Week 5: Emergency Services Games Training

The last week to make it count.

These eight days turned out to be quite different than my more typical weeks. A slightly different timetable for my life had a small hand in this. However, an unexpected breakthrough run combined with some soft tissue management forced a different approach.

A typical first day with 40 minutes of easy running. This was definitely a very slow ramble. Clearly my legs are near their limit. Plenty of stretching, icing and tissue work will be required to be able to handle another hard week.

The second day brought the end of daylight savings. With the clocks pushed back an hour there is now a little more light in the morning. Last night was a late one watching some amazing shred at the G3 concert so even with the extra hour, my sleep was limited. No morning run before work. Instead I saved the aerobic conditioning run until after work. I avoided anything overly technical as the upcoming races are simple courses. I just made sure I got the most speed I could within the 70-81%HRmax range. That gave me what felt like a very comfortable 13km in an hour including the warm up and cool down.

Only eight hours since last night's run and I was at it again. The earlier light made things easier to get out the door. Another 2x7.6km was planned. Today I wanted faster times and for it to feel fast. From the start of the first repeat I aimed to replicate the feeling of last week's faster split. The result was unexpected. The repeat felt really good, I thought would be good but not spectacular. Over the last 2km my legs felt like I was in the second half of a 10km. It felt natural, but nothing was screaming at me to slow down. The finish time was so much faster than any of my previous runs. It was right on the paces I was looking at the 10km. So I elected not to run the 2nd repeat and take an extended cool down back home. 7.6km at 10km race pace is an extensive session. The massive improvement over the last couple of weeks is good but the ease at which I ran it may indicate an early peak.

Stand? Walk? These were difficult tasks on getting out of bed and remained a struggle throughout the morning. However, my body seems to find running easier at the moment. I started the planned hill repeats, but clearly yesterday had taken too much out of me. Instead I called the run short, and just jogged back home.
Sleep. Stretch. Raise legs. Massage. Ice bath... and still everything hurts.

Into the 6th day of the week and I churned out my last long run before the ESG's. Two hours of pretty dishonest running on a flat to undulating trail. I could have comfortably pushed the pace up, but based on the last few weeks I knew this would take something away from the faster running left in the week.

Day 7 started at 04:15. If I wasn't getting up this early, then there would be no run for the day. In the dark I made my way to the athletics track. Too early to be awake enough to worry about details, I stuck to the simple task of running solid to fast around in circles. There is something just plain cool about have a full 400m track all too yourself in the dark. 4x1000m with 200m float recovery. I didn't check my times during the run, but afterwards saw that I covered them at my predicted flat section, faster speeds for the upcoming 10km cross country. A good run for the morning.

On final (8th) day of the week, and my designated last hard run, I headed back onto the slopes. So many sore spots, tendon stiffness, random twitches, adhesions and assorted pain to point out I was at my limit in training. As usual the weak point is the connective tissue. I chose to run repeats on the 245. So named because when I moved a couple of years ago and started running this hill, my best time was 2:45 for an all out effort. The hill is about 6% average gradient, on a dirt & grass, mildly rough track. Nothing overly technical, but not perfectly smooth either. Usually I get 6-7 repeats in about 2:52-2:55, and this hurts. Today I took it a little easier on the downhill, to give the legs some genuine reprieve. On the up, I just ran hard, good form, making sure it felt like an honest effort but not lactate tolerance level. This resulted in a great run. 10 repeats in total (first time I'd gone past 8), all within 2:49-2:53. Further and faster than my usual. That has got to be good.

Comments

  1. Exciting about the 7.6k run and the hill session. Looks like you're in great shape for the games. Hope all goes well.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ewen. My running actually all feels a bit strange this time around. I've definitely had some great runs, but from day to day I don't feel as good as I tend to do leading into a peak. It could just be all the aches and pains that have been building that I'll hopefully get rid of during the taper. Can't do much more other than freshen u anyway.

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