Dave reckons there’s a close resemblance between me and this…
There was a lot less running this week and I’m conscious there’s only a few short weeks now until the Cardiff Half. Need to buck up my ways!
Tuesday kicked-off with an interval session in Cannon Hill Park. Mike was still away on holiday so this was another solo run to hell and back. The park was unusually busy due to a funfair around the part where I normally do my speedwork so I opted to cover laps of the main path instead. The evening was meant to be 4 x 800m reps at 3:55/km with 1:30 recoveries but what I actually did was 5 x reps! I had lost count due to covering laps and my Garmin confused me by showing 4/5 – had I run 4 reps already or was I about to do my 4th rep? Anyway, I wasn’t completely destroyed after doing 5 reps and I was glad I had it in me to complete the set. My splits were slightly off due to some laps featuring inclines and some featuring descents. The Garmin data can be found here.
Thursday’s prescribed 6 mile run almost didn’t happen. I returned home, with my gear laid out and ready to run but I discovered I had to quickly return something for a refund before the shop closed. By the time I had walked into Brum city centre and back, it was almost 8pm and I still hadn’t eaten since 2pm, bar some sweets. I decided to zip the man-suit up (hands up if you get the Marathon Talk reference) and went out anyway. It was a lot cooler than before with fewer people out and about making for an easier environment. I decided to run the middle miles at around 7:30 threshold pace to build myself back up to half marathon fitness. I had intended to run mile 5 and 6 as a cool-down at 8:00 pace, but the legs simply kept going through mile 5 so I had to dramatically slow mile 6 down. I was really pleased I did the run, throwing some higher quality pace into the mix. Here’s the Garmin data.
New 19:23 PB earned!
I sadly had to miss Cannon Hill Parkrun’s 3rd anniversary. I missed their 2nd anniversary last year because it always happens to fall on the bank holiday weekend when I’m away! Anyway, I was primed and ready to race at Cardiff Parkrun after I had purposely saved myself at Cannon Hill last week. The target was to go sub-19:30 and based on my recent 19:36, all signs were pointing to “yes” on the flatter, faster Cardiff course. The Morgans and I arrived with plenty of time for a warm-up mile before toeing up at the start line. On “go”, we were off and fighting for contention before I found a clearing after 800m or so to settle into my own pace. Before long, I’d gone through my first mile in roughly 6:08, so I was already 10 seconds ahead of schedule but this suited my go out hard and hang on for dear life strategy. My second mile was a shocker, clocking in at 6:28 due to running much of the lap alone. The final mile was hard as always, but my breathing seemed more stable and controlled. The virtual pacer on my Garmin fluctuated between 4 seconds behind and bang on target. I’m not sure if I like the distance markers at Cardiff, where they display 1 – 4km, 800m, 400m, 200m and 100m; some will find these useful whilst others will find them tortuous knowing how much more there is to go when your lungs are on fire and your legs are saturated with lactic acid. I tend to side with the latter, though I did push my cadence up at each marker after 800m. I went for a mad, balls to the wall sprint at the end, looking like Buzz Lightyear according to Dave! 19:23 became my new 5k PB along with a fresh insect bite on my left leg. My Garmin reported that I’d hit a peak heart rate of 203 bpm, so I’ve not been able to reach my max of 206 bpm since my 19:57 at Cannon Hill. I’ve scored more PBs in the last 2 months than I have in all of 2013, so the speedwork intervals are clearly working wonders. I’m genuinely excited by what my body is capable of with the knowledge that there’s a rough 2 week delay between training and the effect of training. Showing RunBritain Rankings’ unpredictability, they’ve ranked my 19:23 PB as my best ever in terms of time and performance against others so I’ve now moved down to a 6.5 handicap score. Here’s the Garmin data from Cardiff Parkrun.
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In other news, I’ve bought a new pair of long run trainers in the guise of Nike’s Pegasus 30s. Both of my Lunarglide 3s are shot in terms of cushioning, where I’ve been slowly starting to feel everything underfoot especially when running on concrete. The Pegasus 30s are a true neutral shoe and I’m looking forward to breaking them in, though this will have to wait until they arrive in the post.
This week’s long run has been postponed to bank holiday Monday, where I will attempt to go the full distance along the Great Birmingham Run route. I’ll throw a few faster miles in during the middle to keep things varied and interesting.