Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Not A Kenyan

I was reading this book recently and I have to admit I am deeply envious of the author. Living in Kenya for a few months, concentrating on nothing but running (well, and writing a book, I suppose), would be just great. Unfortunately, I don't think Niamh's reaction would be the same as the author's wife if I suggested dropping everything and moving to Africa (admittedly, I never asked), so my chances of doing the same are probably rather slim.

So, instead of getting some high-altitude training with the world's best distance runners, I am stuck at sea-level, running on my own in the dark in temperatures only just above freezing (mind, that's still almost 20 degrees warmer than this time 2 years ago). The one Kenyan-like thing I'm doing is a fartlek workout that is also mentioned in that book, consisting of 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy, in my case repeated 20 times.

This was sandwiched between 2 easy runs. The legs felt distinctly heavy on Monday, which was probably caused not only by Sunday's 20-miler but also the increased pace of last week in general. Luckily, 10 easy miles seemed exactly what was required to get them back by Tuesday. The fartlek workout was challenging again, just like last week, but this kind of speedwork is mentally easier than, say, quarter-mile repeats where you are trying to hit a certain pace, which is why I find it much more agreeable. I was concerned when I saw the high heart rate reading afterwards, but a look at the graph later indicated that it was more a glitch of the HRM, which was not picking up the signal properly over the first mile and recorded readings around the 200 mark, than an actually  raised HR. That's something that tends to happen with Garmin HRMs, especially in cold conditions.

By the way, there is still time for you to click on this link and give a vital donation to a very worthwhile charity. Thank you so much to the ones amongst you who have already donated (or pledged to do so).

3 Dec
10 miles, 1:16:21, 7:38 pace, HR 137
4 Dec
8 miles, 57:52, 7:12 pace, HR 160 (not!)
   20 x 1 min hard / 1 min easy
5 Dec
10 miles, 1:16:19, 7:37 pace, HR 140

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