A multitude of training sessions!! 

A multitude of training sessions!! 

So it’s been a little while since my last post, so first off I do apologise.  The second thing to add is that I haven’t given up already.  Just unfortunatly I have been a little busy outside of training and therefore I’ve slipped a bit with regards to writing a blog.  But on a more positive note the training has been going well.  (Well up until recently anyway, but more on that later!)

Since my last blog I’ve trained four times.  The types of training session I’ve done have actually all been different in terms of what I’m trying to achieve out of them for instance speed or resistance!

The first of the sessions was a hill session which involved:

10 x hill sprints (roughly 300 meters) with a jog recovery back to the bottom.

300m isn’t a great distance but the fact it’s up hill and on a short recovery means it’s quite full on.  In this session I’m trying to push my lactic acid threshold back and therefore get more speed for longer when it’s required I.e when I’m pushing the last 500m when I dip into my lactic system.  This session went well and was happy with what I was achieving.  Times started at 53secs and dropped to 46secs on my last few.

After a day’s rest I was back training but this time it was back to slightly longer efforts.

3  x  2.2Km off 3 minute recovery.

I know this isn’t a huge distance in relation to what some of you train to, but remember I’m training for a specific distance. Running massive distances isn’t going to achieve anything unless it’s my long run which I’ll come onto later!  This session went well running roughly 8.45minutes per effort which equates to a pace of 4.01 mins/km.  Again, like I said in previous posts, this still isn’t quick enough but at least I’m completing the sessions and building my pace up in a sensible way.  Times for the session;  Lap 1 – 8.42mins, Lap 2 – 8.41mins, Lap 3 – 8.50mins.  The session felt strong but as you can see my distance issue showed as by the last effort my time had dropped off a bit.

After a couple days of resting I was back training but this time up in my local woods.  This is a great area for training due to the fact you have hills, different running conditions and also that for once whilst I’m dying through my own exertion it can be beautiful place to be!

This session was:

4 x 6min (roughly) efforts with 3 minute recovery in between each rep.

Now this session wasn’t my best.  Sometimes I suffer from a lack of control and go off way to quickly and this was a greta example of it.  The loop we were running was roughly 6 minutes long but due to me forgetting my gps I can’t confirm how long exactly.  My first effort was run in 5.21 minutes, which felt good, but I knew I had gone out to quick!  My second was 5.55mins, third 5.30mins and fourth 6mins.  As you can see I was up and down and and the main reason for this was a lack of control with my pace. (Something i need to work on!!)

That session then led me onto my final session within this post and that was on the running track.  This session is designed to get the speed into my legs along with trying to push that lactic boundary just that little bit further.

The session was 400m, 300m, 200m X 4 with jog recovery in between each effort with a 4 minute break in between each of the sets!  The first two sets I managed fine, pacing the 400m at 70 seconds, 300m at 52 seconds and the 200m at 33 seconds.  Problem is, after the second set I got a very tight hamstring so called it a day.  Bit disappointed with this as i wanted to complete the session but as the saying goes, ‘Better to be safe than sorry’.

In the next blog I’ll talk about my trouble with achilles tendonitis, finally a bit about my GPS and of course update you on any training sessions.

Whats the plan?

Whats the plan?


High Tech Imagery Again!!

So, whats the plan?  Well, to start with I’ve now got a coach who is going to guide me through this challenge.  The thing is, to do this by myself would take a huge amount of commitment / will power and to be honest i’m not sure I can do that all by myself.  Hence why i got a coach.  Now my coach isn’t just anyone that I’ve found off the street but an old friend that is in the line of coaching.  Put it this way, he knows his stuff.  The thing is, I know regardless to what he thinks I can achieve, he will do his best to try and make it happen.  Well anyway, this all started last night when I had my first training session out on the dark cold roads of Buckinghamshire.  The added benefit of having a coach is that i’m not just running by myself as i’m running alongside other athletes with all sorts of calibre.  So when I rocked up last night I joined a group of other athletes all trying to get better performances whether it be for better times or aiming for positions in a certain races later on in the year.

The session itself consisted of:

  • 3  x  2.1km with a rest of 3 minutes in between each rep

The thing is I thought that this sounded quite easy (how wrong could I be).  Put it this way, by the end of the session I thought I was actually dying (again).  I started the session off with my slowest time, thinking along the lines of that I didnt want to break myself too quickly and wanted to actually finish the session.  I then followed with two identical times (roughly) which were 10 seconds quicker than the first.

Lap 1 – 8.25mins (2.o6km)
Lap 2 – 8.12mins (2.07km)
Lap 3 – 8.13mins (2.06km)

Looking positively at the session, I ‘actually’ managed to finish the session and to be honest I didn’t embarrass myself either.  In total I ran 6.2km with an average pace of 4 minutes per km.  Now I know that this consisted of rest in between each effort but again like I said ‘looking positively’ it could have gone a lot worse.  The course in itself wasn’t the most difficult but it definitely had some elevation (95 meters to be precise).  Now the big thing here is that this session, and I know there was rest time in between each rep, but I ran a 5km in a time of 19.54.  Yes I know, 19.54.  That just to clear it up is a whole 55 seconds off of running under 19 minutes and I had 6 minutes rest during the actual effort.  And lets get this straight as i’m saying this as i’m ‘NOT’ impressed but worried about whether this is going to be achievable.

6.21km in Total with average pace 4.00min/km

Anyway i’ll leave you with a screen shot of the session below so you can indulge yourself with the not so lovely information that the photo shows (but a least theres something).  In the next blog ill go into more detail of my GPS watch as i wont be training today as i’ve already earned myself a big fat rest day!!!  Bring it on!




Now, a complex and potentially drab subject lays ahead, but as many runners know, the trainers you wear can impact your running.  I personally know too well the consequences, as over the years I’ve had terrible luck in the type of running shoes I’ve bought.  The first thing to realise with running shoes is that they’re all different.  For instance I tend to run with a neutral gait and therefore need a shoe to compliment this.  Some are designed for ‘underpronation’ where you tend to run on the outside of your foot and overpronation, where your foot rolls in too much when you land your foot.

Now without going into it to much, you should really have your gait checked when you’re buying running shoes to make sure you have the right shoe for your running style.  This is where I made my first mistake previous to this challenge. My first pair I just went out and bought without research or checking my gait and it wasn’t long before I was feeling the problems this caused.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9
I was getting sore, stiff calves which stopped me running.  The problem is, shoes aren’t cheap and I especially, just wanted to ignore the fact my shoes might be the wrong ones for me and tried running through the pain. Well, in the end, I got achillies tendinitis and that ended that attempt at running.

Once I thought I was injury free, I bought my next pair.  This time I went for ‘Asics’ as in the past I’d had good luck with them.

Asics GT-2000
This pair started well and were quite supportive giving me the support required after coming back from the achillie tendinitis.  I did enjoy running in them but there was one thing I didn’t like about them and that was that they were too big and bulky.  So after a few months I put them to the back of the cupboard and went shopping for my next pair! (I may add at this point my wife wasn’t too happy at my frequent trainer shopping).

Now without a doubt my next pair are the best road running shoes I’ve ever had!  I bought a pair of ‘Adidas Adios Boost’ road running shoes.  Lightweight and colourful, I instantly was a fan.

Adidas Adios Boost
Expensive but well worth it!  So far I haven’t had any niggles and I ‘feel’ like an actual athlete when running in them. (So far from the truth I know!).  These will be the shoe I’m going to try and complete this challenge in.  One last fact about the shoes you run in is that they tend to have a life.  500miles tends to be the average distance per pair of running shoes and I know that seems a lot, but it isn’t at all!  So I will be keeping a close eye on my mileage and at that point I’m just going to have to buy another pair! What a shame!!! (Or maybe not)

Oh and finally, don’t quote me on the above. Like I said, i’m only your typical bloke who likes to run and not a graduate who knows the ins and outs of mechanisms of injury due to incorrect trainer choice!  (I know hard to beleive isnt it after that informative blog!)  Right its time!  I’m off for a run!  Ill update you on the session and my GPS watch in the next blog!

Happy reading, signing out!


Hhmmm, not good!!

Okay, I know what your thinking! “His second blog in a day”!  Well yes your correct, but I may add I won’t be doing two blogs a day everyday and potentially, not even one a day, so today is your lucky day!  Now the reason I’m doing a second blog is to start the ball rolling in terms of letting you know I started my first run.  Now, if I wanted a ‘kick to the balls’ to make me realise the challenge that lay ahead; well I got it today.

I was planning on going out and setting a base time with a 5km run to see where I was with regards to my fitness.  So, on went the trainers and in went the headphones and off I went.    It started well but it very quickly changed and if I’m completely honest I thought I was actually have a heart attack so stopped.  All I managed to achieve was a 2.5km run before my respiratory system brought me to a spluttering stop.  The problem I have is that, well, I didn’t even run 5km.  And the splits I ran for the first 2km (see picture), weren’t quick enough to get anywhere near running under 19minutes.

Now I know I shouldn’t get all worried about the task that lays ahead as this is only day one, but its certainly woken me to the fact this could be tougher than I first thought!  Looking at the facts that haven’t helped me on this run are that;

  • I’ve just got back from Thailand after a two week break and lets face it probably ate to much and drunk to much alcohol whilst away.
  • time difference isn’t helping my body i.e. 5pm in UK is midnight in Thailand
  • And finally 3 packs of crisps and 2 cups of coffee before I went out isn’t what you’d call an athletic diet.

But not letting a good excuse get in the way of a honest blog i will have to take things a bit more seriously if I’m going to improve.  So, moving forward, I’m going to have to set out a training plan that I can work too, instead of flying solo on when I just feel like running.  I may also have to start eating a bit better (stop the crisps) and possibly cut down on the cups of coffee if possible.  Lets face it, bloggers ‘like’ coffee!!!   But the main thing is, I’m going to have to get my head around the fact this might actually hurt.  But hey, like the saying says, ‘No Pain, No Gain!‘  Cheesy I know, but in this case it fits perfectly!

Anyway, in the next blog i will go over my trainers which took me an eternity to find and the GPS that I’m using to assist in me achieving the goal!

Happy Reading


So it begins!

So here I am, writing my first blog.  To be honest with you, I didn’t think i’d  ever write a blog.  I thought they were for articulate intellectual people that liked sitting in coffee shops writing about how they were going to put the world to right in a few clever paragraphs.  Well, times change and guess what, I’m writing one.  The thing is, I’m probably not your typical blogger seeing as I like a few beers, don’t read books, dreaded the thought of having to write essays at school and well, the list goes on (I don’t want to bore you just yet).  But, and here’s the BUT;  i’m setting myself a challenge and I thought, why not share it along the way.

So what is the challenge I hear u asking (I know your probably not but just play along!!). Well here it is.  ‘Im going to try and beat 19 minutes in a 5km run‘.  Yup, thats it.  Sounds simple really doesn’t it.  Well I can promise you, it isn’t.

Big budget for visuals as you can see!
A little about myself now to help set the scene.  I’m 28 years old, male, 5ft 10, firefighter and live with my wife Rachael in not so sunny Buckinghamshire, UK.  Now i’ll be honest with you here, I have run in previous years and therefore I’m not starting this challenge as a complete novice but you’d be surprised how hard it is to get back into something you stopped many years ago.  The thing is, on paper, running under 19 minutes sounds easy.  All I have to do is sustain a running pace of 3.47 per km and Bobs your uncle, i’d have run 18.55 minutes for a 5km.  For any of you that do run, you will know how hard this is.  I mean, lets face it, running under 19 minutes isn’t anywhere near olympic pace, more like just a good club runner time.  BUT the thing is I’m not that!

So, whats the plan?  Well over the next coming weeks I will endeavour to keep posting about whats going on and how I’m planning on setting out to get my time under 19 minutes.

Couple of things though!  Im going to ask you to bear with me.  Like i said, I’m not a professor in english language and therefore will no doubt spell things wrong and make myself look right idiot on occasions, but I do need your support.  So, if you have suggestions or feedback, let me know!!

Anyway, thats enough for now.  I hope you join me on my little challenge and enjoy it along the way!  Signing out now!