Quick update – making progress and ambitious goals

As usual, weeks slip by. October is a big month.

I’ve two big races; Solent Half Marathon and the Great South Run. Fortunately, I then get a couple of months off races before Stubbington 10K in January.

The last few weeks have all been about swimming. That’s not to say I’ve not run but I’ve really been enjoying my trips to the pool. Firstly, my running has largely been done on the treadmill. With some poor weather and some time constraints, it’s been easier to jump on the treadmill and crank out some miles. It’s dull but that feeling is lessened by being able to catch up on some TV on the iPad.

The treadmill also makes interval training, pyramids, long runs a little easier. With 1 or 2% incline, it feels like a good workout.

On Saturday, I had a great run at Southampton parkrun. I was hoping for a sub-25 minute finish and my pace was looking to be around 4:52-4:54 on average. Henry was struggling with an injury and we stayed pretty close throughout the run with him doing better on the flat whilst I powered (to use the word very loosely) up the hills. The final km was a real push to the finish with an average pace of 4:36 mins/km. I crossed the line in 24:20, a course PB of 55 seconds (which was set the previous time I ran on the Common) and only 27 seconds behind by 5km PB. Having wondered whether I’d ever beat that, it now seems attainable.

I’m pretty sure that the improvement in my running isn’t simply down to my running training. As mentioned in my previous post, I want to do a triathlon (having been thinking of doing one for about 18 months) and have signed up for the Eastleigh Sprint Tri in July 2013. As I need to be able to swim 400m, I’ve been heading to Fleming Park 3 or 4 times a week over the last few weeks. Having bought both ‘Total Immersion’ and ‘Swim Smooth’ several months ago, I’m working on my technique to try and improve stroke efficiency. It’s a struggle.

My body rotation needs work, I need to start bilateral breathing. I need to become more hydrodynamic. I need to improve my form and keep straight rather than allowing my under rotation on one side to make my course look more straight than a zig-zag down the pool. Lots of room for improvement overall.

With the Solent Half Marathon looming, I have to get a good long run in this week. Hoping for 12 miles and then a little taper for next week. I don’t expect to PB at the 1/2 but hopefully it’ll act as a good training run for the Great South Run 2 weekends later. The GSR will not break me this year!!

I have almost decided that 2013 will not only be the year I compete in my first triathlon but also the year I train for and hopefully complete my first (and possibly only?) marathon. I’ve been thinking about doing a marathon for a long time and now that I have a treadmill, it makes the long runs on poor weather days a lot more do-able. Having entered the ballot for the Virgin London Marathon for the 3rd year and been rejected again, I’ll be hoping to run the Brighton Marathon on April 14th.

Given that there are 27 weeks between now and the Brighton Marathon, my plan is to work up from the half marathon to about 18-20 miles (over about 10 weeks). If all goes well to that point, I’ll then take a couple of lazy weeks before starting a 16 week marathon programme at the end of December. That’s the plan anyway!!

So, 2013 could be the year I am no longer a runner but a ‘marathon runner’ and a ‘triathlete’!

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