I wanted week 6 to be a big week and that is exactly what it turned out to be. My biggest week of mileage ever!
Monday started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, immediately followed by an 8 mile run with 3 miles at marathon pace. On tired legs, I was pleased to hit an average of 6.15 pace for the marathon pace miles with my heart rate being in exactly the same place as it has been on my previous marathons. I use this as a guide as I know that a heart rate in that region is sustainable.
On Monday evening I had a Running Buddy session, where I was showing a client how to run a progressive training run. It ended up a great run for him as the first 3 miles were net downhill with the wind, whereas the next 2 miles, his fastest, were uphill and into the wind and heavy rain. He managed to finish with a mile that was 1m/m faster than his anticipated race pace. He was happy, I was happy and it threw up some questions as to whether his race pace may be quicker than we first thought. The run ended up being 6.43 miles giving 14.5 miles of running for the day.
Tuesday, as usual, was my long day. It started with a 10 mile easy run, followed mid-morning with a 4.4 mile Running Buddy session which was mainly running up every hill in Wigston! I finished the day with a 3 mile run to the club and then a comfortable-paced run with them and an easy mile home for an evening total of 12 miles and a daily total of 26.42 miles.
Wednesday, as always, was a very easy day, with just a 4 mile recovery run at a very easy effort.
Thursday was overall a physically tough day. I started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, followed by an easy 6.6 mile run. In the evening I ran down into Wigston to join the club speed/hills session. As I wanted to make the session as hard as possible for me I wanted to run off the front of everyone else immediately, in the hope of doing at least one extra lap of each hill than everyone else. After an initial warm-up rep we headed to the bottom of Newton Lane and then I pushed hard up the loop of Newton Lane hill, turning right at the top and running hard back down the hill to Welford Road, with the recovery being a flat stretch of Welford Road, about 100 metres long. To make it harder I jogged this recovery at a cruising pace so that I wasn’t as recovered as normal for the next rep. After 5 of these I felt as though I was struggling but surprisingly, each rep actually got faster and rep 5 was 4 seconds faster than rep 1.
The next set of reps was a loop of 3 roads on the Wigston Harcourt estate. The faster parts of the loop was 400 metres in length and once again I ran as hard as I could with the recovery being as fast as I could sustain. Once again, the reps got faster as I got through them, with rep 5 being 5 seconds faster than the first. We then did one final sprint uphill on Meadow Way where although it felt as though I was running through treacle I actually averaged 4.4m/m pace. The session finished with me running back home to complete a total of 7.9 miles for the evening and 14.5 miles for the day.
Friday was another easy day with just a 4 mile recovery run after the Thursday intervals and I could certainly feel it in my legs!
Saturday was a long 20-mile run that I never look forward to, but always seem to nail when I actually do it. I call it my 6,5,4,3,2 run as I increase the pace the further through the run I go. I was up and out before 6.45am on Saturday, with the weather very cold, dark and sleeting/snowing/raining. Plus there was an annoying cold wind. I felt quite good for the first few miles and the first 6 miles averaged 7.16 pace. I then pushed on a little harder for the next 5 miles, which averaged 6.53 pace but still felt very comfortable. At this point I was heading towards the bottom of Great Central Way. After the first of the next 4 mile block I turned at the bottom of GCW and headed back up to Glen Parva. I always find it harder running this way as it is net uphill. This 4 mile block averaged 6.30 pace and my HR was still way below my normal MP HR. Just as I got to the bottom of the big hill at the top end of GCW I had to increase my speed again, this time to around marathon pace. Heading back towards Wigston I hit a very cold headwind but kept pushing, keeping an eye on my HR, trying to keep it between 150-155bpm. I managed to keep going for the full 3 miles within the HR I was looking for, with my average pace for the 3 miles being 6.10 per mile. I was very pleased with this as it was faster than I had expected but was also my 80-82nd miles of the week. The final 2 miles was a sedentary-feeling 7.11 average pace.
Sunday closed the week with a very easy 4 mile recovery run on very tired legs.
Week 6 Totals: 87.5 miles covered over 11 runs, plus 6.2 miles of walking, one strength session and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.
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