Hitting a Plateau

Well it’s Friday (whoop! whoop!) and I’ve handed in my final piece of coursework so I can party!

But it will have to wait until Sunday evening, as tomorrow Anne and I will be babysitting Alf and his baby brother Leo. Overnight!! While their parents go out for a well-deserved break at their friend’s wedding.

I’m totally fine with this, apart from the slight panic around the potential lack of sleep we may get for this one solitary night. Or worse, that I sleep on until the poor baby is screaming the house down because he’s starving. It will be fine (honest Jane!) and we will all have a great time. But it will be busy, which is why I got my long run in today. Although, I’m not sure I should have bothered.

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve not done a proper running blog in a few weeks, but I have been getting out there still. Well, apart from last week, when we were in Norfolk, and I only had a couple of small bimbles, and otherwise, ate, drank and was merry all the time. This week however, I tried to resume, but my long run felt like a complete slog today, and I feel like I’m going backwards a bit.

To be fair, I’ve been feeling like there’s been no real progression for a few weeks now, as I can’t seem to get much further than 12 miles. Today, I had to walk a few times in the middle of it, which was worse than normal. I was hoping that, since last week was so chilled, I’d have had enough of a rest to get to 13, but I stopped the clock at a measly 11 miles.

There are a couple of things that may have played their part this week:

  1. My planned Half Marathon on June 18th has been deferred as my mate is injured. So my body could be feeling de-mob happy, but just hasn’t told me.
  2. I had a whizzer of a club run on Tuesday night, when 3 out of 4 of my miles averaged under 10 min/miles, which is a whole minute under my usual abilities. It was only because I am really rubbish at remembering directions and was trying to keep the people ahead of me in sight.

Those reasons don’t explain why I’m not progressing generally though. Am I on a dreaded plateau? How can I rise again? Questions, which I’ll have to think on a little more, after my sleep deprivation.

It was inspiring seeing all the 5K entrants streaming along the coastline during this month’s seaside run. A lovely evening with a breeze, and a bit of a tailwind for the runners coming into our funnel at the end. Perhaps I should have a go at shorter runs for a while?

kitesurfers on the sea, with a wind farm in the background, further out to sea.
Breezy enough for the kitesurfers too.

4 thoughts on “Hitting a Plateau”

  1. 11 miles is not measley! Plateaus are everywhere and this one will pass too. Rest, relax, sleep and then just ‘go for a run’ for the pleasure of running – slow, long but with no particular idea of where or how far.

  2. If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. We will always plateau in training if we don’t mix it up. Not all runs should be the same. Basis of a good plan is 1 long run, 1 bridging or tempo run and one run with speedwork. Doesn’t have to be formal speedwork but it does need to have some short sessions at a pace far faster than usual. Fartlek sessions are ideal.

    1. Thanks Nigel. Been looking back at my weeks, and I think I have the first two in my weeks. Along with the long run I have a 4 or 5 miler where I try and make my average miles per minute below 11 minute miles (the last 3 have all been 10.44/5 which is interesting as I don’t check a watch, I just go on effort) – this is definitely very speedy for me as I’m exhausted by the end and can’t speak too much en route. I haven’t got fartleks in my week regularly though.

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