Second Week - ESG Training

Contrasts. The start of my first training week was off 5 days of recovery. My legs were stiff, but otherwise very fresh. This week started the day after my long run. There was a big difference.

Day 1 was split into two runs by also serving as my commute to and from work. Backpack on, it was 5.6km each way. The morning run was painfully slow, but the return home in the afternoon was just slow. Followed by an evening chaser in the weights room.

The second day was my technical run. Two days after a long run I was expecting some fatigue and pain, but to be honest I really struggled. While I ran at a reasonable pace and forced some speed into corners, over rocks and up and down stairs, this run wasn't enjoyable. The pains through my legs and an overwhelming urge to stop made it an hour long battle that I was very happy to see the end of.

Then due to an already accumulating sleep debt and a daughter who made a few trips out of bed over night, not feeling very well, it was going to be detrimental to get up early for the 2 hour run planned. As a result this was now my day off. Maybe not setting up for an optimal rest-of-the-week. It is what I have available. The down time at work for the rest of the day/evening was filled with trying to work out the best mix of the remaining training.

Into the fourth day and I got into my 2 hour run. Another 2x7.6km at around anaerobic threshold level. Clearly there was some improvement over last week. The first repeat felt so much easier, and natural this time. More importantly it was also faster. The second repeat felt just as difficult as last week, but it was still a bit faster too. What is playing on my mind is there is quite a drop off in speed, on the second repeat. This is something I may have to address over the next few weeks. With the same overall time I squeezed in an extra kilometer of running for a total of 23km.


With the change in training days due to the broken sleep earlier in the week and now a sick family I found myself heading out for my hill repeats after a night shift. A different venue this week. Yandell Reserve provides a brilliant 7:00-7:30 circuit that includes two steep hills varying between 8-11% gradient, some of it technical, some straight forward and a few stairs. I think this will develop to become one of my favourite pain inducing playgrounds. I aimed to get in 3 repeats, but only managed 2 and a little bit. My tolerance to suffering was way down. Still I got in more work in the climbing department than last week. My aim will be to work at fitting 4 repeats plus the warm up and cool down all into an hour.

Sixth day in and I ended up down at the athletics track. Starting with 600m repeats I found I was struggling with backing up the third day of hard training. So I cut back to 400m after 3x600. Since the first two 400's were a struggle to get the speed up to what I held as my minimum standard, I decided the 3rd would be my last. On that last repeat a switch flicked and I was back in form, hitting the paces I wanted. So I added another which was clearly my fastest. Feeling good I ended it there, a total of 3400m of fast running, 200m further than last week. My legs were now well hammered.

My legs decided an easy day was well deserved. I would have been happy to oblige them, but for the reason of stupidity I agreed to work an extra 14 hour night shift. That meant I wouldn't get a long run on the 8th day of the week. So instead of something easy on day 7, I hit some great trails for a solid 2:15. While it wasn't the 3-4 hours I have in the schedule it should definitely be of benefit for the half marathon. Not so much for the concept of a 100km, but I still have plenty of time for that. While my legs were ridiculously sore from go to woe, they felt better when I kept the pace up rather than trying to knock it down to an easy cruise. Food, shower, bed and then a night of fun that a Saturday night, warm day and full moon brings.

For the final day of the 8 day week, my priority of was removing ivy, privets and other weeds off the fence line. That gave me a few hours of extra physical work, before I snuck in an easy run after dinner. For a number of reasons, this was a hard week to get in the solid training. Yet I managed to get in a string of sessions that should lead to improvement. Most importantly I think it was an exercise in working on the mental aspect of pushing through pain and fatigue that was at levels above what has recently been having call runs short and drop the intensity. I guess that's the difference between base conditioning and focused training.

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