I’m finding inspiration hard to come by when it comes to writing this blog every week – as I outlined in last week’s post, I have pulled out of events the last 2 weekends, and events are so much easier to write about than nebulous concepts!
At the moment my only real focus is the 6 hour event in just under 3 weeks. My training has been going well, and I’ve done 3 long training runs around the Uni Loop (the venue for the race) over the last 3 weekends. So it’s pretty safe to say there’s not an inch of that track I don’t know!
A ‘typical’ week for me would consist of 10-12k on Tuesday and Thursday (one of those, usually Thursday, at a faster pace), speed training on Friday, usually a parkrun on Saturday and a long run on Sunday. Interspersed with that would be 2 Pump classes at the gym and if I can fit it in, a BodyBalance class sometime over the weekend.
Since I did my last speed session on Friday a week ago, I have decided to skip the Friday run altogether, at least until after the 6 hour is over.
Prior to starting speed training just over a year ago, I would go out and run hills with the SARRC Burnside group. After I started speed work, I had intended to alternate between speed and hills each Friday, but as it has turned out, I have only been to 1 or 2 hills sessions in the past year. I have found speed training really helpful – I am sure it contributed to me running PBs for 10k and the marathon last year.
However, thinking about the event to come, I don’t think either speed or hills is what I need!
The Uni Loop is ostensibly flat (although, the small speed bump of elevation feels like a mountain after you’ve run it for about the 20th time!) although Strava very generously credited me with 800m elevation over about 41k last week!
In addition, assuming I was aiming to run 60km, I would need to average 6 minute kilometres over the 6 hours. On paper that sounds reasonably doable, and I have done it before, and speed is not something that is really required for this type of event!
I was having a chat about this with some friends during my Thursday run last week – saying that I was looking to find something else to do on a Friday morning instead of speed or hills (and instead of running altogether, probably) and one of my friends made a somewhat hilarious suggestion.
“How about a rest day?”
I laughed. I think she knew when she said it that it was ridiculous and of course I wasn’t going to do that. Rest days are something I have just before and just after a big event.
So, given that it’s too cold (in my mind) for swimming, and I don’t own a bike (yet), I thought a 6am cycle class at the gym was just the ticket! It would involve a slight sleep-in compared to speed training (my alarm was set for 5am) and it would be indoors which meant I didn’t need to wear all of the layers! My friend Beck decided to come along as well, both of us having not done a cycle class in MANY years!
I did take it relatively easy but it was surprising how sweaty I was at the end of the 45 minutes, even if I didn’t feel like I’d worked as hard as I might have! I was grateful that I’d managed to find my gel bike seat from all those years ago because I’m sure my ‘sitting bones’ would have made sitting difficult for a few days otherwise!
And an added bonus was that after a quick shower it was only a couple of minutes down the road to join the Friday running group for their traditional post-run coffee (they very generously still let me come, even though I don’t run Fridays with them now!)
I didn’t parkrun this week as I was Run Director, so by the time my Sunday long run rolled around, I’d had 2 full days off from running. And of the 3 long loopy runs I’ve done, this one was probably the most comfortable and pace-wise it was the fastest!
So, I think I’ve got the balance right for now – just need to keep it up for another 3 weeks!