Training is going very well, this week I ran a total of 82km which is a record for me. Now I only have to be able to do the same in a single day in 8 months time.
I am very happy I managed to stay consistent for the whole month (as the image below shows). So far increasing the distance I run has made me want to run even more, no negative side effects.
Monday I did 13km of fartlek alternating easy sub 140bmp (my heart rate zone 2) sections with 20″ sprints roughly every 5 minutes. It has been fun.
Tuesday was nothing special while Wednesday was a killer. 15 minutes of warm up with some sprints and then 8 x 2′ at 3:45 min/km with 2′ rest. By the fifth one the rest interval seemed too short but I managed to always keep the right speed (except in the one before last, due to some movements in the belly 🙂 ).
If doing speed training on Wednesday was not enough I also decided to do some cross training and went for a swim in the evening. I am not a good swimmer at all, but after my eldest “semi-pro” daughter told me how to fix my head and breathing problem I feel a lot more confident and powerful. I have always finished a pool length feeling like I was dying. Now in the bits where I breath in I feel like I am really pushing well into the water. Anyway I did not do much, 30 lengths (6 breaststroke and 24 front crawl).
Thursday was the recovery day. I only ran 6.5km and quite slowly. So as I had more time before leaving the house I did some abs work: 2 minutes plank, 1:20 side plank (each side), 100 crunches, 100 bicycle crunches. I do abs every morning as part of my warm up sequence (not as many as on Thursday) and it is really helping me keep the correct running form in the long runs. I think I should do more exercises, but I really cannot find much time left in the day.
Then Friday arrived and I realised that Wednesday was not the week’s killer. Friday was! After the usual 15′ warm-up plus a couple of sprints I then did 5 x 1′ at a speed between 3:20 and 3:30 min/km, which is fast with 1:30 rest between them and then (and this was the fun part) 5 x 30″ at a speed between 3:00 and 3:20 min/km plus 2′ rest. I like speed training a lot.
Saturday was the long run. I was supposed to run 15′ longer than last week. I ended up doing a bit more, for a total of 25km. I tried to keep a steady slow pace, but my heart settled to <140bmp only after 20km and I was running faster than the first kilometres! I stayed on trails (Richmond and Bushy Park) as much as possible, wearing the Brooks Cascadia. The more I use them the more I love them. Today I ran on roads, mud, gravel and grass and in all these conditions the Cascadia have a fantastic grip. Plus they feel like having the right amount of cushioning and protection for me and have no fear for my right foot old plantar fasciitis pain residue, even when running on pebbles which is usually something I suffer on.
Overall it has been the best week of training so far: 2 fast days, 3 slow/recovery days and a very nice long run. I still have to understand my heart beats. I think I am running too slow compared to what I used to do. I really hope it will help in the long run (no pun intended), but for now I am struggling to keep in the heart zones I should be in and I hope all this slow running does not affect my speed in the road half-marathons I am going to do soon.
Keep reading this boring list of things I do if you want to know how it all ends.