Half Marathon Training Week 13

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Week commencing 11/09/06


Today was the start of our holiday so there was no run today, instead we spent it hanging around airports and sitting on transfer buses

Part of the running route


Sundays run took a lot out of me, and fortunately todays run was a short speed training session, the resort were we stayed was close to sea level so I could do this run on the flat.

I got up around 7 for this so that I could get it done before the sun got too hot, I could not believe it was still dark, so I did quite a long warm-up while waiting for it to get light enough to run.

I am pleased with my efforts and came close to the plan timings.

Target time 12 minutes actual 13.27
Target distance 1.12 actual 1.27
Target average pace 10.43 actual 10.33

My time for the mile was 9.23


This was a steady run it was a lot warmer on this run and it took quite a while for me to stop sweating afterwards.

To stretch this run out I had to take on some of the hills but still managed to do most of the run on the flat.

Target time 45 minutes actual 47.14
Target distance 3.51 actual 4.06
Target average pace 12.48 actual 11.38

Split time
1st 10.56
2nd 11.30
3rd 11.31
4th 12.00

I now only have a week to go before the race and as you get closer you put in less miles and start to build your carbohydrate levels.

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Half Marathon Training Week 12

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Week commencing 04/09/06


When I started to run I dreaded running in the rain and I was quite fortunate that it has not rained much on the days I have ran, it started to rain shortly after I started my run this morning.

I had my shower proof jacket on, the only thing is it makes you sweat more, so by the time I got home the jacket was as wet on the inside as it was on the outside.

I have found that I don’t really mind running in the rain, but I think I should wear contacts you can’t see a lot when your glasses when they get wet.

It was a tempo run this morning, running for 5 minutes at speed with 2 minute recoveries in-between.

Target time 20 minutes actual 21.03
Target distance 1.86 miles actual 2.07
Target average pace 10.44 miles actual 10.11

Split times
1st 9.50
2nd 10.06


There was only a small group at the running club and we were evenly matched pace wise so it was a nice steady run, only the occasional stop to cross the road this is something you can avoid when running in the morning.

Total time 45 minutes, distance 3.7 miles, average pace 12.06

Split times
1st 12.06
2nd 11.54
3rd 12.11


I had a good run at todays Parkrun, I did not get a new PB but I felt good all the way round, like last week I did not want to over do it a spoil things for my Sunday run.

Target time 29.59 minutes actual 32.38
Target distance 3.1 miles actual 3.1
Target average pace 9.39 actual 10.24

Split times

1st 10.42
2nd 10.28
3rd 10.29

The official time 32.47


I could not have picked a harder route than I did this week.

Since Thursday I have been drinking energy drinks that are designed to help you build your carbohydrate levels and to be honest I did not really feel any better on this run than any other.

I ask myself is it down to the route I took or are these products not as good as they say they are.

The start of the run was the easy part as it was down hill, I followed the Pennine trail towards Wombwell part of it was paved but the majority was a muddy path, I found this section difficult as I was slipping a lot and was afraid of doing myself an injury.

I was glad to get back on the road at Wombwell, I was still keeping a good time then I came to Hough Lane the first of the hills not the hardest of hills but I could feel it.

Next came Wood Walk there not much of a break between Hough Lane and Wood walk the worst is it gets steeper as you get near the top.

It levelled off for a while the next hill was Hawshaw Lane another hill that gets steeper as you get to the top, that hill took so much out of me that it was quite painful on the downhill part of that road.

I was glad when I had got all the hills out of the way but it had taken it out of me and I found it a bit painful running between Hoyland Common and Home, after this experience I am sure I will be able to run the full distance at the half marathon.

Target time 115 minutes actual 117.36
Target distance 8.97 miles actual 10.35
Target average pace 12.49 actual 11.21

Split times
1st 9.56
2nd 10.25
3rd 10.20
4th 10.32
5th 11.20
6th 11.41
7th 12.33
8th 12.18
9th 12.18
10th 11.48

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Half Marathon Training Week 11

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Week Commencing 28/08/17


Speed run consisting of 4×5 minute intervals with a 2 minute recovery in between.

I set of at a good pace, and I thought I might be able to keep it going for all 4 intervals, but as you can see from the split times I was not able to do this.

It’s hard to maintain the same pace when there a hills involved perhaps I should have done this on a track, having said that I don’t know if I would be allowed to use the nearest one.

Target time 29 minutes actual 32.43
Target distance 2.67 miles actual 2.99
Target average pace 10.45 actual 10.55

Split times
1st 9.58
2nd 10.41


Tonight’s club run was hill training.

It was another session that I really enjoyed I felt good during the whole run, I was strong on the hill climbs and thought it would be good if I could do the Parkrun hills at the same pace.

Total distance 4.3 miles, time 48 minutes, average pace 11.01

Split times
1st 11.33
2nd 10.12
3rd 10.28
4th 11.39


I went to the Parkrun today with the intention of running steady as I have a 105 minute run tomorrow and I did not want to overdo it today and spoil it for tomorrows run.

I had a good run and felt good all the way round, I thought my split times for the first 2 laps was close to 11 minutes and on the last lap I decided to increase the pace.

Looking at the split times I did better than I thought.

Target time 30.01 minutes actual 32.10
Target distance 3.1 miles actual 3.1
Target average pace 9.39 actual 10.13

Split times
1st 10.22
2nd 10.41
3rd 10.02


I was going to do today’s long run on the Pennine trail but decided to run from home and pick my route as I ran, the hardest part about this was picking a route that did not have me running in circles.

The route took me to Tankersley, Hoyland Common, Hoyland, Jump, Platts Common, Blackerhill through the woods to Worsbourgh Village and back into Birdwell.

I took a wrong turn at one point it was down a quite steep hill, and it turned out to be a dead end so I had to run back up the hill.

I felt good on the run, I think this could be down to not pushing it yesterday.

Target time 105 minutes actual 106.08
Target distance 8.18 miles actual 9.53
Target average pace 12.50 mins/mile actual 11.08

Split times
1st 11.01
2nd 10.55
3rd 11.06
4th 10.17
5th 11.28
6th 11.46
7th 11.01
8th 11.17
9th 11.20

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Half Marathon Training Week 10

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Week commencing 21/08/17


The first run of the week was a tempo run consisting of 3×12 minute intervals at fast pace and 3×3 minute intervals at a slower pace.

This week I ran on the flattest route I could find as instructed in the training plan, I felt good on the run I noticed I was heal striking as I was getting tired, so I focused my attention on how I was landing.

Target time 45 minutes actual time 46.33
Target distance 3.99 miles actual distance 4.41
Target average pace 11.16 actual 10.30

Split times
1st 10.05
2nd 10.57
3rd 10.38
4th 9.53


Travelling to Edinburgh today so no club run I went for a steady run before setting off.

Total distance 3 mile, total time 34.01 minutes, average pace 11.12

Split times
1st 11.15
2nd 11.09
3rd 11.01

My legs felt a bit heavy on the run this morning, could be from yesterdays faster run.


I had no intention of running at a fast pace today and I would have thought I would have found it easier but no, I seemed to struggle on the second and last lap and felt like I was going to get stomach pains on the third lap.

I normally like to put a sprint in for the finish line but did not have enough energy left.

Target time 30.04 actual 33.50
Target distance 3.01 actual 3.01
Target pace 9.40 actual 10.40

Split times
1st 10.35
2nd 10.46
3rd 10.58

Official time 33.50 can’t believe Strava exact same time


Long run day, my legs felt really heavy on this run, the route I chose was mostly downhill for the first mile and a half and I set a nice pace for the first mile as you’d expect on the easy part of the run.

I would have liked to have kept to that pace for the whole run.

The run was split into 8 minutes running with 2 minutes walking, when I first read this in the plan I felt a bit disappointed because I expected to be running the full distance at this stage of the training plan.

I have got to say that on the return section I was glad of the walking intervals, especially coming back up the hill.

Target time 85 minutes actual 86
Target distance 6.61 miles actual 7.54
Target average pace 12.51 actual 11.24

Split times
1st 10.57
2nd 11.31
3rd 11.45
4th 11.03
5th 10.44
6th 11.14
7th 12.55

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Half Marathon Training Week 9

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Week commencing 15/08/17

Start of the revamped training plan, I have taken the advice of an experienced marathon runner from the club I have joined, when I told him what I was doing in a week he said I was doing too much and should have more rest days.

I will still be doing 4 runs in a week 1 of them is going to be the club run on a Wednesday, I will be doing 1 day resistance training at the gym upper body only, this will give me rest days on Monday and Thursday.


The first run of the week, this was speed training broken down into 2 intervals of 12.5 minutes with a 2.5 minute recovery period.

The first interval was downhill so I tried to pace myself so that I had enough left to do the second at the same pace well as you can see from my split times that did not happen.

Target time 30 minutes actual 31.15
Target time 2.80 miles actual 2.96
Target pace 10.42 actual 10.33

Split times
1st 9.06
2nd 10.32

I should point out that I walked for the recovery periods.


Club run night, I really enjoyed tonight’s session we had a jog up to Locke Park and did some sprint circuits and being able to give it all I could without worrying about keeping some in reserve like I do on long runs felt great.

Total distance 3.5 miles, time 37.54 minutes average pace 10.36
Split times
1st 11.17
2nd 9.05
3rd 10.22


Parkrun day, last week I did not enjoy the parkrun, and I think it was because I was trying to get a PB of 30 minutes, this week I did not try I just went with the flow seeing how my body felt and I enjoyed it more.

I also think there might be something in what Ian at the running club told me about over doing it

Target time 30.08 minutes actual 32.19
Target distance 3.1 miles actual 3.1
Target pace 9.41 minutes 10.15

Split times
1st 10.19
2nd 10.30
3rd 10.23

Official Parkrun time 32.15

Just in case you are wondering about the targets they are on my plan, the actual times are logged in Strava.


A 75 minute run this morning, I headed off down the hill and onto the Pennine Trail the out ward run being the easy part, and the long run back up the hill on the inward run.

The weather was kind to me this morning the sun was shining and there was little to no breeze.

Target time 75 minutes actual 76.10
Target distance 5.82 miles actual 6.99
Target pace 12.53 minutes actual 10.53

Split times
1st 9.56
2nd 10.23
3rd 11.05
4th 10.31
5th 10.58
6th 11.42

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Half Marathon Training Week 8

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Week Commencing 07/08/17

I joined a running club and last night I was talking to an experienced marathon runner, he has advised me to take more rest days, so I am rethinking my training plan.

Last night I went for a run with the club the distance covered was 4.5 miles, there was quite a bit of walking involved due to the slower runners in the group.


My training run was the same as last week running for 8 minutes and walking for 2 minutes, as it was not fit to go off road I did most of my run round the side streets so that I could hear the timer on my phone.

Even though it was a bit damp this morning I still enjoyed the run.

Target time 55 minutes actual 57.02
Target distance 4.26 miles actual 5.11
Target pace 12.55 actual 11.09

Split times
1st 10.56
2nd 11.29
3rd 11.04
4th 11.23
5th 10.52


A tempo run 10 minutes at a fast pace then 3 minutes recovery.

The route I chose for this was a hard one, the first 10 minutes were mostly on a downward slope but the second 10 minutes was all uphill, I tried to keep the pace going but I was getting slower and slower.

If only it could be all downhill but it doesn’t work that way.

Target time 26 minutes actual 30.10
Target distance 2.29 mile actual 2.73
Target pace 11.20 actual 11.02

Split times
1st 9.09
2nd 10.41


It was a steady run for 25 minutes with 4×20 second sprints add at random.

The run went well and I felt strong so I put the sprint intervals in on uphill parts of the run.

Target time 25 minutes actual 28.33
Target distance 1.93 actual 2.51
Target pace 12.55 actual 11.23

Split times
1st 10.33
2nd 11.11


Parkrun tried to get a PB of 30 minutes Strava says I haven’t done it I will just have to wait till 12 to get the official time.

Today was the first time I got to thinking about how far I had got to go, and had a bad feeling when I got round to the start for the second time I started thinking oh no I’ve got to go round it again.

Target time 30.12 actual 32.10
Target distance 3.11 actual 3.15
Target pace 9.43 actual 10.13

Split times
1st 10.36
2nd 10.09
3rd 10.25

The official time 32.14

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Half Marathon Training Week 7

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Week commencing 31/07/17


This was a running and walking training today, running for 8 minutes and walking for 2.

I went off road for this run, it was a bit muddy but still enjoyable and good to get away from the traffic.

Target time 55 minutes actual 55.36
Target distance 4.25 actual 4.58
Target pace 12.57 actual 12.08

Split times
1st 12.17
2nd 11.40
3rd 12.06
4th 12.14


Before going out on the run this morning I read the instructions and I still managed to get it wrong, I set my timer and set off, I was to do 2×10 minutes at a fast pace and 2×3 minute at a slower pace and this is what I set my timer up for.

When the timer signalled the end of the run I started walking and got my phone out to check the time on Strava I thought it had ended too soon, I had got it into my head that I was running for 30 minutes, so I carried on running till I had done 30 minutes.

I set my equipment up for the job and did not put any faith into it.

Target time 26 minutes actual 30.44
Target distance 2.29 actual 3.01
Target pace 11.21 actual 10.12

Split times
1st 9.41
2nd 9.57
3rd 10.58


Running at a moderate pace for 25 minutes and adding 4 20 second sprints at random periods.

I had to keep myself in check today I found my breathing was harder than it should have been for a moderate run.

I enjoyed the sprints it made me feel as if I was actually running if you know what I mean.

Target time 25 minutes actual 26.27
Target distance 1.93 actual 2.55
Target pace 12.57 actual 10.21

Split times
1st 10.11
2nd 10.23


There did not seem to be many people at the Parkrun today, but after setting off it took a bit of time before the field got stretched out, running bunched up makes it harder for you to get into your stride.

I keep saying I want to average a 10 minute mile and I am getting closer to it, but it felt like hard work today, I am still quite away from the pace my plan says I should have ran today.

Target time 30.17 actual 32.28
Target distance 3.11 actual 3.18
Target pace 9.44 actual 10.12

Split times
1st 10:14
2nd 10.23
3rd 10.28

These times are from Strava.

The official time is 32.30.

There I was thinking there was not many people there today, but there were over 200 running today which is quite good compared to the last 6 weeks.

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10k Race Training Week 5

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Week 5 starts with a 5-mile run, I set off too fast and I knew all about it from the second mile, it’s just as well it is flat on Portobello prom the only slope is at either end but nothing compared to the hills in Locke Park.

I ran towards Leith initially and turned around when the footpath joined the main road and then ran back towards Musselburgh, I thought I had judged the distance correctly so that I would finish outside the swimming pool but I was about half a mile short.

I didn’t want to run past the pool so I ran round the side streets. The pool has been handy for getting changed they only charge for the use of the showers.

My Times for each mile.
1st 10.32
2nd 11.14
3rd 11.24
4th 11.35
5th 11.17

Got it right this morning did the resistance training, there is a lot more equipment at the Portobello swimming pool, so I was able to do most of the exercises, the was only one I couldn’t do was the seated rows.

The weights on the machines go up in different increments from the ones at my regular gym, so I just recorded the numbers of reps I did and tried to get the weight as close as I could to that at my normal gym.

Tempo run this morning and I managed to keep my breathing between 8 and 9, keeping my breath at the right level is easier than the running itself.

The run itself was only was just over 2 miles and took 21 minutes to complete.

My Times for each mile
1st 10.11
2nd 10.12

Steady cardio at the gym today, I did 50 minutes on the cross-trainer I must be getting fitter because I managed to keep within my desired heart rate at level 14, doing between 70 and 80 cycles per minute.

When I have done this in the past I have had to keep the speed between 60 and 70 cycles to maintain my desired heart rate.

When I got up this morning the weather did not look too good, when I checked the weather forecast it said it was going to rain, I was toying with the idea of going to the gym and doing a tempo run on the treadmill.

But the boss reminded me that if it rains in Blackpool I will have to run, so I went to do the Parkrun instead.

Once again the last lap took its toll, my breathing was very close to a 10 this is the level where you would find it difficult to talk, I slowed my pace right down to try and make the breathing easier but I was determined not to walk.

When you are fresh it’s very easy to go out fast on the first lap, when trying to control your breathing it takes a while to get to an 8, I didn’t really feel I had to an 8 till the second lap.

My Times for each mile.
1st 10.34
2nd 10.55
3rd 11.41

Parkrun result new PB 35.16, 202 out of 220.

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10K Race Training Week 4

Please Help Me To Raise Some Money For BLISS

Endurance run today distance covered 4.6 miles, time 55 minutes.

My legs felt like lumps of lead again this morning, I don’t know if it is because I go up The Walk early in the run, I am sure it can only be strengthening my legs and in time I will not feel it.

I have not been keen on the idea of running in the rain, when I set off this morning there was a bit of drizzle and I thought it might have got heavier as I got further into the run, lucky for me it did not put down a lot of rain till I got back in the house.

Today’s run was a 4.5 mile run, working the miles out are easy the app does that for you and gives you a verbal warning when you have completed each mile, the only way I can get information about the half mile is to look at my phone.

The only problem with that is I have to take it out of the magnetic pocket I wear while running, I can only get my phone in the pocket if I take it out of the case I have for it, so it is not protected when take it out to have a look.

Anyway, I managed to run the full distance despite of my legs feeling a bit heavy.

Timings by Mile
1st 11.53
2nd 11.37
3rd 11.43
4th 11.53

Active rest day I did a nice steady 50 minutes on a bike at the gym, I had to walk round the gym for a while to ease the saddle soreness.

One thing about this week my legs did not feel as bad as they did last week, they still took a little while to loosen up when I started walking.

Once that was sorted I did my abs exercises then front and side planks to strengthen my core.

I must remember to take my headphones next time I do this I will be able to watch TV, it will have to be one of the kids programmes though, I couldn’t listen to the news for 50 minutes talk about getting brain washed.

Tempo run with James today, time taken 20:08 distance covered 1.91 the average pace was 10.32 per mile.

James has advised me to cut back on my training, I am currently doing 2 long runs a week and 2 tempo runs with a cross training day then 2 resistance sessions in the afternoon.

He has suggested that I only do 5 sessions a week, that would be a distance run 2 tempo runs a cross training day and 1 resistance session, being as I am paying him for his advice I think I would be wise to follow it.

You know I have mentioned not wanting to run in the rain, I thought today was going to be the day I would have to, it started to put a bit down just before we started, but we managed to get round before it really started to come down.

1st mile 10.36
0.91 10.30

Today should have been a cross training day but I did resistance training, I suppose I should have looked at my programme before going to the gym.

I think I did the training the correct way, I remember reading that you should work on the big muscles first, so I did chest first then my back and arms last then finished off with abs and core exercises.

It’s the first time I have done resistance training in the morning I have been doing it in the afternoon and having my evening meal afterwards, when I have done it this way I don’t normally feel hungry but even after having my breakfast which is normally my biggest meal of the day calorie wise, I felt hungry after a short period and it lasted all day, even though I had some snacks in between meals I tried to keep these healthy but could not resist the custard creams.

I’m not hungry as I type this though I have had my favourite meal tonight bacon, egg and tomatoes. Just in case you think I should not be eating this because it will not do me any good, when I started my get fit campaign I weighed 86.5kg (13st 6lb), I now weigh 80.6kg (12st 7lb).

Fantastic day for the Barnsley Parkrun I left my running jacket back in the car it was that warm, there were 232 runners today from all age groups, and it was great to see the children joining the parents for a run, there was a group of youths in their early teens they all looked to be having fun.

I am getting better the third lap was once again the hardest, I did the run as a tempo run I think I managed to do it right, my breathing in places was a bit heavy but not over what my instructor calls an 8 not as you would suspect on the hills but on the approach to the hills.

I was using the hills to recover my breath and on the flat, I seem to be recovering better which is a good sign.

I finished at position 182 and my time this week was 35.27.

Timings by the mile
1st 10.28
2nd 11.00
3rd 11.15

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10k Race Training Week 3

Please Help Me To Raise Some Money For BLISS

I have read quite a lot of articles on the internet about running faster so I thought I would give one of the ideas a go, there is a road where I live called The Walk it is on a fairly steep hill so I had a go at hill sprints.

To do hill sprints as the name suggests you run up the hill as fast as you can. Then you can ether jog back or walk back down and repeat this as many times as you can.

I had a nice steady run down there from my house and then proceeded to sprint up the hill, the first couple of times felt fairly easy and I managed to do two more before carrying on with my 3.5 mile run.

It was not all running though there was 3 or 4 times when I had to walk who can blame me, I can only see this making me a better runner.

The sprints must have taken it out of me I was falling asleep while watching the tele so I was in bed for 9 o’clock and slept till 6:30.

Today is a cross training day where you do anything but running sometimes called active rest, you do these other activities at a nice steady pace, I chose to go to the gym and ride a bike for a change.

I think the next time I do this I will take a cushion there where certain parts that were hurting more than others, I mentioned in another post about steady cardio and how I keep my heart rate at 101 beats per minute.

I set the difficulty level to 4 and keeping the speed around 70 rpm this was ideal for keeping my heart at plus or minus 5 of my desires heart rate.

When I got off the bike after 40 minutes I could hardly move my legs they were aching in places they don’t normally get sore, a short walk round the gym sorted that out.

I had a session with a personal trainer today, the whole session lasted two hours and he has put me right on a few things.

I mentioned that I would like to run the 10k in under an hour he has told me with my current fitness level this would not be possible.

We did a tempo run this is running just slightly faster than your comfort level you should be able to talk but only getting out 3 or 4 words out at a time, he has told me that this type of run should normally take between 20 and 30 minutes over a two-mile run.

If you feel you are getting out of breath you are running too fast you should slow down for a while till you get your breath back.

It was great to be able to talk to someone who knows what he is talking about. While following the programme that I got off the internet I felt it was not taking me in the right direction and only training me to be able to run the distance.
James is a great guy if you need help to get fitter, lose weight or improve your speed his contact details can be found on his site  http://www.getactivefitnesscoaching.co.uk

Got up just before 6 to have my breakfast before my run at the recommendation of my personal trainer, this meant I could not go out for my run till 8, It actually came in quite handy as I managed to get some practise in on my guitar while waiting to go.

Up to now I have been getting up and having a cup of coffee and doing my warm-up exercises then setting off and I have been fine. It’s not only James that says you should eat before a run there are lots of articles on the internet that tell you to do this especially before a long run.

Today was a 4 mile run done at a steady pace, I started at the pace I intended to maintain for the duration of the run, it felt a bit slow but that was the whole idea of the run not to get out of breath, the breathing was fine it was my legs that where feeling a bit like lumps of lead.

I kept going and managed to complete the run in 48 minutes for the last mile I tried to pick up the pace it was alright on the flat bits but even the slightest slope took its toll.

I was using the Mapmyrun app again and when I heard it tell me I had done my 4 miles I felt that I could run some more especially at that pace.

Parkrun day my legs felt better than yesterday, I was supposed to do this as a tempo run I don’t know if I did it right but I did fell as if I was keeping a good pace and it felt faster than normal.

The weather looked fine here at home but when I got close to Locke Park there was a bit of drizzle I thought of turning round and going to the gym, people have told me that they like running in the rain, I don’t know if I would set off in the rain but if you are not near home when it starts you don’t have a lot of choice.

I will have to run in Blackpool if it rains I can’t see them giving your registration fee back just because the weather isn’t to your liking.

I am still improving in the Parkruns my PB is now 37 minutes, the last lap still takes its toll though at one point going up the hills I thought if I bent forward anymore I would be crawling. From what I have been told you are supposed to stay upright when running up hills, I had to keep telling myself to straighten up.

The total distance ran this week 12.6 miles.

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