Today marks the start of the final ‘big week’ of training before the 50 miler in England in September. If all goes to plan I will run my third consecutive 100km week this week, then cut back to 80km the week after, and a little less than that in the final week before the run itself. All up I should have something like 700km of so of run-specific training in my legs by the time I get going in Windsor on that Saturday in September and I hope this will be enough to allow me to finish the run without injury or too much stress.
Today’s run, then, was about starting the week off right and getting in a little distance without over-stressing the legs or the body. I wanted to keep a nice steady tempo but, mindful of the heat that has returned for the end of the summer, not push things too fast so as to explode.
I decided to try something a little different and head upriver to Neuville-sur-Soane and then run back into Lyon. I figured it would be somewhere in the range of 17 to 18 kilometers total, and mostly on paths, trails, and sidewalks so as to avoid the traffic. That the Soane is a nice river to run along is also a bonus and so I set off for Neuville on the afternoon bus and started my run beneath the bridge there.
On the trip up to Neuville I took a look at the route I was preparing to run to see if there were any Strava segments that looked interesting nearby. As it happened there was one right where I was planning to start my run: it was short, it was right where I was getting going, and it looked like I had a chance to place myself in the Top 10 and earn one of those oh-so-pretty-but-actually-worthless Strava trophies. The run, therefore, got off to a fast start as I staked out a claim on this short segment and – as I found out at the end of the run – managed to record the 6th fastest time ever and the 2nd fastest time this year. Yeah, it’s a little bit of trophy hunting, but I am on vacation and it is all in good fun, right?
I headed down the canal path until it hooked back up to the river road and I got onto the dual-use path that would take me towards Fontaines-sur-Soane. This part of the route was nice and easy with wide paths and some friendly runners and cyclists to say hello to. From Fontaines through to the bridge at Collonges it was a mix of trail, path, and some very narrow sidewalk that eventually forced me to cross the road for a short period to find some space to run without the fear of falling into the road. Still, not long afterwards I found myself approaching the Isle Barbe and the familiar trail and path besides the Soane that would take me the final six kilometers home.
I snapped a couple of photos along the way and made sure to drink every kilometer from the Camelbak. The regular drinking stopped me from overheating in the afternoon sun as, while I could have crossed the Soane to run the final half of the run in the shade on the right bank, I decided to stick with the path on the left bank and the more exposed sections of trail so as to keep my rhythm up. Indeed, save for the two times I stopped for a few seconds to take some pictures, I kept my pace between 4:45 and 4:55 the entire way – not at all bad for a run in the sun, I think.
The plan for the rest of the week is to fit in a 13 to 15 kilometer effort tomorrow, a 15 to 20 kilometer on Wednesday morning followed by a 10km recovery run with the Lyon Running Club that night, and a long run on Thursday. If I’m feeling up to it, I wouldn’t mind trying the Friday morning fasted run again, and maybe something else on the weekend if I feel I need it. Frankly, though, I should have the 100km banked by breakfast on Friday morning if things go to plan and any running I do on the weekend will be for pleasure – fingers crossed.