Week Five: Hike to Hollywood

This is part of a series of posts reflecting on my experiences in the run up to the Yorkshire Marathon in October. I’m currently on week five of a twelve week training programme. The idea is to write a post every week charting my progress and reflecting on my training.


This was always going to be a week of disruption for various reasons.

It’s also the first week where I’ve not stuck to my training programme, but for good reasons.

A lot of runners say the hard part to any marathon is fitting in the training – the actual marathon is a mere victory lap. I’m inclined to agree.

As well as work I’ve been having some building work done on the house. Although I’ve not been doing the work myself, I’ve still had to be around. Then to close the week there’s a small matter of a thirteen hour flight to LA and the resulting jet lag – not that I’m complaining about that, of course. I’ve been looking forward to it for months! However, this has all caused a fair bit of disruption to my running.

In short, I skipped the long Sunday run. It would have been madness to have done this. Not only because of the jet lag, but also because I’ve registered for the Long Beach half marathon on the Monday. It makes sense to have a couple of days resting before that. I was a bit concerned that I would slack off from running too much whilst on holiday. Hence the half marathon to keep me focused.

Sunday’s hike up to the famous Hollywood sign in Griffiths Park, Los Angeles

After arriving in LA on Saturday I tried to have an early night and catch up on some sleep, but of course my body still thought it was in England on English time, so that didn’t work out. Instead of the usual long run on the Sunday I went for a long walk round Griffith Park up to the famous Hollywood sign. In 29 degrees it was actually tougher than I expected although the views of LA up therer were incredible. I spent most of the rest of the day resting.

View of Los Angeles from the hike round Griffith Park.

So yes, I’ve underperformed this week, but I fully intend to make up for it tomorrow at the Long Beach half marathon 🙂

Training programme

Week five has included the following:

  • Monday: It was bank holiday Monday so I headed into Sheffield and didn’t do anything more taxing than a stroll around the shops and cafes. We had some great weather too.
  • Tuesday: An easy run at a slow pace, but the time spent running was increased. I did about one hour twenty minutes followed by an hour in the gym at lunch. I also booked myself an appointment at Blizard physiotherapy. I thought it was about time I tried to improve the niggling shoulder injury I’ve had for a couple of years now. It’s not particularly debilitating, I can live with it, but it does flare up when I go to the gym or train hard. I’m glad I went too as the physio was very positive and encouraging that the injury could be improved. When you get to a certain age you just learn to live with some injuries and I thought this was going to be one of those. I can certainly recommend them if you’re local and need a good physio.
  • Wednesday: Rest day from running. No gym either.
  • Thursday: Yasso 800s in the park. These were a new one on me. Apparently they’re meant to help you achieve the marathon time you want to get, you do sets of 800 metres and alternate between a slow pace and a faster, steadier pace. I switched between 8 slow 800s and 8 steady 800s in my local park. The park itself is about 800 metres to do a full circuit anyway, which meant I ended up running round the park 16 times. I passed some dog walkers several times on the run – they must have thought I was totally bonkers!
  • Friday: Rest day, although I did call in at the gym for a workout as I knew I wouldn’t be doing much else for the rest of the week.
  • Saturday: Spent most of the day either in a taxi, on a plane or on a bus!
  • Sunday: Jet lag. According to my programme this should have been my long run day. However, as mentioned above, I skipped that and did a hike round Griffith Park instead. It was tough walking though.

Looking forward to the Long Beach Half marathon tomorrow – more on this in next week’s post 🙂


Apologies to those of you who usually drop by for updates about learning technology – I tend to post about that kind of thing on Jisc’s Inspiring Learning blog. I intend to use this blog for more personal, non-related work posts in future.

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