Athletes Run

Being at the end of my first training cycle, it would be time to take of whole I am responding to the training. The eight days ended up only involving running. No time for the extra swim or bike ride and not even a go at the weight room. It was hard enough managing to fit in the runs. Choosing the my heaviest rostered work work to start, I should have anticipated this a little more. At least I am used to modifying the training according to how I pull up from work so no big deal.

The Week That Was

Just to confuse those working a normal 7 day, Monday to Sunday lifestyle, I started my week on a Friday and continued for 8 days to include the following Friday.

Friday (number 1)
Up at 5am to drive straight to work, from which I complete my morning run. Just grabbing the gear and food I prepared the night before, allows me to sneak out of the house without waking the little one and my wife so early. If I'm efficient enough I can get in a 40 minute run. Today I hit a hilly course, over most cross country terrain. That first official run feels good. Then it's shower, uniform, breakfast and I ready to start the shift. It doesn't officially start until 0700, but we try to be ready 20-30 minutes before hand to make sure the previous shift doesn't get that last minute call out and work a ridiculous amount of overtime.

A later start at work allows me to wake at 0600 today. I get in about an hour's worth of running. This is my first session. Today is speed/agility. Being the first after over 5 weeks of not much I'm taking things carefully. So instead of worrying about how fast everything is, I focus on having the right feel to my running - loose, relaxed, fluid, natural. A few run throughs, some light plyometric drills, and some agility work around and over obstacles, combined with plenty of easy running in between. I feel an extra level of energy on returning home, where I spend a little bit of family time over breakfast.

The weekend has me working within walking distance of home, so I take advantage of this. The shifts are meant to be 12 hours, from 9am to 9pm, unfortunately today sees me working an extra two hours past that.

The alarm sounds at 0600 again, but today I wake up rough. Working extra beyond the 9-to-9 always makes the next day harder. I get in a 60 minute run which includes 10min at threshold intensity, and repeat the rest of the day as per yesterday. Unfortunately that also includes the overtime, until nearly midnight.

A big sleep in to 9 o'clock and I feel somewhat refreshed. Out for my long run I decide to explore all the streets and tracks that I don't seem to get on. My heart rate flips between extra high of the hills and stupidly low on the flats or descents. Usually a sign that my body is going through some changes to try to adapt to training. The run just didn't feel right, I can't quite think of why. The best I can come up with is it didn't feel natural, it felt forced. At least I've discovered a couple of awesome trails I never knew existed.

An attempt at a nap in arvo was mainly unsuccessful. So it made things a bit harder for nightshift. Luckily the shift wasn't too busy in the second half, but 14 hours overnight always requires sleep the next day.

Poor sleep. Poor 40min run. Not much to add to that.

This is the bad part of my work roster. Usually I get four days off following four shifts, except this week. In what would normally be my four days off, I have to do an extra 14 hour night shift. So plenty of attempts at getting adequate sleep, seemed to get me there.

In between sleep I headed out for my VO2 session. A very long and gradual warm up was required for my body to feel like it could run fast. Then only 2x3min @ VO2 level, up a moderate incline, with 3min easy jog in between. Not a lot of volume, but enough at the moment.

Then the shift was steady and I ended up doing extra overtime at the end. I have definitely worked too much in the last week. The extra nighshift always gets to me, but I worked about 10 extra hours beyond my normal shifts. Sleep is definitely required.

Thursday & Friday (2)
No runs. The poor quality sleep, plus lack of sleep has caught up with me and some things just take priority over running. I'm mildly disappointed about missing two days of running, but at least I know where I stand on the training level. Now I can make some proper decisions.


  1. Great to see you are getting back into a program. I cannot imagine how hard it is for you to fit everything in to your schedule. I am a man of simple routines and admire people like yourself who have to be super-flexible in their training regimens. Good work.

  2. You're doing OK Jason - esp considering the odd 14-hour working day here and there. Good to discover some new trails :)


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