Friday, 15 February 2013

Back in the groove

Since getting over my cold, I have slotted back into training mode without too much discomfort.

The first week back, I started fairly steady, including some minimalist running in the park, but by Thursday I felt ready to do some proper work so slotted in one of my "Skiddaw reps". This is a simple concept but can work wonders. For those that know the mountain, you will be aware that it is just one long relentless climb on a good track which makes it ideal in the dark/fog/mist/cloud. The aim of the session is to condition my quadricepts to the eccentric contractions of downhill running, so a Skiddaw rep is simply a run up for a certain length of time, nice and steady, followed by a hammer back down. At the moment, I'm just doing a 40 minute run up, but I will progress this over the months until I'm doing the summit and back in late spring.

On the Friday I broke my 8 min/mile rule about a week early but it was just such a lovely evening that I found myself skipping along at a good tempo pace and just decided to go with it. It was nice to take the shackles off and run with a bit of pace, though I have a long way to go before this type of running is going to be easy!

Tempo run round Derwentwater, looking towards Skiddaw
Rather stupidly, I followed my first tempo session of the year with one of those days when my head was cashing cheques my legs could not honour. Through Twitter, I had arranged to meet Matt Wilson, who was going out on a 30 mile Lakeland 100 recce starting in Keswick, though I only intended to do 40 mins or so with him. Matt was starting mid-morning, so I thought I'd sneak in a run first, meet Matt for a short while and be done and dusted by lunchtime. I set off early on a loop round Glenderaterra - fantastic views (#fail)

17 hours after the previous photo!
It took me just over 1:30 hours to do my first loop, I met Matt and we headed off down towards Borrowdale. Before I knew it, we were at the bottom end of Derwentwater, meaning my only option was to continue round the lake and complete another full circuit. Eventually, 2:40 hours after leaving home, I crawled in the front door and demanded bacon sandwiches, which is all I thought about for the previous 40 minutes.

This week has been built around my first long run on the West Highland Way this year. Over the last few years, during my half term break, I have ran from Balmaha to Tyndrum (33 miles) and used this as a good guide to how well I have wintered. This time I decided to extend the run and continue to Bridge of Orchy (40 miles). To make matters just a little more interesting, the only bus all afternoon back towards Glasgow left Bridge of Orchy at 3pm - so the race was on!

Near Rowardennan
Although I made good time all day, I felt like I was putting more effort in than I wanted to and I feel this was because of the bus factor (not some new reality TV show) just adding a little pressure to the run. Having said that, it is always such a pleasure to run on this route and I was really pleased with how strongly I ran the last section in particular.

On the final section to Bridge of Orchy
If you watched my video from my previous post, you will know that I made the journey with about 40 minutes to spare before the bus, but the real bonus was that I got a lift back to Balloch (where Tracey was meeting me) and so arrived back about 40 minutes before I was expected - that NEVER happens!

What I have decided is that, next time I go out for an ultra length training session, I am not going to put a time pressure on myself - you shouldn't be rushing through scenery like this!!

1 comment:

John Kynaston said...

Sounds like a great run Dave.

Enjoyed the video too!