Thursday 29 August 2013

Consistent virtual prizes

 Will I achieve the 240 km badge one day?

A regular Thursday run

Today was a basic 15 km, fairly slow and gentle and very slow after Monday! However Tuesday's swim seemed to go fairly well and I seemed to be in a good equilibrium between breathing and swimming which promises progress. Yesterday's circuit had left me with tired legs so a fair time was  a good outcome. Although there is a strong argument that some speed is essential it is also well reported that base training is the foundation; this article makes that sound complex though! I'm sorry to say that I don't have much plan to my distance, except that any medium length trail run in Sheffield will have a variety of physiological demands due to the hills!

By the way, another Strava Course Record of mine lost, it looks as though there is a new entrant in the area who is quite fast (5km in 18 minutes) ad taking similar routes to me.

Monday 26 August 2013

Fast, faster, fastest!

I joined my wife's running group this evening and chose to go with the fast element with the proviso that I might drop back. We set off at my '1km pace' so that didn't bode well for a 6km run! Anyway with a bit of effort I achieved some good times (including a sub-23 minute 5km) and suppose this is what's called a Tempo run. Whether skeletal muscle lactate is the barrier is debated in 'The Lore of Running' but it does make sense that it's not helpful to get stuck into a plodding pace rut.

Saturday 17 August 2013

Strava half-marathon

I've managed to consolidate my longer runs and achieved a half-marathon again today. No photos this time but this makes a bit of a stronger base as I did this back in July too. This week I also ran 16km on Thursday so I didn't have a very fresh start. 
The virtual badge
As usual the pace was slow at 5:52 minutes per km but well below my trail target of 6 minutes per km at this distance.

Now there's the 20 miles and 26.2 miles to complete in September and October respectively.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Getting in the mood

This evening felt far too warm and humid to do a decent run. I'd got tired legs from yesterday's circuit but decided to go out anyway. The first 5km were terrible, very slow, too hot and rather grumbly altogether. Then I caught up with the saturday morning group (they also meet on Tuesdays and Thursday) and after a little chat agreed to push on. I accepted that it was hot, I'd go slowly and enjoy it...

Lo and behold, I achieved my second best time on that segment to Oxstones and it felt easy. It just shows what a change of mood can achieve. As well as feeling better, I even ran a little quicker!

The whole run was sluggish, not helped by having to detour around some rather angry looking cows and calves but hat started asa chore finished as an acceptable 16km run.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Course Record lost

Strava allows users to gain a course record for all the segments that have been registered.

Somehow, I'd gained the record for a track through the woods even though I usually take it very easy (5:12 minutes) as I'm still warming up at that point. Over the weekend I was sent a notification that I'd lost the CR by 20 seconds (4:56 minutes). That sounds a lot but knowing how slowly I cover that segment, I felt sure I could beat the new time. With a bit of effort I beat the new time (4:46 minutes) with 10 seconds to spare. However my jubilation was short-lived as by the time I'd uploaded my new speed there was a new best time of 4:28 minutes! So now I need to cut off a further 18 seconds to regain the CR. I can't see that happening in the next few weeks as the 4:46 felt pretty much to be a limit.

Although the segment is listed as having a 2% grade that's a lie as the first third is more like 12% and a barrier to speed.

Monday 12 August 2013

If it's not one arm, it's the other

Finishing the stroke whilst breathing is becoming  the key front crawl technique point at the moment. Last week it was the arm opposite the breath that was lazy, now focussing on that, the breath arm is short. Every so often during the evening I managed a few strokes where both arms were fine and achieved a breath, but they were the minority. Also how frequently to breathe? My strokes are neater the few breaths I take, but of course that isn't sustainable!

I was thinking that I was merely running out of oxygen but this article suggests that the muscles themselves may be fatiguing with lower breathing frequency; that's not quite what you might expect. Of course, I'm swimming slowly and not in 200m bursts, even though it feels quite intense to me.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Just another week

Monday's swim was a mixed bag, I'm getting better but trying to tidy technique involved taking a backwards step and losing something else. In this case I wasn't finishing my stroke well when I took a breath; but when I focus on the stroke the breath was inadequate. Hopefully things will pull together next week.

On Tuesday I was able to leave work a little early and managed 16.5km at a fairly plodding pace. Wednesday was the circuit with a few km jog each way and an Thursday I just didn't feel like do anything after walking home!

By saturday it seemed reasonable to do  slightly extended run including the 'extra 2 hills' and that went fine. The time to the top of Porter Clough was unexceptional, getting that below 30 minutes seems to be really hard for me. A key issue seems to be the speed through the flatter part of the park. Too slow and you've lost valuable time, but too fast and you don't have any reserve left for the final ascent.

Descending through the plantation I suffered from a stitch/abdominal cramp but it settled with a walk near Norfolk Arms. It seemed an odd time for it to start as breakfast was earlier and the panting ascent over.

Just another week, just under 40km run. That needs to increase but how to do it without being 'overtrained'?

Thursday 8 August 2013

8km as fast as you can

I did join this challenge even though I knew I would trail; my rank was 5523 out of 8741 finishers. Not great but there were another seven thousand entrants who didn't finish. I should have managed better than a 5:40 minute/km pace but I didn't choose a 'fast' route for my entry.

Saturday 3 August 2013

Back in the Park

I'd got into a brief routine of doing the local Parkrun on the first week of the month. May I was away and then June too sore to try. Another attempt in June was pretty uncomfortable and that was what really showed that I had to get some attention. Anyway, some weeks later and I felt able to have a go, after the usual saturday 12km. I was very happy to do it in under 24 minutes. I have done it in nearer to 23 but it's all progress.