Week 5: the one that everyone talks about. This is the first of two weeks where each workout is different, gradually ramping up the effort until the w5d3 continuous 20 minute run. For me it was going to be about concentrating on pace. Once again I took to the treadmill for day 1, 3 intervals of 5 minutes with 3 minutes RI. I went back to my planned pace on this and, for the most part, stuck to it. The only time I didn’t was briefly during the last interval when I hopped off the treadmill for a couple of seconds, nominally to catch my breath. I got straight back on and then stepped the pace up as penance – a way of making up for the lapse in focus.
I still struggle with this habit – of giving up and easing off when the end is so very nearly in sight. It’s like my brain screams “No more!” and I have to take a brief respite by hopping off the treadmill or walking during a race. Yes, I will admit again that I have yet to finish any race without walking at some point! Ultras, obviously, are forgivable but even in 5k/10k/HM I’ve stopped and walked. But it seems providence was waiting for me when I got back from the gym as I found a link to a Runner’s World article about “building mental muscle”. The article referenced Tim Noakes’ “Lore of Running” which, coincidentally, I’d been reading the night before.
The article made me reassess my approach to the next two sessions.