Workout Soundtrack: –
8.20km 34:51 (Shires & Spires, session 11)
The London Marathon seems to herald the start of spring here in England! The weather has been glorious since last Friday and was perfect for Sunday’s race and Monday’s recovery runs for those that took part – I had to wait until today for my own recovery run after Sunday’s triumphant training session!
My legs didn’t feel too great yesterday, in fact they felt a bit trashed! In all fairness I did make them run an unexpected half marathon in a personal best time so I don’t know what else I was expecting – it wasn’t a bad feeling anyway, it just felt like the familiar post-race burn that I miss so much! I gingerly limped and sat through my Late shift and on my return home hit my calf muscles and ITBs with a solid foam roller session before bed. When I woke up this morning my legs felt much better and I decided to pull on the compression socks, lace up and head out for what I thought would be a nice and easy 5km run before work.
Well, my first kilometre was almost sub 4:00 and when I noticed I’d slowed by 10 seconds on the second and was 5 seconds off that on the third I unconsciously picked up the pace quite a bit – my 4th kilometre was about a second off the first and my fifth came in at 3:54! I missed out on a sub 20:00 5km by 45 seconds and so instead of taking a slow route home I did a small fartlek session! Between 5km and 6km I took it easy at 4:40 and then picked it up to 4:02 (largely uphill!) between 6km and 7km, from here I was feeling the effort quite a bit so I took it easy over the next 500/600m before picking it up once more for the final part of the run. By the time I got home I was feeling exhilarated but pretty worn out – it was certainly a happy run and during my final up-tempo section I suddenly realised why I had grown to dislike running over the past few months: I wasn’t having enough fun!
Until Sunday’s ‘run how you feel’ half marathon effort I had been running pretty much at the same pace, over the same routes all year and this just worked it’s way into my brain as a chore – something that was unenjoyable but something that had to be done and this is why I largely turned my back on the trails and roads in favour of the pool. What I’ve learned in the past few days is that I need to mix it up out there again! I need to be doing mid-run fartlek sessions just for the hell of it (and because it’s really good for tempo recovery), I need to be attacking the hills just because I can and I need to start doing trail/cross-country intervals – why you might ask? Well, that’s easy to answer;
Because it’s FUN, because I ENJOY it, because that is the JOY of running for me: GO FAST, PUSH HARD, SMILE!
I really cannot express how great it feels to have this passion reignited once more. I’m really looking forward to mixing up my runs a bit more now. No more set distance, set route, set pace runs for this runner! It’s time to get back to where I started and although I started pretty seriously it enthused me, filled me with confidence and improved my running with every run. Hill sessions, repeats, intervals, fartlek and the obligatory long run are all coming back into the picture…let’s see if I can’t take down some of my longer standing personal records before the year is out! One thing I know is that it’s going to be lots of fun trying…I might even get back on the track a few times 😀
I hope you’re enjoying your running as much as I am at the moment dear reader, and if you’re not I hope this post has given you a bit of hope and some idea of how to get the joy back once more!
Peace & Blessings