Training: Week 5

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

That basically sums up the 5th week of training. From the 3m and 7m midweek runs that were the fastest of the year so far to the 7m and 14m at the weekend that were pretty slow.

I am not sure if it was the switch to running in the evening due to starting my new job, or if it was just one of those things, but the 2 midweek runs were awesome. Both of them I was buzzing and just felt I could go faster and faster. So it was slightly surprising when 48 hours after running 7m at 8:10 pace I try to do it again and I can only manage 8:40. The difference was possibly that the Saturday run was in the morning, and I didn’t get up as early as normal so the sun was up and getting hotter all the time I was out. I must have been very dehydrated when I got back as after cooling off in the pool and having a shower and breakfast I was in bed for nearly 3 hours fast asleep!

This was the first week I tried to do “back to back” runs at the weekend, so I wasn’t sure how Sunday would go. I felt good when I got out of bed, considering the mess I had been at the end of the run on Saturday I was expecting to be stiff and tired, but I felt OK. The getting up at 4am on a Sunday does seem much worse than getting up at 4am on a Saturday. I am not sure why, but it just does. A change to the normal routine was that I didn’t listen to my music whilst stretching and getting ready which gets me in the mood.

Anyway, I set off and went slightly too fast for the first couple of miles and was just under 9:00min pace, and I had been planning on trying to do 9:15-9:20 based on what I had done the day before. I quickly slowed though and at 6 miles I knew I wasn’t feeling great. There wasn’t anything hurting or cramping, I was just getting slower and slower. I made it to 10m which was just outside our apartment where I had left a bottle of Gatorade (my Camelbak is still in the post!), so I stopped for a quick drink, which although I definitely needed was the beginning of the end. My legs stiffened up in the 20 seconds I stopped for and from then on it was a struggle and I basically walk/run the remaining 4 miles.

The end result was being extremely stiff and sore for the rest of the day and not feeling the best when I go up this morning (Monday). However, I have been to the physio at lunchtime and had some needling in my back, my IT band worked on and a general massage of my lower back and hip and things have loosened up nicely.

I think there are probably a few contributing factors to the poor showing this weekend. Firstly it was the first “back-to-back” weekend, so my body isn’t used to being pushed so far; I had run so fast during the week my body didn’t have as much to give at the weekend; because of switching training plans from novice to intermediate I missed the “stepback” week 2 weeks ago where you get an easier week. This means that in a little over 8 weeks I have gone from walk/running a couple of miles to trying to run 21 miles in a weekend. I think my body needs a bit of a rest, which it will get this week, although the only thing different from last week is that instead of 14m on Sunday I “only” do 10m. Hopefully, my body will recover a bit as there is only one pace run this week which is the 7m on Saturday, everything else should be a lot more relaxed than the last couple of weeks.

With the weather being pretty bad in Cayman just now the cross-training tonight is probably going to be a walk instead of cycle.

The good news is that all of my new gear should arrive this week! But I said that last week too…….