Just one more parkrun …

Not an awful lot to report tonight but, unfortunately, not my greatest run either.

It was club night, so that meant a run to the Leisure Centre whereupon I would decide what group to go with.

My run up wasn’t good at all. It’s only about a mile away but for the entirety of the run things just didn’t feel right. I was clomping, and my left foot strike felt angled, as if I was running on a slope. Not the most comfortable running style.

With that in mind I decided to play it safe and go with the 30-minute group. I had wanted to go with at least the 45s but I had my sensible head on and didn’t want to risk running for longer because it clearly could have increased the chances of picking up an injury given that my foot strike wasn’t true.

So the 30s it was even though, ironically, we ended up doing around 45 minutes anyway! I wish I could record that my issues cleared up but, sadly, they didn’t. Indeed, at one point down the Broughshane Road, I pulled up because I was landing so badly, almost limping.

I plodded on, taking care not to exert myself too much. But, embracing the spirit of the old adage about lemons and lemonade, I thought this would be a good opportunity to experiment again running within Heart Rate Zone 3.

I think, by and large, I managed it this time … it’s hard to tell from the stats because I only decided to try it halfway through the run but, when I did give it a go, the alerts on my watch telling me I was outside the 123-139bpm range seemed to be a lot less than they have been.

I’m not any less fit than I have been, and my running isn’t really suffering so all I can attribute my current discomfort to is my new trainers.

I’m pretty sure this happened the last time I got a new pair, and I know I used to rotate my shoes from run to run and depending on my mood at the time so perhaps I’ll do that again for a little while to see if I can spot a pattern. I haven’t really run much in them so perhaps patience is the key.

I had intended to run back home tonight. I needed to do 12.3km in order to set a new monthly distance record but, in the end, only managed 7.2 thus falling 5 short … I could have squeezed that extra ‘parkrun’ in by taking the scenic route home but I thought it best to be cautious on this occasion. There’ll be plenty of other opportunities so I’m not too worried about it. My April mileage was up over 10% on March so that’s good enough for now.

Relive my run

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Like wading through treacle

I haven’t run for four days. I don’t like not running for that length of time, it does weird things to my mind not least messing with my confidence.

I needed a rest though. Depending on what I do at club on Monday night April could well become my biggest month in terms of miles since I started running three years ago, and that includes when I was marathon training.

But I wasn’t really motivated to do anything this evening, yet I knew I needed to. Taking five days off would really wreak havoc with my belief in my ability so, as is often the case at times like this, I thought if I was going to go out then I’d use the run to try something new or to continue experimenting with something running related.

In tonight’s case that meant another go at running within a specific heart rate zone, namely Zone 3 for which the bpm range falls between 123-139.

Not really wanting to go out for too long I thought I’d give it half-an-hour to see how it went.

The idea is to run at a pace which keeps your heart rate within certain boundaries and, through time, it’s supposed to help you get faster within that range, which then has a positive impact on your speed/stamina when you go up a zone and so on. Or something like that.

All I know is that tonight I found it tough. Not in terms of running – that was fine – but it was tough on my legs. It actually felt like they were having to work harder just to stay within the zone with the effect that they began to hurt, with the pain only beginning to ease when I increased my speed which, of course, I couldn’t really do.

It felt really slow. Like I was going nowhere, or wading through treacle.

As I said a few moments ago I had to aim for somewhere between 123-139 bpm … I thought I had managed it because I got very few alerts on my watch to say I’d gone over, but looking back at my stats it seems I averaged 141 which maybe isn’t too bad.

Clearly it’s not something I’ll get right first time, it’s something to work on. I’ve only really dabbled so far, but if I give it a chance and some proper time then hopefully it’ll benefit me.

For now, though, it served the purpose of getting me out the door which is no bad thing.

Relive my run

Cullybackey Cosy Sofa wk 3

And so onto my fourth consecutive day of running or, to be precise, week three of the Cullybackey Cosy Sofa to 5k programme.

As usual, I acted as tail runner for one of the groups and this suited me perfectly fine, I’ve done enough since Saturday so just wanted a gentle loosen up – plus it was another opportunity to help break in my trainers.

As we are onto week three we did three five minutes running segments with the standard two minutes walk in between, taking us along the river and into a wooded area I’d never been in before … just as well I wasn’t expected to lead if we’d looped back because dear knows where I’d have ended up!

It was a pleasant little run. I enjoyed seeing everyone making progress and getting to know them a little better whilst, at the same time, trying (hopefully!) to encourage them.

As for me, I’m done running for the rest of the week. I need to rest. My legs feel fine but I don’t want to be silly and take a risk by doing anything more.

I’ll most likely not be out again until Saturday morning, possibly at Ecos but there’s also talk of going to Glenarrif Forest. I’ve said no after my experiences on NYD, but I know how my mind works so I wonder if I will I be able to resist? Watch this space ….

Relive my run