Crikey! It’s been a cold week to be back training. If convincing myself that setting the alarm for 5:15am is a good idea was not hard enough, doing it when it’s minus 5 degrees C requires real strength. I’ve drew that strength from the fact that I only had seven weeks until I head for the Hardmoor 55 – motivation enough!
I’m confining myself to the roads in order to give my ankle more time, and the risk of rolling it in the dark woods when the ground is frozen is pretty high, so the watch word has shifted from ‘fun’ to ‘discipline’, but I know this discipline will ultimately lead to more fun. I’ve got over the shock of my legs being completely mashed after the Helsby half and have consistently been out despite them still being in poor shape. The revelation for me however can be summed up in one word: Pace.
Not wanting to make things worse, but not prepared to quite at the first sign of difficulty I went out last Sunday aiming for 10 miles. Granted this was a week after the Helsby half, but I had been on an exercise bike and had done a few miles on the treadmill to loosen them up in the first half of the week and had done my normal commute for the latter part. I didn’t set a time or pace goal, it was just to get out there and hopefully put the miles in. I ran slower than normal and found later on that I felt like I could just keep going. After the half it felt like I’d lost all the form and enduracne I had at Brecon so the confidence I’ve taken from that is huge and will stand me in good stead for the big runs of 2012.
Despite the pace revelation, I’ve tried to be wise and have put in more cross training (read any exercise other than running… which means bike in my case)) for this first week, but have still managed to put in over 40 miles on foot within the past 6 days along with over 80 miles on the bike. Next week I’ll be back up to 50 including some trails (in the light) and a trip to the lakes for a BGR recce. Fingers crossed at the minute that Sam and Martin will both be able to join me as it’ll make for an excellent day and will build part of out Bob Graham “experience”. Weather conditions will be interesting with part of me wanting to try out my new Micro-spikes and part of me hoping the snow and ice won’t be there – should be interesting either way!