Sunday, 7 August 2011

some more tips.......

This week’s volume of training increased 21% from last week. The intensity of some of my sessions also increased. Despite this step up in effort I have been surprised by one thing - my recovery. I put this down to one obvious thing; sleep.

I have been off work this week, doing a bit of family stuff here and there. But the main benefit in terms of training is the extra hour, on average, that I’ve had in bed each day.

Last week by the time I got to Friday I was zonked whereas this week I was refreshed every day and actually ready to fulfil much more than I had in my programme. My average RHR has even dropped to 44.

Whilst this is encouraging I am not getting carried away and will have what is essentially a recovery week this week. In my mind this will stave off potential injury by giving the body a bit of breathing space.

Besides, in 4 weeks I have my 3rd year exams and as I haven’t been arsed with studying recently it’s high time I pull my finger out. In other words, as I haven’t really got the time to reflect on this week’s performances, I’m just going to stick with my plan.

Lakeland 100 winner
Terry Conway has posted a useful blog re his philosophy to training. What he says makes a lot of sense to me. I am sometimes asked to write training programmes for those close to me; friends and colleagues. The caveat I always give with the programmes is that you should always find what works for you and build on this.

We are all very different and no generic training programme is going to work 100% for anyone. One example is my priority session of leg strength training followed by a hard 4 mile run with a weighted pack on. I love this session and for this reason it’s in my training programme. I can understand why some people might think this is nuts though.

A few tips here;
My current leg training weights session is taken from the Brianmac website. Until recently I had been doing these exercises for as much as 40 reps for 4 sets (without a weighted pack) and found that it was taking me a good 4 days to get any freshness back into my legs. Not good.

So now I have followed it to the letter and am in week 8 this week (I jumped into wk 6 as my first wk on account of being reasonably capable of fulfilling the load). Straight afterwards I go for my run as mentioned and then when I get home I focus on recovery.

So I’ll either have some quality food or a SIS Rego recovery drink with one scoop of Doctors Best Ribose, just 500ml. I also ice both legs – usually the buttocks and upper quads and then get the foam roller out for 15-20mins followed by stretching. The good news is that now I feel mild pain the next day and that’s it – something’s working!

I have also added another supplement to my modest batch of an omega 3 capsule and multivitamin every day – a glucosamine sulphate capsule. With my joint and tendon problems I hope this will help out.

Injury update
Two weeks into my programme and I can honestly say that my injury hasn’t prevented me from doing anything. Either my mind is so positive (ala Stuart Mills) that it isn’t being permitted the slightest attention or my mitigation measures are working. So far so good but I know there’s a long way to go. I still feel it though.

Future plans
All being well I want to be able to step things up, that’s why doing this basic programme is so crucial to me; ticking the boxes and getting through will provide me with a much better stepping stone than anything I’ve done to date. So although it’s early days I want to be able to get to a stage where I can comfortably train a min of 2hrs a day.

This will include walking/tabbing, cross training, running and upper body conditioning. I haven’t done any upper body stuff for eons but it’s something I used to really enjoy. Therefore it makes sense to reintroduce it.

I want to be able to change my long run strategy from an easy pace to whatever I feel like doing. I don’t own a garmin so this isn’t holding me back but it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right, running slowly all the time during these runs. Instead I hope to elevate my fitness to where I can run at a decent tempo.

I’m still toying with the idea of actually binning my planned speedwork sessions. However, I’ve never actually done any form of structured speedwork so it might be of use to give it a go and see how I get on. I suspect though that I will end up dropping this and instead incorporate speedups into some middle distance runs.

These plans are dependent on time commitments so unfortunately I won’t be able to put any of them into action next year as my 4th year distance hons degree coursework practically doubles!  I can’t put into words just how frustrating this is for me. This year has been a huge struggle in terms of finding the time to study especially as the motivation for it just isn’t there.

I don’t really know what I’m going to do after this build-up and eventual 44mile run on Christmas Eve. I may not even get that far but all being well I will and I’ll have a great run. Thing is, the plan should be to step things up if this works out but I can’t yet see how I’m going to manage with my proposed workload looming. I’m sure something will work out though as I’ve found that old saying quite true to date;

‘What’s for ye will no go by ye’

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