Sunday, October 06, 2013

Pick Up the Pieces

I cannot believe how much better I am feeling right now than 2 weeks ago. The transformation is just magic. Those 2 weeks of nothing but short and easy runs were obviously exactly what I needed, and the difference this has made is enormous.

I got the green light to pick it up again on Friday but for once decided to err on the side of caution and did yet another easy 8 miler. I still don't have full confidence in my body. But I did put it up a notch over the weekend, doing 10 miles on Saturday and 12 on Sunday, all at the same easy effort. I did several months of that kind of running 3 years ago, and I was very surprised how much my pace increased for the same effort when it felt like I did not do any real training at all. On the downside, these were not exactly the most exciting months of my life and I did get frustrated and bored after a while. Back then MC held me on a short leash, but I never managed to show the same restraint when training under my own tuition. We'll see what this year will bring. Considering that the end goal of the present training cycle is a long ultra with a goal pace of 10:30, fast running will not exactly be a requirement.

Saturday was a gorgeous autumn morning with the sun shining so brightly that my only regret was not bringing my shades (it never even occurred to me that they might be required). What a contrast to today when the wind was driving the rain horizontally across Dingle Bay and the Cromane road was decidedly uncomfortable to run on with the water splashing right into the face. That's running in Kerry for you - and it does have its advantages, like it did in Bangor when everyone else was complaining about the conditions and the race had been in danger of being cancelled for health and safety reasons, and I just spooled off lap after lap with my head down, being well used to running in this.

My achilles has been very good and basically unnoticeable until it suddenly hurt quite a bit on the last mile today, a sharp pain out of nowhere and without notice. That's a bummer, but I'm hopeful that this was just a short episode and not a sign of a real setback.

4 Oct
8 miles, 1:02:22, 7:48 pace, HR 140
5 Oct
10 miles, 1:17:15, 7:43 pace, HR 143
6 Oct
12 miles, 1:33:53, 7:49 pace, HR 141


  1. I'm glad you're feeling better, Thomas, and hope that the Achilles pain is already gone! How do you practice for ultras? Do you add climbing and hiking to your routine? What is the elevation like at your planned race?

    1. Hi Anna, I'm not Anton Krupicka and I don't do any climbing. The training is similar to marathon training but with longer training long runs - in fact I use marathons and shorter ultras as my long runs.

      The elevation of my planned race is exactly 0 feet - it's laps around an athletics track!

    2. Sorry for my ignorance, Thomas, I've never done any ultras and didn't know that they can be done around the track too. 0 elevation sounds great, but how about the repetitiveness, how do you prepare for that? The only track race I've run was 10000 metres, and I found it more draining than running in the woods, because there was no shade or change in scenery...

    3. It's quite an unusual even, alright. The fact that you constantly meet and run with the other runners makes for the lack of scenery in my view; ultras tend to be very lonely affairs, this event is very sociable.

  2. Good to hear Thomas. Nothing like easy runs to bring the body back to normal. Guess you've read about the US 100 mile record. On an indoor track! 4 x 3:09 marathons. Pretty keen to have your own 'toilet' trackside to save time!

    1. Yes, I've heard about that one and read the report. What an amazing run.