My week in training – 50 days to go!

Week 8 of my training plan on the road to the Boston Marathon and there’s just 50 days to go! I feel as though things are really starting to ramp up now, although my weekly mileage hasn’t increased massively, maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me, who knows! This week actually felt pretty tough though and I was struggling mentally towards the end of the week, but now the sessions are all done, looking back it has actually been a pretty successful week!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to this week.

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Monday:
I woke up in London as I’d spent the weekend there with my friend Liv. We ran the Old Deer Park half-marathon in Richmond the day before but I’d paced Liv to a 2.04 finish time and so felt fine to train on Monday as I had the day off work. I had planned to do my scheduled session 1 but the gym didn’t have everything I needed so I did a bit of a random session made up of some squats, single leg deadlifts, leg press (which I never do!), pull ups and calf work. It was ok but in hindsight I should’ve used it as a rest day.

Tuesday:
Back up north at my mum’s house, I headed out for a late morning run, an easy five miles just to get the legs turning. I used this as my easy pacer/recovery run of the week and it felt fine. Another one ticked off.

Wednesday:
My first proper strength session of the week, woohoo! I’m loving my current gym programme and slowly but surely, thanks to some top programming, I feel like I’m getting stronger. Here’s what today’s session included:
Push jerks
Pause squats SS with box jumps and chin ups
Romanian deadlifts (3 sec pause at the bottom) toes elevated, SS with strict press
Hanging leg raise SS with single leg calf raise

Thursday:
There was only a 20min tempo run on the cards today but I felt absolutely shattered for some reason. However, 20 minutes is 20 minutes and I therefore had no excuses. I also had a dentists appointment to get to so had to run super fast to get back home in time to drive there – motivation ey haha!

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Friday:
I think I must’ve moaned to just about everyone who would (or wouldn’t) listen to me about running on Friday – haha sorry! For me, that’s what training is about sometimes though, especially marathon training, just digging in and getting it done. Tonight’s session was to run 5 mins hard, 1 min super easy until I’d reached 10k. I finished at the supermarket, got some hot chocolate and an uber home!

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Saturday:
With lots to do today I was up fairly early to get to the gym for when it opened – yes I am that person- to do my second and final strength session of the week. I did:
Power cleans from the blocks
Deadlifts
Bulgarian split squats SS with bench press and single arm row
Candlestick progressions SS with calf work
This was followed by a delicious brunch which will be in a blog post next week, so keep an eye out for that!

Sunday:
Sunday funday long run day…ohhh how I hated the first half of this. I was a greedy little piglet before I set off and so spent the first half too full, feeling sick and heavy! I kept it steady and from mile 10 picked it up for the last 6 miles to include a few 7.30s – result! I’m hoping the speed is in there, I just haven’t had the guts to tap in to it properly on long runs yet! We went for a delicious lunch after at Bill’s. I had a vegetable tagine and hummus to start – yummy 🙂

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Here’s to another week down and a much needed rest day tomorrow!!

Han xx

 

 

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Full body gym workout

I thought I’d share a recent full body workout I filmed the other weekend for you! It’s gym based and is part of the second phase of my current gym programme.

Below is the full video, showing most of the exercises minus the core and calf work. I’ve also written the full session below if you want to give it a go! If you haven’t done any of these movements before though, there are plenty of progressions and I’d always advise asking a trained professional to talk you through the movement to ensure your form is on point! If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask 🙂

 

Hannah’s Happy Pace Full Body Gym Workout:

Power clean & Jerk 4 x 4

Deadlifts 3 x 6

Bulgarian Split Squat 3 x 8
Barbell Bench Press 3 x 8
Dumbbell Incline Bench Row 3 x 12

Candlestick/Dragon Fly Progressions 3 x 3-6
Single Leg Eccentric Calf Raise 3 x 15
Seated Bent Leg Calf Raise 3 x 15

 

I’m going to Boston!

Image result for boston marathon 2017
So as you probably know from my other posts, I’m going to Boston in April to run the Boston Marathon!

AHHHHH, can we just take a second to let that sink in – THE BOSTON MARATHON! It actually hit me when I was doing a cruise session yesterday; I’m training to run the Boston Marathon! Haha, I’ll stop talking about it eventually, but for the next four months, it’s all about Boston.

My lovely friend Bryony bought me a Boston Lonely Planet guidebook (I am addicted to these!) and I’ve not been able to put it down since. Boston looks amazing, so diverse, and I’m really excited to explore and see lots of different parts of it –as well as running the marathon!

This post is essentially to ask you guys whether you have any recommendations about hotels, or where to stay, what to do, what to see and of course, where to eat!

I fly out on April 12 and leave on April 20. We actually managed to find super cheap flights so I’m really pleased about that. Now I just need to find somewhere to stay.

I have started looking at hotels but they seem pretty expensive. Air B&B is also an option. So basically, where would you recommend I stay?

If you have any Boston tips, please please comment below, email me (visit my contact page), or Tweet me @hannahbryan91.

Thanks and hope to speak to some of you soon 🙂

Vegetarian burgers – better than the ‘real’ thing

I don’t want to blow my own trumpet….but I’m going to – haha!

These burgers were delicious, really filling and super easy to make. At the minute, my diet is kind of vegetarian, I say kind of because I’m still eating fish. I’ll probably explain it more in a further, more detailed post about why I’m doing it, but at the minute, I’m just finding out what works for me.

Anyway – back to the burgers!

veggie-burgers

Here’s what went in them..

You will need:
2 tins of beans – I used borlotti beans but kidney beans would also work well I imagine
100g breadcrumbs
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 small red onion or half of a large one, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1tbsp coriander, finely chopped
Small sprinkling or chilli flakes or 1.2 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 egg
Burger buns (should you want them) and salad and sweet potato fries to serve!

To make:
-Drain the bins and empty in to a large bowl. Take a fork or a potato masher and mash the beans until they’ve all been squished.
– Add everything else but only half of the breadcrumbs before mixing well to combine.
– Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on to a plate and then grab a handful of the mixture and shape into a burger before rolling in breadcrumbs. Once you’ve formed all of the burgers, pop some clingfilm over the plate and place in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. I’ve found that chilling them for an hour or so really helps them to keep their shape.
– To cook, heat a small amount of oil (I use coconut) in a non-stick frying pan (or any good frying pan you have!) and essentially just fry them on each side for between 4-5 mins so they’re thoroughly warmed through.
– Serve in a bun topped with lettuce and relish or whatever sides your heart desires!

Enjoy 🙂 If you do make these, please let me know by commenting below or tag me on Instagram @hbryan91

Summer training & races to come

Well hello there! It’s been a while since I properly posted a training update – or anything for that matter – so here goes!

I’ve had a little break but I’ve since been quietly working away, trying to improve my running and strength and slowly build back up towards marathon training.

long run

I’m running the York Marathon in October which will be my 5th marathon! York was actually my first marathon as well so I’m super excited to go back and run it again. Not only that, but it’s home turf so I’m hoping the family (including my 1-year-old niece!) can all come and cheer me on which would be amazing.

Aside from that, York is flat – yipeeee! My current marathon PB is at 3.25, which I achieved in London earlier this year. I’m not expecting to beat that at York but what I am aiming for is a strong finish. My goal is to be able to run that last 10k as strongly as I ran the first 10k. I realise I’m not going to be finishing the race as gazelle like as when I started it, but I want to be able to maintain a consistent speed, without seeing those mile splits climb.

So basically, that’s what I’m training towards. As always I’m doing my three gym sessions a week. This is made up of 2 strength sessions and a third focusing more on conditioning rather than lifting big numbers – I do love a bro sesh though as demonstrated below, ha!

strength 1

At the minute I’m running three times a week. Before anyone tells me that you need to be running every day to run a marathon, you definitely don’t need to. For me, it’s about getting in the quality sessions and finding out what works for me. I’ve tried running 6 days a week and for me, that just doesn’t work – particularly for my mental health! If you want me to do a post on training for a marathon on three runs a week – just let me know by commenting below or Tweeting me (@hannahbryan91).

speed session

This week I did a speed session on Tuesday, an easy run on Wednesday and a long run on Friday. I’ve got one more gym session to do (my conditioning one), which I’ll do tomorrow (Sunday). This might increase as the marathon nears but this depends on a number of factors i.e. time and my body! I’m currently getting some help with my nutrition which I’m hoping is going to benefit my performance and aid recovery so I might end up running more within the next few months, but I’m going to tell you more about the nutrition side of things in a different post!

easy run

Here’s a list of what I’ve got coming up:

August – Askern 10 miler
September – Great North Run
October – York Marathon, Sheffield 10k
November – exciting challenge to be announced soon!

I’ll try and get some other races in but at the minute that’s what I’ve got booked in.

The only other thing to mention is that I decided not to accept my Good For Age place for London next year. I hope I don’t regret it! My plan is to focus on Boston – providing I get a place! If I don’t get a place…then the Great Wall Marathon is on my list…!

That’s all for now training wise, I’ll keep you updated as the marathon nears. I’m ready to work hard for this one!

🙂

Race review: Nottingham 10 mile road race

Woah, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged – apologies for that! I’m back now though and thought I’d share a race review from the Nottingham 10 mile road race with you.
nottingham 10 mile race
I ran this on a very wet Friday evening last week. Luckily the sun did come out for most of it though!

The race kicked off from Nottingham’s National Watersports Centre at 7pm. I got there at about 6.15pm and parking was super easy. It was a short walk to the registration area and luckily we could wait inside before going to the start line. There was no defined start line but it was pretty easy to figure it out – I just followed the other runners!

The course is essentially two-and-a-half laps around the lake. I was worried the route would be boring but it really wasn’t at all! If you need a huge crowd when you race then I wouldn’t recommend this, although where people were watching they did some great cheering!

I didn’t have a plan going into the race; in fact I didn’t actually want to do it at all after a long week at work – and it was chucking it down! I decided to just make sure I ran under 1.15 and use it as a great training run.

I felt strong the whole way round and came in at 1.13 – happy with that 🙂

There’s no medal at the end which I was gutted about as I love a good medal haha. When you pay to enter (I think it was around £20 maybe) you can also pay for a finishers t-shirt though.

Every finisher also gets a goodie bag which had a mug and a banana in.

All in all, this was an enjoyable race and I’d recommend it to anyone who lives near Nottingham. A great way to spend a Friday night!

My next race was supposed to be Sunday however I’m now going to be watching the athletics in Birmingham which I’m incredibly excited for!

Training is going well though and I’ll have a full blog post on what I’m up to and what I’m training for at the moment up at the weekend!

🙂

London Marathon 2016

marathon 3

Well, where do I even start with this post!? Another World Major Marathon ticked off and 26.2 glorious miles around the streets of London shared with some of the most inspirational people I’ve ever had the pleasure of running with!

London, you were truly amazing…but before I get in to all of that, here’s a little run down of my entire race weekend.

Friday night was spent doing the essential final preparations, packing, updating my Ipod and ensuring I had a lovely, even fake tan glow – ha! I hit the hay early Friday night as I was up pretty early Saturday morning to have my hair done…priorities!

I arrived in London just after 1pm on Saturday and headed straight to the expo at the Excel centre. This is when the excitement really started to kick in! Signing the wall was such a surreal moment and it hit me that this was the LONDON MARATHON;  people enter the ballot year after year and are unsuccessful, and here I was about to run it – I felt very lucky to say the least.

marathon 1

After strolling around the expo my feet were starting to hurt, not to mention I was hungry and bordering on grumpy! With that in mind, we headed to our hotel in Peckham (oh hey Del Boy!) and then got an Uber to Vapianos (my favourite place!) for ALL of the carbs and all of the chocolate pudding.

Saturday evening was pretty uneventful after that. I had a final pre-race debrief with my friend Liv who was also running, (her first marathon!) and we arranged for me to go to hers (also in Peckham) Sunday morning so we could eat and then travel down to the start line together.

Me and Liv post race - VICTORY!

Me and Liv post race – VICTORY!

I barely slept on Saturday night but it was nothing a coffee couldn’t sort on Sunday morning. 7am was when I started to get stressed about getting taped up and getting to Livs house in time so that I could eat! We actually got to the start line in good time and after queuing for the loo it was time for some photos and a quick warm-up before heading to our separate start pens.

I was actually really surprised that when the gun went off at 10am I was over the line by 2 minutes past! I was a bit worried as the first few miles were spent trying not to trip over people and were slower than what I was aiming for – although really I’d only just decided on a whim and positive encouragement to try and average 7.45min/mi! The race soon thinned out though and it was time to take it all in!

The first 10 miles seemed to fly by and everything felt comfortable. Despite the fact I was comfortably hitting under 7.45min/miles I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it up for the whole way round, but part of me thought what the hell, throw everything you’ve got at it!

My support crew were at mile 9 and 14 but I never spotted them which was a bit disheartening, but I just kept on turning the legs and ticking off the miles. At about mile 18 I thought the race was never going to end and I knew I’d be in for a tough fight from mile 20.

At mile 20.5 I saw the team and started to cry and shouted “I’m done” at them…nothing like being dramatic hey Han! Had I ran over to high five them though, I’d have genuinely found it hard to get going again! Thankfully, I’d spotted Faye (who I follow on Instagram and who had run Boston on Monday) and we’d been back and forth in front and behind each other for the whole way round. I knew she was a strong runner and was faster than me so I decided to try and stick with her.

marathon 4

Faye, along with the beautiful folk of London cheering on the masses, is what got me through those last six miles. Turning the corner and onto the mall was surreal and I knew I’d managed a PB. I crossed the line in 3.25.05 and promptly hugged Faye. What a run. A PB at London…London! It’s still sinking in to be honest. My training was average at best and I battled through more mental struggles during this marathon training than any of the previous ones, but I’m so pleased with that run. London, you were truly amazing.

marathon

For now though, it’s time to rest, eat and enjoy some time training without the pressures of a marathon. It’s also back to the drawing board to get some autumn goals nailed down…watch this space.