In Between

What to do with the two weeks between races? The original plan was take 2-4 days recovery as needed after the half marathon. Next would be a session of very steep hill reps, a long run of about 30km at a relatively low intensity compared to the long runs over the last couple of months, then hit a moderate to high volume session of hill reps. After that, take it easy for 3 days leading into Marysville to Melbourne. The plan seemed good. Focus in on getting the technique specific fitness for the hills (both going up and down), revisit a bit of basic endurance without adding too much to fatigue and keep a good general volume of training before backing off to be race ready. Of course there is always a spanner to throw into the works.

I felt good for the first two days after the half marathon. The easy runs felt very easy, the heart rates seemed about right, but the speed was a little quicker than I usually run the easy runs. On day three, I was had the start of a cold/sinus infection so I ran a stupidly slow and short run, which wasn't far off walking speed. Next day I was worse so just took the day off. That brought me into Friday. Feeling back to normal, but deciding to play things safely it was another, very easy run.

Now six days after the half marathon, my legs were feeling pretty damn good. No sign of cold. Time to hit the hills. Hitting 6 reps of a dirt/rocky climb of about 10-12% grade each taking about 2 minutes, I was surprised at how much power drained from my legs with each repeat. Maybe I misjudged the effort, or my fitness for the inclines just isn't where I thought it was. I had planned on 10 times up and down, but called it as I struggled to hold together anything close to good form on the 6th one. Strange I thought.

The next day was the long run. In bed earlier than usual for a moderately early start. It was hard leaving the bed. Maybe because it was the coldest morning so far this year. An extra layer, gloves and beanie and out the door. Even the Garmin seemed to be struggling. It took forever to fix on the satellites. It was cold. Into a brisk shuffle and in the hope of warming up quickly. My temperature climbed in over the first kilometre and the cold air now felt good. My legs felt destroyed and I took it as a combination of the hills and cold weather. That's fine, no pressure on pace today.

Over the next 5 kilometres I was hoping to feel better as I got into the run. Instead the opposite happened. It eventually became clear, the cold and sinus infection was still around, and it was coming back with a vengeance. Clearly I had to change plans.

So the long run was cut from the plan. No point grinding the body down further. Would this affect the next two weeks of racing? Probably not, as long as I recover and get in a little bit of work. Cutting the kilometres, missing the long run will be more a problem in a few weeks as the base won't be as big. Right now my focus is Marysville and the Great Train Race. In the past of gotten race fit quickly, and helped others too. Time to draw on a little of that experience.

The modified plan is quite simple. I've already most of the way through it. One hill session of 8x600m repeats run at about 10km race pace intensity. Rest as needed, or super short easy runs. Another collection of 200's on the track run comfortably quick until my body felt fired up. This took me eight efforts to feel about right this week. Then one moderate run of about 80 minutes, focussing on easy-speed. That means good form, quick leg turnover and relatively low intensity. If I can't find that feeling, then the run gets cut short. Now in the final 2 days, it will likely be one complete day off and a 30 minute session treated as a warm up. This is all dependent on actually throwing off the sinus infection. A big part of that is trying to get some good quality sleep.

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