Friday, July 10, 2009

Time is Flying

A look at my countdown timer tells me there are only 9 weeks left until Dingle. Subtract 3 weeks of tapering and you realise that there are only 6 weeks of full training ahead. That’s just enough time to build one new set of mitochondria. Let’s get going.

All my previous hill sprint session consisted of 45 seconds repeats. I toyed with the idea of extending that to 60 seconds last week but decided against it because of Friday’s race. This week there was no such excuse, and one-minute repeats it was. After getting the tempo run out of the way I tackled the hill. I timed myself for the first repeat, and the other ones were done until the same point, which saved me from having to check the watch when I’m hardly able to breathe. There is no doubt that this was a tough session. After reaching 4 I was tempted to call it a day, because that was the number I had deemed the absolute minimum, but I kept going. After 5 I checked the watch and saw that there was enough time for at least 2 more. Damn. At that stage I would have taken any excuse to call it a day. I duly ran up twice more, but after seven was so exhausted that I thought I might collapse if I did another one. This was almost certainly untrue, but I didn’t feel inclined to test that theory and went home instead.

The last few weeks I was always sore for the rest of the day after hill repeats but felt surprisingly fresh the next day. Today was different; running was a pain in the backside because my glutes were strongly feeling the after-effects of that workout. Friday’s 18-miler normally feels reasonably easy, but on this occasion every single step was a bit of a challenge. I was not in pain as such, but lifting the legs was uncomfortable every single time, and doing that for 18 miles is a very very long time. Having said that, the pace was ok. On such a hilly run I deem everything under 8-minute-pace as decent, and if I run faster than that without pushing the pace at all, I normally call it a good run.

It had looked like a nice morning when I left the house, but halfway through the run it started raining. This had happened on Wednesday as well, but then the rain had stopped after a mile or two. Not so today when the heavens well and truly opened and left me soaked for the rest of the run. According to the forecast this should not have happened until lunchtime; shows what they know. Anyway, I was glad to be finished, but jotting down 18 miles into the log was highly satisfying. Overcoming a struggle is always a good feeling.
9 Jul
11 miles, 1:30:30, 8:13 pace, HR 145
incl. 3 miles @ 6:53, 7x60 secs hill sprints
10 Jul
18 miles, 2:22:36, 7:55 pace, HR 144


  1. When I do hill repeats I count the number of steps based on a turnover of 100 per minute (50 for 30 seconds) and it always turns out reasonably accurate.

    Stretching them out for another 15 seconds is torture but obviously great training.

  2. Well, you've got 8 weeks of training left if you follow the patented Dave Criniti one week taper.

    Bloody Irish weather has stopped the first test!