Miles better - Running doubles

This week has been a busy week for me. We are getting a new bathroom fitted in our flat and so needed to find options for showering as the bathroom has been stripped right back to the bricks. 

Considering the amount of running Mandy and I do, not having a shower in the bathroom was going to be an issue. You would have thought this would be a great excuse to back off the training a bit and just accept that these things happen. Not us! 

Instead, Mandy runs down to the local gym, does a class and then uses the showers there or she runs after work and uses the shower in her office and I've started running to work which also has showers.

I've found a 6.5mile route, shortest option, from the flat to the office which I then run home as well. Instead of running home though I go via the gym, have a shower there and then walk back to the flat which is just over half a mile away. 

It's meant that instead of running 2 sets of doubles a week, usually a 4 mile run in the morning and then an 8 mile run home, I've now got 5 sets and I'm clocking in 13 miles a day, 6.5 miles to the office and then back to the gym / house.

The morning run unfortunately tends to be in to the prevailing head wind and slightly uphill, on tired legs, but I have been breaking up the run by taking photos of my commute. It's a lovely run up the side of the Water of Leith. 

Dean Village Bridge over the Water of Leith Water of Leith

On the way home, I have the wind on my back and running back downhill. I still need to use my Unilite head torch on the way home as it starts to get dark just as I am getting on to the walkways, but it wont be long until running in and back will be a day light commute.

The only slight issue with the 5 sets of double runs this week could be that I have the Scottish National cross country race this Sunday and my mileage has increased.
It could mean tired legs for the race but realistically, I was never in contention for a prize there - or any cross country race and my main aim just now is Inverness half in a couple weeks time.

I'll treat the cross country as a hard training run. 12 kilometres or 7.45 miles. 3 laps around Callendar park in Falkirk. It's a new route this year, getting rid of the steep hill at the back of the course and also the ditch on the golf course, it could make the course faster and less draining on the legs but we will wait and see. There is still time for it to rain and become a mud bath once all the other age categories get a chance to chew up the grass.

I really enjoy Callendar park for the Nationals. It's a longer race than normal which I like, a bit slower pace and feels worth the effort to get there. Sometimes you spend more time travelling than you do running!
I might try the race wearing my VR Compression sleeves to help with the slight inclines. I tend not to wear them at cross country due to the amount of mud I tend to get covered in, but hey! It'll wash out....right?
I have found the sleeves have been helping with my double sessions. The mornings have still been a bit chilly so the sleeves help to keep my leg muscles warm but they also help with fatigue when the inclines become a bit steeper. 

With a final run in to work and home again tomorrow and a day off on Saturday, I should finish the week with around 70 miles under my trainers, however, if the weather looks favourable, I could be tempted to take a visit down to Edinburgh parkrun on Saturday morning! We will see though, it might be a run too many! 

I've been averaging 60 miles a week for the past 7 weeks and I've felt great for it. This week I have missed the track session on Tuesday though so my legs have been possibly fresher than they would have been otherwise.
Since I missed the track, I ended up going out for a 10 mile progression run instead as I had the day off work. Started at 8:03 pace and each mile got faster, 7:35, 7:29, 7:15, 7:10, 6:51, 6:46, 6:31, 6:24, 5:53. Not bad for a 6:55am start! 

I'll see if I can manage another 70 mile week next week and then I will taper down for Inverness Half marathon to make sure I have fresh legs for a sub 80 minute PB attempt! 


Owain Williams

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