I’ve been skiving off speed work.
I know it’s not been that long since the half ironman, but I’ve been a very lazy runner. It didn’t help that I did something mysterious to my ankle during the half, which meant I spent the two weeks before the London Tri hobbling around trying not to do anymore damage (to then hobble round the 10K of the tri anyway…)
In Australia the last thing I wanted to do was run fast – it was all about taking in the scenery, enjoying time with Mark and chilling out. I’ve seriously slacked off exercise in August – and eaten all the things, and I’m still finding it really hard to get back into doing stuffs, as I don’t have any sort of routine at the moment and I’m feeling properly all over the place.
But: I’ve got a certain Dublin Marathon to be training for! I’ve gone for the “trust in your banked fitness” approach, and have decided to follow the Hansons marathon method again, but for 8 weeks rather than 16. I’m assuming I’ll be fine.
And so yesterday was my first speedy session in what felt like forever – 6 x 1mile reps. I genuinely thought my lungs might explode, along with my quads. It’s quite amazing – and very sad indeed! – how quickly your fitness disappears. I was running the intervals a good 20 seconds slower than I used to run them, and at a more similar pace to the speed I ran the 20K of the half ironman run!
I really loved it though. You forget wonderful a good speed session feels when you let them fall by the way side. I like the ‘uncomfortable hard’ feel…. When your breathing is loud but steady; your legs are tired but will just keep going and going and your eyes just stay focused on the road in front. I like telling myself I can slow down at the next tree – knowing that in fact I’ll speed up and I like how sweaty and hot I get.
If you don’t do any kind of speed work at the moment, give it a try. Not only will your times improve but you’ll enjoy your running in a totally different way. Stuck in a rut? Mix it up and speed it up.