Upping the Intensity

After months of Base level training over the winter, it’s time to gradually start upping the intensity a little. Nothing too mad yet, just some harder, shorter intervals on the bike and some tempo runs rather than the usual low heart rate MAF zone runs.

Sick Bucket Needed!

Monday saw the first sunny day for ages and turned out to be a lovely day with light winds, lots of sunshine and a real feel of Spring. This coincided with the first of these harder sessions for me. The day started early with a TrainerRoad workout called Huffaker that consisted of 6×3 minute VO2Max intervals. At first glance this session didn’t look too difficult. There were only 6 hard intervals and they were each only 3 minutes long. They were also separated by fairly long 3 minute rests so it looked more than doable. I should have known better though, the instructions during the warm-up kept mentioning words such as pain, suffering, mental tenacity and toughness and warned of light-headedness, muscle burn, nausea and the possible need of a sick bucket!

Sure enough, it was quite an effort but I managed to complete it, managed to keep my watts on target and felt pretty good by the end.

Higher Intensity

Higher Intensity

High Intensity Work load

It was then off to work for yet another busy day. Things are hectic at work at the moment as it’s the busiest time of year with 3rd year dissertation students in using all of the labs, all day, every day in order to collect their data for their dissertations. This means that I have to prepare the labs for them, set up equipment, check that they are doing what they should be doing and ensure that everything they need is working as it should be. I also have loads of drinks and supplements to prepare for them each day. The workload is intense.

On top of all of this, Phil who I job-share with has been off sick since Christmas so I’m covering for him which means that I’m working full-time at the moment whilst still trying to keep up with my Freelance Website Design work as well. There’s also lots of practical teaching classes on at work this term, so I’m rushing around trying to get labs ready for those as well, and with a new member of teaching staff running some of these practicals I’m having to help him out too. Busy Busy Busy, but that’s the way I like it really. It did mean that I had to be in work for 8:30am on Monday though to get a lab ready for a 9:00am practical session, so there was no time to take it easy after my Turbo Trainer session.

I did manage to sneak out for a core stability class during my lunch-hour though. This is actually quite a nice class and certainly not my usual high-intensity type of training. In fact I find it to be more of a relaxation class really!

The Run Home

The afternoon was a glorious one. Blue skies and sunshine. The fact that I’m doing extra hours at work at the moment means that I’m fitting things in as best I can to be there to provide cover when it is busiest. Everything was under control on Monday afternoon so I decided to finish at 4pm, get changed, drop my bag and car off with Anna and then run home. I just couldn’t resist it with such lovely weather. It was perfect for running, clear and sunny with a light breeze and cool temperatures.

My plan had me down to do a 50 minute tempo run. Since my injuries last year I’ve been gradually building up the running and have recently been doing a combination of

  • regular long easy runs along the coast path
  • steady MAF zone runs on the track
  • gradually increasing hilly tempo runs

The latter of these have only been introduced recently and I’ve been gradually increasing the time of them, from 30 minutes up to Monday’s scheduled 50 minute run. The plan was to set off from Aberystwyth at 4:35pm, 25 minutes before Anna finished work at 5pm. I’d then run along the hilly coast road from Aberystwyth into Borth. Anna would drive along it later and hopefully meet up with me in Borth by which time I should have run for 50 minutes.

I set off at a decent pace, nothing too fast but a little quicker than my runs of late. I soon settled into a nice rhythm and was feeling good. I overtook a couple of horse-riders on the first section towards the Crematorium and the someone I know passed me on a bike as I was descending into Llangorwen. I then had a game of cat and mouse with her all the way to the final steep descent into Borth. I’d catch her up on the climbs, only for her to pull away from me on the descents.

Once in Borth I was making good time. Anna and Morgan (having left earlier than expected) caught me up earlier than I had planned. I’d only been running for 41 minutes so I quickly decided to tell them to continue on home and I’d run all the way home. I’d already been looking at my watch and thought that I might be able to make it all the way home in under an hour which I thought would be a personal best for this route, so pushing on all the way was kind of on my radar anyway.

A Few Minutes Too Far

I kept the pace up all through Borth and along the golf course and then into Ynyslas. I was still feeling good and would make it in just under the hour. The extra 10 minutes didn’t feel too bad and I was nearly home as the sun was lowering in the sky. About 400 yards from home though I felt a slight twinge in my right foot. It was very similar to the plantar fasciitis that I suffered with all of last year. I kept going until I got home, but it was a little sore all evening and into Tuesday. Lets hope it’s not a re-occurrence of last years injury.

I’m pretty annoyed with myself really. Maybe I should just have got in the car after 41 minutes rather than elongating the run beyond the carefully planned 50 minutes? Maybe I was pushing harder than I should have just to get home in under an hour? Maybe I went to hard and too long before I was ready? I should know better, but it was a lovely evening, I was running well, I was enjoying it and there were times to be beaten.

I did make it home in under the hour (58 minutes, 19 seconds to be precise), but I may have a price to pay for my exuberance. Hopefully my foot will be OK, but maybe I’ll have to miss a run or two this week just to be on the safe side. It’s doubly annoying as I’m enjoying my running at the moment so just want to be out there doing it. I should be able to cope with such distances at such a pace.

Am I really that ‘fragile’ that even a slight increase over what I had planned causes issues? I want to ‘man-up’ and push harder for longer but I don’t don’t seem to be robust enough to do so.


1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author Mum says:

    Hmm no comment as I’m sure you know it !

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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