SC100 Training: Focus 5

Coming off the tough week of Focus 4, I was hoping to maintain a similar level of training. The first two days involved only light recovery running to absorb the previous long run. On the 3rd day my lower legs still felt stiff and there seemed to be a deep soreness that I probably won't be able shake until the taper in a couple of weeks. Not fresh, but recovered enough for the pace run.

Following the trend for this run, it was again better than the previous week. Easier and faster. I followed this up the next day with the hill run. A course change to a steeper circuit with an average slope of 12% and no flat section. Aiming to hit 45min of hard work I only managed 36 before my legs gave in. The terrain alone forced the intensity up.

Two hard sessions were followed up with the obligatory recovery runs for two days. On the third I hit the track for a bit of speed work. I chose the flat option this week as my legs weren't handling the down hills and there were plenty of warning signs to steer me clear of fast up hill work. I didn't feel fast here.

Originally my long run was planned next, but the legs weren't up for it. The trouble that has been showing up every so often in the left patella tendon was rearing its ugly head. The damage was revealed with some bruising and pain. Instead an easy hour run followed with soft tissue work and some core strengthening was all that was done. On the next and final day of my 8-day week I only ran an easy 40min.

Am I concerned about dropping the long run? Am I concerned given the fact the long run in Focus 2 was cut very short?

Not at all.

I can only train to a level that creates improvement. 5-6 hour runs are the longest I have ever done. Despite scheduling six of them about 8 days apart didn't mean I was truly capable of doing that. It would be more limiting to push through an obvious low grade injury and have that hamper race day performance. Even prevent hitting the start line. There are enough indicators showing improvement that gives me confidence I am still on the right track.

With only one more Focus week what is left to do?

Sort out my left patella tendon problem and don't aggravate it again. That means getting good recovery, icing and soft tissue work. The problem seems to be stemming from a lot of lateral stiffness in my leg along with other issues on the down hills with how my quads are behaving. Next is get in the last stimuli before the consolidation of the taper phase. Two major sessions left. The Salomon Trail Race 3: 14km this Sunday will be the first. I hope to have a big day at this one. Then after a few days recovery I'll hit the trail for 6 hours. For this run I'll make a point at not going out hard and being reduced to survival mode. I want to get right on what pacing I should hit come the 100km. If running injury free and not completely wasted I am hoping to back up the following day with a solid 2.5 hours. If not, I'll be content with the 6 hours.

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