Last week I had one perfect day of training before everything went to shit. It’s a day I try to get in once a week in peak training in terms of fitting everything in – like always, work, weather and tiredness does occasionally get in the way but I got in a pretty good habit of this in previous training cycles.
It’s a day with a purpose – it is all about the hard lunch time run which is supposed to be on slightly tired legs – not fresh, but not completely beat up either.
I woke up at 7am and quickly got dressed to cycle to work, leaving home around 7.20pm (it always takes so much longer to get ready for cycling in the winter!). I forced myself to take the cycle as easy as possible without getting too cold, with a few short sprints away from the traffic lights thrown in every now and then.
I arrived at work shortly after 8am, locked my bike up in the underground car park and headed up in the lift to the gym, where I changed into my swimming kit and headed to the pool for a 20 minute swim session. This will get longer in triathlon season, but as I’m currently marathon training I am keeping my swims shorter so I don’t get fed up of them the way I did last year! In 20 minutes I did a few short, all-out efforts, a few longer reps at threshold pace and a few recovery laps. I included some lengths with a kickboard, not kicking really hard (see above re not beating up my legs!) but just loosening up the muscles and working more on kick technique than power.
8.50am is time to get out of the pool and get ready for work – I was at my desk within about half an hour. I’d prepared breakfast the previous afternoon – overnight oats in Greek yoghurt with blueberries and a banana (all of my training up until this point has been on an empty stomach or “fasted” as the athletes call it. Apparently this is all about training the body to fat-burn more efficiently – for me it is mainly because I don’t want to get out of bed 5 minutes earlier to eat first AND am pretty sure I don’t need two breakfasts).
I worked hard all morning, in various small meetings and catch-ups with colleagues, firing off emails and doing research to find added evidence for our current case. I had a coffee around 11am, the first caffeine of the day. This was a habit I got into when I lived in Madrid as the late-morning coffee really helped get me through to the late Madrid lunch times without feeling ravenous!
At 1pm I headed back downstairs to the gym and jumped on the treadmill. 3 x 5 minutes of hard, 5km goal pace reps followed with a warm-up, cool-down and rest intervals to get 30 minutes of running. Ten minutes of stretching and then I just had time to shower, heat up my lunch in the microwave and be back at my desk just a little more than an hour after leaving it.
Lunch was leftovers from the night before, so the picture of it is actually from the night before rather than scrunched up into my lunch box! I had cooked mushrooms and lentils, stirred through with herbs and served with homemade croutons and a poached egg. I’m practically Deliciously Ella 😀 It was really delicious – so good in fact that I should have cooked more mushrooms.
I read the news, the Financial Times as usual (it practically counts as work, despite the fact I’m reading the Life section…), while I ate, and then got on with work for the afternoon. More of the same from the morning with some more discussions with colleagues. I had a little handful of almonds half way through the afternoon and then finished work shortly after 7pm.
I cycled home, faster than I’d cycled in, as I just really wanted to get home as soon as possible! James had made dinner – well, actually, we both contributed. I made meatballs at the weekend and froze them, James had defrosted them and made a tomato sauce so we had pasta and meatballs for dinner. No photo of this though!
By the time we finished and I’d done the washing up it was almost 10pm, just in time to get into bed and read my book for a few moments before turning the light out around 10.30pm.
And that’s my day – my best training day! I managed it again this week but with a slight difference… after winning a hearing in court yesterday, I went for several drinks with my colleagues and then out to dinner with James…far too much wine was drunk and so I had a lie-in this morning! I did the run workout at lunch-time and then finished work early so I could go swimming. I made the swim a really hard set, the hardest I’ve swum in a while and also the fastest I’ve swum EVER (1:40 100m!!!). Then I cycled home for dinner. Tomorrow morning I’ll do a tempo run into work on tired legs due to the run / swim / cycle this afternoon. And then I guess I’ll rest 😀