Keep calm and…

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Stay at home?

Quarantine continues, running continues.

Despite some threats.

The British public cannot completely behave itself when the sun comes out, this is a fact. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west, and the British lose their goddam minds as soon the temperature pops above 15 degrees. So has come the threat of a ban on outdoor exercise. Personally I find this hard to believe. The mental and physical benefits of being outside, in sunlight, are so tremendous that I do not think it would be sensible to ban all outside excursions entirely.

But then, if things get worse, if the curve fails to flatten, it will be what it will be. What needs to happen, will happen.

I’m lucky, I have home access to a treadmill but for others, I imagine such a scenario would be a horrible struggle. Even for me, just running on a treadmill would be tough stuff.

As it is, the place where I live makes social distancing a daily fact, regardless of the global situation. Running these country roads is a solitary act. Training long by myself is easy. Training hard without a group is more of a struggle.

As it is, I finding myself pondering the question: what am I training for? I haven’t got any races coming up, so what is my purpose when I lace up?

Well, it’s simple.

Because.

Just, because.

So my routine is more about enjoyment than ever, which doesn’t mean that there is no struggle, no sweat, because those things are part of the unbeatable draw of running.

I’m aiming for two workouts a week, an increase in conditioning training, and plenty of easy/steady running in between.

My two workouts looked like this:

1) Treadmill: 130 seconds on incline 4/90 seconds rest/ 70 seconds on incline 6/ 120 seconds rest x 6 (pace increasing with each repeat, orbiting around 10k pace). Then, 3 x 90 seconds on the flat (sub 5k pace).

2) Road: A 7 mile run, broken into a 10 minute warm up, 3 minute efforts at sub-6 minute mile pace, 2 minute easy run recovery, times 5, finished off with an easy run to complete the mileage.

It is frustrating to say that I actually feel extremely fit at the minute. Or not frustrating. Or is it? There are no races but feeling fit is a sensation which is satisfying regardless of the situation and in fact, without the pressure of the race to keep me tense, I feel like there is less risk of getting injury.

Why push it any further than I need to push it?

During the 3 minute efforts in my second workout I felt very comfortable, very happy, and yet I was pushing down towards 5:40 pace, about 18 seconds a mile quicker than my fastest 5k. Yes, it was only a 3 minute effort, but during a continuous run, by myself…

Exciting stuff, I suppose. The key, as it always is with running, is mentality. I cannot rush anything. The main focus during this weird time must be keeping fit, avoiding injury. When this ends, and it will end, there will be races, and when they start again I intend to be on the start lines of as many of them as I can manage.

I have a suspicion that the atmosphere might just be unmissable.  

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