Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday run at work, can feel some fitness coming back

I have certainly had a couple of hard weeks running lately with the peak mileage for the year of 45km's done this week gone. But it is also certainly paying off. I feel much more comfortable doing an easy 5min/km pace.

I did the usual 5km easy run at work today. The route takes us across the Koorilpa Bridge, along the South Bank path heading East, and across the Good Will foot Bridge. The Good Will Bridge has quite a steep and a long incline, maybe 170 metres. When I first began running again this year that bridge was pretty much 'Ohoh, here is the bridge, better knuckle down', and I'd struggle up the incline at maybe 6min/km pace .. Today I ran up, and realised 'Oh I have done it already'  like it was nothing at all. And did it at about 5:10min/km pace.

The Good Will bridge is also a place where my left knee would tend to act up a bit. My 'runners knee'. Particularly on hills it would catch and grind a bit when I was running slowly up a hill. My strategy to avoid it catching is  to run faster up the hills but that can only happen so much, especially when you are unfit!!
Consistent to how its been happening in the last few years and my frequent attempts to return to decent regular running, my knee has come good once I gained some fitness and strength returns.

On this run today I finished overall 25min12 or so for 5km, and it was really very easy. I then did a proper 10x30 fast with 30 sec standing rest. I did them all mostly 3min/km or better, with two slower ones. The rest period  I had to extend for up to 1 minute for the last 5 because I was going much harder in the speed reps than I have recently. Legs were fine, the lungs, and diaphragm were not keeping up. In the last three reps, it got to the point where I was wondering if I'd get my breath back at all. A real workout this time on the air pump, but I felt pretty good throughout, no sick feelings at all.

I have found that as I get fitter, confidence to go harder increases. I feel like I can push much harder. Its like I have some internal mechanism that limits me when I am unfit. All this year I have been doing these 5km races, and I have been pushing my self a fair bit, a little harder incrementally each week. But I always hold back a little, more by an instinctive self preservation than a conscious decision. I automatically avoid  that deep feeling of dread that builds when I push 'too hard'. As I get fitter it really does change my confidence. I can push so much harder, but my inbuilt 'limiter' seems to relax a little. Thats how it feels to me anyway, and today for these speed runs it felt substantially better, I really could push harder.

If I worked myself up a bit more for the recent 5km races, if these races mattered so much more, my race times would be a fair bit faster I think. But the finish would be quite a bit uglier too, chance of spew etc... . I feel that I always race 'soft', so these times I have done so far don't represent what I am truly capable of in an all out race. The way I felt today for these speed runs is another tangible improvement for me, and if that translates to similar improvements for my 5km race pace, I should have a much better race for the next one - I should feel that I can push much harder.

I have the 10km race at Gold Coast Sat 6 July, in 4 days time. I am not at all in shape for a good one as I lack mileage, but we shall see. I might just hit out hard for the first 5km and try to hold it together - or crawl home.

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