In summary March has been a good month. There have certainly been some encouraging signs that my fitness is returning as I’ve slowly increased my weekly mileage and started a routine to strengthen my core. I’ve also really enjoyed my running with a few runs ‘just for fun’. I’m sure the warmer weather has helped my running too. Spring is in the air and I’ve dusted off the sunglasses and short shorts!
My running has included a mixture of steady runs, tempo runs, hill work, and some interval sessions on the track – so basically a bit of everything. I have been pleased with a few runs in particular:
1. I cruised a 15 mile long run with club mates at an average pace of 6 minutes 50 seconds per mile and generally felt like I was running on clouds. Ok, maybe I wasn’t quite cruising at that pace, but it definitely felt good
2. A brutal 45 minute cross country hill session where I didn’t feel like I was running on clouds. Probably because I was running through mud. This was a really tough session of 8 hilly loops in Cofton Park. I needed a nap after this one.
3. A return to interval training on the track with a session of 5 x 1 mile with 60 seconds rest. I love booting it around a running track as part of an interval session and was delighted to come through this unscathed.
4. I also ran a 12 miler ‘just for fun’ with club buddy, Richard Dixon, ambling along at a steady conversational pace and just enjoying being outdoors. This run had a bit of everything – trails, roads, fields, hills, a detour to avoid some horses, and a healthy portion of mud. Sadly no apple pie though.
I also competed in the Midland Road Relays in Sutton Park this month. I love racing and I especially love the road relays. It’s such a great club event. It also served as a reality check. I was over 90 seconds behind my club mate, Joe Read, and 90 seconds over 5 miles feels like a long way. I was absolutely gunning it so I’m not sure where I’m going to find 90 seconds. I just know that I’m going to have to!
I’ve also incorporated a full core routine into my training schedule. This is to build on the exercises I’ve been doing as part of my rehabilitation from my hamstring injury. I’ve really enjoyed these workouts…but then again its early days and perhaps a honeymoon period. The main routine I’m using, Core X, is only 5 minutes long, but it is definitely a good workout. And at only 5 minutes it difficult to find an excuse not to do it!
The only downside this month has been that I was forced to take a few days off with a tight calf. And like runners everywhere I hated this. The calf tightness was nothing serious – just the result my usual over-exuberance in training. I still think I’m 18 and can go from light training to full training within a week. The thing is I’m 34 and returning from injury. So I can’t. I’ll learn one day….just maybe not today!
So, after such a great month, I’m really looking forward to April, which starts with my clubs first appearance in the National Road Relays. I’m standing in as Team Manager for this event and must admit I’m not really sure how to approach this. I’m leaning towards the ideology of a South American power hungry dictator and ruling with an iron fist. I’m just not sure I could carry off the requisite moustache and army fatigues or manage to smoke a fat Cuban cigar without having a serious coughing fit.