Sunday – 5k Easy
On Saturday I ran my socks off to get a PB at Parkrun. I usually recover quickly but there was definitely a bit of residual tiredness in my legs on Sunday, so I opted for an easy 5k at around 6:40 minute miles.
Monday – Intended Long Run
On Monday, it was a Bank Holiday here in the UK, so I took the opportunity to do my long run of the week. Bored of my usual routes, I headed out in the car to explore. I remembered a nature reserve I used to go when we were kids called Arne so went in that direction.
Parking at my old high school, The Purbeck School, I ran a mile alongside a busy bypass before reaching the village of Stoborough, just the other side of the flood plains from Saxon walled Wareham. This was where the road split off in to a quiet lane, undulating for 3 miles towards Arne.
However… I hadn’t accounted for the sun being out and the time of day. It was only around 19 degrees c but having not taken any water with me, I started to feel really, really thirsty! So I turned around at 4 miles making the distance at the end exactly 8 miles, not exactly a long run but I’d already run 9 miles mid-week so I didn’t worry too much!
Some photos I took along the way, beautiful scenery with the ruins of Corfe Castle growing closer with every step…
Purbeck Runners club night if I can make it home from work in time, otherwise a tempo 10k with a few hills thrown in!
Marathon? No Thank You!
When you’re known as a runner, the first thing most people ask is, “ever done/going to do a marathon?” My answer is always a categorical, non-hesitational, emphatic NO! The thought of running 26.2 miles fills me with dread, not to mention the hours and hours of training required… I have massive respect for anyone who has completed a marathon, regardless of what time they did it in.
Ultra runners even more so. These guys run races with the kilometers ticking over into three figures and with it, do the training needed to reach such levels of endurance. A name that features regularly at the top of the results page of many races I do is that of Steve Way, a local runner who won the Stockholm Ultra Marathon (100k) in 2013.
Just reading his training diary makes you feel tired, however it definitely helps put my mileage in perspective and perhaps inspires me to do a little more that I would otherwise do.
You can see Steve’s diary/training schedule at www.steveway.co.uk – a great (if exhausting) read!
Next Training (for me)
Poole A.C. track session tonight for some speed work. Not too high intensity though as have a race on Sunday…
Blue Sky Running
After the elation of a 5k PB on Friday night and a busy Saturday that didn’t allow for any running I looked forward to my Long Sunday run this week. The sun was shining, with not a cloud in the sky. The trees and bushes that lined the country lanes were all beginning to show signs of life, and new born lambs bleated from unseen fields beyond.
Nice Day For It!
My aim was to continue the theme of recent Sundays and run for 90 minutes, trying to ignore the mileage, enjoy the run and keep on my feet for the full hour and a half. It started off well in t-shirt and shorts, the sun feeling warm on my face from the very beginning. As the miles wore on though my neck and should began to KILL! I tried relaxing them, shaking them, rolling them – I must have looked mad to an observer, but nothing worked. I then tried adjusting my running posture as I’m aware that I lean forwards slightly when I run, trying to position my head/neck/spine in a straight line and this did help a little.
The final part of my route took me past my house and I gave in to temptation! Instead of doing the final loop that would have taken my time to 90 minutes, I’m embarrassed to say that I ducked home early with the clock at 74 minutes!
Then off for a lovely family meal and an afternoon in the sun!
A 45 minute easy run tonight before two speed sessions in a row Tues and Wed.
Part of my running resolutions for this year was to consistently do a long 90 minute run at least once a week. Harder than you think, especially with a wife training for the London Marathon!
Get Out That Front Door!
So it was yesterday afternoon, an hour and a half after a mega sized roast beef dinner that I forced myself into my running kit, laced up my trainers and headed out in to the amazing Spring sunshine. I find that once you’re (finally) out of the door, there is nothing like the feeling of just running. Life is so full of routines and schedules, timetables and long made plans that to just run where your mind takes you for 90 minutes is quite literally and breath of fresh air.
Beaut Views + Mud
Being at my folks house in Swanage yesterday I headed straight up to the national park which is right on their doorstep at Durlston – actually now a World Heritage site and bloody lovely to run along! Following the path of least resistance turned out to be futile as many of the fields and paths were so boggy, it was like running through treacle for the first 4 miles. Looking at my Garmin after 30 minutes I thought crikey, ‘only three and a half miles and I’m cream crackered!’ Some might call it resistance training, I call it slipping, sliding and squelching through mud and cowshi*t!
The views in this part of the world are incredible taking in the light house at Anvil Point
Along to Dancing Ledge, with it’s swimming pool blasted out of the rock using dynamite by a Victorian teacher…
Dancing Ledge, World Heritage site
…and on to Worth Matravers, the home of the renowned Square & Compass pub. Running past that pub without stopping really is the hardest part!
Square & Compass pub
Back on to the road at Worth which I followed as far as Langton Matravers, before cutting back in towards the sea and joining what’s known locally as Priests Way – a newly resurfaced ancient path running all the way back down in to Swanage.
The view from Priests Way
A light recovery run this evening of 4-5 miles tonight.
A nice, thoroughly enjoyable run this morning in the Purbeck countryside. The best thing about a run paced at ‘able to have a conversation’ speed, is that you can talk the whole way round – and the miles fly by. Personally, I much prefer this to the chest aching, gasping for breath speed of, say, a Parkrun 5k.
Meeting on the seafront, rain clouds jostling for position on the horizon, we set off at 9am. The route was a rural 9 miles taking in Dorset villages and views on the one side to the crumbling ruins of Corfe Castle and on the other across the English Channel to the Isle of Wight.
Then back in to Swanage for delish milkshake and cake!
35 min run tomorrow night
So called as most running training plans to improve 5k, 10k, 10 mile or half marathon include at least one long run per week. This is a conditioning run, run at a comfortable pace (easily hold a conversation whilst running) lasting approximately 90 minutes.
So whilst in other sessions you may be doing a track session for speed improvements, the long run increases your aerobic base, improves running economy… And boosts confidence. According to Ed Eyestone on Runner’s World
The long run delivers the predictable physiological benefits: increased max VO2 and blood volume (the amount of blood ejected from the heart with every beat), and new capillaries and red blood cells.
He then goes on to say:
…Just as important, the long run teaches your body to spare glycogen and reply more on fat as a fuel source.
Plus it’s just nice to really get out and ‘go some’ on a Sunday morning.
Unfortunately, 11 miles in to my long run yesterday I tripped off the curb and went for a ski down the road on my shoulder and face. VERY sore today!