So yesterday morning I decided I was going to make a valiant attempt to join the exclusive (at least so far to me) early morning runner club. I planned to set my alarm at 5.30 in order to be out of the house at 5.45; bash out at least 6 miles down at the beach and be home by 7.00am when I usually hit the shower.
I prepared carefully; laying out my gear outside the bedroom in dressing order so I had everything I needed to hand. I was tired and needed an early night anyway; but I was in bed by 10pm with lights out by 10 past, and as usual I slept the sleep of the dead.
Come 5.30am however, my alarm went and I rolled out of bed after a viscious poke in the ribs from Badger and staggered over piles of sleeping cats to the bathroom. After falling asleep on the toilet briefly I went to look out of the window and saw rain and wind as I struggled to keep my eyes open. Now I’m now in the habit of doing this these days – but I said “sod it” and went straight back to bed. Running at 5.30am in the rain is a new layer of hell I can save for another day.
When my normal alarm went off at 6.40am I thought i’d dreamt it all – especially as the sun was now shining. I felt a little disappointed in myself for not following through with my plan. It did, however, pave the way for a much better run in the afternoon when I had some extra time to fit in 9.2miles on a new route.
I’ve never had a problem getting up for an early morning gym session, but I guess that’s because it’s warm and inviting and if I have to bail on the workout I can step off the treadmill and straight into the shower.
I’ve been thinking of ways to bump up my mileage and endurance as I move into proper half marathon training (for the Stonehaven Half on 3rd July), and one of these was doing morning AND evening runs…maybe not every day, and it would depend a lot on work committments – but I know I’ll find a way to make it work somehow.
In another training update; I tried a new treadmill work-out at the gym the other day – as first seen on Meals And Miles. It’s a great workout for blasting speed if you’ve not got long. I’m naming it my 5-4-3-2-1 workout.- After warming up, set the treadmill to a comfortable slow running pace – for me this is 6.0mph.
– Run for 5 minutes at 6.0, 4 mins at 6.5, 3 mins at 7.0, 2 mins at 7.5 and 1 min at 8.0. Simple!
I then walked for 5 mins and repeated it but with an incline increase instead, starting at 2.5% and working up to 4.5%. By the end of this 30 minute workout I was dripping with sweat – it’s harder than it looks, and can obviously be increased in difficulty too.
My run long yesterday afternoon was a good one – the weather was a bit odd, with blasting hot sun interspersed with very heavy rain showers. Rather refreshing, I thought! I did my bog standard 5mile beach front route, and then continued North up the coast through the Royal Aberdeen Golf Course for a few miles. I had checked the route out on Googlemaps and it didn’t look like private property, but I was still a little hesitant when I arrived on the course. The golf course has a tarmaced single track road which extends a few miles up the coast and looks perfect for runners, so I was hoping not to see a big ‘no trespassing’ sign at the gates! I was quickly passed by another runner though which allayed my fears. We must be a common sight on the trail then.
I’ll definitely be using it again – scenic, quiet and tarmaced, with a bench with a view at the end of the course. For all it’s downpoints – living in the North East Scotland does have its charms…