Did we all just run London, and other marathons, last week in completely crazy heat? Friday group today, by complete contrast, was drizzly and cold. The gloves were back on. Does this mean we’ve had our summer?! I prefer running in the heat, so really didn’t mind last weekend – today, it was hard to keep up the motivation and my layers didn’t come off!
My friend John ran Southampton Marathon last weekend, so we got a quick medals shot before we started. The crazy man is running another marathon this weekend. After London Marathon on Sunday I haven’t run this week, to give my body time to recover. I was definitely not feeling on point today, not so much due to the marathon, but my mum has gone on holiday for two weeks, leaving me to cope with my three girls on my own. Unbelievable! Which has made for a very busy week, on already tired legs. There hasn’t been time to run. The logistics of taxiing three people in three different directions most evenings has fried my brain.
So, today’s plan was very low key. We did our slow jog to the beach front to raise our temperature and heart rate, then we worked on technique with some high knee skipping drills. Thinking, as always, about high hips, dynamic drive off the ground, sprinters arms and feeling light and bouncy. We carried this through into some Flying 30s, which involve accelerating for 30m, holding top speed for 30m, then decelerating. After one I asked the group to really concentrate on their posture: the helium balloon coming from their head, a dinner plate in their stomach that you don’t want to spill etc. The change in posture was staggering (typically I didn’t film this one).
Then it was on to our session, 10 beach hut shingle efforts. There’s a perfect stretch of shingle, about 150m long, where you can power along, then recover on the road behind. Everyone runs to their own level, and completes the number they feel comfortable doing. The benefits of running on shingle (or sand) if you are lucky to live near a beach are that the shifting ground makes your ankles and calves become stronger. You have to work harder to run, yet you are suffering less impact than running on pavements or roads. I was so impressed with the efforts today, well done guys. I had warned everyone to hold something back, for our fun strength work at the end of the shingle efforts.
Seeing as us runners always neglect our upper body strength work, we marked out a short stretch for a competitive partner wheelbarrow race. Most of the group took part, some decided on doing crab walks/planks as an alternative. The aim: one person went on their hands and walked as far as they could, while their partner guided their legs (this seemed surprisingly challenging), before they swapped half way, to give their partner the chance to work their arms.
The winners were Jock and Rob; Jock being a military man, there was no way he was going to let anyone else win. It was a simple exercise, and surprisingly tough. Plus very entertaining.
We then regrouped for a slow jog back. I hit 3.7miles at the end of the session, intentionally, in support of Matt Campbell, who sadly died after collapsing at Mile 22 of Sunday’s London Marathon. If you’d like to run in his memory this week, just run 3.7m and donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattcampbell-londonmarathon