Ultra marathon training – trying something new

I had a jampacked week last week, with 6 hours 45 mins training and 55 hours working. I ran 5 times in a week for the first time ever! Including running somewhere entirely new to me, Hampstead Heath. It got cold this week, before zero for all my runs, so a significant number of icy sunrise photos will follow….

Running: Run 1: a steady 6 miles to work. One verrrry slow mile to warm up followed by the rest at sub-9 min miles. I can’t quite believe that I am now someone that can (relatively) easily go and run sub 9 min miles for that distance!

Run 2
: 10 min warm up followed by 45 minutes hard. In contrast, this felt really hard – it takes me a long time to warm up in the morning and I have to admit I took a lot of breaks to slowly walk across roads or to take more sunrise pictures. But I did manage that fast 45 minutes at an 8.43 pace.

Run 3: treadmill intervals for 35 minutes. (10 x 90 sec fast with 60 sec recoveries. Run 4: an easy 45 minute run that I just didn’t enjoy at all. It wasn’t long enough to really zone out, it was on Saturday so I wasn’t running to work or anything like that, it didn’t have a purpose, I was just aimlessly running around Brockwell Park in the cold. At least it was pretty!

For Run 5(!) I went up to Hampstead Heath. I ran around the Heath which was gorgeous but I had a plan – I had to run pretty hard for the first hour and really hard for the last 30 minutes. What I really wanted to do was amble around the trails of the Heath and explore. Another time. 

The run took a turn for the worse when my phone ran out of battery after the first 25 minutes. Not only did I then have to run for over an hour with no podcasts, I didn’t know how to get home. I meandered around pretty residential streets in the north of London for a while, stopping at every bus stop to examine the map and see if there was a tube station I recognised on it. Eventually I found myself on a road which led down to Highbury and Islington so I decided to run there, and then trace the Victoria line all the way until I’d run for an hour and a half. I ended up making it to Oxford Circus! The last ten minutes I was really pushing myself fast which is not ideal through the throng of pedestrians on Oxford Street so I just ran on the side of the road, darting onto the pavement whenever a bus or bike came at me. Don’t tell my mum 🙂

I ran over 10 miles in that time and my final 30 minutes was at an 8min mile pace!!!! This is the best thing about running – you just keep getting faster. I’m loving it.

Cross-training: two weights sessions and acro-yoga! Even though acro-yoga was mainly messing around flipping upside down and practicing poses and inversions my core muscles still ached the next day…

Something fun that was nothing to do with running: the acro-yoga!! I loved it. And also going to see La La Land on Sunday evening, such a great film. 


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