What did I set out to do in February?

  • I am looking to run 2000km in 2020. That means running an average of 170km each month. So, run 170km in the month.
  • Avoid running in the gym as much as possible.
  • Do some sprint work.
  • Run a half marathon distance run.
  • More daytime runs.
  • Try to take a break in the middle of a week day to go for a run.
  • Read another book about running.

How did I run in February?

  • I was ill for the first week or so of the month which stopped me from running. Also getting back going was tough.
  • I ran 135.5 km. This is 34.5km short of my 170km target. It’s OK given the circumstances. I would have liked to have notched up 150km though.
  • I ran on 16 out of 29 days in February.
  • I got a few daytime runs in, but didn’t get too many middle-of-the-day runs in.
  • I ran on a treadmill for 2 of the runs. I hated both! One was a later evening run and I sought solitude in the gym, which is a stupid thing to think. Later in the month that experience spurred me to just run out past Calverley and back when I had a similar situation. Much better.
  • I had a couple of shorter (5km) runs where I tried to keep a pretty brisk pace up. One along the Quayside in Newcastle was particularly enjoyable.
  • I really enjoyed a Tuesday night run from Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley campus out to Ball Park in Horsforth and back. Very windy but very fun, heightened by having to be back at the uni campus by the time the boy had finished basketball. Timeboxed runs with the added weight of parental responsibility.
  • My non-ill Sundays had some good longer runs: 15.7km and 23.2km. My recovery from those runs is way better than it was even a few months back. I felt pretty able to just get on with stuff for the rest of the day and go for a run the next day.
  • My longer runs (10km and over) seem to be clocking in at 5:30/km pace which seems pretty decent.
  • The sore lower right leg seemed to pass, so maybe the rest from being ill had benefits.

What did I learn?

  • For the last week of the month to try to reach the 170km target I tried to cram in a lot of KM into a very hectic week. This was just over-hopeful/bad planning. I should just keep ticking along and take any pushes to get some extra KM when I can. Just let it flow.
  • Really enjoying running in Hoka Cliftons now.
  • And took the Nike Zoom Pegasus out for a few runs too. Love them (but maybe not for every run).
  • Saturday sessions are pretty much alongside-the-dog sessions. The slower pace is fine though. Treat them like a recovery run, in-between a decent session on Friday and Sunday.
  • In-between is not one word. It’s two words or hyphenated when needed.
  • I took my running pack out on several runs. I have to carry my inhaler every time I go out anyway, so on longer runs I tried the pack with that, a drink bottle and a snack, just in case.
  • Watched a BBC4 programme about a walk from Bolton Abbey to Simon’s Seat. There’s a 13.25km route on the web that looks doable. Can’t resist going to the Valley of Desolation.
  • I read The Rise of the Ultra Runners. I like all of Finn’s books. Not sure how much ultra running is more ultra speed walking but…
  • I started The Pursuit of Endurance and Let Your Mind Run.
  • …and learned a lot of about the growth of women’s running. This article in the NY Times is a fascinating read if you want something brisker than a book or two on the subject.

What am I looking to do over the next month?

  • 34.5km short in February means a target of 210km for March. An average of 6.77km a day. Fine.
  • Get a couple of rest days in every week, so run at least four days a week, no more than five. That’s roughly means I need to average 11.66km over those runs. Fine, fine.
  • Avoid running in the gym as much as possible.
  • Do some leg work in the gym though.
  • Do some more sprint work.
  • It’s getting lighter earlier: Use this to my advantage. Get out of bed and get on.
  • Get some middle-of-the-day runs wedged in!
  • Do the run out from home to Five Rise Locks and back. (It tried towards the end of February but just didn’t time it well.)
  • Get a 25km run in.
  • Stretch goal: Get a 30km run in.
  • Be ready for the Manchester Marathon in early April.
  • Keep enjoying it!

Original source – Simon Wilson

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