It's been almost a month since I ran the Puffing Billy Race, so it's time for a quick update. To keep the momentum going, I entered the Run Melbourne half marathon at the end of July which I had to start training for straight away. The week after Puffing Billy I ached and couldn't get motivated to run much. The hills had taken it out of me, and I managed one short jog. But since then, I've trained pretty well.
My plan is to run 3 times a week. I'm going to try a shortish run (5-8 km) at a pace that is faster than normal, a middle distance run (10 km) at a reasonable pace for me, and a long run at any pace I can manage. This last run will hopefully build up to 20 km, as I'm a big believer in getting the distance under ones legs before going for the run.
The week after Puffing Billy was perfect. I ran 7 km on Monday 11th at 6 minute pace, followed ths up with 9 km on Thursday and just under 12 km at the weekend. Actually, since then things have been going absolutely to plan, with the short runs getting a little faster, and the long runs further. I now seem to be able to run 8 or 9 km in 5.50 pace comfortably. Of course, I'd like to bring that down further, perhaps towards 5.30 pace, but I'm not sure how realistic that is for this upcoming run in July.
Today, I went further than ever before at just under 17 km. Though I was going at what felt like an easy pace, the first 5 km were quite reasonable for me, at 28.53, and this continued through to 10 km which took me 58.41. I took a drink break at about 13 km, and was suffering a bit from then on, but still managed to keep going at an average of under 6 minute pace for the whole thing.
I am utterly amazed and thoroughly happy about this run and the progress I've made since Puffing Billy. I was running heavy for Puffing Billy, but I'm over 2 kg lighter now, and would like to lose another 1-2 kg before the half marathon. This might partly explain why I found the hills of Belgrave so difficult this year and faded in the last few km of the Great Train Race.
So with 2 months to go, I intend to crank up the mileage for the next few weeks, and then concentrate on regular speed and strength work after that. After today's run, I feel that a half marathon in uner 2 hours, 10 minutes is possible, and I can even see me aiming for under 2 hours in the future.