“You do not need to seek freedom in a different land, for it exists with your own body, heart, mind and soul.” B.K.S. Iyengar
I’ve recently just finished reading Lizzy Hawker’s (inspirational GB ultra-trail runner) book Runner and I’ve never felt so inspired and so enlightened by a book in my life. Lizzy’s approach to running is almost Buddhist, how she lets herself connect and belong to wherever she is, bringing an appreciation for her environment and a focus that allows her to keep going when others may not. Running is almost a vehicle for her to understand and explore her environment, to truly connect with herself.
The above quote (from Chapter 11) really spoke to me. As I said in my previous HM post, I took quite a bit of time away from running after Hillingdon HM and it affected me more than I expected it to. Far from a feeling of freedom from breaking away from the near constant cycle of waking, eating, running, stretching, refuelling, sleeping, I found that I was missing something, something that I didn’t realise I was missing until I started running again this week. Running. That feeling of total control, just me and the earth beneath my feet, pushing my body, letting my legs control me, feeling my feet eating up the ground. When I’m running I answer to no-one, what could be a better feeling? Running is my freedom.
CARDIFF HM TRAINING – WEEK 1
X-TRAINING – My non-running training day. As it was the first day of training after a while off, I eased myself in with an easy cycle to an hours yoga session.
TEMPO-INTERVAL RUN – 40 minutes, 4.68 miles. 10 minutes easy pace, 4 x 3 minutes at tempo pace with 2 minutes jog recovery and 10 minutes easy pace to finish. While I just about hit the pace that I wanted to in this session, I really struggled as I did it fasted because I was up early to catch a train. Lesson learnt and I’m never doing a tempo off no food, my body did not thank me for it!
EASY RUN – 50 minutes steady, 5.8 miles. I was lucky enough to be on holiday in Devon for this run and it was absolutely beautiful! Running up and down the hills where I grew up was a special experience. Again, I ran fasted, but as it was a steady run, I felt that it had less impact on my performance, although I was ravenous afterwards!
STEADY RUN – 50 minutes, 6.25 miles. Friday is supposed to be my slightly faster paced run, although I feel that I was pretty conservative with my speed this week as I am so wary of rushing too quickly back into too many hard miles. I did a bit of off-road running, which I really enjoyed, it certainly beat pounding the same old pavements.
RECOVERY RUN – 30 minutes, 3.39 miles. In a funny sense, the slower the run, the harder it is. I find it so difficult to make myself slow down as I know how important it is for recovery. I don’t think I took this run quite slow enough, it felt too comfortable a pace, but going slower meant that I really had time to enjoy just being out on my feet.
LONG RUN – 1hr 08 minutes, 8.05 miles. I loved the distance, I loved the feeling of lacing up and going out and running for longer than I have done in weeks, I loved knowing that my body was capable of some pretty incredible things. This felt comfortable but I felt that I should have been able to run faster. Looking back in my training diary, it was only just faster than the same run in the last HM training cycle. The culprit- starting off too quickly. Aim for next week is to run the first mile or so at a more conservative pace so that I don’t burn myself out too quickly.
WEEK TOTAL: 28.17 MILES
Making friends on my 8-miler.
1 week down, 14 to go!