I’m still in rehab mode but have decided to tackle the Brighton training plan as it’s laid out, regardless. I’m at minimal running still, just two a week, so the other four runs are covered by doing an equivalent time on either the bike or cross-trainer, both more achilles friendly than actual running.  My physio said that I could add another run in should I get through some isometrics using the calf press. He also said something about not adding too many more miles, but that might have got lost in the “add another run” excitement. I may come to regret that, more on that later.

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Here is how my week shaped up.

Monday – rest day.

Tuesday – 8km fartleks, improvised via 45 minutes on the cross-trainer by varying resistance instead of pace.  Followed by posterior chain workout.

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Wednesday – 4.8km run replaced with 30mins on cross-trainer, followed by leg sesh.

Thursday – 10k run by the Thames near the office in Richmond.  Using the metronome app I nailed the cadence at 168 throughout, it didn’t seem as odd as the first time last week.  I think I’ll be able to increase another 5% this coming week.

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Friday – 8km run replaced with 45 mins on cross-trainer, followed by posterior chain workout.

Saturday – 4.8km replaced with runternative, 30 mins on the cross-trainer, followed by leg and core workouts.

Sunday – the plan said 17.6m (11 miles), I ended up doing 18km.  I had dithered a bit on the route I should take, but in the end asked the beloved non-runner to drop me off in Goring-on-Thames so I could run back home along the Thames Path. This was my first real trail run of any length, I was looking forward to it. Noting that the river was very high at Goring, lots of rain recently, I was not overly surprised to find my way blocked by a flood within the first few hundred metres. I quickly decided there was nothing for it but to wade through and hope my feet would warm up again fairly quickly.

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The rest of the route was fairly soft underfoot on the trail, and positively boggy on the sections where the “path” is just a slightly mown area of riverside field.  I noticed that it seems to be a law of running that post-puddle feet warm up quite fast, but not quite as fast as the next puddle comes along!  This was the second outing for my new trail shoes, HokaOneOne Challenger ATR 5s.  They seem pretty good but there were a couple of sections where I was left wanting a more capable shoe. There was one hilly section where I was not in control on the steep downhill, I didn’t have enough traction to slow down – I was relieved to make it to the bottom without a nasty fall.  Overall, I enjoyed my return to the Sunday Long Run.  I felt good throughout, although I was beginning to tire towards the end.

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I do wonder if I bit off more than I can chew, achilles wise. It has been quite achey/throbby since the run, which is not ideal. Serves me right for not paying attention to the physio. I’ll keep doing the strength work at the gym and seek forgiveness next time I see him.

In the end, I stuck pretty closely to the planned mileage for the week, about 50:50 runs to runternatives.

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I suspect the rest of this month will continue to be focused on rehab and on enjoying the two runs I am allowed.

I’ll be back next week with another training update.