Week 7, and I need to take things up a level with the running…
This week’s blog is brought to you by the Enerizer Bunny because I need to keep going and going and going through Easter.
Monday 14 April 2014
I was in the office today and ate an apple during my drive in, drank water when I got there, and snacked on nuts. I ate a bowl of alara organic goji berries and pineapple muesli (kamut flakes, oat flakes, sultanas, dried apricots dice, rye flakes, sunflower seeds, goji berries, golden linseeds and dried pineapple pieces), to which I added my usual flaxseed, chia, maca and spirulina. Today I was doing a Fartlek run of 40 minutes, which would be 3 minutes of warm up followed by 1 minute bursts and 3 minutes recovery. I would keep that going for the 40 minutes or 5 miles, whichever was the latter. The run was in the sun again, but still with a headwind at times, and it felt very good throughout, for the three big laps and one small lap. It came to 5.2 miles, and I brought it all in at 47 minutes and 48 seconds, still at just over 9 minutes per mile, but slightly quicker than my last Fartlek run over the same course. I got back into the office and drank a cup of milk before doing some squats and taking my shower. Now it is time to recover and refuel ready for this evening, so I continued drinking water, ate a banana, some more muesli with added flaxseed, chia and maca, and some dates.
- Run (work) – Fartlek
- Squats – 50
Tuesday 15 April 2014
I was supposed to be in London for a meeting during the day, but it was postponed at the last minute, so I ended up working from home. I took the opportunity to go for a run, just doing two of the big laps at home, which saw me run 4.5 miles in 44 minutes and 17 seconds in the lovely sun. I always think that my home course is a harder run than my work course, so I was happy enough with that time.
I ate a banana as I drove to Welwyn Garden City for the early Regiment Fitness session, which this evening was being taken by Tom and Richard. The sun was shining, and it was a lovely evening. We began with a running warm up which built up to sprints and finished off with a run to the far side and back. We did not get to the circuit in good time so we got a 10 burpee forfeit. The circuit had us split into two groups, with one group doing exercises in a cone circle while the other group ran to the far side of the field and back before running a lap around the cone circle. Inside the cone circle we did 10 repetitions of two exercises each time, repeating one set after the other until the runners returned, doing press ups and sit ups; close hand press ups and leg raises; left arm press ups and right arm press ups; dirty man sit ups and leg extensions; burpees and burpees with a tuck jump. It was a lot of running. We split into two groups and then my group split into threes to work with a tyre and then a log. We started with the tyre, running inside the painted track which runs around the playing fields with the tyre held over our head, swapping it between us as required, and having to run with perfectly straight arms when Tom noticed me. We did 40 squats with the log before setting off, carrying it between the three of us around the same track, having to double back at one point as ordered by Tom, before finally bringing it back to the start point. It had been harder than the tyre. We moved on to the boxing, working in two circles, one static as the ones boxing did standing straight arm punching for a Regiment Fitness 10 seconds before moving round to the left to the next person, and finishing with a Regiment Fitness 20 seconds at the final person. It was a great way to bring an excellent session to a end before we had a sitting warm down, which is one of the benefits of the sun having returned and the ground having dried out at last.
- Run (home) – 4.5 miles – 44 minutes 17 seconds
- Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
Wednesday 16 April 2014
I was supposed to be in Stoke for a training course during the day, but a work meeting got in the way of that and as I found myself in the office in Northampton I decided to put in an Interval Workout run. Today that would be seven sets of 400 metres at 5km pace, each followed by 400 metres at 10km pace. I ran 3 minutes of warm up followed by seven sets of 1 minute at the full pace, with a minute after each at the recovery pace. Doing that in the sunny conditions (which still found a way to include a headwind !) I managed to complete one big lap, got all the way down the middle road and round the corner to the first lamppost on a small lap, which is further than I have got before, and continued on to finish 2.6 miles in 21 minutes and 29 seconds, which is quicker than the last time I ran this IW. My legs were feeling tight after the big lap so I am pleased with that result. I drank some milk when I got back into the office, did some squats, had my shower and then ate some nuts, dates and a yoghurt.
- Run (work) – 7 x 400 Interval Workout
- Squats – 50
Thursday 17 April 2014
Work. There were a couple of times when I thought I might be able to fit in a run, but to no avail. I thought I would be able to get along to Regiment Fitness, but that did not happen, so instead I did some exercises at home.
- Thrive – shoulders
- Squats – 100
Friday 18 April 2014
It was warm outside when I left the house to go and collect the children, but by the time I got to the Regiment Fitness session at St Albans it was cold outside of the direct sun with a biting breeze blowing across the park. There was a good turn out for the session, which was being taken by Steven. He had not set out a lot of equipment, but I could see the rope… We got going with a running warm up which built into sprints and finished with a run over to the other side of the park and back. We split into teams of three for the circuit, one of us doing shuttle runs, one of us using the medicine ball, and one of us doing a core exercise. So we had two shuttle runs, shoulder presses and plank; two shuttle runs, sit ups and press up taps (holding the press up position and reaching back to tap each ankle in turn); two shuttle runs, squat jumps and bridge; three shuttle runs, up and out presses and side planks(changing the side when we saw that the runner was half way through their shuttles); and we finished with three shuttle runs, Russian twists and scissors with our legs six inches off the ground, before a final push with a run over to the far side and back. We split into pairs for the boxing doing, two Regiment Fitness minutes of an assortment of straight punches, upper cuts, hooks, punches from the sit up position and sprawls (falling to the ground and getting back up), as instructed by Steven, before we swapped over and somehow became involved in the punches from the sit up position with our partner. Then we did 30 straight punches before running to the first cone, and repeating with a run to the far cone, and then repeating the whole thing with upper cuts. It came as no surprise that we then had a run over to the far side and back. We got into pairs so that we could split off into two teams for tug of war, and the team I was in won pulling uphill, and then won pulling downhill, to bring the best of three contest to a quick conclusion. Maybe it was because we had finished that earlier than planned that we got into a circle for a variety of sit ups before we finished off with a run over to the far side and back, and then the warm down, sitting in the sun. It had been a very enjoyable session to take us into the holiday weekend.
In the afternoon I took the children for a walk on Dunstable Downs and we followed the route of the Warrior Adrenaline Race as much as we could, seeing some of the obstacles along the way. I carried my 37lb bergen for the walk and we covered the 6 miles in around 2 and a half hours. They are so slow. To be fair, Stephen was chatting away all the way up Regiment Hill while I was just trying to make sure I kept breathing !
- Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
- Walk – 6 miles – 2 hours 30 minutes (loaded 37lbs)
Saturday 19 April 2014
In the morning I took a walk up to Empire Records in St Albans for Record Store Day and came away with some things by Katatonia, Marillion and Opeth. In the early afternoon we went to the cinema in Hatfield to see Muppets Most Wanted, which I really enjoyed. All of which adds up to the fact that I cannot understate what I achieved later on in the day, because eating popcorn and drinking Pepsi Max is clearly not the best preparation for a long run. I have been running since December 2012, only taking it up at that time as training for the Silverstone Half-Marathon, and through a number of training schedules I would say that at least 95% of my runs have been less than 8 miles long. I have either lacked the time to do longer runs (anything over 6 miles would take me longer than an hour) or I have lacked the motivation, which has often led to me telling myself I did not have the available time. And then once I have got into the run I have to deal with the negative thoughts telling me that I have gone far enough (which is a cunning positive spin on it all) or could not go any further. So the fact that my training schedule called for a 10 mile run on a day when I had spent the morning and early afternoon enjoying doing very little could have pretty much invited disaster. I was certainly not feeling motivated and it took a lot to even get me out there with the intention of running four big laps (2.3 miles each) and two small laps (0.8 miles each) on my home circuit. The first two laps went well and I knew after those that I could do this from a physical point of view. I had felt a stiffness on the inside of my right knee when I was warming up but I did not feel that while I was running, and nor did I feel anything in my knees or my shoulders, which was pleasing. My legs did start to feel stiff in the second half of the third lap but that feeling went, only to return again at the same stage on the fourth lap. My mind was trying to tell me that the four big laps would be sufficient, that would pretty much be the 10 miles required, but I knew I had to do more, so I told myself that once I had finished the third big lap I only had one more of those to do, and after that doing one small lap would be easy, and, in fact, so easy that doing a second lap would not take very much more to achieve. And so I got through the four big laps and on to the small laps, and although I knew my speed had dipped I also knew that I was going to do this, because it really is only two small laps, and if you can do one then you can do two because it is only one more. I pushed it on, getting back to the house after 1 hour 50 minutes and 50 seconds, stopped Strava and noticed that it was saying the run had been 16.9 miles. I knew that could not possibly be correct and while Strava appeared to also have the correct entry it would not load. Anyway, fortunately I have a rough idea of the distances on my home route (and they appear to have been confirmed by the Strava entry which would not load) and I record the time on my watch. So just under 11 miles in around 1 hour and 50 minutes – and while I am happy enough with that time, the main thing, the most important thing, is that I ran further than 10 miles. Nor more motivational barriers on that from now on then.
- Run (home) – 10.8 miles – 1 hour 50 minutes 50 seconds
Sunday 20 April 2014
I dropped the children back home and carried on to Dunstable Downs so that I could get in a bergen run. My schedule called for 8 miles with 20lbs but I was short of time so decided to do one lap of my route while carrying 37lbs. You can read about it here.
- Run (Dunstable Downs) – 5.2 miles – 1 hour 19 minutes 29 seconds (loaded 37lbs)
Positives from this week – I got in a long run and a bergen run.