London Marathon Training – Week 14

Madness, madness, they call it madness!

It’s taper time for most people doing London Marathon. However, as I’ve not ran much recently week 14 was all about trying to restore a bit of my fragile running confidence after 5 days of not running and cycling instead.

 

Monday morning started with a 2 mile run/walk session with my wife and then a 4 mile easy effort run and my left leg felt ok. It still didn’t feel 100% but it wasn’t sore. I had a further physio session at Function Jigsaw, a bit more manipulation of my foot and shin and given a few more exercises to do. I then walked another 2 miles with my wife in the evening.

 

Tuesday was a double day with the first run a 5.7 mile Running Buddy session around Knighton Park. Things were looking up as my leg still felt ok. Could this period of cycling have been the corner turned?

The second run of the day was the Wigston Phoenix evening club run. The answer to my previous question was ‘no’! Within the first 100 metres my left leg had gone back to feeling how it had done the previous few weeks. It felt sore to land, with soreness in my foot, shin and calf areas. The only time it felt ok was, once again, running at a faster pace than usual when we did hill reps. The evening run was 10.7 miles giving a daily total of 16.4 miles.

 

Wednesday began with a Running Buddy session of 3.7 miles. My left leg (sorry to keep going on about it) felt better than on the club run, but still not right.

The evening was another Running Buddy session with a new client who wanted some pushing doing his speed training. We ran a total of 3 miles, including 20 x 30 secs of fast paced efforts, and as these came out faster than my normal running pace, my leg felt quite comfortable.

 

Thursday was a 2 mile run/walk with my wife followed by the club speed/hills session at Victoria Park in the evening.

My leg felt good running at pace so I pushed hard, trying to get some form of training effect for myself. As it felt worse when walking or doing slow recoveries I took less rest on some of the reps than others and also ran some extra reps if I had the chance. The session, for me, totalled 6 miles.

 

Friday was made up of just one run. This was the monthly We Run LE1 run around Victoria Park and into the city centre before looping back to the park. I really enjoy these as they are good social runs for people that want to run 5 miles but aren’t bothered about it not being a timed event. I paced the 10.00m/m group (rather badly as we ran at an average of 9.30 pace – although everyone was happy at that pace and we were nowhere near the actual 9.30 pace group). My leg could only be described as ‘inconsistent’. It would be fine for 10 minutes or so, then the soreness would arrive for a bit, then it would disappear again. Frustrating!

 

Saturday was a make or break day for my confidence. I was toying with the idea of either a 20 mile run with 10 miles at potential marathon pace or 16 miles with the first 14 miles at marathon pace. Both challenging runs that would give confidence if they went well, but had the chance to destroy my mind if they went badly. I set off and in the first mile I was running at 7.00 pace and my leg felt ok. This made my mind up to run the 16 mile version of my run as running at around marathon pace actually feels better than my easy pace.

I pushed on after the first mile and although the marathon pace miles were not easy, they were sustainable. The first 14 miles were run at an average pace of 6.44m/m while my HR was about 5BPM lower than my last few marathons. I also hadn’t eaten since I ran on Friday night and didn’t use any fuel during the run.

This was the confidence booster that I needed. My legs felt fine towards the end of the run and there was no soreness for the rest of the day. I don’t understand what is going on with my leg and why it isn’t consistent. However, if it feels good running at marathon pace then I will take that.

 

Sunday was a very energetic day. I did another run/walk session with my wife, immediately followed by tail-running (walking) at Aylestone Junior parkrun.

As soon as this was over it was out to cycle with a few people from Wigston Phoenix running club. We heading out the long way to Café Ventoux, enjoyed a nice coffee and food (two cakes in my case) and then headed back. As this is the end of my last hard week, I pushed hard on the uphills and in some cases, went back down halfway to do them twice! It was a gloriously sunny day and showed the beauty of the Leicestershire countryside. The ride was about 39 miles in total.

Once home it was no let up. I was straight into the garden to mow the lawn before continuing to build some raised beds out of railway sleepers. This entailed digging out half of the existing beds, lifting 4 x 55kg sleepers into place and then replacing the soil. I finished with helping to pot some new plants, before deciding, at 5pm, that I needed to stop and rest.

 

Week 14 has, once again, been a roller-coaster of a week. Continued soreness but a confidence boosting run that makes me think that the final two weeks of tapering are not going to be particularly pleasant. I do believe though, that sub-3 hours is still achievable at London and hopefully a bit quicker if all feels ok on the day. Then it will be a bit of rest to finally try to sort out the problem.

 

Week 14 Totals: 60.4 miles covered over 11 runs, 39.1 miles of cycling, 2 miles of walking, plus 1 strength session and loads of stretching, rolling and sitting on hockey balls.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

London Marathon Training – Week 13

Week 13 can be summed up quite quickly as ‘it’s all about the bike’.

 

Monday morning started with a 3.5 mile Running Buddy session with a Personal Training client. This was the furthest he had run so far, but my left leg was still sore, now more around the ankle joint, which was worrying as this was a newer niggle.

 

Tuesday’s only run was the evening club run in order to protect my leg. I ran for 3 miles before the club run started and my leg was sore with virtually every step. This time it was my left foot and around the ankle. This was worrying as in the back on my mind I had always worried about the possibility of a stress fracture, but this had been ruled out due to my other symptoms.

Going against what I would tell any other runner in my situation, I went out with the club and for the first 3 miles my soreness moved from my foot to my calf. At this point there was less of an issue when my foot landed and the pace of the run increased and in turn, my leg felt less sore. We were only running between 6.50-7.00 pace, but this felt far better than anything around 7.30 pace. I ended up running 10.2 miles for the night, but I have to say I was not enjoying running at this moment.

 

Wednesday was a planned running rest day and I decided that I was going to give my legs a few days off of running and cycle instead. I went out on a route that I often use when cycling as it is a 15 mile loop that isn’t too busy with cars. Due to my going out at lunchtime and not wanting to cycle through South Wigston at this time of the day I lengthened it slightly to 16.55 miles. I managed to average 19mph for the ride which I was pleased with as half was into a headwind.

 

Thursday was a similar day. I went for a walk with my wife in the morning but realised that I wasn’t doing my leg any good so returned home, totalling 1.3 miles. Later in the day I went out for another bike with Steve from Wigston Phoenix to do the same loop. Adding on a little extra we did 17.5 miles in just over an hour.

 

Friday was a third non-running day and another venture out on my bike. This time I headed around Saddington, Gumley and Smeeton Westerby to do some hill training. Some of the hills were really hard work, with my heart rate getting as high as it would in the final print of a running race. I ended up completing 17.5 miles in just less than an hour and my legs knew about it.

 

Saturday morning was a quick ride down the A50 from Wigston to Husbands Bosworth and back; 10 miles in each direction. The first 10 miles were into a headwind and my legs were feeling the hills from the day before. It took my 37 minutes to do the first 10 miles and then, with the wind behind me, returned in 28 minutes. My legs were tired after this ride, but it felt good to have tired legs again instead of sore legs!

 

Sunday was my final planned non-running day before testing my leg again on Monday. A group from Wigston Phoenix Running Club had arranged for a 35 mile ride out to Foxton and back and so that would be perfect for me to get some more miles into my legs, but at a more sensible pace then I ride when alone.

I cycled to Aylestone Junior parkrun to marshal and then back to Wigston to meet the rest of the group. We then headed off out towards Foxton via Wistow, Kibworth, Smeeton Westerby and Gumley, with a few hills thrown in for fun! After breaking at Foxton Locks with a bacon sandwich and a coffee (cyclists seem to stop far more than runners do) it was back via a longer route, taking in Lubenham, Mowsley, Saddington, Arnesby, Willoughby Waterleys and Countesthorpe. Almost 40 miles in the bag when coming into South Wigston my front wheel punctured on an object in the road! Steve and Michaela stopped to help and after a quick inner tube change it was a mad dash home as I was now running late for Sunday lunch with my parents! A total of 42.7 miles cycled and with no niggles or soreness from the cycling, my legs felt nicely tired.

 

Looking back on the week I’m not now really sure where I am in terms of London Marathon fitness. They say you don’t lose fitness in a week, but you can lose confidence. However, I need to spend time looking back over my previous 12 weeks, plus the base training I did before Christmas, to give the real picture as to where my fitness currently lies and what I can aim to achieve at London.

As you may have noticed with the ending each week, the mind of a runner goes up and down frequently, depending on how the week went. It is rare that we keep in mind the whole block of training that we do and maybe we should do that more. It would make us less mentally fragile when things do no go to plan!

 

Week 13 Totals: 17.3 miles covered over 3 runs, 114.4 miles of cycling, plus 1 strength session and loads of stretching, rolling and sitting on hockey balls.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

 

London Marathon Training – Week 12

Week 12 began in a buoyant mood after my confidence-boosting run at the Ashby 20, but the week itself was full of ups and downs!

 

Monday morning started with a 3.3 mile Running Buddy session with a Personal Training client. This was his third run with me and he managed to knock 30 seconds off his previous best. I decided that an easy day was in order after Ashby 20 and while my muscles felt absolutely fine, my left leg was still being a bit weird with the nerve issue I am suffering.

 

Tuesday was a testing triple-run day. First of all, I ran 4 easy effort miles to see how my left leg was feeling. As it has been recently, running at an easy pace made it feel sore. Next, I ran a Running Buddy session with a Personal Training client. She wanted a hilly run to build leg strength and give her confidence for upcoming league races. Weirdly, my leg felt fine with the 5 miles of hills that we ran!

My evening run was with Wigston Phoenix, running their Victoria Park route. I ran a mile to the club and then set off into Oadby and down London Road. At this point I ran with Colin at a faster pace and my left leg niggles eased as the next 5 miles were at an average of 6.40 pace. Once slowing down towards the end and then running home, my niggles returned and mentally it was tough. The club run totalled 10 miles, making 19 miles for the day.

 

Wednesday was a planned rest day and so I spent an hour doing weights and core work, plus loads of rolling and stretching.

 

Thursday was a sensible day of just one run. I decided to go for quality and not quantity so ditched my easy morning run for another leg strengthening and core session and decided my only run of the day would be the club speed/hills session. I drove down to Victoria Park early and started on the Peace Walk hill reps. I totalled 23 uphill reps before starting on the rest of the speedwork with the club. My session totalled 9.7 miles and once again, at the faster end, my leg felt fine and strong.

 

Friday was an easier day for me as my only run was part of a coaching session, running to a flat stretch of road and then running some 20 second sprints to develop her leg speed. After running back home again I’d totalled 2.5 miles, which felt plenty after last night’s faster stuff.

 

Saturday was to be my ‘time on feet’ long slow run. I always hate this run as I get bored doing a long run all at an easy pace and I was dreading this one as running at an easy pace hasn’t been good for my leg. However, it had to be attempted so I set out at 6.30am with the intention of aiming for about 23 miles or a maximum of 3 hours. This run is designed to give you the confidence that you can run for your target time, but not for the full 26.2 miles as you are running at an easier effort. For the first 8-10 miles my left leg was sore and I felt as though I was not running fluently. Then the issues seemed to disappear. Either they miraculously had, or mentally I had got used to them and my mind had blocked it out. Either way, I ran for 22 miles in 2:42 before finishing. I decided that I didn’t need the extra mile to give myself the confidence of completing London Marathon as I am now resigned to running for ‘fun’ and I’m confident that I can run under 3 hours with the training I have done so far.

 

Sunday was a planned non-running day. My wife and I decided to cycle down to our marshalling duties at Aylestone Junior parkrun. I was on my road bike and she was on her mountain bike. We were a bit early so we decided to add on an extra mile along Welford Road. However, as soon as we got by the turning to the parkrun, I punctured on a really poor stretch of road surface. To ensure we got to parkrun on time I walked my bike the rest of the way there, found the holes in the tube and prepared to fix them. The only problem was that, while I carry a repair kit even on these shorter rides, the glue had run out! After volunteering, I dashed back home on my wife’s bike to get the car to drive back to collect my bike. It was a bit of extra exercise!

 

Well I’m not sure how to describe this week. Slowly stuff aggravates my left leg. Faster stuff feels fine, but I can’t run that fast for the whole marathon (or at least I don’t think I can). So I am still in a place where my left leg is not right but it is not stopping me from running. I now feel resigned that I am going to be in discomfort for the last 4 weeks of training and then rest afterwards.

 

Week 12 Totals: 57 miles covered over 7 runs, 7 miles of cycling, plus 2 strength sessions and loads of stretching, rolling and sitting on hockey balls.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert – Personal Trainer Leicester & Online Personal Trainer

 

 

London Marathon Training – Week 11

Week 11 was the week I made a decision to be sensible, don’t chase mileage and try to do the important sessions (clients, speed, long run) and ditch some of the recovery miles. I need to get to London Marathon fit and able to run for 26.2 miles so I need to prioritise that for the short term. Thoughts of Equinox can wait until May.

 

Monday morning started with a 3 .3 mile Running Buddy session with a Personal Training client, the furthest he had ran in a year, which was pleasing for us both. I then had a Coaching client at lunchtime, a mixture of observing her running style, discussing changes and then practising. Luckily, with my left leg still sore, I didn’t have to run more than 400metres!

Next was to Function Jigsaw and back into their ‘electric bath’. Unlike last week, when the electric stimulus was getting blocked in my hip, I could finally feel a bit of a tingling in my left foot. It still isn’t as strong as my right leg, but definitely an improvement, meaning that the time spent with the roller, hockey ball and TENS machine was starting to work. I was then back at Function Jigsaw in the evening for a back strengthening class, in the hope that could help my left leg.

 

Tuesday was a short double day. I wanted to try a run on my own before running with the club in the evening so I did an easy effort 4 miles in the morning. My left leg felt no better than it had the week before which was a bit demoralising.

Tuesday evening was definitely a run of two halves! It was the Wigston Phoenix Linear Run, where we run out fast for 20 minutes, turn and run back in 25 minutes. Due to Leicester City playing at home we changed the route and headed along the ring road to London Road and towards Victoria Park. I ran hard from the start and was ahead as we turned onto the ring road. I know the pattern of the traffic lights so managed to get straight across and that was the last time I saw anyone. I pushed hard down London Road, managing not to get caught at any junctions and managed to get to Victoria Park Road as the clock hit 20 minutes (3.41 miles at average 5.53 pace). I was surprised that nobody had caught me, but also pleased. Usually when we do this run I start to pick people up about a mile into the back leg. However, I saw nobody, apart from other runners not connected to our club. My left leg started to get sore as I slowed the pace a bit, this in turn started to affect my mentality and by the time I was a mile from the finish and still hadn’t seen anyone I was grumpy and convinced I must have gone the wrong way!

 

Wednesday was a planned rest day and instead of doing the usual recovery run I spent the time doing leg and back strengthening exercises coupled with time on the TENS machine and hockey ball.

 

Thursday was a short double day. I ran an easy 4 miles and my left leg felt ‘freer’ than it had done recently, although my calf began to get sore again after about 2 miles. I was starting to get worried that I’m not going to get over this in time for Ashby 20 on Sunday or even London!

The evening brought the club speed/hills session around Victoria Park. I get there a bit early to do 5 reps of the Peace Walk hill before running back to meet the others. I then did another 6 with them as well as various other short sprints. Weirdly, (although it is becoming the norm) my left leg was fine while running at pace and then sore when recovering and walking. It is very frustrating as when my leg feels ok I am running at a pace that is not sustainable over any great distance.

 

Friday was a double day with clients. I ran 3.3 miles in the morning with a client, before taking another for a short sprints and hill session, racking up another 2.27 miles in the process. As on both of these runs I was slower than my usual pace, my left leg was sore!

 

Saturday was to be a rest day ahead of tomorrow’s Ashby 20, but I agreed to go to a session for visually impaired people who want to get into running. I was paired with the super-speedy Haseeb Ahmad and despite my nervousness of not wanting to injure him by saying the wrong thing (or worse, nothing at all) we managed to run for 1.5 miles around Brocks Hill Country Park without any mishaps.

 

Sunday was a big day for me. I’ve had disrupted training for the best part of the last month and as the Ashby 20 dawned I was unusually nervous for what I treat as a training run. I was concerned as 20 miles is a long way and it was 27th February when I last ran such a distance. There are also hills to contend with, plus it was a windy day. I knew that if my leg struggled I could stop at mile 10 and walk back, but I didn’t want to entertain that thought.   I started off further back than usual, to ensure that my plan to start off easy and get faster as the race progressed was not hindered by going off too fast. I had a loose plan in my mind, but as my left leg was a bit sore after 3 miles (better than usual but still not right) I decided not to increase the pace at 5 miles as I have done before.   I stuck at a fairly even pace for the first 10 miles (average 7.05 pace) before deciding that I wanted to push on and test my legs a bit further. By this time, my left leg had settled down as I couldn’t feel it much (not sure if that is a good thing to take from this)!

I upped the pace and immediately started to overtake everyone that was running an even paced race, or had started to slow down as fatigue set in. As the second lap progressed I continued to overtake people, running straight by them and onwards to the finish. It is this type of pacing in a training race that gives me great confidence as there is no better feeling than feeling fresh and passing people. At this point my left leg felt great and I felt fluid, even with the undulating countryside and the strong winds. The second 10 miles averaged 6.20 pace, with the last mile, which is mainly uphill, at 6.06 pace. In the last 10 miles not one person came passed me and I finished with an 8 minute negative split in 2:14.30. Afterwards, strangely, my leg felt ok. Probably better than while I was running the first half. I was very pleased with the way it held up over the distance and that my overall average pace of 6.44 a mile would give me a comfortable sub-3hr finish at London on a far easier course.

 

For now, my confidence has returned somewhat. I have two weeks left with long runs (23 & 20 respectively) before I start to taper and the overall mileage comes down. For now, it is a case of getting my left leg better day by day so that on 23rd April I am ready to go. It may not be a PB year, but another ‘fun’ sub-3hr marathon is back within reach!

 

Week 11 Totals: 53.2 miles covered over 10 runs, plus 2 strength sessions and loads of stretching, rolling and sitting on hockey balls.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert – Personal Trainer Leicester & Online Personal Trainer

 

 

Dealing with Injury – The Mental and Physical

It has been a tough couple of weeks. We’ve all been there, we have a target to complete and we are firmly fixed on the goal. We are running well and enjoying the training plan we are following. But then, injury strikes and we have to make decisions about to what we do next.

Keep on going – We’ve all done it. We ignore the niggle that gradually gets worse until it becomes painful. Then we are forced to either run through even more pain or we have to stop. This can, and usually does, make the initial injury worse.

Rest – One of the most common things that runners do. We think that resting for a few days will cure whatever issue we have. Whilst it may feel better when you start to run again, you do not know the reason for the initial injury, have not tried to deal with the cause and so it usually resurfaces. This could be within a few days or weeks, but it usually comes back.

Get Advice – This can be done the right way and the wrong way. The wrong way is to ask a search engine. This can diagnose a hundred different injuries, but how do you know which one you have and how to sort it. The correct way is to seek professional advice, whether that is a physiotherapist or injury specialist. They will try to diagnose injury and then will be able to give you information on how to get over the injury and then work on stopping it happening again. I’ve also found over the years that GP’s aren’t usually the best port of call as they are usually likely to tell you to rest until it is better. Being honest, they do have more important priorities with the amount of ‘ill’ people they have to see.

 

Personally, I would always recommend the physio/injury specialist route. I like to know what is causing any niggles I have and I want to know how to sort them and how to stop them coming back in the future. I want to make myself as ‘bullet-proof’ as possible to protect myself in future as I really enjoy running.

Next, how do you deal with the psychological side of injuries?

Get depressed – Sometimes when you can’t run you feel as though you are losing fitness by the day. This may be very slightly true (it takes more than a few days to lose a chunk of fitness) but instead of missing what you can’t do, look at what you can do. Can you cycle, swim or strength train? Do what you can to keep your heart rate up and your head will thank you for it as you know you are doing something productive. You will get back running again.

Give up – This is more common with people newer to running and is often caused by doing too much too soon before their bodies are ready for the strain they are put under. At the first sign of injury people decide that running is no good for them or they are ‘not built to run’. Persevere! Get over your injury and come back slower and more sensibly. Look for a plan to help you build up your mileage, whether you have a target or not. Think of running as a long-term activity and you have plenty of time to get fitter and faster.

Fight back – Get professional advice and do what they say.  This will reduce the amount of time you have to stop training for, if at all as some injuries will not stop you training.  We all know the stretching, strength training and other exercises we are given are not the same as running.  However, by doing these extra things you can minimise your time on the sidelines and help to prevent further injuries.

Re-evaluate your goals – This may sound obvious, but some people have a period of time out with injury and then think they can either go back to where they were or play catch-up. Don’t! While you are not running look at your original goals, whether they are short or long term. Are they still realistic given your current injury? Once you work out a new goal you can then look at how many steps back you have to take in your training. Be honest with yourself as taking an extra month to hit a distance target, or running a race without getting a PB is better than trying to hit an unachievable goal and ending up out injured for a long period of time.

 

I write this from personal experience as I am currently struggling with an issue in my left leg that the injury specialists I am seeing, Function Jigsaw in Wigston, think is a nerve impingement. I have been told I can run through it if I can deal with the discomfort it is causing and this is what I have been doing for two-three weeks now. However, as it is affecting my biomechanics and the way my left foot lands I cannot run to my full capabilities. Therefore, I have had to take a few days off to help recovery. I have also had to re-evaluate my London Marathon target. I know I am no longer capable of a sub-2:45 finish and I am going to use the Ashby 20 at the weekend to see how my leg feels over the course of 20 miles. I can then look at what will be a more realistic marathon target. It may be sub-3:00 (which I really hope it is), it may be trying to drag myself around to achieve a Good For Age finish. Or, it may be worse and I have to think about DNSing or ‘just get round’.

When you are injured it is all about keeping an open mind and being honest with yourself. I’d rather scrape a Good For Age time but be able to run healthily for the rest of the year than push for a sub-3:00 time and miss out on a summer of running.

Be sensible, be honest and BE POSITIVE!

 

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert – Personal Trainer Leicester & Online Personal Trainer

London Marathon Training – Week 10

Week 10 was initially a planned cutback week, but due to lower than planned mileage in weeks 7 & 8 I went into week 10 just trying to do as much as I could. However……..

 

Monday morning started with a 3 .2 mile walk with my wife, followed straight after by a hard progression run. The plan was to run each of the first 7 miles faster than the mile before. I started at an easy pace and then quickly increased, through miles of 7.37, 7.14, 6.52 & 6.41. The last 3 miles of this run are always harder as they take in Welford Road from Victoria Park to Wigston. These were ran at 6.29, 6.22 & 6.02 paces, with the last of those being very hard work up two hills into Wigston. I finished with a bit of a sprint, but couldn’t get the pace to sub-6.00. My left leg just wouldn’t stretch out enough to be efficient enough! I ran another 1.5 miles as a cooldown to recover.

I spent a good amount of my sitting time for the rest of the day (and week) sitting with a hockey ball in various parts of my buttocks, hamstring and calf trying to increase mobility in my left leg.

 

Tuesday was back to my long double days (although this was a triple day as one of my clients wanted a Running Buddy session). I started the morning with a 10 mile very easy effort run. It was an easy effort but I felt as though I was ‘managing’ my leg, rather than running with an efficient stride. My left calf was tight and sore with almost every step although after about 6 miles it did start to ease a little. I’m not sure if that was more psychological as I’d managed the soreness for a while?

The second run of the day was at 10am with my client. We ran 5.3 miles in the sun around Knighton Park at a very good pace for her. Weirdly, my leg felt fine through this run, which in a way just frustrated me more due to the issues I had on my own run.

My final run of the day was the club run. I was being sensible so didn’t run before the club and ran 8.3 miles with the faster group. I just ran with others without pushing the pace or effort as I usually would have. This was mainly due to my leg feeling very weird for the first 3 miles, with various issues from a tight ankle to shin pain to tightening hamstrings. This was despite rolling and stretching before leaving the house. For the second half of the run my leg stopped being weird and started to develop a soreness in my calf instead. Rock and hard place!!! On a plus point I had ran 23.7 miles for the day.

 

Wednesday was a planned rest day so I spent an hour in my gym lifting weights and doing leg strengthening exercises. I also managed to book in with Function Jigsaw for a massage and to look at what was causing my leg issues. After a big of manipulation and massage it looked as though I had a nerve issue in my left leg, meaning that as I was trying to land my left leg my biomechanics were out, meaning I was landing flat footed which in turn was causing the calf issues. Once again I was told to use a hockey ball on my buttocks and hamstrings to try to loosen the tension in them and hopefully to help repair the nerve signals to my foot. They also wanted me to go back on Thursday to sit in their ‘bath’!

 

Thursday was a second non-running day (with another hour of weights and core in my gym) with a lunchtime appointment at Function Jigsaw. I’m not sure exactly what it is called but you sit in a bath with your back against a pad. Hey then send an electric current through you to stimulate your nerves. That sounds a bit dangerous but it felt more like the sensation you get from a TENS machine. Or at least it did until it was obvious that my left side had an issue. As the machine was turned up higher my right side (the normal one) had sensations from my hip to my toes, whereas on my left side the sensations were getting jammed at my hip, sending them shooting into my abs and back. It felt like a very strong Slendertone machine from back in the day (remember those machines where people thought they could get abs by sitting on a sofa with a belt strapped to their waist as they ate chocolate!). I have to say it was not a comfortable experience but it showed that there is a nerve issue in my left leg. I was sent away with a plan of using the hockey ball, stretching and rolling to try to get an improvement for Monday when I need to come back to try again.

 

Friday was another non-running day and another hour of weights, stretching and leg strengthening, plus sitting on hockey ball and rolling at various points during the day.

 

Saturday was a total rest day from exercise, apart from loads of rolling, stretching and using the hockey ball. I hope it works as it is not comfortable!

 

Sunday was my day to test my left leg. I needed to do this for the good of my head as well as my legs. My legs felt spritely from the off and I was running at a far faster pace than usual for my heart rate. That was mainly down to this being the first time I have ran without tired legs for the best part of a year! My left leg still didn’t feel right, although now the calf soreness had gone and it felt more like a twinge on the outside of my foot, pushing up through my shin! It was good to be back out though and I ran 4 miles at an easy effort.

 

I am now at the point, with three weeks of full training to go before I start to taper, that I need to either sort out the problem or just learn how to manage and run through it. I’ve given up the idea of running sub-2:45 and believe that due to the amount of miles I ran during my base phase (and last year) I am still capable of running sub-3hrs and definitely under the 3:10 or 3:15 I need to keep my Good For Age place going. Injuries like this just focus your mind. You are stuck between wanting to run and being sensible for the longer term goal.  I am hoping for a good week to come as it is the Ashby 20 on Sunday, a race I really enjoy, even though I only run it at training paces.

 

Week 10 Totals: 36.3 miles covered over 5 runs, plus 3 strength sessions and loads of stretching, rolling and sitting on hockey balls.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert – Personal Trainer Leicester & Online Personal Trainer

London Marathon Training – Week 9

Week 9 was trying to get back to ‘normal’ mileage after a couple of weeks of weeks of lower mileage (by my previous standards anyway)!

 

Monday morning was hard work. As I had spent last Saturday and Sunday on my coaching course I had to move my long run to today. 22 miles on a Monday morning is never something to look forward to and it was struggle to get myself motivated. However, once out I managed an easy effort 22 miles with no issues at all and had the self-satisfaction of a long run to start off the week.

 

Tuesday was a slightly shorter day than a normal Tuesday due to the exertions of yesterday. I started with a 2 mile walk with my wife and then I had a Running Buddy session where we ran 5 miles of Fartleks around Knighton Park, giving her the best average pace she has achieved since her comeback. Tuesday evening was a 4 mile run to the club in what I can only describe as hideous conditions. It was chucking it down with rain, I managed to run through every ankle deep puddle possible, as well as getting splashed by virtually every car that passed me. I was extremely grumpy by the time I got to the club. We then ran another 7.3 miles in improving conditions to make it 11.3 miles for the evening and 16.3 miles for the day.

 

Wednesday was a planned rest day due to over 38 miles in the previous two days, so instead of running I spent an hour doing leg strengthening and stretching exercises to try to ease my still-niggling calf.

 

Thursday started with a 6 mile general run. No specific pace or plan so just ran at a comfortable pace in the wind and rain (again). Thursday evening was the Wigston Phoenix hills/speed session around Victoria Park and University Road. I got there a little earlier and craftily got in 6 extra reps of Peace Walk before meeting with the rest of the club. I ran hard for the session and tried to get in extra reps where possible. I managed 7.25 miles in total for the session and 13.25 miles for the day.

 

Friday was an easy day. I started with a 5k walk with my wife, immediately followed by a 4 mile very easy effort recovery run. I then spent 30 minutes doing more leg strengthening and stretching exercises as well as some core exercises.

 

Saturday was back to my normal long run. This was a tough run that was 6 miles easy, 4 miles at marathon pace, 2 miles easy, 4 miles at marathon pace and 2 miles easy to finish. All felt nice and easy for the first 6 miles and my left calf was weirdly feeling fine. The first block of MP miles came out at an average of 6.16 pace but felt as though I was battling the pace. The second set of MP miles were at an average of 6.26 pace and I just could not go any faster. I’m not sure if it is a cumulation of the weekly mileage and the extra leg strengthening exercises, if my left leg, while not hurting was just not tracking and working properly, or if I was just mentally fatigued and didn’t push hard enough. Whichever it was, it was frustrating. However, as I tell others, one bad run doesn’t make a bad runner so I have to put it to one side, not let it bother me and move on with next week.

 

Sunday was just a 4.93 mile recovery run to marshal at Aylestone Junior parkrun. Luckily, my run was before the torrential rain that hit towards the end of the parkrun. I had to feel sorry for the last few kids finishing in hideous conditions.

 

I managed to get back to normal mileage for the week, but my left calf is still niggling and while it is now more intermittent than before, it is still far from being right. So next week is going to be more stretching, rolling and glute strengthening, as well as trying to keep my mileage around the 70 mile mark.

 

Week 9 Totals: 78.6 miles covered over 8 runs, plus 3 leg strengthening sessions and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert – Personal Trainer Leicester & Online Personal Trainer

London Marathon Training – Week 8

Week 8 was mainly front-loaded and managing my niggling calf that started better than last week but still not right.

 

Monday started really well with a 10 mile fartlek run. This included the first 4 miles being run progressively, followed by 3 x short steep hill sprints and a fast mile before a couple more hill sprints on the way home.

 

Tuesday was another long double day, comprising of an easy 10 miler in the morning and then an 11.6 mile run, mainly with Wigston Phoenix and with a few faster miles in the middle. My calf held up well although I had a few weird twinges at the start of the evening run.

 

Wednesday was just an easy effort 4 mile recovery run with my calf feeling a little better than last night.

 

Thursday morning was an 8.2 mile easy effort run. Now, when I say easy effort, what I mean is that it would have been easy had Storm Doris not decided to get involved. As well as the strong winds, which never actually seemed to be behind me, there was the driving rain and dodging twigs and flying debris. Thursday evenings run was a speed/hills session with Wigston Phoenix. I completed 15 reps of various hills at about 75% effort due to my calf still not being quite right.

 

Friday was my last run of the week due to a coaching course I was attending on Saturday and Sunday. I set off with two runs in mind. It was either going to be a 16 mile run with 6-8 miles at marathon pace or, if my calf didn’t feel right, a 4 mile recovery run. I knew from the start that the 16 miler probably wasn’t my wisest of ideas. I got to a mile away from home and decided to be sensible. There was no point in running for 4 miles and potentially making it worse so I ran home to limit it to 2 miles, knowing I had 2 days rest to come.

 

My calf may mean that I have to abandon my sub 2:45 ambitions, but I’d rather do that and be able to get to the start line than push on regardless and break myself.

 

Week 8 Totals: 52.1 miles covered over 7 runs, plus 2 strength sessions and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert – Personal Trainer Leicester & Online Personal Trainer

 

London Marathon Training – Week 7

Week 7 was finally going to be my cutback week as my first six weeks had averaged 78.5 miles.

 

Monday started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, immediately followed by an 9 mile run with the first 7 miles ran progressively faster than the previous mile. I started at 7.35 pace and gradually quickened the through 7.25, 7.04, 6.49, 6.30 & 6.10 paces until mile 7 was down to 6.03 pace coming back up Welford Road towards Wigston. The final 2 miles were ran at an easy pace to aid recovery. I always find this run mentally challenging as I know going off too fast makes the last half really tough, but the last two miles are always hard as they are net uphill coming back towards Wigston. However, the recovery from this run is minimal as half is run quite easily paced.

 

Tuesday was far shorter than previous Tuesdays. I had a Running Buddy session in the morning, which was a tour of Wigston, trying to find every uphill possible for a good 5 mile hill session for my client. Tuesday evening was a shorter than normal run as I drove to the club and just did their run. This was a 6.6 mile route which ended up being faster than normal. My legs felt good as after the first 2 miles we averaged 6.41 for the next 2, then 6.12 for the last 2 miles. I would have expected this as the total of 11.6 miles is less than half of a normal Tuesday.

 

I awoke on Wednesday and walked 3.3 miles with my wife but developed a bit of a ‘pain’ in my left calf. I always suffer with tightness in my left calf and it is one of the indicators I use to know when I need to back off training. As this ‘pain’ was not muscular tightness, but more of a sore spot running down my leg between my shin and calf I thought it was best to rest and get a physio appointment. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get in to the physio until Thursday lunchtime.

 

Thursday was a second rest day as I awaited the physio appointment. It was also my wife’s birthday so today was always going to be a short easy day so missing a run wasn’t an issue. I went to Function Jigsaw and after explaining the issue, a bit of prodding, bending me around I was diagnosed with Tibialis Posterior inflammation. I was given stretches, told to roll my glutes and to use a hockey ball to get deeper in to the tissue to relieve some of the pressure (I hate sitting on hockey balls as they are more painful than the inflammation in my leg)! I was told I was ok to run on it if I could cope with the discomfort. I left Function Jigsaw much happier, knowing that it was not a game-changer in the scheme of the marathon or Equinox.

 

Friday was a 3rd non-running day in a row (I can’t remember the last time that happened). However, it was planned as my wife and I were off to London for the day. As usual, we stayed above ground and walked everywhere, managing to wander approximately 8-8.5 miles during the day. That also doesn’t include the time spent on feet wandering around the shops!

 

Saturday was back to reasonably normal. As this was a cutback week I decided to stick to my plan and ran 16 miles. This was broken down as 8 miles easy/steady, 6 miles at marathon pace and 2 miles easy to finish. My legs felt a little strange after no running for 3 days and a lot of time spent on feet in London the day before. However, as I got past the first 2 miles they started to settle down and feel normal again. The first 8 miles then flew by as I gradually got quicker from 7.15 pace for the first mile to 6.41 pace for mile 8. I then pushed on down Great Central Way, aiming for my heart rate to be around 150-155bpm as an average. The next 6 miles all averaged between 6.11 & 6.16 pace with an average HR between 151 to 154bpm. Absolutely spot on! I could feel it as I slowed down for the last 2 miles as running a 16 miler as a first run back after 3 days off was not ideal but, needs must!

 

I finished the week off on Sunday with an easy effort 4.5 miles on the way to volunteer at Aylestone Junior parkrun. As most of it was downhill, the pace was 7.00 average for the first 3 miles, even with my heart rate at under 130bpm.

 

Week 7 Totals: 41.2 miles covered over 5 runs, plus about 17 miles of walking, 2 strength sessions and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert Personal Trainer Leicester

London Marathon Training – Week 6

I wanted week 6 to be a big week and that is exactly what it turned out to be.  My biggest week of mileage ever!

 

Monday started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, immediately followed by an 8 mile run with 3 miles at marathon pace. On tired legs, I was pleased to hit an average of 6.15 pace for the marathon pace miles with my heart rate being in exactly the same place as it has been on my previous marathons. I use this as a guide as I know that a heart rate in that region is sustainable.

On Monday evening I had a Running Buddy session, where I was showing a client how to run a progressive training run. It ended up a great run for him as the first 3 miles were net downhill with the wind, whereas the next 2 miles, his fastest, were uphill and into the wind and heavy rain. He managed to finish with a mile that was 1m/m faster than his anticipated race pace. He was happy, I was happy and it threw up some questions as to whether his race pace may be quicker than we first thought. The run ended up being 6.43 miles giving 14.5 miles of running for the day.

 

Tuesday, as usual, was my long day. It started with a 10 mile easy run, followed mid-morning with a 4.4 mile Running Buddy session which was mainly running up every hill in Wigston! I finished the day with a 3 mile run to the club and then a comfortable-paced run with them and an easy mile home for an evening total of 12 miles and a daily total of 26.42 miles.

 

Wednesday, as always, was a very easy day, with just a 4 mile recovery run at a very easy effort.

 

Thursday was overall a physically tough day. I started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, followed by an easy 6.6 mile run. In the evening I ran down into Wigston to join the club speed/hills session. As I wanted to make the session as hard as possible for me I wanted to run off the front of everyone else immediately, in the hope of doing at least one extra lap of each hill than everyone else. After an initial warm-up rep we headed to the bottom of Newton Lane and then I pushed hard up the loop of Newton Lane hill, turning right at the top and running hard back down the hill to Welford Road, with the recovery being a flat stretch of Welford Road, about 100 metres long. To make it harder I jogged this recovery at a cruising pace so that I wasn’t as recovered as normal for the next rep. After 5 of these I felt as though I was struggling but surprisingly, each rep actually got faster and rep 5 was 4 seconds faster than rep 1.

The next set of reps was a loop of 3 roads on the Wigston Harcourt estate. The faster parts of the loop was 400 metres in length and once again I ran as hard as I could with the recovery being as fast as I could sustain. Once again, the reps got faster as I got through them, with rep 5 being 5 seconds faster than the first. We then did one final sprint uphill on Meadow Way where although it felt as though I was running through treacle I actually averaged 4.4m/m pace. The session finished with me running back home to complete a total of 7.9 miles for the evening and 14.5 miles for the day.

 

Friday was another easy day with just a 4 mile recovery run after the Thursday intervals and I could certainly feel it in my legs!

 

Saturday was a long 20-mile run that I never look forward to, but always seem to nail when I actually do it. I call it my 6,5,4,3,2 run as I increase the pace the further through the run I go. I was up and out before 6.45am on Saturday, with the weather very cold, dark and sleeting/snowing/raining. Plus there was an annoying cold wind. I felt quite good for the first few miles and the first 6 miles averaged 7.16 pace. I then pushed on a little harder for the next 5 miles, which averaged 6.53 pace but still felt very comfortable. At this point I was heading towards the bottom of Great Central Way. After the first of the next 4 mile block I turned at the bottom of GCW and headed back up to Glen Parva. I always find it harder running this way as it is net uphill. This 4 mile block averaged 6.30 pace and my HR was still way below my normal MP HR. Just as I got to the bottom of the big hill at the top end of GCW I had to increase my speed again, this time to around marathon pace. Heading back towards Wigston I hit a very cold headwind but kept pushing, keeping an eye on my HR, trying to keep it between 150-155bpm. I managed to keep going for the full 3 miles within the HR I was looking for, with my average pace for the 3 miles being 6.10 per mile. I was very pleased with this as it was faster than I had expected but was also my 80-82nd miles of the week. The final 2 miles was a sedentary-feeling 7.11 average pace.

 

Sunday closed the week with a very easy 4 mile recovery run on very tired legs.

 

Week 6 Totals: 87.5 miles covered over 11 runs, plus 6.2 miles of walking, one strength session and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

Martin Hulbert Personal Trainer Leicester