We experience highs and lows in every aspect of life. Work, relationships, friendships; and of course our running is not immune to "ups and downs".
Thursday this week was a low. The old body didn't cope well with the planned session of K reps with a 10 mile run 2 days before and I pulled the plug after just 4 reps.
The mile pace had started at 7:22 dropped to 7.44 slightly better at 7:32 but dipped again to 7:48 per mile pace.
It would be easy to point to the thermometer and talk about the high temperature prevailing but in truth the body was simply saying just back off for a couple of days. Give yourself a "wee break"!
After an easy 3 on Friday and Saturday I was tempted to cover today's long run with company by taking part in the HAREWOOD 10 trail race. But what would I learn from an undulating trail race with a half marathon pencilled in for a few weeks time?
I often say if you can't "train a distance how can you race that distance?" (and that includes marathons). So instead I decided to practice what I preach and cover 14 miles on the canal.
TRAIN LIKE THE KENYANS
"Start at a jog; but end like the Charge of the Light Brigade" ( see pic for historical insight!)
"Building pace through training runs preps you to be strong in the second half of a race. Psychologically it gives you confidence and physiologically it trains your body to use different energy systems so you run powered by your fat stores first and preserve glycogen for later"
Very good. But I just tend to run "progressively"naturally but good to know it's having a beneficial effect.
So putting theory into practice..................
Moderate pace for 2 miles then gradually up through the gears over the miles. The first 2 miles were on target.........9.05 and 9.00 but with a benign temperature and negligible wind the 3rd mile cranked up to 8.21 . I thought from that point I would be hard pushed to achieve the acceleration (progression) I wanted but unlike Thursday the legs did what I wanted them to do and the times resulting, clearly highlight just how bad Thursday was. From half way today I started running continuous miles as fast as I had run K reps! In summary....
9.05 9.00 8.21 8.17 8.11 7.52 7.49 7.46 7.43 7.44 7.35 8.16 (uphill) 7.32 plus .46..............13.1 miles. Half marathon time 1:46 plus ease down to 14 mile.
Quite pleasing but could I go 11 minutes faster in a race? Time will tell.
So possibly one of the best training runs of the year and the key to it was without doubt backing off for just a couple of days; easy 3s on Friday and Saturday.
Today's 14 served as a very good end to the week which totalled 49 miles
The KENYAN weekly schedule as descibed in the R.W. article suggests that the long run (20-40K) takes place on a Saturday with Sunday as a day of rest. I'll "rest" but stay mobile with an easy 3 or 4 !