Monday, April 28, 2014

Bupa London 10,000 Week 5 / 9

Preparing for a race is often a case of micro managing a set of niggling little problems and making sure that none of them become actual "stoppers". It may be that I am not doing as much volume as I would while training for a Marathon, but the intensity is definitely higher. Without wanting to sound like I am complaining or making an excuse, those problems include a slight twinge in my left Achilles tendon, an occasional sharp pain in one of my toes on my right foot, a cough and - although it is much better lately - a tired back. Added to that, my treadmill really started showing its age and the board that I had replaced only six months ago, started to sag in the middle and the belt keeps veering off to the left, to the extent that it actually shredded the edge off while I was doing one of my faster workouts. The treadmill has turned into a bit of an addiction for me (or, should I say, watching TV will running on the treadmill). I don't think it is the cause of all my niggling problems but it probably doesn't help always running on a level surface and its only when something gets taken away, that you realize how much you depend on it.

On a more positive note, I was able to eek out a little more speed on Tuesday, and got a few seconds closer to my goal of running 5 sets of 1 km at 20 kph (3' per km). The quality workout on Thursday had the innovation that there was no rest between the changes in speed - in spite of being a very short session, it was surprisingly difficult and tiring, but I did it more convincingly than the last time I attempted it. That just left the split 10K which I started on Sunday on my home treadmill, only to run into the aforementioned belt shredding issue. I had wanted to go and see the Madrid Marathon but the kids were tired after going to bed at midnight the night before after a dinner of sushi, so I didn't have the heart to get them up before 10am. They did seem quite up for a cycle ride, though, so we set off to Majadahonda - some 7 km away - with me running and the boys in tow. There, I popped into Decathlon, and bought a new treadmill which - as my eldest had joked - we didn't try to take back home on the bikes. Ironically, while reading the manual of the new treadmill that I had downloaded from the internet (I'm like that - I actually read these things!), I discovered a possible solution to the belt being off center. Indeed, I found the unusual sized allen key which came with my old treadmill and, on tightening a particular bolt, was able to re-center the belt, at least for long enough to complete the split 10K workout I had initially planned.

Adrian (my youngest)'s Five Fingers finally arrived on Thursday and just in the nick of time, because he had his  "Olympics day" on Friday, in which he was running 400m. So we went for a practice run in them and did a couple of 400m runs as well as an 800m lap, jogging with a sprint finish. More than actually "training", it's a question of getting a feel for what pace he can maintain for a certain distance as well as him seeing what he is capable of: after the sprint finish, he proclaimed happily "I didn't know I could run so fast!". I underestimated how sore his calf muscles would be the next day, and he didn't run so well as a result - not that I care or he seemed to, but perhaps I did overdo it. Even at his young age (9), it seems like changing to "zero drop" shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers implies using different muscles that have previously been neglected. Anyway, he loves his shoes and enjoyed showing them off at school.

Monday: -
Tuesday: 5 x (3' @ 3:07, 3' @ 6:00)
Wednesday: 40' @ 4:00
Thursday: 2 x (200-600-1,000), 200 @ 3:00, 600 @ 3:10, 1,000 @ 3:40 w/ 3' rest between sets
Friday: 40' @ 4:00
Saturday: 40' @ 4:00
Sunday: 10K easy (morning) + 1K, 3K, 2K, 3K, 1K @ 3:25 w/ 1' rest

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