- Number of runs: 11
- Distance run: 72.27
- Races run: 1 (JCP Swansea Half Marathon)
So another month has flown by and another monthly summary is (over)due. June brought some scorching temperatures and saw me on holiday but still resulted in the second highest miles per month total so far. This included some off-roading and the first half marathon of Run Big Year. Here is the story of the month.
I went on holiday to Newport, Pembrokeshire for a week from Friday 2nd of June. In the week leading up to this I had to work up some hours which disrupted my normal training routine. My normal weekday runs went out the window and as such it was crucial that I got some running in whilst I was away. I managed to get runs in on the Saturday and Tuesday. These were only short but took in routes along the cliffs and beaches of Newport so I found them quite challenging at times. The off-road practice will be useful ahead of the Gauntlet Games in July and the beautiful Pembrokeshire views were also rewarding.
Following my return I settled back into the usual training routine of two midweek runs and a longer weekend run each week. I managed runs of over 10 miles on the 11th and 17th but felt that I struggled on each. The first of these saw me take on the steep hill climb of Penarth head for the first time this year. I like to take on this climb when in half marathon training as it makes any climbs in the races seem less challenging. I’m not sure what I would have to run up to make the Penarth hill seem easy!
My run on the 17th was on a less challenging route but coincided with a heatwave. I always struggle in the heat and this run was punishing. This saw me reduced to walking for a stretch to regain energy. Although this was a sensible choice I was worried at the time as the next weekend would see me take on the Swansea Half Marathon. My struggles on my training runs led me to feel that a good time was not on the cards. Although my subsequent midweek runs felt better I was not feeling overly confident heading in to Swansea on the 25th.
My strategy for Swansea was to take it easy over the first few miles and then see how I felt and adjust my pace accordingly. This would counter my habit of setting off too fast and would keep my options open if the run went better than expected. I therefore determined to keep with the 2 hour pacer for the first few miles. This plan did not even last the first mile!
My starting position was a bit further back than I intended and I was quite a distance behind the 2 hour pacer setting off. Within the first mile I caught up with the pacer and then decided to pass him as I was feeling good. My time over the first mile was 8 minutes 25 seconds. This was too fast and my brain insisted that I slowed down for my own good. Subsequent miles were then covered for the most part in the 8 fifties, which was much more sustainable. The end result was a finishing time of 1:56:55, which I was very happy with. For a full race report on Swansea please have a look at my last post.
There’s nothing much more to report on the running front for June. July will again see me on my travels and will include the first obstacle race of Run Big Year in the Gauntlet Games. Blogwise I hope to get a Gauntlet Games preview up soon and I will be inviting a guest blogger to write a charity profile for HMSA. On that note I shall leave you with a reminder that Run Big Year is a charity challenge and if you want to make a donation then you can do so via this link. Goodbye for now.
Thanks to Nicola Grierson for the featured picture of me after the Swansea half marathon.