This week’s running – 16th to 21st of February 2015

Not my best week of running, no sir-ee! And apologies for the late entry – a business trip to Germany got in the way…

10k with 5 miles steady

It’s been a real grind at work, project-wise. Tuesday should have been a fartlek sesh, but I wasn’t in the right place for it, mentally, so I re-jigged it into a steady run at what I guess could be classed as my marathon pace.

I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth it all felt, considering I rarely ever run in the 7:20s to 7:30s these days. I’m a huge believer in running my hard runs hard and my easy runs easy, which normally sees my long runs in the 8:XXs and the harder runs in the 6:XXs.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

5k from work

Remarkably, the head torch wasn’t needed at all as I ran home from Smethwick along the canal. I look forward to the day when I can complete a few evening sessions at Edgbaston Reservoir in natural light!

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

Due to my early doors flight to Germany on Sunday, I chose to move my long run to Saturday as a priority – the Silverstone Half looms ever closer. Conscious that I’d not volunteered much of late, I offered up my services and became funnel manager for the morning. It always makes me smile when I volunteer because people automatically assume I’m injured!

The role was one I had never acted out before; I normally settled on simple marshalling, barcode scanning or the data junkie’s favourite of result processor. All I had to do was make sure people stayed in the correct finish order as they moved their way through the funnel – simples, or so I thought…

Where I was stood offered a cracking view of all the runners coming through. Some made it look effortless and others were on the brink of collapse as they crossed the line.

On the whole, most people followed the instructions to stay in the correct order. A select few were less obedient and wanted to jump the funnel queue, clearly not understanding how the finish tokens pair up with their own barcodes to produce times and finish positions.

11 miles with 2x miles at half marathon pace

Bar the occasions when I’ve tapered for a race, I’m not usually all that fresh ahead of my long runs. With no Parkrun or speed work prior to the 11 miles, my legs were feeling very fresh with a certain spring and bounce to each step.

The plan was to head out towards Bournville/Stirchley and back via the canal. I knew I definitely wanted to run 2x isolated miles at my target half marathon pace of 6:35 per mile as a gauge of effort. 13.1 miles of these bad boys and a 1:26 half marathon will be mine!

As hinted at earlier, I wasn’t expecting my legs to feel as good as they did and it wasn’t long before I found myself regularly covering splits of 7:20 to 7:30 per mile on a training run. Even the splits immediately after the 6:35 miles remained in-line and felt comfortable!

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

And here’s this week’s delayed entry from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:

Have a mantra

“Nothing worthwhile is easy.”… “Do it for [insert name here].”… “One more mile.”… “Loose and strong.”

No matter what phrase you choose, it’s always nice to have a mantra to fall back on when the going gets tough. Repeating the same few words to yourself can serve as a focal point – or as a distraction, depending on how you look at it. This works even better if you use the same mantra during hard workouts and long runs during training. (Some folks – myself included – will tell you that finding and using a good mantra should, in fact, be part of your training.)

A single word can be just as effective, by the way. Smooth, for example. Or light. Or beer. (But not lite beer. That’s just weak.)

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