Key aim for the week –
So last week was one of those weeks you want to put to one side. But it ended on a positive note on Sunday – I ditched the heart rate monitor and just got out and ran for an hour or so. Sometimes that’s all you need to blow away the cobwebs both mentally and physically. And so I felt much better at the end of the week versus the start.
OK I missed a race that I would have liked to have competed in but sometimes you have to change plans and think about the longer term. It was the correct decision and it opens up a good few weeks of training window before the next North East Harrier League fixture in November.
Time to get back on track. That said, no need to do anything silly this week and it will be predominantly easy running, keeping total duration overall around the same at 4-5hrs.
Weight on Monday morning –
I think this section of the blog will be getting deleted!
General mental state –
8.5 – feel like I’ve gotten through a rough patch and ready to get back on the uptick. With feeling under the weather last week I decided to get my ithlete HRV tracking back on to ensure that I am paying closer attention to my morning resting heart rate and making sure I don’t train hard on days where my heart rate is elevated or HRV has dipped. Given my day job my stress levels are quite high. So high at the moment that it is very very difficult to ever get a “rest day”. So I will record on here my morning heart rate and HRV readings for those that are interested.
On a scale of 1-10, 1 being exhausted need a break and 10 being 100% motivated and raring to go
Plan – Easy run, 45mins
HR = 52bpm | HRV = 107
Was pleased with the morning heart and HRV data and it confirmed how I was feeling, i.e. over the head cold. The advice from coach was to keep it easy all week. If I felt fully recovered I could maybe get 1 beat into threshold zone later in the week.
Got out and felt really good. I got the Garmin foot pod out. Actually I wore it on yesterdays Long Run as I just felt like I was letting things get lazy on the cadence front. That was confirmed when I let myself get into my natural rhythm of the last few months without the guidance of the foot pod. Its an excellent correctional tool and straight away I could see I’d let myself slip to the low 160s. That’s where I used to be prior to earlier this year where I put a load of effort into improving. I knew it had really helped my running. I know from experience that a quicker cadence helps you glide over the ground more efficiently, keeping your heart rate down and ultimately allowing you to run faster at a lower heart rate.
Anyway, the upshot is I will be wearing the foot pod a lot more to get back on track. On this run I was able to push my cadence up to 170 steps per minute and it paid off in terms of pace. I ran about 6.6 miles in 46 minutes at an average HR of 155bpm. Maybe the heart rate still a little elevated but felt good overall.
Plan – Threshold run, 40mins
HR = 56bpm | HRV = 98
The key thing with measuring HRV is establishing a baseline. Ideally you would do that on a week off but I am trying to do it whilst still getting my runs in. Day two proper and my heart rate has elevated 4bpm and HRV dropped to 98. Still no reason to change anything. But definitely no return to Threshold running yet.
I decided to run the same route as yesterday but throw in 1 mile at Threshold between miles 3 and 4. Again set off and everything felt great. So great in fact that I ticked off the first 3 miles in 6.55, 6.45 and 6.39 – heart rate around 150-155bpm!
Coming to the Threshold mile I increased the effort and felt good. Towards the end of the mile my Heart Rate got to a max of 180bpm and I was pleased to see a 5.43 mile. A good sign.
Padded in quite nicely for home and overall completed 6.6 miles in just over 44 minutes.
Plan – Recovery run, 50mins
HR = 64bpm | HRV = 81
A little bit worrying to see the Heart Rate another 8bpm higher than yesterday and HRV dropping to 81. Need to take heed. Not sleeping great. Plan was to run nice and easy later. That said when I got out it didn’t feel any different and, again, 6.6 miles were completed in ~47 minutes.
Plan – Threshold run, 45mins
HR = 62bpm | HRV = 89
Slight recovery in HR and HRV this morning. Still feeling like I’m not getting a full nights sleep. But feeling better. The plan tonight was to keep it really easy for a shorter duration and then add 5x20s strides with jog recovery to finish up. I decided not to wear the heart rate monitor and just ran really easy. Was probably running 7.30-8.00 minute mile pace. The strides at the end felt strong. No worries.
Plan – Rest
HR = 58bpm | HRV = 100
Good to see further improvement with HR coming down and HRV increasing back to 3 figures. With a rest day today I’m hoping to see further signs of the rest doing me good on Saturday morning and if so I might visit a parkrun for a Threshold and then add further duration afterwards. We will see in the morning.
Plan – Threshold run, 45mins
HR = 54bpm | HRV = 102
I didn’t feel amazing on waking around 8am but that’s the great thing about HRV – all looked in order so I decided to have a look down Newcastle parkrun as the weather looked decent. Had a short jog down and got on the start line.
I had thought a little bit about what I wanted to do. I had thought maybe do 1 mile at HM pace (6ish), 1 mile at 10k pace (5.44ish) and 1 mile at 5k target pace (<5.30ish). But that wasn’t really cemented in my mind as I stood on the start line. I felt very calm and content so I just thought give it a go.
As we set off a couple of exuberant young lads set off with a couple of others. I felt like I started strongly so they stole a few yards. About half a mile in I’d got past the two really young lads and I had two about 5 metres in front. By about 3/4 of a mile I was into second. The lad in front had a Jarrow & Hebburn running vest on. I’d say he was about 5-10 metres ahead and I just worked to see what would happen.
I think around then I glanced down at 5.22 a mile on the Garmin. I have 5.28/mile planted on the brain as I know that’s sub 17 minute 5k pace so I just thought “come on then lets have a go”.
Passing through 1 mile nothing had really changed. The path at this point is very slightly downhill which is great, the only problem is its pretty uneven and you have to focus on your footing. It was around here that I felt like I was starting to lose anyone who may have been chasing me. Coming up to a mile it felt like there was a big group hunting me down but that seemed to subside.
Often coming through the gate just before 2k and back onto the Moor sees a head wind appear but not today. I thought to myself – this is perfect. The guy in front wasn’t getting away and at times I felt like I was getting closer. I was hoping to keep it that way.
My second mile was very strong – later I would see that it was completed in 5.21. The first mile was 5.31 so I was sitting on sub 17 pace.
Putting in a strong 2nd mile at Newcastle parkrun
Mile 3 is always difficult though and today the first quarter was the only point where it felt into a head wind. But I was really pleased with my attitude. There was no real negativity and in fact I did everything right. Consciously tried to quicken the cadence and dig in. Some positive self talk came through and I was able to really tough it out and get back onto better footing and out of the head wind.
At this point I saw one of the young lads walking back – he’d obviously dropped out early. Went off far too hard I imagine.
Although I was pleased with my effort, unfortunately I’d let the guy infront increase his lead. I gritted my teeth and tried to pick up some speed.
I really enjoyed the last 3/4 of a mile. I felt like I was running strong. I completed the 3rd mile in 5.40 which was an obvious dip from miles 1 and 2 but still faster than 10k PB pace and looking at the final push for home I averaged 4.50 miling on the Garmin and so a nice strong finish.
Crossing the line the Garmin read 17.10 which equaled my 5k parkrun PB from the Riverside in April and knocked 21 seconds off my Newcastle parkrun PB! So very pleasing. Personally I regard Newcastle a tougher course than the Riverside so plenty to be pleased about.
I later realised this was my 50th parkrun and so great to get a PB on that landmark!
Actually looking forward to a Long Run tomorrow!
Plan – Long run, 80mins
HR = 58bpm | HRV = 89
Enjoyed a nice steak and a fair few glasses of red last night. Got to bed a bit late and as a result the HRV reading wasn’t great and so the run proved quite tough. I ran my usual route and after about 30 minutes I knew I was working harder than normal. It wasn’t that windy but it felt it. I got through it but was glad when it was over. Not my best long run outing. I do find these runs the hardest of the week and I hope one day I can get stronger on these. I completed 11.2 miles in 1hr 22m at an average HR of 157bpm.
Weekly totals and Summary
Duration – 5h 13m
Mileage – 44.3 miles
Overall a pleasing week, mainly focusing on just getting back into it. But felt good come Saturday and was really pleased to put a strong 5k on the board which is a confidence booster more than anything.
Looking ahead now to my 4th Lactate Threshold test on Friday and hoping to get some results that underline the progress I have made since March. The key for me will be to understand where we go from here and I am really keen to put in a sub 17 minute 5k somewhere between now and the end of 2015 so that I can move on to goals new.
This week I have been listening to –
I have to admit its still Sleaford Mods. As my mate Glen said – the most important band in the UK today. I saw them on Jools Holland this week and it was definitely the best performance I’ve seen on there for some time. Great stuff.
This week I have been thinking a lot about –
Sleep – I have to admit I’m not sleeping great at the moment. I think its more to do with my general stress levels because I’ve got a hell of a lot going on at the moment. Its fine as the extra stress is due to me trying to better myself and start an online business that I am passionate about but, as a result, my head is spinning when I go to bed… Just need to manage it a bit better.
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