Training blog - post six
Updated: Jul 25
It's been a really busy couple of weeks. I'm really starting to feel the lack of normal social contact. I have spent time with some friends on walks or runs but compared to the normal group training sessions, coffee meet-ups and relaxed dinners it seems very sparse. It also seems ungrateful to complain when I'm healthy and well and able to work at the moment.
I've had a really fantastic couple of weeks of training. Usually I try to downplay when I'm fit or running well as I might jinx it or get injured! In these very weird times I'm trying to celebrate the small successes. My furlough period has also given me an idea of how it feels to have more sleep and rest time. I'm trying not to let that recovery go completely. I've realised that when I'm rushing to get everything done during the day I struggle to get off to sleep and stay asleep because my mind is so busy. The aim this week is to try to switch off my phone in the evenings and avoid my emails after 7pm. Easier said than done!
My last rest day was June 12th.
Saturday June 13th - This weekend involved back-to-back runs i.e. long runs on both days. Two hours today, all easy.
Sunday June 14th - Two hours again over a hilly route - easy but steady on the climbs. I ran this with Minna and Ellie (Ellie's longest ever run!). We went up the ridge behind St Catherine's, and then along the Pilgrim's way to Cheesefoot head and back into town. We chatted the whole way apart from the hills! It was tough because of the heat and humidity so finding a tap on the South Down's Way was a life saver. And paddling in the river afterwards.
Monday 15th - Recovery 60 minutes. I joined an online class for 45 minutes of strength and core, just using my kettle bell and dumb bell.
Tuesday 16th - Easy 50 with strides at the end.
Wednesday 17th - Easy 30, 40 minutes at marathon pace and then a cool down back to the car. Minna and I met at Virginia Water for this one before the carpark opened so it was quiet and reasonably cool. The path is a bit undulating but very smooth, around 5 miles round the whole lake. After Dorney it might become my favourite training venue.
Thursday 18th - Double run (40 minutes in the morning, 40 minutes in the evening).
Friday 19th - Track session at Down Grange with Minna. After a warm up we ran 6,5,4,3,2,1 minutes off 90 seconds and then a cool down. Afterwards we had pizza and beer in Winchester from Three Joes. A really pleasing session in that the paces came down incrementally with each rep - harder to achieve that you might think.
Saturday 20th - Easy 80 minutes in the morning on very tired legs. I didn't really mentally prepare for this one and found myself struggling. I ended up finding an old podcast where Lindsey Hein interviewed Sinead Diver on 'I'll Have Another' and that kept me going. What an incredible athlete! I'd highly recommend listening.
I met Tom Smith, a conditioning coach, in the afternoon for an assessment. We're going to start meeting every week for a strength session.
Sunday 21st - We went to my in-law's garden for Father's Day. It was lovely to spend time with my family but really weird not being able to hug and constantly trying to avoid being too close. Unfortunately I had a really terrible hay fever flare up. I've been struggling for weeks - constant swollen and raw nose, sneezing, eyes stinging and swollen and a skin rash - but it was totally out of control even with steroid nasal spray, doubles doses of anti-histamines and wearing sunglasses all day. Their house is surrounded by fields and with no indoor access it was a recipe for disaster.
Monday 22nd - I woke up feeling terrible after my hay fever flare up yesterday. Face swollen and, although I didn't have anything alcoholic to drink the day before, it felt like I had the mother of all hangovers. Managed a double run day with a visit to the doctor in the middle of the day to have a steroid injection in my bum. I ran again in the evening (already feeling much better) and did a 45 minute online strength session in the evening.
Tuesday 23rd - Easy 60 minutes with strides at the end.
Wednesday 24th - Minna and I met at Virginia Water for a session. Warm up, 2 x 5 miles at marathon pace and a cool down. One of my best ever sessions - we managed 6.35ish/mile for both 5 mile loops. I felt so elated afterwards. A really good marker of my current fitness and form. Let's hope it continues! We met at 6.15 am to avoid the heat. Still 21 degrees though - too hot for Irish people like me.
Thursday 25th - Double run (60 mins AM and 50 mins PM). I got home at 9pm from work so it was really hard to get myself out the door again. While I went for my second run Tom quickly made me something to eat - I'm very prone to hanger! Still boiling at 9pm - 26 degrees!
Friday 26th - 60 minutes easy with strides.
I met Tom Smith after my run for some strength work - really cool stuff that I haven't done before. I'm excited to see the results of challenging my body in a new way.
Saturday 27th - 3 hours with Minna. The aim was to run an undulating, mixed surface route for the first and third hours and do some varied pace 3km loops for the middle hour. I felt really good for most of it although did trip and fall so had a bruised elbow and hip by the end of the day. Got home and had to do a rapid change to get into work for 10 (we started just after 6am). Got stuck at work til 7.30pm so had to have emergency food supplies delivered by my husband - not an ideal recovery but sometimes you have to roll with it.
Sunday 28th - 50 mins recovery run. In work for the rest of the day again. Last night was a Wagamama takeout and a small glass of wine (I was on call)! I wish the wine could have been more plentiful!
Monday 29th - Rest day! Hurrah! So far I've been for a long walk with the dog and my husband at Farley Mount before I start my shift at work (my last ever day at my current job).
Links to stuff I've mentioned:
My coach is Tom Craggs - @tom.craggs on Instagram
I did the strength session online with running-stronger.com
Tom Smith - shp_physicalprep on Instagram
You can find the Sinead Diver podcast on LindseyHein.com