Running with a cold

This week saw my first blip since training became serious. I swam Tuesday but skipped a recovery run Monday because I didn’t feel 100%. Swimming wasn’t a wise move and from Wednesday onwards I was full of cold. Poor timing with a long weekend in Bristol and Bath planned. Thankfully Wednesday was the lowest point and despite not running since last Sunday I’ve walked a fair few miles. Including a lovely ‘dual’ loop 5 miler of the Cotswolds that ended up being 10 miles and, very nearly, 2 divorces.

A bit like this, only greyer and colder

Not feeling anywhere near 100% I approached today’s run from the angle of ‘just do something‘. All Marathon running advice I’ve read/received agrees that missing the long run is a bad idea. While other training runs contribute to speed, technique and efficiency it’s the long runs that prepare for completing a Marathon the most. Getting lost in the Cotswolds, eating a massive steak meal, driving home late from Bath and not feeling great aren’t motivators to wake up and run Sunday morning……

Another simple plan was formed: 6 miles out easy, 6 miles back ‘fast’. Another simple plan ruined by Mark. We set off at a slightly faster pace than last week and as we approached 4-5 miles I asked Mark where he was running to and signed myself up for another 18 miler.

Splits from Sunday Run
Splits from 18 mile run

Last Sunday we ran 9:00 min miles on average factoring in road crossings, toilet breaks, warm up and cool down. Even with a cold I was keen to go faster and Mark pushed me to an honest 8:30 pace, including the route’s road crossings. Happy with this as even suffering a cold it points to progress being made.

The only snag appeared to be my average heart rate at 159 bpm. Last week it was an easy 150. Hoping this is partly down to the cold and with more training / work I can get to around 8 min mile pace at 150 bpm.

This week I changed from cereal to poached eggs on toast and a banana. This seemed to work well, no emergency toilet stops required. I’ll trial porridge again for my next 18 miler. Keen to get my Sunday breakfast nailed down and fully tested before the big day.

Mark and I kept each other going discussing “runners’ maths” and “on the fly goals”. I was pleased to hear it’s not just me that create these, e.g:

  • I’ll get to the bridge and eat an energy gel
  • I’m looking forward to that random post, only 4.75 miles after that
  • If I run at this pace it will take me 40 minutes to get home
  • This pace means I would run a XX hour Marathon

Calculating these while running is a great distraction and a lot harder than it should be.

Thanks to all those that have donated so far! If you’d like to donate click here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OllyBrand

This weeks decisions / actions:

  • Beat cold and resume running in the week
  • Buy new shorts and a running belt (more on kit to follow shortly)
  • Do I run the Duchy 20? If I do what do I run it in
3mm or 6mm drop
Safe 6mm or risky 3
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