Week 7 of 12 London Marathon Build-up 12th - 18th March - Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon Race Report

I got up at 6:15 and got prepared to travel to Reading for today’s Half Marathon. Unfortunately, by 6:45 I was notified that the race had been cancelled due to the recent winter storm. However, I had learned that the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon which was due to start at 9am, was still going ahead. I contacted the race director who arranged for me to collect a number and race chip upon arrival. I drove the short distance to the venue and arrived with plenty of time to spare. The weather was bitterly cold so I chose to race in long sleeves, shorts and socks. Despite the multi-terrain nature of this course I was keen to test the CloudX shoes I intend to the use in the Marathon. However, not my pure white pair!

In front of his Palace Henry VIII was poised and ready to start the race. When the gun went I eased myself into a steady rhythm, but not too fast as we had to negotiate a potentialy slippery tight left turn immediately out of the palace gates. Only one runner was in front of me for the first 1/4 mile. I soon  eased into the lead where I remained for the rest of the race.

The course was a combination of road, dirt and grass track all covered with varying degrees of sleet and snow but without ice.  The underfoot conditions were far from perfect, but nonetheless I was pleased with how I performed and how the shoes coped on the slippery surfaces. Initially I was running at 5:35/mi for the first 3 miles until I reached some road that wasn’t too covered with sleet. I was able at best to bring my average pace down to 5:26/mi before slipping back to settle at 5:29/mi as the underfoot conditions became less favourable from 10 miles. I finished the race in an official time of 72:05. It's difficult to predict how fast this effort would be worth in better conditions but that's not so important. What is important is that I was very pleased to take the win which is a good boost to confidence. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers of RunThrough Events, for granting me a very late entry into the race. Despite the weather the officials, marshals etc did a marvellous job putting on this event. Results here

                                  Training Summary 12th March - 18th Mar 2018

a.m Easy 10.6 miles @ 7:13/mi with the 6am Club.
p.m Lunch time easy 6.2 miles @ 6:56/ mi
The lateral side of my feet were feeling very sore during the run. Probably due to the way my foot strikes when running fast but I think it’s time to change my bread and butter shoes. My Strava shoe tracker tells me I’m approaching 400 miles in this pair!

Tuesday. a.m Early pre-airport 6 miles @ 7:04/mi

A very early start to the day. I flew out to Frankfurt from Heathrow Airport at 7:05a.m to attend the FORWARD PRO Investigator Meeting. Forward Pro is a new type of aortic valve replacementotherwise known as TAVI (Transcatherter Aortic Valve Implant). In my role as a Echocardiographer I attended this meeting to understand my requirements to ensure correct imagery and accurate measurements are taken pre and post implantation for the use in research of this product. NHS video explaining TAVI procedure here

With a recommended 2hr arrival time prior to flight, I managed to complete a 6 mile run by 4:05am. After a short drive to T5 long stay car park I caught the complimentary bus to the terminal and was checked in by 5:45a.m. I was hoping to fit in a 2nd run at the airport hotel in Frankfurt which was hosting the meeting. Unfortunately, as I wasn’t staying in the hotel this wasn’t possible. I'm glad I made the effort to run this morning.

a.m. 2miles warm-up 2x6x800m road reps, 1 mins/2mims rec - 2 miles cool down wearing On CloudX
p.m 6 miles Lunch time easy @6:52/mi
p.m sports massage
p.m yoga

On CloudX
My marathon shoe of choice for London 2018.
Light weight and responsive.
Allows forefoot to flex and generate momentum.
Great colour!

a.m. 13.3 miles easy @7:13/mi
p.m Lunch time easy @6:52/mi

Two easy runs today followed by a Staff Appreciation Awards and Dinner which went on till 10:30pm. Got to bed at 11:30pm. Will struggle to run fast in tomorrow's session.

a.m 3x5x300/1min jog/ 2 min sets - wearing On Cloudflash
This week                             Last week
set 1. 50, 51, 50, 50, 49      53, 53, 52, 51, 51
set 2. 48, 49, 48, 48, 48     51, 51, 51, 51, 50
set 3. 48, 49, 48, 48, 46,    50, 50, 50, 49, 49    

Love the track session Coach Conrad prescribed. We're always seem on the same page. If I'm short of something he knows what to prescribe and I often seem to anticipate what type of session he will give me on the monthly schedule.

Unusually for me I needed a cup of black coffee before going out to do this session after yesterdays late night. I focussed today on running fast from the offset and holding the momentum through to the 1st 100m and cruising through the remainder of the rep. Later in the session I increased the length of the initial fast phase and then pushed the last rep all the way through. Legs feeling young(er).

 p.m Lunch time easy 6.2 miles easy @7:07/mi

a.m. 8 miles easy @7:35/mi
I woke to a sleet shower this morning. I began my run and stayed predominantly off road today, to reduce the stress prior to tomorrows race. I could see the Nonsuch Pk run officials braving the elements marking the course, finishing funnel pitching their tent. After a few miles the sleet turned to light snow which led me to consider a contingency plan should tomorrow's race be cancelled. Perhaps long run with efforts perhaps depending on conditions.

1.5 miles warm up
Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon 1st Place 72:05 @5:29/mi
Too cold and stiff for a cool down so I ran later in the afternoon.

p.m 4.1 miles easy recovery run @ 7:55/mi. Ran is snow blizzard. I ate too close to running and got a bad stitch so had to stop briefly. Loosened the legs off nicely.

This week in numbers. 

103 miles ran this week

820 - air miles 

12 - runs

6 pairs of running shoes worn this week. 
ON Cloudventure Peak, Cloudflyer, Cloudflash, Cloudflow CloudX grey, CloudX white

4 - double days

9 stone 1/2 lbs / 61.5 kg - weight

37.5 hours @work

1 - yoga session

1 - sports massage session

Next Race

Sunday 1st April 2018
Kingston Spring Half Marathon


  1. Congratulations Kojo on a first place in difficult conditions. Your training and racing is going really well, and great to see how adaptable you are, fitting in difficult sessions on your work trip abroad - impressive stuff. I'll look forward to seeing your performance on April 1st. I got back from Malaga yesterday. I had a disaster half marathon Kojo, running 1.31.11. My right knee was playing on me, but I still have a virus in my body, as keep coughing up phlegm. After 4 miles had no energy. My tenth mile was nearly 8 minutes and struggled to even finish. Worse to come my right knee was agony on the medial side this time, and swollen. I reckon I'm going to have a long recovery Kojo, depressing stuff. My pal ran the same time, and he had a stomach tear, taking ibrufen before to finish. To rub salt in the wound the weather was pouring rain and cold. Still had a good time over there and we might do again next year but only if we are fit LOL. Take care Kojo, and keep up the good work.


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