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Tour de Newport Training: Week 2

Week 2 of the Tour de Newport training and it was similar to last week with speed instead of hills on Wednesday and slightly longer runs on the weekend. Like last week, I’m really enjoying the structured running and working towards that goal.

Tuesday – 6 Miles

The start of week 2 of training and this week is pretty much the same as the last except for running a bit longer on the weekend and swapping Wednesday hills for speed work. The plan is to aim for around 40 miles in total for the week.

Was surprisingly easy to get up at 4am (with the gentle tapping on the wrist from the Apple Watch to encourage me) and there wasn’t the battle with the mind about whether it would be better to stay in a warm bed.

The legs felt a bit heavy throughout the run which helped me stick to a pace more suited to the one I should be training at.

Distance: 6 Miles

Wednesday – 5 Miles (Speed)

Unlike yesterday, today was a lot harder to get out of bed and was a bit of a battle with the mind – ‘are you sure you don’t want to do this after work in the sun?’. I forced myself out of bed and instantly felt up for getting out there and managed to leave the house pretty much the same time as yesterday.

Ok the training plan today was 5 miles speed work so headed to the Riverfront for the usual loops using the two side for the speed sessions and the bridges for recovery. Back when I was training in the second half of last year I found that my speed was improving and was able to run a 5K in just under 20:30 but since doing some longer runner challenges I’ve neglected speed work so this was the first session in quite a while and whilst it felt good I was feeling a lot slower than before. I’m sure over time that will come back if I keep at it.

Distance: 5 Miles

Thursday – 7 Miles

Managed to continue with the 0430 mid-week runs for a second week and today’s run was a 7 mile easy run around the city. Another nice and quite run with just the early shift worker heading to work and the odd police patrol car.

At such an early hour it does feel like you’re the only person out there and in some parts you are – I ran the entire length of the main street of Newport without seeing another soul.

A straightforward run that was enjoyable and felt good. Nautical twilight was getting earlier arriving just after 5am.

Distance: 7 Miles

Saturday – 14-16 Miles

With ‘start local’ still in place, I headed to a similar place to last weeks run. Starting at Draethen I headed north along a quiet country lane whilst listening to Elise Downing talk at TEDx about her run around the UK a few years back (appropriate for this training run) and had a few good takeaways from the session. The lane led down into Machen when I joined the main A468 to Caerphilly which despite being a busy road was surprisingly peaceful in places.

The road passes through the villages of Trethomas and Bedwas before reaching Caerphilly. It’s a road I’ve driven along many times but have never run. Caerphilly was the turning point so after a couple of obligatory photos at the castle I then headed along Van Road out of the town. The road brought back memories of my first 10k race back in 2016 and climbing up towards Rudry Common I was in the vicinity of the farm where I ran a beer ultra back in 2017.

At Rudry I turned south along a very undulating lane towards Cefn Mably where I encountered a very friendly horse who was more than happy to pose for selfies. I’m a sucker for photographing horses and cows along a run or walk so couldn’t resist stopping before getting back to it and onto the lanes run last week which passed through Michaelstone-y-Fedw and back to Draethen. The end of the run had the excellent rope swing which I had encountered last week. Obviously I couldn’t resist finishing the run by having a go on it.

Distance: 15.5 Miles

Sunday – 70 Minutes

Today’s session was 1 hour 10 minutes and should have been at a leisurely pace but I had a craving for a tempo run and the legs were feeling ok after Saturday’s longish run so went for it.

Still keeping local I headed to the west of Newport and Llanwern village for a circular run. I am familiar with the area but I haven’t run along many of the lanes but knowing the area will mean that I won’t have to worry about navigating.

The route headed west through Bishton skirting along the main railway line and then onto Underwood where it joined Magor Road for a short distance and then headed north up towards Llandevaud. This was the first of two big climbs and once in Llandevaud it levelled off and then dropped down a steep hill to Chepstow Road. I was very familiar with this Road having photographed runners coming down there during the annual Rack Raid race.

This was the furthest point out so it was back along Chepstow Road through Langstone and then a left turn up climb number two and then down back to the start.

It was such a pleasant route and so peaceful along the winding country lanes. There were old houses in Bishton (one still with the steps for a coach), old churches, a phone box library and a cow on the loose in a lane (her herd mates were shouting at her when I walked past). It had been a little while since I’d done a 10 mile tempo run so was challenging at times but really enjoyed it, even the steep hill at mile 9!

Distance: 10 Miles (75 Minutes)

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I once didn't run, then I started to run and got addicted. Then Crohn's Disease put a stop to my running adventures. Now I'm back with a new bum (colostomy) and starting to embark on new running adventures.

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