The Daft 5k Challenge – The Final Week!

This is the fourth and final update for our Daft 5k January Challenge – you may want to go back and read our intro first if you’re just jumping in!

Four weeks is not much for a normal training plan, but actually reflects the time we usually allow for race-specific training. To be honest, our race-specific training used to be other races before lockdown! We’re curious to find out how this will go.

Jamie:

I had a pretty good week with 15km of easy running, a tempo run and a final speed session. On the bike I had a recovery spin and then a bit more of a hilly ride. All on Zwift of course! It is getting a little bit tough on the treadmill; anything more than 5k is dull. The bike is much more entertaining, but I guess it’s a bit more interactive and you have more of a stimulus.

I’m sure Alex will mention something about tapering, but for me this was composed of two rest days. It doesn’t really feel like we should be tapering too much, even with our next challenge starting soon after. It’s a matter of doing the training block, getting the time trial done and moving on. Perhaps we can rest in March?!?

I’m starting to enjoy my core and stretch work a bit more. It is surprising how sore you get after the first go, but your body soon gets used to it. As with all things running, consistency is the key.

My ambition at the start of all this was obviously to boost my speed over the 5k distance, hopefully hitting a PB (all-time or even best time from the last few years). However, I believe general speed and stamina over the longer distances can benefit from the 5k workouts that we’ve been doing. It will interesting seeing how this can all roll upwards.

I don’t have any particular routines that I go through the day before a race. Usually a glass of wine is involved, but I’m giving that a pause for the moment. Maybe a celebratory one afterwards! Once it hits the afternoon perhaps.

Alex:

We’re finally here – the last week of training. Time to start tapering! Actually… there’s probably not really much point for what we’re doing. Well anyway I did end up tapering. So, let’s say it was all part of the plan eh? 

Monday was very snowy and icy around where I run – to the point where attempting to do a tempo run was out of the question. Rather than do a slip-and-slide run that probably wouldn’t give me any benefit I opted to do an indoor bike session instead. Back on Apple Fitness+! I kept my cycle session on Tuesday (Les Mills this time as I’m keeping it interesting with a regular blend of fitness providers). 

Owing to my inability to wake up on time, I stopped extending into the 10k distance… oh, erm, what I mean to say is that I thought that it was important to taper in the last week of training!  

I don’t think this is particularly impactful as I’m generally at around 6-7km by the end of the ‘workout’ session of my run… so like 6/7km over the 2 runs I did do? These were my normal 6x2min interval session and the tempo run I missed on Monday by the way. I felt that after the sub-par tempo session of week 3, it was worth trying to get 1 decent tempo run in rather than my 1-2-3 intervals. 

So, do I feel ready? No, not at all. I don’t think I’m any faster than at the start of the month. Running even the 1-mile (1.6k) tempo sections at a pace that would equate to the 25minute 5k I ran on 1st January seemed challenging if I’m honest. 

However, today is Saturday – the penultimate day before our timed 5-k – and I’m going to do my tried-and-tested, best-practice, race prep: wine and chocolate muffins! 

Author: Jamie Jones

I kind of like running. Sometimes. I definitely like gaming!

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