Building Strength

In the summer of 2013, I started a running streak that lasted all the way until March 2017,  a total of 1302 consecutive days, only brought to a halt by the need for an operation. During the streak I had set a PB in the marathon of 3:36 and in the half marathon of 1:35, as well as completing a bunch of full and half Ironman races, which I always ended with a strong showing in the run.  Obviously to put that many consecutive days of running together meant I had managed injures and motivation pretty well, and felt very strong and confident in my sport. Unfortunately all things must to come to an end, and when the streak eventually ended (I had a second streak of about 7 months after I recovered from the op), everything seemed to go to the dogs and it feels like I  have been fighting both motivational and physical problems ever since.

At number 388 on the all time Run Streak (retired) register

Which is why I entered the MdS, to give me some added impetus to get going again. Facing up to the thought of running across the Sahara in 2022, knowing that both the training and of course the race itself will require a massive amount of time on my feet, means I need to rebuild that strength, and train myself to cope with running ( or walking!) day after day at ultra-distances, when I am tired, and while carrying a pack of up to 10kg. This is both a mental and physical exercise, which is something I really need and something I feel ready to accomplish. As I am also hoping to complete an Ironman this year, I will be adding in lots of bikes and swims, which should work very well as cross training.

Training Week Two – week beginning 29 March

Weight:  Monday 29th March – 85kg

Run: Total 4hrs 17mins. 3 sessions.  Long run 18.2km

Bike: Total 7hrs 22mins. 3 sessions indoors. Long Bike OutDoors 85km

Swim: None (pools closed). 2 x 45 minutes rowing

Walk: 4hrs 03mins

S&C : 2 x 30 minutes stretching and body weight exercise

The week started with me being pretty tired from a big training weekend. Luckily Monday is my easy day, with some walking and rowing, (which will be replaced with a swim and weight training once the gyms open), so nothing too strenuous. However I still felt tired on Tuesday but pleased to say I pushed myself to do an off-road run along hills, and then a session on my indoor bike trainer in the evening.

Wednesday I was very happy to see my weight drop down to 84.9kg, it has been a long while since I was under the 85kg mark! My HRV was a little low, which is not so much of  surprise but nothing to raise any alarms. After my Tesco delivery (don’t you just love delivery day, I’ve a nice stocked fridge again!), I went for a 6km walk, which is all about building leg strength without risking injury, and then finished the day with 80 minutes interval training on the Kickr.

Thursday and Friday followed similar patterns with a mix of running, biking, walking and rowing. Also threw in a bit of stretching (I do find it hard to get up and stretch, but as I age its becoming more and more necessary, I struggle sometimes just to put on my shoes!). I also decided to start closely tracking my calories both going in and being expended, so I signed up for an online service to help with that (I use Weight Loss Resources, or WLR for short. I will write more about this at a later date).

Saturday and Sunday are my big days. I prefer to bike on Sunday as the roads are quiet, so set out for a sunny and cool 17km run on Saturday afternoon. The first half was a struggle, but as I got into to it I really started to enjoy, and ended up putting in 18km mostly on the trails, with over 200m of climbing. That was my furthest run since Autumn 2019!

weather before riding
Easter weekend weather. Bit colder than the Costa Blanca!

Sunday morning I had to go through my usual mental fight to get myself out the door for my long bike (never been one to look forward to the bike, although I do enjoy when I get out). I am a bit behind where I should be on my bike training, so I was determined to get in 200minutes, which I am very pleased to say I did for a total of 85km, my longest outdoor ride since summer 2019!

So a pretty good week, all objectives attained, no injury and still feeling motivated about it all. Let’s hope that continues!!

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