16.2M London Marathon training

This weeks long run went a lot better than last weeks … the difference was simply mindset and maybe the route – last week I expected it to rain heavily (ie crappy run) and it didn’t, but I still expected it to be tough – so it was.

This week I took the pressure off, and just ran. I got myself a route I thought I’d enjoy, some good tunes and reduced my goal from 20 miles to 15. I ended up adding on a bit at the end, up to 16.2 miles. 3 x 5 miles plus 1.2 at the end.

Today my avg HR was the same as last weeks, but my pace was 17 seconds a mile faster at 8:16 min miles. The fastest I’ve run long in a while. So that’s all good.

The slower miles tended to be uphill, the faster ones downhill or in the flat. I felt good throughout.

Looks like I’ve got my mojo back, but next week I need to get my head into my marathon training and speedwork again.

Here’s my plan:

Mon: Squat Strength 4.5
Tue: 2x 6x400m (massage at night)
Wed: Coaching hills at Bella
Thu: 6-8M including 3-4M tempo
Fri: Deadlift & TRX Strength 4.6
Sat: 20-22M
Sun: Rest

I think I’m on track for about 120 miles in February now, all going well.

(And here’s what I managed to do last week – a bit of a wee easy recovery week:

Mon: Squat Strength
Tue: 5k easy wi Lee-Ann
Wed: Deadlift & TRX Strength
Thu: Rest
Fri: 5.4M wi Twinnie
Sat: Rest (2 hr walk)
Sun: 16.2M @8:16 / avg HR 155 ❤️ )

Here’s the full route from today. 👍🏻

Some fun(?) videos are on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/lornpearsontrains give it a like and a follow. 🤪

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Last night I woke in an awful sweat… everything was so real. The Garagym has gone up in flames, and the fire had spread into the front garden too. Wrecking all my hard work from the last couple of years. 😦

Poor Foxy was no more, and there were couple of firemen were here dousing the flames and tidying it all up.

Then all of a sudden the two firemen had finished their shifts and a Chinese couple (not too dissimilar to our neighbours) were tending to the scene. The husband dressed in a fireman’s jacket, the wife being a bit annoying and heartless. :-/

Our garagym was gone, our garden was gone, burnt to a cinder.

Then at 4am I woke up in a sweat. I looked out and it was all still there. Phew.

I’ve not been sleeping great this last week – thinking a lot probably about work, being in a new job I want to do well in. Early signs are that I’m doing well, and ta great to get something again that I want to be good at.

I’m not even that bothered when I can’t sleep, I just try all of my tested methods of getting back to sleep. I used to get upset or annoyed, but now I just accept it and try to have better sleep hygiene and hopefully longer sleeps. I know it’s important.

Up early today for breakfast and a wee day out, then 20 miles tomorrow.

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Training Plan for London Marathon

So far my training for the London marathon is going well. I’ve probably done less than 3 runs a week on average, due to the weather and ice (and another cold week is due), but I’m feeling strong when I’m running, and I’m up to high mileage already with no niggles.

I’ve been saying for a while I’ll upload my plan, well here it is. I’ve got it in more detail on my laptop, with pace targets etc, but below shows what I’ve done (weeks 1-5) and what plan to do, week 6 onwards.

I’m mixing 2 days of strength training with 3 days of running (or 2-3), making sure I do my long run. I lifted the plan from this book, and tweaked it a bit:

Wk1 – 1-7 Jan
3x1600m @7:37
10k easy
Long run 13.1M 8:40
Strength & coaching

Wk2 – 8-14 Jan
7M incl 5M tempo 8:23
4.7M Easy Run
Long run 15M / 8:37
Strength 3.1 & 3.2

Wk3 – 15-21 Jan (ice!)
Strength 3.4 & 3.5
Spin (no running!)

Wk4 – 22-28 Jan (new job & ice!)
Mon: Squat Strength 3.5
Tue: Rest
Wed: Rest
Thu: 10k easy after 11 days off running!
Fri: Deadlift Strength 3.6
Sat: 18.2M out & back 9:06
Sun: Rest

Wk5 – 29 Jan – 4 Feb
Mon: 5.6M incl 3x1600m : 1 min recovery – 7:51, 7:30, 7:29
Tue: Squat Strength 3.7 / PM 8M run
Wed: 5k Coaching
Thu: 60 min Coaching (8×3:3)
Fri: Deadlift & TRX Strength 3.8
Sat: Rest
Sun: 20 miles @8:44

Wk5 – 5-11 Feb
Mon: Rest
Tue: Rest & Massage
Wed: Squat Strength 4.1
Thu: Intervals 2×1200, 4×800
Fri: Deadlift & TRX Strength 4.2
Sat: 18.2M @8:33 avg HR 156
Sun: Rest

This is next week (which might change due to the weather!):

Wk6 – 12-18 Feb
Mon: Squat Strength 4.3
Tue: Tempo Run (8M incl 6M @8:05) / 5k lunch?? (Maybe not with snow!)
Wed: Deadlift Strength 4.4
Thu: 4-6M Coaching AD
Fri: Intervals 6x800m:1:30RI
Sat: Rest
Sun: 20M incl 10M easy coaching LM

Then here’s the plan ongoing:

Wk7 – 19-25 Feb
2x(6×400/1:30) Intervals
6M incl 3M tempo 7:35
22.2M (4×5+2.2)
Strength 4.5 & 4.6

Wk8 – 26 Feb – 4 Mar
1600m / 3200m / 2x800m Intervals
11M incl 9M tempo/progressive 8:23
15M (3x5M)
Strength 4.7 & 4.8

Wk9 – 5-11 Mar
3x(2x1200m) Intervals
6M incl 4M tempo 7:50
13.1M Inverness Half Marathon
Strength 5.1 & 5.2

Wk10 – 12-18 Mar
6M incl 5M tempo 7:50
16-20M 8:23
Strength 5.3 & 5.4

Wk11 – 19-25 Mar
Rest & recovery / time out
15-16M 8:23

Wk12 – 26 Mar-1 Apr
10x400m Intervals
11M incl 9M tempo/progressive 8:23
Strength 5.5 & 5.6

Wk13 – 2-8 Apr
(start of Taper / caffeine fast)
8x800m intervals
8M incl 7M tempo 8:23
Strength 5.7 & 5.8

Wk14 – 9-15 Apr
5x1000m intervals
6M incl 3M tempo 7:35
Strength maintenance

Wk15 – 16-22 Apr
6x400m intervals
3-4M incl 2M tempo
26.2M London Marathon

I might need to try out some new pairs of trainers soon… 🙂 9 weeks to go!

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18.2M from Balloch

Running long this weekend was one of the last things I wanted to do… given the weather forecast, Saturday was to be wet and cold, Sunday (and the following week) was to be cold and icy… my best bet was to get it over and done with on the Saturday morning. But I couldn’t see it far enough.

I managed to get myself out of bed and fed for about 830… then got over to Patrick Train Station to get the 919 to Balloch, getting there at 10am. Maybe the weather wouldn’t be so bad?

I wrapped up well anyway, leggings and shorts, and my waterproof jacket on top of a couple of layers on top. I had my water pack and a load of gels. I had my usual breakfast and had 200mg of caffeine to get me going. Trying out different ways of getting it, and this time it was simply in pill form. Then I’ll have 3 caffeine gels on the run, 225mg on top of the 200 already taken.

See more here about the benefits of caffeine on runs. https://mensrunninguk.co.uk/blogs/caffeine-and-performance/

Once I got the train, it was a 40 minute ride to Balloch. The train was pretty empty, and the weather outside didn’t look too bad. Not much rain anyway (unlike the forecast). Bl%%dy weather forecasts! It turned out didn’t rain at all, and I probably could have done without my waterproof jacket. Oh well, it kept me warm whenever I stopped.

When I was on the train I realised I needed a pee, and luckily for me there was a toilet cubicle thingy in the middle of Balloch near the train station. So I took the opportunity to pee before I started running, then started my run back home.

I started off pretty quick, I had thought I’d aim for about 8:30 pace for the first 6 miles, and 8:15 for the next 6 and 8:00 min miles for the last 6, but when the first couple of miles were ticking off at between 8:00-8:20, I figured I’d just run and see how I got on.

About a mile in o had to stop dead for a golden lab which crossed right in my path. It didn’t even phase me. I just stopped and got going again.

It was national cycle route 7 for the most part, some of the Balloch to Clydebank half marathon route, then some. About 6 or 7 miles in I was doing fine, following the little blue signs, but took my concentration off the route and found myself going up little streets I didn’t recognise, and the signs were no where to be seen. A sure fire way to know you’ve gone off track.

I was about an hour in and I stopped to check where I was and where I needed to be. Google and google maps answered my question and I went down a street then left… in Dumbarton somewhere I think.

Finally I got on track and stopped quickly to do my first ever Facebook live on my page.

I ran on along the cycle track and at 8.5 miles in I took my second caffeine gel (I’d taken the first 4 miles in). It was all going well, along past the back of the dog and cat home I’m Milton, then into Clydebank. I’d done 6 miles in 49 minutes and got to 12 miles in 1:42… so my second 6 Miles was a bit slower, but I didn’t mind.

At that point I was starting to feel it, and realised that I like breaking up long runs in to smaller chunks than 6 miles. So I started to break it down into 3 mile sections. I got to 13.1 miles, I’m around 1:52 and stopped to take another gel and get a breather. Even though the weather was ok, I was finding this run a bit harder than my previous long runs.

Just 5 miles to go I thought / under 45 minutes. Easy peasy. But it was anything but. I wasn’t sure if it was just 5 miles to go or more. The signs said 7 miles to the city centre … but I was just going to Partick so I figured I’d be ok. I was full of gels and didn’t want anymore.

I felt like I was running pretty well, nice and steady, but from about 14 miles in my mind started playing tricks on me. Running through Clydebank and beyond, through an industrial estate, I had about 4 miles to go (I hoped) and I couldn’t be bothered anymore. If only I could stop I thought.

But I kept going. I considered stopping and doing another Facebook live of my thoughts, which were very much full of expletives and swear words, but I figured I should just get on with it and keep going. Runners Tourette’s… swearing like a trooper, I remember running friends saying they noticed that about me before.

Bikes were passing me from behind and I was sweating at them inside my head saying ‘yeh, go on, you cycle past me on your pedal thing, which makes life much easier than running’. Wtf? 😳 There has been loads of dogs on the route and all of a sudden the dogs changed from being cute little things to me seeing about 5 bull dog type dogs (and their owners).

I told myself to shut up and get on with it. I had 3-4 miles to go, 30-40 minutes, I’d be finished before I knew it. Running through yoker I stopped to ask a man where we were… just to be sure. I was on the right route… just checking what area I was in. 16 miles in and it was my slowest mile, let me just f%#%ing finish I thought.

Then just after 16 miles in I saw this sign – 1 2/3 miles to Partick. I kept ploughing on. Still no rain and hardly any wind either. Probably ideal running conditions in fact. I’d been listening to my music all the way and my iPod was showing a low battery. But it managed to last, and so did I.

At the end, I figured I might as well keep going to get to 18.2, and I was glad to finish. I walked up Dumbarton road a bit, getting stuck behind pedestrians and took the opportunity to walk off my long run and stretch a bit.

I finished in just over 2:35, 8:33 pace, and with an average heart rate of 156 / 85%. I had a for goodness shakes, water and a stretch, then home did a shower and out for a steak for a late lunch. It was well tasty.

I might have also had a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream. 🤪 still no rain until about 5pm.

I realised when I got home that I was carrying so much…, lol. All this plus my jacket, gels, phone and water pack. Maybe it was hard work because I was carrying a stone worth of gadgets?!

All in all a toughie from about 14 miles in. I did another wee Facebook live at the end, and probably talked a lot of pi$h. Lol.

Probably more to do with my mindset rather than anything else. I think I expected the run to be tough (with the rain which didn’t materialise) and it was tough. I can do better than this, and I will.

I’ll either get a good playlist or a new audiobook for my solo long runs. And I’ll try and see if I can run with some other crazies who want to do long runs. 9-10 weeks to go and here’s my long run plans:

20 miles next weekend
Then 22.2 (5×4 + 2.2) 24 Feb
15 on 3 March
13.1 Inverness Half Marathon on 11 March
Holiday and a good rest
15 on 25 March
19-22 on 30 March
13-15 on 7 April
10 on 14 April
26.2 on 22 April

Tired and gubbed, I need a good sleep and rest day tomorrow. (And I need to watch I’m not a grumpy emotional tired wreck tomorrow too!) what fun this running long is – perhaps these long runs are getting too much for me? 🙈

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20 miles all over Glasgow

I moved my long run day to Sunday this weekend, a few appointments and strength training on Saturday, plus a lovely day on Sunday and I decided I’d move it from my usual Saturday morning long run day. I had 20 miles planned, and at 8am when I woke up, I was tempted to put it off. But I didn’t.

I got up and fuelled well, took my time and was out to door just before 1030am. I had a more inspiring route planned out this week compared to last, but it’d mean I’d need to think about the twists and turns, and also meant I got a little lost in the west end, but not for long.

I ran a version of the route below in reverse, running up to the West End / Maryhill locks, before running back down through kelvin grove and over to the Southside. I decided early on I’d split the run into 5×4 miles and take my gels the same as last week – 4 miles, 8 and 14.

I was running on my own, with an audio book for the first half – Ruby Wax, then random music for the second half. I had a few interactions with people along the way…

A mile or so in, I stopped to help a couple who looked lost, but weren’t, they just couldn’t decide which way to go, so I pointed them ‘that way’ – the way I was going, towards Byres Road (not sure if they went that way.)

Then running up Byres Road, I passed a man coming out of the University cafe, with a big takeaway bag of rolls and whatever (I presumed)… and a big glass bottle of irn bru. I said I bet that was going to be tasty.

Just after, going up Highburgh Road, a 3 and a half year old girl was running ahead of me, between her grandma and her older brothers or about 25m or so… and she was running faster than me. Lol 🤪 three and a half! (I spoke to her grandma and commented on how fast she was, seeing me with my water pack on, she replied saying she hadn’t been running as far as I probably had – lol – fair point).

Then about 4 miles in I was at a bit I didn’t know and came to a dead end instead of running up towards the Clyde canal. I realised and went back the way I cane and figured out the right route.

Parks I was running through were busy, and I had to really keep my wits about me … having to avoid, or not run into kids, bikes, adults, dogs…. a couple of times I had to stop dead for dogs, but I didn’t mind that much.

Over to the southside and I ran towards Paisley, again past am area called ‘Halfway’.. halfway between Glasgow and Paisley presumably. Running down towards Ross hall I unintentionally gave a man a fright – he was walking along, in normal clothes, with a bottle of raspberry lucozade (hangover perhaps?) and he jumped out of his skin when I passed him. Lol. Perhaps he thought I was going to steal his lucozade?!

Then my last interaction of the day was near Maxwell Park… around 18 miles in, I was getting a bit tired and just wanted to finish. I was on the left side of the road, on the pavement, and a large 4 wheel drive expensive car was stopped and turning right.

Crossing the junction in front of her (as she was stopped on the other side of the road, I waved at her, and put my thumbs up to thank her. I waved and thumbs up again…

But apparently I misread the situation. She wasn’t being nice, I’d clearly annoyed her that I was putting her out and taking my right if way…she tooted at me angrily and sped up past me. I nearly turned my thumbs up into a two fingers but decided against it. Silly rich… b… 😜 oh well. Never mind.

She didn’t know I was 18 miles into a 20 mile run, and I assumed she was letting a pedestrian cross in front of her. I should probably run with others instead of running on my own. Lol. For the chat instead of me looking for entertainment along the way.

Last week was 2 strength days, 4 run days, 1 Rest day.

Oh, and today was my first day wearing my sunnies! I could have probably worn a couple less layers (3 on top and full length trousers), but I wasn’t too hot or cold. Just right. Maybe shorts or capris next long run…

Today I ran 7 miles in the first hour, and another 7 miles in the next hour. Around 8:30 to 8:40 min miles. My plan said 9:08 min mile target but I was feeling good for most of it and the miles were ticking away nicely.

I felt strong throughout – until about 18 miles when I started to feel a bit tired. My pace dropped, but not so i noticed all that much.

Here’s the stats from today’s run:

20 miles in 2:54:29
Pace: 8:44 min miles
Avg HR 152, Max HR 164
Garmin training effect 4.3
Avg cadence 178

Now here’s a comparison to my other 3 long runs in my training so far…

18.2M, avg pace 9:06,
Avg HR 152, max HR 165
Cadence 177

15.2M, avg pace 8:37,
Avg HR 152, max HR 169
Cadence 179

13.1M, avg pace 8:40,
Avg HR 157, max HR 167
Cadence 178

Check the top 3 average HR, 152 each time! I wasn’t ever looking at my heart rate on my runs, but was roughly aiming to keep the pace below 9 min miles. Hopefully my comfy heart rate (152) will result in faster paces / times in the coming months.

After the run, I had a for goodness shake, a good stretch some water and a shower. Oreo the cat visited… but I don’t think he likes me much. He’d been hanging about for a bit, then when I came along he went away. 😦

I got ready and we went to the west end, where we walked for a bit (my heels were sore, but are ok now)… and I had a baked potato and chilli.

Then we walked about the west end for a bit… up Gardner street of all places (I nearly fainted at the top – lol – only joking)…

We walked a bit around Glasgow Uni, and watched the sun go down, which was very pretty.

39,000 steps, and a nice wee sunny Sunday. 🙂 I should have a good sleep tonight.

Rest day tomorrow then:

Mon: Rest
Tue: 2 x 1200m intervals
Wed: Squat Strength 4.1
Thu: 6M incl 5M Tempo @7:50
Fri: Deadlift Strength 4.2
Sat: 18-20 miles
Sun: Rest

It’s a busy week at work, and I’m aiming to train early in the morning ahead of work.

I think I might ask a friend if they want to run long with me next weekend, to save me talking to random strangers on the run. 😜

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Long run caffeine prep

The caffeine I took in seemed to make last weeks long run go like a dream, so I’m trying the same strategy this morning ahead of my 20 miler… here’s the route I’m planning:

Then here’s my fuelling:


Cereal & multivitamins & water

SIS go energy caffeine bar (75mg caffeine) – below

Let that go down then, energy on the run every 4 miles ish:

Double espresso SIS gel (125mg caffeine)

2x Berry SIS gels (2x 75mg caffeine)

Citrus SIS gel (75mg caffeine)

The gels and bar alone are about 110g carbs, and 425mg of caffeine. Or I might just take 3 gels, see how I feel.

All of that should keep me go-ing and feeling good throughout and after my long run hopefully. 😜

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8 miles to craziness

Last year, my monthly 100 mile target started to get annoying about 6 months in… some months I was chasing the goal all month, some months I was ahead… and I even made up my own rules to do more miles in July and offset them with less miles in September.

You’ll know if you read my blog, that I did it – I chased and got my 100 mile running goal throughout 2017 – 1,200 miles, averaging 100 a month. Now I’m off the target, and simply training for the London marathon (and a couple of other events).

Then imagine my delight on Saturday after my long run… when I realised that if I ran as I planned to up to the end of January… I’d be just 8 miles shy of 100 miles for January. How could I?…

How annoying… or how could I resist?

So tonight, when I really didn’t fancy it… in the cold, dark and wet January night after work… I got wrapped up warm in my running gear and was out the door for a run, just after 6pm.

It was freezing cold, wintery and windy. I ran up to Byres Road, along Great Western Road, then down towards the Clyde. I ran east for a bit then turned back for the home stretch.

As I crossed the river on the way home, I saw a group of about 10 runners start off from the Squiggley Bridge. I thought if I hung in behind them I’d get some shelter from the wind and rain… but it so happened the friendly runners invited me to join them and we ran and chatted for a bit.

So I joined them for part of their run on my way home … and it turns out they were the Bellahouston Harriers – my favourite running club in Glasgow!

(I met Paul from the Harriers the morning before, when I was in the middle of an interval session – I took the opportunity to stop my garmin / take a break – we had a good chat and he asked when I’d join the harriers).

Meeting them sure did take the cold and grind out of the last mile …

So here I am… 96.9 miles into January… and a 5k tomorrow first thing – and it’ll be 100 miles for January (almost by mistake, with a little push at the end). 😜

Crazy? Perhaps?

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