The Liversedge Half is one of my favourite races, and it is always part of my spring training calendar building through to the marathon. It’s relatively local to Leeds, it’s an unrepentant tough, hard, hilly course, and it’s run by a friendly local running club which always puts on a great spread of sandwiches, pasties and cakes after the race. Plus I’ve always done well at the race – in both 2015 and 2016 I’ve finished fifth with increasingly faster times.
Both years I’ve run the event the weather hasn’t been too bad. Obviously for a race that hovers around Valentines Day it’s a cold one, but the forecast during the week was for light rain at best, heavy snow at worst. I’m notoriously brave when it comes to race day kit, so I decided to add gloves to the shorts and club vest.
With the training for the Manchester Marathon starting to build, I’m now in a period where I’m juggling racing and a high weekly mileage. I know this isn’t ideal, but we’re fighting to keep the club up in our cross country league, I’ve one race left to make sure I win the club road championship, and then I have the Liversedge Half, a personal favourite and a key indicator for spring performance. So this weekend it was on to the Dewsbury 10K and the final race of the Hyde Park Harriers club championship.
Eleven weeks in, and with nine left to go, we’re now at the point where spring marathon training gets serious. With the Manchester Marathon on April 2nd this year, I’ve been in training since the middle of November, but whether you started then or more recently (with a later race or a shorter training plan), this stage will be familiar to most. The mileage is starting to rack up, there are fewer training weeks to go then have been, and you are starting to – or hoping to – see the progress you’re making.
Over the last three weeks the long runs have started to rack up – 18 miles in week nine, 18 miles again in week 10, and up to 23 miles in week eleven. As well as that the weekly mileage has been racking up, with week eleven nudging over 70 miles for the first time.