It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, mainly due to laziness and busyness. I was out on my long run on Sunday morning (more on that later) and I was thinking that it would be good to write a little about what’s gone down over the last few weeks.
The Frome 10k (along with the 5k and Half Marathon) was a couple of weekends ago. Going into the race I was thinking that a PB would be possible – the last few months have been the largest block of sustained running I’ve ever done, and I was injury free. I had checked out the course on Strava beforehand and thought it looked fairly flat. Strava lied! The course was very hilly, not so much in terms of actual elevation gained, but the hills were very steep in places.
I started off at about the kind of pace I wanted to for the first couple of (flat) miles, but then the hills came, and I couldn’t quite gain enough back on the downhill to make up for the slowing on the uphill. Still, I was fairly pleased to finish around the 45 minute mark. My next 10k is Cardiff in September, which is much flatter. I’ve set PBs every year there, so hopefully I can do the same again this time around.
Some shamelessly stolen photos of me crossing the line – credit to charleswhittonphotography.com
Enjoying new kit
I wrote recently about my new Brooks Launch 2 shoes, and after running about 40 miles in them, I can report that they are as good as I initially thought they would be. They’re super comfy for a shoe as light as this (almost as comfy as my Brooks Ghost 8s, which are nearly 30g heavier).
I have generally reserved them for use on the track and for faster road efforts, but to be honest I think I could use them for pretty much and run. As I said in my initial blog about them, the laces that came with the shoes were really rubbish, but I replaced them with a long pair of elastic laces from an old pair of Ghost 8s, and haven’t looked back!
The other piece of new kit I bought recently was a new watch, the Garmin Forerunner 235. It’s basically superb. The feature I have found most useful is being able to do custom laps. This combined with Strava’s Workout Analysis feature allows me to see fine grained detailed about each repetition and set in a workout, which is fun and useful.
I haven’t scratched the surface of lots of the features (e.g. the phone connectivity), because I’m only really using it for the exercise features. I do tend to leave the watch on for a little while after runs to see how quickly my heart rate comes back down. At some point I want to look at more detail at my resting heart rate and how that affects the quality of my workouts, but to do this effectively I need to put the watch on for a sustained period of time when resting (ideally just after I wake up), but I never remember to do that.
More Long Runs
I’ve done quite a lot of miles in the past month, and Sunday was no exception. Another 15 miler was on the cards, and I didn’t feel quite the trepidation that I had done previously towards these “extra long” runs (extra long by my standards anyway), simply because I had a few under my belt from the previous months.
Another thing I’ve been trying recently is increased carbohydrate loading before long runs. It’s conventional wisdom that this is a good idea before long races, because taking on more carbohydrates allows you to store more glycogen in your muscles, which is what gets used up when you do aerobic exercise.
I’ve been using Bulk Powders to get some extra carbs in my diet. I’m not sure if they’re helping that much yet – I felt better on Sunday’s long run than on previous ones of the same length, but perhaps that is simply because I’ve done more miles since the previous ones. Anyway, the run was pretty good, and I felt fairly strong at the end.
If you want to see more details of these runs and all the other stuff, check out my Strava profile.