Following a very successful week for me personally in the Cross Country – finishing in my highest position ever (28th from Medium pack and 43rd fastest on the day) – and my club Jesmond Joggers (winning Division 3), I was back on the road with work. This time a trip to Genoa.
In action in the last XC fixture of the season at Wrekenton
I can re-trace my steps back about 3 years ago to April 2012 and North West Italy. Again I had a work trip to Genoa. I had been running only a few months following my first parkrun in February. And I recall doing a few treadmill runs in the Novotel.
Here I am back again 3 years later and for sure I am a different runner now…
The plan this week is to get a solid week in and deliver myself back down to Doncaster to visit Blizard Physio and Dave Tune for my third lactate threshold test. I’m excited to see what the test results reveal after what I regard as a big breakthrough in March following a rather drab February.
Plan – 45mins recovery
Got to Genoa about 5pm local time. Checked into the hotel. I’d already got the impression that Genoa isn’t a great city for running and reception lady confirmed. So got back in gym which had not changed from last time I was here. That said the treadmill is canny.
I got the planned 45mins in and sweated it out somewhat. Completed 6.4 miles averaging mid 150s heart rate.
Plan – 45mins threshold
Woke up 6.45am local time and wanted to get run in. Felt tired so scaled the run back to 5 min warm up, 20min threshold and 5 min warm down.
The threshold section felt tough but I got it done. Was hovering around 6min miling and pushed heart rate up to 175bpm. Bizarelly the Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo Di Caprio was on the gym TV which provided a bizarre visual to the mornings proceeding, i.e. copious amounts of drug taking and sex scenes! LOL.
Plan – 50mins recovery
Again up around 7ish. Wasn’t going to get all 50mins done in the morning so split it up into 30mins am and 20mins pm.
The morning session dragged big style and was an absolute sweat fest.
For some reason heart rate was staying lower and therefore needed to crank it up a few notches to get into recovery. A general observation I’ve made over the last few months has been a lower HR at rest and before runs etc. I take this as a sign of improved fitness and backing up my good recent form.
No problems in the evening and an uneventful 5k.
4.5 miles in 30mins AM.
5k in just over 20mins PM.
Plan – 40mins recovery
Woke up feeling a bit blah. Had been out for mussels and seafood the night before with work colleagues and stomach felt a bit upset. Decided to lie in half an hour and drink plenty of water. The run can be completed on Friday.
Plan – rest
Got out for the 40mins after work on the usual loop round Town Moor. Had what felt like a big breakthrough and was ticking off 6m 30-40s miles with little effort in my recovery heart rate zone. Ended up completing just over 6 miles in 40mins with an average HR of 155-157. Will be interesting to see how these runs go over the coming weeks.
There is always debate about what is recovery, what is easy, what is steady etc. Again, that is the great thing about heart rate training. Pace is forgotten, you get in the zone and let the body do the rest. But ultimately over time I want to see the pace getting faster and thats what’s happening. I remember in 2013 when I first started training with heart rate I’d be doing over 8min miles at the same intensity as I’m doing 6.40-7.15 now.
Plan – 45mins threshold
Fancied getting down to parkrun again and felt in shape to revise my Newcastle PB of 17.44.
The weather forecast was for a decent wind which could have put a spanner in the works but I resolved to leave the Garmin at home and just have a good, honest, hard run.
Leaving the house I was surprised how cold it still felt. Where is the spring warmth?
Getting on the start line it was nice to see Freya Ross. Was wondering how quick she would be running today. Looked her up when I got home and it’s obvious she’s been out injured for some time.
Confirmed during warm up that the wind would be hard in the face first 1.5k but was hoping most of the rest of the course would be sheltered.
Met my mate Glen on the start line and within no time we were away.
About 200m in I found myself just behind two and the wind was causing problems. That said I felt we could push on harder and gave it a go but the other two lads got going properly at 1k and moved away quite rapidly. Had a quick glance round and realised nobody had come with us and I geared up for a lonely run.
As it turned out one of the lads up front was Ross Floyd of Morpeth, coming back from injury. I’d been well and truly dropped and it looked like Ross was in second and the other lad had gotten away a little.
I was relieved to get onto the Moor to complete carm. Felt great after battling the wind. It also gave a chance to glance at the chasing pack but it looked like I had at least 50m on them so just got head down and tried to make up some time.
Coming to around 2.5k I noticed the lad in front had pulled off to the side. Looked like he’d pulled a calf. It took what felt like an age to get past him and Ross was miles ahead.
The turn past the military museum at 2 miles is always tough at the best of times but today the wind was stinging. Tried to relax whilst still gritting the teeth and getting through it. I had a small worry about letting runners behind close but then remembered that they still had to get through it and turning back onto the paths it felt calm again and I pushed on again.
This was my first real taste of running free in second at Newcastle and I enjoyed it. I felt like I ran the last km pretty fast. That’s the only unfortunate thing about not wearing the watch (not knowing your splits etc.) but I’m really loving just running hard and listening to the body.
Coming into the final straight I pushed on again. I finished 2nd in 17.31.
From my experience Newcastle parkrun is usually a bit longer than 5k and the strong winds certainly weren’t ideal so I really think this was a stronger run than the 17.18 at Riverside a few weeks ago and really sets me up well for the trip to Doncaster for my next Lactate Threshold test.
Plan – 80mins recovery
Lovely day when I woke up but had some bits and pieces to do so didn’t get out until about 3pm. Was planning on doing the whole 80mins easy and seeing how the legs felt. Fancied a different route so had a look down Gosforth and Jesmond Dene, round and back up.
Effectively did a 40 out and 40 back. Felt pretty sluggish if the truth be told and just got it done. Heart rate felt a bit higher than normal and a little dehydrated.
11 miles in 1hr 20mins with an average HR of 161bpm.
Running ~38 miles
Decent week ticking over and a nice strong 5k course PB at Newcastle parkrun.
Onto next week and another lactate threshold test and hope to get some fine tuning to my training for final preparations for a sub 17 5k and a debut 10k in April.