Andy Perry and I ran 6 miles today quicker than we've done before - 8:05 min/mile. Andy felt a bit under par on Tuesday when we ran but today he said that he had no excuses (other than age, weight, slippery conditions, fitness etc etc).
This route is quite a good one as it starts off downhill for the first 1.6 miles, over which we averaged 7:40 min/mile pace. Now thoroughly warmed up we spent the next 2 miles climbing nearly 80 metres. Then the rest of the route is downhill apart from a couple of relatively insignificant slopes.
My heart rate trace shows that I wasn't pushing very hard. Andy was getting a much better workout today than I was. Lucky him. The drop in heartrate after 3.2 miles was due to the track getting quite muddy and slippery and we slowed to ensure no embarrassing falls.
You may have spotted that we finished in Hursley village rather than where we started. This cunningly avoids running up a steepish hill at the end of a long run. I initially felt quite guilty about this cheating but when I mentioned it to Jon Tilt (a seriously fit guy at work) he gave it his approval as it was a guaranteed way to make sure we get a cooling down period as we walk back up the hill - something lots of long distance runners don't bother with.
Next week our goal is to run 9 miles, in preparation for a circular 10.5 mile run up to Farley Mount returning via Ampfields woods.