Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Fancy a Game of Tennis?

Tennis is a very sociable game. It seems that a lot of people play, and to a fairly good level. When I was at school my Mum encouraged me to have lessons, saying that I would appreciate it in the future. I was lucky enough to have some great teachers, but I am just not very good at tennis. In fact, for the number of lessons I've had over the years, I am pretty rubbish.

Tom on the other hand is rather good.

One of my problems is that I try to hit the ball as hard as I can- which inevitably sends it soaring out. Way out (so far out that it went of the hotel compound and into the road whilst on holiday in Sri Lanka).

Another problem I have is that I don't move my feet enough, and either hit the ball too close to my body or too far away.

Oh my serve isn't pretty.

We took advantage of the lovely warm evenings and played for about an hour at Tom's gym. I tried to focus on moving my feet, setting myself up and hitting the shot over the net and in, rather than trying to hit it hard. Luckily Tom was patient with me, and fed me lots of balls to help me practise.

We also played a fun game where we had to hit the ball to one another keeping it in the service boxes. Tom won, obviously- but it was a far more fun and fair game than any others we could play together.

Perfect cross training for Berlin Marathon training, and to flush out the lactic acid from Sunday's long run! I bought the Wimbledon 2013 tennis balls last year when we saw Andy Murray play in the Quarter Finals. I'm embarrassed to say that this was the first time I've ever opened the tube of balls, let alone used them!

Do you play tennis? What's your favourite cross training sport to play? 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Berlin Sub 4 Marathon Training Plan: Week 6

This week has been awesome. Well awesome in terms of training, especially since some not-so great things happened outside of training.

But let's focus on the positives, and that with 10 weeks to go until the Berlin Marathon, I feel strong, fast and fit.

Monday- Arms and Abs workout  and 45min sports massage.

Tuesday- Tempo Tuesday! 1 mile warm up, 4 miles @ 8.25 pace, 1 mile cool down. I felt like this pace was fairly easy to maintain, and I wasn't constantly clock watching like I have been in the past. My usual route takes me up and over two bridges, which affects the pace a little but it's lovely not having to negotiate too many roads or pedestrians!

Wednesday- 1hr Boxing Class

Thursday- Progression Run- 9.32, 9.12, 9.03, 8.50, 8.31, 8.13
I spend A LOT of the time staring at the watch, and having to speed up/slow down as necessary.

Friday- 4 X 800m repeats, aka. Yasso 800s. I'm going to be including these in all future training weeks, using them as speed work but as a great way to see whether I'm ready to hit my pace target.
I did these on the treadmill, partly as I don't live that close to a track, partly because it was hot, and partly as I had no idea how to pace myself for the 800s.

3.45, 3.45, 3.43, 3.41 - with the same amount of active recovery between each

I didn't find these too tough, however I think outside would be a different ballgame!

Saturday- Rest

Sunday- 14 lovely peaceful sunny miles around Hyde Park. I was told to take this slow and steady, zone out to music and plod along. Average pace 9.03.

Running through Kensington Palace, and through the park. It was almost completely empty, like having it as my personal garden! There were a few other runners out and about enjoying the quiet and coolness at 6am, then as I continued to run loops it became a little busier, with the cafes along the Serpentine opening and swimmers starting to do their laps. I'd love to finish a run here to enjoy a cold drink and breakfast at the Lido Cafe (after enjoying a lovely glass of wine there on Friday evening.)

Hope you had a great week and weekend. 

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