Sunday, 7 February 2016

Actually planning some training

Over the last year I've tried a couple of different training plans - one from the Manchester 10k website and one from a dedicated ASICS training app. Neither worked for me, partly because they seem to under-pitch the effort required for my skill level, but more so because I find it difficult to fit their routines into my schedule. What they did do was get me into a pattern of recording and tracking my runs, allowing me to see progress over time.

I have two goals related to my upcoming races that I think require a bit of a concerted effort in preparation:

  1. Survive the Huddersfield 10k and if possible get a half-decent time for my skill level i.e. a sub-60 min finish
  2. Knock 10% off my previous Manchester 10k time i.e. a sub-50 min finish

I've taken a bit of inspiration from the Mcr 10k training website to come up with my very own training plan. Inspiration or folly, we'll see soon enough.

I have a regular Tuesday evening run with the Greyhounds, a moderate 5-10k. I also have a regular Thursday evening run with a sub-set of the Greyhounds, a hard 11-13k that I may need to miss a few of to get the diary to work. Finally, I've decided to switch Saturday morning park runs for a while and introduce some dedicated training runs.

For February, my focus is on Hudds 10k. As such, I will be undertaking a weekly hill training session where I run a local route that gets close to matching the race levels of climbing and distance.

In February I will also experiment with some interval training. This involves running fast for a few minutes then recovering for a few minutes, then repeat a few times.

Then from March I will switch focus to Mcr 10k. That will mean I can drop the hill training (there will be enough hills with the regular Greyhounds runs) and start some race simulations instead. In these I will run for a time at 'yellow zone' level (e.g. 6km at slower than goal pace), run a bit at 'orange zone' level (e.g. 3km at goal pace), and finish with a little bit at 'red zone' level (e.g. 1km at faster than goal pace). Over time I intend to spend less time in the yellow zone and more time in the orange zone.

All the above is fine on paper, but it will get interrupted by obviously having to race - to make sure I run well I will taper off my training in the week before a 10k. There will also be some personal diary clashes to contend with, but I think I've managed to work out a plan that gets me where I want to be (or at least near). I will try not to be a slave to it - I can already run at a speed I'm fairly happy with (although it's in my nature to always want to be faster). I will miss park run, but hope to volunteer on tapering weeks and get back into it properly in summer.

I've found the Huddersfield 10k to be a mental challenge - I don't know the course, so I don't know whether the hills will be long and gentle or short and steep. This training will help prove to myself that not only can I complete the challenge, but do it justice. I don't know if it will work, but I'm going to give it a go. It still doesn't include any cross training (cycling, swimming, pilates, HIIT classes, etc), but I just can't fit it all in.


  1. Quite and 'assault' on the training regime, Matt! What a dedicated planner you are and it all looks good 'on paper', but we are sure you are making work on the road, too. Good thing that you live surrounded by hills and fellow 'Greyhound-ers' are part of your training 'pack'. Up hill and down dale... Hudds will be a breeze!! HORIZONS TEAM

    1. I really wouldn't have even started this challenge without the Greyhounds helping me run in the first place. And now that I have, it's the pack that's helping me get through this challenge. Love my hounds!