Friday intervals are less ‘feel good’ and more ‘feel terrible’ as I am supposed to be working at my highest intensity, basically going flat out for the rep. It was my first attempt at them and I began with an early start (for me) as I was having some work done to the house from 8 (in the morning!). I also managed to get my car booked in for its first MOT, so decided to run the session back from the garage.
This allowed me a nice gentle warm up to get onto the railway path, which was quite busy at that time of day with kids going to school and commuters cycling into town. The session was 6 reps of 3 minutes each with 60 seconds recovery between reps. On the track 3 minutes is about how long it takes me to do 800m on a good day. I set off far too fast (and uphill) on the first one and managed 750m, 720m, 730m, 730m, 740m and 750m. Pretty much all of the efforts were slower than my 5k pb pace, but that was run on fresh legs after specific speed training. I’ll take these efforts given my current training load and aims, and will see if I can improve when I do it all over again next week (and don’t have to dodge other path users).
I had dined possibly a little too well the previous night (friend’s birthday) and not had enough sleep (creaky office chair), but the weather was good and the plan said I had to do threshold intervals, so out I went.
It was 6 efforts of 5 minutes each, with a minute recovery between each effort, and I was pleased with the pace I was able to maintain fairly comfortably within my ‘threshold’ heart rate zone (159-173bpm). Looking back at the data it appears that my consistency hasn’t abandoned me with the efforts being run at 4:26, 4:26, 4:26, 4:27, 4:26 and 4:18 min/km pace (which in min/mile pace is 7:08, 7:08, 7:08, 7:09, 7:08 and 6:55).
A nice recovery run and core class tomorrow, then an amended long run on Sunday (following discussion with my coach) which now has 45 minutes of marathon pace in the scheduled 2 and a half hours, eek.
Friday is now no longer Kenyan Hills day but threshold intervals day. Today it was 4 reps of 8 minutes with 60 seconds recovery inbetween. So it was out along the railway path again (my strava heatmap is going to be lighting up the railway path this year) in the just above freezing weather to get them done.
I was pleased with my first effort and somehow managed to increase the pace on each subsequent one. It felt tough, but manageable and it was pleasing to be rewarded with a new totally made up VO2 max score of 50 (the big five-O). Looking forward to a nice chilled recovery parkrun tomorrow then two and a half hours on Sunday.
I appear to have been released from the purgatory that are Kenyan Hills (though that may just be because I was racing this week which interferes slightly with the schedule) and in its place was some threshold work mixed in with a bit of marathon pace.
It was just 10 minutes of marathon pace, sandwiched between 10 minutes of slightly faster threshold work, but it was a little bit harder than expected (my breathing is all over the place as it was on Tuesday), and there is a long way to go until April when I’ll be trying 210 minutes of it. I’m hoping that this is just a temporary dip, maybe my body has been fighting something off that I am not aware of, but at least I was able to maintain marathon pace for just this short while, and my second threshold effort was faster than the first. I have been promised more work at this pace going forwards, eventually adding it into my long runs (which are creeping up in length, 2 hours 15 this week and 2 hours 30 next week).
I’m not going to lie, but I’m getting a bit bored of trundling up and down the same hill as part of my Kenyan Hills. It was lovely today though with a bright blue sky and I even brought my sunglasses out of hibernation (you get so little sunlight in winter I try not to wear them). I may just have to pick a new hill for future efforts to keep things interesting.
I waited until it was a little bit later in the day to allow the sun to melt as much ice off the path and it was much improved over last week. I also gave it plenty of welly, looking to really test myself, and am pleased with the results. Quite a bit further and faster than last week, though I didn’t quite manage to get my watch to record a new VO2 max estimate for me (I’m trying to hit the magic 50 mark).
I totally overdid it on Wednesday at Body Pump (even though I took my weights down for the squats) and after hobbling around yesterday it was a near miracle of stretching and foam rollering that I was able to go out for my session at all this morning.
Matters were complicated somewhat by a very light dusting of snow that left the paths alternately icy, slushy and dry. Not exactly the change in surfaces you are looking for when supposed to be haring up and down hills. As a result I stuck to the grass alongside the path mostly and wasn’t going to be breaking any records (or any ankles). I figured a session at 80-85% was better than no session at all.
An early start for me this morning (assisted by an ear-licking kitten who demanded snuggles at 5am) as I was waiting for a virginmedia engineer to come and switch out a malfunctioning digibox. The window of engineer arrival was 08:00-12:00, so the kittens had to be fed and dealt with nice and early. 08:00 came and went, 09:00, 10:00, 10:30. At 10:50 I get a call saying that the engineer was running late and should be there at 12:15, was that OK? Just about enough time to fit in my Kenyan Hill session.
Each rep was a minute longer than previously, and for the third rep I moved further up the hill so that I wouldn’t have so far to run home during the cool down. Rep 1 was faster than last week (looking at average pace), rep 2 was slower than last week but faster than the week before, and rep 3 was exactly the same average pace as last week. Given that the reps were a minute longer each I will take that as progress.
It feels like aaaaages since I ran, but really it was only Tuesday. I blame this weird period between Christmas and New Year’s when no-one knows what day of the week it is and all the stuff on telly is rubbish.
Wednesday was strength and conditioning, so I took myself down to the gym (catching up on podcasts on the walk there and back) and did a virtual Body Balance class, and was the only person. It was surprisingly enjoyable, but I’m glad all of my usual instructors are back next week.
Yesterday was a rest day, which allowed me to prepare for friends coming over in the evening to play some games (I can’t repeat what came out during Cards Against Humanity).
Today was a repeat of last Friday’s session: Kenyan Hills in not-quite Kenya. I stuck to just one section of the path this time, but stayed on it for longer before turning. I managed to travel further and faster than last week, which is hopefully showing an improvement. All good stuff and looking forward to my long run tomorrow (after being Run Director for Ashton Court parkrun).
I have never done a Kenyan Hills session before (where you run up, then back down, then back up, then back down a hill) as I’ve always felt that I get enough hill work at Ashton Court parkrun every week. Finding a hill in Bristol is never a problem and I had to go up and down a few before I got to a local park with a quietish area where I could work on my efforts.
I actually quite enjoyed this session and the time seemed to fly by for each effort. Possibly because there was a lot of changing direction (turning at the ‘top’ of each hill) and I was working on two different slopes to give some variety. The only thing to watch out for was the mud on the tight turns. I may not enjoy it so much tomorrow when I wake up though. I gave my quads a good stretch out when I got back (along with my other muscles) and may give them a bit of a roll later.