South Downs Way 50 training begins…

This week was my first proper week of my 50 mile training plan, despite it actually being week three of the plan. Snowdonia Marathon Eryri was at the end of what should have been week one, so the first couple of weeks went a bit squiffy (technical term!).

I decided to give myself a full week off of running after the marathon, and that’s proving to have been a good decision. My first run was Southwick Country Parkrun, which went far better than expected and felt good, until I got a stitch quarter of a mile from the finish. The following day I went out for a five mile run, as per my training plan, which I again managed at a pace I was very happy with.

My training plan gives me five runs per week, three during the week and two over the weekend, with Monday and Friday being rest days. This week I managed four out of those five runs, missing my easy run Wednesday.

Tuesday called for a six mile run, but running with a friend we actually ran seven miles. Running at Greenham Common, it makes for a beautiful place to run and although not particularly hilly, the ground can feel like hard work. I felt great during this run, until the last mile, a section of Greenham Common lovingly named ‘the shitty bit’.

While I didn’t manage a run on Wednesday, I did still achieve over 10,000 steps which included a short dog walk. It was one of those non-stop days. My day started at 4:15 and I didn’t get home at the end of the day until 19:30, having visited Newbury, Basingstoke, Devizes and Bath!

Back to the training plan and Thursday was due to be a six mile run. As I’d done an extra mile on Tuesday I cut this down to five miles, but made it hilly. Yet another good run, despite the fact I was still worn out from such a long day the day before.

Rest day Friday, and not having much on in the way of work I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with the dogs and relax. I take my rest days seriously and know that without them I won’t recover properly which ultimately leads to my training suffering.

Training plans traditionally have long run day as Sunday, however most Ultra distance races are on Saturdays, especially the much longer ones. So, my current training plan has my longest run of the week on a Saturday with a shorter run on Sunday. This week I needed to switch that around due to other commitments.

Saturday morning I got up early and headed out for 6 miles at -2 degrees. I rarely run in full leggings or any kind of sleeve, favouring shorts and vests. However, the freezing temperature meant the leggings came out and I wore a compression t-shirt under my vest to keep my core warm. I know I run better in the cold, it was snowing on the day I got my current Parkrun PB. Having had such a hot summer and not really having run regularly over the last year or so, I was beginning to think I’d lost my ability to run and sustain my previous ‘tempo’ pace. This run showed me that while I may not be quite at the pace I used to be, I can certainly get it back as I stayed within my tempo pace range for the entire run.

Long run day, and a distance that’s just outside of my comfort zone, 16 miles. I could have called on one of my running friends to have run with me for moral support, but I felt I needed to get this done alone. I wrote a post about it, because I was so pleased with myself. To save repeating myself, you can read the post here…

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=127212355364796&id=107024267383605

After having some real struggles with getting myself out to run, my mojo seems to have been reinstated. This week is a recovery week, giving me slightly lower mileage, just 14 miles for my long run!

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