Coaching – Week 18

Well that was a funny week.  Lots of highs and lows, for once all of the highs were running related.  The focus is now back on.

Day 1

Recovery run: Lets keep the HR nice and low and shake the legs out for 40 minutes or so

Sadly I got held up with work and then on the train so had to skip this session

Day 2

Threshold: 60 minutes with 8, 6, 4, 8, 6, 4 (120s easy). 8 mins 10 mile pace down to 10km pace for 4 min efforts

This had not been a good day following a loss in the family and the last thing I wanted to do was to go for a run when I got back from work.  However, I did.  I got changed and straight out on a lovely spring evening.

I had the watch set for a 7 minute warm up, then the 8 minute block was at 4:50 to 5:00 min per km, 6 minutes at 4:40 to 4:50 and the 4 minutes at 4:30 to 4:40.  As normal, the challenge with these is judging the pace as I am always going up or down.  Not drastic hills but the slopes do make pace judgement a bit tricky.

I was running the first half of the run mainly downhill, so I was running quicker than the times, but at what I hoped was the right effort level.  The pure pace was 4:40, 4:31 & 4:34, but whan adjusted for the gradient they would have been 4:48, 4:39 & 4:37.  A bit too quick, but I was feeling comfy.

The legs had felt heavy to start with but were flowing quite nicely, with no ankle pain.  The mind however was a different matter and I was struggling mentally.  No physical problems, but because of what had happened the mind was wandering a bit.  I was tempted to jack it in on the way back, but stuck at it.

The second block was more uphill but the pace was good at 5:01, 4:57 and 4:31, with the adjusted pace being 4:49, 4:45 and 4:35, which I will definitely take.

I definitely felt the best I have in training for a while.  The only issue (other than the mind) was the ankle as soon as I stopped running.  The pain kicked in, but it was short lived, which is good.  I also got through 10k in sub 50 minutes, which included 17 minutes of easy running, again very pleasing.

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Day 3

Turbo: 60-75 minutes to include middle 40 mins as 4 x 10 minute build ups. Start each build up easy and drive the power up as you progress through finishing the final 2-3 minutes working hard before dropping back to easy for start of next block

Given everything that was going on, with the personal life and work this session just did not happen.

Day 5

Recovery run: 40 minutes all super easy

The same applied to the recovery run.  Three days of rest is not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I had in mind.

Day 6

Long run: 1hr 45 minutes. 30 minutes easy / 20 minutes HMP / 10 minutes easy / 15 minutes 10 mile pace / 15 minutes easy / 10 minutes 10km pace and then easy the rest.

After a rubbish week, work and with the things going on with the personal life, I headed out on this run with renewed determination.  I was out to challenge myself on this one and set the pace zones at 4:50 to 5:00, 4:40 to 4:50 and 4:30 to 4:40, all of which would be pb pace.  I also chose a hilly route to add some variety to the training.

The first half an hour block was pretty much up hill so the HR was above what it would normally be for an easy set, but I was feeling good and comfy and was running up the hills a lot better than I have ever done.  I had to keep reminding myself to slow down.  The pace was 5:25 for that, which is very pleasing, with the grade adjustment at 5:13.  I am slightly amazed.

Anyway, the first set of increased pace was timed to be on a relativelty flat part, to start anyway, but it was slightly down hill.  Given this I was running at the low end of the target pace and feeling very comfy.  The end of this block did involve a couple of steep declines and inclines so overall pleased with a  pace of 4:51 and adjusted at 5:01, so just about spot on.

After another comfy, but quicker than normal easy block, it was off on the 10m pace.  A good long stretch in to town, which started with a stinger of a hill, which I just accelerated up when the time started.  Then a downhill stretch in to town.  Again feeling good, but starting to work hard towards the end.  4:38 pace with an adjusted pace of 4:42, very pleasing.

More fairly quick easy running before the 10km pace.  I was in the zone so much I missed the start of this block by about 22 seconds, so I am really happy I could pick the pace up, which was up hill, to 4:40 and adjusted to 4:34.  Obviously a bit quicker in reality if I had picked up bang on schedule.  This last block was definitely harder work though, but one I could have carried on through to the full target time.  If I had carried on at that pace then a half would have been completed in about 1:46:45.

Given how close I was to a half I added an extra 5 minutes to the run to warm down, just to get through the half distance and see what I ended up with.  It looks like I went through the half at 1:48:18, which is my second fastest half marathon, behind North London Half.  I also did an extra 20m of climbing over London, running alone and with 1:03:18 of that at easy.  I am abs0lutely delighted and it has put me back on track for Hackney.

I was also testing my nutrition for Hackney and had a Caffeine gel at 40 minutes, plus electrolyte drink all the way round.  I was debating whether to have another gel at 75 minutes, but I think 1 was right.

On looking at the elevation profile of the run, it looks like that the peak climb was 13.3% and decent of 14.5%, this is a stretch that can hurt on the bike, let alone running, but I seemed to pretty comfy on them.  I do need to learn more about running down steep gradients.

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Day 7

Although this was originally deemed a rest day as I was due to be out all day, but due to circumstances I cancelled those plans.  It did mean though that I had time to head out for a bonus ride, to make up a little bit for missing 3 sessions during the week.

The plan was to just head out for 45 minutes or so on a tried and tested route.  I knew that this would involve a bit of climbing, but I was not planning to chase a time.  However, that all changed as soon as I got going and felt that the legs were good, despite the half marathon distance yesterday.

Also, the Strava live segments on my Garmin spurred me on to push and see where I am at.  I can say that I was not at 100% effort, but I was clocking up the PB’s  and when I get back realised that I was a minute quicker than I have done before on that route.

Also looking at the power, and again without really trying, it was good.  An average of 204 and normalised power of 222, both of which are the best I have done, in our out of doors.

The training has paid dividends.

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The Current Week

Putting the personal things to one side and forgetting I missed a couple of sessions, I am really pleased with the training this week.  Good times, efforts and pace on the runs and very pleased with the bonus ride as well.

Screenshot 2016-04-17 14.54.31

8 Week Rolling Summary

Screenshot 2016-04-17 14.54.56Screenshot 2016-04-17 14.55.21

Monthly Summary – 2016

Screenshot 2016-04-17 14.56.00

Monthly Summary – Annual Rolling

Screenshot 2016-04-17 14.56.26

Day to Day Summary – 2016

Screenshot 2016-04-17 14.56.14

Author: The Mr Smith

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

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