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Running column: How's your training been going? Mark Armstrong's could be going better...

PUBLISHED: 07:19 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 07:19 20 July 2018

Mark Armstrong on a training run in Long Stratton. Picture: Alison Armstrong Photography

Mark Armstrong on a training run in Long Stratton. Picture: Alison Armstrong Photography

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Run Anglia editor Mark Armstrong on the trials and tribulations of training for Run Norwich 2018

How’s your training been going?

Too much? Too little? Just right?

If you’re anything like me there’s always something you feel you could be doing better.

It’s important to continually assess how you’re developing, particularly if you’re building up to a big race as many runners are ahead of Run Norwich in a couple of weeks.

It’s great to have a goal at the start of a training block but you also have to be realistic.

If you’re targeting a new personal best (PB) and you haven’t been able to get out training for a few weeks then it’s time to revise what you might be capable of.

Conversely, if you’ve managed to nail your training plan, maybe it’s time to adjust your sights a little higher.

There’s nothing wrong with saying to yourself that you think you’re capable of more than you thought.

I’ve certainly felt like this at times since undertaking the training programs set by Neil Featherby.

I’m not currently in that mindset though. The training is going okay but it could be a lot better.

Sleeping is cheating in the Armstrong household at the moment. My wife, Alison, and I have hit the ‘four-month sleep regression phase’, with our son, Logan.

For the uninitiated, this basically means you get your sleep in chunks of no more than about 45 minutes…it’s a right laugh.

If Logan isn’t waking me up, we then had my four-year old daughter, Lara, wake up at 2am on Tuesday to negotiate what toys she could take to nursery the next day… I would have agreed to absolutely anything…

I used to be a real morning person, setting my alarm early to get the miles in and put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. I’ve had to ‘park’ this idea for the moment…my biggest concern each morning is whether I’m on my third or fourth cup of coffee before 8am.

I’ve made my peace with getting out in the evenings since Logan came along. I don’t feel like it a lot of the time but then I motivate myself by thinking about how I will feel if I don’t run well in a few weeks time. More often than not, my vanity wins out and I’m plodding around Long Stratton before I know it.

I don’t always hit the targets Neil gives me for each session but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Just getting out there is an achievement in itself sometimes.

I really wanted to excel at Run Norwich this year but I haven’t done the training I wanted to really nail it.

The important thing to bear in mind about the race is that it’s not particularly PB friendly.

People will tell you that Norfolk is flat…but the course certainly doesn’t feel like that at certain points. If you’re looking to PB then there are other races to target.

It’s also likely to be pretty hot and your average runner, like me, will naturally have to slow down to cope with this. Trust me on this one… I’ve trundled home with my legs feeling like lead on several occasions, ignoring the heat…it’s not fun and makes for terrible race photos!

So if Run Norwich is your focus, have a think what you want to get out of it and train accordingly.

I know I certainly will…whilst trying to grab 40 winks when and wherever I can.

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