Life has been a little hectic trying to fit in my training around getting ahead with my work to take holiday.
But I've managed to stick to schedule more or less, all but a couple of days where work ended up taking priority. None of the long runs have been skipped.
Last week with cooler weather I went out for a 10K run midweek, planning to include a couple of hills and a tempo run. The new shoes have been great and the problems I had with calf muscles seemed to have been solved now, the old shoes were obviously not giving me the support I needed. But I did end up stopping a couple of time to sort the lacing out on this run. Funny how all sorts of things need a bit of tinkering to get right when you make changes.
As I keep saying I'm not speedy. But I was surprised to find when I looked at my finish time that had I not stopped for the race adjustment, that 10K even with hills would have been a PB. So I think the speedwork I've been including this year is starting to pay off. It was hard to tell when the weather was warm, I can lose 1-2 minutes per mile the more the temperature goes up over 20C!!
Sunday I think I must have got out of bed the wrong side. I was in a bad mood and was up late for a long run. The sun was trying to break through as I set out which didn't help as I was thinking I would struggle to complete the scheduled 11 miles if it got warm.
Annoyed with myself for the late start the mood made me go out a bit fast for a long training run, plus the threatened sunshine only made brief appearances and a nice cooling breeze was blowing. So when I hit the unshaded part of my route and it was cloudy I kept going to 7 miles out. There's a long and a short route, I'd taken the long route out and came back via the short route to complete 13.1 miles (race distance) at around my past race pace and finished just inside 2:30.
I do not advise anyone to suddenly increased their long run by a big jump. I suppose it was over the recommended 10% per week, but not as bad as adding 2 miles early on at lower mileage. I could tell I'd run further and faster, as around 11 miles my glutes started to seize up stopping me from running continuously. Lots of walk breaks with knee raises to try to keep them moving allowed me to finish the distance.
My plan is to repeat the 13 miles this weekend at a pace that's more like long run pace in an effort to train those muscles to work for longer.
I'm ahead of schedule, and probably tempting fate even mentioning it. I've 7 weeks(ish) to race day to maintain and improve fitness and maybe add in some hills and speedwork.
In past races I've nearly always struggled at 10-11 miles, so in an effort to train my body to go further, this year I plan to train out to 15 miles for a long run to see if this helps.
Hoping you're all on target with your training and don't forget if you have niggles or injury problems and you live locally, you can get advice from Advance Performance stores, their experienced team are always happy to help and advise. They've been a great help to me over the years.
Me pictured at the start of PGER 2012, armed with energy gels and looking 'attractive' in pink!