So, Week 9 done, and so is January.  The totals for the month were just short of 190km.  I should breach the 200km barrier in February now that I’m consistently running 4 times a week. I’m sticking to the plan pretty well, and the distances are starting to ramp up, getting close to 30k on the LSR this week.

wk9 training

Here is how my week panned out.

Monday – rest day!

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Tuesday – 6-7 hill repeats on the plan. I had previously agreed with the physio that I would just do hills on the cross-trainer but they’re really not the same. I had a quick chat and we decided that it would be OK to do them on the treadmill, but managing the incline more closely. I decided to do a pyramid, increasing the slope gradually from 4% up to 8% then back down to 4%.  Somewhere along the way I lost count and ended up doing 8 rather than the 7 laid down in the plan.  All this climbing was followed by the usual leg and core sesh.

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Wednesday – 6.4km on the plan, a equivalent 37 minute on the cross-trainer done.

Thursday – 11.2km on the plan, 11.2km run. A lunchtime jaunt along the Thames near the office in Richmond, solo this time.  I seem to have lost the ability to run slow and keep cadence high.  My cadence was solid at 170 throughout but the pace was on the quick side, around 5:30 minutes per km.  It’s not too quick, but quicker than I want.  As I was running along the river I noticed what looks a lot like a diving bell, moored up along with a few boats.  Odd to see on a river, I wonder what they use it for?  Gym later on for the usual leg rehab and core work.

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Friday – 11.2km on the plan, 11.2km run. An early morning loosener, head torch required for the first half an hour or so.

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Saturday – 6.4km on the plan, 37 minutes of runternative done in the gym, followed by a leg sesh. I skipped the calf-raises as I had a long long run planned for the next day and didn’t have time for the core work either.

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Sunday – 29km on the plan, 29km run. Phew!  This is my longest run by a few km. I planned out the route to make it interesting. The beloved non-runner dropped me off about 20 minutes up the road in Nuffield. From there I ran along the Ridgeway to Mongewell and then South to Goring, still on the Ridgeway. The going was soft, there had been some heavy rain overnight.

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My new trail shoes coped for the most part but I had trouble staying vertical in a few places where they weren’t man enough for the job. To be fair to Inov8, the TrailTalons are designed to perform on hard-packed trail, not ankle deep mud.  Certainly I did better in these than I would have in my road shoes. Think baby giraffe on its first ice-skating trip!

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From Goring I picked up the Thames Path through to Whitchurch then I was on paved surface or bridleway for a while, through the Hardwick and Mapledurham Estates. The alpacas were not impressed with my running form. The last few km was on B-roads, not especially scenic.  I was feeling it in the feet and calves by the end but was not a total wreck when I got home. Post bacon sarnie, though, I did succumb to fatigue for an hour or two, a snooze almost as epic as the run itself.

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Long Run Fuel trials:

I took two tailwind sachets, pre-mixed in one of my 500ml soft bottles. I am beginning to really like the tailwind product. It tastes clean, it’s easy to take on, and the flavours are good.  These two did me for the first 2 hours.  With about 6k to go I popped an SIS gel, the first time I’ve used them.  Bleeuugh! Gross.  They are too gloopy for me, very reminiscent of fruit flavoured phlegm. Unfortunately I have a bunch to get through but I shan’t be hurrying to buy more.

Injury status:

  • My left knee injury has flared up a bit this week, having been quiet for a month or two. Guess I need to keep on with the gym work. The knee strap helps while running but it’s sore later on.
  • Left achilles, generally quiet but the record distance today has caused it to grumble a bit.
  • Right leg, a strange one, sore to left side of ankle and then in a straight line up to my calf, sort of parallel to the achilles but not actually the achilles, far as I can tell. Not sure where that’s come from, but today’s uneven ground and distance has pissed it right off.
  • Right hamstring, not a biggie today, but sore in the glutes where the tendon joins.
  • In general, I’m feeling my age!

I’ll be back in a week with another update, which should contain news from a 10k race in That London.