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Last week seems like a long way away, yet it was my biggest mileage week of the year to date. It seems like a long way away because I was teaching Saturday and Sunday, had to get my runs in before class, and we had a charity firewalk on Saturday night and things are incredibly crazy busy here at hypno HQ currently. Due to working all weekend, I had a couple of hours off yesterday and so did not manage to get this report filed then. Here it is today though.

First up, here is what my schedule told me to do last week:

Mon Rest
Tue 8M of 1M jog and strides, then 12 x 2mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wed 8M (65 mins) slow (8m10s/mile)
Thu 9M (66 mins) steady (7m20s/mile)
Fri Rest
Sat 5M (42 mins) easy
Sun 20M (2hrs 45) slow (8m15s/mile)

I am sharing all of last week’s runs with you. All 50 miles of my training week. On the Tuesday, I did not tally up the full number of miles despite following the instructions to the full. Maybe I was/am not running hard enough up the hills.

On the Saturday, I made the 5 miler a progressive run (where each mile is faster than the previous one) and on Sunday, my 20 miler was a damn sight faster than my schedule proposed. In fact, I am running faster than I am supposed to in most runs, which leaves me a bit tired and unable to get the faster stuff done in the speedier times. This is a lesson to be learnt and one I am taking on board this week. I need to reign it in a bit at times.

I did have the hills session last week. My usual running area is pretty flat. Currently, I am training for two marathons that are both very flat and so my focus has been to get faster and fitter on the flat surfaces and then look to do a lot more hills and hillier training runs in preparation for my end of year events and as I move onto ultras that are on trails rather than roads.

At the end of last year, when I was getting myself back into some semblance of shape, I was doing hills most weeks. Currently, despite doing a couple of weights sessions each week to build my leg muscles, I found the hills challenging. The weights may not be making me that much stronger, even if they look good and defined. I don’t rally think it is that though, I think it is just the fact that I have not been running uphill a great deal this year so far. I used a lot of psychological skills to work through the hills session last week and have a great process that I’ll be sharing here this week for anyone looking to use their mind to help run hills effectively.

Whilst I have been known to complain about the openness of the sea front where most of my runs take place due to having no protection from the winds that roll in from the sea, and also because most of the promenades are sloped (one leg is always longer than the other on the promenade here) but I could easily choose to go somewhere else. I choose to continue running there because I find it so utterly inspiring and lovely. I love running alongside waves crashing in on the beach. I love the sunrises that I witness each morning, the colour of the sky and the variety of ways that weather conditions can make the sea front seem so different; low hanging clouds, mists, clear skies and the lights upon the piers all give each morning a different character that keeps me in love with it here. I like to feel that I am not just running as a means to an end with the marathons and events coming up. I like to feel that I also run because I choose to, because I enjoy running, because I get to feel healthy while breathing in cool, fresh air. There are other reasons I run too, because I get to challenge myself and because I get to directly apply facets of my work to my own performance, but the fact that I get to be out in nature while not many other people are around (at least at this time of year) is something that motivates me and motivation is key for an endurance runner who needs to get out and run often.

So yes, I’ll be back later this week with another psychological process to share to help run those hills, and I have been using another brilliant technique that will help with recovery in a way you will unlikely have considered before, watch this space, I’ll be back very soon….. And hopefully will have slowed down a bit by then…

Slow Down