Apologies for lack of blogging recently but some injuries have been my despair and with a bit more going on at work time for blogging has been at a premium.
Last week I ran Reading Half and paced my girlfriend round her first half. I was really hoping to try and run something fast here but with my ankle playing up after the Surrey County Champs I just haven't been able to put in anything like the training I would need to do to run at that level. As it was I really enjoyed pacing Hayley around and enjoying the atmosphere of the event. Considering my longest run in months had been about 8 miles easy running a full half (if that's not an oxymoron...) was a bit of a challenge and I felt it in the last 3 miles.
This week I went to the Brockwell Parkrun 5k which is only a couple of miles from my house but for one reason or another I rarely manage to get to. The start was relatively slow with a group of 4 or 5 of us running together for the first few minutes. We were probably running well outside 18 minute pace to give you an idea. At the top of the hill (yes - two significant hills at Brockwell!) it had slimmed down to just me and one other guy. I just touched the accelerators a few times and the other guy came with me. I then put my foot down and managed to get a small gap and then started running hard. As we came through the end of the first lap I had a gap of about 30m. I then tried to ease off but annoyingly given my current fitness even easing off a bit I don't recover at pace like I used to. I pretty much cruised in for the rest of the race for a comfortable if slow win in 17:09 by about 30 seconds.
Big thanks to the Brockwell organisers for putting the race on. I hope to now be a regular at this and the Dulwich Parkrun which starts shortly.
As to training - well, my main aim is just to avoid getting injured. Everyone who knows me is well aware that when I'm not injured for 6 months or so I start getting faster. My training at the moment is therefore pretty minimal and will likely remain so until I feel considerably stronger and have built my body up a bit more. In the meantime I'm combining cross-training on the exercise bike with harder running to try and reduce the likelihood of spraining anything. Generally my muscles seem pretty resilient but my tendons go at the drop of a pin.
This may mean ultimately I don't run as fast as I can but I've also taken the view that a) I'll never be a world-beater and b) what makes me happy is running (relatively) fast on a regular basis with good friends. So if I can get to the state where I can year around run around 32 minutes for 10k I'll be quite happy. Obviously I hope that just being uninjured will get me running faster anyway!
A big part of this is doing a lot of running untimed without distances, paces and without tracking weekly mileage. Controversial I know but a lot of my injuries seem to have come from chasing mileage. That's not necessarily from mileage itself but not being willing to ease up when my body is telling me so because it'll hurt my weekly mileage. The knowledge that a week of easy running (or just cycling) won't slow me down much at all should be a big help.
Right - that's about it. As always any thoughts or opinions more than welcome. Training diaries back up soon.