You can always rely on the British Weather to play a part during marathon training, whether it is the threat of snow and ice during Spring blocks, or the fear of extreme Summer warmth. The latter has certainly played its part this week, with a heatwave sweeping the UK and temperatures hitting over 30 degrees Celsius – I do not think I remember such a heat in the UK in my lifetime?! I have therefore spent most of this week as a sweaty mess, and even when it cooled down at the weekend, the rain arrived and continued to soak me to my skin with a different kind of moisture – glamorous I know! Along with the heat, it has been a busy few days for me with a staff training week at work which also involved moving our offices and taking part in various team building activities. Simply put – I am a little knackered right now!
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: today the heatwave began and I subsequently found intervals a little tougher going than normal, especially towards the end. I ran 6 miles with 12 x 400m reps and 200m recoveries. The first seven reps were relatively consistent, hovering around or just under the 7 min/mile marker; however, I felt the power fade from my legs for the final few and I really had to challenge myself to pick up the pace – the last rep felt like I was literally going nowhere!
WEDNESDAY: even as I met my friend for one of our 6am mid-week runs it was already nearly 20 degrees already – great! My friend seemed less affected by the heat than me, and he set the early pace as normal, which is always reasonably quick for me. I held this pace for a few of the 6.5 miles we ran, but as the final couple arrived, my legs were starting to struggle against the muggy, dense air. It was still a good paced run overall, but it just felt much harder, and I was drenched at the end.
THURSDAY: the hottest July day on record with temperatures hitting over 30 degrees – a great day for 5 different bouts of exercise then..! My first taste of exercise was my early morning run, an easy paced 7 miles, which I was surprised by how well I consistently paced given the heat. Next up was a team building day at work, which turned out to be a rock climbing session, followed by some team fitness relay races, and then by an immersive spinning class, all thankfully in the sanctuary of an air conditioned leisure centre. However, I still had Run Club to come. By 6.30pm in the evening it was scorching and I would not have even contemplated a run if it had not been club night. We planned a gentle out-and-back run, emphasising to people to take it easy. By now, my legs were pretty much exhausted, and combined with the heat, I found I only had one pace – a gentle plod. This was actually fine and I enjoyed being able to run with others and gain their support to keep me plodding along. We managed 4 miles – but it felt like 40! At the end of the day I was absolutely dead on my feet!
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: Friday had been the final instalment of our staff training week at work. This had involved taking part in an escape room, a meal out and a few drinks in town afterwards until around midnight – it was a lovely afternoon/evening, but not very good for picking up my dipping energy levels! I actually had a place for a local 10 mile race today, but decided against it – my body simply was not up to the challenge of doing it justice, and with a long run planned for tomorrow, I had to be sensible. I went to Lincoln parkrun instead, but kept my expectations moderate about what kind of time I may be capable of. I ran fairly well, and quite consistent in my splits, with no fade in the final mile, I was just not sharp enough to get another sub 21 minute time, logging 21:22. I was not disappointed at all – it was what I kind of expected!
SUNDAY: after a busy week and the added exertion of running in heat, I still did not feel totally refreshed for my long run today. I had 16 miles planned and to be honest my splits show what kind of state I was in mentality throughout – just all over the place! I ran with my Camelbak filled with water and for the first few miles it really annoyed me, and it is all I could focus on. At around 4 miles I suddenly seemed to settle into things, only then to hit a massive slump were it just felt like I was trudging along, alone in the middle of nowhere and in a haze of drizzle. Essentially I was, but usually I can overcome the fact! Between 10 and 13 miles I had a renewed energy and suddenly found a really quick pace, however the final three miles were tough and every time I was forced to stop to cross a road etc. I just felt like I lost any sort of rhythm. So not my greatest run, and amid my massive variations in pace, I managed to log an average of 8.28 min/mile, which I was fine with considering my plan said today should be an ‘easy’ run and also considering how weary I felt. I was once again knackered when I arrived back at home though – this week has really taken its toll, so recovery is now the focus.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...