What a week!
It’s been another good one of intensive running and I also finally got my hands on a shiny new Garmin Fenix 3 which I had been waiting for for ages. The fact that the courier company failed to deliver it for 4 days in a row made it even more desirable. But now I have it, it’s a fantastic piece of kit and I cannot wait to record all my runs with it.
Here is what I did this week after I took the day off running on Monday to rest.
Tuesday I ran an easy recovery run of 15k at 4:34 min/km. I was very nice, foggy, Bushy Park was at its best with the low rising sun, the deer, very bucolic.
On Wednesday I went to Richmond Park for some hill training. I did 5 repeats of 400mt uphill and rested on the way down. I took the smallest trail on the right, just after Kingston gate, the one that is not very steep except of a couple of places where you have almost to run on the balls of you feet. I like it as it feels a bit wild, you have to jump a couple of fallen trees and lower you head to avoid branches. I ran a total of 11k including warm up and cool down.
On Thursday I did the same route I did on Tuesday, but slightly shorter. The weather was warmer and I ran with shorts! I did a 12k easy run. Finally in the afternoon the Fenix 3 was delivered and I spent hours tweaking the settings in the evening and went to bed very late.
On Friday I woke up very tired but very keen to try the Fenix 3. I did 11k at 4:27 but I mostly spent the time looking at the various reports and data on the watch.
On Saturday I went out for the first long run of the week end. The plan was to do anything over 40k and to do it in “ultramarathon race mode”, so going slowly, thinking about keeping enough energy to keep on running. I was also very careful to eat something every 30 minutes. I alternated jelly blocks and gels. Basically eating a gel every hour and twenty minutes and blocks in between. Drinking as much as I felt like it. I went all along the river towards Putney bridge and back. I ran at a pace between 5:00 and 5:30 min/km. I felt great. I never had a moment of crisis. Not even my usual pain at around 32k. It was a real confidence boost. I felt like I could run at that speed for a lot longer, but then when I was in Kingston I had to make a choice. Continue and try to do 50k or go home. I had been running the last 2km behind another guy who looked like it was training like me and when I caught up with him we chatted a bit. He was preparing for the Thames Path 100, he knew what he was doing. I was tempted to follow him and break 50k for the first time but I had not eaten a gel for a while as I thought I would go home soon so I was very weak and said goodbye.
I regretted it. I got home and I was not dead, I could have run more! Now I have to try and do the long 50k run next week end and it will probably rain, I will not have a guy to run with etc. Silly me. Anyway it was a very good run, 43k at 5:24 average. At the end I was going mostly at 5:40. That’s what I want to try and do at the North Downs Way. Keep above 5:30 for as much as I can, avoid doing the usual silly quick start, slow down uphill even more, speed up downhill and run until I cannot any more and get to the end.
To make the week end more useful for long distance training I went out again on Sunday. The legs were quite sore, especially the ankles, but after warming up a bit (it took a while as it was below 5 degrees) I was running ok. Not fast at all, but not crawling. I completed a run of 26.5k at 5:14. Not bad considering the run of the day before. I got home pretty proud of myself and it was not even 9:30am!
A very good week, 118km in total. Very happy with my training and the consistency I managed to put in in the last 5 weeks. I averaged more than 100k a week for 5 weeks in a row. That’s more than I could have asked for. One more long run next week end, 50k hopefully, and then I will start tapering a bit.
I cannot wait for the NDW50, it will be epic, whatever happens.