“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” George Patton
Sometimes, as hard as it is, you have to switch off, and trust your body, let your mind take over and allow yourself to do what you’re really capable of when you stop overthinking.
I’ve always been a runner who relies on watches, relies on prior knowledge of sessions before I do them and relies on knowing what I (think I) can and can’t do, but this week I made the conscious decision to switch off and stop applying preconceived ideas of my body to my sessions. To a certain extent, knowing your pace is part of race training, but what’s to say that you couldn’t be capable of more if you just ignore the watch and run to your body’s rhythm?
The training programme that I’m following for Cardiff HM in October focuses more on time of runs than specific distances/paces and it’s been so freeing, I go out and run for a set time at whatever pace is right for me that day and I’m not thinking “I HAVE to do X miles”. It makes for more enjoyable runs, I take in my surroundings instead of being glued to my watch, I am able to tune into my body more than before and on some runs, I’ve surprised myself with what my body is capable of.
CARDIFF HM TRAINING – WEEK 2
X-TRAINING – Swim and Tai Chi – Today I did my first proper day of x-training. I cycled to the pool, did a 45- minute swim – a 1k pyramid session – 200m w/u, 2x 25m, 50m, 75m, 50m, 25m with 150m recovery in between sets and then a 200m cool down. After, I did a taster class of Tai Chi as my usual yoga class was cancelled. I found that it was very relaxing, and involved a lot of principles that I could apply to my running, using you ‘dan tien’ or your core where all the energy is as the point to pull you forwards instead of relying on leg strength.
TEMPO-INTERVAL RUN – 45 minutes, 5.5 miles. 10 minutes easy pace, 5 x 3 minute tempo-interval with 2 mins jog recover and 10 minutes easy pace. Unlike last week, I ate breakfast before my session this week and it made such a huge difference! Last week, I struggled round, just managing to do 4 reps at my allotted pace, this week I smashed the pace and felt strong doing it! Lesson learnt- food is fuel! Why run on an empty tank and produce sub-par sessions?!
REST DAY – Yippee, give me all the food!
EASY RUN + SPIN – 25 minutes, 3 miles, 8:17/mile, 45 minute spin (16k), 14 minutes, 1.63 miles, 8:39/mile – Decided to switch up my Thursday slightly, instead of doing one long steady run, I split it into a 3 mile run to my spin class, a 45-minute hard spin and a steady jog home! Running with my rucksack was different, but it made me focus a lot on my form and by the end I actually felt quite comfortable. The spin class is the perfect opportunity for me to get a solid cardio workout in without putting impact through my legs too (although I’m sure I didn’t stop sweating all day afterwards!)
STEADY RUN – 50 minutes, 6.5 miles, 7:42/ mile – Ahhhhhhh! Unofficial 10k PB! Today’s run was the absolute perfect example of switching off that overthinking brain, ignoring that pesky watch and just flowing. I started off at a steady pace, but as I got into the run, I relaxed and let my legs do the work, and you know what, it paid off! I was puffing at the end, but this was (for the most part!) a comfortable run. Never putting limits on my body’s capabilities again! (Think the PB might have had something to do with the pain au raisin plus the copious amounts of coffee I had for breakfast but no-one needs to know that..!)
RECOVERY RUN – 30 minutes, 3 miles, 9:55/mile – After the excitement of the day before, my legs needed some TLC, and a nice and slow 5k was just what the doctor ordered! Focusing on running relaxed, I felt better after I finished than I did before I started.
LONG RUN – 1 hr 16 mins, 9.01 miles, 8:26/mile – While I was happy with last week’s long run, it felt like an uphill struggle from the start, so this week I consciously started off a lot more steady. It worked! Running at nearly 9:00/mile for the first 4 miles, I was then able to steadily pick up my pace until the end of the run with a 7:37 last mile. Long runs are by far my favourite run of the week as I feel like I can let go and truly run free, no time limits, just me and the open road.
WEEK TOTAL: 28.69 MILES
This week’s running- fuelled entirely by banana protein pancakes.
13 weeks to go eeeek!