This week I have been full of it, and affected by it… the cold
I was feeling quite crappy after last Saturdays wet long run, and was popping pills left, right and center; turning into a giant rattle toy, in an attempt to kick the cold symptoms. I was feeling a little better on Tuesday, and full of enthusiasm for ‘the club’ so I headed to the track for what is referred to as ‘The Benchmark‘
So, this session takes place once every 8-10 weeks apparently, and is simple in the way it afflicts its pain.
900m – 1 min rest – 500m
(repeat three times, 3 minutes recovery between each set)
I’m not going to lie, it hurt. A large part because I was struggling to get that precious oxygen stuff into my lungs.
900: 3:28 pace: 5:55min/mi
500: 1:53 pace: 5:58
900: 3:33 pace: 6:09
500: 1:55 pace: 6:07
900: 3:38 pace: 6:26
500: 1:54 pace: 6:03
That third 900m felt like I was running in treacle. I felt so slow, but could find no more in my legs to go any quicker. So I was quite surprised that I managed to find a little extra pace for the last 500m, probably because it was the last one!! There is something particularly evil about those distances, as you finish the lap(s) of the track but still have to go that extra 100m
What’s most impressive is that every rep, apart from that 900m, is (considerably) faster than my magic mile time set just this summer.
The problem though, is that this session pushed a lot of gunky crap into my chest and really stopped me from running for the rest of the week.
By Saturday though, I was feeling much better and wanted to head out for a few miles to see how I would do. I layered up and covered four nice comfortable miles in relative ease. I was happy about this!
So I decided that I would attempt the long run on Sunday. The training pan ideally called for about 20+ miles, but I wasn’t sure my legs and lungs were up to that. I had two choices for the run. Either get up early and go, or take Lyndsey shopping (and to her hair appointment) and go later in the afternoon. I’m not good at getting my motivation together and going later, so I set my alarm for 5am and got up nice and early. It was horrible eating porridge the minute I woke up, but I was out the door, in a tonne of layers, at 6:30. It was cold, really cold, and still dark so I stuck my headtorch on too. I had planned 6 mile loops, so I could see how I was doing / how much time I had left. I needed a wee after the first loop so called into the house. Lyndsey thought I was just going out :-) I still had two hours, so I headed back out, sans-headtorch this time, for two more loops in the beautiful rising sunlight. The temperature never picked up, in fact the downhill lane within first mile of loop actually got slippier through the morning.
It was a lovely run, and I had felt really good with a nice easy pace throughout. For some reason though, when the garmin beeped for 15 miles I decided to make the final three a little tougher. I upped the pace and managed to make the final three miles progressively faster, and all sub half marathon pace (or at least what my PB suggests it to be).
Then spent the afternoon recovering by walking round Guildford :-)
Feeling much better now! So I hope that this weeks running will not be affected!!
Off to pick up the car now from the garage, as we are enjoying a late start at work today :-)