The Little Things

Sometimes the difference in a training plan can come when you’re not actually following one and when you take a holistic approach to your training. For example, do you pay a lot of attention to your diet or quality of sleep when reviewing your performances?

It’s not hugely important just now but I’m becoming more aware of how my body feels with each run and starting to think ahead of the shape I want to be in when I start my Paris training properly. It doesn’t mean changing everything but making the subtle tweaks my body feels it needs to get the benefits I want to see.

These last couple of weeks have been interesting in my training as I started back at Parkrun with an amazing time of 19.07, managed 19.29 last week under tricky conditions, had the best run for ages at the Lochore 10k, had a good 4.5 mile run midweek but then ran 19.42 yesterday at Parkrun and finished off the weekend with a good 10 mile run this morning that was a few miles longer than I would’ve done had it not been for the company of my friend, Graeme Pallister. It was yesterday’s run at Parkrun that got me thinking more about my pre-run preparation. I appreciate many of you reading this would be delighted with that time, and it is a good time but it was how I felt during the run that is the key factor for me.

The first mile was great and I ran it quicker than normal whilst at the same time, feeling like I was cruising. The second mile was fine but a bit slower than normal although the ground was a bit heavy due to the rain overnight. I came off the grass with my usual spring and still felt pretty good but from 2.4 miles, I started to feel the pace a bit. It wasn’t really the pace but I didn’t feel as strong as I normally do. I kept going pretty well but when I reached the spot I normally speed up from, I had very little left compared to usual.

We all have days when we don’t run as well as we can do but when you’re trying to work towards running faster than you’ve ever done, you want to try and keep them to a minimum. I felt a bit more tired the night before and so this week I’ll be aiming to get better quality sleep throughout the week and see if that helps.

It’s important not to make too many changes as you don’t know which change was needed and also if you make too many, you may end up changing the thing that was making the performances good in the first place! Allison and I have been going to our local pub for dinner on Friday evenings and I’ve had a beer and a pudding with my meal. I’ve usually felt sluggish after having a pudding so that will be axed but the beer will stay. That’s a reward for me.

Of course, it’s not just about what happens on the night before a run but also how the week has been as a whole and I’ll be interested to see what difference the changes I make this week will have on my performances next weekend.

How’s your training going? Have you made any changes to your lifestyle to benefit your training? What changes have you made and have they worked for you?

Happy Running!

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