It may only be the third week of my training, however the demands have already started to increase. I am following a new training plan for this sixteen week block, and have made some tweaks and changes from the previous plans I have followed. As part of this, I knew to expect things to 'ramp up' a little sooner than maybe I am used to. I have coped well this week though, and I can feel my body adapting, which is what I ultimately want to happen!
MONDAY: Rest Day - due to work commitments I had to switch my usual strength session to Tuesday.
TUESDAY: so far, this winter has been relatively kind to us runners; however it does mean when a cold spell hits it does shock and frustrate me a little! I woke feeling refreshed and motivated to attack some intervals, however stepping outside early before work I was disgruntled to see sparkling icy paths and some white patches. I stuck with my intervals; running 7 miles with 4 x 1 mile reps, but had to be cautious, pushing when I felt safe to do so, and reining things in a little when I was unsure. My paces were not what I would have liked, but I think they were realistic in the conditions. Body Pump class in the evening.
WEDNESDAY: another cold morning, but thankfully no frost or ice. 7 more miles were on the plan, this time at an easy pace. Easy pace running can be tough sometimes in the real cold weather; you almost feel like you want to go quicker to try warm up! I kept disciplined though, letting my legs turn round steadily; easy miles are just as important.
THURSDAY: today was track night with Run Club and with a tough session of 400m reps planned, I rested in the morning rather than running a handful of 'junk' miles. I also wanted to keep my legs fresh to test myself on the track. I felt able to push hard; and was really pleased with the consistency and speed I managed across the 12 x 400m I ran; logging splits of 6.04, 6.04, 6.08, 6.04, 6.04, 6.04, 6, 6.04, 6.16, 6.12, 5.56 and 6 min/mile. I would not have ran as well without the support of my club mates though; the first 8 reps I ran with a fellow female, who is quicker than me, but we worked together to pace the laps and time the rest periods, and she both challenged me and kept me consistent. She rested after 8 reps, and I aimed to do 'just' 2 more. Without someone to run with these next two reps felt harder, and my pace dipped by a few seconds. I was going to call it a day at 10, but a few other guys convinced me to run another two reps with them; in a pack of runners I found some pace again and I actually ran my quickest 400m of the lot. A tough session, but I enjoyed the challenge and camaraderie.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: lining up on the start line of Lincoln parkrun today a fellow parkrunner I usually run close to asked me if I was 'going for it' today; 'yes' I answered confidently. After a few weeks of being a bit off the pace, I really felt like I had to try attack parkrun today and wake my legs up! My first lap was very quick and although I tried to hang onto some other runners, I knew I had to slow down. I did, but gritted my teeth to hold my pace for the final 2 miles, finishing in 21:06. This was my best time for a while, over a minute quicker than previous weeks and was also enough to see me finish as first female. This week was also my friends 100th parkrun - I love seeing people reach their milestone achievements at parkrun; I know how much my weekly 5k fix has changed my life and seeing others reach a milestone I guess it feels like a bit of a celebration of how it has impacted their life too.
SUNDAY: a sixteen mile run in week three of training is certainly a step up for me; however I felt pleased with how I coped with today's long run. Considering a few weeks ago I was struggling to run more than 3 miles without coughing my lungs up, and a couple of weeks ago I ran with stabbing pain in my side - its all good progress! My legs felt a little tired from the week so far, so I aimed to log some easier miles. Again what really pleased me was my consistency in pacing; I ran splits with only a few seconds variation throughout, sticking close to 8:30 min/mile. Passing 13 miles my legs tightened for a short period, but mentally I was strong enough to stay calm and head for home. I want to log a few more longer runs this block to build my endurance, and this was a good start.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...