A contrast of emotions from start to finish this week. I entered the week full of confidence due to the fact I was running strong however I knew this can change in an instant and it sure has. For my first marathon I followed a beginner plan to help me train but this time around I’ve opted for the intermediate option. The reasoning being my base level of fitness was as such I felt I could sustain the runs, which even though I’ve only finished my 5 th week of proper training I’m finding I’m fitting in the runs easy enough. However as everyone knows there’s always something round the corner which upsets the routine…
Monday – 48 minutes Threshold Run- 10 mins easy, 2 x (10 mins threshold, 4 mins easy), 10 mins easy to finish
Today was meant to be a rest day but after my long run on the Saturday before I missed my Sunday run due to stiffness and fatigue. I arrived at work early as usual and already I was mentally battling the fact I was due for a run. As the morning wore on I made the decision that 12:30 was my running time and no excuses were acceptable. The weather wasn’t great as per usual round the north west of England recently but that isn’t an acceptable excuse for me I was heading out. I stayed safe with my route choice as and repeated one from the previous week purely on the basis I had success from it and it was one less mental barrier to me getting out on the road. Off I went apprehensive and with no expectations.
As I passed through the first mile, which I must add was meant to be easy, I was surprised to be told current pace 7:31! I need to slow down!! What surprised me most was it felt slow, it felt laboured as my legs were still feeling the toils of the previous weekend. I thought this would slow as I climbed up Tudor avenue due to the ascent but it didn’t. As I hit the middle 28 minutes of my run I was fair trapping, second mile in 7:13, third in 7:20 and the forth mile, helped by a 200 metre descent into the valley in Astley Bridge (Macy’s drop on Strava segments) I clocked at 6:59! This was strange, a run I dreaded both mentally and physically was becoming enjoyable. As I passed into my final phase of the run I was feeling strong and even if the last two miles I clocked slower than the others I still had no mile over 7:40. I was pleased and more importantly glad I went out, complete contrast in feelings to what I felt the hour before!!
48 minute Threshold
Tuesday – 45 minute Fartlek.
Buoyed by the previous day’s run I was out again on the road this time for 45 minutes Fartlek running. Again I chose a similar route to the day before as I felt confident. Again with the weather precarious I followed the previous weeks Fartlek plan with an added 5 minutes of faster tempo at the end.
10 mins warm up
2 mins fast 1 min recovery
2:30 mins fast 1 min recovery
3 mins fast 1 min recovery
3 mins 30 fast 1 min recovery
4 mins fast 1 min recovery
4:30 mins fast 30 seconds recovery
10 mins easy
This plan brought me success the week before and the hope it would bring the same again was realised as I managed to cover 6 miles at an average pace of 7:24 minute miles. No mile was under 7:40 and most importantly I was feeling fantastic both mentally and physically, how long can this last? A good while I hope!! Core and foam roller and a break from the runing on Wednesday is a welcome break.
45 minutes Fartlek
Thursday – Threshold run – 10min Easy, 3 x (8min Threshold 2min Easy) 10min Easy.
With my plan reworked recently the one thing I’ve managed to keep is the routine, this is important to all runners but especially me as my mind wanders too easily and I can get distracted-I need focus which is difficult at times. Today’s run was another threshold run which I incorporated various parts of routes I know to map out a 7 mile route and I was ready to head out the door. As my precious runs I’ve head out thinking I’m going slow however on reflection that’s not been the case. I’m not going easy, I’m ill disciplined at the start of my runs and although that will help me in 10ks and Half marathons it won’t in the longer runs. This has always been my Achilles heal and something I know I need to work on. Today’s run I was prepared for and when I realised I’d gone through my first two miles in around 14:40 I made a conscious decision to push on through and keep the fast tempo. Without thinking I clocked my 4th mile in 6:49 and my 5th in 7:14. It was at mile 5 that I was recognised by a good friend on the road who kindly let me know what he thought of me! It made me laugh and a few insults returned helped in taking my focus from the pain I was starting to feel and helped push me through. The insults and a fantastically timed shuffle on my playlist gave me a 7:03 minute 6th mile.
It was as I climbed my last hill into my seventh mile that I was decided to take a step back, I’d run my race for the day and maybe a little late I decided to be disciplined, better late than never I suppose!! All in all as Strava told me I’d ran 7 miles I ended the run tired but extremely happy, roll on Friday for a rest day and the weekend for my long run, 10 miles!
Threshold 7 miles
After waking up on Friday slightly aching, that’s to be expected, I did my foam roller routine and had a bath preparing myself for my long run on Saturday. However as I woke up on Saturday morning the pain had increased, no run for me, push the long run to Sunday… Things got worse for me and as I woke up on Sunday although a slight improvement the pain was still there, I had no choice to rest again. With three days enforced rest and feeling guilty that I’ve not got out on the road, my confidence has taken a hit. This is the first set back I’ve had for a few months but I know a rest is as good as a run at times especially if you are carrying a few niggles. I’m hoping Monday will bring the opportunity to hit the road again but only if I’m 100% I have too much riding on the next few months to risk any long term injuries. For once I must be disciplined and inactive…2 things I find extremely difficult!