Highs and Lows

After Tuesday's training session on the track, which was 4 x 1 mile reps, I was feeling really good about my progress. Coach told me to try and get my times all about the 5:30/mi pace since the previous week I was about the 5:32/mi pace. It was really cold, I had my Ronhill woolly hat on, T-shirt, jacket, running trousers, shorts and spikes on and I was still freezing after a 1 mile warm up! Not much of a warm up!

The session was good though. Ran the first mile in 5:27, the second in 5:27, the third in 5:30 and the last in 5:27. The third lap was due to a slow first 400 metres and I just couldn't get that time back.

Yesterday morning I ditched my morning run, just too tired and really low motivation for some reason. I was all set to go and do my 7 miles on the treadmill at 6:00/mi pace but the January rush is still in full swing and I couldn't get on to a treadmill. Really annoying as it was quite a nice day outside so those who were on the treadmill could have gone outside! smiley

My motivation just now isn't London marathon, that is still too far away. Just now I am focussing on Alloa half marathon. I've ran this race a number of times and I have a love hate relationship with it. I love the distance and I sort of love the route, I just hate the long straight section along the hill foot from Tillicoultry to just before Menstrie and then there is the climb up the hill to the roundabout which I think is at about 9 or 10 miles. Would really like to get a good time for Alloa so everything is about getting my endurance up and getting ready for a fast pace and just holding on to it for the distance!

Not sure if it's just tiredness or just the office temperature but I had a low day yesterday - very low motivation and just a down feeling, it could be last week catching up with me. I had an appointment with a gym instructor last night to chat to them about a weights programme to help increase my core strength. I have been doing sit-ups, push-ups and plank after each easy run for the last couple of weeks and I feel it is helping.

The plan was to go to the gym, meet the instructor, do what I needed to do and then get on the treadmill for 7 miles. That was the plan. The reality is something else though. I met with the instructor and she did a couple of tests, took my resting heart rate, which was 35 BPM and then took my blood pressure, I didn't get a note of that but she did ask if I had drank coffee during the day! I usually have two cups a day which I didn't think was much but if it has an effect on my blood pressure I may cut that down to one. Going to research this a bit more. She also took my weight, height and did a body fat reading. All seem to be OK but there is room for improvement.

Mandy was also there with me as she was looking for a programme as well. We did 10 minutes on the rowing machine to warm up and then it was on to the tough bit! A pyramid session of 5 exercises. The exercises were crunches, sit-ups with weights and things like that, I had to drop from 10 reps to 5 and even then I struggled. My core strength is shocking, a real weakness, much weaker than I had thought. Mandy on the other hand kicked my butt! Knocked out the 10 reps per exercise perfectly. She deserved the high-5 afterwards! Impressive stuff.

I also have tight hips which I need to stretch out so I am thinking about going to a BodyBalance class once a week to stretch more. The more flexibility I have in my legs, the better my running will be. There are a lot of things I can improve and so motivation is high again but my miles for this week will be lower than last week. I will up the distances again next week and may continue in this manner, one high mileage week with one lower mileage week and see how my body copes with that. I will keep my longer distance runs in on a Sunday though as that is important for the marathon distance training.

Owain Williams

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