My First Running Training Plan
I thought it was about time I combined my hobby with my day job so here’s a visualisation based on my running data.
This shows how my recent runs have generally been at a slower pace than in previous years. This is because in the past I’ve never really trained for an event. Instead, any half marathon or 10k race I’ve done has just been like any other day’s run. Or rather, whenever I’ve done a ‘training’ run I’ve pretty much run as fast as I can. This is not how you’re supposed to train if you’re a serious runner (which I don’t class myself as, but you may disagree). What I should be doing in the majority of my training runs is going at a much more comfortable pace, which has the effect of:
- improving aerobic fitness
- avoiding injury
- aiding recovery
Some other observations from this viz
You can see an upward trend of my total running distance over 2020 which shows how, like many people, I picked up running more over lockdown. Intuita held a charity running challenge in December 2020 and January 2021 which encouraged me to go a few extra km and end with a half marathon. Thankfully, I managed to dodge Covid until November 2022, where you can see a clear period of inactivity.
I did manage a quicker time in my lockdown half marathon than in the Fleet half in March 2017, but only just. The significant extra distance I covered leading up to the lockdown half clearly didn’t have a massive effect on my race pace.
With the Reigate half marathon booked for September 2017, I completed an intense month of ‘training’ in August, including a 45 minute 10k. When it came to the race, I was feeling a bit of a thigh strain but ran anyway and ended up with an injury to my hip. It took me a while to recover (in fact I’ve never fully recovered from it) as you can see by the lack of running in the following months.
Again, considering the amount of running leading up to it, I didn’t manage a particularly quick time in the Oxford half in October 2021. Although I was much more cautious of picking up an injury this time round given I was imminently about to become a father (which also explains the dip in activity over the following months!).
My new training plan
I am now aiming to run 2 or 3 times a week with a much slower default pace and only the odd high tempo activity mixed in. I know, this doesn’t really count as a training plan, but at least it’s a start. With the colouring of the chart, the Newbury 10k in May 2023 sticks out like a sore thumb as a fast race amongst slow runs. It was my fastest 10k since January 2021 and followed a relatively short period of (comfortable!) training.
I’ve managed to keep my distance up in the 2 months since without being compromised by injury. In fact, if you view the chart by Time instead of Distance, I actually spent over 10 hours running in June 2023, which is more than any other month (even though it’s not quite the furthest I’ve run in a month).
Watch this space for how effective this new strategy is over the rest of this year as I aim to challenge my 10k PB in October…