Training Weekly: Chicago week 6/16

I can’t tell you how petrified it makes me that we’re starting week 6 already. How?! It honestly feels like last week that I was wondering whether my knee would make it round a 5k parkrun. Anyway, plans for this week. I don’t think there’s anything drastic to be honest. There are 5 Saturday’s in August, and I’m planning to run a different parkrun for each. Which will be a challenge, because I do like my Saturday morning almond croissants! I’m also determined to hit my intervals this week…..

Monday

3 miles easy in 28 mins 33 (Average 9.28mm pace)

30 mins stretching

After Sunday’s long run, I spent most of Monday feeling almost hung over. I’d forgotten about that bit. Despite eating and drinking loads through the rest of the day, I still woke up with a headache. I almost didn’t do my 3 miler, but it was a nice evening and I’m glad I did because I did feel better afterwards. I kept it off road this week too to try and reduce the impact on my legs a bit. Then I did some much needed stretching whilst watching Big Little Lies. I’ve read the book, but not actually seen it yet. Very addictive.

Tuesday

6x1k with 90 second jog recoveries (7 miles total)

1 hour body pump class

I can’t even tell you how much complaining and moaning I do on a Tuesday. Ultimately though, I love the feeling after completing these sessions. I think it’s because the structure makes me feel like a proper runner!

So, after last weeks 30 degree heatwave where I was dodging the masses of people that had descended on the beach, this week couldn’t have been more different. 50 mile an hour winds and horizontal rain. Delightful. At least there were no people to dodge. Still, no more ideal for one of the sessions I always find the toughest. 1KM repeats. I was aiming for 4 min 20 K’s, so I’m reasonably happy with the result. And it’s also the most in control I’ve felt out of any of my recent interval sets. And my legs didn’t feel like they were going to drop off, so that was a bonus!

The reality though, is that I’m still slower than I was at this point in previous cycles. How much of that is due to external factors like 50mph winds and 30 degree temperatures, and how much is just that I am slower, I guess I’ll find out at some point!

20 minutes, a full change of soaking wet clothes and a protein smoothie later, and I was setting up my equipment at body pump. I’m not sure what else to say about it, other than that I survived!

Wednesday

10 miles in 1:28:03 (Average 8.48mm pace)

We’re at that point again. When 10 miles is no longer a long run, it’s a midweek waddle. I actually quite enjoyed my evening trot around Bournemouth. No pressure on pace, just easy, relaxed miles. Also, thank goodness summer is back!

Thursday

30 mins grit strength class

30 mins pilates/theraband glute strengthening

Tougher than fitting in a 10 miler after a 7pm finish at work on Wednesdays, is persuading my legs to get out of bed at 6am for grit strength the following morning! I know how important strength training is though, and I’m determined to stick with it. I do actually really love this class once I’ve started. Or maybe once I’ve finished! There’s something addictive about short, sharp, killer sets…… or is that just me?

I’m also finding that doing half an hour of glute exercises like clams and bridging is really helping to keep my sciatic twinges at bay. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Friday

7.04 miles with 5 miles tempo at HMP

Tempo runs are my absolute nemesis. Convincing myself from the off that I’m going to have to run fast, and it’s going to hurt, is something I both love and hate! I usually coax myself along under the premise of just going X miles, when deep down, I know that once I’ve started, there’s no way I’m stopping until I’m done!

Last week was 4 miles at 10K-HMP, today was 5. So, helped along by some new shorts (why have I never had shorts with pockets before???) I managed to dig deep for splits of: 7.37/7.29/7.28/7.40/7.31. So, I’m pleased with two things here. Firstly that I didn’t give up and my mental toughness is getting better. And secondly, the consistency. I finally feel like my pacing ability is kicking back in.

Saturday

Moors Valley Parkrun in 29.08 (Average 9.21mm pace)

I love parkrun. So over the summer I’ve decided to set myself a mini challenge. There are 5 Saturdays in August and I’m going to attempt to get to a different parkrun for all of them. Today I started at Moors Valley, for a beautiful, chatty trail run around the forest. It felt good to get some easy miles in, rather than getting caught up in racing ahead of Sunday’s long run effort too.

And the best part of some summer parkrun tourism, is sharing a post run coffee afterwards. Ample time to talk all things food, running and plan some more races!

Sunday

13.54 mile long run in 1:52:52, including 3×3 miles at MP (Average 8.20mm pace)

I’m definitely still in a bit of a long run slump, although thankfully, yesterdays easier parkrun effort meant that at least my legs were on board for once. I was meant to be doing a shorter faster long run: 13 miles at marathon pace (8mm). But, I just couldn’t psych myself up. So I decided to remove a bit of the pressure and break it into more manageable chunks. In the end I did a mile warm up, 3×3 mile marathon pace efforts with 1 mile recovery in between sets, and a mile cool down. I enjoyed this run much more in this format, and actually the miles flew by. It helped that it was a route I love too. My 3 mile blocks were slightly outside marathon pace, but reasonably consistent with: 24.24, 24.34, 24.30.

And that wraps up yet another week. 43.7 miles, two decent strength sessions and some pilates type work thrown in for good measure. This week has felt tough, but when I look back, I’m actually fairly happy with how it’s gone. My intervals weren’t perfect, but they were better than previous weeks and I nailed my tempo run. I also loved running more socially at Moors Valley on Saturday and can’t wait to do some more. I REALLY need to get brave and join a running club!!

Anyway, next week is going to be BIG. So, assuming I make it to the end in one piece, I’ll see you next Sunday for another recap!

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