Train & Peak

With four races in five weeks there is the enjoyable challenge of trying to find a way to improve from race to race. Having one week between the 10km cross country and the half marathon, doesn't leave much opportunity for a big session if I want fresh legs on race day. So what's the approach?

Sunday: Race, 10km Cross Country
Monday: Relaxed 14km over some of the more technical trails in Plenty Gorge. Keeping the intensity down, should help move the blood and lymph through the legs, but the difficulty of terrain should provide a technique challenge and stimulus for the smaller, intrinsic muscles used on more difficult trail that will come into play at Marysville and the Great Train Race in following weeks.
Tuesday: Easy 14km, but reasonably quick run back into different trails in Plenty Gorge. The legs were showing a fair bit of soreness carried over from the cross country, but they were flicking over nicely over the rocky ups and downs. Again general condition and technique for upcoming racing. Not exactly recovery.
Wednesday: 10x200m comfortably fast intervals at the track, with 200m jog. These progressed from 45sec down to 37sec as my body warmed up and shook off the leg heaviness with each repeat. A little bit about fast twitch stimulus, but mainly sparking up the neuromuscular connection for faster running. This session always seems to help with a race in a few days time. Seems to make the faster running feel more natural.
Thursday: 40 minute regeneration run. Very, very easy. Just to get a bit of blood flow, warm up the tissues and followed up with a bit of soft tissue work.
Friday: Off. Was meant to be an easy run of 50-60min, but with the 2 year old deciding it was wake time for two hours over night, I opted to to catch up on some of that lost sleep.
Saturday: Loosener. A bit over 30 minutes which involved a gentle warm up, some light drill work and a set of 4x150m, 2x300m, 1x750m. All at or faster than tomorrow's race pace. The main point of this run is to shake off the stiffness, not force the body, but let it dictate speeds. It finishes when I feel warmed up and ready for either a race or hard interval effort.

In summary the first three days moved away from complete recovery running and aimed to get some aerobic base conditioning while addressing a few skills required for future races. True recovery didn't start until Thursday, and includes Saturday's work (yes you can have a little bit of fast stuff and it still counts as recovery). It is removed from the recover immediately from a race, stick in a hard run then hope to recover for the next race. That approach doesn't seem to work for me anymore. To do that, I think I need 9-10 days between races.


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