2012 training – week 1 (w/c 2nd Jan)

Right, happy new year, hello 2012 etc. In May I am running the Belfast marathon. In June I am cycling through the Pyrenees. Inexplicably I have once again scheduled to do a long bike ride and a marathon within a month of each other (last year I did the Edinburgh marathon 3 weeks after finishing the end to end). To try and avoid feeling as awful as I did after the end-to-end I am going to try and get in the best shape possible.


I’m going to do a weekly training diary between now and the summer. Hopefully it’ll end up being part diary, part forces-me-to-do-stuff-so-i-don’t-look-lazy and part it-might-be-useful-to-someone (and also, hopefully, not too boring).


Sometimes (read: a lot of the time) I have a complete mental block with the gym, it’s not like running or cycling outside, it’s too easy to stop, finish early and go home. Today was one of those days.

The cycle home was impossibly difficult, I thought I must’ve forgotten to eat or the very short gym-ness had taken more out of me than should be possible, however I got home and on closer inspection realised that the huge amount of mud and road-gunk encasing my rear brake (due to my lack of mudguards) meant that it had locked itself ‘on’. So I had cycled home, all the way, with the brake on. Brilliant.

  • Cycle to/from the gym: total 10(ish) miles
  • Gym
    • Warmup (stretching, 10 mins on cross-trainer)
    • Treadmill: 30mins at 13 km/h


On the way back from work I hit an enormous pothole (Abbey Road, near the junction with Hawksworth Road if anyone cares), the impact was horrible and by the time I got home my front tyre was a soggy mess, the inner tube had been completely annihilated by the bump. Got incredibly dirty changing the tube, I really need to clean my bike.

  • Cycle to/from work: total 10(ish) miles
  • Free weights (circuits)


Cleaned my bike, got incredibly filthy doing so.

  • Free weights (circuits)


Biblical amounts of rain and standing water, I should invest in some overshoes so my shoes fill up with water slightly slower.

  • Cycle to/from work: total 10(ish) miles
  • 4 mile tempo run (7-min miles)
  • Free weights (circuits)


  • Cycle to/from work: total 10(ish) miles


In hilariously windy conditions I actually got blown sideways, which was simultaneously fun and weird.

  • 10 mile easy run (9-min miles)
  • Free weights (circuits)


  • 45 mins turbo trainer

Oh and every week I’m going to total my cycling mileage because…it’s good to have stats. And really, to be ready to cycle in the Pyrenees I need to be up to over 100-150 miles a week by May. This week = 40 miles

Half marathon, easier than a full marathon

Ash Mann - Leeds Half-MarathonOn Sunday 9 May, I ran the Leeds half-marathon. It was all a bit last minute, I had been toying with the idea since earlier in the year but it had always seemed a bit soon after the London Marathon so I had decided against entering. However immediately after running London, whilst high on endorphins or stupidly tired, or both, I made some enquiries to see if I could sort out a last minute place.
Thanks to some very lovely people at Run For All, and Leeds City Council, I managed to get myself in.

The day was great, 3800 runners took part, it was all very well-organised (although bloody freezing while we were waiting to start) and i saw one or two people spectating who i knew from work, which was a nice suprise. Everything I’d read and heard about the race mentioned the hills, “oh the hills are awful, they’ll make your legs fall off” and similar. Maybe it’s because the route took in most of where i head for my training runs, but i didn’t find the hills too much of a problem. It was a little disappointing that there wasn’t much opportunity for a decent crowd to form – the route, taking in the ring road, made that fairly impossible – but what support there was was great and i event managed a sprint finish to finish in a (fairly respectable) time of 1 hour 47 minutes 21 seconds.

Have got the Hull 10K coming up this weekend, here starts my work to get a sub-40 minute 10K time (possibly a foolish and unrealistic goal).