Last week’s report can be found here.
This week I had planned 7 sessions; 5 runs, 1 Yoga session and 1 weights sessions.
Monday 11th February:
I still haven’t set out a definitive plan for my strength training, so decided to complete the same exercises as last week.
- 5×10 Push Ups
- 5×10 Barbell Row at 20kg
- 5×10 Bench Press at 20kg
- 5×10 Squats
- 5×10 Triceps Dips
- 1×50 Bicycle Crunches
Just like last week, I decided to complete the above in pure circuit fashion. This would mean 1 set of 10 push ups, 15 seconds rest and then onto the next exercise and repeat until I completed my barbell rows. After each row set I would take a 60 second recovery period before restarting from the top.
I felt stronger on my push ups this time, however I still found the bench press and triceps dips difficult. The triceps dips were especially tough. I started to feel the burn in my muscles at around the fifth repetition per set. The last two reps of each set were a real challenge.
After completing each exercise 5 times I did 1 set of 50 bicycle crunches. This only took around a minute and I definitely felt it in my core!
I was a bit nervy of adding in some lunges and more leg work as Tuesday’s club runs are always tough sessions. Usually they are hills or speed work and require a lot of effort so I didn’t want to risk burning my legs out.
Tuesday 12th February:
Gone are the Tuesday anxiety issues! I have found a club that I really enjoy training with. The people are all friendly and encouraging, so I actually look forward to my club runs!
The area which we have been running around for the last 3 club runs is pretty hill, so when the coach said that today was hill day, I was a bit nervous! For me, even our steady Thursday run last week seemed like a hill run.
We started off with a gentle 0.6 mile run until we reached the area where the coach had planned the session. He explained that we would be running 4 laps clockwise around the block and then 4 laps anti-clockwise. I set off for my first lap, without knowing how far it would be, probably a little too quick. The first section was downhill before levelling out a little, until you reached the final stretch which was a fairly steep incline. I remembered to lap my watch for each repeat, and as expected, each lap got a little slower! The 6th split below was the first of the anti-clockwise laps. This was actually harder! The final hill climb was now the only descent and the rest of the lap was an uphill battle.
Split 10 was spent running backwards and forwards on a straight section whilst I waited for the rest of the group to finish their laps. We then had a steady run back to the club, taking a slightly longer route.
All in all, this was a tough session! I was running quicker than usual whilst also competing with some steep hills. As such, I spent a lot of time in zones 4 and 5. Tuesday’s will now be my tough run days, followed by a treadmill recovery day on Wednesday.
Wednesday 13th February:
Yesterday was a tough club session so today was just about getting some “easy” miles in. As such, the plan was a 9 mile run with the simple aim of remaining in heart rate zone 2.
I started off slower than I felt I needed to as I was in a little discomfort with my left outer hip area. For mile 2 I picked up the pace a little, but was still cautious. Miles 3-5 were ran with an average pace of between 10:42-10:45. I then started to experience more discomfort so slowed the pace a little for the remaining miles. Miles 6-9 were completed with a pace of between 10:56-11:01.
My average pace whilst remaining in zone 2 has definitely improved. The distance of 9 miles also no longer seems daunting! I’m hoping that my niggle remedies itself for tomorrow’s run.
Thursday 14th February:
I did let my coach know on Tuesday that I wouldn’t be running with the club today. It was my nan’s birthday, so the plan was to run to my mum’s (I had left her present there), run a few laps of the estate, pick up nan’s present and then run to nan’s before eventually running back home. The aim was to run 8 miles.
Unfortunately, I had picked up a bit of a niggle in the outside of my left hip and it had been bothering me the night before. I was still optimistic of running, however I didn’t think the full 8 miles would be on the cards.
After struggling with walking to and from the toilet at work, I decided it would be best to take a full rest day. I didn’t want to risk making it worse. It was a disappointment as I wanted to try and stay at the 40 miles a week mark, and this would put me at under 35 miles if the rest of the week went to plan.
Friday 15th February:
The rest yesterday had helped and I wasn’t in any more discomfort. To try and hopefully prevent it from reoccurring in the future, I found a lower body stretch video to follow. It did feel good to stretch and unwind. I also spent 5 or so minutes with my massage stick to try and get rid of any tightness in my muscles. The outer side of my hip was very tender when under the massager!
Saturday 16th February:
Still on my quest for my 50 Parkrun milestone I headed to West Park. I had planned an easy zone 2 run, however I was still disappointed at missing Thursday’s run. As such, don’t ask me why, I wanted to push a bit harder today. Not an all-out try and get a personal best hard, but just comfortably hard.
I made a conscious decision to start at an easier pace and not sprint off from the start. Consequently the first 6-7 minutes was spent in zone 1 and 2. This was probably the sole reason why my mile 1 average pace was 10:12.
It was at the start of mile 2 that I decided to aim for another sub-30 minute 5k. There were a few pacers for today’s run; 20, 25, 27 and 30 minutes. I kept the 30 minute pacer in my sights and eventually over took him. To my surprise, he later passed me, which made me look at my watch. I was still well on course for a sub-30 minute 5k, so I’m not sure if he had fallen a bit behind or what.
I found this quite tough, despite not running at an all-out pace. My niggle held up pretty well, which was a bonus, so hopefully I can manage the full 17 miles on my long run tomorrow as planned.
Sunday 17th February:
Ok, I really didn’t set myself up well for today. I didn’t drink enough yesterday and ended up going to bed late as I got a bit hooked on playing Apex Legends! As such, I only had around 6 and a half hours sleep. Needless to say that getting up for a run was a challenge in itself!
I started off slower than I usually do as I was still nervy of the niggle in my hip returning. I was catching up on last weekend’s athletics and managed to get the 2 mile mark fairly easily. Like usual on my long runs I don’t tend to watch my pace, but instead keep my watch on the heart rate zone screen, unless I flick back just to check my distance. I noticed that my heart rate was in zone 2, but was higher than normal. This was strange as my pace wasn’t any quicker than my usual long, slow run pace. Still, I remained in zone 2 so pushed on.
At around the 8 mile mark I was starting to struggle a little. I was feeling a bit fatigued, and my heart rate was showing that. I dropped the pace slightly to try and get back to the lower end of zone 2. It was at the 12 mile mark that I had to reduce my pace further as I had briefly entered zone 3. Miles 16 and 17 were a real challenge, and were the slowest 2 miles of the run.
To be honest, despite managing to stay in zone 2 or below for all but 2 seconds of the session, and it being my furthest non-stop run, the rest of it was just not very good! I felt like I struggled a lot more than usual and really had to reduce my pace. My heart rate was higher and I spent a lot less time in zone 1 than usual. I think this was just down to poor preparation on my part with the lack of hydration and sleep. We’ll see how I get on during my next run. On the plus side, my hip held up better than expected – this could all change tomorrow though!
Total Miles = 34.3
Training Hours = 7:08:00
Positives = I’ve decided that I will be joining a running club officially next week. Longest run of 17 miles.
Negatives = I had to miss my Thursday run due to a niggle. Parkrun felt tough, despite being nowhere near a personal best. Sunday’s long run was also more challenging than usual.
Next Week = I’m hoping to get back into the 40 miles per week range as I fell short due to missing a run this week. I will be joining a running club officially too so I may race Parkrun depending on how I feel. My long run is planned to be 18 miles, assuming that my niggle doesn’t flair back up.