Week Commencing 11th January 2010
AM: 39 @ 8:05 - nice to get 40 done pain-free.
PM: 60 on Ex. Bike - included a 1k hard burst (1:09/1:10)
AM: 45 on Ex. Bike
PM: 41:45 steady @ 6:12 - Quicker run around hilly Saffron Walden - was running with Nick till about halfway till he unfortunately managed to hurt his calf.
AM: 28:02 easy @ 7:26 - Run around very snowy Uni Parks and out back with Hayley- nice run. Still no pain/soreness.
AM: Rest- drove back from Ox - meant to be training at Cambridge track for a Paul Evans flying coach visit but he cancelled.
AM: 15:51 wu / 15:21 tempo @ 5:26 / 17:26 wd - First tempo run back - pace was fairly reasonable - obviously short for this one but good to be moving at pace again.
PM: Ex. Bike - 60 @ 1:52/km - included a 1km burst at 1:07/1:08 - personal best by 3 seconds.
AM: 15:54 wu / 30:18 AT @ 5:48 /15:40 wd - felt much more relaxed on this run than yesterday- target pace was around 6:00 for a steady but was a bit quick- need to get used to doing runs like this in normal weeks with sessions.
PM: Ex Bike - 60
AM: 15 wu, 30 LT @ 6:07 (XC- heavy mud), 15 wd - 1st place at Ware XC - Striders won mens and womens team races!
PM: Ex Bike - 60 @ 1:51/km - last few minutes a bit quicker
Total: Running - 279 minutes (~ 37 miles) / Biking 285 minutes
Total Volume = 564 minutes
Summary: Not quite the running or cycling volume I wanted but it ended up being quite a good week in the end with a nice split between the two. The start of the week was about making sure I was good to run 40 minutes and trying a bit of marginally faster running again - job done with a decent Tuesday run. Then took two days relatively easy as I was driving a lot, away so couldn't use my ex. bike and then when I got back late Thursday my "test" session was cancelled. Middle of the week was a nice break though to make sure there weren't any flare ups from the faster running on Tuesday and stopped the constant "faster or longer" trend.
Last section of the week I was really quite pleased with. Friday was a solid "tester" but I was very worried with how intense 5:26 pace felt (as Tuesday had felt tough as well) - that said it was the first time running sub 6 pace in a couple of weeks and it was solo. Saturday was pretty much the golden run where everything slotted back into place. 5:48 pace felt very relaxed and I was cruising along comfortably for half an hour with the run totally the hour. Usual service resumed!
The race was an odd one- in recent years I've been really bad at just sitting in during races till really very late on and the then trying to make a break for it. I almost seem scared of leading these days which seems crazy given I used to be a committed front runner. I think it's partly because the perceived effort level just goes up massively even if I'm not running that fast! Whilst this is a very legitimate tactic at elite level it sometimes seems a bit poor in lower level races. This race starts directly through a muddy very tight bottle neck so I went hard from the start, got to be first through the bottle-neck and found myself about 10-20m clear.
At this point I had the option of either drifting back or pushing on and I decided to push on (partly in the vain hope that my reputation (when I'm fit) at this level might mean they'd just let me go!) - accelerating along a downhill and fairly rapidly getting about 50m lead over Steve Prosser. Usually either a Herts Phoenix or BSRC team-mate but today a rival! Steve was fresh off a very good Essex league result where he beat (what must be a very unfit!) Adam Hickey and got 16th place 10 places clear of the winner of the previous race of this league. I eased up slightly on the basis that I didn't want to run myself into the ground and let him zip past later on and concentrating on moving through the mud as economically as possible over the very muddy fields. I must have put some decent space on though as about a mile later when I sneaked a peak going around a corner Steve had dropped well back and Andrew Mynott my new Striders team-mate fresh off a 56:39 run at the tough Buntingford 10m course had moved up remarkably well after a slow start.
At this point I had something like 100m or so lead (maybe marginally more) and really just settled into cruise control - the course itself is a tough course compared to most XCs (muddy fields over the whole first half and gravelly for a fair bit of the second half making spike choice a sod). I did have to stop for a second to re-do some laces on my spikes but I started enjoying it maybe a mile or so from the finish... Maybe a little too much!
I was very relaxed over the second half of the race.
This week was an interesting one as I actually ran not far off a normal training week just with Aerobic and Lactate Threshold runs instead of sessions and biking every day for 60 minutes instead of a recovery run. I'm not totally sure how useful the biking is but that said it gets my legs just gently turning over.
I'm interesting in seeing just how significant the training difference would be with running sessions/steady running every evening and just a 60 minute cycle instead of a 40 minute recovery run most days. I can't imagine the difference would be that huge (especially given I run usually 8:30-9:30 pace usually on these morning runs) and the decrease in the amount of pounding the legs takes is substantial. Certainly something to consider for the future...
As regards next week- my plan is to hit around 60-70 miles with the biking continuing to replace recovery running where appropriate. The big change will be doing sessions on Tuesday/Thursday and getting a long run in again on Sunday.