If all goes exactly according to schedule I'll be up to half-marathon distance sometime in October. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity with the Great North Run being in September 2014, almost a year later. The challenge will be to maintain my level of fitness through that year; something I plan to do by repeating the training programmes with increasing gradient levels on the treadmill. The opportunity is the ability to be flexible with the programme - repeating weeks I find difficult rather than pushing myself pointlessly on to targets I'll be unable to reach. I've already exploited this by repeating the week I should've done in Spain (I did do some running there, as I believe I may already have mentioned; just not enough) but this week it came in very handy. I felt as though I'd finally hit the limit. This week's scheme was three workouts, each alternating 3 minute and 90 second runs with 2 minutes of walking. I have now stepped up the pace to 8kph which I realise is pretty pedestrian to any proper runners out there but, as I keep harping on about - fat, unfit, little legs etc. This is proving a significantly sterner challenge than 6kph (although I was a bit alarmed during my road runs in Spain to learn that my walking pace is faster than my running pace). Anyway, for the first time I really struggled with my breathing (again, as mentioned before) so decided to repeat the week this week. Just did the first workout again today and I'm delighted to report that it did actually feel easier. Managed the whole thing without breaking my breathing rhythm - I think when you do start to get properly breathless and have to drop your rhythm to start gasping, a certain amount of panic sets in and you end up defeating yourself mentally.
The wife did the Woodhall Spa 10K this Sunday in a rather impressive time of 59:32; she ran all the way and actually found it pretty easy, certainly more so than the Lincoln 10K earlier in the year. I'll be hoping to emulate the feat (although perhaps in not quite so sporting a time) later in the year, perhaps the Great Yorkshire 10K in Sheffield in September? The winner of the race by the way did it in 32:14. Not human.
In other news, there's a great yellow orb hanging in the cerulean blue sky outside radiating heat and light upon me. I've no idea what it is and don't recall seeing anything like it for many a year - I'll keep you up to date.
End of Phase Two, Week Three (about to be repeated):
Ran/walked 6.75K total
Still weigh around 128kg - maybe the fat's turning into muscle?
Shin pains seem better with new shoes
Cardiovascular fitness appears to be picking up