Monday, April 21, 2014

Bupa London 10,000 Week 4 / 9

I used up the most of my remaining holiday that I'd carried over from last year to do a bit of spring cleaning in the house. Apart from throwing away an enormous amount of broken bits of plastic that used to be collectively known as "toys", I also threw out piles of triathlon and running magazines (including, unfortunately, the one in which an article of mine was published). In fact, I was looking for that very article today, as I was to feature talking on the radio on the subject of minimalist running shoes. More on that soon.

As I mentioned at the time, I was finally able to do a full 5 sets of 3 minutes at my supposed vVO2Max and it didn't feel too difficult! I should try to do these kind of workouts in an empty gym more often. As we were going down to see the in-laws in Ciudad Real on the Thursday, I squeezed in another day of quality training on Wednesday and did a quick 40 minute run in the morning before setting off.

Friday was a beautiful day and one of those rare occasions (these days) when I actually ran outside. It was nice to confirm that I can still run "in real life" as well as I can on the treadmill but I did notice a twinge in one of my toes. I was running along the very same stony path that I am convinced initiated the stress fracture I suffered 4 and a half years ago. They say that humans are the only animal to trip over the same stone twice: in this case it could be literally the case. The pain I felt in my toe was the same sharp but difficult to locate precisely pain that I felt with the stress fracture. Once I got back to the house, I couldn't reproduce the pain by wiggling or pressing the bones in my foot, so I put it down to some freak misstep, perhaps as a result of not having run much on uneven ground recently.

My idea for Saturday was to get up early and head down to the municipal sports ground, where there was a 400m outdoor track, and do my 7km "aerobic test", keep my heart rate at just under 172 bpm. In spite of having looked up on Google Maps how to get to the track, I got hopelessly lost and had already run about 4km by the time I finally found the sports ground. I had also run out of time, because I had promised my wife that I would be back within 45 minutes (so that she could go for a run herself). But, more than that, based on the fact that my toe was continuing to give me alarming spikes of pain every time I stepped in a particular way, I decided to head back.

We celebrated my birthday that lunchtime and, among my presents was an Easter egg, which I wolfed down practically in one go. I regretted it almost immediately. I have quite a lot of control over what I put in front of myself to eat but very little over what I eat of what is put in front of me. This, coupled with my worry over my niggling toe pain, brought out my obsessive demons and I took a decision which was probably not a very wise one. I decided to head back down to the running track and to try again to do the 7km test, more to burn off the calories from the Easter egg than to serve as a realistic test: the fact that it was the end of the training week, that I had already run that morning and that my belly was full from a birthday lunch all weighed against it. Once I was on the track, I felt myself slow down and my heart rate speed up to a point that I would have ended up trundling round the last few laps if I were to respect the 172 bpm threshold. Rather than depress myself with a crap test result, I decided instead to break the test into two sets of 7 laps and one of the remaining 3 and a half laps, the total of which was not too far from my recent (and slightly surprising) best time of 24:49 for this test (10:05 + 10:12 + 5:02 = 25:19). I didn't have any problems with the aforementioned toe while on the track, but it did give me a bit of grief on the way home. I can only assume that it is due to a lack of road running so, once it has had a chance to recover, I'll make sure to incorporate a bit more road and trail running which should be easier now that the weather is getting better and the days longer.

Monday: -
Tuesday: 5 x (3' @ 3:10, 3' @ 6:00)
Wednesday: 3 x (800-400-200-1,000), 800 @ 3:40 w/ 2' jog, 400 @ 3:25 w/ 1' jog, 200 @ 3:10 w/ 30" jog, 1,000 @ 3:40 w/ 4' jog
Thursday: 40' @ 4:00
Friday: 15K @ 4:00
Saturday: 5K (morning) + 1,5K + 2 x 2,8K @ 3:31 + 1,4K @ 3:26 + 1,5K (afternoon)
Sunday: 40' @ 4:00

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