Whilst the first two weeks of this block of marathon training have been quite varied, mainly due to falling across the Christmas and New Year period, this week has been much more 'back to normal'. This is not without it's own challenges though, as like most people at this time of year, I am starting 2019 with some personal goals for the year ahead. My aims for 2019 are both running and non-running related, and it is already proving that perhaps the running ones are at least a little simpler to logically work towards!
MONDAY: a tough Body Pump class - I am not sure why this class was especially challenging compared to normal, but by the end my body was visibly shaking with muscular fatigue.
TUESDAY: as could have been predicted, my body was sore today following my Body Pump efforts, especially my quadriceps, which were even tender to touch. Intervals would test them at least, and I had 6 miles with 3 x mile reps and 400m recoveries on the plan. My aim was to run each mile rep as hard as possible; ideally improving on last week's tempo pace, which was 7.40 min/mile. Add a gusty wind to my achy quads muscles, and I had to push hard to log rep splits of 7.25, 7.33 and 7.29 min/mile pace. I was pleased with my times though in the conditions and considering how I was physically feeling.
WEDNESDAY: my quads felt less sore but more stiff today, and this was apparent on my 6 mile run. My first two splits were slower until it appeared my legs seemed to loosen, and I then found a better stride, averaging 8.14 min/mile overall. The effect of going to Body Pump classes may be questioned by some, but the sessions have built so much strength endurance in my body and they also trains me to run through fatigue at times, which whilst tough, is beneficial.
THURSDAY: progression runs are not my favourite and not something I especially look forward to. I had 6 miles progression on my plan, starting at 9 min/mile and finishing sub 8 min/mile. Normally I go off much too fast to begin with and end up literally sprinting the final miles to try and keep my splits on track. I wanted to be disciplined today (and avoid a sprint finish!) so tactically planned a route which began with some steadier inclines to force myself to slow down a little. It worked, and I logged progressive splits of 9.02, 8.38, 8.14, 7.59, 7.50 and 7.39 min/mile. The benefit I found from executing this run better was that the final sub 8 min/miles felt comfortable, despite being a quick pace. Body Pump class in evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: after a lot of parkrun tourism over the Christmas and New Year period, today I was back at my home Lincoln event. Whilst 'on tour' I had been running some good 5k times, so I felt optimistic that I may be able to run well at Lincoln, which is a lot flatter and a fully paved course compared to some parkruns that I have been running. A combination of my optimism and the fact that there was a record breaking turn out of runners meant I went out very fast; I wanted to start strong but also try escape the crowds a little. This led to a real final mile fade and a disappointing overall finish of 21:26. It was great to catch up with lots of familiar faces though, and although edging toward nearly 600 runners on a three loop course can be a little congested at times, I cannot complain about people wanting to be active, and Lincoln parkrun is certainly a great place for people to start this journey.
SUNDAY: a strong 13 mile run at times against an equally strong wind. Lying in bed I could hear the wind howling outside and I was not sure how much this would influence my plans of trying to run a faster long run. My aim was to stick between 8.10 and 8.20 min/mile pace, however I surpassed this, finishing with an average pace of 7.59 min/mile (see image). The wind was in my face and noticeable at times, but there were pockets of shelter, which helped. My legs also felt strong, and whilst I admit toward the end I was probably pushing a little more to hold my pace, a number of the miles felt comfortable and natural. After a disappointing 5k yesterday, 13 strong miles felt good, and when marathon training is probably more important right now!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...