Last weekend seemed to disappear, and before I knew it I was back at work, Sunday had gone, and I had not updated you all on the weeks training. There is a bit to update you on – certainly rather a few miles!!
I decided that despite the hilly local runs, I really need to add some hill training to my weekly runs. On the Wednesday of last week I headed out from work looking for a hill to spend 15 minutes running up and down it. Now, from work it would seem that hills are either long slow drags, or vertical ascents. I found myself attacking the latter. It was bloody hard work, especially as the light disappeared, but particularly on the scree slope when coming back down. Running was out of the question as just on the first attempt I was completely out of control and would have done serious damage if I had gone over!
That session was book-ended by a couple of steady runs home. On Sunday I headed out with a bit of a plan in my mind as to how I would bring up 14 miles on my current walk/run strategy. 14 miles into that run it became very apparent that I had missed one or two turns, and I was still 2 miles from home. There was nothing for it, I just had to get home, so I carried on going.
I was tired at the end of it, but pleased to have finished, especially as I had set out for a given distance, but was able to just keep going when I had to. I have downloaded an interval timer onto my phone and set 8 minutes effort with 2 minutes rest. At the end of each section it vibrates the phone on my arm and I change pace. It’s a great tool, and it means I don’t have to keep looking at Garmin, or to set it up to beep at me every few minutes, as that would do my head in. I feel that this pacing strategy is really working quite well.
On Sunday I headed out on tired legs for 12 miles. I decided to just go the other way along the Downs Link from my previous foray. It was a nice run really – a bit slippier than I had anticipated, but generally good. I was taking things nice and easy, so I even stopped to learn some history and take pictures.
And by the end of the run I had covered over 42 miles for the week – the most ever in a 7 day period!! :-)
Now on to this week.
It all started well enough with an easy 4 miles running home from work. Wednesday though, saw me on a trip to Cheltenham for a work training thing. It was a long, and rather stressful day having missed the very first train of the four I would be catching in the day. Thankfully everything worked out, but I needn’t have worried as the course was a bit rubbish anyway. I was blooming knackered by the time I got home, so there was definitely no running going to be happening.
On Thursday it was time for a nice steady run home at a slightly quicker pace. I felt tired, and it was a bit of a struggle towards the end. I was really ready for Friday. It’s funny that I’ve worked in education for 4 years now, and never benefited from the holidays until now, but I really felt like I needed this half term.
Instead of getting lost, I decided yesterday to try out using the courses feature on the Garmin, thanks to a recent post from Sam Robson telling me how to set it up (I would highly advise you take some time to read his research study on ultra running too).
It meant that yesterday, with my phone buzzing on my arm, and my waist pack hugging my belly, I ran a lovely 16 miles. It was mostly on road, but I was happy to get time on feet, which is always useful in this ultra running lark. I also tried a slightly different fueling strategy by mixing usual energy gels with proper food. Not literally – one walk break I would have a gel, but on the next I would have a bite of a peanut butter sandwich. It kept me going nicely, and I felt far better than gulping tonnes of gloopy gel and no solids.
The last few miles were hampered by a tight left hamstring, which was a little concerning. Actually, it wasn’t just my hamstring, but my entire left leg seemed to be struggling on the whole. After stretching and all that malarky I got in the bath. I think it was a touch too hot as I just felt really wiped out for the rest of the afternoon and had a stinking headache. I am not sure I had hydrated enough either which was a little silly.
I woke up this morning feeling much better, and after a slow start with MOTD I headed out the door for another 12 miles. I took care to warm up and do some dynamic stretches, and my legs gave me no bother at all.
Well…. except some self inflicted bother.
When running through some boggy bits of footpath my foot got tangled in some bramble and I was brought down to the ground with a bump. Didn’t realise that I had drawn blood at the time, and I was only 1.5 miles in, so I just picked myself up and carried on.
I got a little tired, but I had a nice run overall. And thankfully the blood looked worse than it was.
A slightly shorter week this week with 37 miles – but I am well on target for 2012km still. Which is pretty awesome!
Hopefully I will have lots of stuff to tell you next week after my first half term holiday at home with the wife :-)