It's been a long time, too long, since I posted much of anything but alas, while running continues to happen, so too does life and the latter has been in a constant state of upheaval lately. Post Colgate 15 km, I finally achieved my goal of a new 10 km PB, running a satisfying 35:46 at the Pretoria Mililary Marathon Club Memorial 10 km. It's a lovely course, the scene of my first sub 45 clocking way back in 2012, and I executed the race perfectly. A slight negative split and finished strong with my last 2km cloced in under 3:30/km and actually kicking home for the finish. That was the peak of my season, 25 weeks on from November 2013 when I painstakingly embarked on a new plan, putting my training in someone else's control.
I ran two more 10km races, the challenging Love Run on 24 May(250m elevation gain) in 37:25 and then a disappointing run at the Great Run Series II on 31 May, 35:00 on a short course and in reality I was never going to challenge my PB after feeling flat all the way through. But that was 28 weeks in and a break was due and the coach put me into recovery mode.
The next three weeks were strictly no training. I ran a bit, about 40km over the threeks week, mostly at 5:30/km pace, just shuffling along, waiting patiently for the signal from the coach to resume training. Initially I grew frustrated but by the end of week 2 I was loving the break, perhaps a bit too much, though that is a subject that is not appropriate for a running blog.
I resumed training on 23rd June. The coach had made it clear that the previous phase was foundational, and now the serious training was to begin. I was both petrified and excited; there had been times before when I wanted to pull out of certain sessions. In the high mileage phase that residual fatigue always had me lingering in doubt, and it was only a handful of races that kept me above the water so to speak.
As expected, after a period of high intensity training and then the three week break, we've been working on building back my endurance and then my stamina. The absence of true speed work seems to baffle some people but I understand and trust my coach's methods. I know myself too. I run well off any kind of training, but my primary currency is consistency. I can't hack training. I'm a confidence runner and a consistent routine and legs that feel worked cement that. I also know that I take very quickly to speed work. I enjoy it and I dare say I'm good at it. While the inclination might be to feast on what my body craves, in this case deprivation will work well. I'm weak on endurance and stamina, and I hate running long. Now spending more and more time on those aspects will build my confidence and I will rip through the speed work when it comes. Last time I jumped from 38:06 top 36:22 in the space of three and half weeks with the injection of speed and then chipped away over 6 weeks to 35:46. I'm that kind of runner. I peak quickly and can hold a peak for a reasonable stretch.
I'm not going to go through all of my running in detail but we have built up to a nice routine that's anchored by Wednesday and Sunday Long Runs. Faster running happens Tempo Tuesdays and Speedy Saturdays. Moderate (Easy) Monday and Ticking Along Thursday make up the rest of the week. This is was the past 10 weeks of training has looked like, from 23 June to 31 August, 659.5 km with a peak of 82.5 km:
August was also a record Month for me, 319 km at an average of 72 km/week:
I'm doing two races in September, Spirit of Flight 10 km this weekend, 6 September and the Irene Spring Run Half Marathon two weeks later on the 20th. I'm actually more confident for the half marathon. I ran the Spring in 1:28:08 in 2012 off slightly less mileage and less quality than I am at now, then a week later ran the slightly tougher City2City Half Marathon in 1:25:28. I was training for a marathon then so my long runs had peaked at 33 km before but remove the once weekly long run and there was a lot less going on, with only a marathon pace tempo. Now my training is a lot more balanced with a 12 km tempo on Tuesdays, 1500 m cruise intervals on a Saturday and the 15 km on Wednesdays. Of course this is not ideal training for a 10 km. I'm going to give it everything on Saturday and try and get as close to my PB as possible but I will be disappointed if I don't run under 80 minutes for the half marathon especially seeing as my 1:22:46 PB was run over a year ago.
For now though, I'm happy to be running strong and fit. Here's to some more running and fast times as Spring sets in!