Monday 21st to Sunday 27th December 2015

Training for: Grizedale Trail Marathon

Runs: 4, Total Distance: 34.4km, Total Time: 2:37

Week 2 of 8 - Grizedale Trail 26.

Week 2 of 8 – Grizedale Trail 26.

I’m slowly starting to get back into the swing of training. My usual six days on, one day off pattern is still not in place but normality will be restored next week without doubt.

I started off this week by visiting the gym on Tuesday. I warmed up with a 1650m swim (32:42) and then headed up to the treadmill for a variable incline workout. I am beginning to get the hang of the treadmills at my new gym and I decided to try something a bit different this time around. The first 30 minute section was at 12.5kmph and rotated through an incline pattern every 2 minutes: 5%, 3%, 6%, 2%, 5%, 3%…etc. The final 10 minute was at 2% gradient and built steadily from 12.5kmph to 15.5kmph for the final 5 minutes. Towards the end of the first 30 minute section I was beginning to curse! I was pushing myself but I was enjoying it and I also knew that the flatter final 10 minutes was rapidly approaching. It took a lot of mental strength to keep ramping up the speed from 30 minutes to hitting maximum speed at 35 minutes. I got off the ‘mill feeling accomplished having covered 8.5km and 300m of ascent.

I took Wednesday off and then on Christmas Eve (Thursday) I finished work early, went to the pub with my friends…and had a few pints of aptly named ‘Runner’, an ale by the Truman Brewery. I finished off the session with a shot of tequila before making my way home! On my return I decided that it would be a good idea to go for a run. Again, as with all of my outdoor runs so far in this block, there was no plan aside from ‘just run’. So I just ran. It was one of the most fun runs completed all year! It wasn’t super fast but I managed to get through 5km in 21:20 and then 8km in 34:18. Given that I’ve been running on feel and on the road and treadmill during weeks 1 and 2 my thought has started to turn towards taking this 10 week training block and focusing on speed instead of reverting back to a aerobic heart rate 80/20 system. I’m going to think hard about that during Tuesday’s run (which will be off-road and at aerobic heart rate) and see how I feel about it afterwards.

Having just written about potentially abandoning 80/20 for 10 weeks, on Christmas Day I went for an off-road aerobic heart rate run! It was a short and sweet 7km and far more difficult than I had anticipated when I set off! The weather is unseasonably warm so I too warmed up very quickly and realised I didn’t need my baselayer. In addition the ground underfoot was sodden with heavy, sticky slippery mud and on a number of occasions I felt like I was working well into my tempo heart rate range just to keep moving forward. This run marked the first time I’ve run on trail since CTS Dorset Ultra on December 5th so that was an additional shock to the system. It may have been difficult, it may have been uncomfortable and I might not have particularly enjoyed myself but it set me up nicely and I was able to enjoy Christmas Day with my Dad and brother.

On Boxing Day I drove up to Birmingham with my Dad to visit family. I made the decision not to take my running stuff with me so by the time I got back to my house on Sunday I was itching to get out for a run particularly as the journey home was much longer than the journey to Birmingham thanks to heavy traffic! Remembering my Christmas Day morning experience I again opted for a ‘no-plan’ road run and about 20 minutes after getting out of the car I was back out on the road again and running free. During the run my shoulders ached a little having been hunched in a car for about 3.5/4 hours throughout the day but after about 5km I had loosened up a bit. I suppose I would call this effort a fartlek of sorts because when I felt like it I pushed a bit and then when it began to feel a bit too much I backed off. Therefore I rounded out week 2 of 10 going through 5km in 21:27, 8km in 34:04 and 10km in 42:43.

That’s the last training entry for 2015 dear reader and what a year of training [and racing] it has been! I hope you have had an interesting, productive and energetic year and I hope the roads, trails and treadmills treat you well into 2016.

Peace & Blessings

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