What a week it’s been here in the UK with extreme weather patterns and changes to our current lockdown. We started the week very wet and windy, then come Thursday and Friday we had sunny clear skies. The weather did affected my week of training, as it definitely affected my motivation to get out there.
With the wind and rain howling outside I jumped on the treadmill to get in my speed workout (for the second week running). I did 4 800m repeats with 400m in between each effort. After the first couple of repeats I started struggling pretty hard, so moved the fan a little closer and walked the recovery to try and help have the strength for the intervals. I averaged about a 4:25 min/km on each of the 800m efforts. I would have preferred to have averaged a 4:20 pace for them, but hey ho. I also created a little YouTube video as I ran it, if you want to know lots more further details.
I then topped this up with a little bit of stretching and core work after lunch for just under an hour. The focus wasn’t on burning calories or working hard during this session, it was just working the muscles a little bit more than I usually would.
I got outside nice and early as it was scheduled to rain from about 8am. I ran a brand new route around my local area, and I actually really enjoyed it. When I run a new route I don’t really look at pace too often, as you never know how many traffic lights there are or how long you’ll take looking at the map. That being said though I did feel a little deflated when I got back home at just over an hour of moving time (I stopped for a few photos). I wanted to feel accomplished at having run my easy run at a 5:40 min/km pace but that didn’t happen so it really kind of got to me. The new route turned out to be pretty flat, which means it will be nice to compare again in a month or two to see if I am getting faster over the longer distances by incorporating short bursts of speed work, which is essentially what my current focus is.
I doubled up again for the second day in a row, but this time I got out the turbo trainer (for the first time since April). I joined in a 60 minute steady ride with a group of women, and just rode along reading all the chat that they were sharing. My trainer dropped out of signal after 20 minutes of riding, and I spent to next 40 minutes trying to catch up with the peloton. So it wasn’t quite as gentle as planned! I rode 28.5km in the hour and had an average power of 109w, which whilst I’d love to improve isn’t may main goal, I’m just enjoying doing something a little bit different to help with recovery.
Today is where the motivation completely flatlined. I did not want to do anything, I just sat down all day. On the plan was a gentle 7km but I just didn’t have the energy to do it. In the afternoon I choreographed and taught some of my students over Zoom, so I wasn’t completely sedentary all day.
No running again today, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself to get up and moving, as I was still feeling completely unmotivated. In the afternoon though I felt that doing something active would help improve my mood, so I stuck on a podcast and did another gentle cycle on the turbo trainer. This ride was at a slightly higher power range, but not by much, and I again fell out of the peloton. This time round though it wasn’t because of the turbo trainer, it just seemed like everyone was going harder than they were supposed to be for that ride. It meant I spent most of the ride out at the back with a few others, which was a little bit better than Tuesday’s cycle where my avatar was all on their own the whole time. I finished the ride having rode 32km at an average power of 112w. So not too far off Tuesdays ride.
The second day of heat over in Bristol so I swapped out my hill session for a 7km treadmill session, but even still I found the heat was still super suffocating. I had the fan on it’s highest setting as close to me as I could but I still took little mini breaks to try and cool down. The average pace for Friday’s run was 5:51 min/km, so nice and gentle.
SATURDAY: 5km + Sprint work
I woke up early enough to get in 5km around Hengrove Park before it got super hot. I tried to push the pace a little bit during the run, but did end up having to slow down on some of the smaller paths to overtake walkers with enough space. I completed the first 5km in about 26:30, which isn’t too impressive but still my fastest in a little while. I then walked a little closer to home, to use the path nearby as I know it’s 100m between two of the manhole covers. I used these to mark out my sprints last, so decided it would be good for consistency to use the same path. I did 6 sprints; a 20s, 19s, 18s, 19s, 19s, and 22s, which is about 2 seconds quicker than the sprints I did the week previous. I also realised how much I like being about to run at my top speed, even if it is just for 100m it felt pretty freeing to just let go and not think about having to pace myself so I could go the distance. Don’t get me wrong I’m not going to suddenly try and train to be a sprinter (I definitely don’t have the fast twitch muscle fibres for that) but I do think that I’ll start doing more sprint work, perhaps instead of longer intervals.
As in my plan Sunday was rest day, so I didn’t do too much. I went out for about an hours walk just to enjoy a little bit of the warmer weather, but that wasn’t too taxing on the muscles. It was quite tempting to try and do the hill session that I missed out this week to try and make up for my lack of motivation earlier on. However I felt that if I did that I’d then be a little bit on the back foot going into the next 3 days of runs so just tried to shrug off any guilt surrounding issuing the session altogether.
This week felt very draining, but most of this wasn’t due to my activity level, it was just lack of motivation. I really enjoyed exploring the new route on Tuesday and doing the sprints on Saturday. It’s the bit in between that that wasn’t as great for training! I’m not too annoyed that my intervals on Monday were shorter than planned as doing them inside I do just find harder, so my hope is that a 800m inside will feel like 1000m outside with all that real wind. As for skipping the hill session I’m glad I did give myself a little break, yes on Friday I could have done that instead of just 7km, but I probably wouldn’t have been as motivated then to go out on the Saturday morning. I’ve got another build week coming up next week before a tiny reset, so I’m going to hit that one hard.
If you want to be updated a bit more regularly about my progress be sure to follow me on Instagram and Strava, as I post pretty much every time I run over on there. I’ve also recently started up a YouTube channel to try and help other runners learn a little more about the activity.