|18th Mar||Rest day|
|19th Mar||Rest day|
|21st Mar||Rest day|
|24th Mar||Rest day|
|TOTAL||380.50||612.37||2 days 23:45:05||8,761||8,394||45,198|
Much lower mileage last week compared to the previous week.
I started the week (Friday 18th) with a rest day because I knew the next day was going to pretty tiring at the Adventure Team Challenge up at Conhrenny plantation (which it was!), but also because I was pretty tired after 53 training miles the previous week.
Even though I classed Saturday 19th as a rest day it was far from it, and if I had included the miles I covered walking/running/cycling around the plantation it would have pushed me closer to a 45 mile week.
As mentioned in my last post, Sunday 20th was a 10k race at the NSC and I was delighted to put in my best time for a few years, just 42 seconds off my PB, especially so given the tiring previous day.
This got me thinking.
In previous years I have always avoided training in the days leading up to a race. For a 10k I would stop training 3-4 days before the race, and for a 20k+ I would stop about a week before.
In the last round of the winter walking league, back in week 6, I put in almost 20 training miles in the 3 days before the race and managed to knock 5 minutes off the previous round, dipping under the hour and recording my best time for a few years.
These 20 miles were easy zone 1 and 2 pace (7.5 miles, 5.2 miles and 7 miles) and the main reason I walked 7 miles the day before the race was when I had problems with my heart rate monitor and I was trying to figure it out.
Incidentally I think I have now figured it out. In the winter I have always applied a water based gel to the heart rate contact points as, in the cold, it takes a little while to work up a sweat so I used to get erratic readings for the first 20 minutes or so.
In the week I was having problems I was nearing the end of the bottle so had to squeeze quite hard to get the gel out, which then meant I had too much when it shot out. I didn't think anything of it, but then as the bottle got very empty I used the gel sparingly while I waited for new supplies to arrive, and that's when the monitor went back to normal.
Since then I only apply a small drop to each contact and the monitor has worked perfectly.
Anyway, back to what I was thinking. Before last weekends 10k I once again had a very active day up at the plantation yet still put in a great 10k time.
Now, if I go back to week 7 and the 20k race at the NSC it was a different story. I only did one 11 mile training walk in the 5 days before that race and I really struggled. My legs were tired and heavy after the first few miles and I had a persistent stitch throughout the race.
This suggests it is better not to just stop training completely before a race and instead continue to put in a few easy miles just to keep the legs moving. After Sunday's 10k I wondered what my time might have been had I not spent the previous day running around a plantation, but to be honest I might have recorded a slower time.
Another thing to experiment with anyway.
Today, Friday 25th, I walked the 3rd quarter of the parish walk from Ballaugh to Ramsey, a total distance of 21.72 miles from the church to Parliament Square in 4 hours and 3 minutes, an average pace of 11m:12s per mile.
I was hoping to get under 4 hours while remaining within my heart rate zone, and I probably would have done it had it not been for the strong head winds I encountered after climbing to the top of Bride hill and turning towards Andreas. The wind was relentless for about 7 miles until I joined the TT course at Sulby bridge where I was sheltered by the trees and hedges through into Ramsey.
I'll happily take rain, hail and snow over wind. It's not just the fact it makes the walk harder but it just seems to sap all my energy, and the constant noise in the ears is just soul destroying and I very quickly lose all motivation and want to throw the towel in.
One minute I'm walking strong, feeling great and the next minute bam! Every time it happens I instantly think of the original Superman movie when Lex Luthor chains some Kryptonite around Superman and pushes him into the swimming pool. That's exactly how I feel in the wind.
That's all for now. I still need to post about Rushen to Ballaugh, and now Ballaugh to Ramsey, and I will try and get some time over the weekend for that.
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.