Friday 23rd August 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Wu-Tang Clan – ‘Liquid Swords’

6.51km 31:15 (Pisa Marathon, Session 5. Easy)

I am very pleased to report that today was much, much better than yesterday. Although I didn’t sleep too well last night I had a good day at work, it ran smoothly and the memory of yesterday is quickly fading thankfully!

I think I can put the bad night of sleep down to my choice of dinner last night. Pizza might not have been the best option, granted it tasted lovely, but I’m not usually one for so much dairy and I had a fitful night punctured by some pretty out there nightmares. I dreamed I was drowning once and then that my friend was drowning, that and many other odd dreams that I don’t really recall!

Anyway, the reason today has been pretty great is because I’ve found two outdoor swimming options within 5km of my workplace which means I can do some post-work brick (run/swim) sessions. One of the places is a reservoir and that will be kind of a treat as you have to wear a wetsuit to swim in there. The other place is a 50m outdoor, laned pool which also happens to be lightly heated and open all year round – bonus! Thanks to ‘Swimming Round London’ for the information and the entertaining reviews of London’s outdoor (and indoor) swimming venues. Head on over and take a look if you’re thinking of going for a swim in London Town – there really is quite a variety to choose from!

The other reason that today has been markedly better than yesterday is because I have finally booked my spot on the Pisa Marathon!!!! Yes, it is now 100% happening – I will be toeing the line at my first marathon in 114 days! To add to that I will also be visiting a country that I have always wanted to visit…and, yes and, what’s more I may very well be travelling abroad on my own for the first time ever! Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about the whole trip! I will be booking my flights and accommodation next month and I have extended an open invitation to my friends to join me in Italy if they so wish. As an Italian might very well say (or not, I don’t really know?!): ‘Cerchiamo di fare questo!

In preparation for my debut 26.2 I got home from work, did some stretching, downed some water and headed out the door for a nice and easy paced 5km training run – as per my Hansons Marathon Method training plan. Well, sort of as per the plan. It has very much become my plan in recent days! I’ve modified some of the distances I’m running and I’ve also modified (just the once so far, if you don’t include today in that equation) the prescribed pace. I did lift the plan straight from the Hansons Marathon Method book and I went for the beginner program. I did this because at the time I started this process I hadn’t trained or done any serious running for six months and I thought if I chose the advanced plan it would be too much, too soon!

So now, with some slight tweaking and modifications, I have developed what I suppose you could call the intermediate plan. It gives enough room for me to run a bit further and a bit harder whilst still keeping the totally weekly mileage to a manageable (read: injury avoiding) level, as well as giving me the time and space in the program to undertake my 70.3 swim and bike training. I’m most definitely building up cumulative fatigue and I will benefit from the general ethos of the Hansons method but, like with so many other things in life, I’m doing it my way!

Today’s run, therefore, was an easy 5km run at the prescribed pace of between 4:57 and 5:03 per KM. However, as my 5km ended around 1.5km short of my front door I decided that instead of plodding along at easy pace I would take the gradually climbing route home at tempo pace – if you read my blog yesterday you will know that I have quite a wide-range for my tempo runs but I was happy to run the last KM in 4:01 and the last 500m in 2:10. One thing I have taken from this workout is an awareness that after running at an easy pace for around 5km I tend to get an odd burning sensation in my hamstrings, particularly the right one – the only way I’ve found to rid myself of this problem is to pick up the pace and to slightly adjust my stride/cadence…thankfully I’ve got 114 days to work on this particular part of my marathon running strategy!

That’s it for today, and what a good day it has been. Until the ‘morrow I bid you all ‘buongiorno‘ 🙂

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