Monday, February 24, 2014

ABN Amro CPC Loop Den Haag Half Marathon Week 7 / 9

Monday: 40' @ 4:00
Tuesday: 6 x (2' @ 3:10, 2' @ 6:00) + 3 x (1' @ 3:10, 1' @ 6:00)
Wednesday: -
Thursday: 2 x (400-800-2,000 @ 3:30-3:35-3:45) w/ 5' jog in between sets (lunch) + 40' @ 4:00 (evening)
Friday: 6K @ 4:37, 10K @ 3:45, 2K @ 4:37
Saturday: 30' + 10' @ 4:00
Sunday: 6 x (5' @ 3:30, 1' jog) (morning) + 40' @ 4:00 (evening)

I know this isn't a tech blog but I feel I have to tell everyone about this. Very very occasionally you buy something and it turns out to be way better than you expected: this was the case for me when I finally plumped for the Kindle Fire HD. I'd had my eye on the iPad for years, of course, but its so damn expensive and all I really wanted was something I could prop up against the treadmill to watch films on that I wouldn't mind too much getting covered in sweat. I was getting worried about lugging my laptop around everywhere, apart from the fact that everyone else can see quite clearly what I am watching, so the occasional appearance of a breast - say - in Game of Thrones could be a little embarrassing at work.

Talking of sweating, the guys in the gym have got it down to pat: not one second after I hopped off the treadmill had passed before I heard an announcement over the annoy - "Calling cleaning services...".

If I am not pissing other gym users off by dripping everywhere, I am having to bother them while they are working out. I arrived a little late to do my vVO2Max session on Tuesday, due to a meeting that overran, and I found that the only free treadmill was not fast enough for my purposes. There are only 4 treadmills that go over 18 kph and so I tapped a guy on the shoulder (he had headphones on) and asked him ever so nicely if he wouldn't mind swapping with me. At which point somebody got on the treadmill that I was going to trade with him and so I had to explain the whole sorry story to him as well. In the end I managed to get it done without any further hitches.

On Wednesday I went to see the osteopath again (or "hostiapata" as I like to call him in Spanish - from "dar hostias" and "psic√≥pata"...). My back was much better since the previous visit and I had been doing the exercises he prescribed me religiously. He did say "You're not thinking of training today after this, are you?" which, of course, I was doing but, at his recommendation, I binned that session. So much for being the supposed "peak week" of training. I don't know whether its a placebo effect but I have felt able to take on much more intense training since he worked his magic and, unlike previous weeks, the fatigue in my back doesn't creep up on me during the week. In fact, Thursday felt too easy and I wondered if I should have done three sets instead of just two - maybe el hostiapata has unlocked some hidden speed by freeing up my spinal column.

That evening, too make up for the ease of the lunchtime workout, I snuck in a 40 minute run at my Marathon Pace of 4 minutes per kilometer (I nearly wrote "per mile" - it has a certain ring to it). As an experiment, I wore a heart rate monitor, something that I rarely do in training these days. I was curious to see whether my heart rate would correspond to the aerobic zone (150-155 bpm) I used to do all of my "easy" runs in. It turned out that it did - although it crept up as I got hot so that, after 30 minutes it was above 155 but, on average over the whole run, it was only 148. However you look at it, I think that my aerobic speed has improved tremendously over the last few years - my aerobic pace was around 12 kph for a long time then, more recently, around 13.5 kph and now, I think it is closer to 15 kph.

I was pleased to be able to do my Half Marathon simulator run without too much ado on Friday evening - not usually the kind of thing you feel like doing after a hard week at work. On Saturday I did another easy run while the kids were swimming. (By the way, I realized that the plyometric box that I had seen there a few months ago was much smaller than the one I ended up building!) By Sunday I was ready for a 4th quality session - I decided to bring it forward from the following week as (a) we would be in Asturias for the tail end of it and (b) my idea is to start to taper about 10 days before the race on the 9th of March. So, after my little hiccough with my back troubles not to mention training for the wrong distance, I feel like I am back on my game!

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