Great Birmingham Run training week 4

Once again, I hope that everyone had an awesome weekend. Thanks for all of the comments on my last training update. As my family and friends don’t understand my obsession with running, I really do appreciate all of the support.Collage 8Week 4 saw me complete the second week of the ‘building’ phase of my beginners’ half marathon training plan. The plan comprised of a back-to-back training run on Monday, a 20 minute run on Thursday and a slightly longer and potentially challenging (for me!) 30 minute run on Sunday. So how did I find the fourth week of half marathon training?

Monday – 10 mins taken very easy

Last week I stated that nothing beats starting the week with a rest day. Unfortunately, week 4 of my half marathon training plan had me completing my first back-to-back training run at a “very easy pace”. What could possibly go wrong?  Although I found the 10 minute run easy, when I checked my Garmin I discovered that I’d been running at anything but a “very easy” pace. I really do need to learn how to slow down and how to pace myself. I seem to remember having the same issues with pacing last year.

The rest of Monday was so mundane and uneventful I won’t bore you with the details.

Tuesday – Rest

If I ignore the mile or so walk to and from the Post Office to post my latest batch of FleaBay sales, I followed the training plan and did very little exercise. Once I’d finished reviewing yet another thrilling unpublished academic manuscript, I watched England beat South Africa in the first semi-final of the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

Wednesday – Rest

Although I do love running, my right heel was still feeling quite sore first thing in the morning so I was pleased the training plan said “Rest”. Following on from the success of last week, I decided to work my way through a selection of plantar fasciitis rehab exercises and calf stretches. I also attempted some of the beginner exercises in the Pilates for Runners  book I’m currently reviewing.

Thursday – 20 mins steady

After spending the morning completing yet another job application, by the time it got to midday, I needed a break from my computer. Fortunately, Thursday was a run rather than a rest day. My training plan said “20 minutes steady” so I set out with the aim of running at a slightly faster pace. Although I found running along the uneven pavements of Four Oaks Estate challenging, I gave myself a good talking-to, and managed to avoid walking when I was meant to be running.

I asked my friend to take some photographs of me after my run. I wanted to see exactly how I looked after drinking and eating far too much since the start of the year.Not the best photos...Although I’ve already lost a couple of kilograms since I started half marathon training, I’ve still got a long, long way to go. I don’t think I’ll be wearing that unflattering Lululemon top again…

Friday – Rest

Another rather mundane but incredibly restful rest day. I attempted some of the easier exercises in the Pilates for Runners book and was reminded that I’m not very flexible.

Saturday – Rest

Another rainy rest day, slightly frustrating for a runner who loves running when it’s raining. Unfortunately, although the day started well, it ended badly when I discovered that I’d missed yet another family party. You can choose your friends…. At least my dodgy right heel felt relatively pain-free, I won’t mention my left foot. I went to sleep feeling reasonably confident about running for 30 minutes the following morning.

Sunday – 30 mins jog

For some reason I woke up well before my 06:00 alarm and couldn’t get back to sleep. After lying in bed for what felt like hours, I decided to get up and get my 30 minute run done. I got dressed, worked my way through my PF exercises and stretches, went to the loo, knocked back a glass of water, switched on my Garmin and headed out on my run.

For once I was sensible and set out at a very, very steady pace. About 10 minutes into my run, I spotted a very soggy looking £10 lying on the pavement. I’m not ashamed to admit that I instantly stopped jogging so that I could grab the £10 note. The remainder of the 30 minutes was uneventful and actually felt relatively easy. I just wish that the ache in my left foot would go away.

I returned from my run, worked my way through some post-run stretches, drank a couple of glasses of orange nuun and soaked my feet in a bowl of cold water. I had a quick shower and returned to bed for a couple of hours. I then spent most of the day watching England win the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

So that’s week four of my half marathon training plan completed. Once again I was reminded that I could never complete a running streak as my fragile feet don’t like back-to-back training runs. Next week’s training schedule contains two 20 minute runs and a slightly longer 35 minute run on Sunday. I’ve also pencilled in a couple of Pilates and foam rolling sessions.

Training totals

  • Runs: 12
  • Time: 3 hours 10 mins
  • Distance: 18.09 miles


  • Right heel: 4/10
  • Right knee: 1/10
  • Left foot: 5/10

Do you do yoga or Pilates? Although I’ve made several half-hearted attempts to work my way through some of the less challenging Jasyoga videos, I’ve never actually been to a ‘proper’ yoga class.

Would you stop during a run to pick up money? Finding a £10 note was definitely the highlight of my run yesterday.


9 thoughts on “Great Birmingham Run training week 4

  1. cat h bradley says:

    I kind of like that your training plan has you going for minutes instead of mileage–def a different way of looking at things. Sounds like a good week!
    I’ve been doing Bikram yoga for almost 9 years, can’t live without it. I’m not naturally flexible but it has changed that for sure!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Cat, I hope that your training is going well. I quite like aiming to run for a certain amount of time rather than for a certain distance. For some reason it takes the pressure off a little. Having said that, my reaction time is so slow, most of my runs are xx:05 minutes long. I’ve never tried Bikram yoga but have heard a lot of positive feedback. Unfortunately, a quick google suggests that my yoga and Pilates choices are limited where I live. Next time I’m in London I’ll look for a class.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Emma says:

      A ‘Niggleometer’ is something I made up last year as a guide to how serious a niggle or injury is. The higher the score, the more serious the niggle and anything over 5/10 is probably a ‘proper’ injury.


  2. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    I attempted a lot of yoga via you tube and other things, but I only managed to pluck up the courage to go to a class in the autumn. I totally love it- I am the least flexible person and often need help with poses (a strap or a block or two) but it’s all fine because it is just about strength and flexibility and what is a stretch for one person doesn’t suit another. I am starting to feel like I can do some of the poses on my own, so I do them as a cool down when I remember.
    My Nan always used to find money when she was out. I’ve not found cash when I have been running although I found £100 in a cash machine but it was attached to a supermarket so I took it to the customer services as there was no-one around but it can’t have been there for long.


    • Emma says:

      So far I’ve only attempted to follow some basic yoga routines (not sure what the correct terminology is!) via YouTube. As for Pilates, I’m absolutely useless because I’m not very flexible and have virtually no sense of balance. Having long legs definitely seems to be a disadvantage. To be honest, at the moment I’d probably struggle to follow a yoga or Pilates class. I have searched for classes in my local area and have found several advanced classes but unfortunately very little for beginners.

      I’ve found quite a lot of coins when I’m out running early on Sunday morning, but this was the first £10. I think people must drop money when they are walking home from the local pub. I found a purse when I was running a couple of years ago and delivered it straight to a very relieved elderly lady. I hope the £100 you found eventually made its way back to the right person.


  3. AnnaTheApple says:

    I would have picked 10 pence up off the street! There’s no shame in picking up a tenner!! Anyone who doesn’t has far too much money (or probably a better idea of how dirty money is….).
    I don’t do yoga or pilates though I have done both previously. I loved pilates (it was with a reformer machine thing – amazing, but very tough). Yoga was good but I just didn’t see any benefit of it to continue. And with going to the gym and running, I need some time where I’m just slobbing about!


    • Emma says:

      Knowing me, next time I stop and stoop down to pick up a dropped coin I’ll injure myself. A couple of years ago I took part in a ‘roadkill’ challenge. I think my total at the end of the year was approx £80 so it was definitely worth picking up all the pennies I found abandoned.

      I find some of the Jasyoga yoga videos help me relax. So I’ve just googled reformer Pilates and it looks slightly terrifying! As I don’t go to the gym and spend far too much time slobbing about, I feel I should be doing something to help my running.


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