Hope things are going OK for you. I've been holed up with a dastardly cold since Christmas, although seem to be on the mend now.
I'm getting close to halfway through the plan now (amazingly!), and I know that some of you are way ahead - well done to mountaindreamer and Windoze for getting to the half marathon mark in training already!!! Anyone else?
I've been thinking about STRATEGIES lately, and, based upon some of the issues that were brought up on the post last week, have this little list of subjects for us to discuss...
💥 BODY SCANNING (aka "checking in")
I invite and encourage you to analyse how you are feeling during each and every run!
★ Any niggles or pains? Do you think they could be leading to injury? If so, rein back the training and investigate (injury prevention strategy).
★ Which parts of a run are easiest and which are harder? Are you getting tired too quickly? Do you need to think about your eating/drinking, and/or your pacing strategies?
★ After the run, write down your thoughts and experiences - your GPS app (e.g. Strava) is a handy place to do this. Looking back at how you felt after your runs can help you target your training more effectively.
★ EDIT: Don't forget, though, that running long distances is HARD WORK! You can expect to feel tired, and very possibly a little sore, afterwards. Nourishment, a warm bath, rest, and a little exercise, will all help 😊😊😊
💥 RACE PLANNING
The Hastings Half Marathon (HHM - the race I've booked) has a big hill to negotiate, and this has affected the route planning and pacing of my training runs. Here are some thoughts about race planning:
★ Check the race website for information such as parking, race starting time, bag drop availability, whether they collect throwaway clothes (to keep you warm before you start), frequency of water stations on the course etc. Do you have to collect your bib on the day? HHM is the first event I have booked in quite some time that actually posts them out!! 😊
★ Many event websites provide an elevation profile of the course, but if they don't try Googling "[your event] Strava" which may well find a run someone has made public on Strava. I find this extra useful as I am used to looking at my runs on Strava. Here is one from HHM last year:
Good job, Evo 😊😊😊
★ We can't do anything about the weather other than try and prepare for the worst (yay!). A good thing to know is that the prevailing wind in the UK is coming from the West or South-West. In my case this will mean that the nice flat final 4 km along Hastings Sea Front is likely to be accompanied by a stiff headwind. Of course it may happen that this is not the case on the day (here's hoping!).
★ As I have said before I am a proponent of "easy means easy for YOU". Your stride AND breathing should feel relaxed and comfortable. It follows that your numerical "easy" pace will get slower and faster depending upon the incline, terrain, and weather, you find on your run.
★ If you are getting TOO tired towards the end of your runs, consider slowing down at the start, and then putting in a couple of "pick ups" ("strides" - or just try increasing your pace until the next lamp post) later on in the session - maybe at the end, or towards the middle. This is great training to increase endurance.
💥 EATING AND DRINKING
★ There was some chat about Tailwind on the post last week, and I'm pretty sure most of you are taking your nutritional weapons of choice with you on your long runs! Any more favourites to share?
★ I don't think there are any rights and wrongs with food - it's got to be what works for you! I'll most likely have a few jelly babies with me and will grab water whenever it's available.
★ It's useful to make note of the time of day you will be running your race. HHM starts quite late at 10:30, therefore it will be getting on for lunchtime by the time I reach the finish line - so I'll be having a late breakfast and probably a snack before the start.
Anyway, talking of food, it's dinner time!
Have a great week of running 😊😊😊