Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Treadmills & Stairwells

Since finally shaking off my post-TNF fatigue, I've been gradually building up the mileage again, but carefully and with more rest days than I would normally have. I pulled out of You Yangs a while back, as I just wasn't going to be ready to race by then, and had also been giving Surf Coast Century in September second thoughts.

The last couple of weeks though, I seem to have turned the corner, and on the weekend went back-to-back for the first time in ages with 26k on the Saturday, then a very fun 30k on Sunday morning with the Peninsula Trail Runners in Red Hill. It left me tired, but not overly so, and I probably could have gone another 10k without issue. It's put SCC firmly back on the agenda, and if I can put in a solid 26/32 this weekend, then I will probably put my entry in next week.

I have also gone back to the basic training schedule I had used for a year up until March, when for some unknown reason I changed it leading up to TNF. After Roller Coaster, I started to do progressively longer runs for 4 days straight from Thursday-Sunday, I think with the idea that I would build up a level of fatigue that would replicate a race effort by Sunday. I don't really think it worked, and along with a too-long taper, may have contributed to my poor TNFort (see what I did there?).

So I have gone back to the following schedule which got me racing well in the first place. The distance ranges vary depending on where I am in my training cycle, peaking 2 and 3 weeks out from a race. I also drop back my mileage every four weeks to about 75-80k, either by reducing all runs, or simply missing my Sunday long run. The paces given are approximate, depending on the terrain, and how I am feeling.

Monday - Recovery run - 10-12k - 4:50p
Tuesday - Threshold/tempo 11-14k - 4:10-4:30p (six weeks out from a race this changes to speed intervals)
Wednesday - Either long trail run 18-20k - 4:40-5:00, or multiple stair repeats in building stairwell
Thursday - Usually another threshold same as Tuesday, but if tired I'll run a bit easier
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Long trail run - 20-32k (slightly above race pace)
Sunday - Long trail run - 24-56k (race pace, or slightly over)

Total - 90-140k

While usually I would do the weekday runs on the local trails, for the last few weeks I have basically been on the treadmill Mon, Tue, Thu, and in the stairwell on Wednesday. Partly, this has been because of the shitty weather lately, but also to help give my knee ligaments a chance to heal without the twisting and turning on the trails. The Wednesday stair sessions have helped strengthen my achilles tendons, which are already feeling much better, as well as starting the conditioning I will need when I return to TNF next May.

Last week was my first solid week with 92k, and I will gradually build this up, peaking at about 145k two weeks out from the race, which will be 8 weeks away on Saturday (Sep 13).