Hot on the Heels
I like running in the heat, but there’s no denying it can be difficult. You sweat buckets, and the sun can feel as if it is draining you of vital energy, but with appropriate hydration I’d take a warm weather run to a dreary jog, or winter walkabout, any day. And this year the warm weather has arrived with some of the best running of life, so I suppose I’m biased.
When I returned to running, with intent, in early May I ran a 20:44 at a parkrun. Two months later and I’m down to 19:25. I feel as if I’ve never been fitter, and I’m still twenty seconds from my PB (set when I was 18, I think) so there is still a decent chunk to lob off that time with the right race and the right mental attitude.
So I’m feeling pretty good about that.
But there’s still work to be done, a lot of work. As I mentioned last week the current key to my progression is tied into doubling up once a week.
This week my double workout included a hard treadmill session which follows a similar structure to another workout which I have shared once before on this blog.
- Mile warm up.
- 1.5 mile (9:25)
- 2 x 0.3 mile (10.3 mph)
- 4 x 0.25 (10.5 mph)
- Efforts culminate in 18:35 5k.
- Mile warm down.
And then, in the afternoon, I headed out again for what I intended to be a nice easy run which would progress according to how my body felt. Well, my body felt good. But not as good as the speed at which I was running actually suggested. After the morning sessions I was, without too much effort, running just below 6:50 a mile pace. Although I did try and restrain myself, knowing the session I had banked in the morning, I did maintain the pace and strode happily around 4 miles.
Basically, doubling up is working for me. It’s also not quite as difficult as I imagined. I only do it when I don’t have to go into work, and it frees me up to add in some more core work and conditioning that I would perhaps otherwise avoid in order to keep my mileage up.
My week now revolves around three core sessions, loosely designated to:
- Monday: Light run/conditioning and circuits
- Tuesday: Double Up (one interval session/one tempo)
- Friday/Sunday: Long Run
I then slot in extra mileage, and hopefully a fast run (ideally a Saturday parkrun) around those three sessions.
Usually I run six times a week across five days, but it looks like I may be slipping some recovery miles into those empty days over the next month because Runners World UK are starting their Summer Streak: 32 days of running at least one mile everyday from Thursday 4th July to Sunday 4th August.
Now, I know it’s important to rest and recover, especially when you’re going for PBs, but the idea of slotting an easy couple of miles, or even just one mile, into my nothing-doing-days sounds pretty enticing – at least for a while…
The beauty of the streak is that it is accessible, most days I will be looking to do more than one mile, but if you are just starting out in the running world that one mile a day is good way to break yourself in with (relative) ease and get on the way to achieving something fantastic. 32 days of straight running is nothing to be sniffed at, and who’s to say you won’t want to stretch it out even further when you reach the end?
If you want to go involved you can click below for more information, and motivation.
Race Focus // The Serpent Trail
Every week I like to take a look at one of the more interesting races going on over the weekend. This week I came across a long-distance trail through the South Downs National Park. The Serpent Trail is a set of races which offers up beautiful routes to runners seeking a range of distances.
Try a 10k, test yourself with a half-marathon, push up to a 50k, or go nuts with a 100k. In any case, transport is included between the respective start and finish of your run along the trail.
If you want to escape into some true, gorgeous country, you can find more info at www.serpenttrailrace.com