Friday, 10 April 2015

TRAINING UPDATE: Feeling tired

This post comes with a mixture of feelings. I seemed to have gone from feeling unstoppable and speedy to lethargic, achy and well, quite frankly, a tad moody at times.

The last few weeks have certainly been interesting in terms of my training. Following on from the success of my last update (here), my running went from strength to strength during my training sessions. I found myself tackling more hills and even hurled myself out of bed on a Sunday at 6.30am to fit in a run before work. This is very unusual for me.

In terms of my swimming and cycling, these have been consistent. I'm not any slower but nor am I faster. It has come to my attention that I really struggle to 'push the pace' when swimming. I have reached a point in my training where I have a speed that is comfortable and manageable over longer swim distances. This is the fastest my body wants to go and I am happy to accept it. The swim in my triathlon won't be my shining moment so I just need to concentrate on getting through it with energy to spare.

Cycling has recently been on the back burner, with just my daily commute and the very occasional longer ride at the weekend. Over the Easter break, I did manage to join a fellow training companion for a cycle along the canal to Hertford. We cycled almost 50K in total, which was super good training for me. It was also the first time I tried out my cleats on a long ride and I must say they did feel very comfortable (even if I did fall off 10K in - shh it never happened).
In general, I can't complain with how my training is going. Trying to juggle workouts around work, wedding planning and generally having a life is getting harder, especially as my big day draws closer. I'm the busiest I have even been with hours, days, weeks flying past. I haven't really stopped since coming back from Christmas and I think my body is starting to protest about this. So much so, that this week my energy levels have depleted.

I started to notice a decline in my efforts when I went out for a 10K at the weekend. I went with my partner and we took on a hilly route at a casual pace. What was alarming is that I found this tough and I was running a good minute or so slower than normal. This worried me. I also got the worse stitch at mile five and had to stop for a couple of minutes for it to subside. When I got home, I felt a little upset but decided to shake it off and tried again on Tuesday, this time doing my normal mini brick session (cycle home and then a 5K run). Tuesday was a particularly warm day and I think us Brits are trying to adjust to the hotter weather (goodbye thick leggings and woolly hats!). About half a mile into the run, I began to feel really heady and thirsty. My legs were lifeless and putting one foot in front of another was proving to be a real effort. Two miles in, I had to stop as again I had a really awful stitch.

What on earth is wrong with me? Two runs suffering pain and exhaustion. Something isn't right and with my first ever duathlon only a week away, it is unnerving that I am feeling this way. I guessed I might be really tired in general but the other morning, I did wake up feeling a bit groggy with a scratchy throat and snotty nose. The start of a dreaded cold - which would make sense why I feel so poo.

Despite these symptoms, by Thursday I went out as normal to do my fortnightly speed session. I was going to sweat it out! It was warm again so I opted to take a drink with me which helped a lot. I chose to carry out a pyramid session and ran around Alexandra Palace and surrounding residential areas. By the halfway point I had found a decent pace - still slower than normal but a big improvement from Tuesday. I average exactly seven minute miles, which is just over my ideal 5K pace.
(above: before and after my hot and sweaty speed session)
Talking about 5Ks, I haven't forgotten about my challenge to go sub 21 (see here). It really is still on the agenda and I was close to trying it out the day after my birthday (the original deadline I had set myself). The only thing is that I may have had one too many gins the night before and didn't get up in time for parkrun. I know - I'm useless but it was my birthday after all...

The sub 21 will happen. I am sure of it. All my speed work and hill training is definitely helping me work towards this goal and I'm hoping by the Summer, it will be ticked off my list. I did have great success at my local parkrun ever so recently. It's a tricky course and I managed it in 22.26 so I am super keen to try out a flat 5K to see if I can make the 20s. 

This weekend I am away on wedding business so I will need to fit my training in around venue visits, florist meetings and of course a big fat lunch with the Best Man and Bridesmaid (this is a necessity). I'm hoping to do a brick session on Sunday - using my parents indoor bike and then heading out for a 30 minute run. After this, I will have a quiet week, resting up for my duathlon on the 18th. Judging by how tired and achy I'm feeling, I'm going to need it!

I'll keep you posted!

Lipstick Runner.

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