Record breaker!

Week 4 Training and Fundraising

Monday – Long Night Shift
Tuesday – 2.24 mile Snowy Fartlek Run
Wednesday – 5.23 mile Steady Run (icy!)
Thursday – Sick with Cold Virus
Friday – Recovery day
Saturday – Recovery day (damn sickness!)
Sunday – 9.13 mile Long Run

Weekly Mileage – 16.6 miles
Total Mileage 2013 – 55.55 (cool number!)

Weekly Sponsors – £130
Total Sponsors – £366

No bake sale this week!

Feeling very chuffed for myself 😀 had a cracking long run on Sunday where I smashed 6 of my PB’s this year. Training looks as though it is paying off! Here is a sum up of my record breaking run –

Fastest 1km – 5:34 (was 6:37)

Fastest 5km – 30:52 (was 35:31)

Fastest 10km – 1:06:19 (was 1:15:30)

Fastest 1mile – 9:15 (was 11:22)

Longest Run of 2013 – 1:42:41 (was 1:25:40)

Farthest Distance of 2013 – 9.13 miles (was 7 miles)

OK, so I’m still not very fast….. But I am faster than I was at the beginning of the year and running at my quickest since having my beautiful daughters. I am still dreaming however of the day when I can run like the wind and like pre children (consistent 10 minute miles, still slow in the world of running but that’s the best I can do!).

The snow did force a slow start to the running week with a short distance Fartlek, but man it was tough! I’ll be talking more about Fartlek running in a wee moment. However as the snow melted away and the road was good for running, I was off like a rocket 😀 (until a heavy chesty cold knocked me off the running radar for a few days!)

And I also got some great sponsors this week. People have been so incredibly generous and trying to think of ways to thank them all. Cake?

Talking of cake, again no bake sale this week 😦 but will do one for sure next week!

Was glad to do a bit of speed/interval work I actually enjoy this week. Fartlek running is the ONLY speed work I can say I enjoy. Hills, Intervals, and Threshold are not my best friends. I do them because I have to.

Some people get confused between Fartlek running and Interval running. There is one key difference (and I’ll try to keep it simple for beginners). Interval running includes very prescriptive speed intervals at pretty much the same length each time with the same recovery time between interval. An example –

10 minutes of steady running followed by 10 x 90 second fast running with 90 seconds recovery in between intervals. 10 minute cool down after intervals.

Fartlek running on the other hand is a little more random. The term ‘Fartlek’ is derived from the Swedish Language and simply means ‘Speed Play’ (see, it is fun already!) You use a trigger to decide when you run faster and when you recover. Each interval can be of different lengths and recoveries are also different lengths. I use lampposts as my trigger. After a warm up (usually around 10-15 minutes) I run fast at the next lamppost, and I keep running fast until I get to the following lamppost. I then recover until the next lamppost…. So on…. For 20-25 minutes… I use a variety of side streets and main roads as the distances between lampposts are different. So one interval might only be 25 seconds, another may be a minute or more. And the same for recoveries. Whatever your trigger remember to keep it varied and challenging. And you may choose to use a different trigger each time. The delight with Fartlek running is it really doesn’t matter!!! As long as you do them of course!!!

The one big benefit of Fartlek training is that it triggers all three of your functional exercise systems into action. These three systems are aerobic, anaerobic, and lactate.

Aerobic exercise is much associated with weight loss and the main reason for this is that it is training your body to burn fat instead of sugar to get through your activity. Walking and easy running are great for this type of exercise. And of course, as a runner, it is good to burn fat, as then you are taking a lean muscular body around the course which is far more efficient than a body high in body fat. Aerobic exercise also involves a high intake of oxygen which is essential in any long distance running and so is the system most often used by long distance runners. You need to exercise aerobically to challenge and strengthen your cardiovascular system, an absolute must in distance running.

However, you still need to exercise anaerobically. Anaerobic exercise is often associated with body building and exercise where you need to work at high intensity for short bursts of time, for example, 100m sprints, bench presses, push ups. Long distance runners use their anaerobic systems during Fartlek training to help get them through their runs by running in short bursts even when they have depleted glucose stores. Anaerobic literally means ‘without oxygen’, hence why you can only exercise anaerobically for short periods, and if you can train this system well your body will become far more efficient and the muscles in your legs will be so much stronger when it comes to running beyond 10k. This can make your overall strength increased and your pace quicker.

Your lactate system can also only be used for short periods of time (kicks in during the fast running of you Fartlek run!). However this pace can be maintained for longer than your anaerobic pace, so is slightly slower (somewhere between aerobic and anaerobic!). If you run at this fast pace for too long however your body will start to produce lactic acid as it attacks the muscles in a bid to produce more energy. Then in comes the cramp. Lactate pace is different for everybody. But train your body often enough and you will be able to sustain your personal lactate pace for longer and your lactate threshold (the speed at which you run before producing lactic acid) will become faster. Making your overall pace faster.

All good benefits if you ask me! And I really hope it all makes sense to beginners!

Next week I will be looking more into Muscular Dystrophy and in particular Duchenne MD. Don’t forget the links on this page to take you to my justgiving page, and also to lead you to the charity website.


A very cold and snowy run!


One thought on “Record breaker!

  1. I’m so proud of you Sarah, you are training so hard, as well as working nights, baking for cake sales, & being an incredible mother to our beautiful daughters – you’re amazing. This is a fantastic post & really really interesting and makes me want to go out there and do more! I know for me, if I know what a certain run is doing for me and how it can benefit me then I am very motivated otherwise I lose all my focus. I think we’d recommend spending as much time on these short, but very intense training runs, as logging mile upon mile, as all 3 energy systems form a stronger overall you. Good Luck everyone! x


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