Sunday, October 16, 2016

T Minus 6

And so we go into the last week before the Euros. To be honest, I think this training cycle has been a little bit too short for me. It took me a long time to shake off the worsts effect of Belfast. I suspect the concrete surface there has done a number on my leg muscles. The subsequent training was interrupted by a succession of little niggles, never anything serious but it all added up to the fact that I now feel undertrained.

I guess I'll put the theory to the test that you don't need much base training once you have accumulated a certain number of miles and years. It's very hard to predict what I'm capable of in Albi because the training has been so different to anything I've done before. When I look at my pace / heart rate numbers I get nervous because those numbers do look awful. On the other hand, running at 24 hour race pace feels very natural to me now, which has to count on something. With some input from the coach regarding pacing strategy and nutrition I might be able to squeeze some extra improvements out of me, so let's see.

I'm definitely looking forward to putting on the white top with red stripes again. It is an incredible honour to be picked to represent your country at international championships; this will never get old.

Obviously training is only ticking over now. Friday was remarkable inasmuch as it was the first run where I did not feel my knee at all. Unfortunately on Saturday morning I bent down to pet our dog and must have done the same thing to it once more because I've felt it again ever since, though at a much lesser degree. It does support my theory that I hurt it originally by bending down repeatedly in Tralee, but it also means that it is slow to heal and won't be 100% by Saturday. It is what it is; since running doesn't seem to aggravate it I just have to hope that the same will still hold when running for well over 100 miles.

Anyway, the knee held up just fine on Saturday, including when I did some strides, and it did not stop me from feeling really good on Sunday's 13 mile run. This was the first run in the entire training cycle where I felt like effortlessly floating along. A bit late it may be but that's not a bad state to get into one week before race day.
14 Oct
5+ miles, 47:35, 9:25 pace, HR 131
15 Oct
6 miles, 54:22, 9:03 pace, HR 136
   with strides
16 Oct
13 miles, 1:50:01, 8:27 pace, HR 143


  1. Amazing to here you say feeling under-trained after the coach set you seriously tough series of training sessions during your peak training. I guess this was very much a peak without the much wider base you normally have due to recovery from injury.

    The higher HR for a given pace is a conundrum. I don't know if I have seen the same thing this Autumn with my own training. I did a short spell of decent marathon training and expected my HR for a pace to improve as it usually does with some consistent training. It improved a bit but not to where I was in the spring. My legs toughened with the training so it had the required effect, just my HR for a pace wasn't near it's peak. In the end though it's just the time/distance you cross the finish line in, it really doesn't matter much where your average HR was during a race.

    Nice to hear you got that effortless floating along feeling in your half on Sunday, this suggests that your body has recovered well from training and nicely tuned into the a pace not far off your 24hr pace.

    I really hope these two things together are the strongest indication that you are in the shape to run a strong 24hr race. You don't yet sounds like you've got your race focus locked in, I guess that will come this week now that the physical training is done.

    Best of luck with all the prep for the trip. It's sure to be another amazing event to be part of. Representing your countries for a second time, that's an exciting honour.

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  3. Wow, that is getting close. Good to hear the infamous knee is behaving. Enjoy the experience and have a good race. I'm sure experience (and pulling on the national colours) counts for a lot.