Great North Run Training Update 1

Two weeks of my Great north run (GNR) training have been completed.  So far I have stuck religious to it and I am really enjoying it. My week seems to pass quicker and it forces me to meal plan which limits my supermarket shop to once weekly.  Pre-COVID-19 every Sunday morning I would plan my meals for the week and then head to Morrisons. However, I never really planned food for the weekend in the hope I would suddenly have plans.  Currently there is no hope of a spontaneous meals out.  

On the night of the first run of the regime it was torrential rain.  I kicked myself for not running earlier in the day when it was dry, especially as I am working from home so I can run at any time.  I even thought about moving the run to the following morning but then I argued to myself that it could be like this on the big day so it would be good training.  I returned sodden and jumped straight into a warming bath.  It made me research what to where for running in rain, I found some good suggestions of wearing a bin bag when waiting at the race start, as you can just throw it away and also to carry a spare pair of dry socks, the latter resulting in the requirement for a bigger running fanny pack.

So far half my weekly running sessions have involved threshold running, which is my least favourite of the sessions.  I have to run 3/4 intervals at my maximum potential for 5/6 minutes, followed by a short recovery break (usually 1-1.5 minutes).  The threshold times have got longer and the recovery breaks shorter.  I feel it will get even harder going forwards but I am seeing improvements, my fastest 1 mile is 7:43, 5K is 26:11 and 10K 56:13.

Sunday is probably my favourite running day because I get to go on a long run. I tend to run along the Letchworth Greenway, a circular track around the town which has some pretty good views.  Both Sundays have been a 75 minute steady run.  The first week I covered 7.5 miles which was the furthest I had ever ran but this Sunday I managed 8.2 miles! When I hit 8 miles I was so happy, I yelled “YESSS” and held my arms out like Usain Bolt crossing the finishing line.  Unfortunately I did suffer some sports bra rub, so I think I will have to apply some vaseline.

As I enter my third running week I also enter my ninth week of working from home.  In late February when COVID-19 was ramping up in Italy I remember saying on a lunchtime walk “ I’lll go mad if I have to work from home for 2 weeks”.  I don’t think I have gone mad yet, but I don’t find it easy.  I write a list of things to achieve each day and that keeps me going.  I still have an hours lunch break and I try and eat something healthy.  I am very grateful that Boris is allowing us to do more exercise from tomorrow.  I have been missing my “wake up” morning walk to the train station and my “re-energise” lunch time lap of my work site, so I will start doing a quick walk before starting work and in my lunch break.

Next week Gemma and I should have been going to Paris for the weekend and then on to Disneyland Paris for the remainder of the week.  We had planned all our Disney bounding outfits and the weather looks like it would have been perfect and sunny.   I’ve decided to keep the week as holiday, as I really need a break from work.  Whilst I’ll only be at home, I have some jobs that need doing, like sorting out the tip of the second bedroom, researching foam roller exercises, switching energy provider and finding some better savings rates.   I might even put up some shelves!  I can’t really do anymore gardening, the brown bin has not been collected since the end of march, so its stuffed to the brim.  Collection resumes next week- so another positive!!

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