Last week’s report can be found here.
This week I had planned 7 sessions; 3 runs, 1 Core session, 2 weights sessions and a Yoga and Foam Rolling session.
|Yoga and Foam Roll
Monday 26th November:
The traffic had been light today so I got home from work in around 20 minutes. I got distracted as soon as I walked through the door as I had received a parcel. After seeing the Amazon packaging I knew instantly what it was… my bone conduction headphones which I had ordered on Black Friday. I spent some time opening them and having a quick play around. Then I realized that I was starving (I blame Chris as he was in the middle of eating his tea). I put myself some food on, ate and then allowed myself 15 minutes before getting changed and ready to hit the weights.
Today, the session plan was as follows:
- 4×15 Push-Ups
- 4×15 Sit-Ups
- 1×5 Deadlift at 50kg
- 5×5 Squat at 50kg
- 5×8 Bench Press at 20kg
Since getting to 5×10 on my push-ups I seem to have stagnated. Today I decided to mix up the format and go for 4×15 instead. To break this up a little, I did 1 set of 15 push-ups, followed by 1 set of 15 sit-ups and repeated this until the end of the third set. In the end, 4 sets proved a bit too much, so I moved on after 3 sets of each.
I’m still not feeling ready to match or increase my deadlift personal best, so I stuck with the trusted 50kg. This was quite straightforward – still heavy and I felt my muscles working, but it was doable. It also felt easier than my last deadlift set despite it being the same weight.
Tuesday’s run for this week is just a steady run rather than hill intervals or any speed work. As such, I decided to throw some squats in to see how my legs would feel on my run. My previous personal best had been 5×5 at 40kg, but I felt like that was quite easy. I decided to go with 50kg and see how I felt. This weight was also perfectly doable, but I still felt the burn in my quads. As crazy as it sounds, I have missed squatting.
Ah, my favourite… the bench press. Despite having recent success with the bench press, I decided to lift just the 20kg bar and perform 5 sets of 8 reps. The last set was tough, especially the last 2 or 3 reps, but I got through it. I’m still not keen on it, but I much prefer it to the overhead press!
Despite my earlier distractions and re-arranging my plans to allow me to eat first, this was a good session. Although I completed 5 less push-ups and sit-ups than my usual 5×10 routine, it felt good to string more together into 1 set. Mixing it up and adding squats back into the routine was a nice change of pace, and it feels good when you complete a lift with larger plates on the bar.
In the New Year I may look at changing my routine and opting for one longer strength workout instead of two sessions. It would allow me to switch the other weight session to another run day as I look to increase my weekly mileage.
Tuesday 27th November:
I got home for 5:30pm and had a quick snack of two onion bhajis before spending some time talking to Chris. By 6:10pm I was dressed and ready to go. Due to having a 10k event on Saturday, I opted for an easier session than usual on a Tuesday. I was also testing my Black Friday purchase of some Vidonn F1 bone conducting headphones to ensure that they were comfortable before venturing outside with them.
Hopping onto the treadmill, I warmed up with a 0.25 mile walk and then started my run. I wanted to run a little quicker than usual, but without being too demanding on my heart rate or body. Yesterday was the first time in a while that I had completed sets of weighted squats, and I was definitely feeling it in my quads!
For miles 1-3 I held a pretty consistent pace of between 11:43 and 11:45. I decided to try and aim for negative splits, where I would get faster for each remaining mile. Mile 4 came in at 11:33, with mile 5 only a little faster at 11:30. For the final mile I decided to run quicker than my 10k goal race pace of 11:15 (my half marathon target race pace is 11:25). As such, I completed the final mile in 11:07.
I did expect to spend a little more time in Zone 4, however only 13% of the session was spent there. The majority of the session was spent in Zone 3, with 12% in Zone 2.
The session met my goals as I ran faster than usual and managed to maintain a negative split. It felt good to run at near half marathon race pace for the entire session, and with the adrenaline on race day, I’m hoping I can hit my sub-2:30 goal. Being able to run 6 miles with an average pace of 11:35 gives me a lot of confidence. My half marathon isn’t until January 20th, so that gives me more time to work on my endurance.
Wednesday 28th November:
Today was the first time in a while that I really had to push myself to exercise. I put some food in the oven and headed upstairs for a short workout. It was never going to be an intense session, and I figured something was better than nothing.
I spent 5 minutes on the stability board before completing 1 set of 20 push-ups and 1 set of 20 sit-ups with a 15 second rest period in between each exercise.
After 60 seconds rest I moved onto barbell rows at 20kg. I completed 3 sets of 8 reps, with 15 seconds of rest in between each set.
To finish off the short session I completed 5 sets of 5 lying triceps extensions at 10kg. As above I took 15 seconds rest between each set.
This was more of a session to keep momentum going and not let myself slip into skipping workouts. My quads were still sore from my heavy squats on Monday and decent run yesterday. This was just one of those days where I think my body was telling me to take it easy for a day or so.
Thursday 29th November:
The plan was a steady 5.5 mile, however the plan soon changed! I got home from work to a letter containing concert tickets. For Christmas I had purchased tickets for my Mum and Stepdad to go and see the UK Foo Fighters (a Foo Fighters tribute act) as they had never been able to get tickets to the real thing. The gig date was Saturday 1st December, so I decided to run commute to my Mum’s to drop the tickets off.
I set out without my warm up walk, with the plan of a steady run. My watch vibrated after around 6 minutes to notify me that my performance condition was 0, so at my base rate. I didn’t pay attention to pace until my watch alerted me to my first mile split… 11:25. This was faster than my usual runs, but it was actually at my half marathon goal race pace. I decided to try to continue at this pace, but not track it. Instead, I ran by how I was feeling.
Mile 2 came in even faster at 11:08. This was actually faster than my 10k goal pace race (11:15 for sub-70). I had taken the long route and actually ran past my Mum’s to come back on myself as I still wanted to run at least 4 miles.
I stopped for 20 minutes or so at my mum’s with my watch paused. After dropping off the tickets and having a bit of a catch-up, I set off back home. Again, I wasn’t paying attention to my pace, but was trying to run at a “comfortably hard” pace which I felt I could maintain all of the way home.
To my surprise, I completed mile 3 in 10:36. I didn’t feel like I was running THAT hard. Mile 4 slowed down to 10:54, but this was still quicker than both my 10k and half marathon goal paces. The last .5 mile was ran at a pace of 10:35. I stopped my watch a bit before I reached my house as I prefer nice round mile totals!
For this run, my heart rate was split mainly between Zones 3 and 4, with a short period in Zone 2 at the start and after my short break. This wasn’t the goal of the session, but it felt good to get my heart rate up, especially as I had an easier run on Tuesday.
Hopefully I won’t regret pushing harder than usual on a Thursday when it comes to my 10k event on Saturday!
Friday 30th November:
I had a core session planned for today, however when I got home I had a lot to do. Chris had put me a pizza in the oven and needed my help setting up his new MP3. I then had to organize some music for us both ready for our run on Saturday.
After eating and completing some other tasks, I started to follow an ab workout video on YouTube. I had Tess (our dog) harassing me and no less than 3 minutes into my workout my Nan phoned me.
Clearly today wasn’t going to be the day for completing this session, so I closed the video and discarded the activity on my Garmin. Maybe the extra rest day will do me good with my race time tomorrow!
Saturday 1st December:
Wow… December. Where has the year gone?!
I woke up in a bad mood, and the light rain outside wasn’t helping the matter. We woke up at 8am, so a bit of a lie in compared to our usual 7:15am for Parkrun. Our routine was still the same, I got ready whilst Chris made breakfast, we ate and then headed off to Chasewater.
Upon our arrival we noticed that it was now pay and display (previously parking had been free). Chris paid the parking, which was only £1 for 2 hours, and then we headed to the starting area. It was still raining slightly, and my mood hadn’t changed. I was cold and not optimistic about getting sub-1:10.
The claxon sounded and off we went. It took 34 seconds from the claxon for us to cross the starting line. My mood didn’t improve any for the first half a mile as the course was narrow and it was hard to overtake. There were a lot of wide puddles which everyone was trying to avoid, and the route was a lot muddier than I had anticipated! I definitely made the right move opting for my Nike Vomero 12s over my Pegasus or Elites as I’d have been crying at the thought of getting them too dirty.
Despite the slow start, my first mile was completed at exactly my goal sub-1:10 pace of 11:15. Towards the start of mile 2, there were a large group of us who had to come to a complete stop. There was a narrow bridge crossing ahead and we had to form a line and wait before we could fit through. This had a devastating effect on my mile time as the second mile came in at 11:58.
The mile 2 notification on my watch really knocked me back a little as I already wasn’t really enjoying the run, especially seeing how dirty my trainers were getting, and now it felt like I wasn’t going to hit my target. This had been the first event that I had ran with my music (still testing out my recent purchase of the Vidonn F1s), and I am glad that I had made the decision to wear my earphones. I don’t think I had previously ever considered stopping a 10k race at the halfway mark, but that is how I was feeling today. I decided to push on and see how I felt a bit closer to the 5k marker, which was at the end of the first lap.
I pushed on and clocked 11:21 for mile 3. This was still slightly behind my goal race pace, but at this point, I wasn’t really interested in my splits. I reached the 5k point and figured that I was already damp and muddy so may as well continue. I’d also have to wait for Chris to finish anyway, and he also has the car keys so I couldn’t even warm up in the car.
I’m not sure what I was listening to, but whatever it was, it worked. Mile 4 was completed in a blistering 10:23. This was a big turning point as my average pace was now showing at around my goal race pace, and I knew that if I could maintain an 11:15 pace, I would hit my target.
Mile 5 was tough. The route was muddy and really slippery. There were also two steep hill climbs; the first of which had a photographer waiting at the top! Despite the tough terrain, I completed mile 5 in 11:13, so still on target.
For mile 6 I realised how close I was to the finish and I wanted to end strong. This was my second fastest mile of the event in 10:32. The last 0.2 mile was completed with an average pace of 9:12. I saw the clock display 1:09:XX so I knew that my official result would be sub-1:10. With the mood that I had been in, the weather, the mud and puddles on the route, and the slow start, I was so happy to have reached my target.
I collected my medal and Christmas Pudding from the finish area. They were also giving out Mince Pies and Jaffa Cakes. I grabbed a Jaffa Cake and then went looking for Chris. He was around half a mile away when I saw him, and I waited for him to get a bit closer. I ran the last 0.25 mile(ish) with him to the finish line. He was aiming for sub-1:20 (his PB is 1:16) but missed out as he finished in 1:21:05, which still isn’t bad considering he has only done a Parkrun or two in the last two months!
My Garmin had my finishing time at 1:08:18, and the official result was almost exactly the same at 1:08:17.
Sunday 2nd December:
It felt strange waking up and not having a long run today! Instead, I ate my breakfast of crumpets and marmalade (not too keen on the marmalade!) and then got up for an early start at 9am.
I found a “recovery” Yoga video to help stretch after yesterday’s tough run. This was quite relaxing as my legs were feeling a bit tight. The video was only 15 minutes, so I followed this up with 5 minutes of foam rolling. Foam rolling can be brutal, and I definitely felt it today. I haven’t suffered the foam roller for a while, so it was long overdue.
Total Miles = 17.2
Training Hours = 4:11:02
Positives = a new 10k personal best whilst hitting my goal of sub-1:10. According to my Garmin, my VO2 Max has increased. This was a week of slightly reduced mileage to help me recover whilst chasing my 10k personal best.
Negatives = Friday was a missed workout. Although it was only supposed to be a short core session, it’s still a little annoying to have missed one. With that being said, it’s the first missed session of my new plan, so it’s not all bad!
Next Week = I have 25.6 miles planned for next week, including Parkrun and my first ever 10 mile event at the Sneyd Pudding Run. As such, there will be no speed or hill work next week as I will be focusing on steady paced runs and some easier miles. I won’t be racing Parkrun due to the 10 mile event the next day.