A quick update on my training and a look at tomorrow's Blickling Half Marathon.
Tomorrow it is the Blickling Spring Half Marathon, which I note they have appeared to rename as the Blickling Spring Off-Road Half Marathon. The half marathon at Blickling has traditionally been one of two routes, and I presume stating this is the off-road half is to make it clear which of the two routes is being run. The other being purely an on-road course.
The start and finish being in front of Blickling Hall is a real treat.
The race is promoted as one of the ‘most scenic’ halfs in the UK. I think many other races will rightly make such a statement. And whilst the majority of the route is along beautiful countryside tracks within the Blickling Estate, the real treat is the start and finish. These being right in front of Blickling Hall itself.
Blickling Hall is a Jacobean stately home, located in the north of Norfolk, England. The hall is steeped in English history, owned by the Boleyn family circa 1500. Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry XIII is believed to have been born there. It is one of my favourite stately homes and grounds, and a recommended visit if you are ever in the area.
Tomorrow is a casual race.
The race tomorrow is not part of the Sportlink Grand Prix. I entered Blickling last year, way before deciding to take part in the Grand Prix series, and as the next Sportlink race is next weekend (the Wymondham 20 miler), tomorrow is to be a training run. A casual race in TrainAsONE parlance.
If I’m honest, a half marathon, even as a casual run, only a week before a 20 mile race is probably too much. However, there’s more to all this racing lark than just performance, and so dropping out is my less favoured option.
The other aspect that did make me contemplate dropping out of tomorrow’s race was my health at the start of the week. I had a couple of days of flu-like symptoms. This has meant my training for this past week has been reduced. My run today was the first day I felt that I was getting back to normality. This is corroborated by my TrainAsONE Fit Scores, which apart from the Speed Score, have reversed the trend of getting worse.
My TrainAsONE Fit Scores better reflect my feeling than Garmin’s VO2max calculation.
The Speed Score is interesting. I say this as my Garmin VO2max has dropped again today. Overall my Garmin VO2max has dropped 9%, which is comparable to the 9.5% drop in my Speed Score. I do not pay much attention to the Garmin VO2max calculations (independent research indicates that it is too inaccurate for any real use). However, despite that seeing my Garmin VO2max drop again would be disheartening, if not for knowing that my drop in my TrainAsONE Speed Score has levelled off and I’m sure is now on the way back up. For me my TrainAsONE Fit Scores better reflect my subjective feeling than Garmin’s VO2max.
So what pace do I plan for tomorrow? My half marathon times for last year were around the 4:45 to 4:50 min/km pace. I’m a little fitter this year, and my easy training pace is currently around 5:15 min/km, so I’m thinking of splitting the difference and aiming for round 5:00 min/km, i.e around 1h45m.
And remember, if you are running or spectating at Blickling tomorrow, and have a camera to hand, look out for me and you could have a go at winning yourself a TrainAsONE premium subscription and T-Shirt by playing ‘Spot the Sean‘.
Till next time.