Despite my best intentions, I’ve just not managed to write as many posts as I would like recently, so I thought this would be an ideal time to fill you in on what I’ve been up to lately…
Since my recovery from the Paris marathon, I’ve been pretty sensible about my running. I decided to stick with the three runs per week that I was doing during my post-inury return to running, rather than the four I’ve scheduled previously. My thinking is that if I had an injury based on repetitive high-impact, then reducing that impact would be a good idea. Those three runs all have a different focus so that I can continue to build my fitness and gradually stretch my mileage a bit again (I don’t want a sudden leap in mileage as that will inevitably result in some kind of bodily breakdown). At the moment that means a tempo effort during the week, parkrun on a Saturday to get some speed in my legs and a longer, slower run on a Sunday to build endurance. I’ve probably been guilty in the past of running too fast on my long runs, so I’m really focusing on keeping that pace down and running comfortably. My parkrun times have come down and I’m almost back to where I was pre-injury; my longer runs are up to 8 miles, although I know I could easily do at least 10 and I’m generally running 4-5 miles comfortably hard during the week. In terms of racing, I ran the Great Women’s 10k in early June and have a couple of summer 5k races on the horizon, but other than that it’s been good to just run with no pressure of time or distance to constrain me.
The change from four runs per week to three was part of a complete overhaul of my training plans. When I thought about what I had been doing in the past, I realised that there was just too much impact on my body: four runs, one or two Metafit classes and a PT session which involved lots of hopping drills. There were very few days with low/no impact and that had to change. I spent a lot of time thinking about it and consulted with Steve over some of the details, to arrive at my new weekly plan:
Monday – swim
Tuesday – tempo run
Wednesday – bike intervals at the gym or a cycle
Thursday – run specific PT session plus ashtanga yoga
Friday – rest day
Saturday – parkrun plus hatha yoga
Sunday – long slow run
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted a couple of yoga sessions in there, something new to my weekly routine. Yoga didn’t feature in my goals for the year, but I’ve believed for a while that adding yoga to my training might be really beneficial to boost my flexibility (especially around my hips) as well as strength and balance. I began a weekly ashtanga class at the start of May at a local yoga studio and am absolutely loving it. I can already see some differences in my flexibility and can’t wait to see how much more I progress. Recently, a friend of mine completed her yoga teacher training and has started a Saturday morning hatha class at her studio. Since I felt that one yoga session wasn’t quite enough, I decided to go along to that as the timing is perfect to grab a quick shower and change after parkrun then head along. I’ve found the combination of parkrun followed by a really good stretch in yoga feels fantastic and helps me to recover before my Sunday run. In an ideal world I’d like to do much more yoga during my summer break from school, so fingers crossed that works out for me. So far this new training plan has felt really good. A bit of me misses that fourth run, but I also know that this is best for my body and it makes me enjoy my other runs all the more.
Regular readers know that I’ve become a big fan of podcasts. I listen to the Tough Girl podcast on my Tuesday run and Marathon Talk on my longer Sunday run (if you see me laughing during my run, that will be why!). I also like to listen to podcasts in the car on my way home from work so am always on the lookout for something else I might like. Recently I began listening to the Runner’s Connect Run to the Top podcast hosted by elite athlete Tina Muir and have really enjoyed it so far. The interviewees are really informative and it’s been interesting to get a bit of an insight into the training of an elite along the way.
So many celebrations recently, ranging from a number of significant birthdays in Steve’s family to the imminent retinal of one of my colleagues. This month also sees Steve and I celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. That’s right, we’ve managed to put up with each other for six whole years filled with madcap schemes and some utter lunacy like Steve “doing a hairy” and my 4 races in one weekend adventure. We’ve not done anything truly mad in a while, preferring to be a bit middle-aged and talk about things like garden sheds, lawn mowers and watering the freshly laid lawn at our new house, but I’m sure we’ll come up with something else crazy soon!
With the end of the school year almost within touching distance, it’s time to start thinking about the summer and all the possibilities it offers. We’re making plans for our trip to Florida, plans for the house and plans for our ongoing training. It’s not been an easy year, and I really can’t wait until I can lie on my sun lounger with the pool in front of me, sun above me and my Kindle in my hand. Bliss!
What have you been up to lately?
Any exciting plans for the summer?