As promised last week here is how this week's training for the Bristol Half Marathon went.
Last week's schedule was:
Monday: Rest Day
The easiest day of the week and I happily stuck with the schedule for the day.
I managed to get to the swimming pool just before 6:30am when it opened. I wasn't the first person there and I certainly wasn't the first one through the doors. As this was the first time I had been swimming in well over 6 months, I think the last time I was in a pool was at Langport triathlon last autumn. I was a bit nervous as to how I'd do. I needn't have worried as 30 minutes later I climbed back out of the pool having completed 1000 metres, 40 lengths in old money, with just over half of that being front crawl and the rest a more relaxing breaststroke.
Wednesday: 2 miles easy, 3 miles (at short tempo pace), 1 mile easy
The weather has been reasonably hot where I live in South West England and today it still hadn't started to cool. The first two miles were pretty good. I went at a slower rate than I normally would have when going out for a run. I wasn't exactly sure what route I was going to take, in the end I headed off out along country lanes to get away from town for a bit.
The three miles at tempo pace were a lot harder than I expected. The first mile went well, I was about 20 seconds slower than I needed to be. Where I live has lots of hills and where there aren't hills the ground is fairly undulating. 20 seconds slower than I wanted wasn't too bad for the route that I had taken.
The second mile things started to get worse, the route continued to be fairly undulating with some reasonable hills to contend with. By the time I was ready to start mile three my pace was almost one and half minutes slower. Mile 3 was the worst as it was pretty much all up hill. Halfway through that mile I slowed to a walk to get up a short incline before beginning to run again. I did pass one guy who was out jogging who slowed to let me pass with the comment that I was probably quicker that he was. In total I think I must have passed about a dozen people running and half a dozen cyclists. By the time I'd completed the last of the tempo miles my pace was 2 minutes slower than it should have been.
The last mile I covered by running and then slowing to a walk before starting running again.
Although I was a bit disappointed with my performance I am keeping in mind that I've done very little running since January and that this training schedule was always going to be challenging. Its 18 weeks until Bristol and even if I don't hit the targets that the schedule calls for I will at least complete the sessions that I need to and I know that I will see an improvement in my running over the weeks. This weeks runs will be a baseline for me to look back to in order to see how I'm doing.
I had to wing it for this session as I'd not worked out any specific drills. I went through various drills including catch-ups, fist, side, some with fins and some with a float. Next time I really have to have a plan for what drills I'm going to do and will also have to take my pull buoy. On the plus side I'm managing to get in the half hour swim, put mousse in my hair before I come back from the pool, have some breakfast, get dressed and put on my make-up and still get into work for 9am.
Friday: 10 – 20 minutes warmup, 12 * 400 metres (with a 90 seconds rest interval between each), 10 minute cool down
I managed to download the Garmin Training Centre software and use that to create workouts for the first 3 track repeat sessions. I even managed to upload them to my Garmin. Its much easier to do that than to try and set up the workouts on the Garmin itself.
I wasn't quite sure where to go to do the track repeats. Running around the streets wasn't going to be very interesting. In the end I looked at Ham Hill Country Park near where I live using Google Maps. There is a big open area that people use to walk their dogs. Its about 500 metres across the entire area and ideal for going round and round and round and, well you get the idea.
It was reasonably quiet on Ham Hill, parked the car and jogged for about 10 minutes to the point where I started the track repeats.
My pace for each of the 400 metre repeats varied depending on whether it was a straight run, whether I had to slow as I went passed dogs or whether I hit the points where there were gates to go through.
Each of the rest intervals I slowed to a walk in order to recover.
All in all I was quite pleased with the session and averaged a pace of 2 minutes 13 seconds. I'm looking forward to doing the next session next week.
Saturday: Bike ride
I managed to get out and do a 12 mile ride in just under an hour, which is about where I was with my cycling last year. It was my second, outdoor, bike ride of the year with the last one being back in January. I wasn't sure about doing it as my body is feeling all of this exercise at the moment. Roll on Monday when I have a rest day.
I've felt like skipping training sessions quite a few times this week. Fortunately I've stuck with it, even if it has meant going out for a run in the evening. If I'm going to really keep the training going though I'm going to have to get used to forcing myself out the door in the mornings.
Sadly my laptop has decided once again to break, the casing around the screen has broke when I was closing it earlier today and so it goes back to PC World to get repaired. I keep hoping that they will reach the point where they decide that it simply isn't economical to keep repairing it and will instead replace it. I doubt its going to happen anytime soon. In the meantime I'm going to be offline for a few days. I'll update on how my training has gone when I get back online, hopefully that wont be too long.
In the meantime next week's schedule is:
Monday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Tempo Run
Friday: Track Repeats
Saturday: Bike Ride
Sunday: Long Run
Quick update on how things have progressed when I'm back on line.