|8th Feb||Rest day|
|10th Feb||Rest day|
|TOTAL||180.22||290.05||1 day 10:40:14||4,003||3,956||21,336|
As mentioned in my last blog, I stuck to the plan and just put in two very light sessions after the 10k race on Sunday to record a lower mileage week.
Both of these were along Douglas promenade which is just over 5k if you start right at the Summerland end and go around the TT Café by the bottleneck car park. Interestingly, despite starting and stopping my watch in exactly the same place, I record almost double the elevation gain and loss on the second session.
Despite following a heart rate training plan to stop myself going too quick, I still like to push to the higher end of the zone I am in, so during the first session on Tuesday I was determined to keep in the middle of zone 1 (my range is 125-135), so was pleased with my average of 129.
If I am honest I was still feeling Sundays 10k race in my legs, especially the top of the quads, so I was glad it was just a short zone 1 session.
The second session on Thursday was a bit of an odd one. The plan was to do exactly the same and average around 130 and I was fine for the first mile but then found myself wanting to walk a bit quicker so rather than slow right down I just let my heart rate slip into Zone 2, and then into Zone 3 to record an overall average of 147 which is the lower end of my Zone 3 rate. I have classed it as Zone 2 above because most of my time was spent under Zone 3.
The problem with a training session that jumps around the zones is that it makes it very difficult to repeat that session in the future in terms of comparing like for like.
Today (Saturday 13th) I joined a group of much faster walkers than me, including the current Parish Walk record holder Richard Gerrard, previous joint record holder (with Richard) Vinny Lynch and 4 time back to back winner Jock Waddington.
If that line up wasn't enough to make my legs hurt before we even started, we were also joined by Dave Walker (2nd or 3rd in last years Parish walk (sorry Dave, Parish Walk website is down at the moment so I can't check the stats!), Sam Fletcher (2nd in last years End to End), Andrew Dawson (very impressive Parish PB of around 16 hours 50 minutes) and finally new, and rapidly improving walker, James Quirk.
We headed out from the NSC along the access road and the route took us up through Baldwin, up Skollag road to join the TT course just on the outskirts of Douglas, left towards Hillberry and then a right onto the back road towards Little Mill, through Onchan towards King Edward Bay golf club, left again towards Groudle and then a right to bring us back into Douglas along the Onchan coast road and then a final push along Douglas Promenade, finishing by the TT café.
I was okay for the first 6 miles, but around mile 7 the guys decided to pick up the pace and I just had to give it everything to just about keep them in sight. All that kept me going was the thought of a bacon and egg bap at 'The Caff' afterwards.
Fortunately the pace would ease back every mile or so to allow everyone to group up. If it wasn't for that they would have finished their breakfast and probably left before I even arrived!
A total distance of 16.62 miles according to my Garmin, walking time of 2:59:08 and an average pace of 10:47 per mile (5.6 mph). Needless to say I was totally finished at the end! It's certainly my fastest (and longest) training session of 2016.
It's incredible to think some of these guys average a quicker pace over the entire 85 mile Parish Walk.
Now you might be asking what heart rate zone this was in, and I can tell you the first half was Zone 3, and the second half well into Zone 4 to give me an average of 159.
These are certainly not the Zones I should be in for a long walk, but I knew that before I started. The Manx Harriers open is next Saturday and I have entered the 20k, so because my plan for next week will again just be a couple of short easy walks I was happy to get out and have a really tough session today.
I am now 6 weeks into my training plan and it's important to mix it up and throw some variety into it rather than just repeating the same long slow pace week after week. Not only is it good for the body to keep it on it's toes but it's good for the mind too, not just to relieve the boredom that can come with hours of solo training but to build the mental toughness to push on even when the legs are screaming for you to stop.
I'd love to do more of these sessions but need to try and limit myself to every few weeks if I'm to give the heart rate training the best chance of working for me. Or, if you read my earlier post on Aerobic Base Training, to allow myself to squeeze every bit of improvement I can out of that tube of toothpaste.