The speed is back

Here is a quick report of the last two weeks. Again I concentrated on speed works.

The first week I ran a total of 90km.

I did 10 easy km on Monday and 15k on Tuesday at 4:34 min/km (which is good considering all the beer I drank the day before).

Wednesday way interval training day: 3k WU + 5x(1000@3:50 + 2’r) + 1.5k CD. Painful but good.15 more km on Thursday (at 4:29, notice how I am trying to keep a decent pace every day now).

Friday was the painful day. After 3.5km of warm up I ran 10k at a pace faster than 4:00 min/km. I managed to do it. I ran the second half faster too.Good training for my next half marathon. I also purchased a second pair of Saucony Zealot. I love those shoes, but the first pair had given it all after 900+ km.

For the week-end we went to the Isle of Wight and ran on the country roads on Saturday (11k) and on the coast trails on Sunday (12k). Beautiful place. It is worth going back to explore the trails and maybe see some sunshine!

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After a day of rest I went out for a quick run on Tuesday (11k at 4:18). Legs felt good. On Wednesday I ran my usual 15k, finishing with some sprints. I added to that another 15k run on Thursday and took it easy with 10k on Friday.

On Saturday I ran the Bushy Park Parkrun to test whether the latest sessions of speed training had helped.

You can see a video here.I am the one with the black t-shirt and dark blue hat at around the 12th position. And in 12th position is where finished. In 18:10 which is exactly my PB from last year. Which only means one thing: my speed is back, I am as fast as last year even after all those long long runs. I am very happy.

On Sunday I ran 22k at 4:24 to feel cool and complete another 90km week.

Next week I will take it easy as I taper for the Richmond Park Half Marathon on Sunday.

But the most important and thrilling piece of news is that I found my next big challenge. I was looking for something as big as the NDW50 for the second part of the year and decided to enter The Druids Challenge. It will be the first time I take part in a multistage event. Running 3 ultras in 3 days (84 miles in total) will need some serious training. I cannot wait!

Have fun!

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!

Bad start, new PB

This week started pretty bad. I was not feeling too well on Sunday afternoon but despite the nausea I ate a lot of pizza for dinner. 30 minutes later I was regretting it big time. I spent half the night in the toilet and then Monday I was KO and spent most of the day sleeping. A real shame as last week’s 80+ km were something I really wanted to build on.

Tuesday obviously I did not run as I was still not 100% fit.
Wednesday I wanted to do the 1 mile test as suggested by the plan in The Cool Impossible. I went out even if I was still a bit weak and after 5k or so of warm up I tried to do 1 mile as fast as I could. Disaster. Last summer before starting this training regime I did the 1 mile in 5:22. This time it took me 5:37.
I then ran back home sad and beaten. I was so weak that I really struggled on the last 2k. The fog was coming up but it felt like my eyes were getting foggy and I was going to faint. Not a nice situation to be in.
I then took two decisions. The first was to ignore this 1 mile test and the second was to rest a bit and only run again on Saturday.
I though that there was no point in doing the 20 minutes test either. It would not have been indicative.

I decided to do the Bushy Parkrun on Saturday. I went to do it with my brother in law who was visiting us for the week end and I wanted to show him all the nice places I run in and how friendly the parkrun people are.
We warmed up for 2k and I then did the race. I like parkruns. I don’t do them often as on Saturday I prefer to do a long run, but if there is a good occasion I do one.
My previous PB was 18:30. I am glad to say I smashed it by 20 seconds! I really gave it all I could and finished 13th overall (3rd in my category).
We then ran back home via the river, 7.5 more kms, slowly recovering from the speedy 5k.

Not much running this week but with a new 5k PB I cannot complain.

I decided to use those 18:10 as my 20 minutes test. Last time I did it I had an average of 159 BPM. This time 171 BMP! A lot more. I always thought that the first test did not come out well and the resulting heart zones were too low. That’s why I tweaked them a bit. This time the heart zones are more interesting and I am sure come next week the second part of The Cool Impossible training will see me running a lot faster!

The marathons are getting closer!

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.

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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!