Monday, September 26, 2005

Don't really know what week it is.

I'm back in training again, after taking at least a week off for a cold. It must have struck me after the last long run. I witnessed my partner's track session, in which we tried out the Yasso 800 theory.

The two runs in the week were OK, given my condition. A bit of hillyness on Wednesday: two iterations of Charterhouse Hill. A bit more challenging on Friday morning, when we did some 2-minute speed sessions. Attempted in my case, coughing and wheezing for the first two. The effort must have cleared things up because I was able to keep up for a few more.

A nice long run on Sunday, with bright sunshine making the most of the still-green countryside. From Godalming, through Munstead, Bramley (stopping for supplies) and along the Down's Link to join the North Downs way to loop back. About 17 or 18 miles altogether. Reportedly my sniffles were not as prominent as earlier in the week. Energy was in short supply after that. Other supplies are dwindling too – time for a trip to the shoe and sugary goo merchant.

This week we have got more speed work and Yasso sessions to look forward to.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Week -7 : careful

I need to be really careful about overtraining.

Nice long run on Sunday, some 2:40 all told, in overcast conditions. I was pretty sweaty at the end, but otherwise not too many ill effects. I took a drink with me this time, and some money for Lucozode.

Yesterday, however, I had a little bit of a sore tendon on my big toe, and more seriously a sore throat. By the evening it had turned into a proper cold so I missed my Tai Chi class. Today is "gym" day but I imagine I'll miss that too. I've cancelled a few London meetings and I'm going through my fresh fruit collection. Let's hope I can do the next important sessions properly: hills tomorrow and a Yasso 800 session on Thursday. Recovery runs can be subsituted with recovery yoga.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Week -8 : getting better

This week I've been running without my usual partner, which has an effect on motivation. It's easier for me to keep going if someone else is trotting along ahead, or even better, if I'm leaving them in my wake.

Last Sunday's long solo run was not too bad, although it was hottish, misty at first then steadily getting sunnier. I did an extended version of our usual canal path loop, coming back home after nearly 1:45 (without water!) to feed and drink, then did a little extra loop as far as Broadford Bridge. Not sure about pace, but it took 2:30 to do. Lots of walking if I'm honest.

Wednesday's threshold run not so bad, I found it easier to sustain effort than previous week. This was mostly along the canal path. When it gets wet later in the year, we are going to have to find somewhere else, probably a road. Booo! I missed the gym slot, but that wasn't a "key session" according to the RW schedule being followed. Last night's intervals (4 x 5 min efforts) were OK in the warm/humid late summer evening. I don't mind sweating a bit, provided I'm hydrated enough to begin with.

I've started using my Mizuno Wave Creation for the speedwork, because they feel like a slightly more cushioned version of the Asics DS Trainer to me. I bought these in a London Marathon expo a couple of years back, but they have never felt like a distance shoe to me, despite their wonderfully plush fit. I'm going to need new shoes, since my NB 854's have given up, leaving me with a 200-mile pair of Adidas Supernova to be getting on with. Time to visit my friends at The Tortoise and the Hare, and to stock up on not-exactly-tasty-but-effective SIS gunge.

A note on shoes. As you can see from the links, there are loads of places to get shoes, and you can try Googling, Froogling or Kelkoo-ing on the make and model if you know what you want. I prefer to deal with my local place if I can. If you are reading this, and fairly new to shoe buying, I recommend rummaging through the RW shoe guide to build up knowledge about the shoe market and technology, then go and see your friends at the running shop. In case you are wondering how I've arrived at such an eclectic collection, I'm a 6-foot 85-ish kg moderate overpronator, who likes to dash along at sub-8 miling if I can, i.e. in shorter runs. If I'm out plodding all morning though, I prefer a steady shoe like the NB or Asics GT-2xxx, of which I must have had half a dozen pairs.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Week -9 : not bad

Friday's interval session wasn't so bad. I did four reps of 6 minute 10k pace efforts, with 3-minutes jogging rests. Although the canal path can be a bit slippy and sandy, the DS Trainers were fine (they are light, but low on texture and grip).

I did a sort of organic upper body workout (seven bags of shrub prunings now await transportation to the tip), rounded off with a sauna.

It looks like being a hot sort of day tomorrow (max 28 C), so I'm planning to start my long easy run on the early side. I should be home before the grill really gets going, but to be on the safe side I'll loop back past the house to top up on fluid and sunblock.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Re-learning basics

Today was quite nice for the time of year. It rained on me on the way back from the paper shop and as well as being pleasantly showered I was rewarded by a beautiful afternoon rainbow, whilst munching a Boost (bad for me but what the heck). I never complain about the British weather, and you don't have to study the news very much to realise why.

After yesterday morning's threshold run (yuk!) and light hilly jogging the evening before, tonight was cross-training night. I jogged along the canal bank to the leisure centre (lovely late summer, such a shame it has to leave us soon) where D had already gone directly from work.

I did a few yoga-type stretches and ball exercises. It's a while since I've done any of those, and I could feel some memories of what to do next week coming back. I've got "The Runner's Yoga Book" by Jean Couch. Not the usual yoga manual, it recognises what runners do to themselves. Must consult this and start building a practice. The hour before breakfast seems to be good for this at the moment - another difference from winter training.

While at the gym, I hopped on the rower for a moderate 2 km. Not much energy! Had I eaten enough today? I certainly didn't have the oomph for any weights. D was on the treadmill, so I jogged along with her for a while. Intervals tomorrow, I thought, so how about a bit of pace. I reckon 10k pace is 7:15 or so for me, so 7:00 flat on the mill is about equivalent. Thirty seconds of that was OK, but a minute took forever. Jogged for a minute, then upped the pace again. Bloody 'ell! Was I really gonna do 4x5 mins of this tomorrow?

Apart from just being pathetic, I think I didn't eat right today. No banana on cereal, slim sandwiches and the Boost probably had the opposite effect by the time my insulin had kicked in and mopped up by blood sugar. None of this is nutritional rocket science, and I know all this already. I must eat properly, before even light workouts!

Running blogs

I've added a few running blogs to the sidebar, see if you can spot them amongst the geeky rubbish. I've found most of these through this list of running blogs. I'm not sure I'll want to join that list as this blog is somewhat wider ranging.

Here, I anticipate doing roughly weekly reports over the next ten weeks, as I approach Dublin. I'm probably going to focus on how the speed and endurance development work is going, but I also promise at least one energy bar recipe, as field tested on the mountains of Britain!