Marathon training round-up

Tamsyn and M at the start of Southampton parkrun. Tamsyn is holding a microphone.

Yet again, the last few weeks have been so busy that I haven’t had enough time to blog alongside working, training and studying. I’m not quite where I want to be but am pleased that I am continuing to make progress.

Sunday Runday (12/02/23)

On Sunday 12th February, I joined in with Sunday Runday. This was the second of three training runs for ABP Southampton Half Marathon. The training run was due to be 12.5km, so I needed to run 11.5km before meeting everyone else.

I started my run from the Common and averaged 7:04/km for the first 11.7km. My initial solo lap went past Chafen Lane and I considered taking a selfie there as the name amused me (chafen/chafing). However, I didn’t want to break my stride, so I carried on. Unfortunately, I think this tempted fate as I ended up with the worst chafing that I have ever had from this run. By the time that I got home, I had a scab running all around my bra-line. I’m wondering whether wearing a waterproof gilet caused me to sweat more than usual.

Approximately 40 runners lined up at the side of the road.

By 8:30am, there was a sizeable group of runners gathered for Sunday Runday. I was looking forward to running with others as I don’t really enjoy running alone.

About 3km in, we saw Kim and Vicki running on the other side of the road. I did a bit of running backwards and forwards to try to help someone be in the most appropriate group. Unfortunately, this meant that I ended up detached from the group. I looked for the others and waited around for a bit before deciding that I’d missed them so I ran on alone.

I kept looking back but didn’t see the others, so I assumed they’d picked up the pace and carried on. It was a little disappointing as I really hadn’t wanted to run on my own.

I was pleasantly surprised to realise that I ran the second half slightly quicker than my initial solo run. I averaged 7:03/km for the final 12.6km.

LRR Monday night hills session (13/02/23)

The day after my long run, I joined Lordshill Road Runners for a hills session at the sports centre. We covered 5.9km. I really slowed by the end as I was shattered.

LRR Thursday endurance session (16/02/23)

On Thursday, I joined another LRR endurance session. It involved aiming to run at marathon pace for some stretches.

I knew I would be running alone for most of the session, so I made the most of running with friends from Group D during the warm up.

On my first lap, I thought I saw a toad or frog. I wasn’t really sure whether it was a creature or a leaf, so I kept watching out for it on my next lap. Sure enough, it was an amphibian.

I covered 10.1km and averaged 6:45/km, so I think I’m gradually getting faster.

27.5km London marathon training run with parkrun (18/02/23)

As my mum had come to visit, I took the opportunity to go for a long run with Stu. It’s so rare that we get to run together these days. We agreed to run together before parkrun, run separately at the event and then run home together afterwards.

I think we ran about 18.5km before we started running at parkrun. I was quite pleased to see Caro at the start of parkrun as we were running at about the same pace. It was really nice to have someone to run with whilst Stu was speeding around at his own pace.

Half-way through, Andrew sped past us. It looked like he was running really well.

Tamsyn's results email from Southampton parkrun #482.  Her time was 32:44.

I was quite surprised to see that I completed parkrun in 32:44 as I felt comfortable and chatted all of the way round. It’s not that many weeks ago that I’d have been racing at that pace!

The run home felt really hard as I stopped to chat to people after parkrun and then felt really cold. Overall, Stu and I ran 27.5km and averaged 7:17/km.

LRR Monday night training (20/02/23)

Lynne was leading an Oregon circuits session for LRR Monday night training. It started off feeling quite easy, but each set of reps felt harder. I think Lynne must have noticed that we were starting to flag as we finished the session with some Indian file running.

I covered 5.5km in this session.

Thursday night endurance training (23/02/23)

Yet again, I had a solo session for Thursday night endurance training. I ran the first part of my warm up with Amy and then did the second part with Ruth.

I was really pleased that I nearly ran 10km in an hour. When I started these sessions, I was running a lot less than that. Throughout the session, I managed to stay at the right pace. (I wanted to run the marathon pace sections at 6:24/km, which is aiming for a 4:30 marathon). I averaged 6:35/km for the session.

Saturday – Run Directing (25/02/23)

I had a day off from running on Saturday as I was run directing at Southampton parkrun. I really enjoy supporting the parkrun community and seeing everyone enjoying the event. M also likes volunteering. She wrote her first run report about volunteering.

Tamsyn and M at the start of parkrun. Tamsyn is wearing a blue Run Director's vest. She is holding a microphone. M has on a pink high vis vest. There is a signer on a step next to them.

Sunday long run (26/02/23)

Sunday was a slightly shorter long run as I was only scheduled to do 21km. I planned out a route, but didn’t set off too early as I wanted to have a lie-in.

It was a cold day, so I chose to wear a Craft base layer that I received a few years ago. I was also grateful that my new sports bra had arrived from Runderwear as I couldn’t face another long run where might get chafed.

I hoped that I might manage to keep to a pace of 6:24/km. Unfortunately, my run starts with an immediate uphill section, so I had no chance for a warm up, but I managed to pick up speed on the second kilometre which was downhill.

A running selfie of Tamsyn. She is wearing Shokz headphones.

It was a beautifully sunny day, but the wind was very cold. I saw quite a few people out running. Whilst running, I didn’t have quite enough to drink, but I appreciated having Shotbloks instead of an out-of-date energy gel.

Tamsyn smiling whilst running.

I decided to run 21.1km so that I had completed a half marathon. Then I decided to walk the final hill to get home. I hadn’t managed to maintain a pace of 6:24/km. However, I was pleased that I had managed to improve my average pace to 6:48/km, which is better than any of my recent long runs. If I can maintain that pace for a full marathon then I will finish in 4:46:43.

Monday night LRR training

This week’s Monday night training was a ‘chase the pace’ session. We had to run a 475m circuit at a progressively faster pace. We started out at a pace that would be a 32:30 5km and ended up at a 25 minute 5km pace. I was surprised that I managed to achieve all of the paces.

When I checked my Garmin data, I was delighted to see that my VO2 max had improved again.

VO2 max screenshot from Garmin connect. It has improved from 40 to 41. The screenshot says "Your VO2 max is in the top 15% for your age and gender".

I was also delighted to see that my fitness level wasn’t just productive, it was actually peaking. It hasn’t been that good since before I got ill in November. Unfortunately, I won’t get to see how quickly I can run on Saturday as I’ll be running with M as Stu has a race.

A screenshot from Garmin connect that describes Tamsyn's fitness as 'peaking'!

Are you training for any races at the moment? How’s your training going?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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