cough, splutter, keep on running?

Another week in the bag and another visit to Edinburgh parkrun. Slower than the previous week by about 7 seconds but still finished 20th. I should be happy with that but I know I can run faster and should be running faster. However, before I get a load of comments telling me not to expect too much etc. etc. and that my fitness isn't up to scratch etc. etc. I've reminded myself that I'm not training to get my 5 km race times down, I'm training for a marathon. The shorter distances will get faster as the months go by and when I can afford more time off from training than just 24 hours.

Just now it's 6 days a week of training with a Friday off. I use parkrun as an early morning wake up call and also a chance to run with heavy legs. I tend to only do a mile warm up before the run which isn't really enough to then get the legs moving at race pace. This weekend I may see about a mile warm up and then do some drills. It all depends on the weather though as last Saturday was horrible! Wet and windy.

Tuesday track sessions

I'm really enjoying my Tuesday night sessions at Saughton track just now. It's always in the region of 6 miles of hard work which tends to mean my Tuesday mileage hits about 8 miles after warm up and cool down.

This week is a slight variation on the mile reps which we have been doing the past 3 weeks.

Copied from the coaches email:

2 x 400 to get a benchmark for your 400m speed. About 1.30 recovery.
1 x 800 (1.45-2.15 recovery)
1 x 1 mile (2.00-2.30 recovery)
1 x 1 mile acceleration run (2.00-2.30 recovery)
1 x 1 mile (2.00-2.30 recovery)
1 x 1 mile acceleration run (2.00-2.30 recovery)
2 x 800 acceleration run (1.45-2.15 recovery)

For anyone who has not done a mile acceleration run, you start off the mile with the first lap a good bit slower than your steady 1 mile pace, the second lap is slightly slower than steady pace, 3rd lap about the same, then you finish with a flat out 400 as fast as you can go, trying to get as close as you can to your 400m rep speed.

For example:-

1 mile in 6.00 mins is 90 secs per lap. In the acceleration run, the laps are approximately 98 93 88 83 to bring you in about 6.02

5.40 is 85 secs per lap so in the acceleration run laps are approximately 93 88 83 78 for a 5.42

5.20 is 80 secs per lap, so in the acceleration run the laps are approximately 87 82 79 74 for 5.22

For the 800m acceleration runs, the first lap will be at about your mile pace with the 2nd lap as fast as you can go.

So that was the plan however, what is planned doesn't always happen! I went to the track, did the warm up and got round the first 400m, the second 400m was a flat out effort which was hard but I managed it. Then came the 800m, within 200m I knew something wasn't right. It felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. Rather than push it I peeled off the inside lane and jogged back round to the start of the 400m. Checked my heart rate and instantly knew I wasn't well. The sore throat I had when I woke up was obviously more than just a sore throat from snoring! Resting heart rate wasn't dropping below 93BPM and that was after 5 minutes of just standing around. My usual resting HR is mid 40s so even after a run I would expect it to come down in to the 70s at least. I was adviced to wait until it drops to the 80s before trying another rep. It didn't! 

I ended up taking a very easy jog (8 min/mi) around the track and then I headed home! A bit deflated but best to rest rather than make myself more unwell. 


Woke up on Wednesday morning, no sore throat and felt better but took my rest day on Wednesday instead of Friday. 


Thursday I had another easy day, still went out for a run though. Joined Mrs ScottishRunner for her 5.5 mile birthday run along the Water of Leith and the local cycle paths. It was a lovely day for it, a bit chilly to start with but after a mile it was very nice. This is when you know you're a runner, it's your birthday, you have the day off work and you want to go out for a run. 


Today's run was another easy run. This time from the office around a 6 mile route I have. It takes me up to the Union Canal which is nice, within a mile I'm away from roads and traffic. Today was really windy and you got a feeling it could snow any second. Luckily it didn't!

I'm feeling much better today and looking forward to a 16 mile run on Sunday, no matter what the weather is doing. The plan is also to head down to Edinburgh parkrun again tomorrow, no expectations, no plans, just a hard effort run. 

Tuesday was the first time I've actually taken note of my heart rate while training but today I was keeping a constant eye on it, keeping it low around the 140 BPM and it did feel easy. At one point I even felt like an athlete out training in the extreme weather of Scotland. Today was the sort of weather that I think many would say "Nope, not going out in that, will hit the treadmill instead". Me on the other hand really enjoyed it. Fighting into the wind and rain and showing a finger to the elements! 



Owain Williams

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