This is a recap of how the first week went. It was a big week of running with no rest days from Monday to Sunday. So here is what happened.
Monday – 14th Jan – planned 14km easy run. It was a wet day & the rain made for an interesting outing. Coming from a day of rest on Sunday the run was pretty easy & I cruised it pretty easy in the morning despite the heavy rain. Actual distance an easy 15kms in about 5min per Km on average.
Tuesday – 15th Jan – planned 5k race @ 80% effort and a 5k recovery after, so a total of 10ks. I was supposed to run each Km at about 4m 15s however I pushed it a bit & the competitive side got the better of me finishing the race at an average of 4min 05s & posting my second fastest 5km race time for the Waterfront course in 20min 20secs. Took a 5min break & then did an easy jog/walk of 5km as planned as recovery. So far so good.
Wednesday – 16th Jan – 20km Hill run or 2hrs plus hills. Typically I save my hill runs for Saturday or Sunday, this week I wanted to break the pattern & see what will happen with a middle of the week hill run. Weather was pretty good on Wednesday & it was pretty warm when I headed out at around 7am. I also wanted to use this run to check my gear for the 26km trail run Tussock Traverse on 26th Jan (next Saturday). The route I chose for this run was a loop starting from the Waterfront. It’s one of my favourite runs including some of Wellingtons great trails. (Ill do a post later on some of these) Basically run up to Brooklyn via Central Park then run down to the start of the Tip Track via Happy Valley Road. The Trip Track is long & winding with an ascent of about 400m over about 4kms. It’s a good climb & should be part of any Wellington runners schedule :). Once at the top you run to the Brooklyn windmill & follow the Karori sanctuary fence line to the Polhill track then it’s all downhill to Aro valley & back to the waterfront. Total distance 22kms. This isn’t an easy run & in hindsight I should have scheduled a rest day after this run. My legs were pretty tired & I did some foam rolling that evening.
Thursday – 17th Jan – 14km @ half marathon goal pace! Well this was pretty ambitious after the hill run. I knew that this might be asking a bit too much from my body but I thought if I ran late evening on Thursday my body would have had enough time to recover. Was I wrong on that! When I woke up in the morning my legs felt pretty heavy with a few aches. I’m used to this usually and not a stranger to a bit of aching in my legs after a long run. Anyway by about the 1km mark I knew that there was no way that I can run anywhere near my goal pace. So I settled for a pretty slow 10k. Lesson learned – no fast pace runs after a long hill session 🙂
Friday – 18th Jan – 10km intervals – another big mistake 🙂 my legs were like solid iron blocks everything hurt. Net result a slow 8k & lots of foam rolling & ice. I was experiencing a sharp pain just below my hamstring – not good & alarm bells started ringing!
Saturday – 19th Jan – 14km easy run – nope not a chance! However since my pain had somewhat subsided I decided to go for an easy jog/walk. It was terrible – legs were pretty tired, my HR was pretty high. I managed a 8k jog which felt like hell. Should have taken a full days rest! Foam roller & ice to the rescue.
Sunday – 20th Jan – 18km long run with hills – didn’t even attempt it! Slept in & just took it easy. Walked around the waterfront enjoyed the day. Came home & had an afternoon nap! So by around 5pm I felt pretty good, my legs were feeling normal again no pains. So I decided that I’ll go for an easy jog just to test how I felt. After about 2km of steady running it felt really good so I kept going & then it was 10ks without even feeling it! So ended up with a 15k around the bays!
So my goal of running a full week with no rest almost worked & I learned a lot from this week. I also ran the most number of cumulative Kms in a week with a total of 88kms! Our bodies have a way of telling us when it’s time to take it easy – pain & aches are our bodies way of telling us to take it easy or rest. It’s our own defense mechanism to prevent us from damaging ourselves beyond repair. Running places a great stress on our bodies but also makes us stronger.
I’ve been reading a book called “The Runners Body” written by some leading sports scientists, I highly recommend this book even if you are a novice runner who has taken up running recently. It’s available at the Wellington City Library.
So next week (21st to 27th Jan) is relatively easy apart from the trail race on Saturday 26th in Tongariro & I’m hoping to stick to the plan! Monday (today) is a rest day!
So here’s to the next four weeks of running leading up to Wellington Round The Bays remaining injury free!