Making the Calculations …

As a fanatical cycling fan, then one of the most recognisable characters in the sport is Sean Kelly the ex-Irish rider and all round cycling god …. he now commentates on Eurosport and has a few stock phrases which crop up in every race.

One of those phrases is (said in a broad Waterford accent) is that the riders are “making the calculaaaaayshuns” … working out the gaps and when they need to make the efforts to strike for home.

The reason I mention this is that last night on my comeback run, I too had to make the calculations and last night I made them sensibly. I was happy to get back running, it was a good night for it, nice and sunny and I was feeling great from the off – no signs of any niggles, aches or pains and the breathing was good.

I deliberately picked a 4km loop route which was half on road and half off road .. a good challenge but nothing too stupid for the first run back.

data running

The stats above summarise the run, and I am delighted with them as they are exactly what I would have hoped for … they clearly show progression from the start of my plan back in August when I was struggling to run sub 6.00/km comfortably.

But at the 3km mark I had to make the calculation …. there was a fork in the pathway where I could have branched off and done a further loop – it would have taken me to around 5-6km for the total run and I was really really tempted to push it. Then the “sensible” head kicked in and I made the right calculation … first run back, lets finish feeling good and nice and strong.

I took the right fork and completed my loop … walked back to the front of the house and completed my short stretching regime which again is something new for me and something I need to keep going with.

A nice little start to the week !

Another Milestone Achieved …

With five very solid runs behind me and two weeks into the comeback, I felt suitably comfortable with my overnight decision to push the distance on my Saturday run. I have run really sensibly and very conservatively over these last two weeks and that has eased me back into the groove very nicely. The regular runs have been good and there are no signs of any aches or pains, so it seems the first part of the jigsaw is firmly in place.

Today was a great day to run, a nice mix of warm sunshine, then dark clouds and a breeze to freshen you up.

My route was going to be a fairly challenging one … mainly off road and quite undulating with a mix of terrain, gravel tracks, mud, grass and bits of tarmac and even a football field at the end of it. We are spoiled with the tracks around my village, just perfect for running.

Cemetery Walk

After a few freshly brewed coffee’s and a breakfast of toast and smoked salmon I was prepared – a large glass of water before I closed the door and off we went. Glorious is the word to describe how I felt today … I was just buzzing and loving the serene quiet of the tracks with my iPod blasting out Feeder and Just a Day …. the week had ended magnificently at work with a deal I have working on for ages dropping into place and I felt relaxed and motivated when I got up this morning.

The run went well, I still kept control of the effort, keeping the HR at an average of 126 today, so slightly lower than that last couple of efforts, but the pace remained on track and even a bit quicker .. sure signs of getting fitter and a bit faster with it.

Total Distance completed: 10.18km in 1.00hr, so just dipping under the 6.00/km average again and that is brilliant over the increased distance.

I am running the Wigan 10km in a few weeks over a pretty flat course and it will be my first stand alone 10km race … and with the work I am doing at the moment I am pretty confident of a fairly decent time (for me that is).

Crack of Dawn …

I may have mentioned if before on this blog, but one of the major changes and improvements to my running training came when I got out of bed early in the morning and ran.

Although my day job isn’t manually challenging, it’s one that requires mental concentration and accuracy all day long and often when I get back home in the evening, I am just too tired to get any quality running done – sure I can force myself out of the door, but that often leads to disappointment and a poor session.

So, this morning I set the alarm for 6.30am and got all my running kit together, plus Garmin, plus iPod and prepared to see the crack of dawn once more.

Long Trail

Now I appreciate that 6.30am isn’t really that early and to be honest my alarm goes off at that time when the kids are at school, so it wasn’t a huge thing really, but making the effort and getting out of the house and on to the trails before 7am was and this morning I managed to do that and boy was it worth it !

The sun was warm and it was streaming through the trees as I set off for a 5.66km run around the locality – most of the run off road again with hardly a soul around … it was liberating and very enjoyable too – still not pushing on these runs, just “keeping it steady” which for me relates to controlling my breathing and keeping the HR to around 130-140 which is “the” zone that I run to when I am running well.

I think the pleasing thing for me today, was that although not pushing harder than last week (and the stats bear that out) I was running faster … dipping under 6.00/km for the whole run for the first time since coming back to running – that is further encouragement for me and very pleasing indeed.

The extra effort on the diet seems to be working too, with clothes noticeable looser and again that can only encourage.

As time goes on the “Crack of Dawn” club will get earlier, as I will need more time to run further and I am really looking forward to that over the winter time … there is something ace about running in the cold, in the wet and in the wind …. I love it much more than the sunshine in that regard.