This was the first week of a two week taper. In terms of quality workouts, I ran an hour at Marathon pace (4:00 min/km or 15 kph) with an easy kilometre in the middle and I did the same "ladder" that I did last week except that, instead of running it so fast, I increased the incline on my treadmill (mainly because my treadmill only goes up to 18 kph). I used this chart over at hillrunner to work out what incline would make one speed equivalent to another. On my treadmill which runs a little slower than it says on the tin
17 kph = 17.5 kph with 1% incline
18 kph = 18 kph with 2.5% incline
19 kph = 18 kph with 4.5% incline
The ladder consisted of running 2 lots of 1 minute - 2 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 3 at the equivalent to 19 kph - 18 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 18 - 17. I thought that it was probably more beneficial at this point in my cycle to train strength by running hills than to train pure speed and I certainly noticed the difference the next day as my legs were stiff, something that only tends to happen after a race. Just as running 3 minutes at 17 kph felt easy the week before after a shorter effort at a higher speed, the effect of reducing the incline made it feel like I was running effortlessly down hill. (By the way, I have been very bad about strength training: I had planned to swap my weights sessions for uphill sprints and in the end have done neither one nor the other, mainly because I stubbed my toe and it was painful to run up hills but partly out of sheer laziness...)
I was thinking the other day that there are lots of blogs like this one where people like myself pour out their discoveries on the path to self-betterment (in my case because my family and most of my friends are not interested) but I'll bet that there are no blogs which fill the niche of training combined with reviews of horror movies. As any regular reader of this blog will know, the best method I have found for putting up with the boredom and suffering of treadmill running is to be distracted by someone else's pain: namely the characters in some gorefest. This week, it was "Harpoon" - an Icelandic version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre on a whaling boat - that helped me through the tougher workouts and another film about Zombies that was so bad I can't even remember what it was called. I realize that I will have to make a bit more of an effort if I want to attract horror movie fans to this blog.
The long run this week was not so long, "only" a Half Marathon run at an easy pace but over a reasonably hilly course. The rest of my outings were with work colleagues at lunchtime and were all the more enjoyable for the company - just what is needed after months of fairly hard slog.
This week there is only one quality workout - half an hour at a Marathon over-pace of about 15.5 kph (3:50 min/km) with a 3 km warm up and a 3 km cool down either side. Other than that I will probably do 3 easy runs of 40, 30 and 20 minutes - the shortest of which I will do the morning of the day before to keep sharp. Now to charge up my batteries and psyche myself up mentally: this time I am going to set off with the intention of beating my time from last year of 2:54 and hold on to the best of my ability!