Sunday, 12 February 2012

Felt like a runner

I started last week's training with a really positive attitude, trying to think of myself as a runner in training rather than a runner on the recovery trail. I have no idea whether the positive attitude helped or I am simply getting fitter but this week was my best effort so far with everything going to plan, clocking up around 45 miles of trails. The most pleasing part was that I seemed to cope with the week far easier than the last "medium" week I did, which I finished rather drained, requiring a full recovery week after. This time I feel I am ready to jump into a "hard" week, including a long WHW section.

It was nice to get some variety into the week, with each session having a different tone, making things fun and easy to cope with mentally. I started with a common session of mine; round the small singletrack paths in the woods below Latrigg Fell. It's only a 5 mile loop but is very technical, great for working on a smooth running style and includes my favourite 1 mile of running anywhere (for those that know the area; the river terrace path towards The Forge.)

Tuesday, I did a full hill rep session (note the singular) which was a 40 minute run up Skiddaw, nearly reaching the top of Jenkin's Hill, and a blast down. This was my first sustained uphill run, which obviously puts some extra strain on the tendon, though it seemed to hang-on in there and wasn't too sore later on. This was an important session, psychologically, as it should now give me the confidence to spend a little more time in the mountains knowing that the tendon can cope.

I had a good run on the old railway line on Thursday. I found I was running a little too quickly at times and had to hold back which is always a nice feeling. This session is often used to improve running style and efficiency as the surface is uniform, allowing for a nice rhythm.

Tracey and I were attending a wedding in Yarm on Saturday (congratulations Iain and Karen), staying at Tracey's sisters house, so I did a new run out along the River Tees. This was, without doubt, the most enjoyable run I have had since the operation. Freezing cold, no wind, no mud (as it was all frozen) and some picturesque views I've not seen before. The 10 miles flew by and I was bouncing at the end.

Derwentwater from Ashness Wood
Today, I rounded off the week with a 16 mile loop, basically round the lake, going down the west shore first, right down to Rossthwaite, climbing over to Watendlath and back via Ashness Bridge and Great Wood. Despite a late night, I felt pretty good as I set off and, again, had to easy back the pace every now and then as I dipped under the 8 min/mile barrier. It was one of those days that remind you why we do this sport, you soon get lost in your own thoughts or the beauty of the landscape, simply feeling good about the moment, thinking back or planning ahead.

Running through Brandelhow Park Woods
I did struggle a bit on the climb over into Watendlath, though managed to just about run the full climb. The ankle was starting to stiffen up a little towards the end but that could just as easily be due to the harder training week or being at the tail-end of a long run. Either way, I had a nice second wind over the last few miles and finished quite strongly.

Top of the climb to Watendlath
So, a very positive week, my highest mileage so far, my highest weekly hours so far, all done with the minimum of fuss. Now for the really big test next week - I'm going to try and become an ultra runner again as I run from Balmaha to Tyndrum. I am sure I can complete the run, what is more important is that I complete the run in one piece and am able to recover quickly enough to continue with the training rhythm I have established. If all goes to plan, I've got three weeks until the first of my long Lakeland 100 recces with John Kynaston and I obviously want to be in a position to make the most of that outing. (Note to self; I need to be fit enough to run and have a 7 or 8 hour conversation!!)

1 comment:

John Kynaston said...

Good week Dave.

Don't worry .... I can talk for 7-8hrs!! You'll just have to listen!!