Saturday 1 February 2014

What should I do today?

At the end of 2013 the physio recommended that I should aim for consistency, perhaps 45km-ish per week, rather than the fluctuation that I've exhibited previously. But, what about a rest week? During this week I've felt that 5 weeks of over 40km has started to affect me. I'm feeling a little tired and the skin on my heels isn't far from being blistered (I don't think pictures of feet will improve the blog!). Perhaps a rest is needed? Due to various commitments next week I think that my mileage will be low and so that can be defined as my rest week. That means that today had to be a long run day. Earlier in the week the weather forecast for the weekend had been grim but this morning was sunny and the forecast good until early afternoon. This the die was cast for making an effort.

Long shadows from the wintery morning sun 
I didn't want to exceed 30km ideally so I planned a simple route to Hathersage with an intention of avoiding as many habitually boggy spots as possible. The very wet January has made every path wet at the very least so the always-wet bits are now bottomless bogs.

An amazing blue sky over Stanage Edge
My plan was to use a 10:1 run:walk cycle with acceptance of walking uphill to avoid too much effort. As it happens, the wetness of paths sapped my energy and even the road sections had to be run cautiously as there were patched of black ice, even as I was nearing home at 11am. I slightly exceeded my 30km target and although it felt tough my average pace was significantly better than last May. I didn't run quite the same route as last year but I think that the difficulty was at least as high, in part due to the condition of the paths. Importantly I don't think my calf muscles are as tender even though I do feel generally worn-out. It's notable that early on on the run I felt tired and my suspicion is that Tim Noake's 'Central Governor' (click for an interesting podcast interview with him) was trying to keep the pace down at the start, knowing how far there was to go.

Pace per km related to overall average
The chart shows that my early pace was really too fast and that the ascent of Higger Tor was a tough. On the road descent my pace improved, not quite a negative split but not too much slowing; it was an easy gentle road though!

Now I must keep up the roller work and take it easy to ensure that after the coming week's rest I can complete a good February.

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