London Marathon 2023 – Back in the sub 3 club

Marathon number 13 and London marathon number 6:

After gaining a good for age entry from the 2022 Manchester Marathon (as a V45 running 3:04:40) I started to build up the running (I used Saucony Endorphin Pro purchased in 2021 for £84). In 2022 I ran 1696 miles. In early December I did my first long run for a while, 17 miles at 7:03 pace and late December 18.6 miles at 7:36 pace. I was running most days, doing track sessions on Tuesdays, racing either at Cross Country or parkruns at weekends. Not much structure just running as normal.

Ended the year on a good high in wales running a tough hilly 10km training run at 6:48 pace.

Back to Doncaster in the new year, thought I would try my new my new Nike Vaporfly (purchased December 2022 for £134). They felt great on the Tuesday track session. Then did a tempo run thursday and my right calf strained. Not had many problems in the past with my calves.

Waited for it to get better, took about 3 weeks before I could run again. Started on 27 January and quickly built up to 10k, had the Dewsbury 10k entered and decided to race this on 5 February. Ran my fastest 10k for a few years 38:21 in the hardly used Vaporfly. Did a steady 5 miles on 8 February and my left calf went, gutted. I basically could not run again until March. Sold the Vaporfly, loved running in them but not chancing them again.

January Miles
February Miles

I am not a swimmer but to keep fit I swam 3 or 4 times a week with a local triathlon club during the injurys.

Decided I had no time to do much of a taper and needed to quickly build up to get some long runs in. Also no time for any speedwork and my tempo runs would all be in races.

The build up

Long runs:

11 March 13.1 miles @ 7:01 pace

17 March 16.3 miles @ 7:22 pace

24 March 20 miles @ 7:29 pace

2 April 22 miles @ 7:29 pace

7 April 20 miles @ 7:13 pace

Did 5 road races during this period:

South Yorkshire Road League 5 mile races:

29 March – Elsecar – 6:36 pace (hilly)

5 April – Lodge Moor – 6:42 pace (hilly)

20 April – Worsborough – 6:21 pace (slightly less hilly)

1 April – Northern Road Relays – 6:01 pace (short leg)

15 April – National Road Relays – 6:03 pace (short leg)


22 April – Newham – 6:11 pace (trying not to get carried away)

Up to the race

The race:

Caught a cough and cold a week before. I am still coughing up phlegm now. Felt quite poorly the week before but towards the weekend felt like it would not really cause me any issues.

Decided to run in my old Saucony Endorphin Pro. No issues.

Green start, wave 2. Massive toilet wait, no time for warm up. Raining. Went to the start area, watched wave 1 go and 4 minutes later we went. Did not try to get a good position as did not want to go off too fast. Planned to go sub 3 and run 6:45 pace. Splits below:

Rained quite hard for the first half. Felt good to about 18 miles, then just had to try to run easy watching the miles go by.

Passed my 3 hour pacing group at about 2 miles, then spotted another 3 hour pacing group from another start so passed them. Then spotted another 3 hour pacing group so passed them.

Raced with 7 SIS gels on my gel belt, used them all (about one every 4 miles). Had water drinks at maybe 8 water stations (just sips).

At 24 miles a 3 hour pacing group passed me but I held on to them and decided to kick with half a mile to go and managed to pass most of the group.

Got my sub 3 so really pleased with that, the last 6 miles was not too bad today.

Great weekend away with my Fiancé, Alison who looked after me.

My race weight was 80kg, probably the heaviest I have ever been for a marathon. Was not concerned.

Great running by all my running buddies, and the support from start to finish make it a fantastic event.

photo by John Rainsforth

Listened to some dnb mixes:

Marathon History

9 October 2011Chester2:59:23
21 April 2013London2:58:53
14 September 2014Chesterfield2:54:53
13 September 2015Hull2:53:57
24 April 2016London2:51:24
23 April 2017London2:44:35
28 April 2017 (injured)Snowdonia3:35:57
22 April 2018 (still injuried)London3:16:00
27 October 2018Snowdonia3:16:01
28 April 2019London2:48:47
20 October 2019Yorkshire2:47:57
3 April 2022Manchester3:04:40
23 April 2023London2:58:17
My angel
Some of the team, thanks Jimmy

Winter Runs 2022

Thursday 13 October – Keepmoat > Sandy Lane > Up Bennetthorpe > Thorne Road > Town Moor Avenue > Bawtry Road > Down Ellers > Over to Lakeside

Thursday 20 October – Lakeside to Cantley Traffic Lights > Cantley Lane. Run loop of St Erics Road / St Wilfreds Road / Whin Hill Road, then jog back to start of loop – 1.8 miles to start of loop, each loop is 0.7 miles, 1.8 miles back to track

Thursday 27 October – Call centre 5km time trial

Thursday 3 Noveber – Keepmoat > Carr Hill > Sandford Road > Woodfield Way > Keepmoat

Thursday 10 Noveber – Lakeside > Ellers / Stoops / Bawtry Road Loop x 2 > Lakeside

Thursday 17 November – Lakeside to Cantley Traffic Lights > Cantley Lane. Run loop of St Erics Road / St Wilfreds Road / Whin Hill Road, then jog back to start of loop – 1.8 miles to start of loop, each loop is 0.7 miles, 1.8 miles back to track

Thursday 24 November – Call centre 5km time trial

Thursday 1 December – Keepmoat > Sandy Lane > Up Bennetthorpe > Thorne Road > Town Moor Avenue > Bawtry Road > Down Ellers > Over to Lakeside

Thursday 8 December – Keepmoat > Carr Hill > Sandford Road > Woodfield Way > Keepmoat

Thursday 15 December – Call centre 5km time trial

Manchester Marathon 2022

In October 2020 my right knee got injured. I could not bend or straighten my right leg. I walked or attempted to run over the following months (Typical monthly mileage would be 120 – 160 Miles). I had knee surgery in February 2021 and at times I thought I would never run again. I failed couch to 5k twice but got through it the 3rd time:

October – 22 Miles

November – 11 Miles

December – 23 Miles

January – 7.5 Miles

February – 11.8 Miles

March – 3 Miles

April – 31 Miles

May – 30 Miles

June – 15 Miles

July – 16 Miles

August – 71 Miles

September – 65 Miles

October – 70 Miles

November – 103 Miles

December – 96 Miles

Just as I was starting to come back I caught covid in September, this was not too bad but it left me with a bad cough for 3 months which ended up with me hurting my ribs which stopped me from running for half of December, just as I was trying to start building up my miles to start marathon training. I completed the cross country season with Doncaster Athletic Club, I thought if I can get through cross country then I can consider myself fixed.

I did Run Every Day January and covered 200 miles with an 18 mile run and a 20 mile run in the month. I have not done many 200 mile months before.

February – 124 Miles with a 20 mile run and another 20 mile run.

March – 146 Miles, probably should have done another long run but just did shorter runs up to 12 miles.

Races in 2022 leading up to the Marathon – this is where I do my tempo running

Manchester – thaks to Alison for making all the transport and hotel arrangements, both were great.

Race day – got to the start in plenty of time, it was cold (1 or 2 degrees), dry, light wind. Good conditions really. Went with the second start for people aiming for 2:55 to 3:15.

Started too fast but at the time, the hope was there that I could hold the pace or if not, then put some time in the bank. Sub 3 would have been a dream and at half way I was on about 1:27. Its a flat marathon but the hills over the bridges killed me. Still running a decent pace until about 22 miles and sub 3 was achievable. But the pace started to slow, then really slow. I was hanging on from about 15 miles so pleased to have managed to keep the pace going for another 7 miles. The last 4 miles were terrible, my quads were killing me.

Finished with a time of 3:04:42, this should get me a Good For Age place at London Marathon 2023. I am thinking about the Yorkshire Marathon late 2022.

To have run 3:04:42 off 3 months of reasonable training is great. And other issue I have is I am 10kg heavier than before knee surgery.

The weekend was great, spotted loads of people I know from both my own club and other clubs around Doncaster and South Yorkshire.

Stopped in a nice hotel with the lovely Alison and we had some great food and drink over the weekend.

To get better – consistent running 40-45 miles a week, improve the strength of my quads and drop 10kg.


I raced to music, I have always been a big fan of drum and bass, and hard trance from the 90’s and below is my playlist for the Manchester Marathon:

Road League Fixture #1 – Lodge Moor – 30 March 2022

You can expect traffic to be busy through Sheffield so allow extra time to get to the venue.  The race starts at 6:45pm sharp.

Race Numbers – I assume I am collecting them on the night. I will be parked in the car park in my white van with the DAC Flag flying so you can find me. I am aiming to arrive before 6pm to collect the numbers. If I am not at my van then the numbers will be in a box under the van. I will write peoples initials on them. Do not fetch any money, we are not collecting money (£10) yet. Wear the number on the front of your vest.

Google Maps Link to the car park. If the car park is full then park in the housing estate just before the car park.  Post code S10 4LJ.

From the A61, take the A57, pass the University and Weston Park. Turn left at the sign for Claremont Hospital.  Continue on this road for 2.5 miles until you see the Sportsman pub on the left. Please do not park in the car park of the Sportsman.  There is a large car public park on the left just beyond the Sportsman which can be used.  Please do not park in the car park of the Three Merry Lads unless you are staying after the race for food and/or drinks. There are toilets there and there should be four portable toilets.

Don’t forget your number.  See you there.

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Marathon Training 2022

Ok, its about races but races always form an important part of my Marathon training. Parkruns not included but I usually race them, and I have done 4 so far this year.

First up we had the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships on 8 January. Very muddy underfoot, rained hard all day, ended up taking a tumble. Not a very good run if I am honest. Ended up running 7:51 pace. Its not the best preperation to stand around for 4 hours in the rain giving out race numbers to our runners. Doncaster AC were represented in most races.

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Next up was the Frickley Frollick trail race on 23 January 2022.

A new off road race to the North of Doncaster.  The lovely people at It’s Grim Up North running had various run options for us to pick from – 5 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles, 20 miles, Marathon and Ultra Marathon.  We had runners do the 5, 10 and 20 mile options.  It was a multitap course, 1 lap being around 5 miles.

The race shared some of the Frickley Parkrun course so check that out if you have not been to this park before.

I decided to do the 20 mile option to get one of my long runs out of the way. I faided towards the end but it was fairly tough going, I finished in 1st place and ran an averate pace of 7:57 minute miles.

The start was on the restored Frickley pit tip, this was on good undulating trail paths, then you ran along Doncaster Road for a couple of hundred meters, took a sharp left and ran along a disused railway line.  This ended and after running down a steep embankment we wan along a farm track, after  couple of right turns the route ran through waterlogged fields, then along a railway line for  while before re-joining Frickley pit tip and its lovely hills, then through a car park and back to the start / finish area.

The weather was good and other than the waterlogged fields, road shoes were fine.

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On to the Northern Counties Championships on 29 January 2022. A much better race of 13.5km. I managed to run at 7 minute miles 🙂 The wind was mad, gale force for hours. It settled down a bit for the mens race thankfully. Another day of arriving at 9am and giving out race numbers until it was time for my race at 3pm.

The course was quite runable and undulating, my sort of cross country racing.

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On to the roads for a bit… The Scunthorpe Run Your Heart Out Valentines 10K on 13 February 2022.

Really wanted to break 40 minutes to get a benchmark of my fitness for Manchester Marathon. I know this is key to breaking 3 hours. Get the long steady runs in but race some races to help the speed endurance.

Conditions were ok other than the wind, although this was more of a cross wind for most of the race. Still slows you down a bit.

Mile splits were:

So just under 39 minutes at the finish.

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And finally for now, the Norton 9 Mile road race. Best conditions for years, dry, no ice, no wind other than a breeze. As with all these races its great to see my team mates and training partners from Doncaster AC as will as other clubs.

Set out to try to run 6:30’s. Should this have failed, my second target was to run at my target marathon pace 6:50’s.

First 2 miles were quick, thats not unusual with fresh legs. Miles 3 and 4 were a bit of a drag. Had a drink at around mile 4 and hit the hill in mile 5 quite hard, felt ok. Come mile 6 I was starting to feel strong and I powered up the second hill. Faided a bit in mile 9, which was down hill but this was still my fastest mile in the race.

Delighted to finish with 6:29 min miles and a time of 58:34.

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Tempo Thursdays

For my groups we will complete the following cycle over the winter months:

Week 1 – Town Fields Time Trial – more info here – Meet at the sports club on South Parade

Week 2 – Carr Hill loop – Meet at the track

1 mile easy, then 4 miles hard including going up Carr Hill, then 1 mile easy.

Week 3 – Cantley Lane > Warning Tongue Lane > Cantley Traffic Lights – Meet at the track

1 and a bit miles easy to Bawtry Road, then run hard along Bawtry Road > Cantley Lane > Warning Tongue Lane and back along Bawtry Road, finishing at Cantley Traffic Lights. Then jog back to track. Approx 9.6km of hard effort. Short cuts available check the map.

Week 4 – Leger Way > Thorne Road > Town Moor Avenue > Racecourse Roundabout – Meet at the track

Warm up to Racecourse Roundabout, then hard up Leger Way > Back along Thorne Road (near parkrun), and down Town Moor Avenue finishing at Racecourse Roundabout. BAout 4 miles of hard effort. Jog back to club.

DAC Winter Time Trial 2020 / 2021

Virtual Event this season – we are not timing or marshalling the route

The course is around the Town Fields as per normal and the standard distance is 3 laps (4.8 miles). Runners are invited to run the course anytime they like, starting in October through till March 2021. Runners will need to self time.

Each time you run the course please use this form to submit your time and a monthly report will be produced. Run it as many times as you like. You might want to run it on a club night, its up to you. You can start and finish at any point on the course, but the start and finish must be in the same place. You can run either clockwise or anticlockwise.

All welcome, it is not an official event just a training run so it is run at peoples own risk. We do have younger people taking part who may do 1, 2 or 3 laps. It is up to parents to decide if children should take part.

Last Years results are below:

15 October Results Here

19 November Results Here

17 December Results Here

28 January Results Here

The route is here:

Back on track

As a club, through lockdown we have taken part in many excellent virtual challenges. These have been a great success from the and all abilities took part which is what its all about. It kept us motivated and active. We have done virtual miles up to half marathon and then peaking at the 30km Round Donny Run.

Anyway, the Sheffield Run, Jump and Throw series came to Doncaster on 20 August 2020 so a chance to do some real racing. I entered the 800m with the aim of running a PB, which at the time was 2:30. I was in heat 6 out of 7, the fastest heat being heat 1.

The plan was to go with the flow and kick in the last 200m, I was twice the age of the other runners in race 6. The gun fired and a couple of the other runners were fast. I got slightly carried away at first but soon slowed down as you can see on the below graph. I hit 200m in 3rd place and moved in to second. At about 450m I was chasing 1st place down and took the lead at 500m. I felt ok and cruised in to the last 100m, I could hear 2nd place chasing me down and I accelerated slightly just doing enough to take 1st place in 2:24.

This track and field meeting was a great success and the Sheffield Run, Jump and Throw series returned to Doncaster on 20 September 2020 and this time it was a toss up between having another crack at the 800m or getting a time for the 1500m. I had not got a time for the 1500m since 2018 which was 4:51. So the 1500m it was.

This time I had some Masters athletes to run against as well as lots of young people.

I had a chat with Chris Ireland, we would race together and he would take the 1st 400m and I would take the 2nd 400m. We started at the back, they young people were off at serious pace. At 150m which you can see on the below graph, Chris surged from the back to 2nd and I followed him. At 400m I passed Chris which took some effort and paced the second 400m, we went through 800m in around 2:29. Chris then took me and I tired, I tried to chase him down and my pace increased slightly in the last 100m but Chris beat me by just over a second. I finished with 4:51 which I am pleased with. Slightly quicker would have been better 🙂 Thank you to Peter Badger for filming the race, its interesting to see where a runners strengths and weakenesses are 🙂

So 2 great events at our home, Doncaster AC. Our volenteers set up the site and the event was run by Sheffield Run Jumps and Throws.

Modifying Training Zones

I am always modifying my training to fit in with my life and goals. No one knows me like me and I take the best bits that I see / learn from other people and put it all together in to a package for me. I mainly use HR training to run slow, running slow is harder than running fast in terms of mental discipline.

My resting HR averages 47bpm.

My maximum HR is around 180bpm (might be lower tbh).

My threshold HR is around 160bpm.

Z1Easy running / recovery running / fitness testing121 to 13067-72%07:45 to 08:45
Z2Long steady runs130 to 14472-80%07:00 to 08:30
Z3Tempo running144 to 16280-90%06:00 to 07:00
Z4Flat out162 to 18090-100%05:30 to 06:15

30 Minute Fitness Tests

26 May 20203.66 Miles128bpm

Inflamed Bursa

Around 8 weeks ago my right hip started giving me pain, bit that much during running but after a run and when sleeping on that side it hurt. Running on consecutive days really set it off, but it eases right off if I don’t do anything. It does not usually hurt that much, just an annoyance, but sometimes it is quite painful.

I have tried self massage, icing, anti inflamms and some exercises. Don’t feel it is getting any better or worse.

Strategy from today:

Ice 4 times a day for 20 minutes

Take anti inflamms more regularry

Self massage the sift tissue above and below the bone where it hurts.

Stretch by laying down, pulling the knee into the chest and then over to the opposite shoulder. And Kneeling lunge stretches. Several times a day, hold for 20 seconds.