Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Big Man

The most important event this week was Cian’s sixth birthday, coupled with a very successful party and plenty of presents that he still enjoys very much. Six years! Doesn’t time fly? Only recently he was the baby in the family!

My own training is still very low key. The non-running day on Wednesday automatically produces low mileage weeks and I’m not used to seeing consistent sub-50 numbers on my weekly sheets. I’m wondering how much of my summer base building will carry me through. Endurance training is supposed to be cumulative; I guess I’m putting that theory to the test at present.

Wednesday’s swimming class went pretty well, even I could notice the improvements from the previous week. My swimming instructor is very positive – I wonder if that’s his encouraging nature or actual progress on my side, but he laughed when I told him about swimming for an hour before last Sunday’s race (“Man, give yourself a chance!”). I had to promise not to repeat that this week, which I will probably keep.

10 miles seem to be a long run all of a sudden, and getting up at 6:10 is early by my soft new standards, but I managed to get out of bed and out onto the road on Thursday. My reward was a brilliant clear sky, but that came at the price of distinctly lower temperatures. I just about got away with the shorts but the long sleeves were a must. I included 8x45 second “sprints” which I started every 5 minutes, ensuring that I recovered fully between each effort. This made the time pass surprisingly quickly; I was almost surprised when I reached my turnaround point. A curious thing happened on the last acceleration, even though it was uphill I seemed to fly up the road, effortlessly hitting 5:30 pace without even trying. I wish I could have bottled that feeling and if I could repeat the same feat on the uphill finish of Sunday’s race, even better.

I was planning on training through any races this cycle, but since I’m still at the beginning of training and don’t want to overload my legs I’m taking another easy day on Saturday, which is why I moved the planned hill sprints to today. I thought I did exactly the same run last week, but for some reason I ran half a mile longer today. It was only afterwards that I realised that I had done 6 hill sprints last week as opposed to 8 today. I didn’t quite manage to get the HR up to the same levels. I think I was working as hard and the lower heart rate is down to increased fitness, but I can’t be entirely sure. Those supposed maximum efforts are difficult to gauge.

Since my office is having the annual Christmas party tonight, moving the hill sprints out of Saturday’s way was most likely a good idea. Even if I manage to get out tomorrow morning, I cannot possibly imagine doing hill sprints with a hangover. Any negative effects will hopefully have worn off by Sunday. I want to better last week’s time, even if a PR is definitely not on the cards.

9 Dec
0 miles, 60 minutes swim
10 Dec
10 miles, 1:20:39, 8:04 pace, HR 149
incl. 8x45 sec strides
11 Dec
6.5 miles, 58:13, 8:57 pace, HR 147
incl. 8x25 sec hill sprints


  1. You never know with all those rest days. Have a good race on Sunday!

  2. Happy birthday Cian! 6 is getting up there ;)

    Have a good one Sunday Thomas. Sounds like your legs are fresh and raring to go.