2013 in Summary

I'm only a month and a half late with this, but as they say, "better late than never" :-)

So how was 2013 for me in terms of running? Absolutely bloody brilliant in the end.


I started the year off a little slowly. The weather wasn't very good and I wasn't particularly motivated after working the Christmas period having gotten back from visiting family in South Africa. What training I was doing was mostly the MAF approach with one session of Yasso 800s a week thrown in... the idea was to try and get a bit more speed in my legs in preparation for my first marathon in nearly 10 years. This served me well, or so I thought. Blowing up spectacularly in the Milton Keynes marathon proved there was no way I was going to get under three hours on MAF alone... I needed more tough workouts that would teach me to run quicker and longer on tired legs. So I did a bit of research and discovered the Hanson Marathon Method

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18 successive days of running, averaging over 100km a week, really works for me. Just ran the toughish Yateley 10k, with a rare negative split and set a new PB of 36:34 chip time and finished 12th. Chuffed to bits. If I can keep this up I think I'll get a PB for both my half and full marathons this season.

My Wife Has Just Walked/Run Her First 5K

C25KMy wife is doing a 5k fun run with a group of colleagues to raise a bit of money for charity. She's not a runner so in order to get her prepared for it we're following the Cool Running Couch-to-5K programme. This is a great little programme which slowly builds you to running a whole 5k which I think is perfect for my wife. I also quite like to get to play coach and add in an additional run several times a week.

So a couple of weeks ago we set off and things started quite well. My wife is nowhere near as unfit as she thought, though she's also nowhere near fit enough to run a full 5k. As a result we've actually been doing slightly more in terms of distance per session than the training programme suggests. Things were going well for the first week and a half and then she got one heck of a headcold and suspected ear infection so the running stopped. We then picked things up again yesterday and had a nice gentle run. Today we went out again and I thought I'd be a little cheeky and change things slightly and see how she coped.

We're meant to be doing the third day of week two: Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. but as yesterday went so well and as we've been doing a bit more than the programme suggests (yesterday was 38mins of 90sec run, 2min walk), I upped the running intervals to two minutes each and kept the walking intervals at two minutes each. I also cunningly devised a nice mostly offroad route that was just short of 5k.

Well, I'm pleased to say keeping the conversation going really helped and I think she noticed less of today's run than yesterday. We got back home midway through a running interval so ran back and forth up and down the road until the last two minutes were up.

The result: my wife walked/run 5k on the nose in a time of 43:35 without even knowing it and coped really well. I'm chuffed she's finally hit the 5k mark. Now she just needs to work on running the whole way and she'll breeze through her charity run.

This afternoon's little saunter made a great little pre-race warm-up for tomorrow. I'm feeling great and rested and am really looking forward to tomorrow's race... my first marathon in over 14 years. The weather's looking good too so it should be a good day out.

I got some strange looks on my run today (for my Vibrams) from a man running with a brick in his hands.

Nothing to report this week other than to say I'm having a well deserved week off running and enjoying a few beers in the Lake district. Back on the tarmac next week.

I think my training must be going well. Just ticked over the 300km mark for the month. Not bad for the shortest month of the year.

Just finished today's long run & completed by first 100k week of the year. Missed one in January by 4km. 11 more to go this year.

Disheartened By MAF (2 Comments)

I received the following comment on my 2012 in Summary post and thought it and it's response warranted a post of its own as it's a common topic with MAF...

Hello Colin

Revisiting this post as posted here before but not sure if it would be better in the MAF post. I digress.
When you started using the MAF principle; did you experience your heart rate monitor pinging off before you even felt you where actually getting into your stride?

I have tried this for a month now (and even though you suggest trying for 3 months at least) I am finding it utterly soul destroying. I feel like it want to rip the HRM off and smash it to smithereens because it must be lying to me, constantly pinging saying heart rate too high, I am barely moving.
I have read Dr Mafftones Big book of endurance and this situation is often referenced, people can seemingly run happily a lot faster than they can slower. Driving me nuts.
Just wondering if you had to go through this phase or your aerobic capacity was already sufficient to operate at a low HR?

The only thing that stops me throwing the HRM in the next brook is, it works fine when out on the bike. Can keep the HR nicely at may max level of 135bpm.
I can only conclude. Running is far more taxing than cycling, my aerobic capacity or running economy is shockingly poor or both.

Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. Failing that, the simple cold truth, is my own conclusion about right.

Jason the dis heartend

Don't feel dis-heartened, you're not alone. This is actually a very common issue and I did indeed experience the same frustration as you are experiencing. My body used to be primed for fast training and I could and would whiz through training sessions at significantly higher heart rates. This however isn't very good for MAF and I had to be patient.

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Deleted my DailyMile account today after a year. Slow/non-existent dev & it doesn't offer anything I don't get from FetchEveryone.