This week’s running – 25th to 31st of July 2016

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Suffering at the 2016 Magor Marsh 10k – photo by Tosh Simpkin

Magor Marsh 10k race week was upon me, which meant a welcome mini-taper! This was also week 13 of the 22 week marathon schedule.

10 miles with 6 at marathon pace

As much as I enjoyed the previous week’s jaunt on a 400m track, it was nice to get back to marathon specifics with this particular run. Equally as appreciated were the cooler climes to add to the contrast.

These runs have really felt beneficial from a physiological standpoint, but also for mental confidence. This session, in slightly warmer conditions than a few weeks ago, popped out:

  1. 6:41
  2. 6:37
  3. 6:39
  4. 6:41
  5. 6:43
  6. 6:38

Comparing as like-for-like as possible, I was a few seconds faster for each mile, including the additional 6th, for the same effort if my heart rate readings are to be relied upon. Similarly, the previous week’s 4x 1600m in 34 degree heat showed a 5 to 10 second improvement per rep versus a previous 18 degree run of the same session.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

5 miles with strides from city centre

Like previous race weeks of late, I chopped the overall volume down and compensated by injecting some strides whilst run-commuting home from New Street Station. Running with a bag is always easier said than done, where the literal weight on my shoulders made achieving a smooth and fluid motion when striding somewhat tricky.

Humidity was amped up once more after several days without, and an impromptu rain shower only made things worse. I got what I wanted from the 5 miles and knocked running on the head until Sunday’s race.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Cwmbran Parkrun

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The finish area was brimming with Pokémon, or so I was told by the surrounding graffiti… Photo by Tanwen Cross

Given we were in Lis’ motherland for the Magor Marsh 10k, I opted to make myself useful and volunteered at the recently launched Cwmbran Parkrun only minutes away from her family’s farm. I really enjoyed myself at the inaugural event back in June and Lis’ folks wanted to take their new puppy for a walk to introduce him to some new surroundings.

Upon reading my email, the Cwmbran team couldn’t quite believe somebody all the way from Cannon Hill wanted to barcode scan, but were all the more welcoming for it. When I shared with them that Cannon Hill had recently hit in excess of 1,000 runners, they were all very curious about how Cannon Hill copes with the numbers that it does.

Lis, her parents, and I also got talking to a lady from the former Little Stoke event, who was dividing her Saturdays amongst the various events closest to her; all happened to be about a 30 minute drive and I was rather bemused that it was just as quick to go to an event in Wales as it was to visit an event on the other side of Bristol.

A really pleasant morning seeing what makes a small, new event tick!

Magor Marsh 10k review

For the full write-up of this annual 10k pilgrimage, click here.

The road to the Yorkshire Marathon

A week of two halves, with the marathon pace session filling me with confidence and then the 10k race knocking me back down to lick my wounds! Next (this) week sees a 14 mile mid-week long run – I can’t face running 14 miles after work, so I’ve taken the day off as leave to give myself a bit of a helping hand to get it done.

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