Training week -12 done

1st February 2020

I’m struggling to keep up this training diary and I know I’m not jotting down my thoughts as much as before Christmas. I feel I made a lot of progress in the first few weeks and I’ve rather stagnated recently. I’m still doing the training and putting in the miles but I haven’t been progressing at the rate I was before. In some ways that may be a good thing as a lot of people warned me against ‘too much, too soon’ so settling into a calmer routine may be a good thing. I do worry that while before I was ahead of the training plan pretty soon it will come back and overtake me. It certainly isn’t dominating my thoughts as much as before and, again, maybe that’s a good thing.

Let’s look at this week’s VLM training plan for week 5:

DayVLM Training PlanWhat I did
SundayREST DAY – A lighter week to allow for adaptation to the training loadsRest Day
Monday20 MINUTES EASY RUN

Pool Swim (1km) Yoga
TuesdayREST DAYTempo Run 60 minutes (9km) plus Steady Run 70 minutes (9.5km)
Wednesday30 MINUTES EASY RUNRest Day – Core conditioning
ThursdayREST DAYHill work 45 minutes (6km)
FridayREST DAYRest Day
SaturdayRUN 52 MINUTES – 25-minute easy run, 2-minute walk, 25-minute easy runRace Pace parkrun (5km) 29 minutes plus 2x1km warm up & cool down 15 minutes

There was no training on Sunday. My son had a hockey match in Brighton and that meant being up and out by 8:30am to drop my wife at the gym and find the ground by 10:00. It was a good match and while two early goals put our boys on the back foot, they held their nerve and got back into the game. They had more possession, but their opponents were more direct and for the next two quarters it was evenly matched. Deep into the final quarter they managed a quick break and two passes out of defence found our striker and with a smart finish they were back in the game. They hammered away for the last few minutes but to no avail and it finished 2-1. Being that far south it seemed rude not to hit the coast and get a bag of chips so that’s what we did. It was pretty cold and blustery but chips always taste better when you can see the sea. We got home late afternoon and that is a long-winded way of saying I did nothing worth noting.

Monday is my active rest day and I got back to the pool after a little break. We were down to two lanes again due to an Aqua Fit class and it was all a bit messy. This is clearly the wrong time to be trying to go. If I was a better writer I could probably get a sitcom out of this but in the meantime I will just try to describe the scene and the players. You might remember my early forays back in the pool where I had to share a lane with Aquaman, well now there are two of them with their swim caps, flippers and barrel turns. There was also a normal swimmer doing regular lengths like me and finally there were three children under the watchful gaze of their non-swimming parents. Don’t get me wrong, they were good swimmers but they also had a habit of stopping a couple of metres short on each length to get some affirmation from mum or dad. It was a very disjointed session but we managed to keep out each other’s way enough to get my required lengths in. After a quick trip to the steam room I finished the day with a very good yoga session.

Distance covered 1km

As I said at the top the marathon is not dominating my thoughts as much as before but I am getting some good training in. Tuesday is club night and I used this to get my long run in. I trotted to the meeting point at a nice steady pace, a bit quicker than previous weeks when I probably took this bit too easy. For the group run I went at a comfortable 10k pace and acted as sweeper for the group. This means I would run at the back of the 20-odd runners to make sure no one gets into trouble or is left behind. Like pacing at parkrun this adds a different element to a run and while it isn’t particularly taxing it does give you something to think about. After the group run and a quick stretch I headed on a long loop home, again at a good steady pace and while it isn’t the distances I was doing before Christmas it was a good one to get under my belt.

Distance covered 18.5km

The week is turning into a repeat of last week and on Thursday my daughter’s dance class gave me the chance to do some more hill work. The hill I run is actually just one half as once you’ve gone down to the train station at the bottom the road rises up on the other side to make a matching pair. Usually I would run to the station and back up four times but this week I ran the full length and back twice. The opposite side is a little shorter but correspondingly a little steeper, so it was a good challenge. I don’t particularly like hills and find them hard work, but I guess that’s the point and it was another good session to put in the bank. There’s a few more weeks of this dance training so I’m hoping to get more hill sessions in through February.

Distance covered 6km

Saturday is the last rugby match of the season for my son and we had to travel all the way to Essex but it did allow me to add to my parkrun tourism and Valentines parkrun in Ilford gave me a valuable ‘V’ in the alphabet challenge (parkrun obsessives will know what I’m talking about). I used to live close to here and often went to this park to watch county cricket matches, but I’d forgotten just how lovely a park it was. The course was nice and flat but I was disappointed to feel so heavy legged and my time reflected that. Still, it’s nice to run at race effort levels even if results aren’t what you’d want. There was no opportunity to extend the run but I did manage a short lap of the park before and after to warm up / cool down. Annoyingly, the rugby kicked off fifteen minutes earlier than listed and by the time I got there our boys where seven tries up. It was a one-sided affair but they played up and played well and it was a good end to the season. This team have come a long way this year, they’ve really gelled into a good unit and it’s been great to watch them do so well. Next year moves to full fifteen-a-side with addition of flankers and introduces some new set-pieces so it will be interesting to see how they adapt. A couple of weeks off and then it will be the cricket season.

Distance covered 7km

Weekly Training Summary

0 Spin classes

1 Yoga class

1 Swim session (1km)

3 Runs (total distance 31.5km)

Current weight 13”2’

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