August 12, 2011

Feeling a jump in fitness - I think

This week began with one of those rare runs that just feels effortless, you feel you could do anything, run anywhere, at any pace, for any length of time. Fantastic, amazing! Of course I slightly dreaded my session the following day, knowing that even if I felt great, it would feel worse than the day before.

So, after Monday's effortless 18km run, I did my Tuesday session which was a total of 14km including five 600-metre repeats at 5km race pace (or 2:18 for 600m). I felt good, just not amazing. On Wednesday I had 23km. My goal pace for these medium long runs is between 4:50 and 5:15.

Feeling tired before the session, I was glad to feel much better once warmed up and pleased to stay comfortably under a 5:00/km (8:00/mile) average pace. My body felt efficient, strong and light from the routine of six days of running a week.

Without obsessing over my nutrition, I like a pre-dinner glass of red or a beer in summer and dark chocolate desserts, an overall healthy diet combined with plenty of running has my weight now at 60kg (132 pounds), which is at the lean end for me (I'm 5' 8" or 176cm). It feels good.

I've been considering cutting all alcohol and sweests from my diet for the past couple of months but haven't done so yet. Maybe I will in the final four weeks before the race, maybe I won't. One thing's for sure, I certainly won't be cutting my caffeine intake as some athletes do leading up to a race.

Starting my day with a coffee, or three, as I work on my latest manuscript is a ritual I love too much. 

Yesterday had a 10km in the morning, finishing with six 100m strides, and a 6km in the evening. Both were meant to be at recovery pace, in my case about 5:30/km, but I found myself very comfortable closer to 5:15/5:20. It's important to avoid doing your recovery runs too fast, so I tried hard to stay near 5:30.

Today I only have an 8km easy session, as tomorrow my schedule calls for a race of between 8km and 15km. Since I haven't been able to find an event, I plan to do a 10km time trial on my own (though would welcome any company). Hopefully it will confirm what I think my body has been trying to tell me in this week's 71km so far.

I'll be finishing the week with Sunday's long run of 29km.

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