It has been a week of firsts, I’ll explain why shortly. This has also been an interesting and challenging week on the running front.
1. I am a proud owner of the new Garmin 920XT watch. It is awesome, I love it, I sleep with it on. However, I did not work out how to use it on a treadmill before I was teaching for a couple of days at Heathrow last week. No offence to Heathrow, but it is not the sort of place where you go running along the roads and streets, so the hotel’s treadmill was going to have to accommodate me. It opened at 5am, I was in there at 5.30am each day.
My foot pod and heart rate monitor managed to salvage and record some data from my runs, but it was not as satisfying as usual when my runs were input onto Strava and the distance covered was not as far as I had actually ran. Never mind, I have found the correct settings now and will know for next time.
2. I still had a flu hangover. This bug has prolonged and outstayed it’s welcome massively. I am not ill any longer, but am still regularly bunged up and getting tired sooner than I should.
3. The former week, I had not run the miles I wanted to. Therefore, it was risky to commit to upping my mileage as my schedule dictated. I have always found that upping my miles by more than 10% in a week requires a lot of recovery and makes me prone to injury. So, I cut back a little bit, despite chomping at the bit to get lots of fast miles under my belt. The urge is always to try to catch up on what has been missed, but that creates more problems of it’s own. Therefore, I restrained myself – I find that a challenge.
Anyway, here is my mileage listed from last week:
Mon 4M (35 mins) easy (8m45s/mile)
Tue 7M of 1M jog and strides, then 12 x 400, with 200m (1-min 30) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 8M (60 mins) on treadmill
Thu 5M (45 mins) Hills session on treadmill
Sat 5M (42 mins) easy
Sun 20M (2 hrs 45) slow (8m15s/mile)
As you can see if you take a look at my 20 miler, I ran it quite a bit faster than I was supposed to. I ran it it under 8min/mile when my SUnday long run pace is typically 8mins20secs or so. What a rebel I am. My legs hurt a bit today as a result, but it felt very good to have the first 20 miler of the year under my belt. It also felt good to have run it in a good time.
As well as being the first 20 miler of the year, it was the first outing for my new Salamon S-Lab 12l running pack. To be honest, I do not currently need all of what it can do, but I want to get used to running with it as I make the step up from marathon training to ultra marathons later this year. It gave me a chance to run with the soft bottles I have never used before and which I now love.
Because the pack has so many pockets and holders, I decided to run with music for the first time in months and months. I loaded my phone up with a great selection of tunes and slotted it into the pack with my YurBuds earphones and it enhanced my enjoyment of my run. I won’t be making it a regular occurrence as I do not like to rely on or become too used to having music on when I run. I also usually like to have some quiet with my own thoughts when running and of course, to enjoy the beautiful scenery which I find very pleasurable.
It was also the first time in a LONG time that I have fuelled on the go. Not because I feel I need to. I can easily run 20 miles without fuel since I changed my diet. I can go without drinking any water either, but often take some with me just in case. Again though, I am keen to keep testing how my body responds to certain fuelling. I no longer will use anything with sugar in it, for example, so am making my own gel-like substances and am experimenting with what feels best in my stomach when running. I found out a lot about that this Sunday as I got a slight bout of indigestion and had to stop for a couple of minutes while my stitch passed. Next week’s 20 miler will have an edited version and by the time I start running the ultra marathons, I’ll have the best recipe lined up and will be used to it.
I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks of really getting my mileage raised and pressing on with my pace.
One of the thing the Garmin 920XT also does when used in conjunction with a heart rate monitor is to give you an idea of your Vo2 max. My is in the highest category for my age and is classed as ‘excellent’ – which delights me and motivates me. Although we could become obsessed by running technology, I blimmin’ love it.
I shall be away a bit this week as I am travelling to Nottingham for a couple of days, so will not have the opportunity to add any articles here again until next week. But there will be more soon, I wish you happy and mental running…. Be back soon. I’ll leave you with a picture of my new watch *swoon*