Well, as the title of this post suggests, this was my first week of ultra marathon training. Its relatively similar to what I was doing before, with the runs as the focus, plus some strength training, yoga, swimming and cycling. Except I am stepping up to four runs a week AND two strength sessions. I am not always going to be able to do everything. At the moment my plan really leaves no time for anything else but work and, given I have six months until the race, that can’t be the way all the time as I would burn out and get completely demoralised. But for now it’s good….
Run 1: an interval run on the treadmill – 1 minute efforts, 30 second rest, repeat x 15. I really enjoyed this run and even managed to run the fastest I’ve ever gone on a treadmill, 14 kph for 4 of the efforts.
Run 2: easy slow run – 30 minutes very easy and very slow.
Run 3: the tempo run. 3 x 1 mile at tempo pace (which was around 8min/mile for me). Again, I loved this run. I started off my last marathon training cycle hating tempo runs but I’ve really grown to enjoy them – I think they certainly make me fitter but also they are a great mental boost too!
Run 4: the long run. It was a really horrible day, cold, grey, windy, wet. I was really hungover. I had work to do. If I hadn’t had a coach I was accountable to, I would not have gone, I would have spent the afternoon curled up on the sofa under a blanket. I didn’t really enjoy the run – but I was really, really glad I went and did it. 11 easy miles.
Strength: I worked with a PT at the gym who gave me some targeted strength workouts. Much harder than anything I have been doing – I think this is going to work really well!
Cycling: as well as cycling to work, I went on a glorious cycle on Saturday, a beautifully sunny autumn day where I just did loops of Richmond Park, stopping to take photos, putting effort in when I felt like it and slowing to an easy spin when I didn’t. I was out much longer than I had planned just because I was enjoying myself so much!
Something fun that was nothing to do with running: it was my oldest friend’s birthday on Saturday – we have known each other 18 years! So I went over to hers for dinner and then we all had a great night out with lots of dancing and cocktails. It was brilliant! But I suffered for it on Sunday morning….