Anyway, I finished 2015 with a double workout, hill sprints in the morning and a recovery run on the treadmill in the evening. The hill sprints are what I want to do this training cycle instead of a hill phase doing drills, because it was doing those drills that got me injured last summer. I know it was down to me making a silly mistake but I really don't feel like doing another set of the same drills this time round.
If the treadmill run helped or hindered my race the following day I cannot say but after last week's surprisingly fast 5k I was fairly optimistic of a good race on New Year's Day. The race itself was in slight doubt as storm Gerturde was to hit us at the exact same time but thankfully it mostly steered south of Ireland and all we had to deal with was heavy rain and gale force winds - I've run in worse but it sure wasn't ideal race weather.
|Me in the customary orange club colours|
No rest for the wicked! The weekend training is always a set of 3 days, fast-long-medium, and I did 20 miles on Saturday. The legs felt better than expected but not exactly fresh. 20 miles were perfectly doable and I kept the effort at a reasonable level but the course was slightly unreasonably hilly, doing the Devil's Elbow loop with its nasty steep 500 feet climb three times. I very strongly believe that running up steep hills makes you a better runner. My usual climbing spot is Windy Gap on the Kerry Way but at the moment I don't think that is safe after all the rain we had the last few weeks and I prefer to stay on the road instead. Roads aren't as steep as that trail but the Devil's Elbow climb sure does its best to ape a mountain run. I felt okay while running but was knackered once I had finished. I even had a bath instead of a shower afterwards, for the sole reason so that I could lie down instead of having to stand up!
I closed off the week with 15 miles on a flatter course on Sunday. Once more the legs felt better than I could have expected but it wasn't exactly like floating on fluffy clouds. I kept a reasonable effort, similar to the day before, and was pleasantly surprised by the pace when I thought I'd be lucky to average 8-minute miles.
I'm in pretty good shape. Not race shape, but the base training has worked very well indeed and I couldn't be happier so far. There are still 6 weeks to go until the race specific training starts. I do hope I'll be able to convert the good work I've done so far into a good race, something I have not always managed entirely in the past.
I'll speak about my racing plans for 2016 in my next post. It took me a while but I think I've got it all worked out now.
The mileage this week is slightly misleading because the race on Friday meant the week got compressed by one day and I ended up doing the 15 miler on Sunday when it would normally have been on the following Monday. Next week goes back to normal and in all likelihood the mileage will therefore be lower again by the same amount.
Late update: 20th place, official time 39:13
- 31 Dec
- am: 6 miles, 52:01, 8:40 pace, HR 137, hill sprints
- pm: 5 miles, 39:52, 7:58 pace, HR 140, treadmill
- 1 Jan
- 11+ miles, including Beaufort 10k New Year's Day race
- 39:10, 6:17 pace, HR 167, 2nd M45
- 2 Jan
- 20 miles, 2:37:05, 7:51 pace, HR 146
- 3 Jan
- 15 miles, 1:55:21, 7:41 pace, HR 142