Tonight I really stepped up my training … or at least my distances. Having not gone further than nine miles since the Belfast Half last September I finally broke into double figures this evening with less than a fortnight to go until The Big Half in London.
I needed to do it but with the Saints & Slimmers commitment taking up a lot of my time recently it was difficult getting the opportunity. However, the chance arose this evening to go out for ten miles with Parveen, Iverene and Bronagh from the club so I grabbed it with both hands.
I’ve been running well lately, getting progressively faster but tonight wasn’t about speed. I badly needed at least a 10-miler in my legs so this was all about time on feet and not pace.
It was a route I devised myself and, if I’m honest, I deliberately made it a bit challenging. It was literally a loop of the town, starting at the Seven Towers Roundabout, going to the top of the Grove Road and back again.
Of course there were detours thrown in like the Toome Road, Galgorm Road (and a very late addition of Princes Street!) etc. and included a few notable ascents although there were a few welcome downhill sections too.
I’m happy to report I felt comfortable throughout. Because the four of us are at different stages in our training and run at different speeds there was plenty of opportunities to fall back to keep the back marker company as well being able to stretch our legs at other times.
I’ve run this distance – and further – many times so I knew I could do it, I just needed to remind my legs that they could! However, for my three running buddies, it was their first time going as far as this so I was really pleased for them when we got to the 10-mile mark. It’s a huge psychological battle to get into double figures and I recall how I felt when I first managed it.
Overall, in terms of pace, I was quite pleased with the final outcome even though that wasn’t my objective as I said earlier. Also pleasing was running the vast majority of the route in HR Zones 3 & 4, with very little in Zone 5 – something I’ve been attempting to do recently but not quite managing.
That suggests to me there is a lot more leftin the tank, and that when I do need to up the tempo I have it well within my capabilities to do so.
All told it was a good workout, bringing me up to 15 miles in two days. I’d like to get another double figures run done before London but, even if I don’t, tonight was an important confidence booster.