Last week’s report can be found here.
This week I had planned 7 sessions; 5 runs, 1 Yoga session and 1 weights session.
|Weights||Club Run||Run||Club Run||Yoga||Parkrun||Long Run|
Monday 25th February:
I find working out, or being productive, harder on Monday’s than any other day! Still, I dislike missing a Monday session as I feel it starts the week off badly.
Today’s session was as follows:
- 2×10 Push Ups
- 2×10 Triceps Dips
- 2×10 Squats
- 2×10 Lunges
- 2×30 Bicycle Crunches
I completed these circuit style, so 1 set of 10 followed by 15 seconds rest before moving onto the next exercise. I took 30 seconds recovery after my bicycle crunches before restarting the circuit.
After completing 2 rounds of the above circuit I added the following:
- 2×10 Bench Press at 20kg
- 2×10 Barbell Row at 20kg
- 1×10 Deadlift at 50kg
I completed 10 barbell bench press reps and then took 30 seconds rest before completing my second set. I then moved onto the barbell row, using the same 30 second rest period. For the deadlift I increased the weight to 50kg and had a 90 second rest after my second barbell row set as I had to add weight plates to the bar.
I wish I could push myself in my weight training as much as I do with my running. Despite not being a fast runner, I feel like I can push myself further and through tougher workouts. When it comes to weight training or cross training in general, I struggle with motivation and just sail through my workouts. I never leave a cross training session feeling like I have given it my all.
Tuesday 26th February:
I had been looking forward to this club session since last Tuesday when the coach had told us that it would be a shorter session but that we would be on the track. Previously I have only ran 1 lap on the track and that was just a steady jog around as I was being shown around the stadium. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the session, but was eager to see what it was like to run on a track.
The coach explained that we were to run two laps of an area off the track and then complete one 400 metre lap using lane 1 of the track. We were to repeat this for a total of 5 times. I have added the workout map below as I forgot to lap my watch for each part so I’m not sure how far each of the off track sections were.
I decided to take the off track parts at an easier pace and then run harder on the track. It was a little easier to run faster on the track as it just felt more natural and inspiring. In the end I actually managed to complete 6 laps of the track before the coach got us all to regroup. We were then to run 2 more laps of the track, before finishing up with a couple of steady jogs on the grass before a few sprints to finish the session.
I really enjoyed this session. For me, the Tuesday’s sessions are great as I can push myself and really get my heart rate up as they are usually speed or hill sessions. After we had finished the run the group had a bit of a meeting and the coach asked me if I would like to move up to the next group who run at a quicker pace. I advised him that I would consider it, but enjoyed my Tuesday sessions as I could run as hard or as easy as I wanted. Running with a quicker group might be beneficial for some Thursday sessions, however I do also like to do some steady zone 2 runs at a slower pace.
Overall, it was a great session and nice to be running fast. I also opted to wear my Nike Zoom Elite 10’s as they are lighter and felt great on the track. These are my 5k PB shoes and I find that they help me get into the right frame of mind for running fast!
Wednesday 27th February:
I had planned for 9 miles today as that would ensure that I hit the 40+ miles per week range. However, today wasn’t going to be a good day. I had to get up at 4:30am as Chris’s car wouldn’t start so I had to take him to work. When I got home for just after 5am, I returned to bed, but found it hard to get back to sleep.
Struggling to keep my eyes open at work, it was needless to say that I wasn’t looking forward to my run. To top it off, I got stuck in traffic and ended up getting home around 15 minutes later than usual. This was typical as I wanted to watch the football so was already cutting it close with my planned 9 miles, so the delay didn’t help.
I got home and debated skipping my run entirely. I’d be attending my running club tomorrow, I said as I tried to justify it to myself. Not wanting to let myself down, as I knew I’d feel bad if I missed a run, especially for no real reason, I decided to at least do something even if it wasn’t the planned 9 miles.
With my head not really being in the game, I got on the treadmill and decided to see how far I could get but whilst remaining in heart rate zone 2 as I had completed a tough speed session yesterday. I was keeping an eye on the time as I didn’t want to miss the football.
It was a tough run. Mentally my head wasn’t really feeling it and my legs were still heavy from my previous training, including Sunday’s 17 miler and yesterday’s track workout. I made it to the 6 mile mark, which felt like a challenge in itself, and then called it a day so that I could get food and watch the football.
I managed to stay in zones 1 and 2, however my average pace was a bit disappointing at 11:32. Most of the run had been spent towards the top end of zone 2, and I think this shows a bit of fatigue as I can usually run faster whilst keeping my heart rate at 155 beats per minute.
On the positive side, at least I didn’t completely skip my run! Despite the lack of sleep and just general bad day, I still managed to get through a training session. Previously I would have struggled to find the willpower and dedication required, so that’s a step in the right direction.
Thursday 28th February:
I arrived at my running club and was glad to see that it wasn’t raining. As I like to be prepared I had been keeping my eye on the weather forecast and it had been predicting rain from 4pm until around 9pm, which would have made for a pretty soggy club run!
I soon realized that I hadn’t been the only one monitoring the weather as there were only 3 other members of our group to show up. As such, I was expecting a relatively comfortable run. This soon changed when the slightly quicker group asked my run leader if they could tag along with us as they were short in numbers too. My run leader advised that it wouldn’t be an issue, however they may be running slower than usual… this turned out to be wrong!
Our first mile came in with an average moving pace of 10:07, however the total time was 10:39 due to waiting at traffic lights, etc. Mile 2 was faster still, and I was starting to worry about my ability to keep up as we came in with an average pace of 9:34, and again that was slowed slightly due to having to stop for roads. I can run faster than this and have done for my 5k personal bests, but I sometimes struggle in the evening and wasn’t at all prepared for a tough session.
Mile 3 was made even tougher by the fact that it started to rain. In fact, rain is an understatement as the heaven’s opened and it was pouring down. I was struggling to see in the dark and through my steamed up and raindrop covered glasses. My clothes were too wet to be able to wipe my glasses so I just plodded on. I was a bit nervy of running quick as I didn’t want to run into something or trip up!
The conditions made crossing roads and navigating a lot harder as we also had to contend with large puddles. This meant that the average pace was pulled down a little, however the average moving pace was still quicker than my usual Thursday runs. I definitely felt the increased pace and felt like I was working hard.
Miles 5 and 6 slowed as we continued to battle narrow paths and the heavy rain. I was so happy when the run leader advised that we were nearly back at the club. When we finally made it back, I was just over a quarter of a mile from reaching the 6 mile mark, so we did a few laps of the car park to round the number up.
By the end of the run I was absolutely soaked through and didn’t even want to get in my car as I was that wet. It was nice to get the heater on though! For a Thursday session I worked harder than usual, and this was also made harder as my legs were still recovering from earlier sessions in the week.
Friday 1st March:
I did get drawn into watching the Indoor Athletics, however after watching Laura Muir win her 1500m heat, I decided I really should train! The 3000m final was until 9:40pm, so I wanted to train and then get back to watching the athletics.
Originally I had planned for a Yoga session and I did start a YouTube video, but just wasn’t in the mood. I was bored within 60 seconds of pressing play so decided to do a strength session instead!
I completed the following in a circuit style (1 set of each, 15 seconds rest between each exercise and then 30 seconds rest at the end of the squats):
- 2×10 Push Ups
- 2×10 Triceps Dips
- 2×30 Bicycle Crunches
- 2×5 Deadlift at 40kg
- 2×10 Squats at 40kg
After completing the above, I finished up with the following:
- 1×10 Side Lunges
- 1×10 Back Lunges
- 2×10 Glute Bridges
- 60 Second Plank
It wasn’t the longest workout as the entire session only lasted just over 14 minutes, but it was still challenging. I’m not sure what it is with the triceps dips but I always feel the burn! Despite dropping the weight from my 55kg deadlift, the 40kg still proved tough! To top it off, the 60 second plank was a killer. I try not to look at my watch but this always feels like the longest minute ever.
Saturday 2nd March:
Today’s Parkrun wasn’t going to be about trying to get a new personal best as I smashed my PB last week (went from 27:22 to 25:58). Instead it was going to be a comfortably hard effort and ideally a sub-30 minute run whilst remaining in heart rate zone 3 or under.
My first lap came in at 10:02, and I decided that I wanted to try and negative split my run. Mile 2 came in quicker at 9:34. The third mile is usually the one I struggle with the most, however I managed a full negative split. Mile 3 came in at 9:13.
So all three aims were achieved: sub-30, negative splits and I only spent 17 seconds in zone 4 which was for my 0.1 mile sprint finish. It feels like ages ago that I was struggling to hit my sub-30 minute goal, whereas now I can reach it without really pushing too hard.
I would have liked to have done a second run later on the evening, however I was attending a wedding fayre with my cousin and then had a lot on. I was hoping to make up the miles to try and get me to 40 miles for the week, but I couldn’t find the time. Saying that, I did walk about a mile and a half whilst waiting for my cousin to arrive at the wedding fayre, but I didn’t record it as an activity.
Sunday 3rd March:
Due to having a busy day yesterday we didn’t get around to doing our weekly food shop. This meant that it would have to be done today. As such, I decided to get up earlier than usual and run my planned 18 miles outdoors as I didn’t want to disturb the neighbours with the treadmill.
I got dressed and ready to go. It would also be my first time using my Camelbak bladder bag to carry my drink. Within a minute of stepping outside, I returned to the house. My heart rate monitor strap wasn’t being picked up by my watch. I switched straps and then headed back out.
The plan was to run the canal path, which is 1 mile, and then run 8 miles along the canal before turning around and following the same route back. As soon as I turned the first corner from home it started to rain, so I knew I was going to be in for a challenging run! My watch also notified me that I was in -4 performance condition, which wasn’t the greatest motivator. Still, I turned my music up a little and just focussed on getting through my run,
I reached the canal and made my way down to the path. There was a squirrel running next to me and a strange looking bird. With the rain coming down it was hard for me to see my watch as I had rain on my glasses and also on the watch screen. Due to this, I decided to just run at a pace that I felt was comfortable and try not to push too hard.
Upon reaching the 4 mile mark, I was feeling good. Up until the point most of the run had been on pavement or tarmac paths, however that was soon to change. I had to cross a bridge to continue my run and the other side was a mud path. Instantly I wished that I had opted for my trail shoes!
Just after 7 miles I encountered a rather long, dark tunnel. I was a bit nervy of running through it as I’m not keen on confined spaces or the dark! I was also thinking about the loss of GPS for my watch. I decided to go through it, but increased my pace to ensure that I wasn’t there for any longer than I had to be.
Originally, the plan was to run 9 miles and then turn around to follow the exact same route back. However, when I got to around 8.3 miles things got a little confusing. There were multiple bridges and I didn’t want to risk carrying on straight over and then taking the wrong bridge back. I followed the path around to the left and just after the 8.5 mile mark I turned around to head back the same way I had come from.
The halfway point came along and I was still feeling strong. It felt good to be running back towards home! At around the 11 mile mark mile I started to get discomfort in my left hip (again) and also a little in my right knee. I pushed on, but soon encountered another problem just after mile 12. I didn’t recognize the path that I was on or the surrounding buildings. Not long before I had to make a choice of 2 bridges, so I thought I had made the wrong choice. As such, I turned around and ran back to the 2 bridges to instead take the left bridge.
Mile 13 came around and I was still struggling through. I had to take a few short walk breaks as the grass bank got narrow in places and there were also people walking dogs. I didn’t want to risk falling in the canal! At around the 13.75 mile mark, I was a bit confused. I could no longer run straight ahead as the path was closed, so I had to turn left. The sign said it was towards Wolverhampton, so I figured I was heading in the right direction, however I knew that it wasn’t the path I had originally set out on.
Just before the 14.5 mile mark, I reached a sign which said Tipton Canal Junction (5.5 miles to Wolverhampton). This made me feel a bit better as Tipton wasn’t too far from home, so I continued along the canal path. At around the 15.75 mile mark, the next sign I could see was the bridge which had a “Netherton Tunnel” sign on it. This is where I started to panic. How had I ended up here, and how was I going to get back? At this point, I was soaking wet, hungry and lost. I didn’t think I would be able to run back the way I had come to try and get myself on the correct canal path, so instead decided to leave the canal and find the road.
I grabbed my phone from my Camelbak and opened Google Maps. Luckily I could play the directions through my Bluetooth headphones so that I didn’t have to keep my phone in my hand. I stopped my music and also sent Chris a text to see what time his Aikido class finished. He then called me and I explained I was a bit lost. I read out the closest street signs, and he opened up Garmin Livetrack to see where I was. He then offered directions and I stayed on the phone to him as I made my way towards home. His Aikido class wasn’t too far away, so when I reached the 18 mile mark, I stopped and waited for him to reach me. By this point, I was only around 1.5 miles from home, so it was tempting to at least walk the last bit to complete the full loop, but I didn’t want to push too far. We also still had shopping to do and I wanted a hot shower and some food!
All in all, my long run was an adventure! Despite the poor weather conditions and my detour, I was still in good spirits. My average pace was good for a long run, although I did spend over 52 minutes in zone 3, and some of the steep climbs had pushed me into zone 4. Running with my Camelbak had been comfortable and it was surprisingly easy to drink from, so that was a good test. I think I’ll stick to looped routes or my treadmill for long runs in the future though!
Total Miles = 37.1
Training Hours = 7:15:07
Positives = I had a really good speed session with my club on Tuesday. I also didn’t bail out of my Wednesday run, despite not having a great day. My longest run of 18 miles on Sunday.
Negatives = fell short of the 40 mile week that I wanted – although it can be hard to plan mileage as I’m running twice with my club and never know how many miles a session will be. My left hip and right knee are a bit niggly after my Sunday long run.
Next Week = I will be reducing my Sunday long run slightly as I have my half marathon on the 24th March. I can never predict the mileage of my club runs so usually put them down as 5 miles and then anything extra is an added bonus. I’d like to be around 37-40 miles for the week, however it depends how my hip and knee feel after Sunday’s long run.