You can always tell a speed workout on the map. It’s a manic scrawl of red lines from some play-school kid who’s had one too many packets of Smarties. It’s the angry mark of a despondent teacher, outlining your mistakes for the umpteenth time. Or the tell-tale signs of a runner, running around in circles.
Actually yes, it’s that last one. The running around in circles one. Probably.
Anyway, it’s halfway through Week Four (which is sort of week three, but let’s not re-visit that one) and I had forgotten how little I care for speed work. It has to be done. It IS being done. But I’m not a fan, for the record.
The heading is in Irish. It may not even be correct. All those years of learning Irish in school (about 14 in all) leaves very few of us with anything other than a basic vocabulary and a couple of phrases that we like to drag out, usually when we’re on holidays (“Féach ar an cailin seo! Go h-ana deas!”), or when we’re trying to impress visiting relations from abroad.
To save you hitting the translation pages, it means ‘don’t be mocking me’, and it’s aimed at the swallows. As I was trotting (and whizzing) around the pitches in the park (which have a handy one kilometre perimeter), a small knot of swallows were screaming past my ears with gay abandon. My initial thought was that they were mocking me. These are the hallucinatory states to which you sink when doing speed work. Then I thought, perhaps they are picking off the insects that are attracted to my stinking corpse.
Then, in truth, I realised the field was full of them, screaming, diving and feeding, and I was just the idiot impostor who had wandered into their midst.
As regards progress overall, the curve is going in the right direction. A quick glance at the last 30 days tells me there were 18 running activities with a total of 190k, over 18 hours. So, approx. one hour per run, which is about right, considering the average run for Mark and I is about a 10k. 70k of that was in the last 7 days.
These stats will change now, as we are on the six-day a week programme for the marathon, and the mileage will clock up fairly quickly, as will the overall number of runs. My running buddy is on holidays this week, but I gather from text messages that he is getting in a few runs, despite the crazy heat in Portugal. Good for him!
And so we plough on. With this increase in time on the legs, it’s a good idea to factor in some TLC. To that end, rest is important, as is a good diet. Also, I will get back to rubbing the legs with some magnesium spray, and getting some simple exercises in to stave off potential IT band problems (so, leg raises, clam shells, etc., plus a bit of overall strength and conditioning).
That’s all for now folks!