I've taken a pasting this week. I took a week out to go to Reading Festival over last weekend and through a combination of too much drinking and partying, boy did I feel it when I came to run home on Thursday. I think I'd even picked up a small bug, just to add that into the mix, but I still ended up having a pretty decent run - I think mainly because I tried setting myself a strict cadence to work to.
I got hold of a metronome app for my phone, turned it up loud at 182bpm and carried that with me. It was strange at first and definitely made me realise that my cadence has been slightly too slow previously; at first it was a bit of a struggle to rein my stride length in to keep a reasonably slow pace (considering how difficult it was feeling to run at all!), but eventually I clicked into it and had a surprisingly good time of it - this was running 10km on a pretty flat route.
Then, today, my brother and I set out for a hilly 20km in kind of over-preparation for the half we're running at the end of the month. We're thinking if we throw in a good few hilly routes as well as having a session along the actual route next weekend, we should be more than prepared for what is quite a flat course.
In spite of my continued and fantastically in-denial 'I'm not a runner' stance, I went and upgraded my bum-bag to a Camelbak-style backpack for longer routes and tried it out today - well worth the investment, even if it does make me feel like I'm starting to take this a bit more seriously...