Sunday, November 23, 2014

Real Life

When I as a kid watching the top-class skiers or footballers perform at the top of their game I always presumed they would only ever have to concentrate on their craft, the rest of their lives were taken care of. Eventually I realised that those people, for all their talents, still had to put out their own bins and do their own laundry. Real Life. What a shame.

Turns out, runners who qualify for a 24 hours World Championship still have to get on with real life as well. I just spent several hours taking down and building new beds for the kids, entirely on my own. Next time Niamh goes to Dublin leaving me with one simple job like rearranging the bedrooms, I might me able to smell the trap.

Well, the hands are sore but the legs are fine, which is definitely preferential to the other way round. As you might know by now, I always keep a close eye on my heart rate (not when running - afterwards!) and by the looks of it I have more or less recovered from Sixmilebridge already. I know that the cardio-vascular system is only one of several and things like the skeletal muscles or the endocrine system recover on different schedules, but as long as I don't go mad I'll be okay.

The plan is to do a bit of speedwork over the next couple of months, to ensure a system that isn't used very often by an ultra runner doesn't get dormant entirely. Leg speed isn't important over 24 hours, which is why you wouldn't train for it in the weeks before the race itself; 5 months is a better time, that leaves plenty of time for the more specific training to come after New Year.

After a set of 5 mile runs I increased the daily distance to 8 and on Sunday to 10. That's my tried-and-tested recovery system that I have used dozens of times and seems to work exceedingly well. The coming week will see mainly 10-mile runs, a longer run at the weekend, and if the legs feel okay I'll test them with a few short bursts of speed.

I usually incorporate a 2-4 weeks period of hill drills. I haven't made up my mind if I'm going to do them again. In light of my recent problems with my hamstrings it would probably be a good idea. I'll think about it some more. I'll check last years training logs and make a decision sooner rather than later.

As you can see, I do not write down a detailed training plan in advance, but I do have a certain structure in place that I will adapt depending on how training goes. With a bit of experience that is a better approach than slavishly following a daily routine from a book or website, but you do need to have at least a bit of knowledge of what you are doing (hang on, isn't there some saying about a little knowledge being dangerous - nah!). I do sometimes wonder what a degree in Exercise physiology would do for me, but I can't see me having the time to commit to that.

Real Life. What a shame.

21 Nov
8 miles, 1:04:32, 8:04 pace, HR 137
22 Nov
8 miles, 1:01:47, 7:43 pace, HR 141
23 Nov
10 miles, 1:17:05, 7:42 pace, HR 140

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