Tuesday, July 23, 2013

56 miles run last week

56 miles run last week

This is an update on my recovery, improving fitness and running slow.

I have been running properly following knee surgery since May 10th
starting with runs of less than a mile and covering 4 miles in a week.
Typically these early runs were after a cycle commute home so I was
already warmed up. After a bit of a stutter in mid May where I stopped
running because my knee was hurting again I resumed towards the end of

With the knee feeling much much better I was able to move from 1 mile
runs to 1.5 and then push to 3 miles pretty quickly. That said the
pace was very slow. It felt good though and like I was getting
somewhere. Having not run for nearly 18months I wasn't about to blow
it by being impatient.

Slowly building the miles I got to a position where I could run to
work. That's around 2.5 miles and running to and from work I was able
to log 5 miles in a day with very little impact on my body. With
7-8hrs in between the natural recovery was taken care of. It is this
that has had the most impact on my running and on getting back to
something approaching proper running.

Running twice daily is a great way to get your mileage up without
damaging your form too much. It also gets you used to running on tired
legs. Typically now I run between 6-10 miles a day over two runs and
as they are part of my commute they are almost invisible miles.
Invisible in that they do not impact my family.

With a long run on Sunday of a couple hours and normally between
10-14 miles with 1,000ft of climbing I am covering 40-50 miles a week
easy. Last week I ran 56 miles, a record so far on this comeback, and
managed 8 consecutive days running that contained a mix of fast runs,
a 5km race and a long run of just shy of 14 miles. I'm no Mike Wardian
just yet but it feels good.

One of the main differences in my running this time though is that I
am not concerned about running fast or slow. I just run. I listen to a
lot of podcasts about running, yes I am really that boring, and a lot
of it is about covering the distance just getting into the moment and
running. What will be will be. With my ambitions firmly on longer
stuff this is perfect. Why worry about running 6'ish minute miles when
I want to run 50miles. I'm never going to do that so why bother. I
like to push it occasionally and the fast 5 miler I did last week and
also the Park Run were great to stretch the legs and get the heart
rate up bit I was as happy plodding up hill at 9min mile on Sunday as
I was blasting around pittville park.

This has made a massive contribution to my recovery and is actually
just a nice way to run. I still log every mile (I'm not that free of
the Garmin just yet) I just look at it a lot less when I am running
than I used to.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Park Run #22 - Cheltenham

This weekend I took part, along with some of the LRFC Cougars u13's, a
couple of their parents and around 198 others in the 22nd edition of
Cheltenham Park Run. A timed 5km event in a park every Saturday

I have been targeting doing this for some time as love the idea of it
and its a good distance to try and generate some speed in.

On the back of a good week of running I decided to go for it as much
as I could. I got caught out with the lads from the team near the back
so made the decision late to go for it. When I say late I mean around
300m in. Then it was a case of making up ground.

I did this with a burst to get past and clear a couple of runners then
a quick recovery and push again. The course is fast and flat so

At the start I was looking for 21mins. I thought this was achievable
on current form. To cross the line in 19:40 was dreamland. To be first
in my age group even better (I'm now a Veteran Male 40-44!!) and I
wasn't chicked (not that I really care about that).

The lads seemed to enjoy it and there was much talk of doing it again.

I will be going back very soon.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Alpha male?

When you run with a colleague there's bound to be competition! Net
result is fastest run on my comeback trail.

I was pretty nervous at the start but actually the legs felt great and
it was nice to stretch them a bit and do some work at tempo.

Dodging tourists across the Embankment made for an entertaining route
in sun drenched London.