Wednesday, September 21, 2016

No Rest For The Weary

This is without a shadow of a doubt the toughest period of training I have ever been subjected to. Usually I would make sure I go into an ultra, including one run for training purposes, on well rested legs and would make even more sure to take plenty of recovery days thereafter.

My coach works differently. First she made sure I was going into Aherlow on already slightly tired legs by making me do a speed workout 3 days before the race and 12 miles the day before (and indeed, when I got up on Saturday the first thing I noticed were tired legs - before I ran 40 miles!) and then she kept the pressure on. At first I did have 2 recovery days. I wasn't really planning on running on Sunday, especially with the lousy weather in the morning, but when it turned into a lovely afternoon Niamh and Maia decided to go to Rosbeigh beach and so I joined them and ran for half an hour on the sand in my bare feet.

Monday was a rare off day but the heat was back on Tuesday in the form of yet another speed workout, albeit in reduced form of 5 x 600 repeats. She did give me the option to move it if I did not feel up to it but I guess she knew I usually press on regardless. I did wonder how big the chances of acquiring an injury were, but in situations like that you either trust your coach or you don't, in which case you shouldn't have that person coaching you. Anyway, the paces were a bit more uneven compared to last week, though I ran them all by feel and the effort felt pretty much the same each time. After the fourth repeat I started to suspect that the coach was trying to kill me, and I was pretty sure that one more repeat would violate the rule of always stopping one repeat before you're completely spent but concentrating on running with good form rather than pushing hard got me through that while possibly even keeping to that rule. Which was good, because then I still had to run several miles on tired legs.

After that torture session surely I deserved a break? Nope. A very early morning with 14 miles was on the program for Wednesday, and I'm not sure if I got through it because my internal regulation system has packed up and left in a huff or because my endurance levels are indeed sufficient.

I get two easy days now before another big double header. If I get through that there will be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh, and even with the less than ideal timing, I did pass my exam on Monday. :)

18 Sep
3.4 miles, 30:13, 8:53 pace, HR 132
19 Sep
20 Sep
9 miles, 1:15:49, 8:25 pace, HR 147
    5 x 600 @ 6:33, 6:15, 6:16, 6:03, 6:16 pace, 70 seconds rest
21 Sep
14 miles, 1:58:00, 8:26 pace, HR 144


  1. Congratulations - both on passing the exam and surviving your evil coaching plan.

  2. Some many tests all in one week! Well done of passing the exam and getting through the training runs. Given what your coach has put your through so far all I can say is "Best of luck with this weekends torture!" :-)

  3. Yes, Congratulations on surviving on both fronts. I should say all three, since family life is always in the mix.