Last week saw the first post in the new coaching regime, so it was time to move on to Week 2. Not the best week to try and stick to a plan, with it being Christmas, but where there is a will there is a way, find out how week 2 went…
This was always going to be a challenging week, nights out, driving, family visits, Christmas and the associated food and drink that goes with it.
Recovery run of 30 minutes. After the last few days where the technique has not quite felt right it started off feeling like it was coming back and feeling more natural, but towards the end it started to drift. While it is not yet natural the mental focus is tough to keep it going and the cadence dropped off part way through. More focus is required, this is not physical, but mental and changing stride patterns takes time to get it to be the natural one! The ankle was sore after just a short run, but no problems with it after the long run the day before, a bit frustrating.
The Threshold session, 45 minutes in total with 6 * 5 minutes at a Threshold pace with 90 second recoveries. That was tough, the last few weeks has taken its toll. The legs could cope but the rest of the body and mind really struggled. I had to back off towards the end of some of the intervals and also had to take them easier. Half way through it was nearly a case of just jogging for the rest of the time, but I kept it going and it kept the HR in the desired zone. I need to get over the next month , with all the traveling and then the lifestyle has to change! Also, there should be a WAP score, not a GAP for this one, Wind Adjusted Pace!
Rest! Mind you there was 5 hours spent in the car driving, so not sure I would have been capable of doing much anyway. There was an optional XT session in the plan, but that was not feasible on the day.
The second of my progression runs, 10,10,10 – Easy, steady & threshold. I definitely found it a bit easier this time, but the segments were shorter. I am starting to learn the art of threshold sessions, the effort level is to be able to do 4 word answers, so every now and again, in the last block, I was saying, “I am Doing OK”, out loud. Glad no one could hear. This definitely helps in terms of judging the effort, which was about 4.5 in my heart rate zone, which is where I expected (hoped) it would be. I had a lucky escape with the weather, I was out at first light and just finished before the heavens opened. The route was a bit hilly, but the toughest stretch was on a flat stretch of road with 40mph gusts of wind. This really test the legs and I had to lean in to the wind it to keep going forward
This should have been a Christmas day run, optional, but it would have been good to get out. However, more time was spent with family so the runs where done when back home.
The plans was 30-60 minutes as the optional run, so I sneaked in a park run. The plan was to warm up by running down to the start, doing the park run and then a run home. All nicely done and equaled 60 minutes.
The park run was tough, very muddy and the amount of effort put in was more than a normal park run. The body was reacting to very bad pre run preparation. The food and champagne the night before was not good, but could be coped with, but waking up a little later than normal was the problem. The porridge had not had time to be digested properly and was siting on the stomach until the run home.
The long run! 60 minutes steady and then 3 * 6 minutes at threshold and 3 minute recoveries. This was tough going mentally, but the focus was on staying in control as much as possible, which was not easy on the chosen route, as it was hillier than it probably should have been. Also, I misjudged the distance a little as I wanted to finish a bit closer to home which meant the warm down was longer than planned. I managed to complete all the sets and it actually felt good to stretch the legs at an hour and the 2 sets that were flatter were run at nearly 10km pace, which felt nice to be able to do after an hour already.
The focus was to try and gauge the level of effort, which I think I did. This was my longest run, the first time over 15k since Copenhagen and although there are aches it does not feel too bad.
Definitely a hillier route than planned and the 3rd most amount of climbing done in one go, but probably the most climbing per hour as the others were longer runs, maximum gradient around 15%.
The Running Summary
- 30.5 Miles
- 4:38:20 Duration
- 09:26 Average Pace
- 8 Activities recorded including 2 extended warm down sessions
- 3192 Calories, 399 average per session, equivalent to an hourly rate of 687 calories
- 144 Average Heart Rate with a maximum average of 163 and a max of 172, both from the Park Run
So that was week 2. My longest week in terms of distance, nearly 6 more than the previous week. Surprisingly, both in terms of distance and time this is my biggest week ever. That has made me feel quite pleased, especially given the time of year. It it not yet my biggest month, but not far off it.
When looking at which day of the week I run, Sunday is by far the biggest, but it will be interesting to see how that changes over time, especially on week days.
8 Week Rolling Summary
Day to Day Summary
Week on week heat map