Go to the Pain rather than avoid it: if you don’t let up on yourself and instead become comfortable always operating with some level of pain, you will evolve at a faster pace. That’s just the way it is. Ray Dalio, author of “PRINCIPLES”
Moving to running 6x per week requires careful planning and execution when you’ve only been running maybe 3-4x per week.
All too often injuries and illness can occur with a large uptick in training.
But it’s also all too easy to tread water and not improve fitness if you train too cautiously. Given that I’ve now set myself a clear target of a sub 16:00 5k in 2018 I’m keen to train with intent and this week saw not only increased quantity but also quality.
I feel like the combination has already started to initiate real change in my body and how I feel.
Monday was an easy run following Sunday’s longer run and nothing to report.
On Tuesday I got back to Elswick for a club session which was 3x 6:30 with only 1 minute rest. The reps felt too long to think about a VO2 Max session and so I tried to run each rep at the top of my lactate threshold zone or around 180-181bpm.
The first rep felt very strong and I was hot on the heels of club mate Lee Bennett who tends to set the pace at these sessions. Annoyingly my Garmin didn’t capture the average pace per rep even though I’d set up the Interval session before setting off.
I noticed that I was having to really push the first rep to get my heart rate into threshold >174bpm. And I was pleasantly surprised to go through the first mile in 5:22.
The rest of 1 minute felt very short and the 2nd rep was challenging as there was a decent drag back to where we started. I noticed that I wasn’t able to keep on the back of Lee this time and my HR was now up above 180 up the hill so I satisfied myself that I was working hard enough and didn’t want to turn it into an unplanned VO2 Max session.
I focussed on running as efficiently as possible and to breath deeply. Pace was definitely a little slower the 2nd rep and I braced myself for the final 3rd.
I felt like I kept the distance from Lee fairly constant 2nd and 3rd rep and felt strong throughout. Overall a pleasing session.
Legs felt a bit battered on the Wednesday so I decided to get in the gym to mix up the terrain and completed a 45min recovery run. Anything over 30mins is monotonous on the treadmill but I got it done and on the plus side I think it allowed my legs to recover.
On Thursday it was back to threshold running with a plan of 40mins. This was the session I felt a real change in my heart rate response as I was pushing low 6 minute miling and I wasn’t getting anywhere near threshold heart rate intensity. That said I felt the work and effort and it wasn’t like I wanted to push much harder, especially as the legs felt a little brittle.
I can say that I feel aerobically very strong at the moment, almost like I’m running with a different heart and lungs. But the legs need to catch up and strengthen and I need to get used to running fast.
In the end I averaged around 6:04 per mile for the 40 minutes and probably one of the best threshold type runs I’ve done even though I only really dipped in to the correct zone on the way home back uphill.
I was ready for a rest day following 6 strong days back to back of running and I was delighted to have a day off work and a nice trip for the weekend down to Kielder Water. The running gear was packed and I knew it was a great place for running having visited before.
On Saturday morning I was up early and out in damp and windy weather. I decided to switch the Sunday long run (75mins planned) to the Saturday to take the pressure off finding a decent place to do a session (2x 15mins threshold).
I ended up running out of the estate I was staying and onto the main road which was fine although I don’t think a couple of cars were expecting to see a lone runner in the mist. I’d also in my wisdom decided to leave my glasses on rather than my contact lens. So my glasses could have done with windscreen wipers!!!
A thoroughly enjoyable undulating run out and turn back. Again I felt the heart rate strong and under control as I ticked off over 9 miles in about 67mins.
The clocks went back early on Sunday morning so I was out earlier time wise for the threshold session. I decided to jog up to the main road again and do 15mins out and back. The road is very undulating so I knew I couldn’t run even pacing. My main goal was to try a bit harder to get into the 174-180bpm range. But again I didn’t really manage it, especially on the downhill sections where I’d be running low 160s. It was only towards the end of the first rep that I pushed maybe high 160s. My legs felt tired on any inclines.
I had 3mins rest and then got back on my way for home. I knew I felt tired and just tried to focus on strong but relaxed running. The good thing about the route is that I was left with a tough uphill to finish which mentally was difficult just to dig in and finish it off. Indeed this was where my HR finally peaked at 174bpm.
Overall I was pleased with my effort and splits.
To finish off I ran hard down a good downhill for a couple of minutes just to work a bit on leg turnover.
Then a short 5 minute cool down to complete the weeks work.
In total for the week I’d trained just over 48 miles which could be a record for me.
I feel good and very motivated to get stuck into another week.
The legs might have some residual pain but that may just be required to “evolve at a faster pace”.
Thanks for reading.