Training week -9 done

22nd February 2020

A variable week that ended well but didn’t cover as much training as I would’ve liked. I’m back to the doubts I had from the start and while I’m happy with the distances I’m running and how I’m coping with them I can’t help seeing how much further I need to go and how fast the time is ticking by. I’ve also started working at a new location with a new client which has been a little disruptive. It’s still in a busy part of London but far from the marathon route or quieter Docklands roads so I will have to investigate the area to see if there are any workable lunchtime routes I can run. It’s also a couple of miles further from home and I’m planning to use this in the next week or so to extend my long(est) run to somewhere between 25-30km.

Week 8 of the VLM plan looks like this, hard to comprehend that I’m now at the halfway point of the actual training plan.

DayVLM Training PlanWhat I did
SundayREST DAY – This week, feel your heart pounding and your breathing quicken with the tempo runningSpin Class 60 Minutes
TuesdayREST DAYSTEADY RUN 40 Minutes (2 x 3km) TEMPO RUN 55 Minutes (9KM)
WednesdayRUN 50 MINUTES – 10-minute easy jog, (60 sec tempo running, 2 minute walk/jog) x 10, 10-minute easy jogSTEADY HIKE 120 Minutes (10km)
SaturdayRUN 1HR 40 MINUTES – (25-minute jog, 5-minute brisk walk) x 4, or distance goal of 8 to 10 milesSTEADY RUN 45 Minutes (6.5km) TEMPO RUN 29 Minutes (5km parkrun) STEADY RUN 70 Minutes (10km)

Sunday was a strange day. I started with a 60-minute spin class, a substitute instructor replacing my regular one. She had a different approach and focused more on working with much higher resistances. I liked the variety but I missed my instructor’s clear guidance and class management. Soon after midday my son had a hockey match on the other side of London so it wasn’t long after getting back from the gym that I headed out again. With Storm Dennis battering away it had been touch and go whether the fixture would take place but everyone was keen and we were assured the pitch was playable. I didn’t do any more training myself but the drive round the M25 through the fierce wind and rain certainly got my heart pounding. By the time of the match the weather had improved but sadly they lost a close match by the odd goal. The drive home was calmer as the weather had improved but there were plenty of sections under water that proved tricky to navigate.

On Monday we tried something different. At my wife’s suggestion we ran to the gym and then took our yoga class before running home. I have avoided this in the past as I don’t think they complement each other when that close together but you don’t know until you try. The intention was to run at a gentle pace there to arrive calm and relaxed but, unfortunately, a misjudged leaving time meant we had to really pick up the pace in the last kilometre to make it in time. As it was we rocked up with a minute to spare and squeezed into a couple of half-spaces around the edge. Breathing heavily in an otherwise peaceful room plus being incredibly hot for the first quarter of an hour made me feel quite self-conscious but once we got into the pace of things it was as enjoyable as usual. Straight after the session we headed home on the harder, uphill, leg of the trip and this proved quite a challenge. This run represented a significant step up in distance for my wife and I don’t think we’ll be trying this approach again. Sandwiching a relaxing yoga session between two runs diminished both and any advantage of combining into a single evening is wasted.

Distance covered 10km

Tuesday night, and I’m beginning to bore myself, but yet again I managed to attend a club night. I’ve lost count of how many on the trot this is now but at this rate some of the members might even begin to recognise me. I managed to include running there and back again as well as sticking with the faster group. They went at a very good pace, probably quicker than my 10k pace for many sections, which made for a very good session. I headed home just before the finish and took a direct route so distance was a little down on previous weeks but even so I thought it had been a good session.

Distance covered 15km

On Wednesday I went on a lovely muddy hike in the Kent countryside with my wife and son, mainly so that we could have lunch in this pub that serves wonderful, homemade pies. It was a steady walk over a couple of hours and while not exactly training, the VLM plan does still include some minor references to walking so I’ll throw it in for good measure. On Thursday I started on a new client site so that, combined with half term cancelling evening dance classes meant I did nothing else until the end of the week.

Saturday is parkrun day and this marathon training has really got a hold of me as my running to and from the park has become an order of magnitude bigger than the event itself. This time I got out of the house early enough to take a longer, looping run there and while it ended up being a little shorter than I had hoped worked out quite well as I arrived in good time. The event was as crowded as ever but once I was able to get into my stride I held a good pace until the end. My overall pace would have seen me through in around 28 minutes but the congested start probably added a minute to that. For a quicker section within a longer run I was happy with that. For the run back I followed a similar looping route along quiet rural roads as last week, with a small detour at the end to take the mileage over the half marathon distance. The route was quite hilly in places and I took a couple opportunities to walk but overall the pace was good and, taking into account some lulls either side of the parkrun, was close to my target marathon pace. The route map on Strava was very encouraging as well as the parkrun section was forced into a tiny corner by the rambling route I took there and back.

Distance covered 21.2km

Weekly Training Summary

1 Spin class

1 Yoga class

0 Swim session

4 Runs (total distance 46.2km)

Current weight 12”13’

One thought on “Training week -9 done

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