Saturday, 17 October 2009

Day 173 - training with the stars

Type - Steady run

Distance - 8.62 miles

Time - 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds

A welcome return to training with Jarlath today. The man has been busy of late, running round like a blue-arsed fly trying to keep on top of the vast demands of freshers' fortnight at two institutions. On top of this he has been battling the man flu. He hadn't trained for a while, and so what he really needed was a good long run to sort him out.

Jarlath looked tired and a bit paler than last time I saw him. I'm used to him being the shiny, chirpy and good-natured encourager and facilitator of great training. Today, before going out on the road, he had lost some of this lustre. And that was before I heard him hacking and coughing, hulking great gobs of flem onto the street in an impressive display of mind over body.

The route was the standard river run, heading from LSE down to Chelsea's Albert Bridge and back. We completed the first half in just over 34 minutes, putting us on course for a 1 hour 9 minute run, at 8 minute miles. But this was to be a negative split training run, and we picked up the pace for the return leg.

This was my first run in a pair of Skins compression shorts. Combined with my Skins compression socks it leaves about an inch around my knee that is not compressed and encased in silky black lycra. Alright, so they are expensive, and a touch tarty, but they do the job and they also have the added advantage of tackling the chafage around the tackle. And did I mention they were silky? And tight?

Back to the run, and by the last few miles my upper legs were burning. I was having no problems with my breathing, with my chest or any stitches. But my legs felt as though they had burnt through their energy supplies and were starting to run on empty. Perhaps next time I will have to have a more substantial pre-run energy boost, or take some gels on the route.
We got to the last half mile at a significantly faster pace than the first half, pushing under 7 minute miles for the last three miles. The last half mile, from Waterloo Bridge to the Aldwych, took in the hill from Embankment. There was only one thing to do - hunker down and power up. I raced up, and then almost threw up. But it was a glorious finish to a great run.

By the end of the run the old Jarlath was back - a living example of the power of decent exercise and rising to the challenge. Hopefully it also sorted out the last vestiges of his cold.

And, when I computed the route through Gmap again it seemed that the run was actually 8.62 miles, an additional slither which reduced down our time per mile to 7.46. A cracking run, at a blistering pace. It will be interesting to see to what extent this can be sustained into double digits.

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