TSP training Blog - January edition

Learn from yesterday
Live for today
Hope for tomorrow 

Wishing you the best! πŸ₯³
Happy New Year πŸ’«

I am not one for setting resolutions. However I continue to strive to do and be better πŸ’«. Most importantly for me is to enjoy what I do, look after my health and try out new things.
Week 1: 1st – 7th January

New Years Days run was a 10km with ‘the huns’ named by Gloria, organised by Gloria. No better way to start off the new year than an amazing relaxed social run with beautiful people.
It was a rest day but I was happy to do a local social run with a lovely bunch. A lovely route starting at Victoria Park through the marshes and Olympic park onto the canal back to Victoria Park.

Tracksmith run meeting with London Sole Sisters at Paddington Rec was on Monday. Haven’t been to this track in a while so it was nice to be back. Took it really easy and completed 2.5km at 6:55km pace. Lovely to run with Jane, Iyabo and Linda with our track mum Gloria. Weather was horrendous but that did not dampen our spirits. I mean I actually like running in the rain!  Coach Amritpal Ghatora, was welcoming and it was a lovely session. I will definitely go back! If you are interested, join Tracksmith on the marathon training programme with track and Sunday long runs here
I am running Country to Capital 43 miles/70km organised by Go Beyond Challenge in a few days so it was important to get in some rest days and yoga too.

D-DAY πŸ₯³ - Woke up at 5:15am aiming to leave home by 6:10 to get to Marylebone for 7am. The train was leaving Marylebone at 7:27 to arrive at Wendover for 8:16am. Race start time was 8:45. I like to be organised. I plan everything for a race the day/night before including what breakfast. Unfortunately it was too early to stomach anything at 6am so I decided I would get breakfast from Greggs at the train station. Turns out so did many other runners. Even though it was so early, seeing all the other runners at the station was amazing, nerves, excitement, and everything else made it all real.
One of our Camino Ultra coaches David

As always I had my bag of tricks packed from the night before. When I say a bag, I mean a big shopping bag with everything that I am wearing on the day, packing for bag drop, hydration vest, money, bank card.. everything I need basically. Greggs Sausage roll for the win always. Give it a go as I also love to take this with me on my ultras. Bought two, ate one and packed one which I thought I would eat, but actually didn’t as there was some amazing layout of fuel at the checkpoints. The best had to be the fruit cake which I ate at least 1 piece at every checkpoint and at CP4 and CP5, I went all out and ate two pieces. YUMMY πŸ˜‹.The cake was amazing. I also loved the honeycomb bites that were on offer – they were bite size chunky bites. Loved it.

Joining this race was totally a last minute decision though I had been training for it. I had actually planned to run it self-supported with Alice a few days prior but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. This is my third ultra in 10 months so I knew running 43 miles was going to be a very long run that needed a different type of mind-set.
Left to right: Jane, Yvonne, Trina, Linda

Gratefully I ran with a number of other amazing women, who I am currently training for The Speed Project with amongst others. This almost felt like a test run of how to deal with challenges along the way. Training up to this point had been going really well and I have been managing any previous niggles diligently. Knowing I am always injury prone means that I stick to my training plan as much as possible and try to recover well from every single run or workout.
For the Country to Capital, I had heard great things about it and knew a few people that had tackled and completed the course. When running ultras I have a routine of things that I carry besides nutrition, kit and the ‘kitchen sink’. You know exactly what I mean (we all carry more than we need, which is never a bad thing as if I don’t need it, I am sure another runner will!) I also carry handwritten notes of things I need to do along the way, timings to take my fuel, positive mantras to speak to myself and a list of podcasts to listen to should I need it. Throughout the last two ultras I have not listened to any music or podcasts and just remained in the moment and took in everything that was around me. I ALWAYS take my headphones with me though giving me the option to.
For Country to Capital, I had a print out of the checkpoint information which contained location, distance and key times. This information was really important to help me (and the rest of the women) I was running with to remain focused and keep pushing on even when it felt hard. This was vital and I felt that the women appreciated me keeping an eye on this information and sharing it with them alongside keeping everyone’s spirits high as it was the first time they had all run over 50km.
Left to right: Linda, Jane, Trina and Ade

Those finish line feels! πŸ₯³πŸ₯³

I really enjoyed the race, the course, even the mud. I mean I did almost lose my shoes a few times but that’s what trail running is all about. Different terrain, weather, experiences and challenges. Absolutely thankful and grateful for the marshals and volunteers throughout the course! What a bunch of amazing people who couldn’t have done any more. We were fed, waters and supported in the best way possible and I will always remember the Go Beyond Challenge for that. It was lovely to meet Simon (founder) and chat to him whilst picking up my race bib and at the finish line. I can 100% say that I will definitely be registering for another Go Beyond Challenge event!
Joy on the trails πŸ₯³πŸ₯³

Thankfully a few days prior I came across this wonderful blog from the amazing team at Run the Wild. It really did help me though Country to Capital as I had never experienced such bogs on a run. Almost lost my shoes a few times!  The uphill sections were really testing as if I fell down, I would end up at the bottom of the hill and no one wants that. If you have a few minutes, do give it a read! It is super helpful.

A huge THANK YOU to my Camino Coaches who are always championing and supporting me and the team along the way! Please also check out my account of the race I wrote for Camino Ultra here

For my nutrition I am still  mainly using Precision hydration drink mix,  electrolytes and chews. Also had some salted pretzels, jelly beans and the most amazing fruit cakes at the checkpoints. I definitely believe in eating real food on these long runs as they provide adequate nutrition in terms of slow butning carbohydrates that will fuel you for longer. As always nothing new on race day just food that you have tried and know will not upset your stomach.
Check out this race nutrition strategy on YouTube by the amazing people at Precision Hydration here.

I rounded off the week with 1 hour of yoga, and felt so good. Moved and stretched everything that needed it. Longest yoga session ever I think but it felt so good. Used the foam roller also. This hurt a bit but much needed after 43 miles. Rest, recovery and then start to rebuild again… road to The Speed Project πŸ₯³πŸ₯³

Feet recovery- cheap as chips! 

If you don't already know, I can't stand dirty shoes and clean all my trainers. Recently purchased a boot buddy to speed up cleaning time!

Week 2: 8th – 14th January

Started off the week with morning and afternoon yoga sessions. My hips are starting to feel better and less achy. Moving in all the right directions. Over the next few days it was all about yoga and some walking to stretch out the legs also because I work mainly from home so it was good to get out.

I went out for my first run this week on Thursday to shake out the legs as I have a cross country race on Saturday. Nothing too strenuous. Easy 15 minutes run (1.8km at a pace of 8:09/km).
Proviz gilet - gifted to London Sole Sisters

 I attended my 4th Met League race of the season this time at Stanborough Park Welwyn, Hatfield. My 2nd time on this course. Last year the weather had been extremely wet meaning very muddy trails. This was the course that forced me to purchase my first cross country spikes. I could barely run (mostly) sliding last year with my trail shoes. Don't get me wrong, I love my trail shoes but this course needed spikes and nothing less! 🀣
Harrow Senior Women 

Today’s goal was to give it a good go and complete the race. I didn’t know exactly how I would feel 7 days after running 43 miles. But I did better than I thought. Pushed when I could and walked some when I didn’t want to overdo it. I completed 8.42km at a pace of 6:19/km in 53 minutes. Not too bad considering I had run 70km 7 days prior. 
In the zone! πŸ₯³

Thought a lot about Ian Farr, Harrow’s Head Coach who sadly passed away before Christmas. I would always see Ian on the course supporting and taking photos always with a huge smile. He will be forever missed.
Finished off the week with some more yoga. Felt good to stretch it all out. Trying to get better with recovery and rest. I still need to work on my diet and what I consume. Small steps 🀞🏿

Week 3: 15st – 21th January

Time of the month this week and was gutted to miss the London Sole Sisters run on Monday but I could barely move. First run this week didn’t happen till Wednesday. OMG, OK so I won’t complain about the cold but it was chilly out there πŸ₯Ά. No set pace or distance just wanted to go out and run. It was so cold and just ran easy which turned into a nice little progression run as my body warmed up.

I usually wouldn’t run 3 days in a row but as I will be at the National Running Show this weekend, needs must otherwise it wouldn’t happen.
Completed Mile End hill reps as I felt it’s been a while. Can’t go wrong with hill sprints, can you? Been a while since I did some reps on a hill so set it out to do this today 10 up and walked down recovery. Was thinking to jog down and I did for the 1st recovery and quickly realised I would be using too much energy jogging so walked down meaning  I could give more effort on the way up.
Then got my longest run in a while 12.89km/8 miles. I wasn’t sure what I could do as I ran 2 days before to get 3 runs in this week. Good practice to run on tired legs. Plan was 8-10 miles and got it done Walked it out to stretch it out. Did 10 mins body weight training an hour before the run, warming up those glutes.
After meeting with Emily (Sports Scientist from Precision Hydration) we discussed about trialing a new fuelling strategy as I felt like I got some minor cramps during Country to Capital as I didn’t consume enough sodium in my drinks and I am a sweaty sweater. I usually end my runs with salt all over my face! It was great to speak to a Sports Scientist to understand how I can fuel my runs better.

If you are interested please check out my fuelling race report here and recommendations.

Rounded off the week with Pilates 20 mins and some more walking at the National Running Show! 

Week 4: 22nd – 28th January

Three days straight of migraine was not helpful at all. I resulted to taking ibuprofen as I couldn't cope. I am not a fan of pain killers. I have to be in serious need ... I guess I was. 🫀

Kicked off the week with London Sole Sisters track session. Track mama Gloria coached us on 600m reps with recovery using RPE 50%/60%/70% - all you got (800m – 1 lap) including warm up drills and cool down of 2 laps of the track. Great to get some warm up drills for the ankles from Iyabo too which will benefit us all in our training.
Unfortunately I decided not to attend Frontier London session in the evening so planned to run in the Tuesday afternoon instead. Frontier London host a variety of sessions every Tuesday from trail to hills. They also have Saturday trail runs! Check out their page on Instagram or Strava.
 Great tempo run but afternoon runs are just not for me. Not used to it, have to make sure I eat at the right time and then to top it off there were human pedestrians everywhere and I was just dodging in and out for 30 mins. Nice pace which ended up as a progression run starting at 7:06 for KM 1 and 5:48 for KM 5. Capped the run at 5km and walked home which was another 1.57km
At home weight training, two yoga sessions and a walk over the next few days. Some beautiful lights in Canary Wharf which will be over by the time you read this blog unfortunately.

Whilst on my long run Friday and bumped into my amazing sis Gloria who has been waiting for MRI results to see if she can run. What an amazing day to bump into her running in sunny Victoria Park. Completed 10km! The great news is that she can run and more importantly take on those strenght sessions in. 

I have been thinking about recovery and how I can manage this with everything else that I am juggling. We all try to do our stretches and all that but I need consistency in my routine. I have used recovery boots - Myoset in the past, they are not super expensive booking a session but if I use them regularly it will become an expense. So I am going to try and use the spa/steam/sauna/hydrotherapy pool at least twice a month. Starting today. I had an amazing time. That steam room be steaming hot though… my ears were burning 🀣. Two hour for £24. Or a month’s membership to the whole centre including the gym and swimming pool at around £88 per month. 
I planned to attend Parkrun but I was tired and my bed said ‘not today’. I am trying to listen to my body so I had extra hour snooze and then got up to get the run done. Got in another 10km to round off the week. 4 runs this week totalling 29.9km.
Absolutely love my Vaga headbands - gifted 

I have been thinking about re-joining Pure Gym again since I cancelled my membership in February 2023. Not enough time to juggle everything as I prefer to go to the gym in the morning and also prefer to run in the morning so I decided to do home workouts instead. Been missing some good weight so took the plunge and joined again. I do like Pure Gym as it has 24 hours access and some good things in the app (nutrition, home workouts, audio runs and workout suggestions in the gym). £37.99 per month… let’s go!!

 I usually do my strength sessions at home on the Sunday but was super excited and went to the gym. Got in a lovely workout and boogie πŸ’ƒπŸΏ in between reps!

5 mins Cross trainer + 5 minutes rowing machine. Then did my dynamic warmup and shook it all up. I carry a few bits with me to the gym in my bag (resistance band, floor sliders, skipping rope). Nice whole body workout using the dumbbells and kettlebells too. Cool down and a gentle walk home. Excited to be back.
Gym selfie 😊

Week 5: 29th – 31st January

I am not going to lie but January has been a whole year. I know you probably feel the same too. A very busy month but a great one in all accounts. 

Finished off the week by joining Frontier London and their infamous North London hills session. So lovely to be joined by my amazing London Sole Sisters. Those hills ate me but we never give up! Also carried on with my strength session in the gym and yoga at home to round off the month.
Mark Parry and London Sole Sisters

Garmin stats for January (all taken with a pinch of salt!)
Maintaining, productive and recovery. I'll take that πŸ™πŸΏπŸ™πŸΏ

Total running milage: 162.9km


January training summary from my London Sole Sister Jane

 January has been a month of both successes and reality. 
Finishing Country to Capital was the Ultimate success, and at the same time the reality of how a lack of training impacts your performance. Injury stopping training 4 weeks before the race and a last minute physio appointment days before the race (really helped) was not an ideal way to get to the starting line of a 43 mile race. It was long, it was challenging and I had to call on my inner self to get me through. 

Success Pt2:  January Women’s Running Magazine Warrior & Cover Star 🌟. Beyond blessed and forever thankful to be chosen. 
Throughout January I have been consistent with both miles, mobility and strength training. It hasn’t been easy, the early mornings have been freezing πŸ₯Ά and the evenings have been tiring. The Speed Project is 9 weekends……😬😬
Looking forward to what February brings! 

Thank you to our amazing coaches! A big thank you also to Vaga and Proviz for gifting us some products! 

Please look out for February's training recap which will be published at the end of Feb 2024 πŸ˜‰


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