Friday, December 20, 2013

Aranjuez 10K Week 6 / 6

Monday: -
Tuesday: 1K, jog 1', 3K, jog 2', 2K, jog 1', 3K, jog 2', 1K @ 3:30
Wednesday: -
Thursday: 10K (5', 5', 5', 4', 3', 3', 2' @ 3:35 interspersed with 1', 1', 1', 2', 3', 3', 2' @ easy)
Friday: 45' @ 4:00
Saturday: 20' @ 4:00
Sunday: Aranjuez 10K!
Total kilometres: 46

This week has been a bit of a mini taper, with two days off(!) and only two days of quality. I never usually "carboload" for any race less than a Half Marathon - and then, it's just a case of a good lunch the day before - but I haven't been able to resist the excuse to gorge myself on chocolate bars and spaghetti. My thinking is that the extra weight (due to water retention accompanying the stored sugar) is less of an issue in a 10K and I believe that well stocked glycogen stores help convince the brain to give an all out effort. Having said that, I'll lay off a little on Saturday as I don't want to feel bloated on the day.

I have been doing a lot more quality workouts at the work gym than usual, mainly because my home treadmill doesn't go fast enough, but I still notice a big difference between the two. On paper, the workout on Tuesday should have been harder than the one on Thursday: the quality sections were run 5 seconds per kilometre faster and there were less breaks. But, apart from the possibility that the work treadmill runs faster (even with the 0.5 kph I always add to the speed on my home treadmill to compensate), the heat of the work gym I never tire of complaining about. I finished the workout at lunchtime on Thursday totally drenched. It wasn't as stressful as the workouts I did last week but that was because I allowed myself to shorten the work periods and lengthen the rest periods (still within in the range I had set myself of 2'-5' work versus 1'-3' rest). I figured that pushing myself hard now would not yield any fitness gains by this Sunday and would only serve to make my more fatigued.

Aranjuez 10K is a popular race in the calendar because it is a flat course, a nice place to go with the family and it is a better chance to finish the year with a PB than in the crowded and hilly San Silvestre race on New Year's Eve in Madrid. What is a bit of a pain in the butt is that you can't pick up the race number and chip on the day - considering that Aranjuez is about 60 kilometres from my house, it is clear that the idea is that you spend the weekend there. Either that, or you arrange for your race number to be picked up by one of the local restaurants provided, of course, that you have a reservation there. I'd be quite happy with that arrangement if it wasn't for the fact that those restaurants were all fully booked by the time the email explaining this option had been sent out, presumably by the guys who had the experience of running it last year. In the end a friend is goint o pick up my race number for me (and spend the weekend in Aranjuez....). My idea is to try to break 36 minutes - which means running 3:35 per kilometre - something that I think is quite feasible but just requires everything to go to plan on the day. My workout on Thursday served to remind me that this is going to hurt.

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