Is it really week five already?! That means it is only three weeks until race day; three weeks until 10,000 women take over Victoria Park in East London and have a massive party!
Not that long ago I moved to an area with a lot of hills. In part this is great, running up and down some monsters has really improved my endurance, but it has also taken its toll, and I've had a little bit of shin pain and had to take last week off running. My Monday night run with Nike was the first time I had run in a week, and coupled with some achy muscles from my weekend HIIT session, I was terrified I wouldn't be able to keep up! However, as always, life has a funny way of surprising you, and actually the 7.5k scamper around London was just what I needed.
Starting out, as always, from Nike Town Oxford Circus, we headed down towards The Mall and St James' Park, where we were met by Nike Master Trainers Gil and Joslyn who were there to put us through our paces with technique drills. I love any opportunity to hone my skills and get a bit of 'free speed' (I can't recommend Kinetic Revolution enough when it comes to run technique courses!), so it was great to spend some really focused time thinking about how I run, and what I can do to improve it.
While running us through drills, Gil made an interesting point - when you think you are running fast, you probably aren't, it's when you are cruising that the speed kicked in. This is something I've noticed over time with my running. For the first 20 minutes of any run my body hates me, it screams at me what are you doing!! and moves slowly, despite all my hard work. Then something clicks. Suddenly things feel easier and my pace improves. I'm cruising. I think the moral of the story is to stop trying so hard, relax in to things and enjoy it!
Drills over it was down through Westminster, passed Big Ben and over the most crowded bridge in London, where the game of dodge the tourist became even more intense...I am pretty sure we kicked over more than one cup game....
I love to run by the river, and it was great to head down along the river, before crossing back over the river (this time using a less crowded bridge) and up in to Soho for a little does of progressive speed work. My experiences of speed work have, to date, been mostly negative, and at points nauseous...but being the enthusiastic sort I am I threw myself in, and you know, it wasn't that bad. Using one of the numerous garden squares that appear as little surprises throughout Soho, we progressively picked up the pace as we turned each corner until we hit a full on sprint before a recovery run back to the store. Yes, it was tough, but at least I didn't vomit...and I know I will have a photo finish as I sprint the last 200 meters of the race!
Read my other posts about We Own The Night here!