Historic downtown area of Flagstaff along Route 66, with San Francisco Peaks in distance, Flagstaff, Arizona

30 Apr Hard up hills

It really felt great not to be running hard up hills this week! I finally got through my hill phase of training and began doing some more aerobic base work which means workouts are making me breathe hard but aren’t breaking me down much. I must say that I don’t enjoy this phase of training much because I always want to push hard but the point is to hold back for a few weeks and run the harder workouts once I have laid the ground work to be able to handle the faster stuff.

The first workout I did this week was a progression run on Monday consisting of 50 minutes easy running and then 10 minutes hard (then a warm down). I was lucky that some of the guys were running a tempo run to prepare for the Stanford races and I happen to get back just as they were coming around the loop so I had them to run with for 1 mile. We went through the mile in about 4.52 and then I continued on around the loop again to finish 2.2 miles in 10.40. I know I slowed on the second lap as I hit a brick wind wall at one point but that happens daily in Flagstaff!

The next workout of the week was on Thursday and it was 8 times 1km with 200m jog recovery. Greg didn’t want me running any faster than 3.00 so I abided and averaged 3.02s. Normally this wouldn’t be that tough but I was feeling the altitude more than ever that day. We got exactly what we wanted out of the workout, for it to be hard aerobically but not tough on my legs. I finished off with a few 200s just to feel like I had done something fast.

The long run on Saturday was great as Nick and I went exploring on some trails that we hadn’t been on before. We found some really nice areas to run but as we were trying to finish up the run at around 2 hours, we realised we had no idea where we were. The trail luckily spit us out on to the end of a road that we use in the winter and then we knew we had about 6.5 miles to get back to the car. We were pretty tired at this point and the wind was against us but once we hit Lake Mary Road (where all the marathoners here do their long tempo runs) we were able to pick the pace up somehow. I think the tractor beam from the car was pulling us in! I finally hit a week above 100 miles and that was with cutting a couple of my runs out to not go too much over so I’m feeling good as I get back into the rhythm of the hard training again.

Nothing else much has been happening much apart from hanging out with a lot of friends now that the weather is much better. It’s a real nice feeling to get back from a run and to be able to relax in our back garden with our feet up and just relaxing and catching up with everyone. Summer time in Flagstaff is amazing because the temperature is great and the ferocious wind that tears us up in the spring is gone. The best thing is that it last until November sometimes so you can’t help but train well during that time.