The first week into the new year didn’t go entirely to plan. Started well towards the beginning, dipped on Thursday/Friday and then recovered for the weekend again.
Monday: Rest day
Received a strength training plan from my gym which I will aim to be using 3x a week to make my muscles stronger and to lose some of the Christmas paunch.
Tuesday: Cycling & Track
Great start on the gym front: I didn’t go and slept in instead. Oops! But I did then cycle to work (~15 mins), and then in the evening cycled 13km across town to go to track at Mile End with AR Collective. The set was 5x 800m at ~3:15 pace, a step up from the 300s/400s we were doing before Christmas. Lead by two awesome pacers my pace group ran:
Warm up: 8 laps (3.2km)
Rep 1: 3:24
Rep 2: 3:17
Rep 3: 3:15
Rep 4: 3:14
Rep 5: 3:12
Cool down: 2 laps (800m)
Wednesday: Cycling, Easy Run & Strength
Cycled from Bethnal Green to work (13km again) through the morning traffic. I’m not a great cyclist and often get overtaken and thoroughly confused by Google Maps’ instructions, so it wasn’t terribly fun. I do need to improve, but the double long cycle is a bit too much at this stage, so won’t be cycling to track again next week.
At lunchtime I convinced two colleagues to join me for a run around Hyde Park. We covered 4km as a group of 3, and then I went off to do another 3km to round out 40 minutes of running. One of my colleagues hadn’t run in 6 months and so was very pleased at what they managed to do (I did have to do a bit of convincing to get them around!
Finished off the day doing my first session at the gym: 10mins rowing and then some machines (chest press, shoulder press, leg press, lat pull down), planks and med ball twists.
Thursday: Not-speed run
Eugh. This was meant to be 4x mile reps ‘as fast as you can’ but my brain wouldn’t cooperate and let me run more than 100m without crying, so I gave up and jogged home again (5km in a super slow 33mins). Probably a combination of doing too much the day before and from the outset thinking that I wouldn’t be able to complete the session. What you believe tends to happen, so that’s that.
I was considering going to the gym at night to retry this session on a treadmill, but in the end decided against it. A big box of kit I ordered from Nike using a 30% off voucher from Running Heroes arrived though, so that turned my day around!
Friday: Rest day
So tired and my arms hurt so much from the gym on Wednesday that I didn’t go for another gym session and ate lots of Japanese food for dinner at this great restaurant near Marble Arch instead. (Kurobuta – highly recommended! Get the pork belly buns with sticky sauce, they are to die for)
Saturday: Parkrun and XC cheering
Fulham Palace for parkrun this week, where I started too far back in the pack and had to slowly dodge my way around people for a while before I could get to a happy speed. It was enjoyable though because I used the women in front of me as markers and chased them down one-by-one to finish in 10th place (female) in 21:38. Happy with the result but probably should have eaten breakfast beforehand because I went for another easy 5km afterwards to cool down and started to feel faint a few kms in. Stopped at a Sainsbury’s for a banana and a muesli bar and felt a bit better after that, but a good lesson to learn.
This was also the day of the Great Edinburgh XCountry race, so I went and met up with my AR friends in Hampstead to watch the Women’s and Men’s races and yell at the TV a bit. Yasemin Can ran a beautiful race for in the women’s to easily take the title, whereas the men’s race went down to a nail-biting/screen-yelling finish as Callum Hawkins was juuuuust overtaken in the last 20m to finish 2nd for the UK. Great fun all around.
Sunday: Long run
I moved to West Kensington 2 months ago but had not yet run along the Thames on the south side of the river, so took my long run westwards towards Richmond. What I didn’t realise is that most of the path along there is dirt, which in the rain had turned into lots of mud! My trainers were absolutely covered and I had a few near-misses of falling face-first into the muck, but I think that’s meant to be one of the joys of running in England. The run was 90 mins of easy and then 30 mins of marathon pace, finishing off with another 1km of cool down to round out at 23km. My MP goal is 5:00/kms and I managed to stick just under this, but it was tough to maintain the pace especially after having settled into the easier 5:40/km one which I started at. I’ve definitely got a ways to go before Paris Marathon.
Total kilometres: 52.9km