Week 3 – Love/Hate Relationship with Intervals

For much of this week, this just about sums up how I was treated during my runs:

week3-ice-running

Everything was going nicely to plan.  It was absolute bliss.  OK, I needed gloves but when the sun is out who cares?  There are often doubts that the sun even exists in England in January so when you get weather like this, all runs seem a little bit easier.  I was beginning to think that even my interval run might not be the usual willpower-draining hell session.  Obviously, I should have known better.  This is what my week 3 looked like:

Strava account for week 3 – in case you think I’m making it up

Week3-plan2

For those of you not familiar with intervals, they are the running session that I dread beforehand but feel like an absolute superstar afterwards.  This week involved a warm up jog (4k) with 4 lots of 1 mile sprints, with 2 minutes of slow jogging in between.  And I mean slow.  Sometimes you can barely call it jogging as it’s amazing how quickly those 2 minutes can go.  I’ve said before that I’m a numbers geek so looking at the pace traces after each run is right up my street.  To help explain how an intervals run works, looking at the pace trace helps:

Intervals run – 21/1/16

Week3-intervals-trace-annot

You can pick out the 4 stints of fast pace I did.  What I find more amusing is how much slower the recovery gets between them as my soul slowly dies (scientifically pointed out with my handy red circles – I promise that is as near to a science lecture as this gets.)  What is more, a busy morning beforehand meant I’d adhered to the highly-recommended hydration routine of one coffee.  Anyway, back to the weather.  It goes without saying that it was intervals day where the sunshine vanished and the drizzle returned.  Still the draw of intervals is that, once you get through it all, it is one of the single most satisfying feelings that you can do.  That feeling carried me through to the weekend long run which would be one of the longest runs I’ve done for quite some time.

 

A combination of an early Sunday morning start, inherent thickheadedness and an inability to convert miles to km meant my long run of an intended 15 miles actually became 16.4.  Since Silverstone is pretty rural, there are so many different single track roads to choose from when I’m out and about on a long run.  The trouble is, when it’s dark, it really is dark – can’t see your hand in front of your face dark.  I know what you’re thinking, these are the perfect conditions to choose a route that you’ve never been on, about which you’ve not studied Google maps for long enough and one that you’ll do the first time in the pitch black dark.  So a couple of wrong turns here and there meant I extended my long run a little more.  Finally after about 19k, it got light enough to see where I was (and how much further than planned I was going to have to run!):

Long run 16m – 24/1/16

week3-long-run

All in all, this week hasn’t gone badly at all and I’ve not done an 80k week for months and months.  I even got to wear my camelbak on my long run this morning which at least makes me feel the part.  Even if my face gives a quite different impression.  Anyway, bring on week 4:

Week4-plan

Thanks for the support again this week. The charity pot is slowly filling and I’m massively appreciative of the donations I’ve had so far.  It certainly made it feel worth it at 5:45 this morning

Tom’s Justgiving Page

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