While working from home more now, I've been able to develop a consistent exercise regime, one which is composed of going for runs (mostly in the early morning at around 6:15) and also doing resistance training in the gym. The individual run distances have reduced, but I have more runs overall, so the weekly cumulatively distance has increased.

Generally, I find that going for early morning exercise is a lot easier because I'm not fatigued and as a result, usually the exercise is less strenuous. I wonder if this is because I'm stronger in the mornings or just feel stronger because I'm less inclined to be fighting off the effects of fatigue. 

Interestingly, I've begun to transition to being a lot more accustomed to wearing a long sleeve running top and tracksuit bottoms. This is not usual for me as I've enjoyed running exclusively in shorts and short-sleeve shirts for most of my running. I think the reduced iterative distances that I run have helped: I'm running for a shorter period which means I'm less likely to overheat due to being more covered. While it has been summer for the last few months (technically we've just entered spring), in the mornings the slight breeze while running is just enough to be noticeably colder.

The other interesting thing and this is probably the main reason, is that wearing tracksuit bottoms reduces the amount of itchy 'tingles' I feel in my legs once I start running. I'm not sure what this is exactly, but I can best describe it (and this is what I've settled down to rationalizing it as) as, is the sensation of sweat just about starting to form, and the combination of the wind hitting your legs cooling it down.

Funnily enough, I only experience this somewhat annoying sensation in my legs and not in my arms. My legs are doing the majority of the movement and are subject to the most wind I imagine so this makes sense. It's really not an important sensation and I can just as easily run through it but the onset is noticeable. 

Apart from that, I've increased in fitness and running efficiency and my VO2 max is hovering nicely around the high fifties having touched 60 a few times.

The routine I've settled into is to go for a run in the morning on Monday, Tuesday, skip Wednesday and Thursday and then run again on Friday and Saturday. This gives me 2 consecutive days in the middle to rest and one day on Sunday to recover. I think that's pretty important. Also, I quite like not running after consecutive days of running. 

So my average run now is 15 minutes down the road and 15 minutes up the road, which is about 7km in the morning. In between, I go to the gym for an hour or so to mix it up. Something like this which I did this afternoon (I didn't run this morning):

 

I think the combination of running mixed with going to the gym makes up for the reduced overall running distance which I used to do but less frequently (which was about 11km or so).

Also, the above doesn't show the gap where I go to the gym, as I usually just pause the run, go to the gym and then resume the run back up. I do sometimes split the run into a 'down' run and then an 'up' run but it depends if I remember to finish each run on my watch or I just press the pause button (which I do more often lately).

You can see when I reach the gym by the drop in heart rate and I come into land...

 I'm also a lot more forgiving when I don't keep to this running routine, so if I'm feeling a bit tired in the morning (say, I stayed up too late to watch the Olympics for example) then I just go for a run after work - but I find this run more challenging, possibly for the reasons I outlined earlier.

The summer generally has been wonderful, I've been enjoying work lately and the combination of being at home more, being able to exercise more routinely and the run of sporting events have made it a summer to remember. We had the EUFA champions league (where we nearly won!), the Olympics, and of course Wimbledon. There has also been some cricket thrown in every once in a while. Interestingly, I've watched more women's cricket than I have ever before. 

Hopefully, Spring (and Winter) will be as productive (if not more) in terms of keeping fit and healthy and enjoying all that entails!

 


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