Now that we are getting in to the swing of the training plan, this is the review of the third week. Although the previous week involved Christmas this one was even stranger in terms of trying to stick to the plan, find out how week 3 went…
This time around I was travelling, spending some time in Florence and then in Tuscany. Never easy when staying in hotels, in new places, to know what to expect or what you will be able to do. However, I was lucky in terms of where I was staying and what was provided. The first hotel even had a yoga mat which makes the stretching easier.
Recovery Run with 6 * 20 second 800m bursts
This was the last run in Horsham for a week or so and was a recovery Run with the bursts and 90 second recoveries.
The form & technique felt good to start with, although the pace felt faster than it was it was recording. It was a surprise after my worst nights sleep in a very long time less than 3 hours. The 800m efforts were OK, but the challenge I have is keeping the cadence high when doing low effort blocks, keeping the pace and HR low at the same time is not easy.
It was a great time to be running, nice and and early with no one around, and no traffic so I could run on the road, which is a lot better than the surface of the pavements in Horsham!
This was a rest day, but as I was in a hotel I did a short swim for some cross training, about 800m in 20 minutes.
Recovery Run & Structured Fartlek
The first day in Florence and the legs felt so stiff and sore before this run, plus the back (something that I tend to have a problem with). I Really need to work on some flexibility as well as everything else in the training.
However, this was the first time in a slow run I have been able to keep at a good cadence and within the right sort of effort range. It was foggy and colder than expected and I am sure the views would have been great, if i could see them! The good news was the park that I was staying nearby was great for running.
This was followed by a cross training session, the Energy Kick from Zova
The afternoon had a structured Fartlek session with 3 lots of 3 mins at 10k pace (4:40 to 4:50 target), 2 minutes at 5k (4:25 to 4:35) and 1 minute hard (4:00 to 4:25, but trying to keep at 4:00). It was hard after running in the morning and all the walking in between (12.2km). The legs found it tough but I still did it. It was only the middle hard effort, which was on a very dodgy surface, that was a bit slow, so I am pleased with that.
The evening involved another 9.2km of walking
Easy with 6 * 20 second 800m pace bursts.
I was pleased with the start and finish, keeping the effort and pace combination about right. The first pick up (up to 800m pace, or more likely just giving what the legs can give) was tough, the legs felt lifeless and heavy, but they got easier as I did more of them. The target was to get to recovery levels in 90 seconds between each one, which I did, which I think is a good sign. I always got back down to zone 2 with the heart rate.
There was also another 11km of walking during the day.
Threshold Run, 45 minutes with 5*6 minutes at 10-15k pace.
I brought this forward a day as I wanted to do the long run on Saturday as I would not have time for it on Sunday. This was a New Years Day dawn raid in to Florence. The pace should have been 10-15k pace and I set the watch at 4:45 to 5:00 pace (based on a current 4:45 10k pace) but I struggled to keep it slow enough. I am not sure why but I was definitely running quicker. A quiet NYE, the training paying off, the watch not recording properly, who knows, but it was definitely better.
The pavements in Florence are rubbish for running though and I spent as much time as I could running in the road (not something you would normally do in Florence!). I also had to dodge a lot of bottles on the streets from NYE, incredible how many there were. It was a bit of a case of dodge the obstacle, the street cleaners and the occasional drunk going home, but a really nice way to explore.
Another 15km of walking done in the afternoon and evening.
The long run, brought forward a day
That was hard. As I had skipped the rest day a couple of days ago by bringing things forward, I am not sure the legs and mind were really there. It was also cold and wet! The Florence pavements and roads are bad enough in the dry but lethal in the wet. Mentally it was really tough and I was tempted to jack it in a couple of times and had to say to myself towards the end “there is only 10 f*cking minutes to go, do it!” I did!
The target times were an easy 60 minutes, trying to be around 5:45 to 6:00 (around marathon pace plus 60 seconds per mile, this assumes I could do about 4hrs, not that I am ever going to find out), but according to the watch I was struggling to run slow enough, maybe it was an attempt to keep warm! I was trying though but it was more of a natural pace. The last 40 minutes were a pick up to a steady pace which I wanted to do at about 5:30, which is around half marathon pace. Pleasingly I did manage to keep to that 5:30 pace over the 40 minutes, despite not even wanting to be running!
Easy run with 6 * 20 second 800m bursts
That felt really hard. For some reason the body just felt awful today. Probably a build up of training, or slight misfuel. I woke up hungry and had a couple of small bites on an energy bar (only one gel left and saving that for tomorrow). I was possibly under fuelled or the body was still digesting. The amount of effort it felt like I was putting in was a lot more than the speed or heart rate was showing.
Mind you, the views in Tuscany are incredible, even in the rain!
The Running Summary
- 38.3 Miles, plus 20.5 miles walking (recorded amount plus lots more)
- 5:45:00 Duration
- 09:01 Average Pace
- 672 ft climbed
- 7 Activities recorded (excluding walking, swimming & cross training)
- 3884 Calories, 555 average per session, equivalent to an hourly rate of 678 calories
- 141 Average Heart Rate with a maximum average of 147 and a max of 169
So that was week 3. My longest week in terms of distance, nearly 8 miles more than the previous week. Surprisingly, both in terms of distance and time (1hr 17 more than the previous week) this was my biggest week ever. That has made me feel quite pleased, especially given the time of year. This does take in to account a brought forward activity of 40 minutes and 4 miles, but it would still have been the biggest week.
The Current Week
8 Week Rolling Summary
Now we are in to a new year the stats are reset and will build up again over the next few months to give some accurate records, but below are the final key stats for 2015
Monthly Summary, all of 2015
Day to Day Summary, all of 2015
Week on week heat map