Introductory Recap

Coming into the end of my Introductory Phase of training means it time for a bit of a review. Other than a stint of four days off due to the family sharing their germs, it has been a good 6 weeks. The training log software breaks everything down into a weekly summary, I have the joys of rotating shift work that means there's no such thing as a seven day week for me. Turns out I hit around 75km each week.

The standard run was what I labelled easy and this progressed from 60 minutes to 90 minutes over the 6 weeks. All ended averaging 5:30-5:50/km over a variety of terrain. So the progression was in distance and not pace. For the long run this moved in time from 2 out to 2.5 hours. Run over some challenging terrain at a comfortable and very sustainable effort, the pace doesn't look flashy on paper out near 6:00-6:30/km. Hill sprints and short intervals stayed pretty much the same from start to finish in terms of times and distances. The difference is the faster running has lost that stiff and awkward feeling I had a the start, and there is a smoother, more natural flow.

On the fun side I got in three races of 5km, 12km and 10km. None of these resulted in any personal best times, but I am very happy with the results. Each race had me feeling more comfortable working at the higher level. They proved that at least some of my training is on track, while helping expose a few weaknesses.

For the strength training I definitely didn't get in as many sessions as I wanted to. The strength work was always going to be a second session and looks like I was a bit optimistic in how I was going to fit it in. Still, I did improve in my areas of risk. Partially correcting some weaknesses and injury prone areas, but I definitely didn't fix them. My approach is going to need a rethink into the next phase of training.

Putting it all together seemed to work. There were the usual struggles and mind games trying to convince me there were good reasons to skip some sessions. It was good to be able to just go out and run and remind myself they were only excuses and not reasons. For the most part I think I got the loading of each run about right. It was good not burying myself with a big session. The day after day style of training is quite enjoyable. The low grade fatigue and small aches that let you know you're working at a fairly good level have become reassuring. Despite having the occasional run that just doesn't feel good, on the average, everything is feeling better than it has compared to the last few months.

In summary I feel I have achieved the basic goals of the introductory phase. I am injury free, and I have improved my body, technique, strength and endurance to be ready for the next phase of training. Nothing achieved is spectacular, but it was never going to be. I am ready for faster and longer. Bring on the base phase.


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