With just over 9 weeks to go until Inverness half marathon, I thought it was about time to get some specific training started.
Over the next couple of months I'll be working up to completing a 4,3,2,1 session, hopefully a couple of times before the race. If you don't know what my 4,3,2,1 session is, it's pretty simple. 4 miles at target half marathon pace, followed by 4 minutes jog recovery, then, 3 miles at half marathon pace and 3 minutes jog recovery, you get the idea.
My target pace is 5:50 min/mi which, if successful at Inverness would give me a time of 1:16:58! Wow, I hadn't worked that out until now. That would be a great PB and set me up for the spring road season perfectly.
Last week I went out around the industrial estate which is next to my office and did a 3,2,1 session.
I was a bit worried about whether I could hit the pace, it was cold, wet and windy but I knew I had to just get it done. I usually do this session on the track but I felt like a change and I really couldn't face 24 laps of the track!
To add to my worry, I didn't have any clean ashmei jerseys and I'd recycled all my non-merino t-shirts!
I'd forgotten to do a merino wash at the start of the week which left me with only one option - pull on an ashmei vest and wear my softshell jacket.
I headed out for a two lap warm up which brought me to just over 3 miles and then I got underway. Straight into a headwind with rain. Grim!
Once I got the 3 miles out the way though, the 2 and 1 mile reps soon flew by and my pace was looking within an acceptable range.
My splits were:
5:56, 5:54, 5:51
finishing on 5:48
The first mile was probably the hardest if I am honest. Even after a 3 mile warm up, trying to get the pace just right was difficult. I was a couple seconds off the 5:50 pace but it's a positive start. Next week with be a 4,2,1 session.
How did I get on with the vest and jacket?
To be honest, it was probably the perfect combo for the session. The jacket kept the rain and wind off me but the vest kept me at a good temperature. I couldn't say I was overheating or feeling the cold. I think I might do the same next week! Even during the 3 mile cool down I still felt warm.
I also only had my shorts on with my compression sleeves. It wasn't cold enough to consider pulling on tights. Although I have done some of my sessions recently in tights, maybe this is winter finally arriving.
My run in to the office the following morning was icy in places but beautiful. A cold crisp morning and my legs felt pretty good considering the previous session. Maybe the 5:50 pace is possible after all!