Featured / Running / Weekly Roundup

Tour de Torfaen Training: Week 2

The second week of training and the plan is to start increasing the miles gradually with slightly longer runs during the week and a longer run on the weekend. I have a plan for a possible 26 mile run on Saturday so in order not to overdo it will take Sunday off to allow time to recover for the mid-week runs next week.

Tuesday – 8 Miles

Pretty much a repeat of Tuesday’s run although was feeling better than then. This was reassuring and made me feel more confident about talking a longer run on Saturday.

Distance: 8 Miles

Wednesday – 6 Miles

My (made up) training plan called for a speed session today but I’m not sure I should be doing speed work soon after the Tour de Newport. With 8 weeks to go until the Tour de Torfaen and a need to get as much hill work as possible I opted to run up and down Stow Hill five times.

It felt better this week than last week and managed a extra repeat. At 0.4 miles long, by the time you reach the tougher, steeper section around 0.3 miles your legs start to fire but I consistently ran quick on this section on all repeats.

The long descent allows for ample to time to recover so that by the time you reach the bottom the prospect of heading back up is not so daunting.

Hill repeats are a necessary evil in a training plan but I secretly love them.

Distance: 6.22 Miles

Thursday – 8 Miles

Pretty much a repeat of Tuesday’s run although was feeling better than then. This was reassuring and made me feel more confident about talking a longer run on Saturday.

Distance: 8 Miles

Saturday – 26 Miles

Usually my long Saturday runs take me across the border to England where I’ll catch a train to a station and the. Run to another town but this week I thought I’d do something different. A few years ago a did the Tour de Tiny Rebel which involved running between all three Tiny Rebel bars (Cardiff, Rogerstone and Newport) having a beer in each.

The total distance was ~14 miles and was an enjoyable run. I fancied giving it another go but to make it longer I would do a complete loop (Newport > Cardiff > Rogerstone > Newport) which would give it a total distance of around 26.5 miles — a decent challenge.

I hadn’t paid attention to the weather and the forecast for the day wasn’t great with some heavy rain forecast followed by a chance of light rain showers. You can’t predict the weather on race day so I wasn’t going to let a bit of rain put me off.

I started the run with a half of Tiny Rebel Cali at the Newport bar and set off in the rain. The route is very straightforward following the A48 but isn’t the most scenic and due to having to run quite close to traffic in sections meant getting a soaking from the spray from passing vehicles. About 7 miles into the run the rain eased and by the time I was approaching the centre the rain had stopped completely.

For the run I was going to just use Tailwind as I’ve been getting on well it lately. I was carrying a litre of water and some spare sachets and on arrival in Cardiff I stopped at Sainsbury’s Local to buy some more water for the rest of the run. I had swift half of Polly’s (forget the name) and then heading off back through the centre of Cardiff. By this point it had warmed up and the rain had moved on so the jacket could come off for the rest of the run.

The route heads back along the A48 until Old St Mellons where it spurs off through the country lanes to Bassaleg. This section is a lot hillier than the rest of the route which made it a bit tougher as I was going beyond 20 miles.

At Rogerstone I was around 23.5 miles into the run and had a quick half of Tiny Rebel Lo-Fi. I headed off along the road into Newport and there were still a few more hills to tackle including a steep one along Risca Road. I intentionally had not been pausing the watch, and had turned off auto-pausing, so that I’d know exactly how long the run was taking including stops. With a couple of miles left I was on track get under 04:15 (if I picked up the pace) and even though the figure didn’t really mean anything, it was a time I wanted to get under so picked up the pace and made the use of the flat and downhill section towards the end. I managed to get there in 04:13:15 which I was delighted with particularly as I probably had around 15-20 minutes of breaks.

Distance: 26.6 Miles

About Author

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.

No Comments

    Leave a Reply