Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Ho Ho Ho

The weather Gods aren't entirely in the Christmas Spirit this year. The temperatures dropped close to 0 again but were accompanied by icy cold rain and some biting wind, which are just about the least favourite running conditions I can think of. Of course it didn't stop me from running. It might feel a bit uncomfortable for a few minutes but once you're warmed up you're fine. And if you feel warm at the start of your run, you're overdressed.

I stayed in Dublin until Saturday, which saved me from the usual traffic jam on Friday evening that turns the trip towards Naas into a 2.5 hours stop-start session. We left Saturday lunchtime and just breezed past those sections. Now I have a week in Kerry, which means I finally have a bit of a break. I hardly had any holidays this year as I had them pay me off both times I changed jobs and immediately started new employment on both occasions.

I'm getting into damn good shape now, at least damn good aerobic shape. I think the back-to-back marathons are really paying off. I didn't do a long run or a speed session the week after Howth in order to ensure I can recover fully, but now it's systems go again.

I did another session of hill sprints this morning, on the usual dirt road to the Caragh Lake Coillte area. It was freezing cold so I did a few miles just to warm up (7:50 pace, HR 135) before launching  myself up the hill, 8-10 seconds for each repeat, full tilt as fast as you can accelerate, with a long recovery of about 2 minutes, including walking back down the hill. A few things I noticed were that the HR dropped down to 110-120 during the recovery and was still in the 120s at the end of each sprint and only went into the 140s with delayed reaction. The pressure I always feel in my chest started appearing after 3 or 4 repeats but much less bothersome that usual. At the 7th sprint I felt I could no longer produce full power output and called it a day.

I can feel it and the numbers do tell the same story. I'm starting to get into damn good shape.
22 Dec
10.15 miles, 1:23:40, 8:14 pace, HR 139
23 Dec
10 miles, 1:18:58, 7:53 pace, HR 139
24 Dec
11 miles, 1:28:01, 8:00 pace, HR 142
25 Dec
10 miles, 1:16:06, 7:36 pace, HR 144
26 Dec
8.75 miles, 1:14:48, 8:32 pace, HR 133
   incl. 7 x 8 sec hill sprints

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