The snow arrived properly in London a couple of days ago, and I have been glad that I haven’t had to go out running in it.  Compared to other parts of the country the snowfall in town is paltry, but as of this morning enough had fallen and frozen over in West London to make the roads and pavements far too dangerous to run on without specialist gear.  Luckily, having sneaked in my tempo run on Monday morning and thus avoided the worst of the weather, the rest of my sessions until the weekend (a treadmill speed session and some gym and spin classes) are all capable of being done whilst safe and warm tucked up in the basement. 

I don’t normally bother blogging about my spin classes, but yesterday’s lunchtime class with Raj really tested my legs – so much so that I wondered how my quads would hold up with the tough speed session this evening.  Unlike my other spin instructors, Raj doesn’t go in for hill climbs and sprints much, and certainly not choreographing them to music.  He is more keen on brutal isolation work and jumps, which are a lot less fun (and maybe not such a great cardio workout) but probably more effective for building strength and muscle tone.  Today my thighs feel pretty sore, but gratifyingly rock solid too.  (I realise that’s just lactic acid, but every girl wants firm thighs, right?) 

What with the already-sore legs, and the session ahead involving 400m intervals at the fastest pace I will have to hit in this training programme, I was expecting today’s run to be tough.  And it is true that during my warm-up my poor quads did grumble loudly.  But once I had done the obligatory 800m warm up jog and hit the “increase speed” button to ramp it up to 12kph, suddenly it didn’t seem quite so hard.  The pace was tough, but 400m seemed to fly by much faster than last time I did a 400’s session (yes, I know that by definition it wasn’t really faster, but perception is everything!) and I found myself recovering between intervals very easily.  I had expected this week’s step-up from four to six intervals to hurt, but in fact I felt comfortable enough to really push on the last one and take the speed up to 13kph for the last 200m.  It’s interesting to see how much fitter I appear to have got over four weeks following this plan.  Very encouraging.

The weather forecast indicates that temperatures will start to get back above freezing over the weekend, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to get back outside for my eight-miler at some point during Saturday or Sunday.  I don’t think I could handle almost an hour and a half on a treadmill without going stir crazy.  Although, it’s good to know that at least I do have that nuclear option.  Over Christmas, with no handy treadmill, if I can’t get outside I won’t be able to go running at all.  That would be a disaster, especially since I have my first ten-miler planned for Christmas morning (post-presents, obviously).  This must be the first year I have ever sincerely hoped that it won’t be a White Christmas.  Bah, humbug!

Distance:  5.5km (3.44 miles), inc 6 x 400m at 12kph (or faster) off 300m @ 10kph recoveries
Time:  30.54
Terrain:  treadmill
Time of day:  5.30pm
Notable features:  quads that grumbled but did the job


About westlondonplodder
Thirty-something London girl looking for the next big challenge

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