Despite having two rest days this weeks mileage was the highest in about 9 months at 64.3, nearly double last weeks total. Most of that came with 2 back to back weekend longs runs totalling 36 miles. If i'd been following the 10% rule i'd be waiting a long time to get that double in. I had been a bit behind on my training for Connemara compared to my club mates, so I took a bit of a gamble. The first run, yesterday morning, was a solo effort along the relatively flat roads between Ballincollig and Cork with the aim of staying out for 2.5 hours - it's all about time on my feet and not distance/pace (yet). The first 13 miles went reasonably well at a relatively even pace of around 8 minute miles, with the heart rate staying in the 120's and early 130's despite the strong winds. However from mile 14 on the pace slowed, first to about 8:30 pace and by the time I was finished it was close to 9:00 pace as I had to cut back to keep my HR under 140. At one stage I had to stop and walk briefly and continue on at a shuffle as it was climbing into the 150's going against the wind. As my endurance base improves I would expect this heart rate drift to slacken off as I become more aerobically efficient. I arrived home after 2.5 hours with 18.24 miles on the clock - 8:14 pace @ 134HR). My legs were a little stiff after the run so I went for an afternoon swim to loosen them out a little.
I was a little apprehensive about how long I should run today, given that it was my first back to back and I already was over 10 miles up on last weeks mileage. For the run I joined Denis, John and Paul from the club who are also training for Connemara and had covered 18/20 miles on their Saturday long run. The run was planned as a slow recovery pace effort around the 2.3ish mile grass circuit of UCC Farm. Perfect, I could go as far as I wanted without overextending myself. As we were on grass I opted for the vibrams but took a pair of runners as backup. The conditions were less than ideal with winds stronger than yesterday and plenty of mud (vibrams weren't built for grip). While the pace was on the wrong side of 9 minutes I wasn't concerned and with the good company the time flew by. The conversation varied covering such topics as .... you've guessed it.... ultra running, wing-suit base jumping (crazy f#c*ers) and birds (mainly the feathered variety;) but thankfully no politics. I actually managed to stay out 15 minutes longer than yesterday although I covered less ground - 17.87 miles, with a low average HR of 114 - fast stride walking effort?
On the plus side my legs held up pretty well (saved by the slower pace) and have none of the aches and pains felt earlier in the week - don't know where they came from or where they went to - Abina reckoned I was "coming down with something" - classic family diagnosis.
Tuesday was the other high mileage day with 7 easy miles in the morning and a track session after work - the closest I got to doing actual speedwork. I opted for 5 x 1 mile repeats with the 7:30 pacing group (well 7:30 in lane 3 ~ 7:16 pace) which just about kept my HR under the 140 upper limit (well it may have strayed up to 143 when I got a bit carried away passing a slower group). The 2 minutes recoveries passed fairly quickly but were enough to keep my HR under control. This type of session may just be what keeps me sane for the next few months.
Mon 31st Jan
5.27 miles @ 9:10 pace & 110 HR - Vibrams
Tue 1st Feb
a.m. 7.28 miles @ 8:20 pace & 124HR
p.m. 7.87 miles @ 8:29 pace & 126HR
Thu 3rd Feb
7.79 miles @ 7:50 pace & no HRM
Sat 5th Feb
18.24 @ 8:14 pace & 134HR
Sun 6th Feb
17.87 miles @ 9:14 & 114HR
Base Week #2 (Run 64.3 miles, Bike Nil, Swim - 4km)