Cambridge Half Marathon training week 2

I’ve just realised that I’ve scheduled this training update so that it will be published at some point on Boxing Day. I hope that everyone managed to eat as much as I did yesterday. Running for 30 minutes later on today will be a little challenging.Collage 3Following a slightly lazy rest day on Monday, the second week of my half marathon training saw me complete an easy 30 minute on Tuesday, a 30 minute tempo run on Wednesday, a speed session lasting 30 minutes on Saturday and a slightly longer five mile run on Sunday.

So how did my slightly temperamental and rather injury-prone body cope with four training runs?

Monday – Rest

For some reason, when I woke up on Monday morning, I felt as gloomy as the weather. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I decided that the best course of action was to be productive and to keep myself busy. After a healthy breakfast of Ricicles – I can’t believe Kellogg’s are getting rid of one of my favourite childhood cereals – I walked the short distance to the local train station and headed into Lichfield.

Once I’d collected my ‘Black Friday’ shopping from Dorothy Perkins and I’d worked out how to deposit all of my 2017 ‘roadkill’ finds in the coin machine in HSBC, I decided to treat myself to an early lunch in McDonald’s. I was just tucking into my McChicken sandwich when I spotted that Helen had tagged me in a tweet. Helen was letting me know that this blog had won the fitness category of the Myprotein Fitness Awards 2017. Thanks for letting me know Helen.

Tuesday – 30 mins easy

When my alarm woke me at 05:30, I dragged myself out of bed and looked outside. It looked quite icy, so I decided to delay my run until the evening when it was meant to be slightly warmer. I had a reasonably productive day and spent several hours analysing river flow data and working on my discharge-rich rivers paper. At 18:00 I decided that I’d done enough work and got ready for my training run.

As an injury prone runner, I try to enjoy and to appreciate every run. Unfortunately, my 30 minute run on Tuesday evening was not enjoyable. I set out at a ridiculous, unsustainable pace and felt shattered after five minutes, so much for an ‘easy’ run. I found virtually everyone and everything irritating, and had to wait for what felt like ages to cross the main road. Although the top of my left foot didn’t hurt while I was running, it felt a little niggly when I got home.Collage 4

Wednesday – 30 mins tempo

As I like to leave 24 hours between each run, I worked out that I wouldn’t be able to run until after my music lesson. After a sneaky lie in, I spent the morning doing some last minute Christmas present shopping and finished writing my Christmas cards. As my legs were feeling a little tight after my run the previous evening, I changed into some gym gear, rolled out and dusted off my yoga mat and braved my foam roller for the first time since the Great Birmingham Run. Once I’d finished torturing myself, I worked my way through several of Jasyoga’s five minute reset videos.

My train back from university was so delayed, I didn’t head out on my tempo (?) run until almost 23:00. By this stage I was feeling tired and hungry and my bed looked incredibly inviting. I decided to ‘cheat’ a little with my tempo run, and to run at a sensible pace for the first 10 minutes, speed up for 10 minutes and then slow down for the final 10 minutes. The run was a bit of a disaster and was not what I would call a tempo run. Sorry coach!

Thursday – Rest

It’s a good job that Thursday was a rest day. I felt terrible when I woke up and spent most of the day lying in bed feeling sorry for myself.

Friday – 40 mins cross-training

As I still felt pretty rough on Friday morning, the closest I got to a 40 minute cross-training session was the hour or so I spent doing housework. Fortunately, taking it easy being lazy seemed to do the trick, and I went to bed feeling so much better, I set my alarm for the not too challenging time of 08:00.

Saturday – 30 mins speed work

After a lot of sleep, I felt well enough to attempt some sort of speed work session on Saturday morning. After a quick consultation with my coach – I wonder when he’ll get fed up with my emails – I decided to attempt a simple Fartlek session. As I suspect my family will think I’ve invented the word ‘Fartlek’, it’s a Swedish term meaning ‘speedplay’ that dates back to 1937. I was worried about this session because although I’ve been running since I was young, I wouldn’t call myself an experienced runner. My coach told me to ignore my Garmin, to pick a landmark in the distance such as a lamppost and run to it hard, and then jog until I’ve recovered. Well that was the theory.

The reality was a bit different. The session started well and I completed a five minute slow jog in an attempt to get my legs moving. I then picked a blue bin located about 100m from where I was standing and ‘sprinted’ towards it. Once I’d reached the bin, I picked a second landmark and jogged towards it. I’d forgotten how challenging I find running at anything faster than 10 min/mile pace and was soon feeling shattered. The final 10 minutes were a complete disaster. After having to wait to cross a main road, I’m ashamed to admit that I kind of gave up.

Sunday – 5 miles long run

After spending the morning and early afternoon chilling out and recovering from a slight hangover, I headed out on what I hoped would be a Festive 5 mile run just before 21:00. It was wet, it was windy and I encountered a couple of ‘dodgy’ characters but it was fun. I had originally planned to take some photos of my favourite Christmas lights in Four Oaks but I forgot my phone.

So that’s the second week of my half marathon training completed, there are only another 10 weeks to go.

The third week of my half marathon training plan contains four runs and one cross-training session. I’ve got to complete a 30 minute easy run tomorrow, a 30 minute tempo run on Wednesday, a 30 minute speed work session on Saturday – hopefully I’ll make it to my local parkrun, and a slightly longer six mile run on Sunday. Today and Thursday are my rest days, and my coach has allocated me a 40 minute cross-training session on Friday.

Training totals

  • Runs: 5
  • Time: 2 hours 56 mins
  • Distance: 16.31 miles


  • Right heel: 2/10
  • Right knee: 4/10
  • Left foot: 5/10

4 thoughts on “Cambridge Half Marathon training week 2

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