10 miles with tempo efforts

On Saturday morning I had a really great run. One if those runs that remind you exactly why you love running so much and how it is so much more than just getting out and putting one foot in front of the other. It helps you be strong mentally and physically, and it helps me believe I can do anything I set my mind to do. I think it truly is magic.

My previous long runs for a few weeks had felt a bit like a chore, but for some reason everything went just right on this run and it felt great during and after it.

I’d planned 10 miles, having done around 7-8 miles three times in the last fortnight, along with some other runs and some coaching runs.

Last weekend I had planned to do 8-9 miles but couldn’t quite find the distance in the Daviot Woods. Not knowing where I could run to get the distance limited me a little. It was still a nice run, but it was missing a buzz or an edge.

On Saturday this week I took my time getting up and ready for my run. I had a hair appointment at 12, so as long as I was finished by 11 I sound make it on time.

I started my day by getting my gear on, having my usual cereal, multivitamins and a coffee. I decided to take 1 caffeine gel, a double espresso one, with 125mg if caffeine in it. I’ve not been drinking coffee much recently, so I was hoping it would help on my long run.

I’d hoped to do a 5 mile tempo run through the week, but did easy runs instead – 5k easy on Monday night, 7 miles easy Tuesday, 5k easy Thursday night. If alan done three strength sessions (Mon, Wed, Fri) but my legs felt ok for the long run. Good stuff.

I paired my iPod with my Aftershokz bone conduction headphones, and had my Garmin and Heart rate monitor on. I put the Foo Fighters two albums on, and was out the door for about 845am.

I’d done my route the night before, but straight away I tweaked it a bit to go through Festival Park then over the M8 to get to Bellahouston. Running towards Festival Park I felt strong, and decided I’d do some tempo running.

My first mile ticked off at an 8:10 min mile and I felt good. My cadence was away up higher than normal at 180… running to the beat effortlessly. My heart rate was showing strangely low at 130… but after a few miles it was up at what it felt like… 160-170 😳

I decided I’d try 3 miles tempo, 3 miles recovery, 3 miles tempo, then I mike cool down. Over the M8 flyover and down towards bellahouston Park and I still felt fine. The second mile was a bit slower, but the third mile even faster than the first (and probably down hill a bit.)

I ticked off my first 5k in 25 minutes and immediately slowed down to a recovery run. Feeling good coming out of Bellahouston I ran down corkerhill road towards Pollok Park. My heart rate recovered quickly, and after about half a mile I felt fine again.

I decided that I’d take recovery up to mile 5, then do another 5k effort / tempo. After mile 4 I took my caffeine gel, hoping it would kick in by the time I had to do my next effort, and thankfully it seemed to.

Running through the back end of Pollok Park, thankfully I was still on my recovery run going up the steep hill before the deepest darkest forest. I had pace on my watch and noticed my pace on my watch drop dramatically under the trees.

I hit 5 miles going past one of the car parks and I noticed I’d run it in 43 minutes, a bit faster than usual, even with the almost 2 miles recovery. I pushed on. I changed my planned route a bit, so that I avoided most uphills. I figured that I was working so hard my brain wasn’t getting the chance to take in the pretty woods of Pollok Park anyway. Anaerobic or tempo running does that to you.

It was warm, but overcast, so it wasn’t too warm for running. I noticed I was sweating. But I was wearing my sunglasses, shorts and tshirt and it was just right for the conditions. (Here’s me after it, feeling pretty spectacular, lol).

I was running along past the river, and I honestly felt amazing. It felt a bit like I was being pulled (or pushed?) along to run at the speed I was going. I flew up through the diversion at the stables. Nice and strong, not only in my running but in my belief in myself too.

This second tempo 5k wasn’t hard, it was great. And I only had 2 miles to go… 1.5 to go…then I could recover again. I hit 10k in 51 minutes… and these 3 miles (6,7 & 8) were to be my fastest. I did my second 5k tempo run in about 24 minutes – – minute faster than my first one!

I was running back towards Bellahouston when I finished that 5k, and hit the split in my watch. Through Bella, taking it easy again, I ran back the way I came. Over the flyover, feeling very accomplished. I hit 9 miles and hit the split on my watch again. My slowest split yet, but a good recovery.

I’d been switching my watch between me looking at getting my cadence up and checking my pace on effort splits, and to heart rate on recovery bits. My HR was around 150 on recoveries, and 165-180 in efforts (but I wasn’t looking at that). I was just trying to push and keep the faith that I could do it.

I hit 15k or 9.3 miles in 1:18, or 78 minutes. And along the way I worked out that I did my:

– First 5k in 25 minutes
– Second 5k in 26 minutes (up to 51 mins for 10k)
– Third 5k in 27 minutes (up to 15k)

How cool eh?

Then in my last mile, I decided I’d push for the last half mile. I clicked my lap button one last time and ran that half mile (or just over 1km) at 7:38 min mile pace. My fastest split yet.

I finished at 10 miles, feeling like I was on top of the world. Like everything was magic and I could do anything I set my mind to. I love it how running can make you feel like that. When you push your body to the limit, and bc clever with it. And you know your busy so well, you know just how to get the best from it.

I checked my watch, and I finished in 1:23:54… me and my numbers, I would have preferred to have finished in 1:23:45, but it wasn’t to be. It still felt like a really good effort. My heart rate zones are above.

I walked a recovery half mile back to my house, a little high and a little delirious. I’d switched my music to Adele after the fast running had finished, just to have a nice singalong / wind down to. I got home, and cooled down properly.

I was wearing my new trainers (purple & blue Mizuno Wave Inspires 14) and I almost wanted to give credit to them for making me run fast. But it was probably more likely a result of listening to the Foo Fighters, having caffeine in my system and being well rested (good sleep in the last week or so) and we’ll fuelled & hydrated before I started.

I didn’t run with water, but guzzled about 750ml before with my breakfast, and the same again after, plus a chocolate forgoodness shakes at my haircut.

It was a good run, nice and strong, and just what I needed ahead of the Scottish Half Marathon I’m entered at the end of September. Let the training continue! (But a rest day tomorrow for sure).

So in summary here’s what i did:

10 miles or 16k, as follows:

– 5k tempo in 25 mins / 8:10 min mile pace
– 3k recovery
– 5k tempo in 24 mins / 8:04 min mile pace
– 2k recovery
– 1k in just over 3:30 mins, or 7:30 min mile pace

Avg HR said it was 156, but it wasn’t reading right at the start, so it was probably more likely 165. Max HR 180. Garmin rating effect 5.0!

I was a bit tired and my legs were a little sore later in the day, but I felt really good on and after the run. It’s amazing what your body can do when train and you push it. 😃

It was probably my best week training wise – 3 good strength sessions which I recovered from, 4 runs totalling 23 miles and a rest day on Sunday.

F@&kin’ magic trainers / caffeine buzz / Foos! 😜

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