TOTAL – 40.3 miles, 2 strength sessions
As my followers will be aware, I’m currently not in training for a race or any event, but that doesn’t mean that my exercise stops. I’m on a mileage boost, trying to increase my endurance and strength for longer races. So this week I’ve been running on trails and roads, all outdoors, with none of my usual “easy” treadmill miles.
I find that running on a treadmill helps me effort-wise as I am able to just set it at a pace, and not worry about going over, especially for runs where all I want to do is get the miles in at a steady recovery pace. The other thing I use treadmills for is to pace me through a sprint workout, as I don’t know where my nearest track is and I don’t have an easy way of checking my pace. I’m looking into buying a running watch but I am a bit of a tech-phobe so I have been procrastinating through the past marathon-training cycle and into this one…
Running all the time outside has forced me to take my body into account when I think about when, where and how to structure my runs. I’ve had to listen to my muscles, adjusting my form minutely to ensure that I continue on and on and on. It’s also meant going out in all weathers – rain and wind for my long run, hot sunshine for recovery, and everything in between. It’s forced me to be braver with my runs, and find more new routes, instead of just falling back to the normal boring loops.
This week, my training schedule has been a little bit less structured than normal, and I have done less cross-training and strength work than I like to do. This has been partly due to the lack of a gym nearby to me (hence the lack of a treadmill), partly due to having a busy week with family events and work, and partly because my mum has been fussing about how much exercise I do, and she wants me to “take a step back”. As I’ve discussed in my last post, she doesn’t particularly understand me, but I haven’t been pushing it in the same way as I might have done at university because I just can’t deal with her “worrying” about me (read: lecturing me).
MONDAY – REST DAY!!
Yes, there is a school of thought that says #nevermissamonday, but as I had a busy weekend with friends and had to push the long run back to Tuesday, Monday was always going to be a rest day! Not that it was a true “rest” day – my mum is a music teacher and holds a huge day of rehearsals and a concert once a year for all of her pupils, and I was there to help out. From 9.30am I was setting up the hall, lifting heavy stacks of chairs around, and being busy playing piano for all of the groups. It was tiring, and we didn’t finish until around 6pm, after which all I wanted to do was sleep.
Having such a busy day meant that my pre-long-run nutrition wasn’t particularly well planned, and I realised at around 10pm that although I’d eaten a lot of biscuits throughout the day, I hadn’t really eaten much else. My normal pre-run eating had completely gone out of the window, but I decided just to go with it and see what happened.
TUESDAY – 16 miles on trails – Long Run!
I had to drive out to the start of my long un this week, to a reservoir with a 16-mile trail loop which snaked around its shore. The run was stormy and a little bit windy, and I had forgotten the extent of the hills which contoured the landscape (see picture below, where the hills are so steep that they put up signs to warn cyclists…). The trails weaved in and out of forests, around little countryside villages, and through fields overlooking the glinting body of water.
After my failed nutrition the day before, I flagged a bit towards mile 11, and stopped at a café for a Ribena, which then proceeded to give me awful cramps for the last 3 miles. I don’t tend to take water with me, and I think that I was too dehydrated and drank the sugary juice too quickly for my body to process properly.
Nevertheless, I finished my 16 miles at around a 9:15 pace, which is not my best but it is a decent pace for a long run. I normally aim to finish in around 9:00, which is about 45 sec / mile less than my goal half-marathon pace.
WEDNESDAY – Recovery 6.1 miles
My body was not particularly happy with this run, as it was very sunny and I let it until mid-afternoon. I had been to a gig the night before, and had got to bed very late, so got up too late to do my usual morning miles. I got very hot and sweaty as my mum had decided that I wasn’t dressed brightly enough and made me go out in my brightest t-shirt and leggings… which also happened to be my thickest and least-breathable running clothes. I suppose we can say it was humidity training?
I try to stick my recovery miles to 9:15 – 9:30 pace, as I don’t want to stress my legs too much after my long run, and I came in at 55 mins, which was slightly quicker than anticipated (9:10), which probably contributed to me feeling a bit hot!
I also did 40 mins of strength training, following a similar routine to last week. It was a full body routine, mixing different squat variations with press-up exercises and other weighted arm routines.
THURSDAY – 4.1 Tempo Miles
I’m not great at pacing myself. As I said above, treadmills are my jam for tempo training, but sometimes you just have to do without… These miles were run hard, with sprints every 500m (or so, it was every 400 paces). Towards the end, I could tell that my sprints were slowing and that the running was turning more into recovery jogging, but I made it around!
As I said, I don’t have any way of measuring my pace whilst I’m actually running, leaving it until the end to check my Map My Run app with a breakdown of my splits. My motivation this workout was an album that I put on, which was 31 minutes long. I finished the run exactly 1 min before the end of the last song!! So, an average pace of 7:30 over the 4 miles.
FRIDAY – Rest and Strength Day
Today was another big family day, and I spend over 6 hours in the car to see my sister and take her shopping and for lunch with my mum. I left the house at 6.30am and didn’t get back until after 6pm, leaving me no time to go climbing with my brother as I had planned to.
Instead, I stuck a movie on my laptop and retreated upstairs to do 60 mins of body weight circuits. I loosely followed some of the Kayla Itsines BBG arms and abs, but with slightly more rests as I wanted to last for 60 minutes instead of her usual 28! I also went for a walk after dinner, as I needed a leg stretch after being in the car all day.
SATURDAY – 10 hill miles
Up bright and early with the sun to fit in these miles before a day of party prep with my parents. My 21st birthday is coming up, so we had all of the family over on Sunday and spent Saturday afternoon making salads, cakes, setting up tables in the garden and tidying the house!
These miles, aside from mile 3 when my legs just refused to go uphill, were surprisingly easy. I finished at around 8:45 per mile, which is after decided not to push myself too hard to leave energy for the rest of the weekend. It helped that running downhill felt like flying, and the weather was perfect for the entire time (apart from some horrendous headwind right at the end). Don’t you just love it when everything goes to plan?
SUNDAY – 4.1 recovery miles
4 early and fasted miles to round out the week! Got up, put on my shoes and a podcast, and was out of the door and back before most of my family were out of bed. Was on track for 8:00 miles, but got ambushed by a couple of swans (which I’m scared of) when I was running along the canal path…
I then spent the rest of the morning making sure that everything was ready for the party then a good afternoon filled with laughter, chatting, and lots of great food. I have a large family and it’s getting harder and harder to find days where we can all get together and share a happy occasion. The weather held, my salads and cake were delish (even if I say so myself), and the company was perfect! It was the best way to finish the weekend.
I’ve recently found that The Right Fits and Jess Runs ATL have a weekly link-up with different runners sharing their weekly workouts, so I decided to join in this week! Reading both of these blogs has inspired me to get out more, to run more, to be more… and showed me that I’m not a total weirdo for running as much as I do!
How was your week? Do you find it hard to fit training around family occasions? What do you do when things get busy?
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