So, where am I going with this running malarkey right now? First of all I’ll recap where I’ve come from. February – May consisted of marathon training. As that programme wore on it was simply a case of hitting mileage targets with time being very much a secondary consideration. Nevertheless I ran some good races during that period including PBs over 10k and Half Marathon. Following the Cork Marathon at the beginning of June I gave myself some downtime before starting up again. I’ve been running four times a week, between 25-30 mpw. However this has been mere plodding to get me up to 1000 miles for the year, a target I reached only on 1st December last year. I’m just now coming to the end of a week’s break which I awarded myself for no particular reason.

So now what to do? Without a goal my training is aimless and meandering – that goes for every runner I imagine. So first of all I need a goal, or goals. Ideally one medium and one longer-term. I’ve consistently said that I don’t want to run another marathon. I broke that promise to run Cork simply because I’d failed it twice previously. But though I don’t want to run a marathon there’s no doubting that I’ve never been so focused in my running as I was whilst training for that race. I hit or even surpassed my miles in each and every one of the 18 weeks leading up to Cork. It was that goal that kept getting me out on the road even when I really didn’t want to. So, if only to keep myself running hard and consistently I might enter a spring 2011 marathon. I’ll see.

But shorter term I think it must be the Jersey Half, which is on 21st November, 12 weeks away. I organised that for nine years and it would be cool to run it. It would be cooler to run close to a 1.50, though that 1.46.xx that I ran in May is really out of reach. That is a fast course and I was zinging that day and tapering for the marathon 15 days later.

But I need to improve the quality of my running now. And that means speeding up. My first run after this little break is tonight (Tuesday), a 5k race marking the start of the 2010/11 road race series. That’s a good starting place and a chance to beat my PB of 23.02 set I can’t remember where or when. (It’s good to be setting or even thinking about PBs at age 57!) I still mean to run four times a week, which gives me the discipline of getting up and out the door. I’ll retain my weekend long slow run – I not only enjoy this and get to explore new corners of the Island but it is the cornerstone of any endurance programme. I also want to do one track session a week. With the shorter days I’m not certain if I’ll need to do these in the evening, under the lights. Then at least one ‘tempo’ run of about three miles, pushing harder than I’m used to. Which leaves one run, and I might keep this as an ‘easy’ one. At my age and still carrying a little more weight than I’m happy with, ‘two hard, two easy’ seems sensible to me. Nearer to the Half I’ll refine the various runs in accordance with my target pace of 8.24m/m.

 So, with my only running last week consisting of going out with my Couch to 5k group (of which more later)

Miles on the week – 4
Miles ytd – 1,011.7