The eagle-eyed among you may well have noticed last week that I mentioned taking on a coach. I have done this for a couple of reasons; despite a positive showing at NDW50 I had little confidence that my cobbled together plan would cut it for the 100, The service on offer would provide support and advice and guidance that I would not receive whilst training on my own. And who is this coach that will turn me into an ultra-running superstar (in my own mind at least)*.
For those that don’t know the name, why not? For everyone, here is a quick recap of his CV. At just 24 years old he is one of the youngest ultra runners competing on the world scene having recently been invited to don a GB vest at the 24 hour wold championships. On a track in Holland he ran 239km (148 miles) in 24 hours. He has won the North Downs Way 100 in the past (albeit when it was an out-and-back event). He is actually a member of the Centurion Running Team and helped crew and pace James Elson to his win at the GUCR last weekend.
Having had a couple of chats on the phone over the last week or so, Robbie has set up a training plan for me and taken into account what I can and can’t do with my available time. We’ve talked about my goals and aspirations for the next couple of months and I am confident that he can guide me towards my target sub-24 hour 100 mile.
This week was my first week of my new regime and on the whole it has gone OK though it was a funny week to start.
On Tuesday I was at the track for a fun set of 8x 700s. In fairness the 700s felt pretty good and I managed a fairly consistent set of splits. The issue for me was the 3 minutes of rest which included one minute of ‘active’ recovery. This included things such as starjumps, pressups, squats, lunges, plank and ‘bastards’. This was the bit that actually seemed to take it out of me the most.
If you can remember, Wednesdays weather was awful and as I set out on my run it seemed to be no better. I had the waterproof on (yes I know, skin is waterproof, but it was pissing it down). Within a mile the rain had stopped and I was toasty. I was also annoyed that the Garmin had been buggering up it’s signal for about two miles and so I couldn’t judge my pace. It was quite a long 8 miles, and I walked a couple of the hills to keep my HR down as best I could.
10 hours later I was back out in the rain (and it was proper raining the whole time this time). I did five miles before work. I felt pretty tired as morning running has’t gotten any easier for me especially after running the night before. I did it though, and I suppose I should take comfort from that!
What it also meant was that I had a full 48 hours before my next run. I was lucky to enjoy some brilliant music at work on Thursday night as past students returned and alongside some of the best current students put on a stunning show for BBC ‘The Voice’ scouts looking for next years talent. They should all be put on the show! On Friday afternoon we also had the ‘leavers concert’ where some of this years A2 students who leave soon, performed. All this followed the ‘Gig of Glory’ rock concert on Wednesday too! Rock on!
Early on Saturday morning (because I forgot to turn my alarm off) I got up and started prepping for my run. The plan called for a 10 mile tempo run. It’s been a while since I did anything of that distance at any pace. I aimed for something less than about 170bpm HR. This seemed to roughly translate to about 7:30min/mi and I actually passed through 10km slightly faster than I’ve ever done before and feeling really strong still, so I wonder what I might do 10km in now. I pushed on and although the last two miles slipped to 7:48s I pulled out a new PB in 75 minutes. Amazing.
Lynds and I spent the afternoon with my grandparents who had recently returned from visiting family in Australia. It was really nice to see them.
This morning I went out for a 15 mile run on trails to include some ‘nice hills’. I set out on the trails towards work and continued past on to Holmbury hill. I ran practically down to Peaslake along some brilliant singletrack (keeping an eye out for bikes bearing down on me) and then back up to the top of the hill before following the Greensand Way back to the top of Pitch hill. From here I crossed over to the Winterfold Forest and down Alderbrook Copse. I looped around a bit close to home as I topped the run up to my target 15 miles in 2:38. It was a glorious day for a run and I had a good time out in the sunshine.
43.5 miles for the week
884 miles for the year
1,000,000,000,000,000 calories eaten this week – why is my appetite insatiable at the minute?!?!
*and probably not even then