This week’s running – 30th of June to 6th of July

I feel a bit like this at the moment...

I feel a bit like this at the moment…

This week was about training a little too hard, racing and winning of a different kind.

4x 800m reps at Edgbaston Reservoir

Tuesday’s session was a toughie. That lie-in on Sunday helped but I still didn’t feel as fresh as I would have liked – the downside of regular racing. I just about managed to nail the paces for the reps but I was definitely on that knife edge of over-doing it. I think for the next 800m rep session, I will aim to run 5x but scale the pace back a touch for a better mix of endurance and speed.

Here’s the Garmin data for this session.

6 miles along Hagley Road

I’ve been training in racing flats and low-heel drop trail shoes for the last couple of months and the strength in my calf muscles has really developed for a more pronounced forefoot strike – a bit of a change to the more relaxed mid-foot strike during my marathon training where energy preservation was the goal. With this renewed interest in low-heel drop shoes, I decided to break out my old Nike Freerun shoes (AKA Nike Free 5.0 based on current nomenclature) to see how they would fare. Big mistake! I retired them for a reason and that’s because they were poor fitting and speeded up callus formation on my feet. Back of the shoe collection they shall return!

With or without the Nike Freerun shoes, the run itself wasn’t great – I knew early on that I was in for a rough ride whilst running down Newhall Hill and still felt the effects of an incoming headwind. The same headwind also caught me on the uphill out portion of Broad Street and Hagley Road, with no tailwind benefit on the return.

The lack of long runs lately had also started to show cracks in my overall endurance. Unfortunately, I had the Wythall Hollywood 10k that weekend and I’m away in Wales for the next two weekends, so anything longer than 7 miles will be difficult to come by.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

With the Wythall Hollywood 10k the following day, I really didn’t want to go nuts and push myself too hard, so a gentler run with Nigel (recovering from a dodgy knee) was the order of the day. Despite the more relaxed pace, things still felt off in terms of effort level. In hindsight, I really should have taken the day off from running.

Due to needing to catch a train to Manchester later that morning, I had to make my quickest exit from Parkrun in a long while, reminding me of my early days when I simply used to turn up, run and then go home.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Wythall Hollywood 10k

For the full write-up of my time at the Wythall Hollywood 10k, please click here.

Sainsbury’s Summer Series

So, what have Sainsbury’s got to do with running? Well, they are sponsoring a number of athletics events for the second year (I think?) and they’re laying on a promotion to win tickets to some of these via a scratch card.

Revealing the code beneath the card and then entering it into the Sainsbury’s website, I managed to win some tickets! They will be for the Birmingham Grand Prix or the IPC Grand Prix (I don’t get a choice) at Alexander Stadium and thankfully, they’re on the Sunday/Monday just after I get back from Spain.

Thank you Sainsbury’s!

It’s that time of the week again for an entry from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:

There will always be someone slower than you

Many would-be runners are deterred by the conviction that they’re too slow, and the fear that they ever enter a race, they’ll surely finish last. This is nonsense.

The fact is that there is always someone slower than you.

“But surely,” you must be thinking, “somewhere in the world there exists a runner so very pokey that he or she is the slowest runner in the world. By definition, there can be no one slower than this poor bastard.”

Well, first if all, watch the language. And second, no, this is not the case. There is someone slower than the slowest person and someone slower than that person.

Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how this is possible, but that’s the reality.

So if you’re looking for an excuse not to run, keep looking.

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