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Showing posts from July, 2010

Off Season Training

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No races in the near future. Reduced time and opportunity for training sessions. Less chance of big, long training days. Sounds like the off season.

The key reason behind this is kid number two is due in a few short weeks. Separate to the reduced sleep and extra commitments the new addition brings there is also the expectation Mum will have some six weeks of recovery without being able lift almost anything. That means I need to be on hand, especially a nearly two year old thrown into the mix.

With family taking a clear first place in priorities, training falls long way behind. Naturally I still like to keep up some level of training. I am a big believer in physical activity playing a major role in all aspects of my health. Secondary to that, it helps ensure my ability to meet the needs of family. On the hand, training cannot in any way take away from family.

There are quite a number of solutions. What I plan won't represent an ideal program for endurance sports or follow what typical…

52

Putting in 52 hours on shift in four days hasn't left much free time. At least I've managed to squeeze in most of my training.



Sunday Morning Chaos

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Finally An Actual Run

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Zero

It was that cold this morning. The official freezing point of water. I was actually partly happy with the fact I wasn't out training in that lack of heat. On the other hand, zero is also my training mileage over the last couple of days.

I've got some bug that just won't shift. Nothing that seems major, but it increases my need for sleep quite significantly. Plus any training has been making things worse. Funny how it is harder not to train, than it is to train.

How Many?

I've been asked a little while ago how many kilometres per week I run when training for a half marathon. It's taken a little for me to get to an answer. The reason being that I am no longer too concerned with weekly mileage. As a result I no longer keep record of exactly how far I run.

Instead I keep track of my key sessions. Mainly so I can see if I am imrpoving or not. By keeping a tally of kilometres logged each day now leads to stressing about how many I am missing. It no longer helps me.

After a little bit of analysis of my training diary I have come to the best answer. It is what I have done (not what I planned to do). There can sometimes be a substantial difference.

When averaged out to a seven day week I cover between 44-75km of running. Swimming is 2-4.5km (1 or 2 sessions) and cycling is 70-100km on the road plus about another 2 hours on the mag-trainer.

The range is purely due to competing demands on my time and not from a grad training scheme. Compared to last year'…

Flipped Day

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Down Tempo

This morning was my first real training run for the focus period. It didn't go quite to plan. That plan was 15km at 10-5bpm below my anaerobic threshold (153-158), over a fairly flat trail. The trail was a 7.5km out-and-back, so that meant two laps. The warm up and cool down was to be roughly 2km each way.

On paper this was very doable. With expectation the start may need a little prompting and the final handful of kilometres requiring a reasonable dose concentration. It should set the scene for progression.

The start was a bit after 06:00. In the dark, in the cold. Despite wearing what would normally be adequate clothing for the conditions, I got colder as the run progressed. My fingers weren't happy with a flair up of Raynauds.

The first 7.5km (lap 1) went through as expected. For the most part I fell into a good tempo, and the effort level felt right. The second lap was where the trouble unfolded. Only 500m into it I had a massive and sudden drain of energy. All I wanted to do…

Focus On The Devil

I've been reasonably comfortable with my training leading in. However, I know I can get more out of myself. The idea of three weeks of focussed training with a short taper/peak period leading into a race is different to what I have usually done in the past. I am curious to see how much improvement I can get out off myself in what is a relatively short period (30 days).



The Plan:



Focus 3 x 8 day weeks

Taper 6 days

Race: Devilbend Half Marathon 21.1km (on dirt roads)

Each Focus Week will include:
• Long Run- 2 hours at a steady state effort with some harder running on the uphills in the last 3rd if feeling good.
• Focus Run- 15km tempo. Week 1 @ 153-158bpm, Week 2 @ 158-163, Week 3 @ 163-168. Based on threshold HR 163 taken last half marathon.
• VO2- Intervals 6-8x4-5min, 2-3min rec. hopefully with plenty of uphill work. Inensity about 5km race pace.
• Speed- Week 1 5x200m, 200m rec. Run fast aiming for some lactate tolerance. Weeks 2-3 fast repeats of 60-80m, walk back recovery.

On top of th…

Devilbend Minus 30

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Pick A Race...

... and that race is the Devilbend Half Marathon, 8th August.

How I picked this race didn't exactly have a lot behind it. The process was just a matter of looking at what weekends I have available to race in the next couple of months. The answer was only a couple. One of those weekends I didn't like the choice of races. The other brought up the Devilbend Half Marathon. A race I haven't entered before, but 21.1km run over dirt roads down on the Peninsula has a certain appeal.

To follow the guidelines set out in Putting It Together means I start the focussed training sooner than I realised. The first cycle begins this Saturday. This will give me 3 x 8 day focus weeks, plus 6 days for the taper/peak.

Better come up with some more details for the plan.

Putting It Together

How do I plan to get that bit more out of my training?The concept is simple. I will focus on more short term goals. Train hard for those. In the background, I will keep in mind that my major goal is to race at my best for half ironman in 2010/11. This should allow stop the feeling of 'underwhelming training' that often goes with being a long way out from a goal. It also gives me the permission and incentive for some really hard training at times.Remembering that my training hours and ability to plan will be substantially altered after the not so distant birth of kid number two. So I know I will have a period of maybe 8 or so weeks that I probably have to consider as an off season. Around this is where my current plan fits.FOCUSI will pick a race to perform well at.Then depending on how my roster falls I will take 3-8 days lead up for taper/peak training.Prior to the taper/peak days I will perform 3 weeks/cycles (usually 8 days per cycle) where I will focus my training primaril…

Looking For That Bit Extra

There is definitely some improvement coming from my current training. This is good. It's not great. The reason is I know I can get more out of myself. Plenty of options have been churning around in my scone during the easier runs. I believe I am getting close to a solution. At least something worth trying in the short term.

2010/11 triathlon season is still a long way off. I need more than just trying to generally improve my base performance level. I need some closer focus.

Other Side Of The Gorge

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Working away from my usual stomping ground means some different running routes. For the 0700 starts I like to get into the branch by 0540 to fit the morning run in. Being out north and in winter it means cold starts.


There are some obvious differences once I have driven across the Plenty Gorge. It seems to be a border by more than topography. Running highlights a few things compared to my own area:
• lack of hills
• the wind just seems stronger (maybe not broken by hills)
• houses are close to the path and running past switches on sensor lights
• people look at you like you are about to mug them (no friendly hello)

Deposits

Another 8 day week down. Another collection of training sessions. Not exactly as planned, but all still in line with the training document. Nothing too special. Just consistency, appropriate fatigue and pains, plus a little evidence of some improvement.