Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Trouble With The Pace

by Russell Turner - 20:33 on 11 April 2021

Last week’s long run was performed in T-shirt and shorts; today it was back to tights, three layers, gloves and hat. It is only April.

The bad news is that my new hydration backpack is in Hermes limbo, stuck in its local depot, presumably Inverness, where it’s been since midday on Friday. Speed is clearly not their strong point. This meant that, since my hydration and nutritional needs are met by Tailwind, I had to work out a bottle schedule that fitted with the programme plan of four miles at marathon pace, four slower (by using the 6:1 run/walk), then repeat.

The schedule worked well: six miles out and back to The Rural Retreat where the first replacement bottle was hanging from a branch by the gate; a six-mile circuit and a fill-up inside the Retreat, which necessitated a few minutes on hold (fortunately sleeping cats didn’t demand food, even though it was 12 o’clock); then my regular 5k route plus a mile out and back to complete 16 miles in a very respectable 2:37, although adding the five minutes’ pause made the time almost identical to my last outing of the same distance.

Chances are that with my backpack and without a break I’d have maintained my average 9:50min/mile pace, although that’s nothing to boast about because the pace I should be hitting is 10:15 – my target for a sub-4:30 marathon. Running harder is wasted effort unless I can maintain it for 26.2 miles, which I doubt.

Running harder than needed can be tiring.

Despite that, my heart rate stayed impressively low at 130bpm average over the 16 miles. I assume that’s good news – maybe I need the blood to pump faster to keep the oxygen flowing into my mighty muscles?

Next week I’ll definitely stick to a 6:1 run/walk for the full 18 miles and aim to go no faster than 10:15 pace. We’ll see.

Physio Update: The news as we emerge cautiously from lockdown is that Adam, my favoured leg tweaker, is almost ready to practise again. I have an appointment at the start of May. Fingers crossed.

Audience Update: Next week, if I’m back in time from giving blood, I’m to join another News Quiz Zoom audience. That’s three News Quiz, one Now Show and one Mock The Week. If you’ve not tried, the odds seem to be good. I’ve been less lucky with Just A Minute and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Such is life.

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