The Last Week of Summer

Summer was over long ago I suppose but temperatures have regularly been in the mid to high teens, Halloween was the warmest on record and in terms of running and cycling I haven’t really felt like I have switched to autumn or winter gear. But I think this is it! From next week I will have to find long-sleeved running shirts and dig out my proper gloves and try out my newly purchased winter bibtights for cycling. It is always harder to make myself get out there and run, and particularly cycle in the colder months, mostly because of the amount of clobber you have to put on to do so and the thought of having to clean all the crud off the bike afterwards. But once I get out there, I always get warm quickly and enjoy myself just as much as I do in summer time.

Summer bike awaits his clean - maybe his last clean before he hibernates for the winter

Summer bike awaits his clean – maybe his last clean before he hibernates for the winter

The past week was half term and I didn’t do any races:

Sunday: VCN Club Ride to . . . yep, Goodies, yet again! I seem to go there a lot. This year the wind has been from the south-west more often than not (that’s why it’s been mild, I guess) and Goodies is convenient and cheap and always welcoming to cyclists. This time though, Jim was leading and he took us a different route – kind of backwards with a bit added on which made a pleasant change. The club group was large (and we gained some extras for the return trip as a few people came across from the middle group) and a bit stop-start as one of our number had been doing a lot of running, preparing for the Norwich Half Marathon, and his running legs were struggling to cycle, particularly up the hills. I know my legs were similar when I was doing a lot of running in the weeks before Peterborough and that cycling was a big effort so I had a lot of sympathy.
(44.3 miles at ave of 16.2mph, ave HR 141 bpm)

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: The first of two double-up days. In the morning I went for a solo ride, never straying too far from home. The Heartsease roundabout was closed to traffic so I had to get off and walk across that and there were lots of traffic queues in places there wouldn’t normally be at that time of day, so I did crawl along quite a lot but it was a good ride with a few city hills thrown in to make it fun.
(19.6 miles at ave of 14.2mph, ave HR 139bpm)

In the evening I went to running Club and did the efforts on the field. These are always fun and this time, at last, I remembered to use the lap button on my watch so when I got back and loaded the run up I could see exactly how fast I do run the effort sections. This session was 3-2-1 x 3 with recoveries between of half the time of the effort – so 3 mins effort, 1.5 mins recovery etc. We then did a further 2 x 1 min effort with 30 secs recovery in between. Anyway I was quite pleased to see that for the effort bits I was running roughly 7:30 min/miles, the best being the first 1 min effort at 7:03 min/mile and the worst being the final 3 min effort at 7:36 min/mile. So that was interesting although I’m not sure I could ever run those kind of speeds for more than a couple of minutes at a time! Or maybe I could if I worked at it? Who knows?
(4.1 miles at ave pace 8:56 min/mile, ave HR 156bpm)

Wednesday: kind of rest day. I went to London with Joe and we walked a lot so my legs were more tired after that, I think, than they were after the previous day’s double-up cycle and run.

Thursday: My second double-up day. I headed out for a cycle in the morning, which included another hike across the still-closed Heartsease roundabout and a detour further down when the road was closed there too. My legs felt really good for the first time in ages. I was on the single-speed and didn’t try to go particularly fast but felt I could have cycled forever.
(20.6 miles at ave speed 15.1 mph, ave HR 137 bpm)

Then in the evening I did my “long” run. For a long run it was short but it was the first time I had run more than 5 miles since the half-marathon. I felt OK, and it was really good that my route overlapped with the NRR route as I passed loads of my club mates running the other way and that definitely helped to keep me going. My legs were very tired by the end and still aching the next day and it made me wonder how I ever ran 13.1 miles. But I needed to do a longer run as I am doing the Stowmarket Scenic 7 in just over a week.
(8.2 miles, at ave pace of 10:23 min/mile, ave HR 145bpm)

Friday: Short evening run. I felt tired for this one and actually walked a few times. I would probably have done better to have had a rest day. But it was good to be out and about in the early evening and see all the children out in their Halloween costumes.
(3.1 miles at ave pace of 11:01 min/mile, ave HR 141 bpm)

Saturday: Morning ride (Loddon Loop) with Jess. We got out bright and early, and whilst it was a bit windy, we had a nice chatty ride, mostly in sunshine. A good way to end the week!
(29.7 miles, ave speed 15.9 mph, ave HR 146 bpm)

Cycling: 115.2 miles
Running: 15.4 miles

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