Long... finally

It's been about two months without a genuine long run. I did get in something a bit over two hours on the trails, but it was stupidly slow and involved more walking than I liked, so in my book it doesn't count. At the moment it looks like everything is back on track for some consistent training. The knee is good. Life is balanced. I have my systems going. The chance of another snake bite is very low.

This training week, I've got in the key runs of aerobic conditioning and hills. There was only one day with no running as I skipped an easy run due to working an extra night shift. The runs were all as expected. Mentally I'm struggling with the slow speeds, but I'm sure if I speed up now then that will lead to some holes in my consistency. So mainly slow running is where I am. It's allowing me to back up each day. This week has given me 7 out of 8 days of running.

The target for my long run was 2 hours with the majority in my endurance/aerobic conditioning range (E) after a warm up at base (B) intensity. (Check my training zones here). Also I wanted to hold back on the descents as I still am struggling to keep everything firing as it should down hill, and I want to keep my knee in good condition. So I ignored heart when going down hill. Given this was my first real long run for quite a while I kept things simple. I picked a very familiar trail, with straightforward terrain, and only moderate hills. No distractions with navigation or technical running. Just 2 hours of basic, continuous running.

I started with a good deal of excitement at the prospect of finally getting a descent long run in. That excitement dissipated somewhat as the first half was a struggle. I was holding back the intensity, but nothing felt natural. It seemed just a bit too hard. Maybe it was running early with no food pre-run I thought. Then after about 75 minutes a switch flicked. It was like my body finally realised what it was meant to be doing and coordinated all its systems. The final section was at about the same heart rate, but the pace was definitely a little faster. Looks like I'm back.

For these eight (8) days of training the running was very simple and slow, but it was consistent. It is the first genuine week of consistency I have completed in a while. While I am not too concerned about exact kilometers covered, it does pay to keep a bit of eye on the distances. This week was 73km. A start I am happy with.


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