Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ultra Training - Week #6

An easy week this week, longest run was 10 miles and total mileage only projected at 28 although i did just over 32. 

An odd week for me; with it being easy I really relaxed and was looking like falling off the wagon a little at the start. I missed Monday and Wednesday through work commitments but pulled it back at the end. I did discover this week how much running with music makes you faster, hardly news but it made a real difference for me. I have been running at around 7:40'ish pace for much of my mileage. 

Putting on my running playlist on Spotify and I was cruising at easily sub 7. I wouldn't do it all the time as one reason I am still in this is because I have been taking it easy but it is nice to stretch your legs a bit. After all training long and slow just creates a long and slow athlete. 

I have also been continuing to focus on form, as I listen to more and more podcasts and watch an increasing number of Salomon YouTube videos (I really need more of a life) the importance of form is so vitally important. Funny really as you'd think that running was just, well, running. It is; but there's still a technique to it. Looking at the soles of my Brooks Ghost (that I have done around 450 miles in) there is pretty much zero wear in the heel yet the front is pretty much flat. Really good evidence that I am running with good technique. Also that I am not succumbing to niggles or aches and pains is also evidence. As I increase the mileage maintaining the form will be difficult but the habits appear good so far.

Next week is a long week with the longest run at 22 miles, I need to balance this with the work Christmas party. That will mean losing that day and, being realistic the following one (maybe two!!). My plan is to run short on Monday (maybe 5 miles across two runs) then Tuesday to get up early and do the long run before heading to work. All being equal I will be on the road for 6:30 at the latest. Wednesday there is then a 10km race at work that I will do. After that everything will be a bonus. 

After 6 weeks I've run 232 miles. There's 14 weeks and around 634 training miles to go.....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ultra Training Week #5

I've not had a great week this week. I was incredibly tired through the middle of the week and Thursday's rest day could not come soon enough. Genuinely the first time I've felt that I have needed it. This is down largely to a consistent increase in my mileage. The previous 4 weeks i have covered 150 which is an increase for me of around 40 miles over a similar period. I've not felt damaged just tired. I think that this has been evident in my heart rate and pace. My heart rate has been quite low this week at around 136-138 bpm or around 75% of my theoretical max (220-age *75%) although having said that my actual max is higher meaning my % rate this week has been lower.

In numbers;
  • My theoretical max is 178 (220-42). 
  • In reality this is at least 190. 
  • This makes 75% effort either 142.5 or 138bpm. 
  • If you consider that my max HR is 190 and i've been running at 135 bpm then that's closer 70%. 
All of which just backs up that i have had very little zip this week (and that i am particularly boring!!). 

What i have learned though is that when you feel like this while important to train not to feel under pressure to train to hard. I started out with the training programme as a framework and so long as i am close i am happy with that. Yesterday was meant to be 20 miles followed by 10 miles today. I ran just shy of 14.5 miles yesterday and no miles today. This leaves me short by 10 miles this week. I'm unlikely to run tomorrow and will not be running on Monday either. As next week is an easy week, the longest run is 10 miles, i should be feeling fresh and ready to push hard again the following week. Although with Christmas parties and a complete lack of personal discipline this does put high mileage in jeopardy - i have experienced this before when a couple of years back i was training for an ultra. 

I'm still enjoying the training and the discovery of Strava clubs really helps with motivation and keeping it interesting. Nothing like a social media angle to make something more interesting! 

Looking ahead next week's schedule is:
Mon - Rest
Tues - 4 miles
Weds - 4 miles
Thurs - 4 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 10 miles
Sun - 6 miles 

This will be a total of 28, refreshing, miles for week 6. 

Keep on running....

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ultra Training Week #4

An unexpectedly good week really. The schedule was:

Rest, 4 miles, 6 miles, 4 miles, rest, 20 miles, 8 miles, rest. Giving a total of 42 planned miles for the week, I managed 45.8 miles.

At the start of the week I thought that the 20 miler was I jeopardy as I had a Christmas meal and night out planned for the Wednesday I that London. That turned into a pretty big night out with Guinness, red wine, j├Ąger-bombs, lager and tequila all making an appearance and with a 4am finish to boot. Lucky then that the next day was a rest day;) I actually recovered from the night pretty well - relief!

Friday has been long run day so far and normally I have split the run over two sessions but try to do more of it in the morning. For a planned 20 miles I'd aim for a 15 / 5 split.

That didn't happen this week with my long run being an 8.6/9.7 split.
Miles, though, are miles.

The week finished with an 8 mile run on Saturday evening. This run started pretty steady with a mile with Frankie (my dog) the remaining 7 I ran solo picking up the pace a bit.

I then made a stupid mistake which I felt this morning. Recovery was lager and a curry. Only a couple but enough that today I have felt sluggish and lethargic. I woke in the night a couple of times needing
water too which never happens. Pretty stupid.

I am 4 weeks into a 20 week programme and 10miles head of schedule. I'm feeling pretty good, still motivated and as importantly, still intact. I am running steady and comfortably. The cooler conditions are helping that - I am dreading the rain. The only minor issue I have had is with dry skin on my feet. They have both cracked on the outside edge of the sole of my foot and heel. About 10 days ago it was really painful. Some heel cream liberally applied has fixed the problem and is now a part of my regime. Got to look after your feet.

This coming week will be about good food, hydration and steady miles.