Tuesday, February 16, 2016

London Training Week 7 - Keep It Simple Stupid

So the pace did slow marginally this week as I covered exactly the same distance in one more minute. Basically a repeat of last week as far as the big numbers go though.

I can definitely feel myself getting faster now though - my average mileage over 4 weeks is now in the mid-high 80s which means I have a big training load in the system.

When measuring your training volume - it can be very easy to get excited by the fact you have a solid week - what matters more is consistency and that's what I'm finding very pleasing about the below table - that you can see a clear and gradual progression to fitness.

This week was definitely my best training in a long while.

Tuesday I dipped in for part of a track session. The session I'd set for marathon runners was 3 x mile off 90 seconds (with 10k runners doing 5 x mile off 90 seconds - the logic being that for marathon runners this is a small bit of speedwork during the week whilst for 10k runners this should be the primary focus.) - I missed the first lap as I was setting off the other groups and then tucked in for 3 laps, did the second rep and then my calf started to tighten a bit on the third rep (faster) so I eased off.

I know a lot of runners would look at that as a failed session or would have carried on and made sure they finished - for me it was just a chance to stretch my legs which I did nicely.

Thursday I knew I had the race on Saturday so tucked in with the group, did 1.5 miles at 6 minute miling which was a nice effort, some quite reasonable minute reps (moving very well for me) and then another 1.5 miles at the same pace. 6 minute miling was now feeling easier - a good sign I had made some significant progress. Likewise - I was covering the length of the straight in a minute - having trained on these stretches for years I know that means I'm in good nick.

On race day I did a shuffle in the morning and couldn't break 10 minute miling. Not a good sign. I felt better on my run to the race and felt a bit sprightlier. Especially after stopping to take my pro-plus (caffeine is one of the few proven performance enhancers that are legal - it has the effect of reducing the effort of perceived exertion allowing you to push harder for longer).

I went out hard (like I did at the first two races) and found myself in contention for the lead. Perhaps a slightly worrying position for someone who didn't even break the top 100 last time. That said - after my first hard 200m I settled back a bit and into a more consistent pace. I had my plan - hammer it down to the bottom of the common and through the first stretch of mud, ease up the hill and then go hard again on the flat at the top. Whilst runners were streaming past me they weren't doing so *that* fast and I was generally holding on okay.

By the time we hit the end of the first lap I was down in about 32nd and finally holding on - in fact on the next downhill I actually accelerated a bit. Unfortunately on the final hill a few more went past but I came in a fairly happy 41st - well down on my first race in the series (22nd) but still considerably better than my 103rd finish last time around. After a tense evening it was good for us to stay up as a team and I'm looking forward to the challenge of division 1 XC next season and trying to step up and finish in the top 20.

My XC season is now almost over, with a final fixture left of the season at Bishop's Stortford. I won the prior league race at Saffron Walden and am now 2/3 minutes faster over the same distance so am hoping I can produce something a bit special with another few weeks of training.

Sunday I had my best long run in gazonks. Holding on to Gaby as she powered out a solid 10 miles in 71:30 I then kept the pace going. Usually I can't run the day after XC so this was very promising. A solid second 10 in 68:30 before a fast finish meant I had 100 miles on the board and had averaged sub 7mm for a long run. Game on.

Food wasn't as great this week - few nights eating out and beers meant progress slowed slightly. I'm being much more aware this time though and making sure I don't slide back without realising it and staying focused.

Hopefully this will be another solid 90-100 mile week. I have a place for Wokingham Half so currently deciding how I'll race or pace that! Instinct says its too soon for a decent half but it might be a good chance to try and put in a 13 mile marathon pace effort.

Training Table Week 7

Week Commencing Mileage Time Running Average Pace Key Sessions Longest Run Most Efficient Run Sunday Weight
28th December 2015
6h 22m
Newport XC
9.1 miles
952 BPM
11 st 13.25 lbs
4th January 2016
6h 57m
15 miles / 7:21mm
995 BPM
11 st 13 lbs
11th January 2016
8h 20m (+2h XT )
16 miles / 9:12mm
11 st 10.25 lbs
18th January 2016
9h 30m
(+ 6h XT )
9.7 miles / 8:36mm
11 st
8.5 lbs
25th January 2016
11h 40m
(+4h 45m XT )
10.8 miles / 7:57mm
11 st .7.5 lbs
1st February 2016
13h 30m
20.3 miles / 7:19mm
11 st .5.5 lbs
8th February 2016
13h 31m
20.7 miles / 6:58mm
11 st .4.5 lbs

Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.