This has been a tough week of training, largely due to the intensity rather than the volume undertaken. I know I lack basic speed and have really been trying to address this in my training recently, prioritising the sessions that require me to run close to my top speed.
I tend to find that the sessions I look forward to the most are usually those of least benefit to me. The converse is also true; the sessions I dread the most, for example Thursday’s 10 reps of 400m with long recoveries, tend to be exactly what I need. Give me a 10 mile tempo and I’ll be the cat who got the cream; give me short reps on the track with long recoveries and I will dread the session all day. This is not just a running phenomenon. People often favour activities that do not take them out of their comfort zones, even though those that do have value. I am starting to find, though, that the training I like the least generally isn’t as bad as it seems. Once I have got my head round the idea that I am going to be off the back and getting dropped, I relax and just get on with doing the work. And it tends to be over quickly!
I was particularly pleased with this session. Every rep was between 61 and 63 to the nearest second, whereas I completed exactly the same session last year with times in the 63 to 65 range. On Tuesday I will race over 1500m and have the opportunity to see whether the hard work is paying off yet or not.
Monday: AM 10km easy / PM 11km easy (21)
Tuesday: AM 9km easy / PM track session – 4 sets of 800,400 off 100/200 jog, 4*200 – 2:17,2:16,2:18,2:17 66,67,67,68 30,30,30,28 (22)
Wednesday: 16km easy (16)
Thursday: AM 10km easy / PM track session 10*400 off 3:00 – 62,62,62,62,61,61,62,63,63,62 (24)
Friday: rest (0)
Saturday: grass session 1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1 minutes with half previous effort recovery (14)
Sunday: 14km easy (14)
When I’m not at work I can pretend I’m a professional athlete. Getting enough rest and recovery between sessions really enables me to get higher quality training in. This week I was pleased with Thursday’s session of 8 reps of 1km with a minute recovery. We did the reps out and back on a straight stretch of road as the track was closed due to snow and ice, with the ‘out’ reps slightly downhill and the ‘back’ reps slightly uphill. I was particularly happy to average 3:09 for the uphill efforts with such short recoveries and in sub-zero conditions.
The week ahead should just involve one hard track session on Tuesday then a few days of easing down ahead of the county champs.
Monday: AM 12km easy, hurdle drills / PM 11km easy (23)
Tuesday: AM 10km easy / PM hill session 12*400m (27)
Wednesday: rest (0)
Thursday: AM 10km easy / PM road session 8*1km off 60s – odds downhill, evens uphill – 3:00,09,01,10,01,09,00,09, weights (26)
Friday: AM 10km easy / PM 10km easy (20)
Saturday: grass session – 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 minutes with diminishing recoveries, 6*30s hill reps (16)
Sunday: 24km easy (24)
Everything is sore. Calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, abdomen, biceps. The list goes on. This week I did the full set – a road session, a track session and a cross country session. The holy trinity, if you will. And for good measure I also did a weights session and plenty of strength and conditioning work.
I can’t always handle the volume and intensity of training I have put in this week (137km, 10 runs, 3 hard sessions) but it is easier to when I am not at work and can therefore get a full night’s sleep. When I don’t have somewhere to be in the morning I can get the 10 hours of sleep I typically need, as opposed the 7 or 8 I usually manage, which enables me to recover much more fully in between runs.
Now I have several consecutive weeks of good training behind me I am looking forward to scaling it back slightly towards the end of next week with a view to racing the county championships in two weeks’ time. In my current shape I feel I can run really well.
Monday: AM 10km easy / PM 11km easy, hurdle drills (21)
Tuesday: AM 10km easy / PM 16km tempo run 55:09, weights (27)
Wednesday: 13km easy, hurdle drills (13)
Thursday: AM 11km easy / PM track session 8*600 off 90s in 1:43,43,42,43,42,43, strides (27)
Friday: rest (0)
Saturday: AM grass session 5*1600 off 2:00, 5:13 average / PM 10km easy (26)
Sunday: 23km easy (23)
Second week of sessions after my break. I’m starting to get my fitness back.
Monday: 14km easy (14)
Tuesday: AM 10km easy / PM grass session 6:00 tempo, 10x60s, 6:00 tempo all off 60s (26)
Wednesday: rest (0)
Thursday: 15km easy (15)
Friday: AM 10km easy / PM 8km tempo on grass 27:37 (26)
Saturday: 15km easy (15)
Sunday: 25km moderate (25)
Taken from my training log.