Weekly training recap: Mon 25th – Sun 31st July

Lost my running mojo a bit this week. Cant tell you why really, just haven’t wanted to go running. I’ve actually only been once this week, which I know is not very good, especially as things were going so well up until now. Hopefully August will bring back my running mojo.

Also annoyingly, when I uploaded my run to Garmin connect this week it decided to go all weird and kept defaulting the gps map of my route to Kansas in the USA. It also has no graph data plotting my pace or elevation!! I don’t know what the heck is up with it but I hope the data appears at some point! You know I love looking at that squiggly line that plots my time!

Mon:

Rest day

Tues:

Rest day

Wed:

Ran 1.00 mile in 11 mins 37 seconds. Should have gone another half a mile but I just felt meh. I told you I haven’t been feeling it this week – even the run I did do wasn’t enough.

Thurs:

Rest day

Fri:

Should have run today, but didn’t. Late night the night before for a friend’s wedding is perhaps the only excuse I can come up with.

Sat:

Went for a 1.5 mile walk along the cliffs at Pennard. Apparently I have become a bit of a wimp with cliffs and stayed a meter away from the edge at all times!! Was worth it for the views though!

Sun: 

Should have run again today but again just wasn’t feeling it. Don’t know if its something we ate, but we are both feeling a bit ‘rumbly in the tumbly’.

So that’s that. Like I said, I don’t really know what else to tell you. It’s just been one of those weeks. Next week on the schedule is 2 x 2 mile runs and 1 x 3 mile runs. I may cut one of the 2 milers down to 1.5 miles, just because this week was a bit naf and I don’t want to overdo it and make myself dislike running again. Hopefully we can get things back on track this week and be ready for the Swansea 10k in September.

Weekly training recap: Mon 18th July – Sun 24th July 2016

I told you I’d get my 3 runs in this week didn’t I? and I was right! I did! All were as written in the training schedule minus .25 of a mile which I will explain later. The best part about this weeks run’s was I had my training buddy back! Yippeee!! Gideon is finally good to run again after his surgery! He joined me for two of my runs this week and I was very mean and pushed him hard and made him do all the hilly routes. He smashed them of course! It’s like 8 weeks off hasn’t affected him at all, he still speeds ahead of me!

So under each of the run recaps this week I’m going to do something slightly different. I’m going to screen shot the elevation and pacing data from my Garmin for you. I’ll explain why at the end but I’ve found it interesting to look at this week!

Monday: 

Went for a short walk with Gideon in the sunshine (for ice cream). Maybe 1 – 1.5 miles.

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I have no shame people!!

Tuesday:

Walked 3.45 miles (again, for ice cream). I took my Garmin with me for this one so I knew how far.

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Wednesday:

Rest day.

Thursday:

Gideon and I ran 1.25 miles. Average pace: 11:57 per mile.

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Friday:

Rest day – I went for a short walk around the marina and read my book on the beach as I had no uni work to do. Perfect!

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Saturday:

I ran 1 mile. I was going to run 1.25 miles but after I’d started running I realised I hadn’t taken my inhaler beforehand and I also didn’t have it on me! Silly silly me! I normally always put it in my running belt but I was in a rush and forgot. Anyway, sure enough, I started to wheeze quite quickly. It’s amazing what my inhaler does to help me breathe whilst running! It got to a mile and I decided to call it quits and walk back up the hill to home. The aim was to run it, but with already feeling wheezy I didn’t want to overdo it on a hill and potentially cause an asthma attack (consequently this run wasnt very hilly). Average pace was 11:42 per mile.

Saturday run

We both walked 3 miles along the Gower coast.

Sunday:

Gideon and I ran 2.00 miles. Average pace: 11:48 per mile.

Sunday run

So, last week I said that I thought I was pacing myself really well on these runs. I struggled to pace myself during the last lot of training but this time around I’ve been ending up with an average pace of around 11.30-12:00 per mile. I figured that I was pacing pretty consistently for that to happen, but the Garmin data looks all over the place (especially Wednesdays). When I do run walk intervals it looks like spikes – peaks and troughs. I was expecting running constantly to make it come out looking smooth, but it’s still all peaky and weird! Aside from a few brief stops for traffic etc I haven’t stopped to walk at all.

I would expect my pace to slow a bit on hills and speed up a bit on downward slopes, but it doesn’t even really seem to correspond with the elevation. It’s just super random! I don’t tend to look at my watch and consciously slow down or speed up either. Anyway, I don’t really know where I’m going with this,  I’m not particularly bothered by it, I just found it quite interesting to look at!

I’ve also noticed that what I class as ‘hills’ dont look like hills on a Garmin elevation chart. BUT THEY ARE PEOPLE!! I SWEAR IT!! COME AND RUN IT IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME LOL!

I’m still really enjoying running at the moment which I still think is down to doing shorter distances. I feel like my training is going well so far and I haven’t gone back to dreading running or finding it a chore which I’m really glad about! Long may it continue!

 

 

Walking around the Gower

Another great walk today to make the most of this intermittent sunshine we have been having, oh I’ve also ran today but I’ll recap that tomorrow!

We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful corner of the UK where you can drive to so many great places in less than half an hour to enjoy a good walk. Within half an hour of our house there are two lakes, country parks, woodland, hills, and numerous beaches and coastal paths.

Today we went for a walk from Bishopston down to Pwlldu bay on the Gower Peninsular. We drove in the direction of the blue sky and it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day down there – unlike the cloudy skies over our house! Our walk was approximately three miles; down to the coast and back.

Some other great walks that we like to do on the Gower are:

Walk from Parkmill to Three Cliffs Bay. This is about 2.5 miles there and back and you get to the fantastic three cliffs bay at the end.

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The coastal path from Langland Bay to Caswell Bay: the entirety of this walk gives you beautiful coastal views.

Rhossili to Worms head is another favourite. You can take the path at the top of the cliffs down to the worm. If the tide is out you can walk over onto the worm, but it gets cut off when the tide is in so you have to time it right! I’ve yet to go over to the worm but it’s something I’d like to do at some point.

And then of course we can’t forget the lovely Swansea Bay. A 5.5ish mile bay (from one end to the other) which we have run and walked multiple times! It’s got great views and is a lovely flat, paved path so perfect for running, cycling or walking!

There are numerous other walks along the Gower which I haven’t talked about here, much of it we have yet to explore. In fact you can walk the entire coast of the Gower. It’s about 38 miles from Mumbles all the way around to Crofty, so plenty left for us to do!

Too hot to run!

It’s been a couple of crazy warm days hasn’t it?! Whilst I love a bit of sunshine, the sheer temperature in the last couple of days has made even thinking about running a challenge. Consequently, I haven’t done any yet! Instead I’ve been enjoying the heat, rather than hating every second of it (like I do when I run). I’ve been out for some nice walks in the evening. Yesterday I walked 3.5 miles in the evening sunshine which was glorious, and I’ve eaten ice cream two days in a row which was even more glorious!

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I have seen plenty of crazies out running though, even in this heat. The heat has made me think back to November of last year when we ran 7 miles through Disney in 28 degree weather! I sometimes wonder how I managed it. It was very slow but I did it. Would I like to repeat the experience? Not in that heat! If you live in a climate where it’s always this warm and you still run, I applaud you! I honestly don’t know how you do it!

I suppose the air-conditioned gym and the treadmill start to look more appealing to some people in this kind of weather. If I had access to one I might have considered it, but alas, it’s run outdoors or don’t run at all for this girl! The rest of the week looks a bit cooler, so I am determined to still get my three runs in. It might be too hot to run right now, but I haven’t given up yet!

 

 

Weekly training recap: Mon 11th July – Sun 17th July

A really light week this week to ease me back into a consistent training routine for the Swansea 10k. I’m pleased that I got out and did my 3 scheduled runs. I didn’t dread doing them either. I’d go so far as to say I almost looked forward to doing them – probably because I knew they were nice and short! They certainly weren’t a chore like the ones in the run up to the Swansea half had been. I definitely think sticking to shorter distances is the way to go for me at the moment.

I wouldn’t say the runs were easy. They were still runs after all, but they didn’t feel particularly tough, except maybe today’s because I had a stitch for most of it. Thats what happens when you eat a custard slice and then go for a run! Thankfully, on Wednesday I was feeling so good that I decided to just carry on going and get the weeks ‘long’ run out the way (it really wasn’t long – only a mile and a half – I told you this was a light week), so I only had to do a mile today.

I’m pleased to say I had no trouble running for the entire distances and did not feel the need to stop and walk on any of my runs this week. There was a brief moment where I was forced to stop on Wednesday because a car was coming out of its driveway, but it was momentary and I started up again straight away.

So my first ‘official’ weeks training for the Swansea 10k has been a positive one.

Monday:

Rest day

Tuesday:

Rest day

Wednesday:

Ran 1.5 miles – average pace 10:55 per mile. I was feeling really good on this run, so much so that I carried on past the mile I was supposed to do to make it up to 1.5 miles which was this weeks ‘long’ run.

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Thursday:

Rest day

Friday:

Ran 1.00 mile – average pace 11:10 per mile. It was drizzling badly but I still went out and ran and I kind of enjoyed the rain! Probably because it was a warm drizzle rather than a freezing cold downpour!

Saturday:

Rest day

Sunday:

Ran 1.00 mile – average pace 11:13 per mile. This was the hardest run of the week, it was very hot and humid out, but not sunny at all as per picture below!

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July should not look like this. 

I think from this weeks runs I seem to be comfortable at around an 11 minute per mile pace. I’m hoping I can maintain this kind of pace over the longer distances, but obviously I’m expecting to slow a little as the miles go up. Overall though I’m pretty pleased that I seem to be pacing myself quite consistently at the moment which is something I was really struggling with in the build up to the half.

On the schedule next week:

2 x 1.25 mile runs and 1 x 2 mile run.

Gideon is also going to join me again next week as he has now recovered enough from his surgery to start running again. He is very much looking forward to getting back out there!

 

Weekly training recap: Monday 4th July – Sunday 10th July

Well folks, after the Swansea half marathon a few weekends ago I took off a whole week from running. This week I did drag myself back out there, but just the once, for a very pathetic short lap around the neighbourhood. That was fine though to be honest, it’s been nice not to have any pressure to run (not that anyone puts any pressure on me except myself). I did 1 mile in 11:06. I didn’t find the run easy, but I also didnt find it horrible and I think I paced myself pretty well, which actually was rather annoying as I’d been having so much trouble with that before the half!

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We did take advantage of Mr Sunshines brief appearance on Tuesday and went for an evening walk!

This week I’m going to try to get back into regular routine. I shared last week that I wanted to run the Swansea 10k on September 18th without any walking, so I’ve been thinking of a plan to help me achieve this. I think the way to go is with a very slow build up to 6 miles running by increasing the miles each week like I did when I first started, but this time without using intervals. So my plan is to do something like this:

July 11 – 17: 2 x 1 mile runs and 1 x 1.5 mile run

July 18 – 24: 2 x 1.25 mile runs and 1 x 2 mile run

July 25 – 31: 2 x 1.5 mile runs and 1 x 2.5 mile run

Aug 1 – 7: 2 x 2 mile runs and 1 x 3 mile run

Aug 8 – 14: 2 x 2 mile runs and 1 x 3.5 mile run

Aug 15 – 21: 2 x 2 mile runs and 1 x 4 mile run

Aug 22 – 28: 2 x 2 mile runs and 1 x 4.5 mile run

Aug 29 – Sept 4: 2 x 2.5 mile runs and 1 x 5 mile run

Sept 5 – Sept 11: 2 x 2.5 mile runs and 1 x 5.5 mile run

Sept 12 – Sept 18: 1 x 2.5 mile run and Race dayyyyyyy!!!

So all these runs will be attempted without any walk breaks. I am hoping I can do the vast majority of them, but I’m not going to beat myself up too much if I’m having a particularly tough run and have to walk a little. I know I can comfortably do 3 miles without any walking, but I want to start small because I think mentally it will give me a boost going into the longer distances if I can complete all the shorter ones easily.

Gideon will jump back in and join me in training at the start of August as he’s still on a post surgery running hiatus at the moment.

The above is the bare minimum I want to do each week. If I can do some extra or some cross training then I will, and I will do what I fancy in those moments; intervals, hill repeats, tempo, whatever. However I have recently been offered a new job in research which is what I’ve been working towards so yaaay! But it does mean that my commute is going to go from about 5 minutes to an hour!! It’s certainly going to be an adjustment but I am hoping that I can find a good time for my running and keep on track even with this change.

 

 

My next running goal

So now that I have had some time to recover from last weekends trauma I’ve been thinking a bit about what my next running goal will be. I still want to run, it hasn’t put me off that much, but I still maintain that I don’t want to do another half marathon any time soon.

I’m planning on running the Swansea 10k in September so I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to achieve from that. There are two things:

  1. I’ve been asked to run this race to raise some money for a charity called Tumaini Kwa Watoto – Children of Hope. They are a very small charity which was set up some time ago by friends of mine. They work in Kenya to rescue street children from the streets of Nairobi and reunite them with their families. You can check out their website here for more in-depth information. I would like to try to raise £250 for them (or as much as possible). However, I want a personal running related goal to work towards beyond just finishing this race for charity so that got me thinking…
  2. I know I can now run 5k fairly comfortably without taking any walk breaks, but I still struggle a lot beyond this distance and have to take regular walk breaks. I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking walk breaks and am a huge advocate of the run/walk method as you will know if you regularly read this blog as it’s solely responsible for getting me to enjoy running and ultimately complete 2 half marathons. However, I want to continue to push myself and I feel the next step in this would be to get to the level where I can run a 10k fairly comfortably without any walking. So THAT is my second goal for the Swansea 10k. I want to run it all without any walk breaks. I don’t know if it will make me faster, but that’s not really the point anyway. It’s the goal of enduring running continuously for that long that I want to achieve, whether or not that comes with any increase in my 10k PB time.

So from now until the 10k in September I’m going to train towards this goal. Increasing the distance I can continuously run a little bit at a time. I’ll probably throw in some interval running as well, and some hill repeats and hopefully some cross training. I’m not entirely sure yet. I need to firm up a plan and do some more research on the best way to reach my goal. I hope that by working towards this goal I will be able to keep myself motivated and at the same time raise some much-needed funds for a charity close to my heart.

What do you think? Any tips on how to improve my endurance over the 10k distance? Let me know in the comments section!