Training Begins Sunday
Running this year has brought a good amount of success. I haven't been setting any personal bests so far. Instead, I have had some good training, I am as over any injury as I'll ever be and I have had some races that I am very happy with. That excitement I use to get from running has come returned. Amazing how that happens once my base fitness reaches a certain level. That level is when you go out for a solid run and it actually is relaxing, plus the legs find it easy to run.
This is where I hoped to be by this time of the year after I suffered through the Two Bays Trail 56km in January. I'm not in my early twenties any more and my body doesn't let me get away with just training hard over and over until just before race day. Getting close to forty and the therapeutic region for training has narrowed. Since January I have made a concerted effort to learn how my body now responds, adapts and what causes problems. It has been interesting.
There are two key elements the need to be in my training to see big improvements. First is a consistency in long runs. Second is regular fast running above my aerobic threshold at sufficient volume. Without regular progression in these two I know I stagnate and may even go backwards. Of course there is a lot more that goes into my training. Most of which leads me to be able to regularly and consistently perform the long runs and the fast runs.
Risk is important. It needs to be balanced the value of the return. There are certain types of running sessions that put me at risk. Hill sprints at near maximal effort do see amazing form and speed improvements. Unfortunately it almost guarantees aggravating some ongoing issues from my gluteus and hamstrings. That risk isn't worth it as the aggravation significantly limits my long runs. So there is a compromise. I'll include some hill sprints of lesser volume, and slightly lower intensity. At a level that is still explosive, but definitely well back from a maximal effort. The return is I get the improvements in form, but with much less of the speed element. Since I am aiming for 100km race, I think that compromise works.
This brings up the question, where to from here?
The answer is the Great Ocean Walk 100km in October 2016.
When does training start?
This Sunday. Which is over 4 months out from race day.
What does the training involve?
This is my favourite question. Because first up it isn't what people expect. For the first two weeks I am taking a holiday and won't have a rigid training plan. I'll escape the cold on the oncoming winter and spend time in Bali with the family and friends, eating, drinking and relaxing.
Of course I will be running. However, these runs will be purely on feel and should be fun. No time goals, no pace goals, no distance goals. In fact I probably won't even have a watch with me. The aim of this period is a complete reset. I have a few niggles the down time will alleviate. There is unlikely to be any fitness gains, but I expect to get in enough running to prevent any real fitness loss. It should be the right amount and timeframe to recuperative and continue on from my current fitness once back home.
Importantly this holiday should provide a mental lift. This is needed for a number of reasons, most of which do not have anything to do with training. Returning with a fresh mind will be beneficial, because once back there is four solid months of relentless training to come. The details of that part will be revealed once I am back.