Great Birmingham Run training week 8

Thanks for all of the lovely comments on my last training update blog. My family and friends don’t really understand my slight obsession with running, so your comments really helped motivate me as I approached the halfway stage of my half marathon training.Collage 20

I ended the seventh week of my half marathon training with a challenging 55 minute run. Fortunately, week eight of my training plan consisted of a taper and 5 km time trial. Week eight consisted of rest days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – have I mentioned how much I love rest days, a 20 minute run on Tuesday and a 10 minute run on Thursday. The plan recommended that I complete a 10 minute run on Saturday before attempting a 5k time trial on Sunday. I switched around Saturday and Sunday’s training sessions so that I could make it to Walsall Arboretum parkrun for the first time since February!

Monday – Rest

I love Monday rest days! I spent the morning putting the various bits of unwanted running gear I’d sold on eBay the previous evening into jiffy bags. Although I did my best to avoid the busier lunchtime period, I was not very popular with some of the other customers at the local Post Office. If looks could kill, my half marathon training would have ended on Monday. On a more positive note I’d made enough money to buy myself another pair of Brooks Adrenalines. Evidently my feet have an expensive taste in trainers.

Tuesday – 20 mins steady

My alarm woke me up at 05:30 and I immediately thought “sod it”. After lying in bed weighing up the various pros and cons of morning versus lunchtime runs, I eventually dragged myself out of bed at 06:15 and was more or less ready to run 15 minutes later. Although the sky was blue and it was really sunny, it was also pretty cold. As I felt great I decided to attempt my slightly more challenging two-mile route. As per usual the first five minutes or so of the run were challenging, however, once I’d warmed-up and settled into my stride I found the remainder of the run quite easy. Week eight had got off to a positive start.

Wednesday – Rest

Another rest day, I love this training plan. I spent the morning working on my rivers of the Anthropocene paper, if you haven’t read about the Anthropocene I wouldn’t bother unless you want to feel really, really depressed. I also wrote a quick review of the Adrenaline GTS 16 trainers Brooks had very kindly sent me earlier this year. The Adrenalines are great – I just wish that they weren’t so expensive. Hopefully the GT 17s will be released soon. In the afternoon I changed into some of the gym gear I’m not brave enough to wear in public, and completed the majority of Oiselle’s Dirty Dozen core routine.

Thursday – 10 mins steady

Once again I found running for 10 minutes both mentally and physically challenging. My breathing was all over the place and I really struggled to complete the training run. I felt tired when I finished, and as I walked back home I somehow managed to jar my fragile left foot. Fortunately, my foot appeared to feel slightly better after I’d iced it. Being a hypochondriac and a runner is a nightmare!

Collage 21

Once I’d decided that my left foot wasn’t broken, I decided that I was well enough to travel down to London. The train journey was uneventful and I met up with my friend in Marylebone. I managed to convince my non-sporty friend to watch the final stages of the men’s triathlon. The Brownlee brothers were absolutely bloody amazing. We had a couple of pints in the Gun Makers and then headed across to Pizza Express on Regent Street. Watching several groups of runners run past made me realise just how much I missed training with my running club.

Friday – Rest

After leaving my friend at Waterloo station – there may have been some tears on the main concourse – I spent an unsuccessful hour or so trying to track down a pair of Women’s Adrenalines in a size 9. I tried four different running shops and was offered more expensive Transcends, Adrenalines in a size 8 and a couple of pairs of Men’s Adrenalines. I was reminded why I do most of my shopping online.

Saturday – 5k race or time-trial

Although it was dark, wet and windy when I woke up and I felt really tired, I forced myself to get out of bed and into some running gear. After a slightly stressful journey, I had finally made it to Walsall Arboretum parkrun. I quickly discovered that I’d forgotten how to run in anything other than first gear. I tried to speed up but couldn’t. I eventually finished in a not very impressive 28:05. Last year I would have been happy with a sub-30 minute parkrun, on Saturday I was disappointed that I was unable to get nearer that elusive sub-25 minute time.   Collage 22

I spent the afternoon working my way through the mountain of washing that had accumulated during the week and preparing some more listings for eBay. I discovered that Sweatshop had some Adrenalines in my size on sale for £80 and used my parkrun discount to get the price down to £64. Slightly cheaper than the £100 to £110 they would have cost me in London.

Sunday – 10 mins very easy jog

When I eventually got out of bed at 08:00, I discovered that my right knee was feeling quite painful. Fortunately I only had to complete a 10 minute jog, so I decided to see if I could actually run. I got changed into some running gear, drank a glass of milk, did some stretches and headed out the door. It was a typical August morning – cold, wet and windy. I walked for a couple of minutes and then started to jog. As my right knee felt okay and was actually functioning as a knee, I decided to speed up. Less than ten minutes later I’d completed week eight of my half marathon training.

So that’s the eighth week of my half marathon training completed. I can’t believe that I’ve managed to reach the halfway stage of my training without too many major injury scares. Once again I was reminded that hills are not my friend and that I need to slow down.

Next week’s training schedule contains four runs and is described as the second “building phase”. Slightly scary! I’ve got to complete a 10 minute run tomorrow, a 35 minute run on both Wednesday and Friday and a 65 minute run on Sunday. After feeling so knackered after running for 55 minutes last Sunday, I genuinely have no idea if I’ll be able to run for 65 minutes.

Training totals

  • Runs: 25
  • Time: 8 hours 35 mins
  • Distance: 87.06 kms

Races/time trials

  • 5 km: 28:05
  • 10 km: TBC during week 12


  • Left foot: 5/10
  • Right knee: 5/10
  • Calf muscles: 2/10

Do you buy your trainers in-store or online? I used to buy all of my trainers from a local specialist running store but now I’m skint I tend to look for the best deals online.

Do you tend to run on your own or with other people? Although I love running on my own I’m already looking forward to returning to my running club in October.



8 thoughts on “Great Birmingham Run training week 8

  1. Helen says:

    Another good week, and I hope that those niggles don’t get worse.

    It’s funny, isn’t it? I remember last summer we were both chasing sub-30 at the same time, now I seem to have regressed and you’ve improved so much that 28.05 seems disappointing! I miss the days I could do that….and I miss the days where sub-25 was my pipe dream. Maybe one day. I seem to have got lazy as a result from trying to do an ultra. But anyway, that’s testement to how much your running has improved!

    I’ve joined a running club now, but I’m still yet to make it to a session…hopefully soon.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Helen, the niggles don’t seem to be getting any worse *touches wood*. I wouldn’t say that you’ve regressed and you’re definitely not lazy! You seem to do loads of different sports whereas all I do is run! As for ultra running, there is no chance I’d even attempt anything longer than a marathon. I have a feeling the maximum distance my knackered old body can cope with is a half marathon. I actually think that I should be slightly faster with all the consistent training I’ve been doing recently! Which running club did you join?


  2. AnnaTheApple says:

    Glad your foot wasn’t broken! I’m so clumsy that I honestly wonder how I’ve only ever just broken my arm (fell out of a tree when I was younger, as you do).
    Wasn’t the triathlon good? Those guys are just amazing. I watched the female tri on Saturday and that was very cool too. Less obvious who was going to win which made it a bit more exciting (though more disappointing for GB!)
    I always buy my trainers online. I know exactly the ones I like so I hunt them down on the Internet.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. I’m still paranoid all this running is going to cause my right foot to fall apart again, slightly paranoid I know! Trees are dangerous, my brother managed to break his arm falling off a settee. I’ve no idea how! Apparently I was a touch overconfident when I was younger. All of my injuries were caused by me falling off my horse. The most painful was when my horse kicked me in the face, I had an impressive black eye for weeks. I’ve got serious Olympics withdrawal symptoms, I watched some of the Diamond League athletics last night but it wasn’t the same. I’m relieved that I’m not the only online trainer shopper. I would support my local running store but it’s got seriously expensive in there.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks wanderwolf. I agree, morning runs are far, far more enjoyable than later runs. I love the quietness and lack of people. I gave myself a lie in this morning so I’ve got to run later on today. I’m already dreading heading out when it’s warmer and humid. My left foot just about survived the building week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maria @ runningcupcake says:

    I saw a bit of the triathlon but as there were not Canadian people in it they kept cutting to boxing or something.
    I love online shopping and get most things that way. I did get fitted for trainers properly in sweatshop a couple of times, but I’ve also bought shoes online, either trail ones which I won’t wear much, or similar styles to ones I already have.
    I always thought I preferred running on my own but I look forward to my Tuesday club runs and parkrun too.
    Glad the plan is still going well.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. I remember being in the USA during the athletics world champs last summer. The coverage was terribly biased with loads of advert breaks. The second that Bolt beat Gatlin in the 100m the channel stopped showing the athletics. It definitely made me appreciate the BBC more.
      I was initially fitted for and purchased trainers from my local running shop. A year later Sweatshop recommended the same trainers, luckily they were on sale and I was able to use my running club discount. Unless I feel the urge to buy some cross country spikes I can’t see me returning to my local running store. It’s got far too expensive.
      Although I prefer running on my own, I can’t wait to get back to my running club. I’ve got stuck in plodding mode and need to run with some faster runners.


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