Planning races around my life (or the other way round)

Finally tomorrow I will go on my first proper training run of 2018. The legs all feel recovered and after a swim, a bike, a few gym outings and endless ices, baths and foam rolling sessions. I believe I am ready to get running (arguably the most important part of marathon training).

Though, in fairness its only been 16 days but when everyone is on the January, whoop, running fitness hype, the result is my Strava is as depressing as Facebook was as a hormonal, single teenager. Everyone posts how great they are doing in their programs they picked up off google, and they’re running 20 miles everyday with their new running clubs and boxing day bargains from Mike Ashley’s Sweatshop. Sighhh (that should be me man)!

At the moment due to the injuries to the right calf and quad and I am considering pulling out of the Watford Half on the 4th Feb.

However apart of me wants to use it as a training run by sticking to a fastish pace. Ready to PB at the MK Winter Half (which has been rescheduled due the snow before Christmas). I also have been offered a lift, which makes it more tempting because the guys will probably finish before me, which means there will be no waiting around.

The only problem is, people that turn up at a race not to race annoy me, and I know for-well when I get there I’ll try my hardest! Which wont translate to a good time and maybe is a little dangerous. Though, in all seriousness, I think I will probably just listen to the body and see how it responds to tomorrow and then the training camp with Sam on the 27th!

Two things I wanted to discuss on here are my standard weekly training plan, (hoping people may comment with suggestions!) and my race schedule so far!


  • Watford Half 04/02/2018
  • MK Winter Half (Rescheduled) 18/02/2017
  • MKRUN Half 11/03/2018
  • London Marathon 22/04/2018
  • Milton Keynes Half 07/05/2018
  • Worcester Marathon 20/05/2018
  • Bournemouth Marathon 07/10/2018

Typical Week (MKLR = Milton Keynes Lakeside Runners Club)

  • Monday AM – Slow Run
  • Tuesday AM – Swim/ Core
  • Tuesday PM – Speed Work MKLR
  • Thursday PM – Long Run MKLR
  • Friday AM – Swim/ Bike/ Gym
  • Weekend- Long Run (increase long run by 1 or 2 miles each week)

*** Everything is subject to change everyday ***

It would be good to gain some feedback from this plan, of course over the next couple of weeks it will be an ease back into it rather than too much, too soon (again!) Finally I guess this is normally that part where I say it will be good to see all my work pay off in the races, but for now I guess we should probably do some hard work.

Matt Tizzard



Too much too soon? 

So after the mid December, Xmas party season break my training hadn’t been too bad over the festive period. 

Being away at the other halfs parents ment lovely, morning runs around Worcestershire was on order. 

However towards the end of the 2 week’s off (lucky eh) I felt a strange dull sensation in my right calf. I figured a rest was in order but it wouldn’t go away.

Last Wednesday morning on a routine run around  the BBrickhills the wheels or calf in this example fell off. Pain right in the centre of the lower calf.

Now I know I haven’t torn or done anything serious so another week off and I will probably be ready to walk / jog or cycle. However I didn’t go down the physio route because the evening ritual of roll, ice bath, ice, eat and sleep appears to be working.

The lesson has been learnt. Slowly reintroduce milage don’t thwack it on and expect the body to handle it! (See below) 

Hopefully this time next week I will have eased back into it and will have some better news!


2018… Bring it on

Well here we are, 6 days into 2018. Many runners turn their attention to the London Marathon, downloading there training guides, knowing for-well religiously sticking to them is impossible. Others are booking 10k’s, 1/2 marathons and fun run events, in a bid-to ensure motivation surpasses the “new year, new me” January affect.

The diary for me is full but unfortunately I am coming back from a calf injury, obtained through upping the training over Christmas. A case of too much too soon and an overuse injury on the right lower calf! Annoying! However, can’t wait to get back into it and the year starts officially next weekend.

Being a sales person, I read a lot about motivation, sales targets and career goals. I like to get my “reading” time in on audible during my 45 minute commute to

and back from the office. An author I listen to consistently is a chap called Grant Cardone. He’s the epitome of the all american, from all america type. Can-do, will-do attitude and a bit of a showman to be honest. However he does give you some great career advise and motivational spiel, including a very positive piece on goal setting. The basis being to document, write and re-write your goals.

So in 2018 I will set some running goals, write them down and re-visit monthly. This has been hard to think off because well, I cant think of any outside of “run under 3 hours in London.” However, I know the importance of having other micro-goals, that add up to major goals set. It will also be fun to write down what I want to achieve in running this year and see if that changes or if motivations increase or decrease.

So here is a list of some SMART targets for 2018

  • 2018 London Marathon – Sub 03:00:00 Hours
  • 2018 Bournemouth Marathon – Sub 02:45:00
  • Diet – 5 Days clean a week until London Marathon
  • 5k – Under 17 Minutes
  • Half Marathon – Record under 01:18:00
  • Prioritise prevention of injuries – roll, massage, stretch, eat
  • Run 1500 miles total in 2018
  • Include core strength and stability work, once per week

Some big goals in there and some achievable ones!

A week of rehab and then the work begins! Bring on 2018!




List of 2017 Results – 1st Full Year Running Complete!

First full year running…. Tick √

What a sporting year it has been! Big up to my tolerant girlfriend!

Below I have listed my 2017 results and stats pulled from Strava. It’s been amazing fully engrossing myself in the running world and its been great meeting so may fellow runners!

5K Events Date Pace Time Position
Decathlon – 5K Series 20/05/2017 5:45/mi 00:17:50 02/50
Rushmere parkrun 29/07/2017 6:19/mi 00:19:28 02/104
Oxford parkrun 05/08/2017 5:54/mi 00:18:10 06/300
Willen parkrun 12/08/2017 5:52/mi 00:18:03 02/484
Enigma Need 4 Speed 5K 21/08/2017 5:54/mi 00:17:36 01/30
Worcester parkrun 09/09/2017 6:01/mi 17:55:00 12/5000
Supersonic B’Mouth 5k 07/10/2017 5:38/mi 00:17:26 06/55
Tring parkrun 28/10/2017 5:56/mi 00:18:23 01/300
1/2 Marathon Events Date Pace Time Position
MK Half Marathon 01/05/2017 6:46/mi 01:28:51 43/3008
2017 Dirt Half 18/11/2017 6:13/ Mi 01:20:58 7/805
Other Events Elevation Distance Pace Time Position
2017 Great South Run 239Ft 10 Miles 5:52/mi 10:54:00 59/20,000
2017 Croome Capablity Canter 321ft 6.5 Miles 6:03/mi 00:39:41 3/400
Marathons Elevation Pace Time Position
London Marathon 600ft 8:32/mi 03:46:53 9809 / 40000
Enigma #trains Marathon 706ft 7:55/mi 03:26:37 07/45
Bournemouth Marathon 1600ft 7:21/mi 03:13:33 55/2053

I wont write too much on this post as there is a lot of stats and results but role on 2018, where hopefully we can have as many memorable days and continue to meet more fellow runners!

Thank you to everyone who has marshaled, plan, ran and helped with the events and Happy New Year all!





Upton Takes Gold – 2017 Croome Capability Canter

400ish people arrived at the Croome Capabilty Canter and I knew there was only one man to beat.


So let me explain how my freezing cold morning in Worcester ended with my good mate Sam lifting an 8 litre bottle of HP Sauce.

Runners World Magazine place the Croome Capability Canter in the Top 10 off road races and I can see why as it’s a beautiful setting in Worcestershire. You run through a country park, a bit in the woods and over a few bridges and jumps. Its a trail runners dream. Untill the last 0.5km which is a straight up hill drive, which was not welcomed after my poor pacing throughout.

The problems really arise on the back of the Subway/ Kebab lunch, dinner combo but I won’t moan about my diet anymore.

I knew Sam was the man to beat so I stuck with him for the first 1k. Battling with a few fellas behind him, within 2 mins I knew the pace was too much and I resorted to trying to keep him in sight. Half way through I was eventually overtaken (by a vegan runner) who clearly smelt my struggle with pace and before I knew it Sam was long gone and I was battling for 3rd which was the cut off for prizes! 

Just before the last climb a fella from Worcester Athletic Club caught me up. I honestly did not think I had anything left to go with him, but, as we hit the hill, fortunately all my hill-work in MK paid off and I drove out of range to cross the line in 3rd and in a time of 00.39.41. Definitely my limit was pushed and crossing line I felt awful.

Looking back now I thoroughly enjoyed Croome Capability Canter. It’s a beautiful park, a difficult 10.5k and very well run by the team. (Pictures at the end of post)

Congrats to Sam. It was fantastic to see you lift the famous 8litre brown sauce and have your name read out! Bring on 2018 where hopefully I can finally defeat you!



Mud, Sweat and Tears (and cbcbc)

Since the Great South its fair to say the diet and training has been a little… well… sloppy.

Keeping a clean diet free from crisps, biscuits, chocolate, booze and cake (cbcbc)  throughout October meant I became quite skinny (59.5 kg) and consequently quite quick due to a number HiiT workout’s. (Using the Nike app – couldn’t recommend any higher).

However the last 3 weeks has been lapse with plenty of cbcbc and I went into the Dirt Half Challenge a little worried that I had undone all the hard work. It was safe to say I prepared for the Dirt Half with a dirty diet!

The Dirt Half is a cross country half marathon at Leighton Buzzard, tackling 6 miles of a flat canal followed by 3 miles of 600ft worth of climb towards Great Brickhill and back down through Stockgrove park and Rushmere, finishing back along the canal. To make things even more tricky the day was very wet, cold and muddy. At times it was difficult to keep your feet and slipping and tripping became the norm. I don’t think the course could have been any harder, well…. there were also a number of gates you needed to open (and close) as you went through fields and the woods.

This was a great baptism into my first ever cross country race and despite there being 800+ runners I only saw about 5 throughout the race. I sat in 8th for the first 8 miles and finished 7th after sneaking passed 1 of the leading pack towards the end and nearly catching 6th.

I am really pleased with this result though I don’t feel I deserve it after the last 2/3 weeks of training and drinking but hay ho, a good result…. and plenty to take away…. I even left thinking “in a year or so I can win this event”.

1:17 won and I came in with a 1:21:06 – which should be a little less because I took a wrong turning at the cross roads at Plantation road and had to run back after the Marshall shouted at me to turn around! (-20 seconds!)


So technically this is a 7 minute PB but I know I could have done a lot better if I had looked after myself in the lead up. I ran 6:13 miles with mile 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 all being around 6:30 miles. There was a natural tail off in pace which is a direct result of poor diet and training….


…. and most importantly, cross country is ALOT of fun! I read alot of blogs about trail vs road, blah, blah, blah. For me this was brilliant fun, tougher and mentally you had to keep switched on. I’m defo coming back for more!

The last main one this year is the MK Winter Half and I am pushing 1:18:00 going just under 6 minute miles. Its a road race, flat enough and fast. However I need to get out of this chocolate and beer rut!

Plenty of that to do over Christmas, for now 1 last month of work!



Most Challenging Parkrun?

When my sister Elena and I decided to venture into “parkrun tourism” we felt it would be best not to stray too far for starters. It was a toss up between Luton, Aylesbury and Tring…. so we headed to Tring for their Halloween special.

Tring is set in a large, undulating park and its a beautiful setting for runners with it’s open green fields, trees and forests (which was useful as toilet desperation set-in at 8:45 and there was no where to go).

However the beauty of the setting, the route and the run is met with trial, challenge and confrontation of hills, cross country terrain and hills.

The first mile is straight up hill, you can see it from the start. You head about 200 meters into the edge of a bowl and then a large, clear ascend faces you. As everybody hacked it off from the start line, I could hear heavy breathing around me within 400 meters. However, this isn’t the end, as you reach the summit the route takes you into the forests and you climb again, zig zagging through the woods to the very top of the park’s altitude and as I reached the top I checked the watch… “1 mile”.

From there that is when you discover the beauty of Tring’s parkrun, at the top of the hill you turn left and face a long, downhill sweep along the edge of the park, through the woods and back down towards the fields. It was at this stage I found myself in a battle for 1st with a young chap, dressed up in Aylesbury attire and pulling away from me down the hill.

When you reach the end of the woods, the route is basically a left turn into a bowl and then Trings final trick.

Tring 2Tring 1

The last 0.5k I have recently discovered has been named on Strava as “heart attack hill”. I think that explains how this parkrun finishes, with one last climb to the end. Fortunately, I was able to drive up the hill very well and pulled away from Aylesbury chap and storm to my first every parkrun win! 18:23 After plenty of 2nd places in parkrun over 2017, this was a great little achievement! I know, I know,  parkrun is a run not a race but I think with Tring you are racing the elements, the hills and the course. I would highly recommend this parkrun, everyone is very welcoming, the course is clearly laid and it’s a picturesque setting… however, be prepared for a running battle!



P.S  To give context, London Marathon is 600 feet of climb, this 5k is 300 feet! It was a good job Elena and I have done some hill work this summer!

Hill Pic

New Creps, New Balance. Fresh Foam 1080 Review

These were the first running shoe I bought and I have gone back for more!

Don’t be fooled because this foam word maybe a little misleading, you won’t be running on clouds with this NB shoe, but you do get a snug fit, lots of stability and you will look like a running boss.


What I like about the shoe is the design, the wide front allows your foot to slide in easily and breath but the firm fit around the ankle locks you in. Which give you a real connectivity with the ground when you run. The color options in this shoe is limited for Men, so I have gone with a new grey/green pair and the blue/ yellow, the blue is cool and has subtle hints of green and red. It is a great looking trainer.

Cons are that it is a tad firm in terms of flexibility and the cushioning isn’t great, personally I like that and the reason I have done back is the success I have had with them, they fit well and the price with New NB shoes out is very good.

Fresh Foam Scores

If you have strong feet and like feeling the road with stability, this is the shoe for you. At £60 – £80 in Sweatshop it’s a good deal.


2017 Great South Run, a weekend in Pompey!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is a quote by a famous author called Charles Dickens, who I found out this weekend wrote some of his best work in Portsmouth. I feel this quote is quite apt for the Great South Run held along the south coast’s island city. The goals for the weekend were clear;

  • Spend a lot of money at Gun Wharf Quay
  • Eat a lot great food
  • Run under 1 hour

With storm Brian imminent, the other half an I headed down to Portsmouth early on the Saturday, to make the most of the outlets (we did) and see the sites, including the windy Spinnaker Tower. We spent our pay packets in Ralph Lauren and Jack Wills then headed to Jamie’s Italian to meet my boss and his family. Spag Bol and a Meat Ball starter please.

Sunday was race day. 10 miles of flat road running around the Navy base, past HMS Victory and through Portsmouth city centre. Finishing out through Fratton and then back along the coast line to the finish.

The goal for the race was 1 hour flat, however I wasn’t sure if I had the minerals to maintain the 6:00/mi pace for the 10 miles. Lining up among the thousands it was a cold, windy morning. The sun was out mind, which was welcomed but didn’t ease the wind chill.


As we headed off, I wont lie, I was shivering but within a mile the pace had warmed me up and I tried to catch breath and breathe smoothly. The sites of the Navy base and the crowds were welcome distractions, easing into a rhythm I was feeling good and the miles ticked by quickly, 3, 4, 5…. and on 6 we saw some familiar faces. Plenty of smiling, waving and high fives. All was well, maintaining around the 5:52/mi pace. I had found a target group as well and as the miles went through I eased into a my own position running solo.

Realising all of a sudden there was only 4 miles left, there was an excitement that I was on track for breaking one hour I thought it would be best to concentrate. Then, things got tough….

… the last 2 miles was straight into a head wind (20mph), despite storm Brian not really turning up it was still strong enough and harder still being the end of the race. No matter how hard I tried to up the pace because I felt good, the speed wasn’t coming but the wind was!

The last 800 meters was a lot of fun, the chap in the green (picture below) caught me up, we exchanged a few pleasantries and agreed it was a flat out 1 v 1! He clearly had a lot of pace left and I tried to get back alongside him. We battled back and forth as the crowd screamed and photo’s flicked. The wind ever present as we drove towards the finish line. With 30 meters to go I managed to just sneak a toe ahead until the bugger put his foot down and pipped me at the post, it was the worse of times all caught on Channel 5! Brilliant!


Little did I know at the time but this final 800 meter dash had lead to the pleasing time of 58:54 and a finish of 57th! (very nearly 56th). I was over the moon going beyond expectations in a distance I haven’t run before. As I collected my goodies, t-shirt and medal I was ecstatic with the result and even more so that my Auntie and Uncle had come to watch and had picked up some epic snaps! We hung around and watched Darren and Kerrie finish and then headed back to the car.


What a great race the Great South is, brilliantly laid out, fantastic support and certainly an achievable race for all who want take on a new challenge. I am delighted with 57th place and I was left thinking, “please sir, I want some more?”



Winter Schedule (pre Xmas) and “Why book in advance?”

Lots to look forward to over the next few months in Tizzard running world and the below chart gives us a look at some of the events. The main ones have to be the Great South Run and the MK Winter Half.

All the training is gearing towards MK WH,  my word after that event I am going to demolish Carling, Bhuna and Chocolate. Once I have smashed my current PB 1:28:38 out of the park (touch wood!)

Date Event Distance
22/10/2017 Great South Run 10 Miles
18/11/2017 Leighton Buzzard Dirt Challenge Half Marathon
26/11/2017 Croome Capability Canter 6.5 Miles
10/12/2017 Milton Keynes Winter Half Half Marathon

As you can see I try to be quite organised with my events. Is this due to a control over my life and plan? No. Is this due to a meticulous training schedule and diet that mirrors the demands of my foreseen race schedule? No.

It’s purely down the calendar rule. If the races are put far enough in advance on the Cliff Richard calendar than they are in and Mica can’t argue. Why cant she argue? Because it’s on the calendar! Genius.

Great South Run in a few days…. lets go!

Matt #alwysrunning