Week Of Easy

As part of my genuine attempt to get the absolute most out of my training there is a big role for easy. Carrying undue fatigue into a hard training session is likely to compromise the training effect, while increasing fatigue levels further. Instead we want a balance between hard runs, moderate sessions and easy runs to facilitate supercompensation. This is where a good dose of art mixes in with the science.

This week has tested my patience to fit in with the above. It is also a good way of highlighting the importance I now put on recovering, adapting and being ready for the next hard training session, while still getting kilometres into the legs. I'll start with a few days out from last Sunday's Two Bays Trail Race. On the Wednesday (4 days out) I hit the athletics track after a 25 minute warm up and put down 8x200m at what felt comfortably quick (which was 40sec a piece). Recovery was a 200m float. This was far from a hard run, but it sparks the systems, and has me feeling ready to race. Even much of the warm up and cool down is still faster than the average race pace.

From there everything was easy:

  • Thursday: 65min comfortable run, 11.4km
  • Friday: off (mainly because I was stupidly tired and took the sleep), then a 40+degree day negated any benefit I would get with pushing out a run later.
  • Saturday: day before, 43min as a progressive, long warm up with mild uphill run throughs
Nothing taxing. As reported in my previous post, I then ran well for the 28km trail race. Of course the race is considered a key session. Nothing like aiming to run your fastest over some testing terrain for over 2 hours. Now to get the most from it.

Team: Out of Our Minds

My aim was to run easy each day after the race to keep the legs ticking over, flush with nutrients and remove the waste products. Plus ensure the muscles and other tissues repair and remain functional, and don't just put down fibrotic tissue over the damaged areas that can happen with complete rest. Also, keeping a run going each day still has some level of training effect. The plan was to keep each run very low intensity and not cause further damage. Nothing hard until my legs felt good.

Now I had a dynamic plan depending on how things went. Keeping in mind I'd decided to race the Coburg Harriers "New Year's Resolution Run" 12km, next Sunday I couldn't now run myself into the ground. So the plan, run easy for about an hour, maybe less each day for as many days as needed. If I only needed two days, then on the 3rd I would test things with a progressive run for about an hour, starting from easy and pushing the pace up as far as felt right. If good the next day, then I'd hit the track for another 8x200m session. If I needed three days easy, then day 4 would be the progressive run and no track session. In all options, days 5 & 6, being Friday & Saturday would be easy prep for the 12km race.

As things turned out, my legs were still showing some issues in my quads on day 4. So this meant easy running from Monday to Thursday of roughly an hour each day. By the end of Thursday's run I was feeling good again. So Friday morning I headed into something a bit hillier, by reduced the time down to 45 minutes. I put in some extra boost up the hills, keeping everything light and powerful, and used the downs to crank the cadence higher. At the end I felt ready to start a nice long, quick run. Feeling good. Hopefully I've stockpiled some extra fitness from the Two Bays race.

Saturday morning will be another hour in the form of a very extended warm up, followed by the 12km race on Sunday. I haven't raced anything short since August last year. At the moment I'm optimistic about what I can do. I've got a base to race off, it's just my top end form is untested at the moment (even in training). However there's a bit to work with.


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