Week 4: Emergency Services Games Training

Make it count.

That's been my motto this week. I will also take it into the next training week. Together these two weeks are my last chance to add any fitness before the Emergency Services Games (ESG's).

As usual my week started with a very easy run. I squeezed in 40min before my 0630 start at work.

Next day I was due for my technical/aerobic conditioning run. This I decided make into an extended run into work. Back pack on and I headed onto a 12km route into branch. The run is a mix of flat, hills of various gradients and length plus a combination of sealed bike path, gravel tracks and some reasonable single track. I have run this plenty of times and usually take about 75min to complete at this intensity. This time was a different story. While I had plenty of sore spots from the hill repeats two days ago, I didn't have the general fatigue that comes after a recent long run. The result was a 15min faster run. I was almost at branch within the hour, so decided to add some extra single track and an extra hill giving me another 3km. All at the same usual intensity. By far my best run of this type. At the other end of the day, I had a late finish so chose the short 5km return home.

Day 3 called for the now almost regular 2x7.6km threshold run. Another early alarm and I had some difficulty in getting my act together to get out the door. Still, out I went. Today I wanted to reverse the trend and aim for a faster 2nd repeat. For the first I hit a pace that I thought would get me in at the same time as I tended to cover repeat number 2. Albeit, slower than I usually run the first. This I did and it almost felt easy. No pain, just the desire to stop, which I took to be just accumulated fatigue. Onto the second repeat and I made an effort to keep the speed up. This I did by focussing of holding good form and keeping my cadence up. The intensity took care of itself after that. The end result was my fastest time over the course by a full minute. Plus it was all a bit easier than any of the same runs in the last few weeks.

The 4th day was for hill repeats. Onto my Yandell circuit and I got in a lot more volume at faster speeds than I have previously. It required an extra push, but clearly I am heading into racing form. This was followed by a night shift at work and a day off running. My legs seriously craved the recovery.

Day 6 was the long run. A simple 2.5 hours over the usual tracks. Nothing really of note about this run except it began to show up all the aches and pains that comes with the recent hard running.

The following day was set aside for an easy run. This I canned after waking with some swelling and pain over the dorsum of my foot and plenty of pain and tightness all up the lateral side of my lower leg. The hill work was showing up. So I took some extra recovery and was in much better shape the following day.

On the final, 8th day of the week I got myself down to the 400m track. 4x800m @ about 5km race pace with 200m recovery. I wanted a little more speed out of my legs, but I got what I got. Maybe fast enough.

The intensity was definitely up this week. With two break through runs I know I am at least on the upward curve. Hopefully my legs hold together and the next week sees the same workload with a little bit more pace before the taper. Since I am struggling a bit with the long run, I'll keep it at 2 hours and focus on the more race specific sessions. To do this I need keep the thoughts about later ultramarathons out of my head and remember I am currently training for a 10km cross country and half marathon.

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