Friday, May 27, 2016

Why Do People Put Themselves Through It....

Every Bank Holiday, like lemmings, they decide to travel to the seaside - believing they are the only ones who have thought of the idea - and then spend a delightful afternoon, slowly roasting in an open car, as they take in the delights of the M5 vista....

As I drove north, on the way home, the queues were amongst some of the longest I have ever seen. I chuckled - being the warped, evil bastard I am. I did feel sorry for the lorry drivers and normal commuters who get caught up in the madness though. I'm sure I will get my hit of karma at some point - but it won't be self induced, unlike the Bank Holiday numpties.

Rest day today ahead of another short, sharp run tomorrow.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A More Promising Run...

I continued with my plan to run shorter, 'quicker' routes between now and the Rack Raid Relays a week Sunday. So it was the Velthouse Lane Loop tonight. A 9k-ish loop with a hill at the start and then flat with mild undulations.

I took it steady up and over the hill and then put in the work. I kept my heart rate high and didn't let up. Legs didn't get tight tonight and the pace was faster. I still need some more speed though but it's good to get the legs moving quicker. My endurance is okay so it's that leg speed which is the focus. I still have some work to do - but I don't have much time...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mostly A Rest Day

Forty minutes on the bike and some solid ab-crunches and push-ups tonight. A rest day ahead of more running stuff tomorrow... Not sure quite what yet but it will definitely involve moving one leg in front of the other repetitively - hopefully at speed....

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bit Of A Crap Run

But a run, never the less. Didn't have it tonight. I thought I was going to have a strong run, all the little aches and pains gone. Not really sure why it was rubbish. Perhaps, having been sat on my arse in front of a computer for the best part of nine hours might have had something to do with it. I did finish with a Strava PR on the Hobbs Quarry climb so maybe I should have done a bit stretching and some kind of warm up before I got underway.

The plan for the next seven or eight days is shorter, flatter runs on firmer surfaces followed by three or four days rest in order to prepare myself for The Comeback race. Now confirmed - subject to late changes/relegation - as a leg of the Race Raid Relay on the 5th...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Recovering...

I got my thirty minute bike session out of the way early. I wanted to make sure I did something today despite various body parts feeling sore. I'm not concerned about the quads and my calf muscles feel surprisingly okay considering how tight and sore they were during the run yesterday. More worrying is my right foot. The arch is sore just after the ball of my foot. Not unwalkably sore - mind you, I don't think unwalkably is a word - but sore enough that I don't want to be running today. I'm robust though so don't expect the soreness to last long. Which is a good thing as a little birdy - or more accurately, a spreadsheet - currently shows that I'm making The Comeback on 5th June....

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Solid Recce

No doubt, having now reccied stage 4 of the Cotswold Way Relay, I'll be moved onto a different stage...

Anyway, I think I managed to avoid the worst of the weather as I set out from the Quarry by the Devil's Chimney just after 11 this morning wearing my waterproof top - because it was raining - but very quickly regretted the decision. It wasn't long before I stopped and took it off. I figured getting wet was a better option that slowly cooking myself alive.

I felt sluggish to begin with but with a few km in the legs I started to feel better. It wasn't long before I felt I was actually going pretty strongly - including the uphill sections as well. It's a been a while since I've felt like that. I was only reduced to a walk twice. First on the infamous Coopers Hill - which I'll grant is steep but also very short so you don't really lose much time on it and then on the Buckholt wood climb which is probably just a steep as Coopers. Other than that I can claim to very nearly have had my old sea legs on. As a side note, as I ran over Coopers Hill I did wonder if I should loop around and run it again - apparently that is the protocol for some of the runners....

I reached the Royal William in about 90 minutes, give or take. I stopped to shake all the grit and mud out of my shoes before heading back on the return leg. By the time I reached Coopers my right calf was tightening up. Probably as a result of the stronger, faster ascending. From there the pace slowed and I decided to cut out the Crickley Hill bit to reduce the distance a little. Don't want to be getting myself injured.

In all I covered a gnats ass short of 30km and 870m ascent in 2:55. Pleased with that. Hopefully the right calf will feel better in the morning.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Gonna Be A Rainy Recce Tomorrow...

I'm intending to head over to Crickley Hill and recce 'most' of stage 4 of the Cotswold Way. I say 'most' because I'm aiming to start from the road section just after the Devil's Chimney and run to The Royal William. Then, having reached the William, I shall re-trace my steps all the way back to the car. Hence the reason I shall be recceing most but not all of stage 4. The first section from Seven Springs to the Devil's Chimney is pretty straight forward - famous last words - and I have run that section before - honest guv... If it all goes as planned the run will be in the region of 21 miles and 900m ascent.



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Impromptu Holiday

With my car not quite getting through its MOT yesterday I was forced into a day off today. I decided to go for the 9km May Hill loop and it went quite well. I was quicker than the last time - always a good thing - but, slightly disappointingly, a few seconds slower on the final, short climb to Hobbs Quarry. I definitely need a few good hill and speed sessions to put the finishing touches on the training. I finished off with a 15 minute cool down on the bike.

Anyway, my wheels are now back on the road, so it's off to work I go tomorrow...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Overcooked It...

I attempted to run some intervals tonight. It didn't quite go to the plan. The rep is 700m from the end of the road to the church and slightly uphill on the outward rep. I warmed up by jogging to the church to start with a downhill rep - and from there it went a little wrong. I legged it way too fast. Hitting the first rep in 2:22. With 90s recovery done I slowed significantly on the uphill to 2:50. I was fading fast. With another 90s recovery I ran the third in 2:35 and I decided to call a halt as I was struggling, having burnt myself out setting an unrealistic pace. I guess that's what comes with being out of practice. I shall learn the lesson and pace it better next time. I finished tonight's training with 30 minutes on the bike and some core work. Week 22 has begun...


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 21 Ends On A Restful Note...

My legs were sore, mainly the quads, so I decided to pull a rest day. Just a leg easing hour on the bike. Hopefully I will be fit for action tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

That Was Hard Work...

My legs were feeling heavy after yesterday's run. Not sore just heavy. I decided on the clockwise Flaxley loop and set out early afternoon. Unsurprisingly it wasn't long before I knew a PB was unlikely at best. The first climb into the woods from the road was damn hard work. Despite the heavy legs I was determined to make it a solid workout and pushed on in the second third of the route but I came to a grinding halt on the final climb. From there I decided to bide my time, get to the top and then push on again.

I was surprised to finish only a few seconds slower than last time. Even more surprising was that Strava tells me my times for the first two climbs were actually quicker than last time. I lost all the time on that third, steeper climb, which brought me to my knees.

Not sure how my legs are going to feel tomorrow - probably not good. Hopefully I will be able to carry out the plan of three runs in a row. I'm entering the last few weeks before The Comeback so really need to maximise any gains.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Stonking Good Run

I got over to the Malverns mid morning and set out with the intention of bettering my last run 26 days ago. The wind was stronger than I expected but other than that conditions were good. The splits, that I had so carefully calculated and written down last night, remained on the piece of paper on the table in my living room - bloody waste of time that was. I could recall just one split, 62 minutes to the Worcestershire Beacon on the way out and the total time 2:24.

I found it hard going and didn't feel I was going very well. Thoughts of it being a disappointing run very quickly started forming in my mind. I kept going but it never felt good. As I headed over Pinnacle Hill, the distance I had to cover and the hills in between I had to climb to reach the Worcestershire Beacon looked impossible to achieve the 62 minute split. I dug in and pushed on, not really believing I could do it.

Impossibly I seemed to eat up the ground between there and Summer Hill - that's the hill before the Worcestershire Beacon. As I started the climb to Summer Hill I realised I could probably make the hour after all - and so I did. Buoyed by the fact I was going alright I pushed on. Despite being out of the comfort zone I was feeling more positive that it was going to be a good run after all.

As I neared the Hereford Beacon on the way back I began to realise I would be well inside the time from last time. I should add that last time's run was 400m longer due to parking in a different car park but I adjusted the target time accordingly. The big question was by how much...

I got back to the car in 2:14. A full ten minutes quicker than last time (adjusted for distance). Route distance today was 22.5km with 1170m ascent. An improvement of 22 seconds per kilometre average pace. Really pleased with that.





Thursday, May 12, 2016

Got My Splits All Set...

Going for the full Malverns again tomorrow. I've made a note of split points along the route so I can monitor how I'm going. Then moving into the weekend proper, as this week has been a little light, I'm intending to run all three days. Haven't decided what or where yet for Saturday or Sunday but ideally I'll average an hour a day.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Twenty One

Week 21 begins with a 2000m row, gym bike and ab-crunches. I'm still feeling Saturday's long run in terms on feeling fatigued but my legs aren't sore so I must be getting stronger. Undecided on what session to run tomorrow...