Edinburgh Half Marathon: Training week one

Edinburgh Half Marathon: Training week one

I SHOULD be celebrating because last week I completed my first full week of training. This is very exciting stuff. I’m not fit, but at least I’m on the way to fitness. I’ve got time too, because the Edinburgh Half Marathon is not until May.

Here’s the training week: Continue reading

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Hoping the plan comes together

IN all my years of running I’ve never had a training schedule. I’ve always made it up as I go: hills one night, speed the next, a bit of tempo here, a threshold there. I’ve tagged onto other people’s training, joined in with club runs, but never had a plan telling me what I should be doing and when.

For a long time, my slap dash approach has worked. This is mainly because my friend Fiona is an amazing runner, so I trained with her as often as I could. Whatever she did. I did. This was great. I improved so much I even started picking up a few prizes, something I never thought would be possible. When Fiona had a good run, so did I. When Fiona was ill or injured, my fitness suffered. This didn’t bother me too much. I just carried on enjoying it all, amazed to be dong so well. With Fiona’s help, I got my 10k PB down to 40 minutes and won all of this and more.

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I was even hopeful of breaking 40 minutes for 10k. I didn’t have a plan as to when and how this would happen. I just believed it would. I was really relaxed about it. I’d just continue training with my friend and it would come, no problem.

But it hasn’t come. I Continue reading

The Running Week (17-23 October)

THERE wasn’t much running at all last week. By Friday, I’d only done two and a half miles. I had, however, written an essay on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, completed a two-day coaching and mentoring course at work, and survived a very long day of team building.

I staggered home on Friday evening with only one thing on my mind. Not wine. Not chocolate. Running!

Here’s how the week looked.

Monday: I started writing Continue reading

Mistaken for a man and other things

ON a few occasions when I’ve been out running I’ve been mistaken for a man. The last time was back in February. As I passed an old chap on his mobility scooter, he shouted, ‘Go on, lad!’

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‘Thank you,’ I said  in the most unmanly voice I could manage.

The man jumped. ‘Sorry, love. I thought you were a man.’

‘It’s okay.’ I said. And I sincerely meant it. I mean, under the cover of darkness, when someone just short of six-foot approaches you from behind, well, it’s an easy mistake to make. Plus he was an oldish chap, so I felt a bit sorry for him.

But then, he turned to me. ‘It’s because you’re so BIG,’ he said and as he spoke, he moved his arms wide apart not vertically, but horizontally. I’d had enough. I sprinted on, chuntering that Continue reading

Down with the kids

Down with the kids

FOR my first session after the Great North Run, I decided to try something different. I’ve signed up to four sessions training with a group targeting the cross-country season. And while I have no intention of setting foot on the cross-country racing circuit, I did think it would help my 10k training and my ambition of breaking 40 minutes.

So, last Saturday morning I went along to meet a different group in a different area, not really knowing what to expect. Despite taking a few wrong turns, I was the first to arrive. I sat in the car with Chris, and waited and waited, and couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous.

I stared out of the car window. A car pulled up and three children jumped out. They raced over to a big rock in the middle of the field, and immediately started climbing it, then they were off the rock and racing back to their parents. I felt exhausted just watching. They were obviously here for a morning in the park. They wouldn’t be running would they?

More people started to arrive. I say people, but they were young people, very young. Children, in fact, aged about ten, and they were all here to train for the cross-country. I remained in the car, hoping that no one spotted me. When they started running, I’d drive away.

A few more children arrived. Some of the mums were in sports gear. Perhaps they were running too? I stayed seated, keeping my fingers firmly crossed.

‘Come on!’ One of the mums was heading my way. ‘You can’t stay in the car forever.’

I’d been spotted. I stuck my head out of the window. ‘I daren’t get out!’ I said. ‘Are you running too?’

She nodded. I did a silent cheer and got out of the car.

I was hoping the coach would Continue reading

Staying positive when training time is limited

I DON’T like to miss a training session, but sometimes no matter how hard I try life gets in the way.

Take last week. Things were hectic. As well as work and study deadlines, the ponies kept escaping. They’d spotted the spring grass and were prepared to brave the electric fence to get to it. Most of my training involved Continue reading