Category Archives: Running

Berlin Marathon Training Week 3

Bit of a late recap from last week’s training, I thought I had already posted it and I’ve been super busy working/revising for exam/doing an assignment! Here is how week 3 went:

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Mon: Upper Body Weights + 3 mile Walk
Tues: Rest Day
Weds: 6 mile Run + 3.6 mile Walk
Thurs: 4 mile Run + Lower Body Weights + 3.6 mile Walk
Fri: Total Body Blast Circuits
Sat: 4.4 mile Run + 45 min Spin class
Sun: Rest Day 3.6 mile Walk

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I haven’t really felt comfortable since starting this training cycle, I don’t feel like I had adequate rest/time off post ultra (1 week) and I just feel like I keep getting constant niggles despite running relatively low mileage compared to during ultra training. I’m just getting fed up of running through the pain and feeling like something isn’t right.

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My runs last week all came with the joyful delight of burning pain/pressure in my left calf, it is only while I run, and it’s so bad I feel like I am running on one leg. It got to the point where it was so bad during Thurs/Sat runs that I decided to skip my Sunday long run and take a full week off running to allow it some time to heal. I changed my trainers a while ago and if anything it has made it worse, I don’t know what Asics have done to the new GT-2000 but it will be the last pair of them I buy, and I’ve been running in them (2170’s older version) for 5 years!

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I’m not sure what the issue is, but it’s the same leg I was getting knee pain a few weeks ago. From what I can gather on Google it seems like it might be compartment syndrome, which is definitely no bueno, hence why I’m resting it now and hoping it clears up! I’m also going in heavy on the anti-inflams with Terranova’s Joint Support and Pukka’s active blend! I can already feel a difference, so fingers crossed!

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I only managed to get in one spinning class this week as it was a crazy busy week with work/revising and two days at Wimbledon, including one day queuing from 5.30am and not getting home til post 9pm- exhausting but worth it!

This was the last week of Phase 1 of the fat burn revolution, I can’t wait to get back onto Phase 2 (I did one week of it post ultra and then started over as I took a few weeks off) although I remember it being insanely hard! Will be nice to mix up my weight workouts though!

Really hoping the break from running helps the calf, and I can get back to running pain free and enjoying it next week!

Run Hackney Half Marathon

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When I initially signed up to this race I was really looking forward to it, but a few weeks of knee/calf pain had me less excited about the race and more hopeful I could just get through it!

After missing the bus I was supposed to get, I managed to get another one which terminated at Hackney Central and I walked the 25 minutes to the start. There was a good buzz in the air, and the sun was already beating down. I met up with a few of the lovely TNR girls beforehand before losing them when I went off to the enormous toilet queues. Thankfully I made it in time for the start in what was a very congested and disorganised start pen. Thankfully it didn’t take too long to get across the start line.

I wasn’t sure whether or not to run with my Camelbak, I feel better running with it, and knowing I have electrolytes, but I was conscious of how hot it makes my back, so I went without it which in reflection was a mistake. I took some Vega gels with me, and just had one around mile 7, it was disgustingly warm and did not go down well in the heat.

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I don’t really remember much about the opening miles, other than the fact that my legs weren’t feeling good, particularly on any slight inclines, and that it was very very hot. I set off in line with PB pace for the first two miles, but it was so hot that I decided to reign it back in. I didn’t want to risk pushing too hard and I hadn’t done any training for this either. After the second mile I eased up and hung on to a steady pace between 9.20-9.45 for the remainder of the race.

We wound past the sights of Hackney, with quite vocal support along the route. I was using the water stations as goals in my mind, trying to take as much on board from those ridiculous squeezy water pouches and cooling myself down with the remainder. The water station tables were a bit short leading to a bit of congestion at each one.

From pretty early on in the race there were a lot of runners needing medical attention. It was extremely hot, I don’t think I’ve ever run in conditions like that before, and it really took it’s toll on many. I was really feeling it by the halfway point, and the thought of only being half way was painful to take. My feet were absolutely on fire, and there was just no breeze or shade on the route to escape the beating sun. I think it was about 24 degrees, and the humidity made it feel hotter than that.

The mile markers were all over the place throughout the race, some were way short, others way long, mile 7 I didn’t even see at all, and there were even signs saying water ahead after one of the water stops rather than before?! Despite this, the event was fairly well organised and all the volunteers did a great job on what was a tough day.

Running through Broadway Market and past Victoria Park gave me a little boost as they are regular sights in my normal running routes. We ran past a pub around mile 8 where I had to inform 2 blokes standing outside drinking pints how unbelievably cruel they were!

Around mile 10 we wound into the Olympic park, for 3 miles of pain. There was a load of long out and backs up slight inclines, and although it was cool to be running with the Olympic venues in sight, there was absolutely no shade, and it was just brutal. There was a mist shower at one point, which was amazing, although it would of been nice to have more along the way. At the last water station at mile 11 I got a dud water pouch which would not open, so I had to go without water for the last 4 miles which in the heat was incredibly difficult.

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I was very glad to be heading out of the Olympic park section and back to Hackney Marshes. I pretty much had nothing left in the last mile and was just focused on getting to the finish. The last 0.1 had to be the longest ever, I think it was about 0.3 and never-ending! I was so glad to be done, swearing off running anything longer than a 10k race in summer from now on. The medal was a nice one, and the goody bag was amazing- for once most of the stuff in it was actually Vegan and stuff I could use. I didn’t hang around for long as I was absolutely shattered and the legs were in pain, my calf/knee thankfully held up for the race though.

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I finished in 2.06.11, which is well off my PB, but considering the heat and no focused half marathon training I was pretty pleased. For the first running of the event I think it went pretty smoothly, especially considering the size of the event at around 12500 entrants. I think it would be better moved either earlier or later in the year, as the conditions were just so tough for everyone, and so many people needed help out there. The course was pretty decent, fairly flat, good support and a few sights to keep you interested along the way. I think the final 3 mile section needs looking at, but it was nice to have part of it within the Olympic Park. I think this is an event with a lot of promise and potential and if they did happen to run it at a different time of year I would be happy to sign up again!IMG_2304I was very happy with my second bling of the weekend and celebrated with a mega Vegan brunch at Le Pain!

Run Hackney 5k

I only signed up for this race because it was free and promised a medal, and I thought it might be a good easy shake out for the legs the day before the half. I’ve been suffering with knee/calf pain so wasn’t sure I was going to run it at all, but thankfully on the day the left leg felt OK.

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I feel like this event was a bit of an afterthought by the organizers and as such there was much confusion and lack of communication. I wasn’t even sure where the start/finish were, but presuming they were the same place as the half I headed there. Having tweeted earlier in the day to ask if there would be a bag drop I was pretty dismayed when on arrival (with my bag) I was told by the info desk that there was no bag drop, although they kindly said they would look after my bag if I came back before the start.

I wasn’t sure how many people were running the race, but when I arrived there was about 3 people in a field so perhaps not as many as they had hoped for? I would say there was a few hundred maybe, it felt like a Parkrun really. I thought I had read somewhere about it being chip timed, but it wasn’t- not that it mattered as it was more of a fun run than anything.

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Credit to Sharon

The course wasn’t marked out, but everyone followed each other round, and it was actually a really enjoyable course if a little hot- starting a run at 3pm in summer is not ideal! I met Mollie and Leah beforehand and we chatted away as we ran around the paths of the fields, across the grass and past the canal. I was really glad that the run was mostly on grass as it really helped with my calf/knee to be running on a softer surface.

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Credit to Leah

The course unsurprisingly given the amount of disorganisation for the run was a little short, although considering the heat we weren’t too bothered! It was 2.9 miles and I finished in 28.07. We grabbed our medal and some water, and had a picture in front of this giant statue.

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Credit to Leah

The event was designed to inspire those in Hackney to get more active, but I’m not sure really how many of the runners were actually locals and how many were regular runners. It was great that they put the race on for free and despite its faults it was quite an enjoyable fun run, and a good way to shake out the legs before the half the next day. Can’t really argue with a free race and a free medal right?!

Berlin Marathon Training Week 1

I am writing this post, currently unable to fully straighten my leg, with a bag of broad beans on my knee, so week one of Berlin training really could have gone much better!

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Mon: 1 mile run warm up + Total Body Blast Circuit
Tues: 6 mile Run to/from Spin + 45 min Spin + Hip Opening Yoga
Weds: Rest 3.6 mile Walk
Thurs: Lower Body Weights + 3.6 mile Walk
Fri: 4.4 mile Run to/from Spin + 45 min Spin + Upper Body Weights
Sat: 6.4 mile Run (inc Cardiff Parkrun) + 2.5 mile Walk
Sun: 10 mile Trail Run + 3 mile Hike + Hip Opening Yoga

So it’s been a fairly active week! I started to feel much better this week with the fatigue I’ve been dealing with lately, so hopefully that will continue to gradually improve. I’m not following a set plan for this marathon, I’m just running as and when I feel like it, trying to get 4-5 runs in a week and gradually increase my distance.

I’ve been continuing with the spin classes at Cyclebeat, using my 30 day pass. The class on Tuesday morning was absolutely brutal, probably the hardest one I’ve ever been to, it was so tough. Friday’s class I did not enjoy at all, my legs felt totally empty and weak so I just took it pretty easy instead. I’m enjoying weight workouts again, and definitely feel like that is going to help me in my marathon training.

My runs have been pretty solid as I ease back into things this week, I’ve been running to/from spin classes to get some miles in and save time in the process! On a positive I had a great run at Cardiff Parkrun on Saturday, clocking 26.01 (unofficial, think official was 26.19-shows how long it takes to cross the start line at Cardiff!) in pretty muggy conditions. It felt good to push it, but obviously that hasn’t helped the knee either.

The knee problem is a bit of a spanner in the works. It’s been lingering in the background since I started back running post ultra, it feels OK during runs but later when I’m in bed or the next day my left knee is really stiff/sore. It seems to be getting worse and yesterdays run was pretty awful.

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I thought it was knackered trainers causing the knee issue but getting new ones doesn’t seem to have helped either, so now I’m at a loss as to what it is. I’m getting a massage tomorrow so hopefully that will help a bit, as I have extremely tight calves which I think might be contributing. Sometimes things like this flare up and then just go away, so I’m hoping that is the case here. I’ll continue to ice it, and lash in the turmeric.

After a mile on yesterdays run I was in so much pain with my leg that I actually cried, I was going to just stop (which I probably should of) but I thought if I got onto the trail it would be softer underfoot and the pain would ease up, which it did. Despite the pain, the run was a stunning one, I just don’t think there is anything as amazing as a good trail run. I took it very slowly (thanks knee) and just enjoyed the scenery. It was quite undulating, but I was pleased to get 10 miles in the legs, albeit injured ones. I probably shouldn’t have run at all, but with Hackney half this weekend, and having not really run over 3-4 miles since the ultra I wanted to get a little distance in them. Right now, I’m not even sure If I will be able to run Hackney unless the pain/stiffness eases up over the next week.

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I’m visiting my parents in Cardiff for a few days and we had a beautiful 3 mile hike yesterday. It was so peaceful and quiet, just the sounds of nature and barely anybody else around. So beautiful!

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The hike probably hasn’t helped my knee either, I think it just needs a little rest and sometime off my feet- I just struggle to do nothing though! I feel like I always put myself under immense pressure to fit so much in! Fingers crossed that this week is a better one, my knee magically heals and I can run Hackney this weekend!

Ultra Recovery…

I took the full week off workouts post ultra, I wasn’t really feeling sore, more like unbelievably tired. I’ve felt so shattered and I have to remind myself that the ultra was only 2 weeks ago and I ran 2 marathons in the previous 6 weeks before that. I probably should stop wondering why I’m feeling so exhausted!

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Mon: 45 min Spin + 6 mile Walk
Tues: Rest
Weds: 45 min Spin + 4.5 mile run to/from Spin
Thurs: Upper Body Weights + 3.6 mile Walk
Fri: Total Body Blast Circuit + 5 mile Walk
Sat: 5 mile run (inc parkrun)
Sun: 45 min Spin + 4.5 mile run to/from Spin

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I had a gentle 3 mile run last Sunday to get back into things and then got fully back into the swing of things this week, though it’s not been all smooth sailing. The tiredness has really been affecting me, as well as inner knee pain on the left knee which I keep getting the morning after a run.

In a bid to mix things up while I ease back into running I started my 30 day voucher for Cyclebeat which I bought a while back on living social. I haven’t been spinning since I pretty much blamed it for my injury problem earlier in the year. Thankfully it hasn’t flared up this week at all, so I’m pretty sure it was just the class with upper body weights at Boom cycle that triggered it.

I’ve been spinning 3 times this week. Once I went with my brother and we were near the back of the class and couldn’t hear a bloody thing the instructor was saying, the other classes have been much better though. I have pushed myself harder with each one, and I’m really enjoying them.

I’ve also started up weights again after my week off pre/post ultra, I’ve gone back to phase one of the Fat Burn Revolution just to build my strength back up for a few weeks.

I’ve run three times this week to ease myself back in, I did 4.5 miles total running to and from spin twice this week, which made for a pretty killer workout! I also went to parkrun with my brother on Saturday to have a little blast. My legs didn’t really feel that good, and the humidity made it quite a tough effort. I finished in 27.04 which wasn’t awful for the Highbury course. Hopefully going to get a few more parkruns in over the next few months to work on some speed.

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Tomorrow is the start of my Berlin marathon training, I’m not following an official plan, in fact I haven’t even drawn anything up, and don’t really feel like doing so. Coming off 6 months of following a training plan, I just want to wing it for a bit and run by how I’m feeling. I’m just going to go week by week right now and see how I feel.