Last week’s report can be found here.
This week I had planned 7 sessions; 4 runs, 1 Yoga session and 2 weights sessions.
Monday 17th December:
This wasn’t a long session as I had a lot to get done after work. I’m really not prepared for Christmas at all!
The plan was as follows:
- 5×5 Barbell Row at 25kg
- 5×5 Bench Press at 25kg
- 1×5 Deadlift at 55kg
The session went as planned, with the only real struggle coming in the last two reps of my final bench press set.
I did want to add in some squats, push ups and sit ups but time didn’t allow it today.
Tuesday 18th December:
As I’m looking to increase my mileage to around 40 miles per week for 2019, I opted for a steady 7 miles today. Usually I do hills or speed work on Tuesdays, but I’m taking it a little easier as I try to increase mileage.
This run was also a good opportunity for me to catch up on some TV that I had missed from the night before. Mile 1 was a bit fast at 11:40; I did want to start slower to ease into the session but that clearly went out of the window! It was a fairly straight forward run, although the overall pace was a little slower than I would have liked.
Despite the slower pace, I actually felt like I was working harder than usual and I felt a little fatigued. I didn’t want to check my heart rate at this point. It felt steady, albeit a little tough, so I continued at the same pace. I checked my data after the run, and to my surprise, it turned out that I had spent all of the session in Zones 1 and 2. In order to improve my running economy and endurance I want to spend more time in Zone 2. This is also important as I aim to increase my weekly mileage. I don’t want to put too much stress on my legs so a lot of my runs will be in Zone 2, with some speed or hill workouts added to the mix.
Overall, this was a steady run, and despite feeling more fatigued than usual, I was able to complete the session whilst remaining in Zone 2. Slowing down the pace can be a mental challenge, especially when I start to feel tired as I just want to get the session over with and grab some food! I haven’t done any actual running workouts (hills or intervals) for a while, nor have I raced Parkrun recently, so I think I need to add some variety back in next week.
Wednesday 19th December:
Today should have been my second weight session of the week.
The plan was to complete the below in a circuit, so completing the list twice:
- 15 Push Ups
- 1×5 Deadlift at 55kg
- 15 Sit Ups
- 1×5 Assisted Pull Ups
- 1×5 Assisted Chin Ups
It started off well. I completed 1 set of 15 push ups and then 1 set of 5 deadlifts at 55kg. I threw in 1 set of 15 sit ups before moving towards the pull up bar. Using resistance bands, I was hoping to complete 1 set of 5 pull ups and then 1 set of 5 chin ups. Unfortunately, during my second pull up, I felt a sharp pain through my left shoulder and arm. The pain subsided after a few minutes, but I still felt sore so I decided to end the session there to avoid further discomfort.
Not a great session then! I don’t think I was fully warmed up and prepared, so that’s a lesson for the future. These midweek weight sessions are never as productive as I would like. As such, I will most likely switch them out for a midweek run in the New Year to help me increase my running mileage safely. This means that my Monday weight session will have to be more productive, or alternatively I will have to add some weight lifting to my Saturdays.
Thursday 20th December:
I was feeling a little jaded today, and definitely in need of the Christmas break!
The plan was to run 8 miles, with the first 2 miles at a slower pace to ease into the session. Miles 1 and 2 came in at 12:34 and 12:26, which was around the pace I was looking for as a way of warming up. I then upped the pace for the next 5 miles, coming in between 11:31 and 11:48. To act as a cool down, I decreased my pace slightly to 12:03 for mile 8.
The pace was slightly quicker than usual and not far off my sub-2:30 goal half marathon pace of 11:25. As such, I did spend most of the session in Zone 3. I was already feeling a little fatigued, so that didn’t help either! Due to the pace, and how I was feeling, I did expect this to end up being a Zone 3 session.
It’s a great feeling to know that I can consistently run 7 or 8 miles after work. Consistency used to be my biggest issue, but now I don’t dread or fear the higher mileage numbers.
Friday 21st December:
Today was my last day at work before the Christmas holidays and we had an earlier finish of 1pm. I was home by 1:15pm and planned to eat and then complete a “Yoga for Runners” video which I had found during my last Yoga session.
My plan was soon derailed as Chris got home shortly after me. We ate together whilst catching up on some TV. We were a bit behind on our Christmas shopping this year, and also decided to treat ourselves to a cordless vacuum (yup, we must be getting old!). I reserved one online so we headed into town to pick it up.
We got home, did some cleaning, and then decided to do some more of our Christmas visiting to drop off cards and presents to family and friends. In the end, we didn’t get home until late and by the time we had ate, it was practically time for bed!
I was actually slightly looking forward to this Yoga session too! Onward and upwards though!
Saturday 22nd December:
Not going to lie, today was really hard to get out of bed! I had to actually bribe myself to get up and get ready for Parkrun. As a reward, I decided to go to the Sandwell Parkrun instead of my usual one at West Park.
This was going to be my last run in my Nike Elite 8s as they have covered over 530 miles. As such, I was aiming for a personal best as a way to send them off, however I had no clue what the course was like. The Parkrun page said that it could get a bit muddy, but was mostly flat… so I was feeling quite confident!
I arrived at Parkrun and was shown a map of the course by the marshals and then lined up ready to start. What I saw ahead of me didn’t fill me with confidence! The first section actually started with a hill climb… I hoped that would be the only climb for the run.
The plan was to run the first mile a little slower to ease into it and then pick up the pace for the final 2 miles. To beat my personal best of 29:35, I would need an average pace quicker than 9:33.
Mile 1 came in at 9:50, but even that had felt like a struggle in places! I picked up the pace to 9:25 for mile 2, despite having to slow in sections due to the path being covered in deep mud puddles. Mile 3 was going well, but then it all fell apart at around the 26 minute mark. The final quarter or so of a mile was a really steep incline! It felt like it never ended, and I actually had to take 3 walk breaks in the process of climbing it.
Upon finally the reaching the top, there was a right turn and then another small climb up the other side of the hill from the start of the race. I picked up momentum and pace as I descended the other side of the hill and towards the finish, which was the original starting area.
As to be expected, I pushed hard and spent most of the session in Zones 4 and 5. I wasn’t in the best condition for racing a 5k, but gave a decent effort. My watch recommended a recovery time of 29 hours.
It was a tough run and I ended up finishing with a time of 30:12. I was disappointed to not beat my personal best, or sneak under the 30 minute mark, but it was a challenging course. I don’t think I’ll complain about the hill at my usual Parkrun ever again!
Sunday 23rd December:
I usually wake up, eat my breakfast and then hop on the treadmill for my long run. Today was a bit different as we were expecting guests so I wouldn’t have time to complete my long run and shower before they arrived. As such, my long run had to wait until later in the afternoon. I wasn’t sure how my performance would be affected by this, especially as I was aiming for 12 miles non-stop for the first time.
It was hard to find the motivation to get up and get on the treadmill once my day had already started. Chris and I (plus the dog!) had been snuggled on the sofa with the fire on watching A Christmas Carol. He was lying on the sofa eating Mince Pies and Turkish Delight, but I knew that I needed to leave the warmth and get my run completed. I headed upstairs, got changed and started my long run, hoping that I would make it through the 12 miles without needed to slow to a walk.
My first mile came in a little quicker than I was expecting at 11:57, so I slowed down a little for mile 2. I didn’t want to burn out in the middle. Miles 2-4 came in between 12:13 and 12:20. Miles 4 and 5 were slightly faster in 12:09 and 12:06. It was just after the 6 mile point that I started to doubt my ability to complete the 12 miles. I was being powered by a light lunch of fajitas, and was still feeling a little dehydrated from the night before. We had picked up a Chinese takeaway the previous night, and after not eating takeout for months, my body was rebelling! The salt content had kept me up throughout the night as I was experiencing dry mouth and some stomach discomfort.
I slowed the pace to 12:30 as I completed mile 7. Miles 8-11 came in between 12:19 and 12:24. Seeing the mile 11 notification on my watch gave me a sense of belief that I could get through the final mile. I really wanted to get through this mile as quickly as possible and get a drink and some food!
I was starting to experience some foot discomfort. Some of my toes on each foot felt like they had been rubbing together. I wore the Nike Pegasus 34s for the London Marathon and had no issues, however during the Sneyd 10 Mile run I had developed a blister on the side of my foot. I had put this down to wearing different socks, however today I had made sure to wear the same socks that I used for the London Marathon. These were a pair of twin lined, supposedly anti-blister socks. I’m not sure what’s causing this as I’ve never had issues before… I may have to start training more in my Pegasus 35s instead.
The final mile came in at 12:09. I must have inadvertently sped up in an attempt to get through the session faster! Due to the discomfort in my feet, I don’t think I could have ran any further, which now means that I do have to take a look at which shoes I will run my half marathon in. I also had to ice the outside of my left hip as I was experiencing some discomfort and pain. The ice really helped and I put the issue down to adjusting my running form to try and ease the discomfort in my feet.
Aerobically I felt alright throughout the run. There were a few times when I felt like I might be pushing into Zone 3, especially due to the length of the session. I was quite surprised when I saw my recovery time was 19 hours! After checking my Zones, it turned out that I didn’t venture into Zone 3 at any point! 77% of the session was spent in Zone 2, which is great for building endurance without taxing the body too much. Ideally, I would like all of my long runs to be in this Zone, unless it forms part of a planned workout such as part of a tempo session.
I’m quite pleased with myself that I have managed to run 12 miles non-stop! It’s a bit of an annoyance that I am experiencing issues with my shoes or shoe and sock combination though… I need to get this remedied soon, or test another pair for 13 miles, as my half marathon is on January 20th.
Total Miles = 30.1
Training Hours = 6:14:01
Positives = longest ever non-stop run of 12 miles. Highest mileage week so far as I ventured into the 30+ range. Managing to stay in Zone 2 on my 12 mile long run despite the session taking over 2:27. Almost sub-30 on a challenging Parkrun course.
Negatives = had to cut my midweek weight session short due to a niggle. Missed Friday’s Yoga session.
Next Week = the plan is to increase the mileage to just over 33 miles for the week. It will be my first attempt at running 5 days a week instead of 4. Due to there being a Christmas day Parkrun, I will be running 2 Parkrun’s (I would like to run another sub-30 on Christmas Day). My long run will stay at 12 miles as I have added another midweek run.