Iten: Week 2

I started my second week in Iten with a planned 18 km run at marathon pace. I did not think that I would be able to maintain my Paris Marathon race pace on the hilly terrain of high-altitude Iten so I used a running calculator to convert my planned pace to its equivalent at 2300 metres above sea level. I set out slightly ahead of pace for the early predominantly downhill section of my route, but struggled to hold the pace as I climbed back to my starting point. My final pace ended up 5 seconds per kilometre slower than my altitude-adjusted marathon race pace, and I was struggling to understand how my training was proceeding against my target.

After a couple of easy runs on Tuesday I headed into a nearby forest on Wednesday. Setting out with another runner from the training centre we ran 7 km down the road to the forestry plantation that is a combination of pine and eucalyptus trees. It was pleasant running along trails between the trees, considerably slower than road paces but with considerably more hills.

On Thursday I headed to the old dirt track for a workout, after a session the previous week where I had not made my target times for a single interval. Thankfully this session, involving 2 x 1000 m, 1 x 2000m and 5 x 400 m, was much more successful, finishing each interval at my target pace.

After an easy Friday I returned to the forest for a slow run on Saturday in preparation for my Sunday long run.

My long run started with a 21 km route ending at the track. I ran through the gate, onto the track, and immediately commenced 5000 metres at marathon race pace. As opposed to my Monday run, I was planning to run at marathon pace without any adjustment for the altitude. I managed to hold the pace for the entire 5000 metres, and then slowly ran back to the training centre.

My track session and long runs were a big confident boost after a slightly disappointing start to the week.

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