Training wake up call

I hauled myself out of bed at 6am this morning, in order to coffee up for my 7.30am training session in the park with Adam this morning.

Two long intervals, two medium, two short, two sprints and plenty of lunges, press ups and dips off benches in between.

The long intervals were the killers. Me focusing on the trees thinking ‘I can, I can, yes I can, don’t think about the hill that comes next, no don’t. Can… can…’ Sounds frightful, I guess, but it’s quite buoying because the ‘canning’ is being confirmed by ‘doing’. Anyway, you get the picture – plenty of perceived effort on my part. By that I mean plenty of ‘seriously mate, about to vomit here’-ness going on even though, in my head, anyway, I wasn’t performing anything like my best. Apparently my first long interval over 0.8 of a mile was 7m36s. I guess the heat makes you go faster but my goodness it takes it out of you because it was all pretty gah/urgh/bleugh from there on in.

Lessons learned:

  • black coffee not good on empty stomach when running (I do know this, but my idiot brain is in charge at 6am),
  • heat is not my best suit for exercise (nor is my Stella McCartney for adidas top which is nicely cut and all but has nowhere to mop sweat without my revealing the spare tyre acquired in bars of Heidelberg last week) and
  • perhaps mixed beans and lentils are not the ideal basis for an evening meal when you are running hard the next day (I know this as well, what is wrong with me?! And no do NOT ask about the near death by mortification I could have endured here).

But the good thing I did get was if you stretch enough afterwards everything does, pretty much, snap back into place. Those twinges are just tight muscles, they are not ‘pain’ and should not be indulged as such.

Adam’s off to Canada now for two and a half weeks, visiting family, which sounds bliss. (Yes I know I haven’t finished this holiday yet – shut up)

But he’s given me homework, so it’s not like I have nothing to do.

Hip stretches, every day
Hip strengtheners, twice daily
Long lunges, slow, controlled, daily
Squats, daily
One-legged squats, hips even, straight and forward
Clams – twice daily (!)

Work on pace and endurance – running – three times a week

Should keep me out of mischief…

Running in rotten weather

Firstly, big shout out for iddex today who is running in the Manchester marathon right now in what can only be described as… crap weather.

It’s raining, it’s lashing down. Sometimes it’s sleeting and it’s hideously windy. The man is a real trouper going out in this – I admire his determination, never mind he can actually run 26 miles. The marathon is an incredible feat of mental strength as well as physical endurance. And running in today’s weather he requires gills and fins.

I know how crappy the weather is today because I was out training earlier for an hour.

I have to say my Alpha Me was more interested in staying curled up under the duvet than heading out into sleet this morning.

Along the way I spotted flowers out and I thought, ‘well, if a bluebell can survive in this weather, i probably can’.






And some forget-me-nots

Aren’t they pretty? The weather may be wintery but it’s lovely to see more greenery and there’s something so charming about flowers growing along the pathways.

Running training was a bit full-on today. As I had a weights session on Monday, today was intervals at real pace. An eight-minute mile, two nines, working on form and breath control.

Remember the other week when I did this and I was running 7.5 minute miles? Turned out I’d misunderstood – I was running at 7.5mph pace, but for two-thirds of a mile, not the whole mile. So apologies for giving the impression I’m faster than I am.

We then did some sprints for the last 15 minutes. Apparently I have really powerful acceleration. Adam keeps going on about how strong my legs are now. This is all thanks to squats and lunges, folks. They do form the backbone of my strength training and they definitely pay off. I hated them to start with, but I’ve got the hang of them now I’m stronger, they really are worth persevering with.

My homework: keep doing what you’re doing – one set of intervals, one long run. Don’t up your mileage, don’t do anything new. Steady as we go.

Interval training homework: C –

As I dragged myself up the hill, home past the church, I pondered why my interval session had been, pretty much, an unmitigated disaster.

Was I trying? Yes I was.

Was I pushing myself to keep going? Yes I was.

I’ve no idea what’s wrong with me. Just a duff running day.

My interval homework, set my running trainer Adam, was a set of out-of-comfort-zone speed runs from one minute up to five minutes. The best I could do; two minutes. My legs just refused to carry me at pace for three minutes and so I spend 40 minutes doing one minute pace runs with two-minute recovery jogs and 30 second sprints with minute-and-a-half recovery jogs. Not exactly what I as supposed to be doing but better than nothing.

This guy, Samuel Harvel, is a running coach who is good at talking through how interval training improves performance. Of course, he has a running track at his disposal so 400m intervals are easy. For those of us who have the streets, or in my case today, the trails around the river Mersey up to Didsbury, timed intervals are easiest.

River Mersey at Northenden

Where I run

But at least the sun was shining, there was a hint of Spring in the air, and as Scarlet said: tomorrow is another day.