Sunday, January 14, 2018


I'm trying to do 2 workouts a week at the moment, covering 2 different aspects of speed. One workout is hill sprints, the other one is a more sustained effort. The second kind of workout seems to take quite some toll on my body; a few years ago I could recover relatively quickly; these days even 2 easy days seem to be insufficient at times. I do wonder if I should make changes - I don't ever want to dig myself into an overtraining hole again, and doing speed workouts that I could not recover from is exactly what caused me to fall into that hole 2/3 years ago.

For this week I decided to do another evaluation workout. This serves 2 purposes: it is a reasonably moderate workout that I should recover quickly from, better than from a set of quarter-mile repeats, and it also provides great feedback to where my form is right now (that's why it's called an evaluation workout, obviously).

It was still pitch black on Thursday morning, and I decided against the track but did it on a loop in Kilbogget Park that happens to be almost exactly 1 mile long and very flat. A few dog walkers were about but nothing that would have caused a problem with the workout. The recent rain had left a few puddles behind but again, nothing that would have interfered with the workout, apart from slightly wet feet.

Anyway, every time I run at HR 160 I find it much harder work than I can remember, and every time I feel like I will be struggling to even complete the workout, never mind trying to hold an even effort. However, every time it turns out that it's completely manageable and in fact, doesn't leave me anywhere near as tired as other speed workouts. The same happened again on Thursday morning, but I do wonder if it does indeed start getting a bit harder.

The paces for each mile were 6:36, 6:44, 6:49, 6:51, and the recovery to HR 130 took about 35 seconds. Those numbers are a bit worse than last month, for which I have 2 possible explanations. First, after some technical difficulties there is a slight questionmark over last month's numbers, though I still do believe them to be correct. Second, I am not entirely recovered from that infection I was fighting off after New Year. Also, it took me quite some time to feel recovered after last week's speed workout, so maybe recovery really is taking longer than expected, even though I'm trying hard not to overdo it.

Anyway, the numbers aren't bad, certainly better than a lot of times in the past, so I'll keep trying for a little bit longer before I make drastic changes,

I was back in Kerry for the weekend, which meant 2 more runs along/around the lake. There is just something about that route that never fails to provide a little extra spring to my legs, the lovely scenery apparently helping me along; I didn't even mind the rain and the wind, and the fact that the road was still waterlogged on Saturday and I had to run through ankle-deep puddles of almost frozen water. On Sunday the hamstrings were complaining of being overworked on every climb for the first 10 miles, until they finally gave up moaning and settled nicely in the second half of my run, I'm not sure how climbing hills can feel easier during the second half of a long run than during the first but that's exactly what happened.

Anyway, I'm back in Dublin now, and I will be here next weekend as well. I might brave another parkrun, hoping that it will work out better than my last attempt (I spent the night in hospital with chest pains). Let's see.
11 Jan
7.5 miles, 56:18, 7:27 pace, HR 148
   4 miles eval 6:36, 6:44, 6:49, 6:51, 35 sec recovery
12 Jan
10 miles, 1:20:44, 8:04 pace, HR 138
13 Jan
12 miles, 1:34:24, 7:52 pace, HR 140
14 Jan
18 miles, 2:23:45, 7:59 pace, HR 140

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