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Home » science » health and wellbeing » fitness » A week is a long time in running… (24/7/16)

A week is a long time in running… (24/7/16)

In flicking through my posts as I moved this blog over from Blogger, I came across this particular post: To run or not to run…

I can no longer stand by it. I’ve written about this briefly before, but just like my once-exercise-averse friend, I have become a person who runs. It was partly an “anything they can do…” moment, although I am certainly not faster than my (male) friend! It was also, partly, a chance encounter with a Runner’s World (@runnersworlduk) slipped into a multi-buy with Women’s Health (@UKWomensHealth).

I run 3-4 times a week, and a few months ago I decided that I needed to try to increase my training base and push beyond the usual 3-4k runs with a 10k (max) on the weekends. I did the first half of a Runner’s World training programme for building up to a half marathon, and when I was supposed to do my 10 mile training run I thought, well, why not do that extra 5k? And so, I became someone who ran half marathons. I was planning to run one once a month, but that didn’t quite work out last month, and now I feel a little off-balance again, running shorter distances. I think it was partly that I started to see some speed gains in shorter runs, having started to run longer—exactly what I wanted, but it made me feel complacent. Now I’m fairly sure I’ve lost that fitness boost.

Although I use Strava—so that I can feel that slight competitive zing of completing a segment faster than someone else out running that morning—I don’t run with a club or run races, barring a few ParkRuns that I’m not sure I really liked because, well, other people were in the way. You can’t run the race as you like when you’re hemmed in and all trying to clatter over the same patch of barely dried earth.

So I thought that perhaps, just as the Runner’s World training programme telling me what I ought to do was helpful, I might try to use my own blog for the same thing: reflect on the previous week’s runs and set some goals for the following week.

So, this week, I managed to do:

Day Distance Time Pace
18 July 10.3km 54:30 5:15/km
18 July 4.0km 22:16 5:26/km
21 July 4.8km (with drills) 29:40 6:04/km
22 July 4.2km 22:41 5:21/km
24 July 3.8km 19:54 5:11/km

I’m a bit disappointed that these are pretty short runs, and I was planning to make today’s run a much longer one before I downloaded Fjuul, which asked me to do a shorter run as part of its calibration. I’m also a little bit sceptical of the pace that Strava registers, as it always seems to register slightly longer runs than my Apple Watch. So, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about these figures.

I don’t have pacing goals in mind really at the moment. I have a long-term aim (of sub-22 for a 5k), and the two half-marathons that I did run were sub-2h, so I wouldn’t want to fall below that. Otherwise, I’m aiming to build my training base up again now. So, what I would like to aim for this week is:

Day Distance Time Pace
25 July 13.0km
26 July 5.0km (with drills)
28 July 8.0km
 30 July 6.4km

I’m going to try to do 13.1 miles the week after, before I go off to San Francisco for a few weeks. Wish me luck!

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