Under the advice of a sensible suggestion, I took a busman’s holiday of sorts this week. I threw away my planned runs for the week. Instead, ran when I felt like it and how I felt like running. That doesn’t mean that I took it easy on myself (physically) but I did relax the pressure of sticking to a prescribed plan.
Being honest, I must say that I was dubious about how things would actually go. Without a training plan, would I bother going out at all if it wasn’t breaking the rules? Would I squeeze in any quality? Thankfully the answer is that I definitely did. The mileage for the week was not high but the quality was interesting.
I started the week with a bit of a jog. Nice and easy, during which my thoughts turned to how my anaerobic threshold has been destroyed. Destroyed largely by design of course. My training regime of the last 18 months and especially the impact of the last 4 months could have no other outcome. On Tuesday I went to my spiritual home. The place I always go when miles are low and threshold training is minimal – hill sprints. Equal parts suffering and enjoyment, up and down my favourite ~150m of steep incline. I think it stirred something in me; it had been so long (Christmas Eve) since I last completed such a session.
I took a day off to rest following the exertion but by Friday I was hungry again. Ten miles is always a good marker. I said, “what the heck, let’s go” and decided to run a solid 10-miler at a fairly intense pace. An average of 7:11/mile over ups and downs – I’ll take that for a midweek run on any given day.
Not deterred nor truly exhausted by my newfound, rekindled, enjoyment of threshold running I took off again on Saturday. Rather than prolonging the suffering for a steady state or thereabouts over 9/10 miles, I mixed it up a little. There’s a stretch of ring road nearby with roundabouts evenly spread. One stretch on, at 10-mile race pace or faster and one stretch off to recover. Now that was a session!
I don’t know if I got my mojo back but it was certainly a fun week with some very random sessions. The week ahead may be a little more traditional as I steady the ship again. Can’t keep running threshold sessions in a majority – it goes against everything I have been trying to achieve by elevating the foundation!