This week’s running – 2nd to 8th of March 2015

Hannibal and Andy love a plan

Hannibal and Andy both love it when a plan comes together!

This was the first uninterrupted week of running for a long while!

10k fartlek

Despite getting back into the swing of things with the fartlek session, the intensity didn’t feel any easier due mainly to the relentless headwind that battered me senseless whilst also on the uphill drag of Hagley Road.

I felt drained afterwards and probably pushed a little too hard. All of this in preparation for the Silverstone Half…

Here’s the data for this run.

This run also served as a candidate to break-in my Adidas Adios Boost 2s…

Adidas Adios Boost 2 thoughts

Adios Boost 2

Adios Boost 2 – a nice upgrade over the original Adios Boost

I picked the Adios Boost 2s up last summer whilst they were on sale and stored them away for a rainy day. The original Adios Boosts that I had were great, if somewhat flawed. The toebox was a touch too wide and allowed for a lot of wriggle room; ideal for some but not for my feet. The other issue I had with the original Adios Boosts were the hard plastic stripes that flanked both sides of the shoe, requiring a lot of break-in to stop them irritating the instep and outstep of my feet.

The Adios Boost 2s corrected both of the above, and crucially, without changing the Boost midsole and the super-grippy Continental rubber outsole that were both almost universally acclaimed. The 2s felt great on my feet and it was clear how end of life the original Adios Boosts had become in comparison (almost 300 miles logged), despite Adidas’ claims that the Boost material would resist compressive forces for much longer.

5k from work

It was great to be back into a regular routine with the run home from the office. Oddly, the pace was relatively fast (just over 9 minute miles versus paces closer to 10 normally) for a simple jog along the canal and everything felt great. I wasn’t better nourished than normal and if anything, work had been busier than usual so I’m still drawing a blank on an explanation.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

People have been asking how I go about with this commute. I travel with a running specific commuter backpack, which offers a very customisable fit on the shoulders, waist and chest for a locked-down feel with little to no vertical movement. Despite its size, the amount of space inside the bag is deceptively poor so I’ve had to pre-plan my runs, making sure I only take the critical items home and leave the non-essentials in the office for another day.

The commutes are a great way for me to boost my overall run volume and on occasion, have actually gotten me home quicker than if I relied on public transport! They also free up valuable minutes in the evenings by using that dead time that I would otherwise have to endure anyway whilst travelling home.

10k via Hagley Road

The average pace of my runs longer than 5k have been creeping faster and faster as of late. I’m pretty sure it was Greg McMillan who said something along the lines of “Fitness should sneak up on you” and this has certainly been this season’s prevailing theme for me.

This 10k was such a run where the pace caught me by surprise, feeling comfortable and relaxed. After weeks of strong headwinds, it was also a rare pleasure to not have any gusts to contend with!

What wasn’t so positive were the number of cars that pulled out on me from various driveways etc. One car clearly hadn’t seen me and continued to creep outwards on to the road, requiring that I slam both my hands on to the bonnet of the car to grab the driver’s attention; things could have gotten messy if she’d slipped off her clutch from the shock…

Anywho, I lived to run another day so here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

It’s become somewhat of a tradition now for me to hit the final Parkrun hard the week before a major race. Part sharpener and part confidence-booster, an aggressive 5k is short enough to recover from within a couple of days.

The plan was to try and grind out a time close to 19:00, much like last week. I opted to set off more conservatively with an opening split of 3:45 versus overall target pace of 3:48. This went off without a hitch but the subsequent splits were all over the shop. The fatal mistake I made was when I chose to inject some speed to move from one pack to another to join Gareth, who was just ahead by only 10m or so; I didn’t quite have enough in me to make it to the next group and was stuck once again in no-man’s land to finish with a 19:20. Oh well, I got the hard run I wanted out of it so I can’t complain.

A special mention goes to Nigel who managed to stay with me for the first half of the run, looking much more comfortable than I did, and produced a finish only a mere 3 seconds off a PB.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

11 miles with 2 at half marathon pace

I last did this run a few weeks ago on fresh legs and what a cracker it was. I decided to try and repeat it for this week’s Sunday long run with a good, but not quite the same result.

There was a roaring headwind on the out portion along the canal towpath, which made the first of two half marathon paced mile efforts tricky. Additionally, I don’t think I was properly warmed-up for the task. I simply couldn’t pull off the pace on tired legs without sacrificing the rest of the run, so I settled on 6:45 versus a target of 6:35 per mile.

The second of the mile efforts came off a lot better for 6:34; I felt like I could have gone faster, which was incredibly positive one week out from the Silverstone Half.

All the splits in between and book ending the half marathon paced efforts were also promising, with only the opening warm-up mile slower than 8 minute pace. Come back next week to see how all this plays out at Silverstone…

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

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

Cover your chest

Guys: Running without a shirt is okay; racing without a shirt is tacky.

There’s no satisfactory way we can explain why this is. It’s just one of those things.

A routine run on a hot summer day is a fine time to go shirtless, assuming you have the upper body to pull it off and/or the confidence to do so.

Racing, though, that’s different.

Maybe it’s the sacred nature of a race (Would you go shirtless in church?), or maybe it’s the mere fact that so many eyes are on you all at once, or maybe it’s a bit of both.

Whatever the reason, racing simply calls for covering your nipples. It’s the right thing to do.

Besides: Pinning your bib number to your chest is much more pleasant if you’re wearing a top.

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