Sunday, October 09, 2016

The Long Weekend

In normal times, a long weekend for me would signify a long run. Not now. This is taper time and like virtually every runner I hate taper time. The long weekend means waiting for the hours to pass, not really knowing what to do with myself. The options are limited as I'm supposed to get as much rest and recovery as possible. With my dodgy knee enforcing an extra long taper this is even worse than usual; I feel tapered already but I've still go another two weeks of this ahead of me.

I also hate the break in the Premier League schedule. This might be really weird for someone presently preparing for an international competition to say but I hate international football, with all the ugly nationalism that it can produce; I have seen some pretty ugly scenes in my time in England and heard otherwise rational and perfectly balanced people making some hair raising statements; going to a club match I never saw any of that nonsense, one visit to Millwall being the notable exception.

Anyway, while I'm whiling away the time I take a look at my schedule and scratching my head why the coach put on a rest day for tomorrow. I haven't done anything recently that would require a rest day! I can't even ask her because she herself is off-grid on a running camp!

I'm really watching my food intake now; I have completely gone off processed sugar once more, which is a highly effective way to shed some pounds without impacting on training and I'm down about 3 pounds already. Another 2 or 3 before Albi would be good, that would put me down to what I regard as my ideal racing weight, below 145 pounds / 65.5 kg / 10st5.

On the short occasions when I'm out running I marvel how natural 9:30 pace has started to feel. I can't even tell if that's a good thing or not. Should I be happy that I am used to running at the pace I will try and hold for many, many hours in Albi, or should I be worried that my natural pace has deteriorated by 2 minutes? I guess I'll find out in France. In the meantime I keep shuffling along, maybe squeeze in one more workout, and mentally steel myself for running in circle for a whole day and night in the company of Europe's best ultra runners.

The knee, you ask? That's 98% fine. I can feel it on the downhills but that's it.

7 Oct
6 miles, 56:25, 9:24 pace, HR 129
8 Oct
5+ miles, 47:25, 9:23 pace, HR 131
9 Oct
10 miles, 1:33:12, 9:19 pace, HR 133

1 comment:

  1. Feeling comfortable at 9:30 is a skill and neuromuscular tuning you've developed, one perfect for running 24hrs so this is something to celebrate, it's one of the key achievements of this round of training.

    I'm sure once you add back in more tempo runs and faster intervals the muscle tuning for higher paced runs will come back and it'll feel natural banging out 7min/miles as well.

    I'm confident this will happen as this is what I've seen with my own long ultra to marathon training. Prior this this years West Highland Way I was tuned into 9 to 10 min/miles and sub 8min/mile felt fast. Now I've wrapped up my marathon training (1 week till race) the pace I find myself naturally zoning into is 7:30min/mile pace.

    Sure the transition between the two events and training for them feels a bit awkward for a couple of weeks but you soon dial in.