Running to breakfast – Kite Beach

With the temperatures starting to soar at the moment, the runs are potentially getting shorter, slower and less frequent.

However, I have really started loving my long(er) runs one morning of the weekend and I intend carrying them through, right until the end of summer…. and so this past weekend I rounded up a small group of 4 (including me) and we headed off to the kite beach running track where we could each do our own distance without worry of losing each other too much.

My goal was 10 km’s, and the others didn’t really have a distance in mind, so we all set off and then pulled off when they had had enough.

And after all of that, we headed to breakfast!

We decided on having breakfast just there at kite beach, at a café / restaurant called Park Place…. very yummy fresh juices and basic, but delicious meals. Win Win 😀

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Week 3 – IGNITEDUBAI Race at Meydan

This week saw another running first for me – a new race held out in the grounds of Meydan Golf Course, sponsored by Puma… the #IGNITEDUBAI Series.

Although this was the first race of the new series, I knew it was going to be a good race because I have been running in races done by the organisers (Super Sports) since I started running in Dubai, and I know that they know what they’re doing and always put on a good run.

#IGNITEDUBAI

#IGNITEDUBAI

Of course, this was no exception.

It was a night race, which felt really weird. I’ve done one night race before – the very first We Run Dubai – and still have no idea how to fuel / eat properly before the race.

And unfortunately this time it failed me completely… but I’ll get to that 😦

So, I arrived early at the event, heading over straight after work, and spent the time doing a few warm up runs and just generally pottering about a bit, until they called the racers to the start line for the countdown.

In the starting chute

In the starting chute

We headed off, and my first 4km’s felt great, getting them ticked off in just 21 minutes! In the 5th km I took a tiny walk break as had probably set out just a tad too quick, but was then back on it and again feeling pretty strong.

Until just before the 7th km mark. That’s where the wheels fell off. Quickly.

My gut decided that it was time to find a toilet. NOW. But unfortunately there are no porta-potties on this run because it’s just a 5km loop, out on the back roads of the golf course 😦

I had to stop and walk a bit, and then carried on again – it’s only 3 km’s to go! I kept chanting the distances to myself… getting closer with each step. I managed to find a batch of strength and took off with a shot, trying to get to that finish line the toilets as quickly as possible 😮

Running across the bridge - very blurry as taken while actually running ;)

Running across the bridge – very blurry as taken while actually running 😉

The 9th km was a total fail (7:30 it took me to finish it!) and at one point, with probably only about 700m (yes, 700m!) to go, I actually sat on the ground and had a little cry, and had 2 people stop and ask if I was ok. “Yes”, I said, and waved them on – wasn’t going to go into the gruesome details 😳

Well, I eventually managed to stand up, pull myself towards myself and get to the finish line! I even managed to smile as I crossed that line in just 57:22 – and made a beeline for the toilets! 🙂

So, what did I learn from all of this – well, to not eat chocolate before running!! That was the only thing that I had done differently to any other day when running in the evenings… not the right day to risk something like that, but honestly, I really did not think it would affect me like that. Lesson learned 😉

All in all it was a good race – very well organised, as always, and we got to enjoy a post-race meal that was part of our race fee that we paid. The course was relatively simple, but a decent enough route, and had some corners, u-turns and 2 tiny little hills as we ran up, over and down the bridge.

Set up for post-race dinner :)

Set up for post-race dinner 🙂

The next race of this series is in February – unfortunately I’ll be on holiday at the time so I’ll miss it, but the one after that is in April and I intend on going back, and more than making up for my fail of this one!

My next races coming up are Wadi Bih in 2 weeks, and RAK Half Marathon in 3 weeks! 😎 Always running ❤

Pre-race smiles

Pre-race smiles

Week 38 – Interval Training

In the past I’ve done what I’ve believed to be interval training – running for a short distance at a fast pace, then either slowing down or walking for a shorter distance. Repeat a few times.

Now, while I’m not entirely wrong, my version of interval training is actually more correctly termed ‘fartlek’ training where there is no structure to the training and you’re not necessarily pushing yourself to your limits.

“fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warmup, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover.”

Interval training on the other hand is where you are pushing yourself to your limits, based on a time period, and then rest for short periods in between.

“you’re running above your red line and at an effort where you are reaching hard for air and counting the seconds until you can stop—a controlled fast effort followed by a truly easy jog. The secret is in the recovery as patience and discipline while you’re running easy allows you to run the next interval strong and finish the entire workout fatigued but not completely spent.”

I was recently invited to join an interval training session in the evenings so I decided to give this proper training a go…. and boy oh boy did it make the HUGEST difference!

It’s run by actual coaches so there’s no mucking about. We’re there to work hard, and that’s what we do! The session changes up each week to keep things fun and interesting so although I’m only planning on going every second week, I’ll always have something new to look forward to when I’m there.

This week was on the slightly easier side of things – everyone there commented how much easier it was than last week (glad I wasn’t there then! 😉 )

We jogged, very slowly, out to the start point – a 1.6 km little jog. Then we did a couple of lunges / squats etc. to keep the muscles warm and start engaging them for what’s to come. And then the interval training starts! The idea is to run at your best pace for 1km, then a 4 minute rest. Then run for 800m, with a slightly shorter rest. As the distance gets shorter, so do the rests in-between, and you’re increasing your pace each time because the distance is shorter… until you’re running only 100m at a completely flat-out pace. Extremely hard work which we then followed up with a very easy 500m jog. And then after a bit of chit chat we headed back the 1.6km’s to where we started.

Here’s a chart of my heartrate during the workout, including the jog out to the start point.

The effort shows what percentage of my max heartrate I was in at any particular time of the workout – and you’ll notice that a very large part of it was in 80-90% of my max heartrate.

By doing this type of exercising, I’m teaching my body to improve its aerobic capacity, which will allow me to exercise for longer, at more intense levels… which eventually boils down to me being able to push myself harder in races and get better and faster each time.

Here’s to hopefully getting a sub-2 hour half marathon this season!