This week’s running – 14th to 20th of July

Birmingham canals

The home of many a long run

This was an odd week without much to report…

4x 1 mile reps

Having conquered the sub-19 minute 5k challenge I had set myself, I swiftly moved my training attention to a sub-40 10k – the toughest goal for me to achieve according to the McMillan pace calculator for races.

I last ran 4x 1 mile reps a couple of weeks ago on fresh Sunday morning legs and it was tough; how would I fare on tired legs after work? I jogged over to Edgbaston Reservoir and kicked off the first rep at target 10k race pace. Unlike my 800m rep sessions, I really felt out of sorts with the mile and ended up running it about 10 seconds off target. Not a major problem – I simply wrote it off as getting into my stride. Reps 2 and 3 were much more like it, nailing the pace and feeling much more in tune with the effort required. The 4th and final rep was torturous and I wanted to jack it all in by the halfway mark. Looking at my final splits, I am very pleased to see a nice consistency that should pave the way for very good autumn 10k and half marathon campaigns.

Here’s the Garmin data for this session.

10k out and back along the canals

Fancying a change of scenery, I opted to head out for a 10k along Birmingham’s waterways. I wanted to complete this run by feel with no pressure to perform. Turned out I was feeling pretty damn good! One mile was under 7 minutes and another just over, with most of the remaining splits hovering at around 7:30 minutes – pretty nuts for a simple mid-week run. I felt fine afterwards and despite not wearing a heart rate monitor, I’m almost certain it would have shown effort levels of somewhere between 75% and 80% of max.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

3x 800m reps aka “power racing”

On Friday night, we all had a good chuckle when Lis’ mum queried whether I would be “power racing” in the morning. Sounds extreme!

During last week’s long run, I’d clocked a nice, flat stretch of road for 800m reps. Due to another wedding that Lis and I were due to attend (Jane and Martin’s), I chose not to visit Newport Parkrun to keep timings sensible.

After an initial warm-up, I thought it would be the perfect time to re-calibrate my footpod. Worryingly, it went from 991 on the previous calibration to 1088; should I simply average the two out?

Reps 1 and 2 were bang on the money for pace and distance. Rep 3 was all over the bleeding shop, with the pace suddenly going from 0-1 second ahead to 7 seconds behind. The distance of the rep was benchmarked beforehand on the earlier rep and what I can’t get my head around is how the Garmin managed to cock up the tracking on a long, straight road with no near-by obstructions! In the end, I had to manually intervene and press the lap button. I know it makes no difference to the actual speedwork carried out but it still doesn’t stop me from wanting my splits to look tidy and symmetrical.

Here’s the Garmin data for this session.

10 miles out and back along the canals

With the autumn A-race of the Cardiff Half Marathon quickly looming, I’ve started to prioritise a bit of distance on the Sunday runs.

When warm and dry, the canals out towards Bournville are really rather pleasant to run along. Little did I know, large chunks of it had been hacked up as part of a bid to improve cycling around Birmingham – had I have run 200m further on Thursday evening, I’d have known to wear my trail shoes instead! The small parts that had been repaved with tarmac were fantastic underfoot with a nice, stable surface to plant my feet down on. Apparently, the stretch will be closed off to the public for seven weeks until the project is completed. Oh well, gonna have to find an alternative long run route; perhaps I’ll give the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon course a try…

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Time for this week’s entry from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:

A PR is a PR forever, but…

You may advertise a personal record (PR) time, or otherwise claim it as your own with no further explanation or context, for 2 years after setting it.

After 2 years, however, it becomes uncool to tell people, “My marathon PR is 3:12” without providing a disclaimer – e.g., “My marathon PR is 3:12, but I ran that 63 years ago.”

In short: A PR has a shelf life of years. After that, it’s still a PR – just with an asterisk.

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