I wrote a post back in November about training for The Speed Project (which you can read here) and how in all honesty I had no idea where to start. I was totally overwhelmed. Frantic googling got me nowhere. I played around with putting together a plan myself, but lacked the confidence to really believe it in. The guys behind the race shared something that we could use which initially felt like a massive relief, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t going to work for me, the milage was far more than I was used to having followed the principles of Power Speed Endurance for a year and with term drawing to a close (and paperwork!) were taking over my life. Training took a backseat.
When I’m training I try to get the most value I can out of each workout. Juggling work, studying and training means I’m time poor, and it’s less than three months until we line up on Santa Monica Pier to run to Las Vegas, so it’s all got to count. I just couldn’t work out what I needed to do to make that happen when it came to training for The Speed Project, and it was really stressing me out.
One of the things I’ve learnt over the years is that it’s ok to ask for help. Especially when you’re doing something that scares you. Although I loved working with Chevy in the run up to Bournemouth Marathon last year the bottom line was that I just couldn’t afford one to one coaching any more, and I really wanted coaches with a track record when it comes to The Speed Project because it’s such unique race. As luck would have it I was scrolling through Instagram one day and noticed that some of the WMN Run team had worked with Rach and Tom at Run Namaste Eat before The Speed Project last year. Rach and Tom work with athletes to develop bespoke training plans and offer virtual training, it’s an affordable way to manage the anxieties that come with training for such a left-field event. While I don’t have one to one session with Rach and Tom they have created a plan just for me that works with my lifestyle, my strengths and weaknesses and my goals and they are always there at the end of the phone to answer questions and give me some (often needed) reassurance. The day that my plan fell into my inbox I finally felt confident I could train for this thing!
All my training is tracked through FinalSurge, an app that connects me to Rach and Tom. It lets me log my workouts and lets them feedback and give suggestions. Each week I get workouts based on how things are going, which is great because it means my plans can be tweaked when I do something like get a concussion! It’s also the first time in years that I’ve regularly recorded all my training, and I find it fascinating! There’s something really satisfying about seeing the progress I’m making and reflecting on how that progress makes me feel. Although Christmas (and concussion) means I’ve not hit every workout (some flexibility is built into my plan) I’m making really good progress when it comes to my endurance, I’m running faster and longer every week and overall I find that I’m not as tired through the day. I’m also getting stronger thanks to some simple strength training exercises put together by Megs at Kimi Ora . Yoga is helping my body stay in good condition and the heat at Fierce Grace Brixton means that my body is getting used to working in higher temperatures and adapting more quickly.
Friday - IN at Fierce Grace – a deeper slower practice similar to Yin which I find really relaxing. It also really helps to open up all my tight bits!
Saturday - REST DAY
Sunday - 6.3 miles easy run – This run was great, despite it being the first day of my period I felt strong and fast. I’d always assumed I wouldn’t be up for training when I’m on my period, turns out I was wrong!
Monday - 4.6 miles easy run – so wasn’t up for this run. I felt sore and stiff and groggy, but went out with Mike, got it done and felt better for it.
Tuesday - REST DAY – no idea what time I got home on NYE, definitely needed a rest!
Wednesday - 9.2 miles around town with Doris, The November Project and Deep Core at Fierce Grace – just a bit of a busy day! I loved cycling through the city early in the morning and meeting the crew at the November Project, plus it was lovely as always to unwind at yoga in the evening. It was one of those days where you go to bed happy and tired!
Thursday - Pilates at Heartcore – mega long day at work made better by my first pilates session in an embarrassingly long time! I’d been putting off heading to class because I was terrified it would hurt, but actually it was fine and I felt really fresh the next day.
What’s striking to me is that I’ve not run a whole lot this week, just under 13 miles. Don’t get the idea that I’m slacking here, my training week actually runs Sunday to Sunday, and looking back at FinalSurge my runs seem to have fallen outside this snapshot (I’ve got three runs planned this weekend). That aside, I’m pretty pleased with this week, lots of yoga, Pilates and my first experience of the November Project have left my body feeling strong and challenged, which is exactly how I like it! I was also thrilled to get in some time with Doris, I’d not been out on two wheels since I banged my head and it was amazing to be cycling again (although my legs were killing me afterwards! No cycling endurance here!).
I’ve been thinking a bit about what I want to focus on over the next week or so and the word that comes to mind is CONSISTENCY. I want to be training consistently, consistently eating well and getting consistent rest. Really I think that’s what’s going to get me through this training cycle, but for the time being I’m good focusing week to week, listening to my body and adapting where I need to.
Are you curious about how I’m training for the Speed Project? Is there anything you’d like to know? Let me know in the comments and I will see what I can do!
*images: Anna Rachel Photography
*I am an ambassador for Fierce Grace Brixton, but all opinions are my own