Picking up the pace

TOTAL MILAGE THIS WEEK: Swim 1 mile | Cycle: 110 miles | Run: 22 miles |
Comment: 110 miles?? Where on earth did that come from??

Ive had an awesome training week this week and have managed to hit some new PBs in all of my training areas…. partly because I have managed my nutrition reasonably well, but mostly because of all of the help I have had from others.

Swimming: This week I managed four open water swims of 400m each and I managed to knock around 90 seconds off my previous best NOWCA swim on Saturday. How did I do it? Well my regular morning serpentine sessions are definitely helping, but also the water was FREEZING. The main thing though was chasing a wet suited friend around the course hoping to finish in a similar time so that neither of us had to wait too long for our post-swim coffee… and it certainly worked so thanks Gaby!

I have toyed with the idea of joining a cycling club for a few weeks now, but since I am trying to make sure that my training schedule doesn’t impact too much on the time I get to spend with my husband it has been difficult to find one that suits my schedule. That is until I discovered Dirty WKND. They have regular morning meets, as well as having longer rides on a Saturday and Sunday, the set up is super casual,you register online before the ride then just turn up and go, and the guy who was leading my ride was super friendly and helpful. Seriously if you work in central London and don’t mind an early start, I cannot recommend their morning Regents park laps enough. Fuelled by cereal, oats and lots of peanut butter I managed around 15-18 miles with the Dirty WKND crew, before squeezing in a coffee and heading back to work, combined with my ride to get there I clocked up 29 miles in total. The best bit about doing loops is that we hit all of the Strava segments multiple times, meaning that I managed to clock up 100 trophies!! Cycling in a group is a great way to pass the time and I genuinely had no idea how much distance we had covered when we pulled back into Mile 27 for a post cycle coffee. I absolutely cannot wait for next week!

Running: Finally, the jewel in my training crown this week came this morning. I didn’t do an LSR this week but to keep my distance up I did do two (or 1.5 really) run commutes on consecutive days, as well as a track session*, park run, and then today I had a 3.3 mile (just over 5km) race. It’s so rare for me to just do a 5km run because I usually squeeze in park run at either the end of a long run, or the start of something else like swimming or cycling, but today I had already decided that I was going to cycle down to the start for a bit of a warm up (7 miles that were mostly downhill so nothing too stressful), run the race as fast as I possibly could, and reward myself by taking the overground home so that I had nothing to try and “save my legs” for. I’d mentioned to a couple of members of my running club that were also doing the race that I wanted to really push myself and one of them suggested I try and come in as first woman (thanks again Gaby!) and what do you know… I only went and did it! And I managed my fastest ever 5km at 19:45 according to Strava. That works out at around 6:30 minute miles which is an absolutely incredible pace for me! Suddenly that elusive sub 22 at Crystal Palace Park run feels like it might be within my reach after all.

Hanging out with some of the CPFR ladies after the run!

*The track session was a pyramid consisting of 2*800m with 1 minute recovery, 4 *400m with 1 minute recovery, followed by 6*200m and 6*100m both with 30 seconds rest. I was “lucky” enough to have the run leader pacing me and a friend so I ended up working harder than I have ever worked at the track before, and although I felt like I was going to throw up by the time the 100m started, afterwards I was absolutely buzzing and felt amazing! I’ve heard people say that track or interval sessions during the week can improve park run times and this one definitely worked for me!


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