Week seven of training for the Centurion South Downs Way 50 has been absolutely spectacular. I’ve enjoyed every single run and my performance has just come on loads. Something has clicked into place, I’m not sure what, but it feels great.
Each of my scheduled runs this week were the same distance as the previous week. So Tuesday was a seven mile run, which I completed 5 minutes quicker than the previous week with an extra 82ft of elevation in the route. This kicked off my week with positivity and a huge boost in confidence that my running abilities are getting back to where they used to be.
I was determined to make sure I did my Thursday run this week, so knew I’d need to keep my pace on track as an easy run on Wednesday. It was a cold but clear start to the day when I left home at 5:15 for work, but by 8am the freezing fog had rolled in. I had worn a thermal compression top to work and full length leggings, in preparation for a cold run but I wasn’t quite mentally prepared for it to be so cold (-2o). I’m a member of Lonely Goats RC, so called upon my fellow goats and they didn’t disappoint. In the half an hour between posting about whether or not to run and finishing work I’d received loads of comments of support and encouragement to get out and get it done. So that’s exactly what I did!
Thursday’s run was scheduled for seven miles. I had an extra shift at the gym, so I made a plan with Jay for us to meet at Greenham Common and run together (I hadn’t told him it wasn’t an ‘easy’ run this week!). It felt even colder than Wednesday, but we would be running faster so would warm up quickly… hopefully! We met up, I broke the news that it needed to be a faster run and off we went. We actually ended up having to slow ourselves down about a mile in as we realised we weren’t going to be able to sustain the pace we were doing, for another six miles. We got to the half way point in good time, tackled the couple of inclines along the back of the common and then Jay seemed to pick up the pace. When we got to around the six mile mark and I checked my watch, I realised why; we were within reach of making the overall average pace -9 minutes/mile. I went with it and pushed as hard as I could. We completed seven miles in 1:02:40, at an average pace of 8:57 per mile, the fastest I had run that distance in some time.
Weekday runs complete, I had another 23 miles to run over the weekend. Saturday brought Parkrun plus 15 miles. Having done so well at Marlborough Common Parkrun last week, I thought I’d try to push for a better time. I employed the tactic that seemed to work the previous week (not looking at my watch), and it worked! Not only did I beat my time from the week before, but I also got a Parkrun PB!
With 15 miles still to run, I thought I might pay the price for that PB on my long run. I headed out and felt like it took forever to get settled in to my pace, but kept reminding myself that the route I was running today involved a lot more hills than last weeks long run (over 200ft more elevation in fact). I finished feeling good and only 8 seconds per mile slower than my average pace from last week’s long run. I was very happy with that.
Having already done tempo, threshold and some hilly work this week, I decided that I would just run at a pace that felt comfortable on Sunday. I headed out on my usual five mile route from home, which of course includes some inclines. I didn’t particularly push myself, but also didn’t fall back into an ‘easy’ run pace. It turns out that I finished the week off with a ‘tempo’ pace run.
I’m now heading into a recovery week, which I’m sure my body will appreciate after such a great week of running. I also have a massage booked in, which I’m very much looking forward to.
I’m running South Downs Way 50 in aid of Child Bereavement UK. You can sponsor me here…