Saturday 21 March 2020

Week One

One week after the UK started to take notice of Corvid-19 it's almost at the point that exercise in public could be banned. So it was essential that I took a run in today's beautiful sunshine. I did go the physio on Monday but we agreed that it was likely the last face to face appointment for a while. Luckily the ongoing niggles seem to be keeping to just niggles. I was told that I could start to increase distance to maybe 35km a week for the next month or so. Maybe that'll be possible, maybe it won't.

Although it's generally agreed that chlorinated pool water denatures the virus the local swimming pools are closed. So I'll have to be doing lots of dryland exercises to keep up mobility.

Thirdly, as we'd all been sent home from work to limit contact I couldn't rationalise going to circuits so made do with a routine at home. I didn't make it hard enough and timing was irritating. After finishing I downloaded Tabata Timer Pro which can be programmed for various reps and sets and even pyramid workouts through its group system. I've set up a simple circuit and a pyramid set but not used either yet.

On today's run I think there were fewer runners and cyclists out and about but first thing Saturday is never especially busy. We may go for a walk tomorrow but I will have to keep my mind on a run too so I can work towards the weekly total.

Incidentally, I have signed up for the University's Big Walk but I half expect it to be cancelled.

Saturday 14 March 2020


It's around 7 years since my last park run and I expected to crack 28 minutes in view of my lack of tempo training, and indeed shortage of training altogether over the last year. I went with a small group who'd decided to make an effort to go to Millhouses, chosen as both our nearest and as being less busy than the famous one at Endcliffe Park.

Naturally there were pre-run nerves whilst standing in the cold so I was pleased to remove my fleece and get started. I'm so used to gently trotting along that I knew my pacing could be poor so made a mental effort to start gently and aim to pick up as I (hopefully) became more confident.

Grade adjusted pace per 1km split

My final time was below 24 minutes which I am very satisfied with especially as I don't seem to have upset a joint or muscle. My pacing was exemplary with a nice warm up and then distinct negative splits.

To maintain my current weekly target, and thus consistency, I really need to go out for another 7 or 8 km this afternoon. At least it doesn't look as though it will rain.

Saturday 7 March 2020

All of the paths in Ecclesall Woods

You'll have seen Strava logs where people have run all of the streets in their town but I can't see me ever doing that in Sheffield. A week or so ago I thought that it would be a fun morning to trace all of the paths in the local urban woodland. I run and walk through it at least twice a week but I knew there were certain paths I'd never been on. How hard could it be?

An evening on Viewranger suggested that it would be a 22km route with around 500m of ascent. I've made the route available to download here. The woods aren't on much of a hill but to cover every path needs the small undulations to be addressed numerous times.

As I'm still getting back into the swing of long runs I hoped to take it steady at around 8min/km but in the end the overall pace was slower than 9min/km.

Here it is done, it took over 3 hours and in my current state of unfitness it was quite hard going. I saw some dog walkers quite a few times and felt I needed to apologise to one for popping up so often.

That's my weekend running basically completed now, just a few easy km to achieve the week's target.

Sunday 1 March 2020

Ongoing recovery

I've noted that for the last 8 months there's been a steady increase in my running distance. This comes after stopping in April 2019 when it seemed that some discomfort around my left heel/ankle/achilles was getting worse. After some rehabilitation work I started to swap in walking instead of running, keep up with circuits and limit bouncing loading.

Unfortunately the increase in running has occurred with a reduction in swimming but there are only so many active hours in a week! Now I need to keep this level for a while, a goal of 120km a month is probably right for while.