Showing posts from June, 2013

Hill Sprints

For some further insight into training for the Surfcoast Century it is worth picking apart the individual sessions. Of course, single sessions don't make the program, in a total is greater than the sum of all it's parts, kind of way. How everything comes together over the weeks is more important. That said, the devil is in the details. I'll start by looking at the Hill Sprint session. Since I am preparing for a 100km race, sprints might seem far removed and even irrelevant to some. After all, how is sprinting as fast as you can related to the slow pace and different mechanics of an ultramarathon?

Hill Sprints will make a weekly appearance. After a thorough warm up, which will likely include some mobility work I hit the main set. For this I pick a hill that's at least a 10% grade, but preferably steeper. The surface will vary weekly as I will pick a different location. Each repeat will cover roughly 70-200m for 8-12 repeats. Recovery will be some very easy jogging, for …


Picking the Winter solstice as the starting day of my next training block leads to some cold sessions. At least I know each day from now leads to more sunlight. The first three days all started well before dawn. The temperature was below freezing point. You know it's cold when you finish your run with ice on your beanie and beard.

Missing Summer, but still getting out for the runs. It is definitely easier to run faster when the temperature doesn't start with a minus. When it turns this cold, a bit of my top end speed and stamina seems to be sucked out. As a result my interval session wasn't up to where I wanted. I was happy to find the next day's 20km was around the required pace.

Focus: Surfcoast Century 2013

Training now moves away from the generalised style I've been holding recently. Time now to kick in the focus and aim directly for the Surfcoast Century in September. That gives me exactly three months from today.

From here on in I will mainly be working on an 8-day week, with a fairly standard weekly structure. Most variation from this will be a byproduct of having to find different ways to get the training in. Of course there will be progression embedded into this structure.
Day 1: Easy - Fundamental run 8-10km Day 2: VO2 Intervals: 4x1000m @ 3:45, 1000m rec @ 5:30, progressing towards 4x2000m with 500m rec. Total 12-15km Day 3: Fundamental 20-25km Day 4: Hill Sprints 10km Day 5: Regeneration - Easy 8-12km Day 6: Long 40-60km with race gear/nutrition. Aim for even style pacing, err on easy. Only after distance is covered then push up pace. Day 7: Easy 10-12km Day 8: Fundamental 12-18km on technical terrain.
A pace guide for flat terrain is: Regeneration: 6:30-5:40/km Easy: 5:30-5…

Downhill Running

Having claimed downhill running as one of my strengths, it is probably worth delving into the details. In most of my races when the course heads down I tend to move faster than most of those around me. Often I close gaps or make a move on the descents and it tends to feel relatively easy. That said, there are some aspects of downhilling I don't think I'm at the required standard.

Before I get into my thoughts on the topic, I recommend visiting the following two links if you want to improve your downhill running.
Ultra168: The Art of Downhill RunningMile 27: Downhill RunningPreparation

The obvious needs to be pointed out. If you want to improve you have to put in the effort. Without concentrating on improving technique, without conditioning, and without proper recovery the gains won't be much. That said, improving downhill running does not require as much volume as most other aspects of run training. A bit of prehab and rehab work can go a long way when targeting downhill ru…

CODE RED: A little off topic

I believe this is the first post on my blog that is somewhat removed from my training. The link is that it does directly affect my training as it is about my job. Since my job is how I earn an income, involves a good portion of my week and has its various stressors as is the case with most people's work, it influences most things in my life. The main reason there has been big gaps between posts of late is work is taking up more of my time. At least I am managing to get some reasonable training in.

I'll try and keep this short and to the point. I am a paramedic with Ambulance Victoria. At the moment we are in the midst of fighting for fair pay and conditions. There are other issues such as plenty of failures in the ambulance system of providing resources for patients that need us. Response times are getting longer, we are being ramped up at hospital for ever extending times and unavailable to respond and we are working longer beyond the end of our rostered shifts. The main pro…