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This week has been the first week of the training programme devised for me by my coach Nick Anderson. It has gone rather well! I actually started the programme after a difficult Southend Half Marathon where I trailed home in 1:21 feeling pretty terrible actually. I think I had simply overdone it, racing every weekend for the preceding three weeks including d’Urban Trail de Luxembourg (35km) and a tough 10K the following weekend in the Summer League series where I scored lots of points for the club, but really struggled to hang on to my place at the end.

My first week of training has included something that I haven’t done for quite a while – double-days (DDs) or running twice in the same day. When I was training for the ultra-marathons I raced a few years ago, I would do double days – usually running to work in the morning and then home again – but they weren’t planned and I didn’t keep it up for long. Triathlon training necessitated DDs of a sort – swim in the morning and run in the evening, cycle in the morning and run in the evening, etc. But Nick has put in very definite DDs such as 30 minute easy run in the morning and then an hour including tempo running in the evening. I was a little apprehensive, but actually it was great and I felt better as a result… and that is only after a week!

Nick has also recognised that I have fallen into the classic trap of running my long runs too fast and my short runs too slow (and in fact making my short runs too long… I mean, 3 or 4 miles is hardly worth getting dressed for, right?!?) For this reason he has suggested that I fit in shorter runs, bring back hill sessions and that today I should run a 5km time trial – the Finsbury Parkrun.

I have never run a 5km before, aside from at the end of a sprint-distance triathlon I did a couple of years ago (and in the tradition of triathlons that was short!) so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought that I would just try to lock into any group that developed at the front and see how I get on. In reality there was no group at the front, I was second after 300m as all the runners strung out into a long line. After a couple of kilometers I moved into first place until the last 800m or so when the chap who had been on my shoulder sheltering from the wind, whipped round in front of me and I couldn’t respond… doh! Still 2nd place in 17:32 isn’t bad and I know there is room for improvement.

Tomorrow Nick has prescribed a long slow run – 90 minutes at conversational pace – and after that I will email him to report on my first week’s training. Hopefully he’ll be happy with what I have done and I will ease into another week of DDs and short fast runs.

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