After the success of the Spring Marathon Sponsored Athlete Programme in 2018, Rudi from the Treatment Lab and I decided to do the same again for 2019.
We also approached Up & Running, Milton Keynes to see if they would like to be involved and they jumped at the chance and said YES!
Applications opened for a period of two weeks and we had over 60 runners apply for the two positions.
The Athletes would be able to benefit from the following as part of the programme:
Monthly Sport Massages with Rudi with extra sessions leading up to race day
Monthly PT sessions, weekly core classes and a training plan from Clean Coach Katie
Gait analysis and a free pair of trainers up to the value of £120. Nutritional advice and race day nutrition from Up & Running.
Ongoing support from all three to achieve the best on race day including training advice, nutrition support and coaching throughout the process
The selection process was a tough one with the calibre and sheer volume of applications we had received. As a team we wanted to work with a female and male athlete and also one runner taking on their first marathon and one trying to improve on a previous experience.
The lucky winners have recently been notified and both gladly accepted their places onto the programme.
We are very excited to announce our athletes to you…
Target Race – London Marathon 2019
My names Katie Elmer, I’m 33 (soon enough) and mum to Emily & Jake. I live with my partner Ben & we’ve been together for 13 years.
I joined Redway Runners in January 2017 as a beginner not being able to run for 30 seconds, my aim was a 10K race in August which I completed.
Fast forward to this time last year & I felt like running wasn’t for me, I didn’t feel like I was improving & in fact felt slower.
On the 1st January this year after park run I saw a photo of myself that changed the way I was thinking, I decided to concentrate on running more & eating healthy, before I knew it I was absolutely loving running & everything about it.
I completed the same 10K race this year & knocked 17 minutes off my time set the year before. I completed my first half marathon in May 2018 & I enjoyed every single step!
I had always said I would only ever consider running one marathon & that would be London.
After the 4th year of applying the charity I founded in memory of my daughter Emily won a place in the ballot & everything pointed at me to take that place & run it for her…
When I saw the applications open for the sponsored athlete program open I knew I had to apply, after seeing the help & support Sally got last year through the program I knew it was something that too could help me.
When I opened up the “congratulations email” I burst into tears…
Having their belief that I can do this means so much, it’s going to be hard work but also enjoyable to complete a dream for myself in memory of my daughter
Watch out London, I’m coming for you!!
Target Race – Manchester Marathon 2019
I am 38, married with a 6 year old daughter. My running journey began in 2014 when myself and around 100 others ran the MK Half & Full Marathon on behalf of a charity called Team George, which was set up by our 2 friends who lost their newborn son.
As many have done before, I did everything wrong in the build up, too much too soon, pushing through pain and ended up getting myself injured. The 2 months before the run I never got further than 5 miles, I considered pulling out but am too stubborn for that. I made it round on the day but knew I could do better. I then stopped running and went back to playing football, I did the MK half again in 2015 and was happy with my time, I again stopped running and went back to playing football and didn’t run for 18 months.
2017 – my aging years and poor fitness meant that football was coming to an end, so again I thought the MK half would help. I put in the same training as 2015, but it didn’t come as easy this time, I struggled, I hated it. Instead of stopping after this, I thought ‘I’m going to up the training!’ – again I got injured! I visited Rudi and he helped me sort the problem, he also recommended Katie’s core class.
This is when things changed. I always had the motivation to get myself out the door but lacked knowledge on keeping myself fit. I joined the Redway Runners, I made friends, it made the runs easier and more enjoyable. Running became a happy habit. Consistency, intervals and core work, all three of these together helped me get fitter. I decided that it was now or never and entered myself into the London Marathon for 2018. It had always been a dream, but I always thought it would stay a dream.
Training went better than I could have hoped, I stayed injury free, I enjoyed my long runs, I made more friends, I PB’d at every distance. I finally felt like a runner rather than a retired footballer trying to lose weight!. Race day came, along with the sun! I was naive with how much it would effect me. I struggled, it was painful but I got round and had an amazing day. I wanted to do it again!
So we come to now, I’ve kept up my running after London, I entered Manchester marathon as my target race, it’s my chance to get a time I could be proud of. Then I got the news that I would be the CCK/Treatment Lab/Up and Running sponsored athlete. I am honestly so excited by this, to have the support and knowledge of the team can only help me. I watched Sally and Ben’s journey last year, I was in awe of Ben’s times, he seemed to get quicker with every run, I read his blogs trying to find his secret! I then started reading Sally’s blog, her struggles with injury resonated with me, her stubbornness to not give up and mental strength throughout made me wish I could be that strong!
I am so excited by what 2019 can bring, Manchester I am coming for you!
Two very inspiring stories and one thing they have in common is determination! Rudi, Dionne and I can’t wait to begin our work with the athletes and kickstart the process. Each athlete will be documenting their journey through a blog. When we have more details we will share these with you.
I have always dreamt of running the London Marathon, even before I really started running (and realised how far a marathon was!) It was one of those bucket list dreams.
After trying and been unsuccessful in the ballot three times (now four), I decided the only way to get in was try and run faster. It was never going to be easy. I ran my first marathon in May 2017 in 3.55.43, which at the time I was pretty happy with. Then in 2018 I signed up to an ultra, lots of training miles including two more marathons and I had lost speed.
I contacted Katie earlier in the year when she was running a Stronger, Fitter, Faster program. As I was still training for the ultra Katie advised that it probably wasn’t the right time to for a speed program.
After the ultra was over I decided it was time for a new challenge and that was to try and get faster with the long term goal of trying to achieve a good for age time for London.
I contacted Katie and signed up for Bournemouth Marathon. After establishing my goals which being realistic was back to a sub 4 hour marathon (not good enough for London but my first goal), Katie wrote me a personalised 12 week training plan. I think the first message I sent Katie after receiving the plan and seeing the paces was that I didn’t think I could run that fast and that was only the half marathon pace! The plan also had rest days!! I didn’t know what these were. I had run every day for 564 days.
So Day 1 came and went with an easy 5km, even that felt like a rest day with the kilometres I had been putting in. Day 2 was intervals! So I might have run for 564 days but I had never aimed for a pace or run any sort of interval training! But it went well, inconsistent but I managed the target. Day 3 – Rest Day! Eek, this was hard! But I didn’t run (even if I was asked if I had and just didn’t record it on Strava!)
Five days into the plan I decided I wanted to run a 10 mile race the following week, Katie made it work for me. Added a warm up and cool down either side to cover that days long run and still get to race. So end of week two I ran my first 10 mile race in 1.19.34, I had never run a race at that speed. The next few weeks passed by in a flash I was enjoying the different types of sessions and finding a bit of speed, and was sticking to the rest days. An unplanned weekend away came up and Katie changed my plan to suit my weekend.
With my plan I had a monthly PT session and I also started going to Katie’s Wednesday core class. Core class was great, always fun whilst a great workout with a group of people all with the same interest. I defiantly found muscles I didn’t know I had, how did I know, well the first few times they hurt. I will still continue with core even though Bournemouth is over.
I had never had a PT session before so didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous, but Katie was great, we worked on more core and strength work on a 1 to 1 basis and I really enjoyed it. It also gave me chance to talk about how the plan was going and reflect on where I was.
Week 5 and the plans says “tempo run”, I don’t know what this is! But a quick chat to Katie at core class and I knew what I was doing the next day. Up early for my tempo run and a message from Katie saying she had gone home and reviewed my Strava and then she gave me a pace to aim for. Even better, defiantly knew what I was doing and off I went. End of week 5 and we reviewed the plan and decided to try and push the pace. Katie re wrote my plan ready for the Monday. Again I saw the times and had a little panic about how fast, but Katie reassured me they were target paces and we would see how things went.
Things continued well, nearly always hitting the new paces. I was getting a it worried about not covering many miles but Katie reassured me to trust the plan.
Then week 8 came and my foot started to hurt. I didn’t know what it was and hadn’t really been injured before. I missed and run but cross trained my 5km instead. I message Katie about my Sunday run, it should have been 32km, we decided I would go out easy and if it hurt stop. Sunday came and I decided not to run, it hurt to walk.
It was a hard decision and not one I made easily . I missed a really long run and it played on my mind for a long time. 3 days no running, it was hard but looking back it was for the best. I went to the treatment lab to get an idea of what was going on. Advice sought and back to Katie for a change of plan, again! No consecutive days running. Saw Katie at PT and she gave me some more stretches to do with my foot. I stuck to it. There were some tough runs and some tough rest days.
The problem with my foot continued but I took the advice, maybe not well at the time! Katie was great, not just with changing the plan but with the mental and emotional all support. I and some other races including Run to the Magic at Disneyland Paris, in fancy dress. I ran, not fast but with my friends and family and loved every minute. Covering some distance reassured me but the speed wasn’t there.
It was then time to taper! What is this, hardly any kilometres, more rest days. But just what I needed especially with my foot! I was a nightmare this week. Katie reminded me of the original aim and reassured me of how far I had come in a relatively small space of time.
Race day came and I was nervous but feeling ok and my foot was better than it had been. I ran, I ran with everything I had. I used all those training runs, the things I had hurt over the last 12 weeks and just kept going. I tried to keep pace, I was a bit quick at the beginning but it gave me a bit for when I hit the hills. I put my foot down at 20 miles and it hurt, a couple of easier steps and I knew it was ok to carry on, I’m sure it was in my head! The last 6 miles were tough, my pace slowed maybe 5 to 10 seconds a kilometre but I kept going. That pier never seems to get closer! And then I crossed the line. It was emotional and hard, I gave everything I had and when I got my time 3.43.50 I was overwhelmed.
So there is still no guarantee that it will be get me into London 2020, the rules could change, but I know I did my best and I have something more to work with now.
So Katie, I had never followed a plan before, I just ran. I didn’t know the different types of training runs and I never did any core or strength work. I have changed as a runner and hopefully for the better (I still struggle with the rest days and sometimes the low mileage). This wouldn’t have been the case without Katie.
It wasn’t just the plan and her knowledge but the emotional support, the messages when she knew I was struggling, the reassurance to trust the plan, trying to reduce the pressure I was putting on myself.
Also the rest of team CCK, I know more runners than I ever have and they all support each other, you can’t ask for more.
I cannot recommend Katie enough, not only has she got me where I am but she is inspiring too, she makes you want to do better, to push yourself and achieve better things. She understands the pain of injury and how it feels to miss a run but she supports you through it. I will be using Katie again to hopefully improve on my time.
Thank you xx
On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September, I took part in the Richmond Run Fest. Pacing Kew Gardens on Saturday and running the Half Marathon on Sunday for me, it was set to be a great weekend. One I was highly nervous about for many reasons!
Kew Gardens 10K – My first experience as a pacer
I’ve always been in awe of pacers. Being able to run a consistent pace throughout a whole race and encouraging others along the way – helping people to achieve PBs. I’ve never ran with a pacer either myself. I’ve seen them at races but always decided to run my own race. Some pacers have gone off too quickly and others have not been close enough in pens to run with.
I know that as a pacer you pick a pace that you feel you can easily run, however, when I signed up for the event I paced, I was a lot fitter than I am now. Or, should I say had more confidence in my ability back then.
If I was to pick a pace to run at for the 10K, ideally I should have chosen 50 minutes, not 45. But I love a challenge and challenge accepted.
45 minutes is around 7:10 – 7:15 pace. I’ve done a half marathon at this pace and a couple more halfs quicker so this should be easy, right?
My current super easy runs are at around 8s so I knew this would be slightly pushing, but in a race environment all should be well.
In the weeks building up to the event, I did various speed sessions at a pace quicker than my target race pace and also a few sessions targeting 7:15s or quicker. I did one session 3 x 2 miles @ 7s with recovery in between. Considering I was feeling full of cold that day, I smashed it, although it didn’t feel super comfortable by the end.
But, I had to stay positive. I ran this race last year with a client and loved the event. A beautiful run through the stunning gardens and I was excited to get a race bib back on after no races the past few months.
I probably over raced last year in 2017 so wanted to ensure this year I didn’t overdo it. With recent calf/Achilles injuries, my training hasn’t been as high in intensity or volume that I would have liked.
The race being in London meant it was an early start.
6am leave the house
8.30 race start
On arrival to Kew we found ourselves a little early, so found the toilets – no queue, bingo. And first to use them, even better.
We then made our way to the Information Tent to collect our race packs, meet the other pacers and get ready with our numbers and flags.
I was pacing with Paul Addicot who is well known for his precision pacing. So although nervous I knew I was in good hands.
A few pictures before heading off to the race start. We lined up in Wave 1 and were announced as pacers over the tannoy. I also got to meet the lovely Susie Chan, who is well known in the ultra scene.
Paul and I spoke to a few people around us asking who would be joining us and also informed them around us of how we planned to pace it. I’d been told by a few people beforehand to let those around you know what your race plan is. Some pacers try to evenly pace and others try to go out a little faster to build some extra time up as a cushion for the end.
What can I say? I loved it! It was a fantastic experience.
We eased into the pace quite nicely, the first mile was a little faster than needed, but with race starts you often get carried away with the pace.
As every km and mile passed, we informed the group of pace and where were in relation to the 45 minute mark.
I hadn’t looked behind me until mile 2 and WOAH, there was a huge group with us. I didn’t realise how many people were with us!!
We passed halfway and Paul asked how I was doing. Very kind, and I felt great. The pace wasn’t super comfortable, but I felt strong. In the week leading up to the race I’d had 2 easier runs on Weds and Fri with 2 clients of mine and a sports massage on Thursday. At some points my legs felt so bouncy. It proves having easier weeks leading up to a race can really make a difference.
4 miles in I got my phone out and asked the group to give me a cheer! Not many did… and that’s how we wanted it. At this point of a 10k you should be finding it a little difficult to hold a full sentence together.
We hit 7km and I told the group to really dig deep. This is the most painful part of a 10K if you’re pushing it. And where you can mentally lose the race.
At 9km we encouraged some of the group to push past us if they had any energy left, and to get under as much under 45 minutes as possible.
On the last stretch Paul and I were encouraging the last few runners past us hoping they could achieve the time we wanted.
We crossed the line in 44:33, not bad for a first time pacer.
It was incredible the amount of runners that came up to us after the race to thank us. It’s a wonderful feeling.
If I had the opportunity I would definitely pace an event again.
We got a goodie bag, medal and T-Shirt as well which was just another perk!
Well done to everyone who ran Kew and hope you all achieved what you wanted from the race.
Day 2 – Richmond Half
Due to our accommodation plans falling through last minute, we travelled to and from London on both days. Considering we live in Milton Keynes, it can be around 2 – 3 hours all together there and back.
Another 5am alarm and we set off at 6.15am.
The journey down was smooth and as the race started at 8.55am today I took my breakfast in the car and had it around 7am, 2 hours before the start.
On arrival, we collected a friends race pack as theirs hadn’t arrived in the post and made our way over to the start line as the Marathon was setting off at 8am.
When I originally booked this race, it was meant to be a target race, aiming to beat my current PB of 1:29:50 which I ran in February this year. Due to Achilles, calf and shin niggles, my training had not gone to plan and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do on the day.
I always like to have a race strategy, it keeps me focused and gives me an aim to work on. If I don’t have one, I become lazy and don’t get the most out of the race.
I had decided in my head I wanted to run a ‘strong’ race. After many conversations with running friends, Andy (FOD Runner), Donato (Running Guru) and Rich (Baze187), they are huge advocates of running by feel.
So I wanted to do myself justice by putting in a good race effort, but also running with what my body was telling me to do.
I knew after the 10K yesterday I was capable of a fairly decent time.
I decided that I would try to run at around 7 minute miles and see what I could do.
We dropped our bags off on the luggage lorries as the finish line was a mile down the road. They would be driven to the end for us to collect there.
We then did a short warm up before getting into the race pens. We were in Wave 1 again and the first runners to be set off.
They counted us down and nerves really started to kick in. But soon we were off…
Let’s break it down mile by mile.
Mile 1 – 6:54
In the first mile I tried to find a steady pace, trying not to get drawn into the fast start. It felt comfortable so I went with it. You ran through Kew Gardens to start off with, but when I concentrate I unfortunately don’t take in too much of the surroundings. The 1:30 pacer flew off and I tried not let this mentally affect me and run strong and my own pace.
Mile 2 – 6:52
Still feeling good and wary this is only a touch slower than PB pace. I did begin to wonder if I’d started off too fast?
Mile 3 – 6:57
Still not too bad, but this area of Kew was quite built up with the trees making you feel a little enclosed. People were starting to find a rhythm and still had quite a few people around me which kept me going. I had no idea how many other females were at front of me at this point, but had spotted one lady who I tried to focus on.
Mile 4 – 7:00
At the end of this mile you head out of Kew Gardens and the first water stop. Water bottles, hallejuah. They had paper cups the day before at the 10K so I was pleasantly surprised. At this stage I told myself to not focus on how much of the race I had left but to run every mile at a time.
Miles 5 – 6 – both 7:04
These two miles took us along the canal and unbeknown to me therefore was gravel pathways with a few patches of uneven surface. Something I had not factored in and I knew this would take it out of my legs and slowed me down a little. I didn’t look at my watch, only ran by feel. First gel at mile 5
Mile 7 – 7:01
We were along the canal now but more concrete pathways and a few groups of crowds which was good for encouragement.
Mile 8 – 7:03
I can’t quite remember the course at this point, but know this is the mental make or break point of the race. I could quit and let my pace drop, or dig deep and fight for it.
My positivity won and I wanted it today! On I pushed.
Mile 9 – 7:05
During this mile you turn back on yourself and know that you’re on the direction to head home. And I knew once we’d got to mile 10, I could count down to the end.
At this point I was starting to tire, but knew I had done pretty well with the pacing.
I went through the 10 mile marker under 70 mins with a few seconds cushion.
Mile 10 – 6:58
I found a second wind and kicked on slightly, may have been a mistake as I clocked a 6:58, nothing had been under 7 since mile 4. But I went with it.
Miles 11 & 12 – 7:04 & & 7:08
We were passing other runners at this point past the river and I tried to stay strong but could feel I was starting to fade. But again I gritted my teeth and got through the mile.
At this stage I also had a guy next to me running very strangely. It’s like he didn’t want me to overtake him, every time I got beside he sprinted off and slowed down again, and I managed to catch him every time but staying at my consistent pace. I actually asked him what he was doing and told him he was wasting more energy with that tactic! (It was quite annoying and I took offence that he obviously did not want a female to overtake him). His response was that it helped him to lift his legs up.
Mile 13 – 7:09
I felt like I’d held a good race until this point. The mind games you experience is unreal.
But now I was starting to hurt, really bad. I looked down at my watch and clocked the distance 12.67 miles. I could feel my face was scrunching up and my legs starting to turn into jelly. We had to run through a gate and under a tunnel before turning right onto a field in Old Deer Park.
Grass at the end of a race is really not cool! I gave everything I could in my last few steps.
Mile 13.1 – the end! 6:41 pace
Mile 13 clocked on my watch and the finish line was still a fair way in the distance. I pushed on and finished in 1 hour 32 minutes and 36 seconds.
I knew I had given it my all and I was a little disorientated and tried to catch my breath back.
The volunteers kindly cut your chip off your shoe and you make your way through the finish area to collect a goodie bag, medal and T-Shirt.
In summary I had to be really pleased with my time, it was my third best half time and according to the results I had made it into the top 10 of ladies finishers. Not a bad result considering training had not gone to plan.
With a little determination, staying strong and running by feel made sure I had a good race!
The course was really flat with one unnecessary steep incline about mile 12 and a mix of terrains. It could be a PB course, but there also could be better due to the pathways. They were quite narrow in places too, so in busier parts of the race could slow you down.
But really well organised and one I would consider doing again.
As an added bonus we also got another medal for doing 2 events! Wooooo.
Thank you Richmond for a great weekend!
Day 29 – Monday 29th January
45 minutes easy on the plan today as my ‘recovery run’ followed by a Sports Massage with Rudi @ The Treatment Lab. This was much needed as my calves were very tight! I only managed to squeeze in 4 miles before my appointment, but I wasn’t going to worry I didn’t fit in a full 45 mins as I knew I would be running later with the Need for Speed group.
I then went off to Sweat Studios for an hour of Hot Yoga. A great day of recovery I feel.
Finished off with Week 4 of Need for Speed. We did hill repeats tonight. I waited at the bottom of the hill playing the Rocky song whilst the group had to squats, lunges, tricep dips etc. in between their reps.
Weekly Mileage Total – 5.8 miles
Day 30 – Tuesday 30th January
I looked at the plan for today and laughed. 3 x 2 miles @ 13 minutes. That’s 6:30 pace, ARE YOU SERIOUS? Today I felt super tired as well. I think it was the weekend catching up with me and the early start this morning.
I headed up to Caldecotte Lake, my new location for speed sessions for a 1 mile warm up. I then went into Rep 1 and went by feel. It was tough, but I managed mile 1 in 6:38 and mile 2 in 6:22. I took my 1 minute recovery and set off for rep 2. During this rep I felt like stopping after the 2 miles and not completing the third rep. But once I’d done 2, I was committed. Rep 3 was done and I averaged at 6:31. WOW! I actually did it.
One more mile cool down and I quickly text James to tell him of my achievement. Maybe I should believe in myself a little bit more?? 8 miles banked today!
Weekly Mileage Total – 13.8 miles
Day 31 – Wednesday 31st January
1 hour easy run. This was effort.
I felt OK as I headed out but my body did not like me on this run. I felt drained and empty. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so may have been lack of fuel or fatigue from the BIGGGGG session on Tuesday. 7.3 miles done at a pace of 8:16. So although I felt tired, the pace was decent. This will help on Marathon day… If I felt rubbish running 8:16 per mile, I will take that for the last 10K of London.
James and I then completed a Strength session at the gym. Both of us were feeling the miles in our legs so opted for a mix of lower and upper body exercises today.
Another fabulous set of core classes. A great 80s playlist and the rapport and energy in the class got me through!
Weekly Mileage Total – 21.1 miles
Day 32 – Thursday 1st February
Pinch, punch, first day of the month.
A packed day full of PT clients, but a double run day on the plan. Morning clients followed by a 5K easy run, 3 more clients and then a 45 minute run, then back to the studio for the evening.
Today was tough, mentally. But, this was the point today. Building mental toughness and resilience. By the second run, it was the first time on the plan I didn’t want to lace up my trainers. I’ve been scared of tempo runs, but always wanted to complete them because I know their benefits, but today, I COULDN’T BE ARSED!!!! (excuse my French).
If I run solo I usually listen to music, but for the second run I thought I would listen to a podcast to switch things up. It worked wonders actually, as I could focus on what the presenters were talking about. My pace was a little slower than the normal run. It could have been due to not having music and the tempo to motivate me, but I was running at a pace my body wanted to.
I was also able to experience ‘Flotation Life’ which I will be reviewing in a separate blog post. It’s a big tank full of water and lots of epsom salts, which is good for recovery. I actually napped during the hour treatment and it certainly helped my body!
Weekly Mileage Total – 29.5 miles
Day 33 – Friday 2nd February
Rest Day – my favourite day of the week 😉
Another packed out day in the PT studio. This is why Friday is my rest day, I average 7 – 10 clients on Friday’s so fitting in my running isn’t ideal. I want to ensure my clients get the most from me!
I had some really good sessions today so left the ‘office’ feeling really pleased. All clients were seeing their physical progress in the gym and saying this to me, which pleases me so much. Knowing I can help others is a very special gift.
Weekly Mileage Total – 29.5 miles
Day 34 – Saturday 3rd February
Parkrun! My brother is back for the weekend so joined me at Willen Lake for Milton Keynes Park Run. We met up before doing a 1 mile warm up.
The aim was to get a course PB today and possibly sub 20. I’ve only cracked sub 20 twice, at Northampton park run, which is a very flat course.
I managed park run in 20:02. I was gutted. Strava says I went through 5K in 19:46 which is a PB and my watch registered 3.15 miles so a little over 5K. It is a course PB so I accomplished what I set out to do. Could I have found those few seconds elsewhere, I’m not sure??
On reflection, I’ve decided to focus on the positives, rather than it being a failure.
- It’s a course PB
- Strava said I did 19:46 for 5K, so it is within my capabilities
- I’ve had a TOUGH week so far, so this is a great performance following that
- I gained a new 2 mile PB during the run too
- I achieved lots of PRs on the course
- This time last year I would have dreamed of 20:02
Therefore I am a lot Stronger, Fitter and Faster than before. HELLL YEAAAAAHAHHH!!
Weekly Mileage Total – 34.3 miles
Day 35 – Sunday 4th February
Long Run today. Mission – 90mins easy, 30 mins tempo.
The first few miles were legs felt heavy, guess that’s following yesterday’s parkrun, but after I warmed up and the main club run started I was going. The easy miles were great and then the clock went quick as I neared towards the 30 mins tempo. The tempo was quite hard as part of the club run with 100+ people but all miles were low 7s so I was really pleased. I felt strong. The strength & core work is really benefiting me and keeping good form. Another great week. Definitely in need of foam rolling and stretching tonight!!
Weekly Mileage Total – 50.3 miles
Training Total Mileage – 217 miles
YouTube recap of Week 5 here – https://youtu.be/HqC0W0mlEiY
Day 15 – Monday 15th January
After a tough weekend of Cross Country and a long run yesterday my body was happy for a rest day.
I had some day time PT sessions, carried out some of my own foam rolling and stretching, before teaching my Monday night circuit class and leading week 2 of my #NeedforSpeed Course. During the evening session I managed to cover 2.5 miles and recorded for Strava purposes 😉 So, although a rest day, I still was keeping active.
Weekly Mileage Total – 2.5 miles
Day 16 – Tuesday 16th January
Tuesdays are known by now for speed sessions.
12 x 400m reps was on the plan. In yesterday’s need for speed course I made the attendees do between 4 – 6 so knew they would be laughing at me now if they knew what I was up to.
After morning PT clients I ran 2.5 miles up (as a warm up) to a local lake where I know I could find flat ground. (Recently I’ve been setting out from home and struggling to find anywhere really flat to do these kind of sessions which makes it harder).
On the plan it said to aim for the reps at 5K target pace, which is now for me 6 minutes per mile eeeeek. I was really shocked at the fact I was able to go under 6 min mile pace for quite a few and none were slower than dead on 6 min miles. Super chuffed with this session and it didn’t feel ‘brutal’ like some sessions do. Maybe 0.25 mile reps are for me!
Another 2.5 miles back to the studio to shower, change before the rest of the days PT clients.
Weekly Mileage Total – 10.5 miles
Day 17 – Wednesday 17th January
Easy run on the plan for today, but my legs felt quite heavy. Despite this, I averaged just over 8 min/miles which is incredible that this is now an ‘easy’ pace. Shows the training is really paying off.
5.5 miles covered. No strength training this week so far – with a race on Sunday and 2 core classes to teach this evening, I thought it was a good idea to limit my gym work.
2 hours of back to back teaching core class is a workout in itself!! I had 2 fully booked sessions which was fantastic. I was tired by the end, but full of endorphins. James and I refuelled with one of our favourite meals of chicken salad, hummus and pitta – YUM!
Weekly Mileage Total – 16 miles
Day 18 – Thursday 18th January
#ThursdayTempos – urgh. Can you tell I dislike these by now?
I was actually dreading this run on Wednesday, 24 hours before I even had to run.
Tempos now make me feel anxious!! This isn’t good and something I need to shake off and quite quick.
James came out with me after work for this session. I do feel for the guy as I put him through hell sometimes. I almost had a hissy fit before we started as I was worried for time to fit the run in and get to the studio in time. I guess my worry for the session took over and I took it out on him. It was a rush to get showered and to the studio, but I did well this week. 6:53 min per mile average for 4 miles and although it felt hard, I felt stronger this week than last. A 1 mile warm up and 0.8 mile cool down took this run up to 5.8 miles.
Weekly Mileage Total – 21.8 miles
Day 19 – Friday 19th January
Friday was due to be a rest day and Saturday was meant to be a 30 minute shake out run before the race. Due to a busy day on Saturday I swapped the two around and did my 30 minutes today. I averaged at sub 8’s which was probably quite quick for an easy run, but it felt good. 4 miles done and another nice tick off of the training plan.
Another busy day with PT clients left me feeling EXHAUSTED. I hope I’m not overdoing it with everything at the moment. I went home and ate as much food as I could get my hands on!
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.8 miles
Saturday – 20th January
REST DAY! And The National Running Show wooohooooo.
It was a great day out and a very inspiring one. Lovely to meet lots of fellow runners from the community and also have a meet up with Baze187, Run Guru Run and Andy FOD Runner. YouTube vide to come soon.
A relaxed evening ahead of Sunday’s race did me well.
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.8 miles
Sunday – 21st January
Fred Hughes 10 mile race. My second race over this distance. The last time I covered this distance in a race environment was at Brighton 10 and I shocked myself with going sub 70! This course is known to be ‘undulating’ so I didn’t know what to expect ahead of this.
The weather was not ‘ideal’ race conditions, but the show must go on.
I admit, I went into this race unsure on how I would do. I felt tired from the week and as everyone knows, I DISLIKE TEMPO RUNS, this was going to be a 10 mile long tempo run.
I positioned myself too close to the start – oops and set off, not getting caught up in the early rush. I soon found my rhythm and the miles ticked by. First few were around 6:45 which I thought was too quick, but today I tried to run on feel. Push up the hills and enjoy the recovery on the down. Mile 5 – 6 was really tough and some of the course goes through the St Albans half route so recognisable. I passed 10K with a new PB woooo! (only a few seconds) and this really motivated me to carry on. I got to mile 7 and thought, only a park run to go! Mile 8 wiped my legs and as I hit mile 9 I was worried that I would fade. But I talked myself into pushing hard for 1 last mile. I think back to all my previous training and try to remember this is where it pays off.
I finished in a time of 1 hour 8 minutes and 14 seconds – another 10 mile PB and I was buzzing!!!!! Average pace of 6:50 and means that a Sub 90 half marathon is definitely achievable at the start of March if I focus in the next few weeks! Maybe this self-belief thing really pays off?
Until next week….
p.s. I now see the benefits of tempo runs 😉 please remind me of this next week if I moan!!!
Weekly Mileage Total – 37.3 miles
Training Total Mileage – 121.1 miles
YouTube recap of Week 2 here – https://youtu.be/TCI3qf0WH8A
Week 1 – COMPLETE. Great feeling to have a full 7 days done and done well. If you missed week 1’s recap you can read it here: The Road To London – Week 1 of Marathon Training.
Day 8 – Monday 8th January
At a glance, looking at my diary, today should have been a relatively quiet day… how different could it have been!
7am – Easy run – 6.3 miles
8am – breakfast, emails, client training plans, finalising info for the Need for Speed Course
12.30pm – Yoga at Sweat Studios followed by being treated to lunch by Mum
4pm – quick drink (soda and lime) with Lynn & Freya to celebrate Lynn’s birthday
5.30pm – arrive to set up and teach Circuits Class
7.30pm – My first experience as a Run Lead for the Redway Runners – taking 30 people under my wing to help improve their 5K times. 3.1 miles covered here too.
8.45pm – home to scoff down dinner before getting ready for morning PT clients
23,000 steps, 13.6 miles covered, 9.4 of them running. PHEW!
On Sunday of Week 1 I also took James through the foam rolling and stretching routine we went through at the workshop last week – it did wonders for me today!
Weekly Mileage Total – 9.4 miles
Day 9 – Tuesday 9th January
Early morning PT clients meant my run ‘session’ had to be done just before lunch. I had a great morning in the studio so I was in a good mood. I made sure I quickly changed and got out as soon as I could. If I sat down that would have been game over, distractions would have got in the way and hours would have passed by without me knowing.
A mile warm up and 1.2 miles cool down including 4 miles of different speed work left me with another 6.2 miles for the day.
Pretty happy I was able to hit the relevant paces for each interval too and found the pace of sub 7s much easier than last weeks tempo. Funny how the mindset can play games with you. More evening PT sessions to finish off the day – #StrongerFitterFaster
Weekly Mileage Total – 15.6 miles
Day 10 – Wednesday 10th January
Today’s plan – a leg and glute work out, 30 mins easy run and teaching core class, all in between PT clients.
My workout was higher reps and lighter weights, saving myself for this weekends Cross Country. 4.1 miles done in 32 minutes and a jam packed class finished the day well. A record breaking 32 attendees in total. I’m lucky enough to be able to host another session at 7pm next week too. Allowing more people access to these classes. Spaces still available for the 7pm class – booking link here – http://bit.ly/2ml893n
I was pleased to sit down once the day was done!
Weekly Mileage Total – 19.7 miles
Day 11 – Thursday 11th January
Tempo Thursday’s – UGH.
I think I have a mental block with these runs now.
5.1 miles completed in 6:56 min/per mile average with 0.5 mile cool down.
I finished the run and felt deflated. 6:52 is meant to be my half marathon pace in 7-8 weeks time and I do not feel ready or anywhere in shape for it. But my coach reminded me that 6 months ago I would have not been able to complete a run like that.
‘Remember how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go!’
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.4 miles
Day 12 – Friday 12th January
Rest Day – Yipppeeee! And a record day for me in the PT studio. 9 clients in total BOOM!
Some great sessions but a long day. I hoped that all the squat demo’s wouldn’t affect tomorrow’s XC haha.
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.4 miles
Day 13 – Saturday 13th January
Today was the 4th match of the Chiltern League Cross Country.
This race was in Keysoe in Bedford and is known for the famous ‘water splash’.
James and I made our way over to Bedford and arrived around 45 minutes before the women’s race. We went to check out said ‘water splash’ and I was immediately filled with fear. I’m not keen on being in water, getting wet or muddy – such a girl (rolls eyes).
(Photo credit, Ben Munns)
With the limited time I had, I did a short warm up (which in hindsight was probably not enough as it felt soooo cold) and lined up ready to race.
Today’s game plan was to just run, no pace expectations. I didn’t look at my watch during the race, which I’m usually quite bad for, but only glanced down when each mile ticked over. I ran at effort and tried to drive up the uphills and push at effort on any flat parts. The course was pretty muddy and boggy and with the various races throughout the day, the mud was pretty churned through by the time we raced.
I was pleased with Lap 1, but by the time Lap 2 came around, the course was taking it out of my legs and they became heavier and heavier. I finished in 26:27 over 3.75 miles (avg pace 7:04) and 23rd position overall.
Really happy with that and hope that I can start not being such a girl and recognise cross country is meant to be challenging.
(Left picture, photo credit to Barry Cornelius (oxonraces.com). Right picture, photo credit to James Down)
Weekly Mileage Total – 29.6 miles
Day 14 – Sunday 14th January
Sundays = Long Run
A 7am start and anything 90+ mins was on the plan. I met up with Ben, Stu and ET and we completed a 10 mile route that Stuart took us on. The route was slightly undulating but it was really chatty and the miles did tick through nicely.
My legs felt sooooo heavy in the first few miles after yesterdays Cross Country but the pace felt comfortable. Running to the meeting point and back home again meant I clocked up 12.4 miles and took my weekly mileage up to 42, another record week for me.
A good stretching session is due later as I definitely feel achey now! But YAY to another week of marathon training complete.
Weekly Mileage Total – 42 miles
Training Total Mileage – 83.8 miles
YouTube recap of Week 2 here – https://youtu.be/TCI3qf0WH8A
Thanks for reading and catch you all next week. xx
So here we are, the day we’ve been waiting for… London Marathon training has officially begun.
My plan is set, I am ready to go, and so we begin.
I’ve recently filmed a video on what my plans are for my running in 2018, so if you’ve yet to watch it and are curious about what races I have lined up and how I plan to train for this marathon, then you can watch it here… https://youtu.be/MSL2fe0bJbo
Each week I plan on putting together a video of my training to document the process and also write a weekly summary on what I’ve been up to…
Monday – 1st January – New Years Day
In previous years, I’ve spent the 1st of January in bed, with a hangover. However, this year was different. My training plan started off with 13.1 miles – yes that’s correct, a half marathon.
As it was New Years Day, I was eager to do the double park run and my coach therefore suggested a half marathon distance.
The plan was to meet a group of people from the club at Willen Lake, run to Linford Wood, do that park run, run back to Willen and do the Willen Parkrun. Once I had got back to Willen I was up to 9 miles. I had taken the previous 9 quite steady and the idea was to go ‘all out’ for the second park run. I managed a time of 21 minutes which isn’t too bad on heavy legs. I think the thought of running effort after running for 1 hour 15 already played with my head.
A mile cool down helped to round up to the 13.1 needed for the day. Average pace of 8 minutes per miles – happy days!
Weekly Mileage Total – 13.1 miles
Tuesday – 2nd January
Today’s run was a speed session. My legs were quite heavy last night so foam rolled, stretched and was very glad to wake up feeling a lot less tighter.
Although, I did wake up with a blocked nose and sore throat. I’d been pretty chuffed I had not caught anything over the festive period, but was not going to let this stop me. I like to head out early and get these types of workouts done, so I did an hour or so of work first thing, and headed out the door.
During my 1 mile warm up, I quickly remembered I had not done a session like this in quite a while. I wasn’t sure if I should feel excited or nervous.
This session was, 6 x 800m reps. The idea was to find a pace I could keep up for all 6 repetitions. I had around 1 minute recovery in between and was able to average at 6.07 min/per mile pace which I was over the moon with. Because I paused my watch in between, my watch bleeped a new 5K PB after the session – oops! Will need to make sure I can run that time in the not so distance future for a continuous 5K.
A mile cool down saw me up to 5 miles for the day.
Later in the afternoon I took myself to the gym for a strength session. The focus was on hamstrings and glutes, squats, deadlifts etc. You get the idea!
I then headed off to the PT studio for the first lot of 121 clients sessions for 2018 woooo.
Weekly Mileage Total – 18.1 miles
Wednesday – 3rd January
Today was an easy run – 5.6 miles banked. At first I was reluctant to head out due to Storm Eleanor, but once I was out there I actually really enjoyed it. Just me, myself and my playlist booming through my Aftershockz.
After a busy morning in the PT studio this was just what I needed for a bit of me time.
A 30 minute Sports Massage with Rudi at The Treatment Lab followed by an epic Core Class – great first class of 2018.
More information on classes here – Fitness Classes
Weekly Mileage Total – 23.7 miles
Thursday – 4th January
After an early start in the studio and clients up until lunch time, not one part of me wanted to do today’s run.
On the plan was a Tempo run, for any of those unsure on what this is, all I can say is that these runs HURT. You have to put yourself in a state of running comfortably uncomfortable which is quite a difficult thing to get your ahead around.
My tempo runs should just under 7 minute mile pace. Ask me to run at 6.30s or 8’s, fine, but 7s, hell no, I struggle!
Before I left the house, I tried to come up with every excuse possible:
It’s windy outside (it really was!)
My shin hurts
I’ve not had lunch yet
I’ve got work to do
Excuses don’t run marathons, so off I went. I picked a route I knew was 4 miles and then remembered the elevation is not too kind in parts, and paired with the wind, made this run challenging. It was a mental battle towards the end and I felt a little deflated that I was still a few seconds off of Half Marathon target pace. If I could barely hold this pace for 4 miles, how could I do it for another 9.1??
But, then I have to remember, this is training and this is why I’m doing it.
Run put behind me, I continued with my day.
Rudi from the Treatment Lab and I put on two workshops this evening on Foam Rolling and Stretching. It was great to go through the correct techniques of rolling and talk through the various stretches we all should be doing as runners. A lovely evening and what makes what I do so enjoyable 🙂
Weekly Mileage Total – 27.7 miles
Friday – 5th January
REST – wooo!
Friday is usually my busiest day with 121 PT clients so I usually keep this as my rest day.
I was tired and therefore hungry for most of the day! But some awesome PT sessions kept my mood uplifted 🙂
Weekly Mileage Total – 27.7 miles
Saturday – 6th January
Originally I was down to race the County Champs Cross Country in Biggleswade. But it was my nephew’s first birthday yesterday and his party was today (which meant there was a clash!). Family over XC and it also meant CAKE!! Plus I’d bought him some super cool vans which I wanted to give to him. After all the toys he got over Christmas, my sister was relieved, I’d opted for a sensible present.
In the morning I went out to parkrun instead. Milton Keynes has two so we are spoilt for choice. I opted for Linford Wood today, which a course I have only done three times before. My Course PB was 24 minutes as I’ve never run it at full effort. I fancied a change of scenery over Willen for some reason. I find you can get too familiar with one course and I wanted to challenge myself.
I did a short warm up. Which wasn’t as long as I wanted, only due to the fact that when I arrived and parked my car, I had pulled up next to a lady who was doing her first ever park run. So I walked down to the start with her as she had no clue where she was going. I’d love to how she got on but didn’t get to catch her name. I hope she enjoyed it and returns again soon. It was lovely to meet someone doing their first one! We all were that person at one point.
I was super chuffed with my time today – 20:43, a new course PB, 1st Lady and 9th place overall. I’ve never come in the top 10 – WOW.
It felt tough in parts and the cold/cough I caught earlier in the week was making my breathing harder. But pleased with that pace once I had finished. Another session boxed off, and a day off for me ahead.
Weekly Mileage Total – 32.3 miles
Sunday 7th January
Long Sunday runs begin.
I went out with the club for some easy enjoyable miles and the only option was 80 minutes today from the MK Dons Stadium.
Today was a really chatty run, talking to various people on the way round. It was a frosty but clear morning and the sunshine made an appearance.
I finished on 9.5 miles and felt great. It was lovely to see so many other people doing so well and I walked away full of endorphins and with a huge smile on my face.
Thank you to Redway Runners for creating such a brilliant community and support network.
I stopped for coffee with the Boothbys, Steph and many others before running a few errands and to refuel.
Finishing the week on 41.8 miles and possibly my highest mileage week ever.
Week 1 – DONE AND DUSTED, BOOM!
Weekly Mileage Total – 41.8 miles
(Coach informed me after that 40 miles will be my staple week of training – eeeeekk!)
I’ve also put together a short video of my week in training for those interested. You can watch it here.
YouTube Link – https://youtu.be/oP09kivg_SE
Thanks for reading and will catch up with you all next week.
Clean Coach Katie xx