Another double week, this one included my longest run yet and trying out a new running workout.
Week 9 went something like this.
First run on Wednesday with my North Marston group and the first time we have left the sports field! Usually our runs are done on the field for two reasons. Firstly everyone runs at slightly different speeds. Running in the field means everyone can run together and not feel like they are holding people up or they are too slow. Secondly, often my runner’s children will come along and play on the field whilst their parents run. Staying on the field means runners don’t have to worry about childcare whilst they run.
But this week there were no children and everyone was keen to leave the field. One of our runners led the way on a really nice route along a farm track on the brow of a hill (yes we had to run/walk up a hill to get there!). We made sure everyone stayed together by people looping to the back. Whenever a large gap formed the faster runners would run to the people at the back so they ran a bit further but everyone stayed together. It was great run and a route I will be doing again!
Thursday was the last run of my Waddesdon group for the summer and I planned a longer run, partly through fields. It was the longest run of the group so far at 4.5 miles but I knew they would all be able to run the distance as we had been slowly increasing the miles each week. We had to walk through some of the fields as the earth was just too uneven but it was a really great run in perfect mid-summer sun.
My next run was on Saturday and was my longest so far at 17 miles. I’m having trouble thinking up routes longer than 12 miles. I don’t like to run at lot on country lanes with no footpaths as the lanes can be windy and narrow and the cars can drive quite fast. So for this run I decided to run along the Phoenix Trail in Thame, which is a traffic free route which out and back makes up 10 miles. The other 7 miles I ran around the town.
I enjoyed running around the town more than I thought I would. I found a few footpaths that took me down quiet lanes and through church yards. The run itself was tough. After mile 10 I started to slow down quite a lot and mile 13 took me over 13 minutes to run. After that I had a little talk to myself and sped up a little bit so everything else was under 13 minutes and I managed mile 15 under 12. I didn’t feel too exhausted or achey afterwards, which surprised me, but it was hard work.
Week 10 saw me up early on Monday morning to run an out and back progression run. The idea is to run out for 15 minutes (or however long you want) and run back in less than that time. It’s a great run to do if you are working on your pace judgement.
Wednesday was my North Marston group and as it was a dull and drizzly evening we stuck to the fields. I think we all wanted to be close to shelter and our cars in case it really poured down. Even with the rain it was a nice run.
Thursday was my first evening without leading a running group and I decided to do an Oregon circuit for my run. This is a run combined with strength work and is quite challenging. The idea is that the running part is your recovery, you shouldn’t be pushing yourself when running at all, but you do push yourself with the strength work. I found a quiet stretch of path and ran 400m as recovery and did sets of 10 repeats of squats, lunges, push ups, burpees and tricep dips. I really felt tired on the last few repeats but it is definitely something I will do again.
Saturday was a cut back long run of 10 miles. I ran 7 miles with a friend from my running club who is also running a marathon but has been injured so this run was her first longer run since being out of action. I chose a fairly challenging route with a few hills which we ran up and then walked part of the way down which meant we really got a hill workout as part of this run. If I hadn’t been with my friend I may have been tempted to do it the other way around!
The last 3 miles I ran on my own and really noticed the difference of not having company. Although I was running at a similar pace it felt like I had really slowed down and I had to really push myself to finish. I’m glad that I’ll be running my 20 and 23 mile training runs with my mum for company!
How was your week running? Do you find it easier running with people?