SC100 Training: Focus 6

Easy 60 and 45 minute runs marked the first two days. Enough to recover from the injury side of things, yet not to the level of a taper. I still carried a few aches, pains and stiffness into the Salomon Trail Series Race 3: Silvan 14.3km. A long warm up had me race ready, and the 69 minutes of racing over a brilliant mixture of trails and hills had me working harder than I could achieve in a training session. Plenty of good points came out of this race. There was clear evidence of substantial improvement compared to a few weeks ago. Including the warm up and cool down, the day netted about 21km worth of running.


Fourth day was designated for an easy 60 minute run. My heart rate and effort was very low, but I surprised myself with quite a fast a pace throughout. Then it was night shift, followed by a day off as I continued the pattern of catching up on sleep.

Now for the long run. Kitted and stocked up, out into the hills and trails I went. The legs were feeling pretty good. No signs of any of last week's problems. No carry over pains or stiffness from the race. The first two hours, slipped by easily. Such a good feeling to have that time feel like nothing. From then on things changed. Basically I began to feel like rubbish. This wasn't fitness, or problems with pacing, or even nutrition. It was something else. I was feeling hot. Too hot for the conditions and effort level. Then my head began hurting. I still got through the run, and the pace didn't really drop much, so the session can be marked as done. That evening it was revealed what I already thought. A sinus infection had gotten in. As it turns out, I'm not the only one in the family with the same.

The day after the long run, I was originally hoping to get in 2-2.5 hours of a solid running. In light of fighting a little bit of illness I toned it down somewhat. 90 minutes on a mixture of trails, again with full race kit at what I hope is to be 100km race pace. So for only 1.5 hours that feels easy.

Early to bed for the next couple of nights hopefully lets my body do its thing against the bugs. For the final of the eight days, I took the day off running. It was originally designated for recovery, but I believed no running was the way to go this time.

It's worth mentioning that my strength and conditioning has morphed over the last couple of weeks. While it has been fairly light during the Focus phase, now instead of 2 x 45 minutes sessions, it is much more spread out. No longer any big sets of squats or deadlifts. All the strength and power comes from the run training itself (there are still some plometric drills thrown in). Now my strengthening work takes about 15-20 minutes, and is mainly about maintaining good posture through a mixture of strengthening, anti-rotation and stretching exercises. It is simple, quick and not overly taxing and does feel like it is carrying over well into the runs.


Next?

As from Saturday, 2nd September, I'm into what I'm terming my Peaking Phase. Exactly 3 (7 day) weeks before race day. In this time I can't really add to my fitness or condition, but I can certainly do a lot that influences race day. The point of this phase will be to hone the skills and efficiency to make the most of my fitness level, coupled with eliminating fatigue and injury problems without losing fitness it should have me at a performance peak on race day.

How will I do that?

Naturally the plan will change if it needs to (and it probably will), but here goes:

3 Weeks out:

  • easy 45min
  • easy 45min
  • Speed: 4-6 x Hill Repeats of 45 seconds: comfortably quick, recovery as required to feel fresh, probably 3-5min easy running, then 2 x 90 seconds of high cadence, technical running, long recovery again. The efforts should all be fast, but due to current fitness shouldn't carry a fatigue load the next day.
  • easy 45min
  • Long Run: 4-5 hours, full race kit @ race pace, no pushing harder on the hills or finishing fast. Despite its length this run should feel quite comfortable.
  • easy 60min
  • easy 45min
2 Weeks out:
  • Pace Run: 2 hours @ just a little quicker than race pace. Keep technique within 100km style, therefore pace can't be too far removed and heart rate should be relatively low. This will be a lot easier, and little slower than my pace runs over the last few weeks.
  • easy 45min
  • easy 60min including strides: maybe 4x60m
  • easy 45min
  • Long Run: 3-4 hours, exactly the same guidelines as the previous weeks long run, just a little shorter.
  • easy 45min
  • easy 45min
1 Week out:
  • Pace Run: 2 hours @ just a little quicker than race pace. Same as previous week.
  • easy 45min
  • easy 45min
  • Track: 8x200m comfortably quick, with 200m float, then 2-4x100m hill repeats at a comfortable pace with walk down recovery. This session is about feel. All running has to feel natural. Times are irrelevant, but none of it should be stupidly fast. If anything, the 200's will likely be as slow as half marathon pace.
  • easy 45min
  • off
  • off
RACE DAY



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