Wednesday, August 22, 2012
will run for beer: the training diaries, week 3
It was so gloriously sticky and hot here on Sunday that Tom and I could think of nothing better than to hang out in the garden of a local pub, frosty cold beer in hand. Actually, that morning, when it was already 25 degrees at 9am, I had headed out for a road 10k and desperately needed the loo at 7k. I have a no toilet stop record for all my races but for some reason I just couldn't hang on for the next 3k...due to the heat I'd had a lot of water before I headed out. So I stopped in a pub to use their facilities (after going to the train station first and finding their toilets locked and bolted, meh!) and promised them I'd come back for a beer later on! I'm a woman of my word :D Landlords, runners really appreciate being able to use your loos!
So, training for my 3 in 3 weeks continues! Here's what I've been up to.....
I've stepped it up a notch with the trail runs. For the last week I've been concentrating on getting into a good rhythm on the trails, which seems to be working well. It has got easier and yet it hasn't, if that makes sense. I'm managing to run on the trails for about 30-40 minutes before needing a short walk break (which is a huge improvement - it was 15 minutes 3 weeks ago!) but when everything starts going uphill I just get so out of breath so quickly. I'm possibly trying to go up them too fast - my strategy with hills has always been to go fast to get them out of the way!
Keeping my strides small, as Coach Julia suggested, is definitely helping, both with getting into a good rhythm and also avoiding the rabbit holes, dips, rocks and other things you encounter on the trails! I'm getting better at avoiding the stinging nettles too. Yesterday was my first day of not getting stung! Last week I was not so lucky...ouch!
Once I've got to to the top of Heartbreak Hill, I take a break and do tricep dips on a bench with this view:
I really, really enjoy the trail running - mostly for the change of scenery and that for the most part there's hardly anyone else there! I work hard but it's a very meditative experience even though you have to be a bit more aware of your surroundings and can't completely switch off as you would if you were on a flat stretch of road. I love the earthy, grounding smell of the trails, particularly this past week with it being so muggy, the woods had a pungent almost jungle-like smell. Not the same as the peppery smell of gum leaves but still fun and uplifting to immerse yourself in.
On Friday's trail run I will be out there for 2 x 40 minute runs plus stretching and hill work!
Compared to the trails, my road runs are quite straightforward and I'm amazed at the difference! Today's run was a recovery of sorts after yesterday's trail run, so I just did 5k and then 10 x 100m strides. But the 5k, which I'd normally plod through, I did at probably 80% of my threshold pace - I felt a lot faster and stronger than I usually do first thing in the morning. And the strides were incredible! I'm still channelling my inner Olympian here and I've been more conscious of using my arms in my speed work since watching all those superstars in the athletics a few weeks ago, and it has really made a difference. I flew through the strides this morning! Normally around 5 of the 10 I start feeling exhausted and take a lot longer than the specified 30 seconds to recover between each one. Today I didn't start getting tired until number 9!
So it is apparent that the trail running, as unfit as I sometimes feel as I negotiate another incline or another pebbly path, is improving my fitness overall and the difference in my road running is quite remarkable! But having said that, it's still not easy. Every time I've got out there recently I've thought...."why did you want to do this again?!" But then I'll push through that and by the end of the run I'm high on endorphins and hungry for the next time. It's so weird!
The purple t-shirt and black racer back top I got from Zalando have been my main running tops as it's been so warm...and they stay so dry even when I can feel the sweat stinging my eyes! My shoes are holding up well on the trails but I'm wondering if I need some special trail shoes? Anyone got any ideas/recommendations?
I'm fuelling a bit differently this time around to try and get some fat loss happening. Instead of loading up on carbs and tucking a packet of sports beans into my arm band, I'm just heading out on these runs having had a cup of tea and lots of water. I'm finding that while I'm tired afterwards I'm perfectly able to do these runs without needing to load up as I used to. For short runs, I just have water afterwards and then eat my next meal as planned, maybe some fruit or a rice cake if I'm hungry. For the longer runs (10k plus) I take a sports drink (that I make up from a powder) to have during and then recover afterwards with lots of water and some fruit and yoghurt:
I'm loving fruit and yoghurt at the moment, it's all I want to eat!! Grapes and apples especially. The weather has been so lovely so we've mostly had salads as the star of dinner these last few days. I'll put some recipes up soon for some of the things I've made, they've been really delicious. Still going on the whole gluten free thing too (apart from the beer!) In fact, I made my first loaf of gluten free bread today and it is magnificent:
Tomorrow is my rest day so there will be yoga and probably a light walk. Then up early for my massive trail session on Friday!
Stay tuned for Week 4 :)
Are you training for something at the moment? How are you going with it?
PS: New podcast tomorrow!!!