Marathon/ultra training (26/03/18 – 01/04/18)

Not a bad weeks training this week. Managed to fit in 4 runs and a half decent kettlebell workout. My mileage covered wasn’t huge (46.9 km) but three out of my 4 runs were pretty challenging with lots of hill work, so I guess there was a bit of quality over quantity on show this week.

Monday:

So I decided to start the week off by giving the aching old knees a break and do some more kettlebell snatches… I managed 396 reps in 30 minutes… I was happy to set another PB but gutted I didn’t make the 400 rep mark. I normally do this workout as a pyramid (1 snatch each arm, then 2, 3 etc etc) and then tally my reps up at the end of the workout, if I knew how close to 400 reps I was I probably could have pushed a bit harder. Oh well I now have aching shoulders to go with my aching knees anyway!

Tuesday:

So today was the first of my challenging runs. Although it was only just under 10k it left me with two overriding thoughts from run….

1: can I class this run as a hill session?

2: I wish I lived somewhere flat!

The hill at the halfway point is a killer, it’s only about 600m in distance but climbs a good 100m. If I listened more in school I’m sure I could use Pythagoras’ Theorem to tell you just how steep that hill is… but I didn’t listen so you’ll just have to take my word and my aching legs as witnesses that it’s real steep!

Wednesday:

Nice easy 5k tonight to help my legs recover from yesterday’s hilly run.

Friday:

Another hilly run today around Brynbach lake and the surrounding area. Not as hilly as Tuesdays run but still a bit “undulating”. Pretty good practice for the Brynbach 6 mile race in a few weeks too.

Saturday:

“Don’t think, feel….it is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!”

Bruce Lee.

So today I stopped concentrating on the finger and went exploring. Armed with a hydration pack filled with tailwind nutrition and a vague idea of what direction I was going I set off. I got lost, then found my way, then got lost again… but thoroughly enjoyed it!

As much as I enjoyed it, it was still a pretty challenging run. The out part of the run was a lot easier than the return leg. I didn’t realise how much of a decline it was when I was running down it but felt it when I was running back up!

I’ve lived in the area all my life but never been to the places I’ve ran today despite them being right on my doorstep. Some real breathtaking views and a lot of history in this area that most people, like myself, are probably not aware of. Definitely be exploring these areas again and next time I will be stopping to take some pictures!

Just wanted to finish off with my normal reminder: if you’ve taken the time to read this far please take another few minutes to look at my JustGiving page! Raising awareness and money for the National Autistic Society is the main reason for me doing all this.

http://www.justgiving.com/Owain-Williams14

Thanks in advance!

Owain Williams – The Valley Runner

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Ultra/marathon training (12/03/18 – 18/03/17)

Well if I’m honest that was another disappointing week when it came to my running. Work, niggling injuries, lost mojo, cancelled races and the return of the beast from the east… I only managed three runs totalling then amazing grand total distance of 18.9 km.

Monday:

So my knees been a bit tender the last few days so I decided to give the run a miss and give the kettlebell snatch half marathon another go. I managed 346 reps in the 30 minutes time limit. The first time I tried this last week I only managed 319 reps so I was pretty happy with today’s workout.

Tuesday:

Only a 6.73 kilometre run tonight but god I felt like stopping a few times! I threw in three hill repeats into an already hilly run, I would love to call them hill sprints but was pretty much crawling by the top! God those hills are nasty! Not sure if I should look for a hill with less of an incline to do my hill work on… maybe less incline more speed would be more beneficial than steep inclines and snail pace… who knows, something to experiment with in the coming weeks.

Thursday:

Just another steady paced 6k tonight, it’s really hard to run fast when you’ve got to look for your mojo all the way around… I wouldn’t say I’m a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination but when I run on my own I’m normally average around 5:30 minutes per km, but today I averaged 5:49 min/km, and if I’m honest I was very surprised I ran that fast. Nothing zaps energy more than negativity… and I really wasn’t feeling that run one bit, every step I took was a struggle… but on the plus side I got it done, and I guess I felt a little bit better about things knowing I got a few miles in.

Saturday:

With the weather already pretty crappy and forecasted to be getting worse there’s was a good chance tomorrow’s newport half marathon could be cancelled AGAIN… so I decided to brave the snow for a little run in the morning before it got too bad.

It was the first time I’ve ran in snow in years, so dressed like I was about to rob a bank I set off!Iced over snow covered paths and bitterly cold strong winds made the going really slow… although I wore my inov8 parkclaw trail trainers the conditions underfoot were still pretty dodgy, I was planning on going a bit further but after almost slipping and falling on my ass a few times decided to stick to 6 km.

Sunday:

So with today’s Newport half marathon cancelled for a second time due to the snow, and another load of snow in the South Wales valleys I turned to the kettlebell again. Today I managed 361 kettlebell snatches in 30 minutes, a further improvement from Monday’s workout. As much as I need to get my mileage back up I’m really keen to add more kettlebell and strength work to my training too! If I’m honest with myself I just need to be doing more whatever I’m doing!!

Just wanted to finish off with my normal reminder: if you’ve taken the time to read this far please take another few minutes to look at my JustGiving page! Raising awareness and money for the National Autistic Society is the main reason for me doing all this.

http://www.justgiving.com/Owain-Williams14

Thanks in advance!

Owain Williams – The Valley Runner

Ultra/Marathon training (05/03/18 – 11/03/18)

So the week started very much like last week, hampered by snow! The effects of the beast from the east were still very evident in the South Wales valleys. Roads might have been cleared and traffic moving freely, but all that snow had to go somewhere… and it just happened to be piled high on the pavements making running pretty difficult.

Monday:

There was still way too much snow about to really run safely so instead I planned another kettlebell workout.

I couldn’t really decide what I wanted to do so googled kettlebells and marathon training to look for some decent workouts. I came across a website that talked about kettlebell marathons. You have to preform as many reps as possible of either the Jerk, Long Cycle, Snatch or Half Snatch in 30 minutes (the half marathon) or 60 minutes (the full marathon), if you place the kettlebell down at any point your done… I quite liked the sound of this so I decided to give the kettlebell half marathon a go!

It went a lot better than I expected if I’m honest! I decided to attempt it doing the snatch with my 16kg kettlebell. I’ve not snatched a kettlebell in months so was really anticipating not making it through the 30 minutes, but I did and managed 319 reps.

Tuesday:

So today took it to over a week since my last run, and although the weather was getting better there was still plenty of snow down and I thought I’d leave it another day just to be safe.

So instead of a run I did another kettlebell half marathon, this time doing the kettlebell long cycle (aka clean and jerk). I managed 259 reps. Today’s session felt a lot harder than yesterday’s, my hands were really feeling the effects of all that snow shovelling last week and yesterday’s snatches, still a pretty decent workout and I was pretty happy with my 259 reps.

Wednesday:

So today was my first run in over a week. I ran 6 km along the Brecon Monmouthshire canal after work. It’s less than 20 miles from where I live but it was like a different world… you wouldn’t even know they had snow if it wasn’t for the white peaks of the mountains and the odd patch of snow visible in the bordering fields.

I was really surprised my average pace was 5:13 min/km, my legs felts SO heavy from the first stride, I honestly thought I was running 6+ min/km. Still very nice to be out running again.

Thursday:

Another 7 km done today. I ran with my other half after work alone the canal again. Such a lovely place to go running, really scenic plus being along the canal it’s also really flat, definitely a bonus!!

Saturday:

Another 11.75 km done today with my girlfriend. I’ve always been a solo runner but the more I run with other people the more I think I enjoy it. Distance running can be quite boring and lonely especially when your out running for 2+ hours on your own. I might need to add to my “running crew” though, running with my girlfriend is fun but could probably do with someone that runs a similar pace or faster too to really challenge me.

Sunday:

I was planning a long run today but when I got up this morning I just really wasn’t feeling it. Got a few little niggles, a strange lump on the top of my foot… both knees feeling a little tender (not good for someone that suffers from runners knee)… so instead I decided to do my normal 7.5 km loop.

Just wanted to finish off with my normal reminder: if you’ve taken the time to read this far please take another few minutes to look at my JustGiving page! Raising awareness and money for the National Autistic Society is the main reason for me doing all this.

http://www.justgiving.com/Owain-Williams14

Thanks in advance!

Owain Williams – The Valley Runner