|11th Mar||Rest day|
|14th Mar||Rest day|
|16th Mar||Rest day|
|TOTAL||359.29||578.23||2 days 20:04:12||8,183||7,913||42,699|
Another big jump in the miles last week.
I wouldn't normally do such a big increase from one week to the next but it wasn't really planned, and I felt good so just went with it.
On Saturday (12th) I only had time for a shorter 'long' walk as I needed to be home, showered and out again for just after 11am. My original plan was to do a 10 mile loop from Onchan which goes over the Creg Ny Baa back road, however when I headed out it was quite misty so thought better of it and instead did a loop of Baldwin where the visibility was much better.
About 4 miles in I met Richard, James, Dave and Vinny who were coming the other way along the Baldwin road and were about 11 miles in, having started from the NSC at 7am whereas I chose the more sensible option of starting from home just before 8:30.
I was convinced I had done that loop a few times this year, but after uploading my data I realised that was only the second time. Interestingly, the first time was 2nd January, the start of my challenge and the start of my focus on heart rate training.
As you can see above, my time was 02:04:43, average pace 11:21 and average zone 2 heart rate of 144.
11 weeks ago over exactly the same course my time was 02:11:28, average pace 11:47 and an average zone 2 heart rate of 149.
So, in 11 weeks not only I have taken nearly 7 minutes off my time for that course but I have also reduced my average heart rate by 5bpm.
I have many more examples of this over the different routes I have taken these past few weeks and I will try and post about them soon. Suffice to say heart rate training is most definitely working for me.
On the Sunday I was only planning on another 10-11 miles, however my wife was heading down to the airport to pick one of our friends up around 10:30am so I convinced her to leave a bit earlier and drop me off at Rushen church so I could try and walk the next 1/4 of the Parish walk route to Ballaugh.
Compared to the previous day the weather was absolutely glorious. As I approached the bends at the very bottom of the Sloc the Bradda Fell run was in full swing. Watching these guys running up the Sloc made me forget all about heart rate training and I just pushed 'comfortably hard' right the way to the top.
The newly tarmacked road surface is very nice to walk on. Very smooth and almost bouncy like an athletics track.
I certainly couldn't have pushed that hard with the previous 19 miles to Rushen in my legs, but that didn't stop me day dreaming about how fantastic it would be to feel so great at the top of the Sloc on the day.
This ties into my previous post about my planned pace from NSC to Rushen. If walking a little slower over those first 19 miles means I can feel good walking up over the Sloc and into Peel then it's most definitely worth doing.
I arrived in Ballaugh after 4 hours and 22 minutes and felt reasonably ok. I will post more about the route itself later.
Despite already hitting my weekly mileage target I still wanted to get out for a quicker walk on Tuesday so joined the experts for another good session. These guys definitely seem to get quicker every week as I struggled to keep up, although the 34 miles in the previous couple of days probably didn't help me.
These sessions are definitely helping with my speed as, except for races, I don't think I would push myself as hard on my own.
I rounded off the week with one of my usual 11 mile loops on Thursday to bring my total mileage to 53. Despite already having a good 42 miles in the legs I still managed a PB by nearly 3 minutes over those 11 miles, and my average heart rate was 1 bpm lower too.
The only reason I went for 11 miles is because I knew I wouldn't get many miles in this weekend.
On Saturday (yesterday) I took part in the Children's Centre Adventure Team Challenge which took place up at Conrhenny plantation just off the Creg Ny Baa back road. It was a full on day of activities from 8:30 to 4pm with no time to rest in between. I must have clocked around 8 miles walking and running around the plantation, followed by a final hour challenge on a mountain bike.
I hadn't ridden my bike for a couple of years so needless to say after it finished and the team results were announced and the food was served I was quite happy to keep standing up.
Today, Sunday, was the Manx Harriers 10km Championships. When I tried to get out of bed this morning I could really feel the affects of running (and cycling) around a plantation for 8 hours and I was having serious doubts about entering the race and instead considered going out for a longer 'recovery' walk.
I'm really pleased I decided to man up and do the walk as I recorded an excellent time of 57:41. This is just under 1 minute quicker than my last 10k in February despite not feeling 100% from yesterday, especially the glutes and quads, and off the back of a 53 mile training week.
It's still not a PB though (42 seconds off), so I've still got plenty to work on !
That's all from me for today. I'll try and post an update on the Parish route between Rushen and Ballaugh next week
And don't forget, the second part of my challenge is to try and raise £2,016 for Finley's Tracks and all donations are welcome here. A big thank you to everyone who has already sponsored me online or offline, and to those who have pledged to donate later.