fetcheveryone - Blog

06 Jul 2018

Big Glasgow Weekend - Part 1: Gies A Cwtch

1:04pm | 712 views | Big Fetch Mile - Glasgow | 16 Comments
Before I forget the details, here's an account of our trip to Glasgow :-)

We woke up at about 6.30am on the Friday morning, in order to get to Nightjar and Silvershadow's house for our lift at 7.45. Our train wasn't until just after 10am, but the lift fitted in with Nightjar's commute to MK, so we sat in the station and read books (me: Dracula - pretty good; Katie - a Stuart McBride I think).

It's been a while since I've been on a long train journey, and none so long as this - five hours. The romantic view of travelling to Scotland by train is that it's a bit like going to Hogwarts, with cityscapes giving way to increasingly more beautiful and expansive terrain, and hopefully without the Dementors, and with lots of pumpkin pasties.

The reality (on the way up at least) is that it's a bit of a lottery. We first shared a table with a mother and daughter who were reading travel guide books, and the mother had a long phone conversation about her international travel, and how "we should really meet up - let's pencil in a date - I can fit you in between Niagra Falls and my trip to Jupiter in April 2064 - how does that sound? Lovely darling. Yes of course we must discuss moving the tangible assets to the Cayman Islands. Makes perfect sense". A few stops later, they were replaced by a Birmingham family who were a little suspicious about the fact that our tickets were for the same seat as theirs, and spent much of the rest of the trip arguing amongst themselves about packed lunches, where to find a good pub, and generally going over the same ground repeatedly. We also had a less-than-one-year-old baby, and a four-year old in the seat behind me who did pretty well, but did land the occasional kick to the back. I have giant headphones, but didn't wear them out of solidarity with Katie, who doesn't.

That said, I did get a couple of hundred pages of Dracula read (it gets very bitey), some of the scenery was very lovely, and we had chocolate-covered peanuts.

Our hotel was the Premier Inn near the Buchanan Galleries. On reaching our room, we discovered that there was a noisy child in the room next door, so for the sake of our sanity, we got our room changed for a different one.

I'd asked on Twitter for eating recommendations - and as a result of one, we ended up at Paesano Pizza (paesanopizza.co.uk), and it was really quite awesome. I discovered how much I like rocket and parmesan salad (a lot), and then followed that up with the most delicious sourdough pizza I may ever have eaten.

Saturday came, and our plan was to go to Ruchill parkrun. The other possibility was Springburn, but we really wanted to see what it was like to run a very small event (they had 45 entrants the week before). Google offered what turned out to be a fairly uninspiring and rather hilly route to the park, but knowing no better, we took it.

First Fetch contact came in the form of JulesR, who is always lovely to meet - and followed shortly after by an all-encompassing no-arguments-permitted cwtch from Maz, and then a row of hugs from more Fetchies. The usual thing - if I start listing names, I'll forget someone. It's always a bit overwhelming, and I mainly try not to sound like a douche.

Ruchill feels like a fairly compact park, with plenty of upping and downing. The course is shaped like a whale - look:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

What they don't tell you at the briefing is that the tail of the whale is out of the water, ready to slap back down, sending runners everywhere :-) We took the whole thing at what was a reasonably comfortable pace for me, but I think a hard effort attempt would be quite exhausting :-)

The finish was relaxed and low-key - no rigid funnel and associated police - just a bloke nonchalantly holding up a token between thumb and forefinger, just waiting for me to realise where to go. Bonus points for the drinks on offer at the end too. It looks like a real close-knit group, but they made us feel very welcome indeed.

Finish of the entire day came from Corrah, who came through the tape like a runaway train, only slowing down thanks to some very impressive arm cartwheeling, which was a joy to watch.

After a quick chat with a few Fetchies, we made the decision to get back to the city as I was in dire need of some deodorant for my buzzing pits :-) and we also needed to buy a few bits and bobs for the afternoon. 57.5 Degrees of Pain gave us some useful advice to follow the canal back - and it proved to be a much, much nicer route. It was really nice to see how that section of canal has been repurposed to support water sports (and a few days later, we also discovered the wake boarding part too).

We went to the Pret underneath the hotel for a bit of porridge and a coffee, and were soon accosted by DoricQuine, Lip Gloss and idle_wilder, who had spotted our Fetch tops. They were as lovely as you'd imagine, and DQ presented me with my 'Gies a Cwtch' t-shirt (for the uninformed, it's a Scottish-Welsh hybrid phrase meaning "Excuse me my dear old thing, I would like you to hug me please".):

We arranged to share a taxi, so we toddled off to buy our bits and bobs, take a shower, and then waited in the town centre, drinking ginger beer, listening to two buskers (one in each ear) and signing a petition to stop live organ harvesting in China. As you do.

More to follow...
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  • Excellent start to the BFM weekend! Looking forward to the rest of the tale :-)
    1:24pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • It's a shame I can't make any of the other dates but have you thought anymore about a summer Bedford mile?
    Fenland Flier
    1:29pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • Part one of a great weekend :-)
    Lip Gloss
    1:32pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • @FF - it's floating around in my head, and I'd like to - but the challenge is finding a free Saturday over the summer - we've a fair bit going on.
    1:33pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • No probs, that's understandable but I knew it was mentioned and was hopeful of another Fetchie meet up and mile challenge before the December Jingle mile.
    Fenland Flier
    2:02pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • So grateful you guys came all this way. sorry/not sorry for the unsolicited hugs!
    Maz Heeps
    2:30pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • You should get Katie a pair of MAHOOSIVE headphones for train journeys. They're all the rage.
    2:44pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • Great rwading choice from katie.
    4:14pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • Oh, this is going to be epic bloggage! I love a long train, but headphones are a must. MsB needs a set of top cans for her b-day (or the more discreet and rather wonderful airpods). That t-shirt was brill. :-) G
    4:53pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • Great blog, and good choice of books, slightly amusingly I was passing Dracula's castle as I was reading this.
    7:18pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • And the entrance to my old flat is mentioned in the first Stuart McBride book.
    7:19pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • Never a douche fetch. X
    8:38pm, 6th Jul 2018
  • My brakes don't work too well hence the cartwheel arms :-) was so lovely to finally meet you and gotta love hugs :-)
    12:29am, 7th Jul 2018
  • Brilliant :-)
    Fierce and Focused Fleecy
    7:13am, 7th Jul 2018
  • Ace! :-)
    Angus Clydesdale
    7:07pm, 7th Jul 2018
  • :-) a Fetchie friend (not very active here now) was timing you :-)
    12:51pm, 9th Jul 2018

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03 Jul 2018

Tom Williams Interview - Final Part

1:04pm | 291 views | 4 Comments
The final part of my interview with Tom Williams is now available (sorry it wasn't yesterday, but I was on a train for most of the day). In this episode, I ask Tom about event saturation; and just for fun, I find out what his favourite cheese is, and attempt to find out what his prisoner name would be: Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Just in case you missed them, here are the links to all the previous episodes:

Part 1: Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Part 2: Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Part 3: Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Big thanks to Tom for taking the time to do this. Whether you agree with everything or not (and surely no-one will), the opportunity to find out more is a very welcome one, and I hope you'll leave Tom a nice comment below :-)

Plug: come along to our next Big Fetch Mile in Woking on July 28th: Link (roll over me to see where I go)
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  • A more mellow feel to this episode. HQs views are still firmly put but maybe that's how it has to be with so many plates to be spun. :-) P.S. Falling over should never be categorised as character building. Raspberry!
    2:11pm, 3rd Jul 2018
  • You're spot on, I don't agree with everything he's said in these interviews but it would be a dull old world without a range of opinions and I do appreciate the time he - and you - have put into doing this.
    3:48pm, 3rd Jul 2018
  • Many thanks to you and Tom for taking the time to do this. It's been illuminating and thought-provoking and just the right amount of entertaining.
    6:47am, 4th Jul 2018
  • (delayed listening due to my Peak District trip ... longer than your Glasgow 'delay'-)
    Thanks for doing this - very interesting - even if I disagree with some things, it's good to hear Tom's (aka HQ) perspective.
    Feel free to go off & grab other running/cycling/tri athletes for similar interviews - if you want to expand your repertoire.
    5:41pm, 9th Jul 2018

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02 Jul 2018

Glasgow Big Fetch Mile Results and Pics

9:06pm | 180 views | 1 Comments
I'll see if I can do a longer blog about my weekend tomorrow, but for now, here are the results and some pictures from our awesome afternoon in Glasgow:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)
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  • It was brilliant. Thanks to you and Katie B for wonderful organisation and a great day altogether. Great to meet Fetchie pals old and new. Some great new Fetchie blood - NU did a wonderful job with the venue, drinks and cakes. Thanks all round. :-) G
    11:50am, 3rd Jul 2018

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26 Jun 2018

Abingdon Week 17 - P&D Booster rockets

11:45am | 744 views | Abingdon Marathon | 9 Comments
First two runs of the week done.

Monday was a four mile recovery pace run. P&D say these should be done at sub-70%WHR, which I managed with room to spare, and came home feeling good:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Tuesday was a 'medium' (sorry, I'm not yet in a place where I can include this without quotes) long run of 13 miles, with 8 miles at PMP. That always makes me think of PWP, which is Welsh for poo :-) [Pronounciation guide for Katie: substitute the 'w' for the 'oo' in 'look', and you get 'pwp']

Last week my long run was all about sailing as close to the sub-70%WHR threshold as possible (not because of any plan from a book, just because I fancied it), and as a result it was a long march to discomfort. Today I followed the instructions, which required the first five miles at pwp+10% = 10mins/mile; and then the next eight miles at pwp pace. Katie was my booster rocket, running the first five with me at a metronomic 10 mins/mile, before I shot off into orbit to do my pwp. It's a bit of a weird feeling - the eight feels like a separate entity, and for the first few miles at least, it's easy to forget that I'm 6-7 miles in.

I overcooked the pace a bit, running the first four miles at about 6-7s quicker than pwp. And then got a bit carried away / wanted to get it done - so the next four were 10-15s quicker than pwp. I've got to have a word with myself about that, and learn to stay relaxed if I can. In my defence, the step up came when I ran through a bit of forest, and the GPS in the TomTom I am currently using lost the plot a bit.

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Another very minor uncomfortable feeling on the outside of my right ankle (one to watch) in the last mile; and felt slightly sick when I got back - but otherwise all good. The big challenge for the rest of today is to get enough food in, without my intestines shutting down. My theory is that this is down to dehydration - but all I know for certain is that if I get it wrong and post too much food down my throat, or chew too little (I can be like a bird swallowing a plate at times), I get 6-8 hours of stomach pain :-/

Running rest day tomorrow, then 8mi with strides on Thursday, rest day Friday, then a jolly round Ruchill parkrun before the Big Fetch Mile in Glasgow on Saturday :-)
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  • Good training :-). Have you tried smoothies or shakes* post run, perhaps with some oats or other grains thrown in: may be easier on the guts?

    *not that overpriced protein shake nonsense, somethink proper like Nesquik or Crusha. Or maybe with tinned fruit.
    12:28pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • Friij is my go-to drink after a hard sesh. And I've had a handful of pistachios to get a bit of something in.
    12:34pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I’m having to drink rather than eat after any run right now but something is better than nothing *eating a raspberry jam donut*
    1:08pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I just need to buy a good blender then, obvs :-) *blends marmite on toast*
    1:23pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • No harm in pwp / pmp miles coming out a tad faster than the actual plan for the day, especially if the recovery in subsequent days isn't affected. My take on P&D plans are that if you can consistently follow their plans week in week out but creep the pace upwards a little without impacting that recovery then you're doing the right thing. What would be worse would be being unable to hit their paces, but still trying every time and causing yourself to be too tired.

    Good confidence boost on the start line (though don't let that give you a revised MP on the day, certainly not until 18-20 miles are under your belt!)
    1:58pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I agree re dehydration. It's been noticeable on my long walks that until I've caught up with fluids, food is pointless.
    2:33pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • What Larks said :-) I don't know what you drink the evening before a run but it may be worth thinking about what you drink and start drinking more water. This should help with hydration. The trouble is we're all so different and no one thing will cure everything. Good luck with any experiments you make and I wish I could be in Glasgow Saturday.
    Fenland Flier
    2:43pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • Thanks all. I'll find out how the recovery is when I try the strides on Thurs :-)
    2:48pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • Marmite? That's where you go wrong urghhhh
    10:16pm, 26th Jun 2018

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25 Jun 2018

Interviewing Tom Williams: Part III

3:47pm | 421 views | 2 Comments
In part three of my interview with Tom Williams, I ask him whether he'd like to put the phrase "Tail Walker" in his Delorean:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

And while you're here, check out our walking league table :-)

Link (roll over me to see where I go)
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  • Cheers for the interviews Ian. As an ED myself, interesting to hear some of the answers given!
    4:50pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Think I gave feedback on the first part and have now listened to parts two and three. You can't deny that the guy is passionate about what he believes in and how and why the changes are moving forward. For myself I'm still not sure I agree with a lot of stuff, I'm not sure that I agree that parkrun can end up being all things to all people, but having heard the interview I can see why they are going that way, ie the rationale makes more sense.

    On last week's part, I really don't get the bit about volunteering being just as beneficial as running, some of the points, yes, it is a great way in if you're nervous about running, but I still think the ultimate goal each week has to be about doing the run.

    Re the comments this week about the NHS, I'm afraid I disagree, we have a ruling party that is ideologicallly opposed to state regulation and control, anybody who is working or has worked in the NHS will have seen the creeping privatisation happening. So by supporting the NHS you are making a sweeping statement, are you saying that you think it should be a national service, or are you saying that it should be run by commercial companies for profit, but still funded by the tax payer? I'm afraid it is far too sweeping a statement. Ditto for Vitality, when it could be argued that they are the type of Company that is as much a part of the problem. Once you start making value judgements like that, ie not accepting partnership with energy drinks, you need to back them up with more than sweeping statements.

    Anyway, overall I've been really impressed so far, the guy is obviously a great believer in parkrun and its benefits, I think most of the stuff we disagree on, both myself and others on here, is stuff around the edges which hopefully shows we all care about the future of parkrun.
    10:20am, 26th Jun 2018

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25 Jun 2018

Walking League (and one just for Nellers)

12:28pm | 194 views | 17 Comments
Following lots of requests, I've produced a distance league table for walkers:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

I've styled it up a bit differently to other tables. You need ten miles in any given calendar month to be listed, and it regenerates once a day. It shows:

the total distance you've covered;
your average pace;
your longest mileage in a single day (to highlight any epic efforts);
the number of days you walked on.

There's also a sub-table called Daily Champions, which shows the person who recorded the most miles on each day of the given month.

Have a look, and let me know what you think. The table will eventually slot into our 'Rank' section, but my plan is to rebuild the main rankings page to showcase the increasingly large number of league tables that we now offer :-)

Oh, and Nellers... here's that indoor rowing one I promised you:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)
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  • Lovely :-)
    Can cross-training Hiking also count please?
    12:30pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • ooh, very exciting. This is going to make me log more of my walking. I don't know if that's good or bad :-)
    12:30pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Eek! Excellent ... but I have The Fear. (Withnail)
    12:33pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • All right, this is the plan. We get in there and get wrecked, then we'll eat a pork pie, then we'll drop a couple of Surmontil-50's each. That means we'll miss out Monday but come up smiling Tuesday morning.
    12:37pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Oh noes, I am going to have to keep up my rowing!
    12:59pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Hiking too. Please.
    Wriggling Snake
    1:00pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • @Rosehip and @WS - I've incorporated hiking into the totals now.
    1:06pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • I'd better start recording my recent mileage then...
    1:27pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Ooh yes Helegant - you must! :-)
    1:34pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Splendid :-)
    2:54pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Well that’s rather exciting .... lucky I went for my longest ever walk yesterday !!
    3:08pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Can we be highlighted in the lists please? My varifocals struggle a bit :-)
    3:17pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Well done 😁
    Wriggling Snake
    3:34pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Yay 9th 😁😁😁😁
    Wriggling Snake
    3:34pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Star
    4:43pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • I haven't logged a lot of my walking this month but how do we access this league normally?
    3:17pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I'll be rebuilding the rankings page to group together all the different league tables we have (there are a tonne), and this will be one of them. Until then, you'll have to use the link in my blog.
    3:19pm, 26th Jun 2018

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22 Jun 2018

Follow Roads - continued

2:12pm | 508 views | 12 Comments
I've removed the warning from the 'Follow Roads' button on our route mapper, as I've been able to find an excellent substitute for the Google Directions API. You can read about it here: Link (roll over me to see where I go) - it's all connected to the OpenStreetMap community.

It has quotas to protect against overuse. I'm monitoring our usage of it, and I've coded it so that it if it looks like we might be hitting limits, we can fall back to the Google Directions API.

The routing is pretty good - in fact better, based on my experience so far. There's a little path from the end of the street across to the canal that Google was completely unaware of, but this nails it :-) It's also configurable, and you can ask it to retrieve the elevation at every point along your route too. I haven't integrated that part yet, but it sounds like it'd be really useful.

Please don't go mad with it (I'm watching!), but do have a little try, especially if Google's routing has let you down in the past:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Have a great weekend everyone!
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  • That sounds great, I shall be plotting my WSW route later so will give it a try :-)
    Mrs Jigs (Luverlylegs)
    2:15pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Nice one Fetchio :-) I'm currently working through my local area on OpenStreetMaps, altering and adding to the footpaths.
    2:20pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • I have found it better...just scrutinizing the maps for WSWs purposes.
    Wriggling Snake
    2:27pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Awesome - I just put in a couple of points near home and it found all the best footpaths :-)
    Elsie Too
    4:07pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Fills in some gaps around Attenborough Nature Reserve, an improvement on G**gle
    4:20pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Great, thanks. :-)
    6:50pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Confirming - it picks out footpaths - which Gmaps never did. Only one (very very minor) point - it is a bit slow. Whilst playing (aka testing) I found I was clicking twice because the first click didn't seem to take. But I guess that is just user training.
    But that's a small price to pay for the extra benefit of paths.

    Well found, and thanks !
    7:37pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • I could do some sort of egg timer thing to help feed back to the user. The response time is variable.
    8:04pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • when you've got based maps with better data, it stands to reason that the routing based on them will be better :-). It's a shame that the OS digital maps aren't freely available given they're generally (until recently) been funded buy our taxes.
    11:49pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • A couple of things I noticed today. If you look at the old training view it still has the google map and not the osm version. I guess that means not very many people are using that view any more but it might still help to switch. The other thing I noticed was that following a garmin fail I tired to edit my run and I could only edit a run using google maps with no follow roads. Hope this helps. Whilst I am here i was looking at the old view because I remembered there used to be a link the uploaded training run somewhere but I couldn't see it there. Are these accessible without saving from the training log?
    5:10am, 23rd Jun 2018
  • Super. Thanks Ian!!
    Windsor Wool
    2:50pm, 23rd Jun 2018
  • This is a great improvement!
    4:48pm, 25th Jun 2018

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22 Jun 2018

Week 18 in the bag

12:29pm | 132 views | Abingdon Marathon | 3 Comments
...unless the boy remembers he'd like to try my bike out on the weekend, in which case I may end up with a few more miles perhaps.

Thanks to @FF for offering a copy of P&D. I've got one, and I skim-read it a while back. It was useful, and I've also forgotten large bits of it... so I'll try to re-read a bit over the weekend (but Dracula is also needing my attention). However, thanks to your reminder about *actually* looking at it, I did look at the week 18 plan, and it encouraged me to include the speed today :-) Here's the four runs it sugges for week 18:

"Medium" (lol) Long = 12mi @ 10-20% slower than goal pace
Threshold = 8mi with 4mi @ 15k pace
General = 9mi
Recovery = 4mi
TOTAL = 33mi

Today was a two mile warm up, then three miles at my threshold pace (midway between 10k pace and half mara pace = about 7:50-8:00/mile), then a recovery. I normally have a much shorter warm up for threshold runs (sometimes as little as half a mile), but it felt like it worked well to build up for two miles - and I got the added bonus of extra miles to make my week look extra shiny and to break 30 miles in a week for only the fifth time this decade :-O

Here it is:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)

So (SS) I ended up with:

"Actual" (ner) Long = 13.5mi @ 9:32/mile (the right pace, iff I was going for 3:45 mara)
Threshold = 6.5mi with 3.25 @ 15k pace
General = 6mi
TOTAL = 30.3 miles

If I end up asleep on the dog later, I will know I've over-extended myself, but for now I'm quite pleased :-)

Looking ahead to W17, the threshold run is switched out for strides, which I have little to no experience of, so that should be fun. Everything else looks fairly similar. I really doubt I'll hit the 36 mile total it suggests, but breaking 30 again would be great.
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  • "the right pace, iff I was going for 3:45 mara" hmmmm. Not the right pace then? Having seen how you recovered from this run I think you should aim to go slower for the long run. But you know that's what I think.
    12:44pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • I definitely need to nail the post-run guts shutdown issue :-/ That's a whole blog in itself.
    12:50pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • You're welcome :-) Post run guts shutdown? Blimey after a race or long run I could eat for England, I can only think of once that I actually couldn't finish a meal. However, be careful increasing your weekly miles if you don't run that far regularly, you don't want to end up injured. Have fun.
    Fenland Flier
    9:30pm, 22nd Jun 2018

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20 Jun 2018

Tackling turds

4:24pm | 448 views | 8 Comments
After some really very annoying site outages over the last week or so, my focus this week has been on diagnosing and improving bottlenecks that can cause the site to slow up or fall over.

I've also put out a call for your feedback on everything site-related, not least because I've got some new bug tracking software, and want to fill it up with juicy bugs. Here's me mentioning it in this week's email newsletter:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

What's that? You don't receive this glorious document? There's no need to panic. Just go to your settings, scroll down a bit, and make sure you've ticked the boxes to receive my emails:

Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Anyway... I feel like today the site has turned the corner - but I appreciate I'm tempting fate by saying so :-)

Our biggest bottleneck is nearly always getting your data into and out of the database. I use a reporting tool that tells me which queries (any request to create, read, update, or delete information in the database) are taking the most time, or sometimes more pertinently, are causing other queries to queue up behind them. The picture can get a bit foggy when the database gets overwhelmed, because then all the queries start taking longer than they need to. But the crap usually rises to the top, and if you can tackle the biggest turd first, it can take the pressure off the rest of the system. Unlike Fake News Farage, web servers really can reach a tipping point.

In running news, week 18 of marathon training is going well (thanks HappyG for the comments about strides and form - I'll see if I can incorporate something like that).

Today is a rest day, but yesterday I did my long run [ Link (roll over me to see where I go) ] - a smidge further than the previous week, and held on to the heart rate threshold for a wee bit longer before I got a bit fed up of having to slow my pace. Two current ponderings:

1) I am currently doing my long run the day after a six miler, which feels like it's putting me into a slightly tired state before I start. My (very woolly) thinking is that going into my long run with a bit of tiredness in my legs will better prepare me for the even longer runs, so long as I introduce a rest day before them.

2) Staying under 70%WHR is pretty straightforward for the first 4 miles - in fact, I find myself pushing the pace a bit. Typically about 20-30s/mile quicker than the rest of the run. Is it better to hold back, maintain an even pace during those excitable early miles, and perhaps hold on to sub-70 for a bit longer? Or is there a lower limit to the %WHR that I should stay above, in order to get the best training effect?
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  • Ooh, thanks for name check! No harm in long run on tired(ish) legs, usually helps. I would just add that HR improvements tend to go in chunks of 4 weeks or so. Just about how long body takes to adapt. So don't be worried if you don't see week on week (and def not daily!) improvements. It will feel hard for a bit, then a few weeks later will take a sudden leap forward. In fact, Hadd and other HR based training recommend re-benchmarking yourself no more often than every 4 weeks (or even 6 weeks). Great training, well done.

    Good luck on identifying thing hurting the site. Is there any way that you can make it such that when something goes bad, it is switched off, to protect rest of site? A bit of code like a "keep awake" / heart beat type thing, so that if a query is taking too long it is shut down? Or if you're getting really clever, then shuffled down the queue. In Unix there are commands like Nice that will automatically de-prioritise something that is consuming too much resource. That sort of thing? Enjoy! :-) G
    5:01pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • For pondering 2: How will you behave on race day - long runs are also a prep for that eventuality. How about trying the three ways and seeing how you feel? 1. Run as now, 2. Run even pace to see how staying calm in those early miles plays out, 3.Run slightly easier, then turn on the taps towards the end to test pmp.
    5:22pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • @oumaumau - I'd envisaged that I'll do the occasional long run with a bit of marathon pace in it to see how PMP feels on tired legs.
    5:24pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • I would get out of the habit of quicker earlier in the long run...You want to save energy for later. You see a lot of marathons go arwy early on. Taps are heavy don't take them with you. Bug tracking makes it sound like a real job.
    Wriggling Snake
    5:30pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • I would advocate even pace but unfortunately that doesnt equate to even effort. However you have set an HR ceiling, so start slower has to be the advice.
    6:09pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • You may well find that starting the long runs at a steadier pace will fall into place as your runs get longer and your running brain starts to get a grip on how hard you can run for *that* time/distance.
    6:38pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • P&D suggest longs runs are split evenly and first half at MP + 20% and second half at MP +10%. HR I can’t say until I get home and check the book. However although I haven’t been running that long I really do think using the 18 and then 12 week plans up to 55 mpw helped me immensely with my running. Having the book is a definite must have imho to get it right. HR and pacing suggestions are in it.
    Fenland Flier
    9:12pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • My most successful* long runs were when I set out very conservatively and held it in check the whole way. I read something once - long runs should be run as slowly as you can, then slow down a bit more.

    *I'll leave it up to you to decide if you take advice from a 5:17 PB marathoner.....
    12:08pm, 21st Jun 2018

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18 Jun 2018

Abingdon Marathon Training: Week 18

5:06pm | 925 views | Abingdon Marathon | 8 Comments
I'm now into the territory covered by the P&D 'Advanced Marathoning' book, but not especially near the starting mileage. My best bet is to go with what I can realistically achieve :-)

Here's where I got to before arriving:

Monday 6.4 miles aiming for sub-70% WHR
Tuesday 13.25 miles, also aiming for sub-70% WHR
Wednesday REST
Thursday 4 miles at recovery / whatever pace (exploring WSW squares)
Friday REST
Saturday speedy parkrun = 23.05 = about 25s quicker than a few months ago.
Sunday a very small amount of biking, and 0.75 miles in the lake.

I'm pleased that the long run is the distance it is, and although I'd like to be a bit quicker over 5k, it felt like it went reasonably well (despite falling off the initial pace). I've also been trying to make four runs a week into a bit of a habit.

For weeks 18 down to 15 inclusive, my ideal goals are:

1) to maintain 4 runs a week. If one week only has three runs, I'll consider that a win!
2) long run up to 16 miles by the end of the 4 weeks.
3) three out of the four weeks to include a speedier run. Not at parkrun pace, but more like 7:50-8:00/mile, as that's around about my threshold pace. A bit longer though - 4-5 miles.
4) the other two runs to be at sub-70% WHR.
5) overall running mileage for the four week block to be about 110.
6) swimming and biking for fun as and when I feel like it.

I'm finding the sub-70% runs to be quite interesting at the moment - particularly the speed I'm able to achieve whilst staying under the limit. It's my best understanding of the biology that an improved speed for the same heart rate, or conversely a reduced heart rate for the same speed indicates an improvement somewhere in the system.

Last Monday (6.4mi @ 9:18/mi, with 65% of the distance at sub-70%WHR, 1274 beats/mile)
Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Today (6.1mi @ 9:13/mi, with 88% of the distance at sub-70%WHR, 1244 beats/mile)
Link (roll over me to see where I go)

Some possible explanations:

1) the routes (both mostly flat) and weather conditions (also fairly mild both days) are different; or my initial state was different (e.g. more/less rested, better eating on previous day)
2) my heart is delivering more oxygen with each beat
3) my muscles require less oxygen to propel me.
4) my muscles are using oxygen more efficiently

Waiting for an exercise expert to come along and explain... :-)
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Started P&D for Abingdon today. Good luck!
    5:25pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • You should run the same route and distance to make that sort of comparison.
    Wriggling Snake
    5:27pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • That sounds very civilised and sensible :-)
    6:34pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • I shall following your training with interest.

    I've been aiming to keep easy under 75% max, occasionally 70%, been reading the Hadd thread by any chance?

    Supposed to be starting 18wk P&D tomorrow, instead I am sat with my leg up and iced, considering my first ever physio visit...
    10:24pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • Not Hadd, just the standard Parker stuff. I hope your leg improves.
    10:46pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • P&D is a great plan. My modification tips would be - mid week long run can be split into smaller chunks without losing much. But try and get the full weekly mileage in. Don't scrimp on weekly longest run though. If anything, if you are happy and have time to do easy *longer* long run e.g. 20 when it says 17, then do that. You can't do too many 20s! As long as it doesn't take too much out of you. And intervals while icing on cake, are useful: they get you moving very differently to even one's 5K pace. Strides are similarly useful. As we know, doing most of is at sub 70% is the right thing to do for improving aerobic system (and you are getting those improvements as you note above). But we can end up "plodding" (e.g. shuffling) movement in all our runs. So strides and intervals correct that, but in short, manageable bursts so that you don't break yourself, or make rest of training undoable. You're doing great. Enjoy the training and look out for niggles. Of course you've got professional physio services at home, so I'm sure you'll be grand, but don't neglect core and some leg stretches and strengthening, given all the extra load you'll be putting in through this increased training quantity and intensity. And have a great race. I look forward to following your progress young man! :-) G
    9:20am, 19th Jun 2018
  • Impressive planning and training: interesting re HR too.
    9:28am, 19th Jun 2018
  • You’re following P&D but have you read the book? The actual training pacing targets are in there. I’m happy to lend you mine.
    Fenland Flier
    11:19am, 19th Jun 2018

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