Leeds Half Marathon Training – Week 2

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Here’s how Week 2 of my Leeds HM training went. It all started off in the usual way, with me plodding around my usual haunts in Huddersfield. But as I’m on the job-hunt trail at the moment, the end of the week saw me travelling down to beautiful Shropshire, and I couldn’t resist taking my running gear with me, so I could have a nice leg-busting hill session for my Saturday run. As was the case for Week 1, this week involved a nice steady run, and then a speed session mid-week, and finally a longer steady run. With the Bridgnorth hills, that last run wasn’t so “steady” as it turned out!

Week 2 Session 1

The plan for this Tuesday session was a simple easy run, with a 35 minute duration. A bit parky out and I needed two running shirts over my compression top! There’s nothing worse than being freezing cold when you start out on a run. I always wear my Ronhill running gloves, but this time it was hat-time as well. So my run lasted for 38:24, a bit longer than planned for, but that’s okay. It was a nice easy-paced affair, with me clocking up another 3.4 miles (5.4 km).

Week 2 Session 2

I’m not sure whether I understood the Lucozade Plan properly for sesh 2, the speed run. It called for a warm up for 5 minutes, which is what I normally do anyway. Then it went on to prescribe four repetitions of 4 minute brisk/easy running intervals. It wasn’t clear whether that meant 4 minutes fast and four minutes recovery – or whether it meant 4 minutes in total for fast and recovery. I, of course, opted for the easier version – and did 2 minutes followed by 2 minutes recovery (that’s four minutes in total!) and did it four times. And then a nice 5 minute easy cooling down run at the end.

As it turned out, I did 8 minutes easy to get back home, notching up the mileage by another 3 miles in 29:20.

Week 2 Session 3

Sesh 3 was on the plan as a 45 minute easy run, but my schedule went out of sync a little as I was out of town. I took a trip to Shropshire on the Friday for a job interview in Shrewsbury. It was perfect timing as I wanted to get over to picturesque Bridgnorth where my parents live to go a see them over the weekend for their golden wedding anniversary – can you believe that? Fifty year married!

So instead of a leisurely 45 minutes of easy running, I ventured out into Bridgnorth from the river valley and upwards. There’s a monster of a hill in Bridgo called Hermitage Hill and I ran up that one last time I was in town – damn near killed me! This time I decided to do that previous route but in reverse. Of course, that meant I was still tackling the same elevation profile, but instead of the hill being 70 metres of elevation in 1 km, it was stretched out over a longer distance. Still hurt though.

By the time I got back round to the top of Hermitage Hill, I noticed a bunch of cyclists – as in ‘proper’ cyclists with lycra and aero helmets. I chuckled to myself as I began the precipitous descent of the hill, watching these poor guys (and gals! There was just a few of those too, pounding the pedals) trying to cycle up it. Ouch. I periodically clapped and cheered them to give them a bit of support as they went up past me. Later on, I found out they were doing the Wrekinsport CC Chris Edwards Hilly 18 Mile Time Trial, and chapeau to all of them for their efforts!

Meanwhile, I got my breath back as I picked up speed down the hill and back into Low Town, striding along in the sunny weather to finish up my own efforts, clocking 3.57 miles in 36:15.

So that was the week that was, Week 2 done. The next couple of weeks on the plan build on the endurance with gradually longer running durations. Looking forward to ’em.

Ironman

Neil (nickname Ironman) is an avid runner and sports fan, who writes about all things triathlon-related, especially running and cycling. He also writes about sports injuries and regaining fitness - mainly from personal experience rather than academic knowledge - although he does study that too!

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