Another big week – just over 82 miles making for my biggest ever by some 8 miles. The first of my 10K specific track sessions, 6 x 1 mile at goal pace, came out a little slower than I might have hoped, but I’m not too worried at this stage. Last time around the earlier sessions came out slightly slower than my goal, and I went on to finish 30 seconds faster, so I know I just need to keep pushing and let the training take effect. In any case, I’m also running more than I ever have before, so my legs are bound to be a little tired and not quite as fast as they could be.
On Saturday I headed to Dulwich for what I’ve heard is the fastest parkrun in London. The three lap course around Dulwich Park is indeed a fast course, although not quite “pancake flat” as I’ve read – there is a small but noticeable hump at the start of each lap, and a little undulation throughout. Nonetheless, it is still a very fast course and the wide road it is ran on ensures no issues with congestion.
I felt like I might be in PB shape so my aim was to try and stay under 6:00/mi throughout. The first mile came in at 5:55 and I was feeling pretty good, but the mileage I’ve been doing caught up with me and the legs started to tire a little. The pace slipped to 6:07 for mile 2 and 6:12 for mile 3. I mustered a decent sprint finish at the end to pass a guy who was ahead of me, but crossed the line in 18:54, seven seconds off my PB. Initially I was a bit disappointed, but on reflection it was a decent performance on tired legs, and I’m fairly confident I could have PBed if I was more rested.
A 16 mile long run in the pouring rain on Sunday rounded off the week. I was expecting my legs to feel tired after the mileage and parkrun, but they felt surprisingly fresh and I happily covered the distance at a decent enough pace. As with last summer, my body seems to be responding well to high mileage and running 7 days a week. One more big week next week and then I will be having a slightly easier taper week ahead of the Swansea Half. Hoping with a little rest I should be capable of a decent PB – assuming the weather plays ball, as it’s currently forecast to be quite windy!
I’m also continuing to enjoy the extra yoga and strength & conditioning work I’ve been doing. I’ve moved up to the “intermediate” classes in Yoga Studio, which are a little more challenging, but it definitely seems to work as I have had far fewer aches and stiff muscles, especially after faster sessions. I can even touch my toes with my legs straight, something I’ve not been able to do for probably 20 years! I’m also noticing an increase in my strength – I’m never going to be a heavily-muscled bodybuilder, but I think I am becoming a stronger, more resilient runner.