In search of speed

As promised I have not been very active on this blog for a while after the NDW50 climax. It is in a way a reflection of my state. After months of trepidation and preparation, after finishing the 50 miles I did not have anything “big” to look forward. I felt a bit empty. I am running 2 half and a full marathon in the next 2 months, but they are not the same as preparing for an ultra. I missed a bit having that event to look forward to.

That did not stop me from enjoying running and I kept training at least 6 times a week. I ran less, but faster. I have worked on trying to get some speed back in my legs. I slowed down quite a lot in the final months before the NDW50. I have been looking at my Strava from last year and I was at least 15 sec/km faster in all my training sessions. So I made sure to have at least one interval session a week and if possible a tempo run.

The first week I did an easy 10k run on Tuesday, a speed session on Wednesday (3k WU + 5x(500m at<3:40 + 1:30r) + 4k CD. Then on Thursday I did 15k but I was really tired. I did a sort of progressive run.

On Friday I did a 5k warm up and then 5k going at 3:50 min/km. I was quite tired by the end of the week but I decided to test my speed by taking part in the Bushy Park Parkrun that I had not done in ages. They had to change the course so I was curious to try it. It is still a very nice run except for a bit at the start where if you do not run at 3:30 min/km you might find yourself stuck with a lot of people going through a small grassy area.
I enjoyed it a lot. I did not do my PB but I was close. I finished 14th overall in 18:20. I was first in my age category which is a nice thing. I ran most of the race with a 13 year old kid that was very impressive. I overtook him the first km and thought I would never see him again and instead he steadily caught up with me and finished 2 positions ahead. Nice one!

The day after I had a little accident. I wanted to go for a long run but I was really tired. So much so that I was not careful enough and kicked a rock and tumbled on the ground, in the mud. I got up and washed my bloody hands and knees in the river Thames and started running again as if nothing had happened, but I was not feeling too good. I only run 15 more km and went home. My left toe was not in a good shape and when I removed my socks I was scared of what I would find. It was not too bad but it affected the next week.

Overall it was an 85k week, shame for the Sunday fall.

The second week of my speed training started badly. On Tuesday  I did 10k in the rain and wind to see if my toe was ok. It was not too bad but I ran with a different form and ended up making my ankle hurt a lot. I could not walk by the end of the day. So I rested for one day and ran again on Thursday and did 15k to get rid of all the thai food and beer I had the day before with my wife.
On Friday I did 12 more km, at a relatively quick pace. Saturday I went for a longer run. I had not run more than 15k for quite a bit, so it was good to go out for longer. I did 31k at 4:44 . Wonderful sunny day on the river. Loved it. I completed the week with 15k at 4:27. I was definitely feeling better and getting over the toe issue.

And so I completed another 85k week. I was quite happy with the average weekly pace increase.

Next week I will keep on working on speed and see if I can get some nice results.

Have fun!

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