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Saturday 9 February 2013

Week 8, Day 4: 5 x 1 miles ... Didn't Happen

Week 8, Day 4

Goal: 5 x 1 mile repeats at 7 – 7.30 min/mile (8 mile total)

Actual: 3 x 1 mile repeats at 6:45 min/mile (7 mile total)

I was looking forward to this session. I’d had a busy day but this was a session I was confident about. I’d hit well within this pace running 5 miles in a Santa outfit on Christmas day … 3 hours after Christmas dinner so I was pretty sure that I could fly around the track and enjoy this one.

The plan was a 2 mile warm up around the town and then back to the track to start the session. The warm up was fine and although the night was chilly, it wasn’t any colder than it had been for the last few days.

I started the session and struggled to keep my pace steady. I’d taken my jacket off for the first set as I tend to get very warm when I’m running – I prefer to run in a vest and capris if possible … even in February! – but I was getting very cold and feeling unusually fatigued. The first 4 laps were completed in just under a 7 min/mile but this wasn’t particularly comfortable.

I spent the 2 minute break between repeats putting my jacket back on as I was struggling to keep warm and my fingers felt swollen. I completed the second set and again struggled to keep the pace and I couldn’t clench my fists as I was getting too cold.

There was something wrong here. I decided that I would try to complete the third mile repeat and call it a day. I’m all for pushing through, but it felt like there was nothing in the tank and the only thing that I would manage if I did the full 5 sets would be an injury and increasingly inconsistent laps. I don’t tend to give up but I felt there would be nothing to be gained here. There’s a difference between normal running pain and what I was feeling here. My body was saying “this is enough”.

Possible reasons for the struggle:

  • I’d been in a sauna at lunchtime trialling a new gym and it could have been dehydration … although I’d had 2 glasses of apple juice and 2 enormous mugs of tea.
  • We’d been training at work and I hadn’t had time to eat before the session and it had been over 6 hours since lunchtime … although it had been an enormous lunch.
  • I wasn’t dressed properly for the cold weather … although I wasn’t dressed differently than usual.
  • I was coming down with a cold – my 3 year old has a hacking cough and a high temperature at the moment … although no symptoms have since materialised. 
  • I’m putting it down to a combination of the factors above. Also I have to have a difficult session every now and then … if every session went completely to plan what would be the point of hard work and practise?


2 mile warm up

3 x 1 miles on the track at 6:45 min/miles

2 mile cool down


  1. hey we all have then Sarah, think time between eating and running could be a major factor even if it was a big lunch

    1. I think you're absolutely right, Paul. I'm so used to scoffing my tea then going out for a run that I hadn't considered the difference a few hours would make! Definitely lesson learned! :)