This week’s running – 13th to 19th of April 2015

A great week of training

A positive week of training at long last!

3x 1 mile at 10k pace

I knew for certain that I’d slacked off at the Ronnie Bowker 10k based on how fresh my legs and body were feeling come Tuesday morning. No DOMS for me! With this in mind, I decided to go ahead with my plans of 4x 1 mile reps at 10k pace over at my familiar stomping ground of Edgbaston Reservoir.

The previous two sessions, featuring 1x 1600m, 2x 800m, 1x 1600m had gotten me used to structured quality again after what felt like an eternity over the winter. I knew I would be able to get up to at least 3x mile reps with 90 second recoveries based on that alone.

The first rep felt perfectly fine with little to no stress at all in spite of the head wind. The second rep was definitely much tougher and I began to feel Sunday’s race in my quads after about 800m in. Crucially, the third rep remained aerobic even at effort. The 3x reps had finished me off for the evening and I decided to claw my way back up to 4x reps another day. Pacing-wise, I was very happy where I was only either 1 second above or below the 3:58/km target.

Here’s the Garmin data for the session.

5k from work

I underestimated how knackered I would be from the 3x 1 mile session where even this easy 5k recovery run from the office felt like a struggle. My breathing was erratic where each breath had me almost gasping for air!

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

8 canal miles

In a bid to continue the theme of shaking things up, I opted to boost the distance of my mid-week medium run to 8 miles. The original plan was to get to 10 miles, but I didn’t have the energy or the will to run all the way to Bournville train station and back.

The return leg, as is so often the case, was directly into a head wind… Things got interesting when I could hear running footsteps behind me, along with fairly rapid but shallow breathing. Reaching the narrow tunnel, a cyclist on his way out forced me to stop and also gave me a moment to give a nod to the girl pursuing me. Through to the other side, I picked up my pace ever so slightly and the girl continued to stay with me for another 2 miles or so before she called it quits, thanking me for the pacing assistance!

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

Waking up on Saturday morning, my legs felt like somebody else’s. They were dull and lacked that snap crackle and pop, clearly still fatigued from the week’s increase in distance and quality. I dialled my expectations back to a finish under 20 minutes and anything faster would be a welcome bonus.

My old school buddy, Jaswant, decided to make his debut at Cannon Hill. Despite being a runner long before I ever toed up on a start line, it was somewhat surprising that he had never completed one of the weekly 5k runs before – better late than never as the saying goes.

Kings Heath Running Club had organised another of their popular and well-received pacing events, with Scott Williams leading the 20 minute charge. I always seemed to be a few metres behind the pack, though this seemed be down to the pacing disparity between my Garmin and Scott’s. Winding the pace up in the final km, I managed to clock in with 19:43 despite the heavy legs and surprisingly, my lungs felt like they were in tip-top shape.

And the highlight of the day? Steven Dunsby defied the naysayers by finishing in first place!

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

10 canal miles

I was due to be at the NEC later on Sunday to build an exhibition stand. I was feeling particularly fresh for some reason and decided to continue with the schedule as normal, covering 10 miles along the canal towpath out towards Bournville and back.

There was no pace target in mind, considering the hard graft that I would later partake in. I wanted to concentrate on my form and core, running tall from the waist up to try and overcome any slouching that so regularly hits me late into a run. Running tall also had the unexpected side-effect of activating my glutes for what felt like an additional power boost.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

And without further ado, here’s this week’s entry from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:

Never miss a chance to thank a volunteer

Even if you’re running the race of your life and trying to make every movement count, you can still manage a bit of eye contact and a nod as you grab a cup of water from an outstretched hand. Even if it feels like your quads are quite literally on fire, you can manage to sputter a short “thanks” to the course marshal standing in the intersection.

It will make the volunteer feel good. It will make you feel good. Try it.

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