Last week’s report can be found here.
This week I had planned 7 sessions; 5 runs, 1 Yoga and Core session and 1 weights sessions.
|Yoga and Core
Monday 7th January:
I switched it up a little today by substituting my usual 1×5 deadlift for Squats and 5×5 bench press for triceps dips. I’m suffering from “maranoia” (yes, I know my next race is a half marathon, but the notion still applies!). Basically, I’m nervous about injuring myself and not being able to run my half marathon on the 20th. This is why I made the decision to drop the deadlifts as another runner I know recently hurt their back completing a set. Yes, this was probably down to poor form, but I decided not to take the chance. I usually struggle with my bench press so decided to complete 5×5 dips to try and build some arm and triceps strength.
The session plan was as follows:
- 5 minutes on the Stability Board
- 3×10 Push Ups
- 3×10 Sit Ups
- 5×5 Squats at 55kg
- 5×5 Triceps Dips
Spending 5 minutes on the stability board is a great way to warm up. The board can be challenging and encourages you to engage your leg and core muscles to stay balanced. Other exercises can also be incorporated to make balancing even harder, such as squats, spins or boxing. These 5 minutes flew by and then I moved on to my weight training.
I completed the push ups and sit ups in my usual fashion; 1 set of 10 push ups, 15 second rest and then 1 set of 10 sit ups, 15 second rest and repeat until I had completed 3 sets. Sit ups are starting to feel a lot easier, however the same can’t be said for the push ups!
Call me strange but I actually enjoy squats! The one thing I dislike is that I haven’t found a way to stop the bar from digging into the back of my neck as I increase the weight. I invested in a cheap padded cylinder which attaches around the middle of the bar, but this doesn’t offer a lot of cushioning. I completed each set of 5 reps at 55kg, with a 30 second rest period between each set. Realistically I could probably increase the weight to at least 60kg, but I don’t want to push to hard, especially so close to race day. I really need to find a way to make the bar feel more comfortable on my neck / top of back though!
Triceps dips are an exercise that I haven’t utilized before. I really want to work on my unassisted pull-ups, so I’m looking to increase my triceps, biceps and deltoid strength. Chris has been following a strength training routine which incorporates triceps dips, so I thought I’d give them a try. I didn’t realize just how tough they would be on my arms! I completed the first set of 5 reps and could already feel the burn in my arms. They are a simple bodyweight exercise but definitely one which I will be looking to add to my improved strength training schedule once I draw up a more complete training plan.
Overall it was a short session of just under 20 minutes including the warm up on the stability board. I’m not seeing much progress at the moment, and a lot of that comes down to the lack of time invested. I really need to sit down and create a comprehensive training plan to improve my weight training sessions. At the moment I am virtually “winging” them and completing similar sessions once per week. I need to increase the time spent weight training on my Monday session and perhaps add a shorter session on a Friday after Yoga or Saturday after Parkrun.
Tuesday 8th January:
I hadn’t had a great day at work today and really needed to get some stress out of the system! The plan was for a steady 5 miles in Zone 2 as I also have a hill session of 6 miles planned for Wednesday.
I put on some music and started off on the treadmill at a really easy pace to warm up. Completing mile 1 in 11:47, I decided that I needed to push myself more to release the stress of the day and to unwind. Increasing the pace, I was aiming to complete 3 miles at 11:00 minute per mile pace or faster and then use the 5th mile to cool down. Before I knew it I had completed mile 2 in 10:49 and it felt comfortably hard so I continued with that pace. Miles 3 and 4 came in at 10:38 and 10:33. I then slowed it down a little to a comfortable pace of 11:06 for the final mile.
As expected, I spent most of the session in Zone 3 as I was running at a comfortably hard pace. Miles 1 and 5 were in Zone 1 and 2 as I used them to warm up and cool down. It was a harder session than my planned easy run, but it felt good to pick up the pace and get my heart rate up!
I definitely felt better after my run, however it does now mean changing my weekly plan slightly. Tomorrow will be an easy 5 miles, followed by my 6 mile hill session on Thursday. It’s always best to have an easier day after a harder than usual session, so that is why I have made the change. Originally I had planned a 5 mile easy run for Tuesday and a 5 mile easy run for Thursday, with my 6 mile hill session in between on the Wednesday. Deep down I know that any miles or speed work added now won’t really impact my half marathon performance, however it’s starting to play on my mind.
Wednesday 9th January:
Due to the increased speed and effort that I put into yesterday’s run, today was just an easy 5 miler. The aim being to stay in heart rate Zone 2 and use it as a recovery run before Thursday’s harder 6 mill hill repeat session.
Despite the easy run aim, mile 1 came in faster than yesterday’s in 11:40. I slowed down slightly but ran at a comfortable pace. Mile 2 came in slightly slower at 11:48; this was the slowest mile split with miles 3-5 resulting in negative splits. Mile 3 came in at 11:42, mile 4 11:37 and then mile 5 was the fastest mile at 11:35.
This was a standard run and achieved the main goal of staying in Zone 2 for the majority of the time and not peaking into Zone 3 or higher. My running and fitness has improved a lot! Looking back, to stay in Zone 2 I used to have to run 13-14 minute miles. Now I can run 11:30 minute miles and it feels easy and doesn’t spike my heart rate.
I’m still feeling the nerves about my half marathon though. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why! It’s not like it’s my first half marathon, in fact, it will be my fourth. I think it’s because this is the first half marathon that I have really trained for. I have put the time and effort in and really want everything to go right on the day.
Thursday 10th January:
I know things had been going too well with my training! I hadn’t missed a run session for around 6 months, until today. As soon as I woke up I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. My head felt like it was in a vice, my ears, nose and throat hurt… I struggled through work, fighting the temptation to go home at lunch time. Convincing myself that I was already there and may as well stay, I battled through the day. Hoping to feel better later on so that I could run.
Eventually I finished work at 5pm, got stuck in traffic and made it home for around 5:45pm. I got in, ate, showered and went straight to bed. Looking back, I remember when I would struggle to motivate myself to run or train. Now, on the other hand, I had to convince myself that running would really not be a good idea with how ill I felt!
Reluctantly I stayed in bed, telling myself that I needed to rest and recover so that I was fully fit for my half marathon next Sunday.
Friday 11th January:
I didn’t think it was possible, but I woke up Friday feeling ten times worse! Even my teeth were hurting…
Still, it was hard to call into work sick. My anxiety plays a big part here and I hate letting people down. Part of me was tempted to go in and struggled through the day again, but I was feeling dizzy and didn’t really fancy the drive in. I plucked up the courage and called in sick at 7:10am. Promptly heading straight back to sleep afterwards.
I woke up at 8:15ish as Chris was calling me. Usually I call him when I arrive at work, typically between 8 and 8:15am. I told him that I had called in sick and was still in bed. Again, I hung up and went to bed. I was then woken up by my phone ringing, again. It was Chris to say that he was going to be a bit late home. I looked at the time and was shocked to see that it was 3:40pm!
After ending the phone call, I headed downstairs to make a drink and get some food. I wasn’t really hungry but knew that I had to eat something. I went back up to bed with Tess and we lay in bed watching Netflix until Chris got home at around 6:40pm.
He made us both some food and we then lay in bed watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I went to bed straight after the film finished, before 10pm. I knew Parkrun wasn’t on the cards, so at least I didn’t have to set an alarm…
Saturday 12th January:
Typically I woke up early as if I was going to Parkrun. I immediately knew that this wouldn’t be the case as I still felt really ill and dizzy. Chris went to Jiu Jitsu whilst I had a lie in. At around 12:30pm we ventured into town to do our weekly shop. I was still feeling really rough but was hopeful of completing a treadmill run later in the evening.
Unfortunately, I got home and experienced another bad dizzy spell so decided against trying to run. Instead, I opted to rest in the hope that I could still complete my planned tapered 8 mile long run on Sunday.
Sunday 13th January:
I’m starting to feel better, but still not well enough to risk running. I can’t afford to make myself worse as I am back at work tomorrow and need to rest up before my half marathon next weekend. It’s just a mental thing, but I feel like I’ve lost some fitness and don’t feel as prepared for my half marathon. It’s a bit frustrating as up until this week my training had been going really well!
Total Miles = 10 (should have been 27.1)
Training Hours = 2:10:56
Positives = I enjoyed my weight session and the 2 runs I managed went as planned.
Negatives = a really bad week due to illness. It was a taper week but only completing 10 miles has left me feeling really down.
Next Week = 2 weights sessions, a Yoga session and 2 runs. Saturday will be total rest before my half marathon on the Sunday.