Archive for July, 2009

20
Jul
09

out of sync

100% Confused – Like Father Christmas Or The Tooth Fairy – Rules Were Made To Be Broken

I am still struggling with the concept of 60% effort or 70% effort from my Training Schedule and am also a little bemused that the training plan I have doesn’t have distances on it but times. I also still can’t really get my empty head around the concept of interval training – at the moment I just have to believe that it does work. Maybe it’s like levitation or fairies… some odd sort of faith, where if I believe in it, it will exist. Who knows, but I’ll have my answer in little over a month when the first of my next bunch of races happens.

I mentioned before that I was using it as a guide rather than sticking to it rigidly and I shall try to illustrate this for you…

On Sunday, I was supposed to complete a “long slow distance run” of 50 minutes duration. Knowing that I had stuff planned for Sunday that would make the run impossible, I had to shift it forward to the Saturday. So I did a 4 and a half (ish) mile run with Hauling My Carcass along the banks of the Thames, with a 210 metre sprint across Hammersmith Bridge at the half way point and a subsequent 200 metre walk where neither of us talked but exchanged glances that meant ” I don’t feel very well now. Are you OK?” before continuing the run. And the run was prefixed and suffixed by a 6 mile cycle ride from / to the train station. So my “50 minute run” was actually a 40ish minute run with a 12 mile cycle. Tomorrow was supposed to be a “35 minute steady run” which due to more stuff happening, I had to move forward to today. And once again I was a little over zealous. What should have been 35 mins turned into a 1:04:04 weighing in at just a shade under 7 miles. It seemed a shame to stop as I was feeling quite relaxed… Wednesday should be 34 minutes of interval training so I’ll see if I can at least try and stick to that.

Soundtrack to this post: Jam Talay Sai – Soisong

16
Jul
09

back to life, back to reality

Alert The Training Police – No Sleep ‘Til… – None The Wiser

As I mentioned before, there is now a Half Marathon training schedule stuck to my fridge door. It is there as a guide, a little paper guardian to keep me roughly where I should be, training wise. It is there to make sure that I am not doing too little… or too much. After last years spectacular experiment in over-training before the Royal Parks Half, I am trying to go a little easier on myself. There will be no getting up at 6.30 am for a ten mile run on an empty stomach, returning home, showering, drinking an espresso and then off out for a couple of hours on the mountain bike before a light lunch followed by some Red Bull and an hour of weights. No siree… that way lies insanity.
And injury.
And at the time I couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t sleeping too well…

So today I was supposed to run for 5 minutes at 60% (?), 10 minutes at 70% (or my race pace), 5 mins at 60% again, 10 mins at 70% and then a 5 minute easy run. Which I kind of stuck to but I find it very hard to gauge what 60 or 70% feels like. Apparently at 60% I am supposed to be able to hold a conversation and at 70% be able to say a few words but no more. But I run on my own… so unless I talk to myself, I have to imagine whether I’d be able to say a whole sentence or just a few words and adjust my speed accordingly. I suppose I could try and work it out properly using my Garmin and my average speeds but then it turns in to some bizarre sort of A’ level Maths problem and I lose interest.

After my 35 minutes (give or take) I was still a way from home having miscalculated distances / times / percentages (see what I mean about it being like an exam question) and was feeling a bit of a fraud for only doing 35 minutes so decided that I would add a few intervals for the last bit of the run. Brilliant idea! So it was a few hundred metres of walking followed by a few hundred metres of running like my life depended on it. I managed 3 sets of these before reaching the bottom of the hill to my house and deciding that I would attack it and sprint the last 100 metres up the hill. At the end, I slowed to a stop, heart pounding, shaking and feeling like I may actually be sick. As I stood there, bent over, feeling a little wobbly and pouring with sweat, I realised that I can stick as many training schedules as I like on my fridge but I’ll still never learn…

Soundtrack to this post: Ground On Down – Ben Harper

12
Jul
09

failure to launch

Ignore The Regime – Home And Away – Weekender

With a number of races (some serious, some fun) looming up in the distance, I duly printed off my Half Marathon Training Schedule and stuck it to the fridge door. This is my regular pre-training ritual and I am not sure of why I chose the fridge door in the first place but being a bit of a creature of habit that’s where it must now go. According to The Schedule, last week I was supposed to be training every other day, with a spot of hill work and some interval training as well as a couple of longer runs. None of which happened – I have a spot of freelance work and have been staying away from home during the week. I used the motorbike to get here and have had to travel light, the combination of work clothes and personal hygiene necessities meant that I absolutely couldn’t fit my running stuff in my backpack. So apart from a 6 and half mile run on Wednesday morning before I left home, I’ve been having to amuse myself with crunches and press-ups. A flying visit back home this weekend didn’t allow a run either as I had In-Laws staying so had to content myself with arranging to meet them at a destination, let them all travel in The Mystery Machine with Mrs eatingtrees and SonNumber One and Two, whilst I cycle there. So a 10 mile cycle is all I mustered and I am now back in my temporary home for a couple more days until the work is over. If there’s one thing I’ve taken from Juneathon it is ingenious ways of squeezing in a spot of exercise…

Soundtrack to this post: Bromley East Roller – Salmonella Dub

05
Jul
09

happy feet

First Of The Month – Gold Is SO Last Year – Is It A Bird… Is It A Plane

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been 5 days since my last post and people will begin to think that I have become lazy. But I haven’t, I’ve been very active but just didn’t run until earlier today. Admittedly, I didn’t do much on the 1st and 2nd of July as I thought I’d give my legs (or more specifically, knees) a rest but there was a cycle ride in there somewhere and the trusty weights got a thorough repeated-picking-up-and-putting-down on Friday evening.

At the tail-end of June, I’d noticed a tendency towards sore calves and my runs were becoming HARD WORK. On closer inspection, my running shoes had had it so I ordered some online. I’d never ordered shoes online before but found the same model as my existing shoes for little over half the price I’d paid for my last pair back at the beginning of January. And, as I’d had my running style analysed and tried a number of shoes the last time, I figured sticking with what I knew was a safe option. My only reservation was that my last pair were a fetching white and navy blue. My new pair would be “black, grey and gold”.

Gold… Hmmmm.

At best, they could resemble the kind of footwear a Marvel Superhero may wear, at worst something ostentatious like Michael Jackson would choose if he were a) interested in running and b) not dead.

When they arrived, I was a little wary of opening the parcel for fear of going “Oh… My… Giddy… Aunt! I am NOT wearing those” but they are actually very nice. The gold is not too noticeable amongst the grey and black but the acid test would be when I took them out for a “test-run”.

lovely new trainers

lovely new trainers

8.30 this morning, I was bounding along the streets in them.They felt marvellous. I’d not noticed how worn my previous pair had become until they had begun to hurt me. In these, I felt light on my feet and there was noticeable support as they hit the floor. My knees and hips suddenly felt fluid again instead of being jarred each time I clumped the pavement. I only attempted 4 miles as I have been caught out before by getting excited by a new pair of running shoes – heading out on a ten-miler to test out new shoes only results in blisters on unusual parts of your feet in my experience…

So… I am very happy with the shoes so far, the price was good and they arrived in 2 days. They have made running pleasurable again and they make me look just a little bit like a Marvel Superhero.

Soundtrack to this post: King Of Rock – Run DMC




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