Sunday, 8 January 2012

First week of training

Well, I have actually managed it. I planned to make this week my first proper training week, doing what I would normally complete in an "easy" training week when fit. I strongly believe that recovery time is vital in your long term preparation, so make sure that an easy week has three days off from running; this is the period in which your body repairs itself and becomes stronger.

On the three runs since seeing the physio on Tuesday, I have tried to run more naturally but really struggled on Wednesday and Friday. My heel area tends to stiffen up during the day at work, so running on top of this makes it more difficult to run freely and I found I was concentrating on my foot strike most of the time, getting more and more annoyed with myself which only made me think about my action even more (something to do with a book by Joseph Heller!?) On both occasions, the heel was quite stiff in the evening, but fine again next day. On the positive side, I am starting to feel that I am coping with the physical side of the training, I am definitely fitter than before Christmas and, more importantly, a routine is starting to form.

Today, I decided to continue picking off sections of the Lakeland 100, so parked at the end of the old railway near Threlkeld and ran the length of the Coach Road and back. The majority of this section is run on a rocky path, going out over fell land without ever getting too high, which I thought would be an ideal trip considering the weather. After a short easy initial section, there is about a kilometer uphill over very wet and muddy ground (Bob Graham route from Newsham to the Old Coach Road.)
Just beyond Newsham Farm
On a day like today, with the current ground conditions, there is no point tip-toeing round the mud, it is simply a case of picking a line and splashing through it. I remember from my Bob Graham training from a few years ago that there are a number of possible trods to take here, but the pace notes for the Lakeland 100 give a nice simple route which is easy to follow, even in the dark, keeping just to the right side of Birkett Beck.
Heading towards the side of Birkett Beck
Once up on the Old Coach road, I made good steady progress and this time managed to allow my mind to wander, not thinking about the heel. The physio was right, the less I think about what I am doing, the smoother I run! I really started to enjoy this section, trying to picture myself running this during the race in the summer, which distracted my mind from the heel and the rain. I did not see another sole along the entire length of the Coach Road, which is quite a rarity in the Lake District. I finally reached the end of the track at a small car park, which I think is a checkpoint for the Lakeland 100, in about 70 minutes.
End of Coach Road
The return journey was tougher as it was into the wind and rain, but it did not involve the climb up through the swamp. I felt a bit stronger towards the end today, more so than previous longer runs, which was encouraging. In addition, there was less stiffness in the tendon, so I am hoping this is a sign that my body has coped with the weeks training. Without the long climb, it only took about 50 minutes to run back to the car, giving a total time of about 2 hours for the 11.2 miles.

The weeks summary is; 4 sessions, 32 miles and 5:36 hours. That is a good solid start, but I must make sure I do not overdo things, so I am going to aim for basically the same again next week and really concentrate on not concentrating!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really enjoying the blog. Love to see how you put the videos together - it'd be good to think about recording some classic days out.