Coaching – Week 1

The coaching in running has started with two main objectives:

  1. Be fitter, healthier and avoid further problems with the ankle and other injuries
  2. Hit some desired targets for specific races and distances.

So, how did week 1 of this new coaching go?…

The coaching that I am receiving is remote, but tailored to my specific needs, lifestyle, standards and goals.

The schedule was received last Sunday with details for the following 2 weeks.  The first lesson to learn was not to do a pretty fast run on a Sunday in a race (Olympic Park 10k) just before the plan is set up.  The plan featured more variety and intensity than normal, but I was was up for for the challenge.

Day 1 – The week started off with a 30 minute recovery run, which went OK, despite doing it being very early in the morning.  The legs did not feel too bad considering the run the day before.

There was also a core and stretching session carried out in the evening.  These sessions are primarily using and app called Zova, which helps a to provide the focus and examples of how to do the workouts.  I am not a natural with workouts so these definitely help for the time being.  When I am more co-ordinated and used to doing these type of sessions it will be easier to do without using Zova, but the app works really well on both the phone and Apple TV.  It can be like having a personal trainer at home

Day 2 – Time for some progression, 15 minutes easy, 15 steady and finally 15 threshold.  All the zones set were in the watch. 5:45 to 6:15, 5:20 to 5:45 and 4:50 to 5:00 minutes per km.  This is based on the 10k pace set at the weekend of 4:45.  The legs were tired and preparation for the day was not good, late night, great food and wine and not enough sleep.  The attempt was to try to balance the pace zones and HR zones, it was not easy, but not too bad.

The first 15 felt fine, but the legs were tired and tight after the last 2 days.  The middle phase felt the best and I had to try and ease back a bit.  The final phase started OK, but became mentally tough and a battle to keep below 5 min km’s.  The ankle ached, more tired rather than anything else.  I was reasonably pleased with the pace progression, but the legs felt it.

Day 3 – 45 minutes of cross training.  As I was staying in a hotel there was a choice of bike or swim.  Gym bikes are not for me so the swim was the option.  This did mean though that there was a need for it to be the longest ever swim, both in terms of time and distance.  I am not a natural swimmer and only do back stroke.  45 minutes is tough, but it was achieved.  The total distance was around 1 mile, 800m more than the best badge from school.  When doing the analysis after the swim it turned out to be the fastest pace as well as longest, not bad

Day 5 – This should have been completed on day 4, but having to be in the office for about 7 to prepare for a meeting meant that there was no time in the morning and the evening was one of many leaving drinks for people at work.  So this was pushed to day 5.  On the subject of the meeting, it was cancelled at the point it was due to start, so annoying!

This session was a Threshold Run, 45 minutes to include 5 * 5 minute threshold efforts.  All the details we programmed in to the watch and it was time for the off.

There was a slight technical glitch at the end of the warm up phase, I pressed the wrong button on the watch so had to start the activity on it again.

Screenshot 2015-12-21 10.40.33

The legs felt like someone had stolen the bounce, no life in them at all.  A little odd as they had felt fine before hand and on the rest day they felt great.  The week of eating and drinking took its toll though.  It was mentally tough on the threshold efforts.  The last 2 were a real struggle to hit the correct pace zone, but the heart rate was in zone.  However, the he last 2 were in the Strava GAP zone (takes in to account terrain), so at least that is positive.

Day 6 – An easy run with 8 * 80m strides, accelerate to almost peak and then back to jogging.  This was combined with a muddy Horsham Park Run.  To the other runners this would have looked a bit odd, a nice easy start and then doing stride efforts, before finishing off with an easy run to the end.  This turned out to be a good way to combine the coaching with a Park Run, which gets the social side of running sorted out.  Doing the strides on mud is not easy though and the fact that it was a big day the day before (as in eating and drinking) did not help, but at least I was out doing it.

Screenshot 2015-12-21 10.42.49

Day 7 – Time for the long run, 75-90 minutes with some hills.  75 was the chosen option, knowing that the legs and ankle do not need to be pushed too hard, until there is more confidence that the ankle will cope with it again.

This was the the first long run since Copenhagen and the ankle problems.  Last weekends 10k (47:27) was the previous longest in both time and distance.  It was tough work on some of the hills to keep it easy paced.  I have never been a hill runner and will need to work on the down hill technique.  The mind naturally wanted to slip back in to the old one going down hill.

It was mentally tough with about 20 minutes to go.  The focused was switched to the form to ensure that the run was completed.  I have realised that with all of the treatment on the left ankle, in some ways, is probably now better than the right.  It flexes better and will get there when the lack of residual strength has been sorted out, but the right ankle is running stiff and I do not flex through it.  Towards the end of the run the focus switched to trying to flex the right ankle more as it almost feels like I am braking with the right foot and putting power through the left.

Long Run Profile

So that was week 1, tough but achievable, especially as most of the week involved going out eating and drinking.

The running summary:

  • 24.9 Miles
  • 3:42:24 Duration
  • 6 Activities recorded should have been 5, see day 5
  • 2571 Calories, 429 average per session, equivalent to an hourly rate of 691 calories (the calories shown on the Strava screenshots do not match the recorded amounts on Garmin)
  • 144 Average Heart Rate with a maximum average of 154 and a max of 170, both in Day 5 pt2

A definite upping in mileage and the week of the 7th was only high due to the 10k race.

Screenshot 2015-12-21 10.20.44

The focus going forward will be to stick to the plan, get the stretching routines in to the daily activity and try and do the core and additional XT sessions as often as possible.

Author: The Mr Smith

Photographer, Gourmet, Cook, Oenophile, Traveller, International Athlete, Investor, bit of a Geek and observer of life

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