A new beginning

I am still on holiday in Italy enjoying the sun and the focaccia. Most of all I have been trying to run as much as possible (51km total) alternating one day on the coastal roads and one day on the trails.
I have explored different paths on the hills but I always end up roughly in the same places except today in which I was going uphill as far as I could via a new track. Unfortunately it’s hunting season and I met a guy with a double barrelled shotgun who advised me very kindly not to continue up the hills. Not wanting to be shot as a boar I decided to head home.

To prepare for the ultra I would like to do (and all the other races I have in mind) I have decided to follow the training schedule from the book The Cool Impossible. It’s a very good book if you are interested in training seriously. I suggest you read it after Born To Run.

I have been trying to run with proper form after the books suggestions for quite some time, I will probably not be able to follow all the dietary suggestions or do all the strength exercises, but I will definitely follow the 5 month training schedule.

The first things you need to do to follow the schedule is run two tests. A 1 mile run test and a 20 minute run test. In both you go as fast as you can and record your time and heart rate. Those results will help you define your Speed Zones and Heart Rate Zone to be used in the following weeks of training.

I did those test this week, probably I should not have done them both too close to each other.

I did the 1 mile test in 5:22 which gave me these speed zones (in min/km, not very readable):

SP Zone 1 SP Zone 2 SP Zone 3 SP Zone 4 SP Zone 5 SP Zone 6 SP Zone 7
04:51- 04:32 04:21- 04:01 04:01- 03:51 03:54- 03:41 03:41- 03:31 03:31- 03:21 03:17- 03:11

I ran 5.3km in the 20 minutes test and got these heart rate zones:

HR Zone1 HR Zone2 HR Zone3 HR Zone4 HR Zone5 HR Zone6 HR Zone7
117 126 127 136 137 141 142 145 146 150 151 154 155 159

I will try to follow the schedule as much as possible and will report the results here.

Have fun!


Holidays and Trails

I’ll try to post at least once a week with updates on my training and various news. I might be posting more often is something interesting happens.

The big news this week is that I decide to prepare for an Ultra (as mentioned in the intro post) and I want to do a Trail one. Also because I enjoyed very much the Wimbledon Half Marathon, which was basically a trail half marathon (finished 12th).

The plan is to try and get a place at the NDW50 in May 2015. There are only 250 places so I might not manage to get it. I will have to find another one, but I am so pumped for it that I will be very sad if I don’t get in.

The inspiration for this plan is my good friend Davide (4th place at the Lakeland100 2014). It’s all his fault. I hope he will come to the NDW50.

As I have always been a road runner (even if most of the time I run on trails in Bushy or Richmond Park) I had to get some trail shoes to get me started. I opted for the Brooks Cascadia.

Road or trail running?

This week I started my 10 days summer holiday and flew to Liguria in Italy. I’ve been running a lot here, but always on the same sea side routes. This summer, equipped with the Cascadia, I explored the hills overlooking the sea.

Amazing views and a totally different way of running. I have to get used to run at variable speed.

I have alternated one day road running / one day trail running.

A had fun on the road with another Davide, he is the guy that introduced me to running and got me into my first team. We went for a slow run on the cliffs, Slow because it was too early for him and we talked too much as we had not seen each other for 2 years.

The best trail run I had this week was this one, 20k with 986mt elevation.

I even saw a couple of deer, smaller than the Bushy park ones I am used too, but wilder. I also had to learn to run carrying water with me. I never had too, but it was very hot!

I am here for one more week. I intend to explore the hills more as I am sure that there are more trails to try.

Take care!


Where to start?

[This intro is quite old now. I have run many ultras now so the blog focus is more on what I am doing now that I am addicted to long distance running, but I’ll leave the old intro for historic reasons.]

Hello. This is a blog. My very first one. The idea here is to talk about running in general but more specifically about my training.
The plan is to go from being a happy half marathon runner to completing an ultra marathon.
From 21.1km to 50 miles. Hopefully in around nine months.

Here is where I am now. I am almost 40 and I’ve been running for around 6 years.
In 2014 I basically raced an half marathon (or 10 miles or 16 miles races) almost once a month and a couple of parkruns.

I have been mostly training three times a week, roughly running 50k per week. This is going to change!

As of today (20 August 2014) my PB’s are:

5k 18:30
10k 39:20
Half Marathon 1:22:54

Let’s see where the future takes me.

If you are really really interested in my progress you can follow me on twitter. I am @gigetto.

I am also a big fan of Strava.


UPDATE (29 Nov 2014): My new 5k PB is now 18:10
UPDATE (10 Apr 2015): My new 10k PB is 38:53