Nearly a month has passed since I ran the half marathon in Cambridge – time to look back at my training and the exciting goals I set myself!
Running Training Update
Despite running a new personal best at the Cambridge Half Marathon, I wasn’t totally satisfied with how the race had gone. I had hoped for a faster time, and the more I think about it the more I am convinced that I could do faster.
With this in mind, I started training my endurance and focusing on the weekly long, slow runs. At the same time, I had to admit that most of my runs had entered that middle pace zone – the zone which some trainers say is too slow to improve your form and too fast to help you recover. I became convinced that I needed more variety.
But how slow should my slow runs be? And how fast my tempo runs? I decided to ask the club trainer, who immediately offered me to make me a training plan. And so we met last Friday to discuss my running goals.
That was easier said than done, because what exactly are my goals? In about six weeks’ time, we will embark on a long trip: first via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Then to the Netherlands, back to Saudi Arabia and back to New Zealand, where we will have to find a new place to live. Exciting, and I am looking forward to it tremendously, but not the ideal circumstances to follow an ambitious training plan or really any plan at all.
But if I had to focus on one goal it would be to improve my half marathon time, I realized as I talked to the coach. And so he wrote me a plan for the coming six weeks, and after that I will improvise, taking into account the guidelines he gave me. Hopefully, I will be able to do a half marathon in December, when I am in Holland. In the meantime, I will run a few 5K races to work on my speed. He assured me they fit in a half marathon plan. Tomorrow will be the first “time trial” – the Eastside 5K River Run.
Yoga Training Update
The past few months I have been doing mainly restorative yoga, focusing on my hips, hamstrings and other tight areas. My shift has clearly gone back to running, and I don’t always feel like doing a sweaty yoga session when I’ve already done a heavy run! On average, I do about 20 to 30 minutes of yoga on most of the days.
Last month, I decided to do Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) legs for 10 minutes a day in the hope to open up my hips a little more. After 30 days of doing this, I am a bit disappointed with the result. Perhaps the asana got a bit easier – a sign that my hips opened up a bit – but I definitely have a long way to go. Also, I think the pose only stretches the outside of the hips, but I would like to stretch my thighs as well. Maybe I should try doing Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) for a month and see if that makes a difference. Any experience?