Last week was a big week for this runner. It was the first week of training for my goal half-marathon, my first actual goal half-marathon for over 18 months! (I’ll be running the Annecy Half-Marathon at the end of April.) It was also the first week of training with my first ever real-life run coach, Coach Jason. He’s based in Bristol so I’ll be doing remote coaching and I’ve signed up for an initial 6-week training plan. Assuming it works for us both, I’ll sign up for a longer period at the end.
So last week went as follows:
Monday – Easy run
This was the day after the Rough n Tumble. My quads were painful so I welcomed the chance to jog with some of the members of our run club’s Improvers Group.
Tuesday – Easy run
I would usually space my easy runs out much better but my legs were still sore from the race and this worked best for my week’s plans. I used the treadmill that the Husband and I gave each other for Christmas and watched the Boston Marathon bombing movie Patriot Day as I ran. I got very weepy! It was hard to watch.
Wednesday – Run Club
Tonight’s run was a laps competition. We ran a mile to the start point and then had 45 minutes to do as many of the 0.85 mile loops as we could. I managed six laps (each lap had a nasty little hill). Altogether, I ended up running about 7 miles in total.
Friday – Long Run
This week’s long run was 11 miles. This was my first zero-dark-thirty run since we moved back to the UK. I left the house at 7am and it was pitch black but as I ran along the slightly icy lanes, the sky lightened and the sun came up. I did a simple out-and-back and it was beautiful, if super-cold as the temperatures hovered at freezing throughout. My legs felt pretty decent the whole time.
Sunday – Hills
Today’s workout was a new one to me – ‘Kenyan hills’. It was raining and bitterly cold but I was really motivated. After a couple of warm-up miles, I got to my chosen hill. The workout was 3 repetitions of 3 minutes of working up and down the hill at 10k pace followed by two minutes recovery. I actually really enjoyed the hillwork and ran as hard as I could. I finished off with half an hour of easy steady running in the freezing rain.
When I checked my garmin, my pace was seriously nowhere near where it should have been but I couldn’t have run any harder. I emailed my coach afterwards wondering if I’d picked too steep a hill and he explained that he meant 10k ‘effort’ not ‘pace’! So that was a relief.
This week’s mileage – 30!
Since New Year, I cut back on processed carbs and lost all the ‘bonus’ weight I’d put on since we moved back to the UK. I’m now at my happy weight and I feel really good about that. However the previous week’s runs had felt quite ploddy and lackluster, so I’ve introduced a little more carb back into my diet. My legs felt notably better this week. It might be all in my head, it might not. I’ve also cut out alcohol on Monday – Thursday nights. My goal for eating these days is to ‘eat like an athlete’ and on the whole, I ate really really well this past week! Friday night was a bit of a wine-filled, chocolate-guzzling extravaganza but I was focussed again the next day.
On Saturday, we went to the National Running Show where we saw the 5-time British Olympian Jo Pavey talk. (I reviewed her book here). She was lovely – humble, and low-key but she’d worked so incredibly hard for her success. She just kept saying how we should keep working towards our dreams. She was a pro athlete for twenty years before she got her gold medal, she was 40 when she won it and she just kept working away and working away. I was pretty inspired.
So Week One is done. All good so far. Let’s crack on with Week Two.