SC100 Training: Base 4

Felt good right at the start of week. Typically the 1st day involves running to and from work, but the plans changed this week. Other commitments meant I couldn't run home so I fitted all the running in before my 0630 work start. An aerobic run with a few strides and sprints at the track had me firing for the rest of the day.

In contrast to the very early start, the second day had me running late in the evening. Back into the hill springing. By far my best session. The exaggerated range of motion felt natural. I had good power each stride. The combination made for some relatively quick ascending. Maybe it was difference of running in the evening instead of the morning, but I do think I am just getting better on the hills.

And on the third day I was up early in the morning to get my mid-long run in. The legs were tired and fairly sore throughout the run, and to be honest I just didn't want to be out there. However, I forced back all the excuses and kept the legs moving. That got me about an 1:50 of muddy trails.

The next day went without a run due to kids, sleep and work demands. I knew this was going to be the case, so just let it slide. The night shift was a standard Friday night... busy. Even going through all my emergency food wasn't enough until we finally got our meal near midnight. Then back into until day shift showed up.

I had one of the best, unbroken sleeps during daylight hours of all time. An evening with the family, homemade pizzas and once the kids were in bed I headed out for my run at 8pm. An aerobic conditioning 10km in 51 minutes. It felt very comfortable so I was very happy with the pace. Surprisingly I then didn't have any trouble getting to sleep before 11. If I can keep the sleep on track, I have a much better chance of staying healthy.

Another short turn around brought me to my long run. Starting a bit closer to dawn this time gave me more light to work with. I took this opportunity to get into Plenty Gorge. I planned on incorporating the course for the Salomon Trail Run, but the river was up and flowing faster. Still passable, but I didn't think I was going to stay upright and dry. So instead I went and explored all the trails in the area. There were many, some well established, some disintegrating and some no more than squashed grass from kangaroos. There were so many great options discovered. The video below, from RapidAscent, is exactly where I was running, however, all those stones were submerged at the river crossings.

The long run showed up a few things. My basic cruising speed has gotten faster. Mild descents and flowing trail are by far my strong points. Rough, rocky terrain increases the muscular loading of the legs even if it's not reflected by heart rate. Short but very steep hills take more from my legs than long moderate hills. My hill training is working. Steep, technical descents require relaxation, quick legs and confidence, hesitation kills footing and speed. Uncertainty about direction robs a lot of time. It doesn't matter how much the legs hurt, if they aren't injured they can still run. Four hours worth of education.

By the end my legs were smashed. Getting downstairs the next morning was a bit of a task, but eventually everything got close to normal after moving around a bit. Going for a run later had me feeling good. I hit the flat circuit for another MAF test. This one reflected the improvement I'd been expecting plus a little more. From 4:58/km in the first week, I've now got my MAF pace down to 4:25/km in week 4. That's my best ever recorded for the test.

An extra night shift that went over time killed any benefit from a run on the last day. Sometimes with the swapping between day and night, I have throw out the concept of a normal day. Blocks of time between sleep might work better. Still I'm comfortable with the overall mileage of running. While I really do want to be getting more kilometers, I think I am hitting at the least minimum that is required. I seem to be improving in the right ways.


  1. That looks like a great place to run - useful from a training perspective too. Excellent improvement on the MAF test - you're really coming into form.

    1. Thanks again Ewen. Plenty Gorge is an awesome place to run. Snakes and fire danger unfortunately limit the amount I get in there during summer, but it absolute gold in winter. My form is coming along in the right way I think.


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