Sunday, 22 June 2014


This week I have loved the sunshine and whilst I didn’t quite follow my half marathon-training schedule, I managed to squeeze in lots of activity.

I’m starting to get more into cross training. I’ve not been one to do this but now I have my bike, I want to make more effort to try out different activities rather than just sticking to running. I actually really enjoyed mixing it up and once I start cycling to work, I will be able to make the most of varied training which I think will play a crucial role in my running developments.

After a weekend of running on Saturday and exploring all of North London by foot on Sunday, Monday was very much a rest day for me. Tuesday, I opted to go for a swim. I was supposed to attend my club run and I even took my kit to work but towards the end of day, I felt exhausted. I really felt the urge to go swimming (a sport I love) and so I ditched the trainers for my swimsuit and headed to my local pool.

When I go lane swimming, I aim to always complete 25 lengths in sets of five and alternate between breaststroke and front crawl. This week was the first time I used a swimming hat (I’d washed my hair the night before and couldn’t be bothered to do it again ha!) and I remember having a blue Aqua Sphere one lying around from a magazine event I had been to yonks ago. When I got out the pool and was changing, I took the hat off and my hair was SOAKED! Dripping wet like it would have been if I hadn’t worn the hat. That was rather disappointing (and annoying) and I won’t be using that hat again for sure. I also sported some horrific goggle marks (proof HERE).

Wednesday I met with a close friend who has started to run. This is the first time we ran together and we opted to head down the very steep Highgate Hill and up onto the Heath for a gentle 5K. This was merely a fun social run so we just had a nice little jog to stretch the legs. Plus it was boiling hot, so it was nice to not push it.

Thursday was my weekly track session with the club coach. Being a former sprinter, I do tend to be stronger at these types of sessions and I love getting the chance to pelt it round the track. This session was all about strength building and managing controlled discomfort. We started off with 800m at threshold pace, following by 2x 800m at 3K pace and 5x 400m HARD!

I really, really pushed myself at this session and was thrilled to land my first ever sub six-minute mile! I was absolutely shattered when I got home (as you can tell by the picture below) but I was really chuffed with my improvements.

Friday was, as it always is for me, rest day. This is normally my time to head out for drinks and see friends and that is exactly what I did. I only had one drink though (the sunshine made me crave Rekorderlig) as I had to get up early Saturday morning to head out for a scheduled eight mile run. I opted for my favourite city route but took the option that heads through Angel, past St Paul's and over Millennium Bridge to Westminster. 

A very sunny London!

The weather was divine – blue skies and very hot! I was aiming to do 8.30-minute miles but I finished with an average of 8-minute miles and felt very controlled throughout my run. What I also love about this route is that eight miles brings me to The Mall where I get to finish in front of Buckingham Palace – one of my favourite spots in London.

Buckingham Palace

Sunday I was itching to take my new bike out for a ride. I haven’t really been on it much since I purchased it and being new to cycling in London, I want to practise being out and about in the city before I begin the hectic cycle to work in the mornings.

I didn’t really know here to head so I decided to cycle up to Hampstead and down through Swiss Cottage to Regents Park. The first couple of miles were uphill which I found really tiring (more so than running!). By the time I got to Regents Park though, I felt fairly confident on my new wheels and after a pit stop for a quick drink, I cycled back through Primrose Hill and Chalk Farm to go back on myself home. I think I cycled around 10 miles, so not far in bike terms, but it was definitely a very enjoyable hour!

Pit stop in Regents Park 

This coming week I am off work (hurrah!) and will be spending some time with friends and family before heading over to Reading to take part in this year’s Mizuno Endure24. I’m running with my former athletic club and I am SO excited! I’m set to run four laps of five miles over the 24 hour period so I will ensure I set myself a good taper in the days leading up to it. I will of course be posting live updates on Twitter & Instagram so make sure you keep up with that (@lipstick_runner for both channels) and a blog post will follow shortly afterwards.

Lipstick Runner.

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