The focus this week has been a combination of recovering from the battering sustained during Sunday’s race and preparing for this week’s key sessions.  Particularly Sundays “Special Block”!  Fitting our training this week has been a logistical headache around work and day to day life.  With Madelaine at work on Saturday and having a long run to complete herself, plus Theo's busy social life - (invites to a 5th birthday party on Saturday and Sunday!), we've managed to fit it all in and keep everybody happy.  In fact despite my Sunday runs being fairly time consuming, it actually worked out well as I managed to avoid attending both parties!!  I also managed to sneak in a power nap between sessions whilst our youngest Zack had his usual mid morning nap!

To help guide the intensity of my training I use an app called ithlete, which monitors heart rate variability (HRV).  Since using ithlete I’ve found it extremely beneficial in terms of knowing when to keep pushing or backing off during, and on the whole correlates well with how I'm feeling physically. It works on a traffic light system, green for go, amber for ease off, red for stop.  The screen shot of my readings shows a few amber recently but on the whole there's plenty of green, with quite a drop down after yesterday's "Special Block" but that's to be expected!

With my HRV readings as they were expected following The Big Half it meant a return to heart rate (HR) recovery runs.  I was also wary of the fact of how ill I was this time last year after racing hard, so it was a case of better safe than sorry!  Anyway, by Wednesday I was feeling pretty much back to normal and so were my HRV scores and the green light to push on was given.  The weather has continued to be breezy to say the least this week so I've had to resort to treadmill running a couple of times and particularly for Thursdays session.  Instead of attempting to hit target pace in the wind and hail storms it was a matter of locking in a target pace on the treadmill and churning out the miles!

Thursday saw the arrival of my new shoes from Running Form, a new pair of On Clouds for this years marathon race and also the latest release of the Cloudswift.  I was also lucky to get a couple of pairs on socks, which feel great!

First impressions were that it's a damn fine looking shoe!  The fit is also extremely comfortable as my feet slid into them like a glove!  Having ran a couple of easy runs to test drive them it did take a little adjustment to the wider heel that comes with these shoes in comparison to the other models from On.  Once I'd got used to that I can honestly say these shoes are INCREDIBLE!  They're a slightly heavier shoe than what I'm used to, but for the extra cushioning provided its a small price to pay.  The On Cloudswift are perfect for easy runs, aerobic runs and long runs, being light, yet cushioned and the new outsole looks like On are trying to overcome the traction issues that come during weather running.

This week’s training

  am pm
Monday HR Recovery 40 minutes HR Recovery 40 minutes
Tuesday HR Recovery 40 minutes HR Recovery 40 minutes
Wednesday HR Recovery 40 minutes - treadmill Easy 40 minutes

4 x 2 miles at Marathon Race Pace (MRP) - treadmill

2 mile warm up

4 x 2 miles MRP with 3 minute recoveries

1 mile cool down

Easy 40 minutes
Friday Easy 40 minutes Easy 40 minutes
Saturday HR Recovery 40 minutes -

Special Block Morning Session

6 miles aerobic effort

6 miles at slightly quicker than MRP

10 minutes easy

I needed a base layer for the first part of the session but not for the second part.  Rather than stop and take it off I just kept on going so overheating became an issue!

Special Block Afternoon Session

6 miles aerobic effort

10 x 1km, 90 secs recoveries

2.5 miles easy

Dressed far more appropriately for this session and felt much more comfortable, average 3:19 for the K reps.

Total Weekly Mileage 100.4 miles