running

The joy of exploring – running the Wales Coast path

As race day slowly creeps closer (six weeks to go now) my training plan is building for the last time.

This week has been great for finding out more about what to expect from the race as Rhys and Cerys from Pegasus, who run the event, popped onto a zoom call to chat to us and answer our questions. We all now have a pretty good idea of where all the toilets are on the route! Joking aside it was helpful to find out about where the rest stops would be, what was happening about food and drink, what we would realistically we need to carry with us as well as great places to recce.

Training wise I’ve completed my strength training as usual. I’m still making an effort to do my glute exercises. My left glute (aka Gertrude) is still very weak so I’m doing more reps for my single leg exercises on my left than my right.

Weekday running wise I ran seven miles as my easy run. I tried to find grass to run on to get used to running on softer ground rather than the pavement. The bluebells are starting to come out in and around Cardiff.

I also completed a speed session of six minute intervals with two minutes rests. The session was five sets. It always amazes me that six minutes feels so long! I forgot to set the pace for the six minutes reps on my Garmin so had a guess, and I’m pretty impressed as I did a fairly good go at keeping in the pace boundaries that I wanted to be in.

On Thursday I invested in some Hoka speedgoats for the race as the Wales Coast Path is a trail. You can run it in road shoes fairly easily if its been dry but I didn’t want to get to race day find it had rained and have had no chance to train in anything other than road shoes.

I gave them their inaugural run out yesterday on an hours run with AJ. We headed out round the local reservoir. I was surprised at how bouncy they were in the road but how comfy they were on the more traily bits. My legs did feel a bit stiff at the end but I’m not sure if that was down to the new shoes or the sports massage I had on Friday.

Today I went out with friends to recce some of the route. It’s the second section I’ve run and each bit is building more of my confidence. The views are breathtaking and given it’s pretty much on my doorstep I can’t believe I’ve never run here before.

The bit we ran was some of the more technical section today. There were lots of steps and a pebbly beach section to navigate too. We ran out and back so had to contend with it twice but it’s all good practice.

I didn’t wear the speedgoats today as I’ve only been out in them once but today has convinced me that I want to at least start in them and maybe leave my road shoes in my drop bag for the second half of the race.

I went over on my ankle at one point on the uneven surface. We walked for a bit afterwards to ease it out and it feels ok, but I’m strapped up with a tube bandage now just in case. I’m thinking I might take it with me in my bag on race day, in case I want the extra support. I’m hoping that as my speedgoats will provide a bit of extra support as they have a wider base so I’m hoping my ankle won’t twist so easily.

What surprised us was just how windy it was out on the path. When I left the house I figured I’d be running in a t-shirt. But when I arrived at Porthkerry Country Park it was obvious a t-shirt wasn’t going to cut it today. By chance I’d packed my jacket to practice carrying it so I popped it on and wore it almost the whole time we were out.

My weekend sessions now start to build over the next four weeks before tapering start. I’m hoping to explore more of the coast path over the next few weeks.

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