Last week’s report can be found here.
This week I had planned 7 sessions; 4 runs, 1 Core session, 1 Yoga session and 1 weights session:
Monday 29th October:
As a runner it is important to have a strong core. When I fatigue later on in 10 mile plus races, my form starts to suffer as my body bends at the core. This is why I have decided to add a core work session to my schedule.
For this session I found a 25 minute “ab blast” style work-out from YouTube. It was a tough session as I really struggle with core and flexibility exercises. I definitely felt the burn in this session!
The day had also been mentally draining as it was the first day of my new job, so I am proud that I got home and still completed my work-out!
Tuesday 30th October:
This was a tough session. My motivation has dropped as the clocks have gone back. Getting home when it’s pitch black and getting ready for a run is difficult. I’ve ordered some winter running items to try and help get me outdoors a little, but at the moment I’m sticking to my treadmill.
I started with a 0.25 mile warm up walk, then completed my first mile in 12:11. I wanted to try and average my pace a little faster than my last 4.5 mile session. Mile 2 came in at 11:52, and I dropped the treadmill pace by 0.1 to ensure that I made it to the end of the 4 mile run non-stop. Subsequently mile 3 came in at 12:05, with mile 4 at exactly 12 minutes.
My heart rate did drift into Zone 4 towards the end of my run. This was to be expected as I was feeling tired and was running at a quicker pace. I started to tire out a little towards the end of mile 4. My average heart rate was slightly higher for this run (150 BPM as opposed to 148 and 146 from my previous two 4.5 mile workouts).
This was a good session as I achieved the goals that I wanted. I increased my average pace throughout the session and completed it non-stop. My heart rate zones were fine until the last half a mile of my run where I reached into Zone 4. Maybe I should have done my interval session today instead of a steady session, but we’ll see what Thursday’s run is like.
Wednesday 31st October:
I decided to mix it up today as my usual weight training sessions are done with a barbell, so I opted for dumbbells instead. I warmed up with 1 set of 5 reps for dumbbell bicep curls with 7kg on each dumbbell. The session then went as followed:
- 5×10 Bicep Curls at 14kg (7kg each arm)
- 4×10 Overhead Press at 14kg (7kg each arm)
- 1×10 Dumbbell Row at 14kg (7kg each arm)
- 1×5 Bench Press at 7kg (only using 1 dumbbell)
- 5×10 Lying Triceps Extension at 10kg
I opted for lighter weight but more reps with a focus on maintaining good form throughout. The last few reps of each set of bicep curls got tough and I felt the burn. I did want 5×10 on the overhead press but struggled a lot on my fourth set and I didn’t want to extend my rest period from 60 seconds. The lying triceps extensions were done using a 10kg weight plate, as my plates are tri-grip ones.
Overall I definitely felt the burn in my arms! Despite lifting lighter weights I still feel like it was a good session. Lifting weights helps me to maintain more muscle mass whilst in a calorie deficit. I still have a couple of pounds that I would like to shift so I’m currently eating at a deficit. I really need to put together a more structured weight training program, but at the moment my focus is purely on my running.
Thursday 1st November:
Thursday… the dreaded interval day!
I got home from work and found a few running related parcels waiting for me. My new running jacket had arrived, along with some gloves, a running t-shirt and an ear warmer headband. It was tempting to go for a quick run outside instead of a tough speed work session on the treadmill, but I was determined to stick to the plan.
After donning a pair of shorts and my sports bra, I started my warm up. This session was slightly different, instead of opting for my 0.25 mile warm up walk, I was going purely on time as I was following a workout that I had made on Garmin Connect. A 5 minute warm up walk, followed by 6intervals of 0.5 mile at 10:35-10:50 minutes per mile pace and 5 minutes of recovery, before a 5 minute cool down period.
The first running interval was completed at a 10:33 pace, and I felt comfortable considering that this was quicker than I was used to running. Intervals 2 and 3 were ran quicker than my training paces at 10:13 and 10:03 respectively. I slowed back down for the fourth interval as I wanted to ensure that I made it through the entire session and completed this with a 10:30 pace. The pace stayed almost the same for the fifth interval at 10:29. I quickened the pace for what was supposed to be my last interval and clocked in a 10:22 pace.
It was then that I realized a mistake with my program. I had a 5 minute recovery session followed by a 5 minute cool down, which was a bit pointless. As such, I decided to have a 1 minute recovery period and then run at a quicker than usual but slower than previous intervals pace. I ran for 4 minutes and this 5 minute section resulted in an average pace of 11:57. I then had my 5 minute cool down to recover.
The total session distance was 5.25 miles in a time of 1:10:49. This was a mentally tough session as I had to keep convincing myself to push through another 0.5 mile interval and not quit. My legs started to suffer on the last interval, but seemed ok when I slowed the pace for the last 4 minutes of running.
My heart rate zones actually surprised me a little as I didn’t hit Zone 5, which I was very happy with. I spent most of my running time in Zone 4 with the recovery periods getting my heart rate back down to Zone 1. This session was supposed to be in Zone 4 as my steady runs are usually in Zones 2 and 3 so I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone with some speed work. I need to get my legs used to running at a quicker pace, especially if I want to break the sub-30 minute 5k mark.
Overall, this was a successful session, especially given the fact that it took place on a Thursday evening after work! This would have been a session that I would have previously quit at the half way point when it got tough. I know that reaching my goals means pushing myself and gritting my teeth through the tough workouts to get where I want to be, and this was a step in the right direction.
Friday 2nd November:
Just like last week, I found a beginners Yoga video on YouTube and off I went. I did a 30 minute session and actually felt quite relaxed afterwards. I’m getting a little more stable at holding certain poses, but it’s still not something that I really enjoy. This session was more enjoyable than last week’s session though.
Saturday 3rd November:
Another Saturday, another Parkrun. It was around 8 degrees for this one, so warmer than last week. I still opted for my thermal tights and thermal long-sleeved, high neck top; this was a mistake! I definitely overdressed and regretted it before even reaching the end of mile 1.
The race itself started well pace wise, but I didn’t feel as comfortable as last week. I completed mile 1 in 9:47, taking a short walk break as I climbed to the top of the short hill on the course. Mile 2 was tough but I made it through another non-stop quick mile at 9:54. Just at the end of the second mile, I walked up the hill again before starting back out running. I really struggled throughout mile 3 and had to slow my pace multiple times. It was more of a mental battle and one which I lost. I ran the last 0.1 mile with a pace of 9:14.
I got a new personal best with my Parkrun time being 30:35 (30:40 for my Garmin). Despite a quicker time I was 246th this week, as opposed to 207th last week.
A lot of time was spent in Zone 5 for this run, but that is to be expected when racing at shorter distances. This run did feel a lot tougher than last week and that also shows when comparing my heart rate data. Last week I spent 8:24 in Zone 5 and 18:57 in Zone 4, whereas this week I spent 18:08 in Zone 5 and 7:02 in Zone 4.
My average pace for this run was 9:53. I’m getting closer to reducing my average pace down to 9:39 which would get me my sub-30 minute 5k.
Sunday 4th November:
I woke up pretty early and had some cereal. As it’s easier to use the treadmill for my long runs (no need to plan a route) I decided to wait until after 10am to start my run. My treadmill can be quite loud and I don’t want to annoy the neighbours!
Just after 10am, I got changed into my running clothes and started my run. The plan for the session was a 0.25 mile warm up walk, 6 miles non-stop at a pace of between 12:30-13:00 per mile, and then a 0.25 mile cool down.
My previous long run had been a success as I managed to run 6 miles non-stop, for what I believe was the first time ever. This week I wanted to prove that it wasn’t a fluke and that I could repeat it.
My long slow runs are aimed at increasing the mileage that I can cover non-stop. Therefore, they are ran at an “easy” pace. The first mile was a bit quicker than expected at 11:44. I saw the notification on my watch and dropped the pace back a bit for Mile 2. Miles 2 to 6 were ran between 12:37 and 12:46.
Towards the end of mile 6 I was still feeling strong. Last week I ended the run feeling like I could have done a little more. This week I pushed for an extra 0.5 mile at a pace of 12:25. It felt good to not only complete the planned session, but to actually push further than planned.
For this run I managed to stay in Zone 2 for the first 2 miles, but then ended up at the bottom of Zone 3. Still feeling comfortable, I ran at the lower end of Zone 3 for the remainder of my run. The last 1.5 mile pushed me higher into Zone 3, but it was still only in the middle and no-where near Zone 4.
I was super happy with this run! It showed me that I am capable of running 6 miles. Yes, I know I completed 6 miles last week but one of my biggest issues is consistency. Previously I have had days where I could run 3 mile easily, and others where I struggled to get to 1 mile. I know that I will have good and bad runs, but runs like this give me a lot of confidence and motivation to push on with my training.
Total Miles = 19.85
Training Hours = 5:32
Positives = all sessions fully completed. I got a personal best at Parkrun. Despite pushing hard at Parkrun, I managed to run further than planned on my long run. I also enjoyed this week’s Yoga session more than my last session.
Negatives = the third mile of Parkrun this week was really tough. I ended up losing the mental battle and stopping a few times when deep down I knew that I didn’t have to.
Next Week = I will be increasing my mileage slightly again (less than planned as I ran an extra 0.5 mile on my long run this week). I’m going to try adding squats back into one of my lifting routines; I removed them as my legs weren’t fully recovered in time for my runs. There will also be a hill session making an appearance, which I’m really not looking forward to!