🏼

Been watching some running stuff. Watched Breaking 2. It’s on YouTube. They’re trying to run a marathon in under two hours. I was happy to run 10km in under one hour. Lots of Nike in there, but is worth an hour of your life for the glimpse into a pro runner’s mind. Run For Your Life is included in Amazon Prime at the mo, a good documentary on the setting up of the New York City Marathon.

Also been watching videos and reading about “form”. My running was starting to feel very heavy footed, with the back of my foot striking the ground first, so looking into that. Run tall and have a stride that hits the ground under my body is the TL;DR.

Finally, my first pair of Nike Pegasus were retired. I first ran in them last summer, in New York, at the start of this push to get/be better. We’d done 550 kilometres together. I felt a little sad about retiring them. They’ve been really good running shoes and we’ve had some adventures together. I am passing them on to a trainer recycling point in Leeds. The new Pegasus are doing well already (and I can feel the difference). Looking forward to getting a good 500 kilometres out of these new ones too, and an emphasis on good.

Next month goals

My goals last month were a bit too rigid and went off course easily as I read and learnt more, so trying to bring in some outcomes this month, rather than a focus on big numbers.

My working out for the month has 175 kilometres as possible. But typing this list out I am going to put in a lower target total of 150 kilometres for June. (That should put me at 750 kilometres for the year.) I want to do some speed work once a week and work on building endurance. The former might limit my distance for the month but help in the long term.

I want to do four “competitive” (aim to be quick and consistently quick over the distance) 5km runs over the month, with an average pace no greater than 5 minutes 15 seconds per kilometre.

I want to do four “competitive” 10km runs over the month, with an average pace no greater than 5 minutes 45 seconds per kilometre.

One run of half marathon distance needs to be in there, and see if I can get as close to 2 hours as possible.

A speed session once a week.

A good stretch-only session every week, of about 20 to 30 minutes.

I am not going to worry about morning runs too much. There’s a lot on with commuting. If I can get one weekday morning run a week in that’d be a stretch goal.

Get my weight below 13 stone. Maybe lay off the Soreen, eh, Si.

Enjoy it all still. (I am.)


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