RA Fitness Blog, Running

Monthly Miles Round Up: July

Well it’s been a few months since I sat down and did one of these, and honestly there is no excuse. I just kept forgetting to do them, but now its the start of August so it’s about time to do another one, April was the last one I shared with you! So July saw a lot of mileage, I took part in the Virtual Race to the Stones 100km challenge, and started work on a new training block. It seems that I’ve finally found my summer running mojo!

Most of what I’m about to report you probably already know if you’ve read my last few blog posts, as I’m now doing a weekly recap of my running as well (so far I’ve not missed a week of doing that!). So after the 31 days in July I ended up with a final total of 155km (an average of 5km everyday), just shy of doing 100 miles which would have been a pretty nice cherry on the top of my highest monthly mileage so far in 2020. Yes, during a month of rain and hot weather I did the most running yet. I’m really amazed as this time last year I did about half the amount of running. Part of that is definitely because of COVID-19, during the summer I’m usually running holiday camps or doing CPD, but this year I can’t do that and so am in a little work slump that most self-employed people are in as well. Especially those that rely on being able to meet others like a dance teacher does. Alright, alright, enough about that let’s get onto the running.

WEEK 1 (1st-5th): 14.6km
Going way back to the start of the month I was in a rest week, so the only running I did was to go and get new shoes and then to test those shoes out a couple of times on the treadmill. Both of the tests were quite short as that is what was advised by the running store I went to. So this week of running wasn’t too much as it was gearing up for the challenge I set myself the week after.

WEEK 2 (6th-12th): 79.2km
Hello Virtual Race to the Stones! This week was al about seeing how far I could run in a week. I took on the 100km challenge and just went super steady on all of my longer runs. There were a couple of days where I split it up into smaller chunks but on the whole I did about 20km each day. I took one day off of running and walked instead (hence why total distance is below 100km) as I knew it would put me into injury territory if I did have a sudden surge in the amount of running I did, especially in pretty new shoes! More about this week can be found on my VRTTS blog post. My key take away from this week was that whilst I enjoyed doing longer distances it not something I want to race, I just enjoy the adventure along the way.

WEEK 3 (13th-19th): 13.1km
Another rest week to ensure I wasn’t putting too much strain on my body. I did three runs this week, one fast, one medium, and another at run walk. I was so amazed that my body was still able to move properly the first time I went out, that I probably went out too fast, hence the fast run. Afterwards I still felt pretty good but knew that that wasn’t something you’re supposed to do during a rest week after such a big week previous so I cooled it off and instead focused on creating the training plan for my next block.

WEEK 4 (20th-26th): 24.8km
The first week of the new block so I did 4 runs, missing out the long run to ensure I was completely rested. In those 4 runs there were two ‘sessions’; a speed workout and some hill repeats. Overall I felt pretty strong the whole week, and was just glad to be back to some structured training. This was also the first week I started posting twice a week, which means you can now click on the week heading and find a more detailed run down of that week of training!

WEEK 5 (27th-31st): 24km
The end of July saw 24km in the last 5 days. I started doing a long run again, which for the first one was only about 10km. For many that probably isn’t a long run but I’ll be building it up every week to either be a bit longer or a bit hillier, so look forward to the end of August when it will be an 18km run! My motivation definitely ran out this week, I did not feel like doing anything. But it’s now the start of August that week is over so I’m ready to get going again.

THINGS I LEARNT THIS MONTH:
1. I can do a lot more than what I think I can – if someone told me I could run 20km on back to back days, I wouldn’t have believed them. Yet I did it!

2. Cycling is a better workout for me than lifting weights – I used the bike as a cool down on the 100km week, and I’ve also now started to encorporate it into normal training as a second workout to try and build some more leg muscles for running up hills.

3. I like variety when I run – Strava’s new local legends feature has definitely shown me how far away I am from everyone at the top of those leaderboards, but that’s fine. I like knowing that I’m not running the same route 3 times a week, it gives me something a little different to work towards.

4. If you’re going to do a treadmill speed session make sure you’ve got enough fans! – Both of the speed sessions I did at the end of this month were on the treadmill, and in both of them I ended up very warm and sweaty. You can see the latest speed session on my YouTube channel. It has it’s benefits in that you can easily see the pace you’re actually running at for that interval, but it does get very warm very quickly without air conditioning.

What have you learnt from your running this month? Let me know down below in the comments section. It can be anything from knowing you can go faster, or that a certain top isn’t the best to run in, I’d love to know what you’re finding out on your own running journeys. If you enjoyed this I’d love it if you gave my blog a little follow, that way you’ll be emailed every time I post something new. You can also follow my journey a little more regularly by following me over on Instagram and Strava. Anyone who joins me from the blog do say hello and that you read the blog, I’d love that!

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