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Training – Week Beginning 27 January

Sunday 2nd February 2014

This was a tough week – highest mileage week for a long time and three hard sessions. Sunday’s long run was a 20 miler with Tim with a 58 minute second half uphill. I just about managed to hang on. Next week I will taper down for the league race.

Monday: 16km easy – ran home (16)

Tuesday: AM 10km easy / PM 12 x 400 off 1 min – started on 71, ended on 64, 68 average (27)

Wednesday: 16km easy – ran home (16)

Thursday: AM 10km easy / PM 18km moderate (28)

Friday: rest (0)

Saturday: 16:12 parkrun then 5 short hill reps. All solo, very sore legs (20)

Sunday: 33km progression run. 20 miles in 2:07 with a much quicker second half (33)

Week total: 140km


Wednesday 15th February 2012

Last night’s hill session was great. I managed to get 5 guys to come down for a few reps of our usual hill, more people than I would normally train with on a Tuesday evening. The hill efforts we do are 400m long, starting on the flat and getting steeper as you climb. I had done the same session on my own the previous Tuesday and it had been a struggle right from the first effort. Training in a group is much easier. So to celebrate that fact I won’t talk about the session, I’ll tell you about the guys who did it.

Chris has been a member of the club for a while but has only just started training with us. He’s a sub-34 10k runner and a triathlete who looks likely to take a big chunk off his marathon PB in April. He started the session tentatively but absolutely blasted rep number 8, acting as rabbit for the whole group. Starting too fast can be a good thing though; it trains the body to deal with pain. And I could certainly feel he was in pain as I passed him half way up the hill.

Tim, star of last week’s blog, was also in attendance and became the first person to actually manage ten reps of the hill after having set out to do so. He has been putting the miles in recently and is very strong. I had to make do with pacing him half way on rep 9 as I was spent after 8.

Ben is a mountain goat. He ran every club race at cross country this winter and just seems to do better on an incline than on the flat. His powerful sprint also suggests that he could be a rather useful 400 meter runner, should distance running not prove to be his thing. We had a nice little battle on the 8th rep.

Last, but not least, Rob joined us after the first rep. He gradually worked his way into the session showing far greater patience than the rest of us. I didn’t see the end of his last rep, but reports (Tim) suggest that he adopted a sit and kick approach, something that clearly dates back to his days as a middle distance man. You see, Rob is a dormant volcano when it comes to running, but when he erupts he does it with style and devastating speed. The speed needed to run 1:59 and 4:04 doesn’t just go like that. Now it’s time to get this man in a race before they delete his power of 10 page.

One notable absentee was my usual training partner Mark, missing due to illness. He missed a good one.

Full splits on my training log.

Running up that Hill

Saturday 28th May 2011

No, this is not a music blog. I’m not referring to the Kate Bush song, excellent though it is, nor am I referring to Placebo’s equally brilliant cover. This is about some of the training I’ve been doing recently.

Having fallen on a run a few weeks ago, I have been suffering from some muscle tissue damage in my right knee and have gradually been trying to regain strength in it and not lose too much fitness. Two weeks of almost no running were followed by two more of some jogging combined with massage and icing on my knee. I have not been able to train on track but have realised that running hard up hills has a similar training effect but is much less punishing on my knee.

Hill sessions were an element of my training that I had neglected in the past, prefering to do either speed or endurance sessions on the track, but as I stood breathlessly slumped against a wall after my 8th and fastest hill rep on Thursday evening, I realised that hill sessions are the real deal. You get the same anaerobic workout as you do on the track and a nice long recovery as you jog down the hill.

My particular favourite is shown below, a hill that starts flat and gets steeper and steeper as your legs fill with lactic acid. It is also exactly 400m, so although you can’t compare your times to one lap of the track, you’re doing well if you can get close.

Even once my knee heals, I’ll still be running up that hill.