Wednesday, August 06, 2014


I cannot help but notice that the Tralee 100k was won in a time that was slower than my time in Portumna. Now, obviously there are a few cavetas, like Portumna was the easier course, and nobody knows how my participation in the Tralee 100k would have affected the winner's time, but I can't help wondering what would have happened had I chosen Tralee as my "A" race this year ...

Nevertheless, I don't have any regrets, far from it. No matter how fast I would have run in Tralee, I would never have achieved the qualification limit for that particular world championship. It was definitely better to do something I am good at.

I have started running every morning again. To be honest, it's not all that much fun right now. The legs are heavy and stiff and the HR is sky-high for the rather pedestrian pace. I looked at my numbers from last year, when I returned to running after the Connemara 100, and they are very similar, both for pace as well as HR. It's a matter of being patient (I can do that) and not do anything stupid (well ...).

My weight has remained surprisingly low during my holidays; it's still at about 145 lbs (10st5, 66kg) which I can't quite explain. Usually (as in always, until now) I put on at least 5 pounds immediately after a target race, partially because I am no longer burning so many calories during training but mostly because post-race is the time to reward myself before I descend back into a more ascetic existence before the next race. Maybe Austrian chocolate doesn't make you fat? Now that is a theory that deserves to be examined in more detail. I shall use myself as the selfless test subject.

The next target race is still over 8 months away, which is too long out to start focusing on it yet. The idea is to have a bit of fun for the rest of the year and run a few races without any pressure, at the same time re-building my fitness. Following roughly the same pattern that delivered for Belfast I will introduce some limited speed work later on, probably around the New Year (there are a few 5k races around that time, which suits me very well) and then switch to working on long ultra endurance for the last 3-or-so months before the race. It worked once, it should hopefully work again.
3 Aug
5 miles, 40:02, 8:00 pace, HR 151
4 Aug
5 miles, 39:55, 7:59 pace, HR 153
5 Aug
8 miles, 1:03:48, 7:58 pace, HR 148
6 Aug
8 miles, 1:04:45, 8:06 pace, HR 146

1 comment:

  1. It took me a four weeks longer to get back to regular running after the West Highland Way Race so you are doing pretty well even if it's at a surprisingly high HR.

    Curiously this time around my HR for pace came down very quickly once I got back running, normally, like you when I have a few weeks off a race my efficiency drops away significantly, but not this time around. Don't know why it's been different this time but happy to accept it ;-)

    One thing I've done differently to you is that when I started my return all my runs were around 10min/mile pace keeping my HR well below 140 bpm. I started off stiff and awkward but within a week was running smoothly. Over the last two weeks I've re-introduced faster runs but kept the 10min/mile recovery efforts on days in between the longer runs and faster workouts. I'm deliberately taking a polarised approach this time for training.

    I know you are faster runner than me, but a 2 min/mile difference for a recovery run seems larger than our actual race speeds differ. Could it be that you'd recover quicker if you slowed your recovery runs down to 9 min/mile pace?

    As a ultra runner targeting races that you'll be running at 9 to 10 min/mile pace it seems like an opportunity to practice race pace and do more effective recovery runs by slowing things down until 9 min/mile feels more relaxed and natural.