Tuesday, 1 September 2015

TRAINING UPDATE: Achieving small goals

It's strange when you aren't training for a race. You almost feel in limbo, unsure what you are contributing to when you go out running. Don't get me wrong, it is nice to just go out for a run without any strings attached, to not follow any strict nutritional plans and to not feel guilty when you move your run to a different day so you can go to the pub. Despite these positives, I do slightly miss the discipline of training.

However, even though I am not training specifically for anything, these last couple of weeks I have seen only improvement. Running is at the forefront of my mind and whilst I have found it hard going back to three runs a week (during triathlon training I only did two), it is incredibly satisfying racking up the miles again.

In my last post, I set some mini goals to help me get to a fit running state by Christmas. One was to enter two 10K races. I really need to get these booked in so I have headed out twice now to try and run the distance at a strong pace. The first was tough and it felt like it went on forever. By mile five my ITB pain had kicked in but I still managed to finish in just over 50 minutes. The next weekend, I headed out again this time taking on a new, slightly hilly route. By mile five, I was chuffed to have no pain at all and instead of stopping at 10K, I carried on to complete seven miles. All in just under one hour!
(the trails have been calling me these last few weeks)
So in all, running is good. Pace is slowly creeping up (I've gone from 8.50s to 8.10s for 10K) and I have also started to get back into HIIT and speed work. Boy, do these sessions hurt though! Especially when you have taken a few weeks off from it. 

Along with my two 10K races, I set myself another challenge. This one non running related but a goal I very much wanted to achieve - to swim 1500m open water. I recently got a reminder saying my wet suit needs to be sent back soon (I opted to hire it for my first triathlon) and so I wasted no time in trying to hit this target. At 6.30am on Saturday morning I was up and cycling to my local reservoir to see if I could manage it.
(super keen in my kit)
I haven't been in open water for a few weeks now and I was actually a little nervous getting back in. Hovering on the jetty, I faffed around for a couple of minutes, getting my goggles comfy and asking fellow swimmers what the water temperature was. One lady, who was maybe late 60's, turned to me and said 'no news on the water temperature but sod it, lets just get in!'. With that, she pranced down the jetty and flung herself in the water. That was my lesson in manning up right there...
(West Reservoir, Stoke Newington)
The water was bloody cold but I took inspiration from this lady and just cracked on with it. I needed to do three laps of the reservoir and I was surprised at how fast it went. By the time I entered my final lap, my stroke and alignment was fluid and smooth and I was so chuffed to reach the end feeling pretty good. I don't have a time recorded for this but it was great to finish my triathlon season on a high, achieving this small goal. 

Next step for me is to enter these two 10Ks. I am going to research into race options this week, aiming to do one in October and the other November. Suggestions are very much welcome!

Lipstick Runner. 

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