Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Here Comes The Rain Again

I’m starting to think Eurhythmics songs just be banned in Ireland. Too depressing.

Nevertheless, I’ve started a new training phase. I did deliberate if I should do a hills phase (or transition, as MC used to call it) at all but eventually remembered that on at least one occasion I went into the hills phase feeling so-so and came out feeling great, so at least it was worth a shot, especially as I was generally feeling so-so during training.

I required a search through my old training logs to remember how those hill sessions are supposed to work, but eventually caught up again and on Monday morning the alarm went off bit earlier than usual and I was up and ready.

I did wonder if it was a wise move to start hills the day after a 20 mile run, but told myself that Lydiard had his runners do 6 hill workouts a week with a 22 mile run on the seventh, so in comparison I was still taking it rather easy. However, I followed MC’s protocol for hills rather than Lydiard’s, as described in that little doclet here.

On Sunday evening I had been wondering if it would be possible to run at all but luckily the storm abated by 5 am and the rain had mostly stopped by 6 and the conditions were almost pleasant. However, the roads were completely waterlogged on several points and I ran through ankle-deep sections more often that I could count, and I ended up running through several of them several times.

So, on that Monday after the compulsory initial 4 x 30 second sprints I did 3 x 2 min of high knees (tough), then 3 x 1 min thigh drive (absolutely brutal, and I didn’t manage the entire 60 seconds on the last one) and finally a minute session of ankle drive (easy), all drills separated by 15 minutes of easy running (ok, so I cheated and did about 12) before splashing my way home again. The hill had resembled a river bed more than a road and the water had been so cold that my feet, and even more so my toes, were completely numb and the pins and needles in the shower just rounded up a "fun" workout.

I had sore calves on Tuesday. Actually, I welcomed that. I haven’t had any sore muscles in this training cycle at all until now and finally I can tell myself that I really am pushing my body. However, I didn’t feel the sore legs when running 10 easy miles.

Wednesday called for hill drills once more, though I did it on a different hill as the Caragh Lake Coillte road that I had used on Monday is completely unsuitable for downhill strides. The downside of the other hill is that the steep section is very short and not as well suited for all the other drills, so it is always a trade-off. Anyway, it was a similar workout again, after the sprints and the downhill strides I did the thigh drive (ugh) and the high knees again.

It might just be in my head, but I’m starting to feel good again. Maybe it’s the sore calf muscles’ soothing call.

3 Feb
10+ miles, 1:39:22, HR 132
    Hill Drills: strides, high knees, thigh drive, ankle drive
4 Feb
10 miles, 1:18:06, HR 140
5 Feb
10+ miles, 1:34:14, HR 135
    Hill Drills: strides, downhill strides,thigh drive, high knees


  1. I've been looking at your numbers over the past few weeks and must say I am as always very impressed. You are a machine. I'm getting back into things slowly but surely and will hopefully hit the high mileage in a month or two.

  2. Thomas, what kind of runners do you use?


    1. Shane, I alternate daily between a pair of Brooks Green Silence and Saucony Kinvara.

  3. If the hill sessions/drills are making you feel good, keep doing them.

    Send some rain down this way please. All our trails are turning into sand due to lack of rain. And I'm sick of running in 30C!

  4. Is it possible to get your blog updates via email Thomas?

    Many thanks

    1. I've just added the email option, Roisin. Thanks for your suggestion!