It's been a great week off work with a return to some tough training miles and the chance to run in daylight and even bright sunshine these last few days. After all those frustrating weeks of ice, snow and Achilles niggles the legs seem to be back in shape. I've completed a full week of sessions with no serious leg worries and it's left me feeling very inspired to get back into the training groove.
I've also nearly finished tweaking my training plan; as much as I ever finish with plan faffing. I'm now the proud creator of one daddy of a spreadsheet. [Geek alert] It now includes a pace formula to average my miles each week. Hopefully I'll get a sense of weekly intensity as well as mileage to help avoid over-training in the coming weeks.
Recent running chats and web research has also got me fully immersed again in marathon training theory. I've had some great book recommendations now purchased and soon to be delivered. I've also had this link over a year now, sent by an old club mate. It's only this week that I've explored it and appreciate the amazing Jack Daniels training tables; the spreadsheet is free to download from the link if you're keen... it's truly a great tool, if a bit scary at first. It tailors your training pace, projected race times and heart rate zones as well as lots of other stuff. It's frighteningly accurate and also quite incredible to see the potential for improvement when you cut down on cake and lose the odd pound.
Training wise its been a nippier week; most runs have crept under 7 minute miles with the exception of the odd easy recovery run. Today was a monster after joining forces with club mate Stewart M. I was lulled into a false sense of security for my long one this morning, an 18 miler at a 'steady' pace. Stewart's idea of steady got me home in an average of 6'51'' for the whole run. It's a bit frightening what your body ends up doing if you're absorbed in a bit of running chat and not watching the old Garmin. So, a bit fast and I'll probably pay for it at the track on Tuesday. It was great to be pushed hard though and no doubt I'll be back for more.