Back in action

It has been quite a crazy week. Very tiring for many reasons, so my running suffered a bit, but I still managed to clock in a total of 65 km.

On Monday I had to skip training as we arrived home from Portugal at 2am. Three hours sleep is not enough to run and then work a full day.

On Tuesday I took it easy as I had not been running for 5 days. So I only did 10 km. I wanted to keep my heart below 140bmp but I forgot to check once in a while and went faster. It was fine, I needed to release some stress.

Wednesday was more interesting. After the usual warm up I did four 5 minutes repeats at 150-158bmp (around 3:45 min/km) with 3 minutes rest.

Then Thursday was the killer day (my favourite type). For two reasons, the training and the weather. It was really cold. The internet said 2 degrees, but I think in some areas it was closer to zero. There was ice on the street! My hands suffered the most, I should have worn gloves, but it feels too early for that! Good thing I covered my head with my new Buff. I am such a trendy runner!
Anyway, I did the usual 20 minutes warm up and then did four 2 minute uphill repeats at a relatively fast speed and then rest on the way down. The heart was racing! I always go up and down the same road when doing hills training when the park is closed. I find it fun to think about the people sleeping in their houses with a mad man running up and down their street.

tinyElevation

Then to finish the day off I did five 1 minute sprints faster than 2:20 min/km with 2 minutes rest. It felt good.

Friday on the other hand I felt really lazy and when I woke up, heard the heavy rain falling, felt a little pain in my right leg/hip, I thought about the day ahead and decided to sleep more.

That was a good call as on Saturday I felt fresh and ready for my long run. I decided to run less than the last long run but do at least 30 kilometres. As I will be running the Dirt Running Half Challenge next week end I wanted to try and run a bit faster than I usually do in my long runs. I aimed to always stay at around 4:30 min/km. I did 31km, beating my 30km personal best, in the rain, mud, wind and then sunshine. The bit that hurt the most was my right shoulder. I am really weak if I cannot carry a water bottle for 2 hours!
It was a lot of fun, felt good and I did not suffer from my usual endless hiccups in the afternoon.

Next week I will take it easy before the race on Saturday, but I am very much looking forward to run with my new Asics Nimbus 16.

nimbus16

Yes, I went back to my favourite shoes. It is probably my 8th pair. I liked the Brooks Glycerine I was running in, but not as much as the Nimbus. Let’s see how they go next week. I am not abandoning Brooks, I still have my Cascadia for my long Saturday’s runs (where I try to run on trails as much as possible) and they will play an important role on next Saturday’s race.

Have fun!

Three hours (failed)

It has been a tough week. The race on Sunday was amazing, but took its toll.

Monday I had some rest after the race. I was ok but my right foot was not perfect, luckily the issue only lasted one day.

On Tuesday I did an easy run with 20″ fast sprints every 5 minutes. I still was not in a good shape (the first 20 minutes my legs and abs were shouting “running again!”) so I did only 10km in a sort of fartlek.

Wednesday after the usual 20 minutes warm up I was supposed to do 5 intervals of 3 minutes each below 3:40 min/km (with 2′ rest) but I only ended up doing 4 and then run very fast home for belly problems.

Thursday: 13km easy. I was feeling better.

Friday: my favourite training, hilly intervals. Again I went to Kingston Hill (very quite at 5:45am, no one is around) and did 7 one minute uphill sprints followed by 2 minutes downhill rest. After those kind of training I usually go home very happy, ready for a nap on the train to work.

Saturday was the big day. I planned on doing 3 hours of straight running, aiming to run at least 35km. Sadly it did not happen. It could have been because I had a couple of beers the day before or the fact it was a surprisingly hot morning. I even bought a brand new UltrAspire hand held bottle and I felt really professional, but no, I failed in my intent. I think I was still very tired from the race and had not allowed for enough recovery time. I ended up running 2 hours and a half, for a total of 31.5km, suffering from the sixth km to the end.

Next week is going to be a more relaxing week, with only 4 days of running so I will try again to run 3 hours on Saturday. Check this blog next week to see if I succeed!

 

New distance record

Nothing special happened this week. Training went well, I ran a total of 83.6Km this week. It has been a week with a bit more speed than the others, which I enjoy.

Monday after the warm up I did 3 x 2′ fast repeats (3:45 min/Km). Tuesday was warm up and then 8 x 10″ super fast sprints (faster than 2:40 min/Km). Wednesday was an easy day, 13 slow kilometres.

Thursday was a lot of fun as it was all about repeats again, but this time going uphill. I went to Kingston Hill just outside Richmond Park which unfortunately is closed at that time on the morning (and it is now too dark anyway). I only managed to do 5 instead of the 8 I had to do as I woke up 15 minutes too late and I was running out of time, but I really enjoy those kind of training days.

updown

Friday was terrible. I don’t know why, but the GPS was all over the place. Luckily the training was based on running 20 minutes fast, the distance did not matter, but I hate when I cannot collect data from my runs.

And then today was the long run. Fantastic day. It started very sunny but by the time I was home it was raining (I love running in the rain). I did 30Km in 2 hours 20 minutes. I took it easy as I never ran that distance (28Km was my previous record and it resulted in a plantar fasciitis). So I ran at a an average pace of 4:40 min/Km, trying to keep the heart at around 140bpm as suggested by the training plan. There were something like 3 different races happening at Richmond Park and it was the 10th anniversary of Bushy Parkrun so it was a very busy day in both parks, runners everywhere.

Now I am going to rest and eat like a pig to get back those 2Kgs I burnt today. I also bought a foam roller, so I will try that this evening.

Next week I will run a bit less to have more energy for Sunday, ready for the Garmin Kingston Run.

Have fun!

Holidays and Trails

I’ll try to post at least once a week with updates on my training and various news. I might be posting more often is something interesting happens.

The big news this week is that I decide to prepare for an Ultra (as mentioned in the intro post) and I want to do a Trail one. Also because I enjoyed very much the Wimbledon Half Marathon, which was basically a trail half marathon (finished 12th).

The plan is to try and get a place at the NDW50 in May 2015. There are only 250 places so I might not manage to get it. I will have to find another one, but I am so pumped for it that I will be very sad if I don’t get in.

The inspiration for this plan is my good friend Davide (4th place at the Lakeland100 2014). It’s all his fault. I hope he will come to the NDW50.

As I have always been a road runner (even if most of the time I run on trails in Bushy or Richmond Park) I had to get some trail shoes to get me started. I opted for the Brooks Cascadia.

twoshoes

Road or trail running?

This week I started my 10 days summer holiday and flew to Liguria in Italy. I’ve been running a lot here, but always on the same sea side routes. This summer, equipped with the Cascadia, I explored the hills overlooking the sea.

Amazing views and a totally different way of running. I have to get used to run at variable speed.

I have alternated one day road running / one day trail running.

A had fun on the road with another Davide, he is the guy that introduced me to running and got me into my first team. We went for a slow run on the cliffs, Slow because it was too early for him and we talked too much as we had not seen each other for 2 years.

The best trail run I had this week was this one, 20k with 986mt elevation.

I even saw a couple of deer, smaller than the Bushy park ones I am used too, but wilder. I also had to learn to run carrying water with me. I never had too, but it was very hot!

I am here for one more week. I intend to explore the hills more as I am sure that there are more trails to try.

Take care!