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Running again….

Summary of week – 29th Oct to 4th November 2012

Posted by edinburghrunner on 6 November, 2012, Tuesday

Monday 29th Oct – swimming (20x50m), cycling (30 mins pyramids)
Tuesday 30th Oct – running (5mile on treadmill)
Wednesday 31st Oct – swimming (2350m hard coached session)
Thursday 1st Nov – swimming (coached technique session), cycling (30 mins pyramids/efforts)
Friday 2nd Nov – cycling (gym bike, 6.2m in 20:50), running (20 mins treadmill)
Saturday 3rd Nov – rest
Sunday 4th Nov – running (4 miles easy)

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First month of triathlon training

Posted by edinburghrunner on 29 October, 2012, Monday

I thought I’d post some reflections on my first month of triathlon training.

Swimming – Swimming has been the most interesting of the three activities. I swam competitively when I was a youngster and I was reasonably confident that, despite a 20 year gap (!), I’d still be able to swim a bit if I jumped back into the pool. That’s more or less proven correct but maintaining my form in freestyle over any extended distance has been a bit of a struggle. I had a mini breakthrough last week by really concentrating on stretching out with the lead hand and rotating along the axis of the body. It’s not made me any quicker but I feel able to hold an easy pace for much longer before I start to fatigue. Having easy access to a pool, and two coached sessions a week, can only help. I did an easy 400m this week in 7:40 so that’s a baseline I can judge progress against. I have in mind a 750m time trial towards the end of the year. I’m swimming three to four times a week and am fairly confident that if I can keep that going I should see steady progress. Reading Ian Thorpe’s autobiography has also been inspirational.

Running – I’ve run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and marathons over the years so the only novelty in the triathlon should be trying to run after a cycle. I’m keeping my runs short and easy snd infrequent for the moment after having had a knee problem and a stress fracture in the past year. At the moment I had some ITB tenderness in my left hip but I think it’s containable with a bit of stretching. Something I want to try soon is a brick run.

Cycling – I haven’t done a lot of cycling over the years so it’s been interesting moving from thinking of it as a leisure activity to a training activity involving technique. I’m concentrating on turbo sessions just, concentrating on getting used to the saddle, trying to get a high cadence and also getting used to cycling above a leisurely pace. A pair of cycling shorts would definitely be a worthwhile investment at some point.

Overall – It’s only been a month so I’ve not seen massive improvements in my fitness but I do feel fairly comfortable doing the three activities. My plan is to keep doing this base training up until Christmas and then start a sprint-specific training programme with a view to completing some novice/sprint triathlons in the spring….

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Training summary for 22nd to 28th October

Posted by edinburghrunner on 28 October, 2012, Sunday

Monday 22nd – swimming (10x50m free, 200m in 3:50, 10x50m free), cycling (30 mins on turbo)

Tuesday 23rd – running (3 8min milesnon treadmill)

Wednesday 24th – swimming (hard coached session), cycling (30 mins on turbo)

Thursday 25th – swimming (technique coached session)

Friday 26th – swimming (uncoached, including 400m free in 7:40), cycling (30 mins on turbo)

Saturday 27th – rest

Sunday 28th – running (5 miles easy, with last half fast)

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Training summary for 15th to 21st October 2012

Posted by edinburghrunner on 21 October, 2012, Sunday

3 swim sessions and 2 sessions each of cycling and running. Over the next few weeks I’m going to aim to do 3 of each activity per week. After that I’m going to think about A couple of niggles (tight left hip which needs a bit of stretching, sore right tricep after swimming which seems to have corrected itself) but no real issues to complain of. I’m thinking of investing in a pair of cycling shorts and a cadence sensor for my bike sessions. 

Monday 15th – swimming (50x25m), cycling (30 mins on turbo)

Tuesday 16th – running (35mins on treadmill)

Wednesday 17th – swimming (hard coached session), cycling (20 mins on turbo)

Thursday 18th – swimming (technique coached session)

Friday – rest day

Saturday – running (4 miles steady)

Sunday – rest day 

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Weekly training summary – 8-14 oct 2012

Posted by edinburghrunner on 14 October, 2012, Sunday

Training summary for Monday 8th to 14th October

Another week of triathlon training. I’m still keeping things nice and easy to begin with to try and avoid any injuries from doing new stuff. I’m concentrating on the ‘new’ sports of swimming and cycling at the moment to build up a level of fitness in those disciplines which I already have in running.


Monday – swimming (1000m, including 8min 400m TT))

Tuesday – cycling (30 mins on turbo, pyramids)

Wednesday – swimming (coached session, fitness focused)

Thursday – rest day

Friday – swimming (1000m, 100m and 50m repeats at 1:50/0:50 pace)

Saturday – cycling (30 mins on turbo, pyramids)

Sunday – running (4.5m easy paced)



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Tri training

Posted by edinburghrunner on 7 October, 2012, Sunday

Training summary for Monday 1st to 7th October

My first proper week of triathlon training. I’m keeping things nice and easy to begin with to try and avoid any injuries from doing new stuff. I’m planning more of the same next week, perhaps with a swimming timetrial thrown in.

Monday – swimming (5x100m, 6x50m, freestyle)
Tuesday – cycling (30 mins on turbo, pyramids)
Wednesday – swimming (5×100, 2x60m, freestyle)
Thursday – swimming (coached session mainly focused on technique)
Friday – cycling (30 mins on turbo, pyramid)
Saturday – running (20 mins on treadmill), swimming (20 mins easy)
Sunday – rest day

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Swimming and cycling

Posted by edinburghrunner on 1 October, 2012, Monday

Tonight’s swimming session comprised 5x100m freestyle, and then 6 x 50m freestyle. 

On Thursday I have my first swimming lesson in the 20 years since I stopped swimming competitively when I was at school. I’ll be intrigued to hear what my technique is like after all these years…

Triathlon training is proving to be a bit of a learning process. Tomorrow I plan to do a bit of cycling and I’ve been reading up on issues around cycling cadence. There’s a variety of views out there but a common perception is that the optimal cadence is about 80-100 rpm. So for tomorrow I’ll see if I can spin at that rate for a while. 

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Posted by edinburghrunner on 30 September, 2012, Sunday

I’ve decided to switch the focus of my training from running to triathlons. So my training is currently a combination of swimming, running and cycling. I’ve got the whole winter to get ready for the spring season and am loving the variation in training!

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End of week 3

Posted by edinburghrunner on 1 August, 2012, Wednesday

Week 3 of base-building ended up being 3 runs of 5 miles:

Sun: 5 miles

Tues: 5 miles

Thurs: 5 miles

So far this week I’ve done two 5 mile runs and am planning a couple more. I have a slight tightness in my left hip still hanging around but it’s responding to stretching so I’m not too concerned. I’m alternating running days with some dumbbell sessions and I’ve gradually felt myself getting a bit fitter and stronger over the past few weeks. I’m planning a few more weeks of this before moving on to anything more strenuous.

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Back at work

Posted by edinburghrunner on 26 July, 2012, Thursday

Dates: 24 and 26 July 2012

Distances: 5 + 5

Summary: easy running

Back at work… My easy running is progressing as planned and I’m on track for another 20 mile week. A little stiffness in my left hip isgradually disappearing and there’s no other niggles apart from that.

There’s a little gym at my work so on my non-running days I’ve been doing some dumbbell exercises to help build my strength. It’s been a while since I last played around with dumb bells so it’s taking a bit of getting used to.

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Posted by edinburghrunner on 22 July, 2012, Sunday

Date: 22 July 2012

Distance: 4.5

Summary – easy running, with wind and hills

I went on a slightly different route today which has asteady incline and then a fairly steep descent. It was windy on the way up which made the run quite challenging.

I go back to work tomorrow after a couple of week off so the challenge will be to make sure I find the time to keep clocking up the miles.

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End of week 2

Posted by edinburghrunner on 20 July, 2012, Friday


Date: 20 July 2012
Distance: 5 miles
Summary: easy running

That’s two weeks of my base-building completed. It’s all been gentle running so far to get the legs and body used to running again and I don’t plan to change things too much over the next couple of weeks. The only twinge is a bit of tenderness in the left hip, probably not helped by a recent game of 10-pin bowling (after which I always get a bit of stiffness in that hip). Apart from that it’s all fine so far. I’m planning to do a post on the benefits of base-building shortly.

Summary for the week:

Sun: 5 miles easy
Mon: 5 miles easy
Thurs: 5 miles easy
Fri: 5 miles easy

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Changing routines

Posted by edinburghrunner on 19 July, 2012, Thursday


Date: 19 July
Distance: 5 miles
Summary: easy running

When you’re busy at work or have other commitments, it’s easy to find yourself skipping training sessions or telling yourself you’re too busy to train.

I find that’s most likely when you’re making the transition from not having been doing regular exercise from injury or other reasons. It can be difficult to break out of the routine of not exercising, especially when your runs are slower and more taxing than when you had a better level of fitness.

By contrast, once you’re into a running or fitness regime I find it easy to stick to it – you very quickly miss the endorphin high of a training session and always find ways of ensuring that you get your exercise fix. Once you’re into the routine of exercising regularly, I think it takes a much lower of effort to stick to it than when you’re trying to build something from scratch.

Making the transition from non-running routine to running routine is the point I’m at currently. It’s been relatively easy while I’ve been on holiday but the challenge will be sticking with it when I go back to work next week and a much more hectic pace of life.

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Some races to make the training fun

Posted by edinburghrunner on 18 July, 2012, Wednesday


I like to have target races to aim for – it helps with motivation and alleviates the potential drudgery of training for the sake of training.

When training for a marathon, which has been my main focus over the past few years, the ultimate goal is usually of course the marathon itself with a couple of 10k races and half marathons in the build up.

The 10k training cycle I’m embarking upon should be a bit different from what I’ve done previously in that it should be possible to do more races without burning out or interfering with the weekend long that would usually be needed for marathon-training regimes.

So my intention is, after getting a decent base built up, to mix up a few different local 10k races along with some 5k runs as part of training regime. The intention will still be to peak towards the end of the training cycle but to have some fun racing along the way. I reckon sub-45 for the 10k and sub-22 for the 5k are reasonable targets to start off with. If I go quicker that’s fine with me.

The local 5k parkrun races (free, and run by volunteers every weekend) will be a flexible option for when I fancy a quick race.

The following are the 10k races I intend to choose from, and hopefully do the full set. I’ve done the first three in previous years and they’re all good courses:

2 September 2012 – Moray 10k
16 September 2012 – Stirling 10k
30September 2012 – Loch Ness 10k
14 October 2012 – Aviemore 10k
28 October 2012 – Jedburgh 10k

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Run Simple

Posted by edinburghrunner on 17 July, 2012, Tuesday


One of the first running bloggers I ever followed was Duncan Larkin.

For a few years he had a detailed blog charting his attempts to get from recreational runner standard to a marathon time (if I recall correctly) of below 2:45.

Following forays into writing magazine running articles and then fictional writing (Oxygen Debt), he’s now written a running guide called Run Simple which is due to be published by amazon in the autumn.

Always interesting, and often thought provoking, I’ve read virtually everything Duncan’s written so far, and even had some coaching from him, and I intend to have a look at this book too.

The book is intended to share what Duncan learnt first hand over years of marathon training. It looks like it’ll go beyond the well-worn paths of discussing running physiology and training programmes and deal with some of the practical issues facing your average amateur runner. It’ll cover:

• the role of electronic devices
• running plans
• exercises to supplement running
• nutrition
• clothing
• motivation etc.

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My local 5 mile loop

Posted by edinburghrunner on 16 July, 2012, Monday

Date: 16 July 2012
Distance: 5 miles
Summary: easy running and photograph taking

I thought I’d post some pics of one of my standard local loops. It’s a 5 mile loop from where I live in Edinburgh and takes in a Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat – a running and cycling hotspot in the city. It’s to the south east of this map of central Edinburgh.

The starting point is classic tenement Edinburgh.


After about half a mile you enter Holyrood park from its east side. There’s a variety of walking trails which you can take. My loop is a bit flatter.


A cycling/running path runs through the park.


At about the mile mark you run past Holyrood Palace, the royal family’s official residence when they’re in Edinburgh and a big local tourist attraction.


Here’s a view of it though the main gate.


Beside Holyrood Palace is the Scottish Parliament, another tourist hotspot as well as a fully-functioning legislature.


I detoured a little to get these close-up pics. Running back towards the main path you can see the scale of Arthur’s Seat.


The main rise of this loop is a steady climb of just over half a mile. Not hugely steep, but tricky when there’s a wind.


The park takes in about half of this loop, the second half is back through residential Edinburgh.


And then towards the end I cut back into the park, running in the opposite direction from where I started.


It’s a handy loop to have close by – flat but with a few challenging hills and enough scenery and other runners and walkers to keep things interesting.

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Start of week 2 – Jack Daniels’ Training Programme – key elements

Posted by edinburghrunner on 15 July, 2012, Sunday

Day: Sunday 15th July
Distance: 5 miles
Summary: easy running


I’m one of those people who likes to have a bit of structure and a goal to aim for when I’m doing something, and that includes my running.

Having had a bit of success with it in the past, I’m going to do a training programme from Daniels’ book ‘Daniels’ Running Formula’ to help me on the road back to fitness. That’ll give me the structure, and the goal will be to peak for a sub-45 10k in the autumn.

Daniels’ programmes are based on a 24-week approach broken down into for 6-week phases.

The first is the foundation phase and is intended to build a solid running base.

The second is the phase when ‘quality’ running is introduced (Daniels’ generic term for a variety of workouts which stress the body beyond easy running, with the idea being you should always take a day or two of rest (including easy running) between each quality session) and helps to develop running mechanics and economy.

The third is toughest, increasing the challenge of the quality workouts and includes a lot of interval training.

The fourth scales back the intensity of the workouts and is intended to prepare the runner for key races.

These are all generic phases of training and of course the content will vary according to the ability of the runner and the race distance they are training for.

For a 10k programme a summary of the what the different elements will look like for me are:

Phase 1 of 6 weeks – Mainly steady, easy running, gradually building up the mileage without stressing the body too much. In the second half, strides (quick, relaxed accelerations at the end of an easy run) and a long run are introduced. No ‘quality’ sessions are included in this phase.

Phase 2 of 6 weeks – This phases introduces two or three ‘quality’ sessions per week, for example large sets of 200metre hard repetitions, smaller sets of 800m to 1000m intervals which are fast but less intense and some threshold (slightly slower than 10k pace) stints within a longer steady-paced run. Between the quality sessions will either be easy running or rest days.

Phase 3 of 6 weeks – Encompasses similar types of training to phase 2 but increases the intensity of the quality sessions and focuses more on intervals.

Phase 4 of 6 weeks – Again, similar types of training are included to what’s in phases 2 and 3 but the emphasis of the quality sessions moves to more threshold running rather than interval running.

Daniels’ programmes are very detailed and it’s possible to map out exactly what each session will look like over the 24-week period. I intend to do that and shall post my programme shortly. Of course, a lot will happen over the course of 24-weeks and it’s highly unlikely that I’ll do every session exactly as planned but it’ll be nice to have some shape and structure to my training.

That’s me now into my second week of easy running. So far so good and no major aches or pains.

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End of week 1

Posted by edinburghrunner on 14 July, 2012, Saturday

That’s the end of my first proper week of running again. 20 easy miles for the week as below:

Saturday: 5 miles
Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles
Friday: 5 miles

I went for a long walk today just to shake out a couple of little aches and pains but everything seems normal so far.

My plan is to follow a Jack Daniels training programme, working up to a 10k race. The Daniels programmes are all based on periodisation – different phases of training – and the first phase is a block of steady running. I’ll post some more information about the daniels approach and what my training programme will look like. 

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Getting back into it – 2012!

Posted by edinburghrunner on 11 July, 2012, Wednesday

This is a resurrection post. Last year I trained for the Edinburgh Marathon and succumbed to injury about 6 weeks before it. That and pressure of work have meant that I’ve not been doing much running at all over the past 12 months. That’s about to change. I’m back doing a few runs a week and aiming to get back to a reasonable level of fitness. Like before, this blog will help with the motivation. Broad goals are: base training and then a 10k programme, and depending on how that goes I might try for another half or a full marathon.

Training this week:

Saturday: 5 miles easy
Sunday: rest
Monday: 5 miles easy
Tuesday: 5 miles easy
Wednesday: rest

Some highlights from last year:

Angus Half Marathon (May 2011): 1:40:15
Edinburgh Kilomathon (16.3m, April 2011) 2:05:14
Dunbar 10k (April 2011) 43:21
Alloa Half (March 2011) 1:36:40

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Summary of last week (12-18 April)

Posted by edinburghrunner on 20 April, 2010, Tuesday

Monday – rest
Tuesday – 3m pyramid on treadmill
Wednesday – 5.5m into work
Thursday – 4m round back of Arthur’s Seat
Friday – 5.5m into work
Saturday – rest
Sunday – 13.1

Total – 31.1m

Back running today – 3miles pyramid on the treadmill. Legs a little stiff but otherwise ok.

Picture from Sunday – I’m in the red.

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