EMBRACE! Woodland Trail Run

EMBRACE! Woodland Trail Run

After a 5kish recovery run last night down the hill to the Lagos Marina (and back up the hill again through the old town!), we stuffed our faces with beef bourguignon, mash, beer and red wine and then headed to bed earlyish (10pm OMG!) so we could be up and ready for today.

Monday was the Woodland Trail Endurance run. This is probably my favourite run of the weekend; 1-4 laps of a 5ish mile woodland trail under the soothing whirring of the gigantic wind turbines at Mata Nacional do Barão de São João. It’s a fantastic, but tough little trail, a mostly gentle climb for the first third, a great slightly technical descent for the second third, and then an undulating climb back up to the car park to finish.

I opted to go for two laps, using it as an opportunity to get a little bit of milage under my belt, but hopefully not compromise the rest of the week by tiring my legs out. Liz decided just to go out for one, as throwing 17k into all the running she was doing this week seemed a bit crazy. I opted to run the first lap with with her and then do my second a little quicker.

It was bright and sunny today, much less cloud than yesterday and that was telling in the weather. The forecast was suggesting 21 degrees when we checked yesterday, but the Weather Underground app today had upgraded it’s temperature to 27! I’m not sure I trust that, but it was very warm. This meant that both Liz and I were pretty thirsty once we’ve finished our first lap. I ran for a quick loo break, necked some water and took a gel before setting off for my faster lap and headed off.

I wasn’t sure how fast to run it, so instead decided to do it based on HR zone. I’ve no idea how accurately my Garmin has worked out my HR zones, (but it should have a shit load of data by now) but opted to try and stick in zone three. This resulted in a really quite fun pace for the terrain, but meant I got a bit carried away when I got to downhill section and just let it take me! I had to rein it back a bit for the last third, and did a little bit of run walking with Rachel (who was looking after a sore calf) who I’d caught up with by that point to get my heart rate back down to where I wanted it.

Back under control, I pushed on and finished up the long section of undulations and switch backs with a final lap time of 41:19. I’m pretty happy with that, my fastest lap on this course by a fair chunk so far I think. I hope I’ve left enough in the legs for the interval track session tomorrow.

The group hung around for the 3 lappers to finish, enjoying the sun mostly, and once back at the apartments, we stood in the pool to try and cool the legs off.

Look! It’s the Sea!

The next thing on the agenda was a brief nutrition and hydration chat, and then we headed down to the beach for a barefoot recovery run in the sand. I always find this hard work, so encouraged Liz to walk a bit with me for some of it. I was really tempting to jump into the sea a bit as although it was cold, it wasn’t THAT cold, but I’d have ended up quite colder later on I think. While we were trotting out and back along the beach, Andy (one of the coaches) sorted us all out cocktails one of the beach side bars. We all then chilled out chatting drinking espresso martinis, caipirinhas and mojitos watching the tide gradually coming in.

Dinner tonight was Moroccan. Coriander and yogurt covered grilled chicken with a vegetable tagine, loads of spiced coucous and flat breads. Amazing 😀

Tomorrow? TRACK DAY!

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