Living in Scotland, the one thing we rarely have to worry about when it comes to training is heat and sunshine. However, this week we’ve been basking in the stuff, with temperatures well into the 20s. What’s a pasty Scot to do?
I sold an old bike a couple of weeks ago, and decided to use some of the proceeds to buy myself a hydration vest. I spent days researching different types and eventually settled on the Camelbak Circuit. Thanks to the internetmabob it arrived within a couple of days, so today it got its maiden voyage.
But before I tell you about that, let’s quickly review the week. This was week 2 of my marathon plan, and the first block of 4 weeks seems to be steady build-up, so it’s actually been easier than the stamina plan I finished a couple of weeks back. What I’ve noticed is that the easy runs are getting quicker for the same level of effort, so my body is adapting well.
The highlight of this week was Wednesday, when I took part in The Principal’s Challenge – a cycle & running event to celebrate the University of Dundee’s 50th anniversary. Twelve of us, including the Principal and his wife, cycled from our campus in Kirkcaldy to St Andrews, then to Tayport (where Pete & Elizabeth would row across the River Tay), across to Broughty Ferry to pick them up again, then on to our campus at Ninewells. A total of 57 miles, which coincidentally is the longest ride I’ve done this year.
At Ninewells we joined over 130 other university staff for a 5k (which was actually closer to 5 miles!) run down to the main campus. By now it was over 20c, and I’m happy to admit that the run was a struggle. However my leg muscles seem to like the heat and the biggest problem I had was holding the pace back – I had planned to run an easy 9:00 / mile pace, but found myself closer to 8:00! Over the years I’ve noticed that I run better in the heat – my muscles react better than they do when it’s cold.
So that was a pretty epic day, and I enjoyed a cold beer when I got home.
Back to today and my long run. I usually head out around 7am on a Sunday, and today’s plan was to run for 1:45:00. I’d scoped out quite a hilly route on Strava – one which would have some amazing views, but killer ascents. 12 miles in total. Of course, I hadn’t paid attention to the weather forecast, which turned out to be 17-20c, and sunny. Not ideal, but a chance to try out the Camelbak.
After much faffing around, I got it to a point that felt comfortable and off I went. I stopped a couple of times in the first 5 miles to tweak it, but it didn’t feel too uncomfortable, which was good.
Without the Camelbak I would have really struggled on that route today, it was just so hot! I also packed a gel, which I took around mile 9. I’m realising that training in the summer months is definitely different to the winter and I need to take nutrition & hydration seriously.
As the mileage builds up I’ll need to think abut having breakfast before I go out. I’ve run half-marathon distance fasted, but in the winter / spring. It’s a whole different ballgame in the summer!
Anyhow, that’s week 2 in the bag. I’m feeling great, getting stronger and faster. My body feels good and I’m recovering well. Let’s see what week 3 holds!
My week in numbers:
- Miles run 26.2 (in a week – I need to do that in under 4 hours in September!!)
- Time on my feet – 3:48:26
- Miles cycled – 56.7
- Cold beers consumed – 3