Week 11 – Comrades Buildup inc London Marathon

7 Weeks to Comrades

After 2 x 100+ mileage weeks we hit another mini cut back \ taper week before London Marathon weekend. The focus to replicate Manchester build up and nutrition loading for the race effort.  The plan was to hit 5:30 – 5:35 pace for half way and then either switch to Comrades HR effort or push on for another PB attempt.  Again running with comrades training partner Steve (Way) we hit 10 miles at about 56 mins and the half way point on schedule at 73 mins, after a very quick discussion we decided f*#k this and switched to Comrades effort (140 HR \ 6-6:15 m/m pace). Defiantly the correct decision as the second half felt very easy, even stopping 3/4 times to say hi to mates and a family kiss and cuddle stop, resulting in a 02:34:32 finish, legs feeling good Monday morning for 6 mile recovery jog and ready to hit my first official easy cut back week before a 3 week trip to the St Foy, in the French Alps on Friday 03rd.

Nutrition – Week 11 Summary

Zero carbohydrate diet for 3 days Monday 4g, Tuesday 14g and Wednesday 4g carbs. (Bloody meatballs on Wednesday 10g carbs, note to self ready the label better). Then loading for Thursday to Saturday with a plan to try and hit 680g carbs on Saturday as a test following 500g pre Manchester.  I have decided that the increase was not beneficial and on the Saturday and Sunday didn’t feel as good as the lower load for Manchester, this was a good exercise for planning for Comrades.

Race day Nutrition

Plan was following the same strategy, however once I switched to Comrades effort I also stopped fuelling for the run, so after the 10 mile gel I took no further nutrition, also I didn’t take on any water during the run.

Sunday up at 06:00 for breakfast;

  • Peanut Butter Porridge Pot by Fuel
  • 1 x Warburtons Cinnamon & Raisin Bagel Thin with Almond Butter and Sliced Banana
  • Coffee

06:30 – 08:00 – Pre-loading

Race Nutrition – Race start 09:00

15 minutes before race start

Post Race

Weight Target 66-67kg Training – 65kg Race Weight

Weight dropped to 64.4kg after carb depletion and last weigh in on Saturday morning was 65.8kg so build-up weight was on plan.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%)
22/04 64.7kg 1.8 54.6 69.1
23/04 65.4kg 1.9 56.0 68.6
24/04 65.9kg 2.2 56.9 68.2
25/04 65.4kg 1.9 57.3 68.5
26/04 64.4kg 1.5 56.5 69.1
27/04 64.7kg 1/7 55.5 69.0
28/04 65.8kg 2.1 35.5 70.1

Training – Week 11 Summary

Weekly Totals: (9 sessions)
Total Miles: 70.55 Miles Avg Pace: 6:51 m/m Time: 08:03:15
Week 22 – 28 –  March Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
22/04

7 Mile – Morning Run – Carb Depletion Day 1

7:46/m 113
23/04

6.5 Mile – Morning Easy – Carb Depletion Day 2

7:54/m 113
24/04

4 Mile – Morning Easy – Carb Depletion Day 3

6 Miles inc. 3 x 1k (90) – Carb Depletion Day 3 / Run 2

7:50/m

6:52/m

114

129

25/04

6 Mile – Final Carb Depletion Run pre Pilates

1 Hour Pilates

7:06/m 125
26/04

8 Mile – Steady Morning 60

7:30/m 124
27/04 3 Mile – Easy / 1 mile tempo / Easy

3 Miles – with some strides

7:19/m

7:02/m

126

129

28/04 London Marathon (1:13 halfway before switching to Comrades effort) 5:51/m 146

Kit

Make Model Description Type Current Mileage Purchase Date
New Balance 1400v6 Red White AW18 – UK 11 Training Road 246 Oct-2018
New Balance Summit Unknown Black – UK 11 Training Trail 199 Oct-2018
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Red – UK 11 Racing Road 67 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 – Dark Grey/Black/Atmosphere Grey/Metallic Pewter Training Road 676 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 – Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training Road 318 Mar-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 – Blue Orbit/White/Photo Blue/Black Training Road 0 Apr-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 – Sequoia/Olive Flak/Light Bone/Black Training Road 0 Apr-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017

Week 10 – Comrades Buildup

8 Weeks to Comrades

Up to 113 miles for week 10 including back to back 20 miles runs for the weekend, with the Saturday run incorporation the East Cliff Quarter Marathon. (See training summary below)

Now for another mini taper week to replicate Manchester build-up, maxing at 70 miles including London Marathon.

Easter treat ordered 2 x pairs of Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit. Loving the Flyknit and using the Zoom Fly for training miles and 4%’s for racing.  This is my 4th pair of the Flyknit ultra-lightweight upper.  Even with the increased weight compared to my old New Balance 1400’s they are great for 100+ mile training weeks and the leg fatigue is defiantly reduced.  See end of blog post for kit summary.

Nutrition – Week 10 Summary

Increased calories and carbohydrates for week 10, calories to stabilise weight during 100+ mile training weeks, carbohydrates increased during the week with sessions Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  Saturdays run was pre-fuelled with carb based breakfast (see below)

Saturday Long Run + Race – Fuelling Plan;

  • Breakfast – Small bowl oats, milk and peanut butter + Cinnamon Bagel Thin, Banana & Peanut Butter
  • Coffee
  • Pre-Load – 500ml Maurten 160 drink mix
  • Long Run –

Recovery

Carbs in Saturday evening meal and Sunday breakfast (Small bowl oats, milk and peanut butter + Bagel Thin & Peanut Butter) pre non-fuelled 20 mile Moors Valley run.

Next week will see 3 day carb depletion starting Monday – Wednesday before gradual loading pre London Marathon next Sunday.

Weight Target 66-67kg Training – 65kg Race Weight

Started week in 65kg range following big training weekend. Increase in calories and carbs for higher mileage week, weight staying consistent in high 65’s low 66’s.  Even with increase weekend carbohydrate and calorie intake saw weight drop to 64.7 Sunday morning pre second 20 mile run.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%)
15/04 65.4kg 1.9 56.5 68.5
16/04 66.4kg 2.4 56.3 68.1
17/04 66.5kg 2.4 55.9 68.1
18/04 65.8kg 2.1 55.8 68.5
19/04 66.3kg 2.3 57.3 68.0
20/04 66.1kg 2.2 56.6 69.2
21/04 64.7kg 1.8 54.6 69.1

 

Training – Week 10 Summary

Weekly Totals: (10 sessions)
Total Miles: 113.15 Miles Avg Pace: 7:12 m/m Time: 13:34:29

Main interval session this week was an early Wednesday morning session, 5 x 1k tempo (6:05/m, 6:08, 6:05, 5:55, 5:55/m) + 5k progressive (6:15/m avg – 6:28, 6:15, 6:06/m)

Double Weekend 20 mile runs with Steve, Saturday including 7 mile steady + Rotary Quarter Marathon  (2nd Place xx.xx – awaiting result + 6 Steady. Then Sunday 20 miles on softer trail with 4 x Moors Valley loops.  Tired legs with 2 bigger weeks following Manchester.

Week 15 – 21 –  March Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
15/04 Morning 15 07:37/m 118
16/04 60 Easy – 7.5 miles
Afternoon Progressive 4
07:57/m
06:50/m
113
125
17/04 5 x 1k tempo + 5k progressive
Afternoon Easy pre 🇿🇦💉
06:56/m
07:32/m
138
116
18/04 Morning 11 pre Pilates 07:25/m 119
19/04 Half day Friday
40 Afternoon Easy
07:39/m
07:31/m
115
118
20/04 20 miles inc Rotary Quarter (2nd) 06:29/m 141
21/04 Moors Valley 20 (4 Loops) – 20 miles 06:58/m 128

Kit

Make Model Description Type Current Mileage Purchase Date
New Balance 1400v6 Red White AW18 – UK 11 Training Road 246 Oct-2018
New Balance Summit Unknown Black – UK 11 Training Trail 199 Oct-2018
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Red – UK 11 Racing Road 14 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Grey Training Road 673 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training Road 283 Mar-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017

 

Week 9 – Comrades Buildup

9 Weeks to Comrades

Following Manchester marathon the plan was to keep rolling with 2 more bigger weeks before another mini taper for London Marathon. This will follow an easy week and then heading off to Sainte Foy in the French Alps for a 3 week training camp with Comrades teammates Gerda Steyn and Steve Way.

So back to 100 miles with a focus on a mid week interval session to hopefully wake up the legs, then my introduction to a Comrades training run favourite of Steve’s, 50k run consisting of 4 x lytchett loops (Hilly 7 mile loop).

Nutrition – Week 9 Summary

With the aim on recovery and to keep mileage rolling new nutrition targets for base nutrition with a slight increase to carbohydrate intake.  15% Carbohydrates, 20% protein, 65% fat. These are loose targets with a top out at 150g carbs per day to include calorie increase for training load.  Again increased load for Saturday and fuelling for Sundays 50k inc long run fuelling;

Long Run – Fuelling Plan;

Recovery

Weight Target 67-69kg Training 65kg Race Weight

Up to 67kg following Manchester and a bit of a treat day Sunday, weight then stabilised back into 66kg range before dropping into 65kg range over weekend.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%)
08/04 67.9kg 3.4 53.3 67.4
09/04 67.4kg 3.1 55.3 68.1
11/04 66.8kg 2.7 54.6 68.0
12/04 66.7kg 2.6 55.2 68.5
13/04 65.7kg 2.2 54.7 68.5
14/04 65.8kg 2.1 55.3 68.5

 

Training – Week 9 Summary

Weekly Totals: (9 sessions)
Total Miles: 100.17 Miles Avg Pace: 7:18 m/m Time: 12:10:40

Main interval session this week was Wednesday evening, Intervals 16, 12, 6, 3 (3)

Split Summary
===
16:00 – Distance 2.83m (5:39/m) 145/154bpm
12:00 – Distance 2.21m (5:26/m) 151/158bpm
6:00 – Distance 1.12m (5:21/m) 153/159bpm
3:00 – Distance 0.57m (5:15/m) 152/160bpm

Week 08 – 14 – April Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
08/04 6 Miles – Recovery Fun 07:42m/m 116
09/04 Morning Easy Effort 10 07:50m/m 120
10/04 4 Miles Morning Easy
Intervals 16, 12, 6, 3 (3)
08:01m/m
06:36m/m
112
137
11/04 9 Miles Morning Run
Pilates – 1 hour
4 Miles Easy Afternoon
07:38m/m
07:25m/m
113
115
12/04 80 Minutes
Sports Massage
07:37m/m 115
13/04 Morning Run inc progressive Poole parkrun (17.55) 07:11m/m 126
14/04 50k – 4 x Lytchett Loops (31.23 miles) 07:03m/m 133

Kit

Make Model Description Type Current Mileage Purchase Date
New Balance 1400v6 Red White AW18 – UK 11 Training Road 246 Oct-2018
New Balance Summit Unknown Black – UK 11 Training Trail 199 Oct-2018
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Red – UK 11 Racing Road 14 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Grey Training Road 640 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training Road 216 Mar-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017

 

Week 8 – Comrades Buildup inc Manchester Marathon

10 Weeks to Comrades

So this happened……………….. When I started planning for the year I set myself the goal to run sub 2:30 at Manchester Marathon, however after a slow start to 2019 training I had adjusted my goals and settled to run both Manchester and London marathons as training runs towards the main goal of Comrades.

As ever plans change and you adjust your goals, following a decent run and PB at Fleet Half Marathon (72:31) I again started to think about Manchester and back to the possibility of a PB attempt.  I had not targeted sub230 before as I’ve been focused on 100k A races since running 2:30:06 in London 2015 so this was now my opportunity.  I still wanted to keep training high and not interfere with the Comrades plan so the weekend before still included the 30 mile Purbecks run and a 110+ mile week but I had allowed a mini taper to finish this week at 70 miles.

So we headed to Manchester on Friday to stay with family, a perfect location to stay in Sale and also the flexibility to be able to chill and cook my own food whilst my amazing wife Nicki and two youngest could enjoy playing with their cousins and not have to worry about boring daddy! Saturday consisted on meeting BAC teammate Craig for a drive to Longford parkrun to meet the Dorset (Twemlow) crew for a 6 mile run inc. a progressive 3rd place parkrun effort building to MP and some easy laps of the running track. Then back home for a lazy day with the only distraction of having to collect my race bib as it had not arrived in the post.

Race Day

Joining teammates Craig Palmer and Steve Way on the elite start was a nice touch and took any worries out of the morning. I have planned to try and stay in a group with Steve with a target of 2:28-2:29 pace, I knew Craig was targeting a faster time so happy to watch him run off into the distance.

We kicked off at closer to 2:28 pacing and even though this felt comfortable I was already having to have words with myself that this was what I was here to do, we went through 10k in 35 mins, I somehow missed the 10 mile marker, hence below the gels at mile 11. And we then hit halfway  at 1:13:xx a little quicker than expected and I was quite please after a 5:30 m/m Steve suggested we let the group go and settle in for a few miles. From mile 16 I started to have a few issues with stomach discomfort and this got to breaking point at mile 18 where I had a moment of panic about having to stop, luckily a release of gases didn’t result in the worst possible situation but actually brought me back from the brink. Suddenly I felt good again and as we hit mile 20 I decided to get moving, a couple of 5:50 m/m between 14 and 19 had cut my buffer built in the first half but when we had been ticking along at 5:45 pace I felt good, so I decided to for the first time in the race to move in front of Steve at try and keep pushing at the same effort.  This worked really well and I felt great, picking of 3/4 runners over the last 6 miles and keeping splits consistent 5:46, 5:39, 5:41, 5:46, 5:46, 5:46 with a final push for the last .2 miles at 5:29 m/m pace.  Finishing in 02:29:33 for 17th place and 2nd M40.  It wasn’t until I could see the clock that I actually realised i had done it and you can see what it meant in the video below.  Great that Steve finished just behind me and Craig waiting at the finish, boys did good.

Race Nutrition

Sunday up at 06:00 for breakfast;

  • Peanut Butter Porridge Pot by Fuel (A prize from last years North Dorset Marathon)
  • 1 x Warburtons Cinnamon & Raisin Bagel Thin with Almond Butter and Sliced Banana
  • Coffee

06:30 – 08:00 – Pre-loading

Race Nutrition – Race start 09:00

15 minutes before race start

Post Race

+ a bit of a blow out day 🙂

Check out the below video from the finish – video adjusted to correct start point.

Nutrition – Week 8 Summary

Taper week consisted of 3 day carb depletion (Zero carbs) Monday – Wednesday, the Thursday – Saturday carb loading.  However due to Keto (Low carb diet) this was a lower carb load than previous marathons topping out at 500g on Saturday.

Weight Target 67-69kg Training 65kg Race Weight

Final weigh in this week was Friday morning pre final carb loading and travelling.  Idea is not to weigh yourself final days and just focus on getting your nutrition and loading right.  Great to hit target weight on Friday of 65.x kg.

Interesting that weight didn’t drop during carb depletion but the fist day of introducing carbs back into the diet on Thursday with 200g carb resulted it a weight drop Friday morning.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%68.5)
01/04 66.4 2.5 54.6 68.2
02/04 66.2 2.2 56.0 68.3
03/04 66.3 2.4 56.5 68.1
04/04 66.3 2.4 55.4 68.2
05/04 65.7 2.2 54.5 68.5

Training – Week 8 Summary

Weekly Totals: (9 sessions)
Total Miles: 70.38 Miles Avg Pace: 6:42 m/m Time: 07:51:54

 

Week 01 – 07 –  April Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
01/04 Morning 6 07:32m/m 119
02/04 Morning 6 – Easy 07:52m/m 117
03/04 Morning 4
2, 2, 2 miles with the Manchester boys
07:31m/m
06:53m/m
119
131
04/04 Morning Easy 5 – pre Pilates
Pilates – 1 hour
30 min easy – 4 miles
07:52m/m
07:37m/m
114
113
05/04 Morning 6 06:53m/m 130
06/04 6 inc Longford parkrun 06:37m/m 135
07/04 Manchester Marathon PB 2:29:33 – 17th 2nd M40 05:41m/m 149

Kit

Loving the Vaporfly 4% Flyknit

Make Model Description Type Current Mileage Purchase Date
New Balance 1400v6 Red White AW18 – UK 11 Training Road 246 Oct-2018
New Balance Summit Unknown Black – UK 11 Training Trail 199 Oct-2018
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Red – UK 11 Racing Road 40 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Grey Training Road 622 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training Road 143 Mar-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017

 

Week 7 – Comrades Buildup

11 Weeks to Comrades

Nutrition – Week 7 Summary

Second 110+ mile week finishing off with a 30 mile run on the Dorset, Purbeck coastline with Steve Way. Plan for the week consisted of 1 interval session off the back of last weeks first 24+ mile long run and the 30 mile effort.  Also took the opportunity to test out the new Hüma Gels at XMiles.co.uk.

Again loaded some carbs for the bigger sessions and fuelled long run with carbohydrate based breakfast and run fuel 1 x Clif Shot Gel (Double Espresso), 3 x Hüma Gels – Original (Strawberries, Lemonade & Chocolate Mocha and a Hüma Recovery Pouch with a RXBar for post run recovery.

.Also had the pleasure of joining the Runderwear team at their Poole HQ for their Episode 3 Get Marathon Ready – Facebook LIVE: on Nutrition with XMiles

Weight Target 67-69kg Training 65kg Race Weight

So I have spent most of the week in the 66kg range following the increase in miles, diet has been modified with training load and weight up into 67kg range pre-long run but back into 66kg range Monday 01/04.

Weight Summary:
DATE Weight (Kg) Fat (%) Muscle (%) Water (%68.5)
25/03 67.5kg 3.2 53.6 67.6
26/03 66.8kg 2.8 53.1 68.2
27/03 66.7kg 2.5 52.6 68.2
28/03 66.0kg 2.4 53.6 68.5
29/03 66.3kg 2.5 54.2 68.2
30/03 66.9kg 2.8 54.9 67.9
31/03 67.6kg 3.1 55.1 67.5

Monday 01/04 weigh back down to 66.4kg, Starting mini taper week to Manchester Marathon. This will include a carb depletion phase of 3 days (Zero Carb) with less than 10g carbs per day. Then build up Thursday to Sunday.  I’m planning to increase carbs over the 3 days build up but not load as previous marathon build-up to see how my body has set into fat burning.  More info on this next week

Training – Week 7 Summary

Weekly Totals: (11 sessions)
Total Miles: 113.12 Miles Avg Pace: 7:20 m/m Time: 13:48:39

Main interval session this week was Wednesday evening, 12, 3 x 5, 12 with 2 minute jog recoveries (7:20 \ 7:55 m/m)

Split Summary
===
12:00 – Distance 2.04m (5:53/m) 140/159bpm
5:00 – Distance0.89m – 5:00(5:38/m) 149/156bpm
5:00 – Distance0.87m – 5:00(5:43/m) 146/158bpm
5:00 – Distance 0.93m – 5:00(5:22/m) 155/161bpm
12:00 – Distance 2.18m (5:31/m) 157/162bpm

Week 25 – 31 –  March Summary:
DATE Summary Avg Pace Avg HR
25/03 11 Miles – Monday Morning Miles 7:25m/m 119
26/03 10 Miles – Morning Steady > Progressive
6 Miles – Afternoon Easy
6:52m/m
7:28m/m
133
117
27/03 8 Miles – Morning Easy with 👨🏻‍🚒
11 Miles – Intervals 12, 3 x 5, 12 (2)
7:48m/m
6:29m/m
109
139
28/03 8 Miles – Morning Easy pre Pilates
Pilates – 1 Hour
6 Miles – Afternoon Easy
7:46m/m

7:48m/m
116

113
29/03 10 Miles – Morning Steady 7:09m/m 126
30/03 7 Miles – Morning Easy
5 Miles – Afternoon Run
7:44m/m
7:10m/m
114
120
31/03 30 Miles – Purbecks (3:13 marathon split) 7:18m/m 130

March Summary

Monthly mileage total March 452 miles, please after lower February with hamstring niggles. Plan for solid April with 2 build up races Manchester Marathon and London Marathon.  Both will include a mini taper week but full high mileage before and after.

Kit

Make Model Description Type Current Mileage Purchase Date
New Balance 1400v6 Red White AW18 – UK 11 Training \ Road 246 Oct-2018
New Balance Summit Unknown Black – UK 11 Training \ Trail 199 Oct-2018
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Red – UK 11 Racing \ Road 14 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Grey Training \ Road 603 Jan-2019
Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit UK11 Wolf Grey / Black-Blue Fury Training \ Road 112 Mar-2019
North Face Ultra MT Mountain 83 Mar-2017