|9th Jul||Rest Day|
|11th Jul||Rest Day|
|13th Jul||Rest Day|
|TOTAL||831.07||1337.44||6 days 15:04:12||19,432||19,352||92,636|
A great return to training after almost 3 weeks off recovering from the Parish, a touch of man flu and a dodgy foot and shin!
My 10 mile walk on Friday was out along Onchan head and past the old Groudle pub towards the Liverpool arms, right towards Baldrine and then left up Baldrine road which is a very steep 1 mile climb onto the Creg-Ny-Baa back road where I took a left back down towards Onchan.
I wasn't sure how my foot/shin were going to behave so just took it steady to start with and luckily they really gave me no bother which was fantastic.
I stuck pretty close to my zone 2 heart rate but when I got to the bottom of Baldrine hill I decided to really test the legs, and lungs, and just went for it.
About half way up I was breathing pretty hard and was avoiding looking at my watch as I didn't want to see the pace, but all of a sudden I started getting pins and needles in my hands so I quickly glanced down to check my heart rate. It was 187 !!
For the past 6 months I have been working with a max heart rate of 179 which is the max I reached during a hill repeat session near Port Jack. My running max from last year was 183, although I haven't tested that again this year because I haven't done any running.
I had no real reason to doubt the heart rate monitor as it was a really tough effort, legs were turning to jelly, breathing getting tough and of course the pins and needles in my hands. I pushed on to the top of the hill and recorded exactly 12m:00s, a PB for that mile by over 1 minute. The elevation gain over that mile is 115 metres.
Despite being absolutely knackered it felt amazing. That really was the first time since I picked up a chest infection at Easter that I have been able to push so hard, and it felt great.
My 13.1 mile walk on Sunday was just my usual Baldwin loop. I was still feeling great from Friday's effort and just wanted to ignore the heart rate and just kept pushing 'comfortably hard' for the duration.
There are 2 particularly steep hills on that route, both leading up to St Lukes church, and once again on both of these my watch recorded a max HR of 187. I didn't get the pins and needles this time as they are quite short climbs so my HR was not maxed for more than a 2-3 minutes unlike Friday when it was nearly 12 minutes.
At first I thought maybe the touch of man flu I had was the reason for the increased heart rate but then I remembered that illness / over training doesn't increase your maximum. It is what it is and just declines naturally with age. Illness / over training does increase your resting and working heart rate, but it still caps at the max.
Discovering my max is quite a bit higher than I thought is both a good and bad thing. On the good side it means I can push a little quicker on my easy zone 1 recovery walks and endurance zone 2 walks, resulting in the bad side. They are going to be tougher from now on!
It may not seem much, but my 'core' zone 2 range (where I spend most of my time) has now moved from 135-145 to 140-155. This means most of my zone 2 training has been at the lower end of my zone 2 range, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that (remember, train slower to race faster), but now I have an extra 10bpm I can push into so hopefully this will help me build a little bit of 'endurance speed'.
I'll be keeping my eye on my max heart rate and testing it again a few times just to make sure.
On Tuesday I met up with Richard Gerrard, James Quirk and Vinny Lynch. Luckily Richard and James were still easing back into things after the Parish so it was a nice steady pace.
Finally I rounded off the week with the Manx Harriers summer 10k up at Andreas and was absolutely delighted to get under 60 minutes. One of the reasons I started this challenge was to make sure I walked continuously throughout the year.
What usually happens after the Parish is I do very little, lose fitness, pile on too many pounds and then wonder why I can't do a sub 60m 10k when the winter league starts in October.
Not only did I beat 60 minutes but I also did a negative split, something I don't think I have ever done before! My first 5k was 29:30 and my second was 29:18. Not much of a negative, but a negative nonetheless.
This weeks training has been a great return to where I was back at Easter (chest infection) and is the motivational boost I have been looking for. If I can keep ticking over like this for another 10 weeks until New York it will put me in a really strong position, both mentally and physically, to hopefully be successful and qualify as a US Centurion.
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.