Let the training commence! Slowly…

Running summary for w/c: 9 Jan 2012
Miles: 23.8
Cross training: Spinning, yoga

My winter running has been lovely. After the disappointment of the Cardiff half marathon I decided to ease off  my training over winter, and wrote about how I wanted running to just be fun again. Having a more relaxed approach to my weekly sessions has given me a much needed boost and now not only do I feel refreshed and ready to start training for Berlin – I also feel like I have picked up some good habits.

One of the best habits I have got into is running slowly. You read that right: running slowly. It’s been brill! After reading an article in Runners’ World that recommended keeping long runs 1:30-2:00mins slower than your normal pace I have been forcing myself to run slow on Sundays. Admittedly, not quite 1:30-2:00mins slower – that would be walking – but you know, significantly slower.

I also started going to weekly spinning classes again because, believe it or not, I really like spinning. People don’t often believe me , but for me it’s simple: I love bikes and I love crap pop music, so what could be better than cycling really hard and fast whilst listening to banging pop tunes. Plus spinning is super good for building fitness levels.

The threshold training that I started doing properly over the winter has had some amazing effects on my short distance times, and I have now been to my first coached session of 2012 with the club. Follow them up with a recovery run and it’s the running equivalent to a Sunday roast with trifle for pudding, minus the calories, and then minus a few more…

Speaking of recovery runs, I have never done them because I have never had time for them, but this winter I discovered the joys of running at lunchtime. Lunchtime running has become one of my new favourite things as it gets me away from my PC for an hour and lets me hang out with a couple of runners from my department that I wouldn’t otherwise see very often. Better yet, Regents Park is a stone’s throw from my office.

Another great habit this winter has been yoga. I announced back in the summer that I would pay proper attention to stretching in the hope of loosening up my calves and I have to admit that I was shocked by how much it has helped. My pigeon pose is now almost looking like the pictures! My calves are still really tight, but I have definately felt a difference in my running from being a bit looser around my hips.

My training for Berlin is going to encompass all of these nice running habits that I have developed. One long, slow, run, one coached speed/threshold session, lunchtime recovery runs, a spin class, some afternoon yoga, and that all important weekly parkrun.

Am I going to adding anything new? Maybe a couple of things, but nothing too drastic. Firstly I’m going to take a tip from a fellow parkrunner who sandwiches her Saturday morning run between a gentle jog to the park and a gentle jog home afterwards. My new home South of the river is only 3 miles from my new local parkrun at Brockwell Park, so on Saturday I jogged this 3 miles both before and after the parkrun. Impressive, huh?! It was actually a really nice warm up (the jog afterwards was less pleasant!) and I also now have discovered that I can jog with a rucksack on!

My second new taining thing is going to be some proper strength training, and by proper I mean regular. I’ve had some ankle and ITB problems over the last couple of months and so glute strengthening is needed urgently. Can someone pass me my kettlebell…

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