Transition to Hill phase

74 days to go until the Halstead marathon argghghgh.

OK I am not that alarmed and actually I am feeling much better about things. I haven't managed to put in a amount of base miles, at least for me anyway over the past few weeks but I definitely have made big strides forward to being more consistent with getting out the door. So with that I am now entering a hill phase for the next 3 weeks. Sounds straightforward but actually it's a little more technical than I first thought.

The basic hill set comprises of

1. Spring up the hill with emphasis on vertical movement (approx 200m in length).
2. Jog until recovered at the top
3. Stride back down the hill in a controlled way.
4. Run a handful of stride outs with full jog recovery

As this is my first time doing this I was going to do only one set and see how I recover. Wow I am glad I only did do one set. Having warmed up for 15 minutes of easy running and a light stretch I got myself ready for the "springing". 

At first the movement felt a little strange but once I was into my vertical stride so to speak I could feel the legs working. By the time I reached the top of the hill I was breathing a little heavily, not uncomfortable but the legs definitely felt like they had been worked through.

I jogged around for a couple of minutes or so before striding back down. Then I went into the stride outs, the pace was around 6.30-6.40 which I imagine is where my 5k pace is. Once I completed the set I then ran home easily (around 15 minutes). 

Now today I went out for a comfortable run and could definitely felt the legs were a a little flat and my ankles and achilles feeling stiff (looks like it worked) with my average HR up about 5 beats above normal for the pace I run at for a standard aerobic run. However things loosened up and I am feeling better than before I ran.

So ultimately I will be building up to 4 sets during this type of session and of course there is an added risk here as the body will be thrown new stresses but I am hopeful it will adapt without problems and I will be monitoring recovery indicators as I normally do for any movement. One things for sure once I come off this phase successfully I should hopefully be somewhat faster than I was before it.

Marathon Racing

Oops it looks like it's been sometime since I last posted, sorry folks but my world has been insanely busy with work, home and training pretty much firing on all cylinders. Note to self to make time for posting.

After much thought about racing for 2014 I decided that I would focus purely on one race for the first half of this year. So I am going back to the Halstead marathon as I have a very soft marathon PB there. I know with solid training and the right mental approach I could obliterate it. My 3:53 at Halstead marathon came off next to nothing training ( < 25 miles a week) and really doesn't justify what achievements I have done in the last 5 years. Therefore it's not a question will I improve upon that time but more of how much will improve it by.

I have 3 goals time wise.

1 - sub 3:15, 2 - sub 3:20, 3 - sub 3:30

I admit it was kind of tough in the first 2-3 weeks getting into a new routine but after getting over that hump I am enjoying training like never before and suddenly I am in the last week of conditioning phase. Eek real work is almost upon me.

Most of these runs are done at 5.45am with the odd few in the evening and that has also taken some adaptation and addition to this I have been transitioning to running pretty much every day. Again I was averaging 4 days a week focusing mainly on fast sessions and the long run. This worked up to a point but I always felt like I was in recovery mode more and worn out due to the high intensity week in week out.

I have seen my aerobic fitness improve substantially with the Lydiard approach. Although I have averaged only around 42 miles a week for the year so far, my average pace for an easy run has dropped by 40 seconds a mile (9.00-8.20) without really trying. I have a much better understanding of training i.e. what each training block and run is meant to accomplish. The bulk of running has me running some medium long runs (around 90 minutes duration), long run of 2-3 hrs and the remainder between 45 minutes to 1hr,

During the last four weeks I have averaged 51 miles per week and last week was a particularly good total clocking in at 61.5 miles. I have only ever been over 60 miles a week once in the past 5 years and that was mainly because the training approach I was following didn't want me to run more than 4 days a week.

Unfortunately 2 days of insane work hours this week put an end to me clocking up another great week however I should still clock in around 55-60 this week before moving into the Hill phase. With 11 weeks left until Goal A race I am getting into a great pattern of daily running and gaining confidence from seeing the results of solid work and I am sure it will only get better.

It's coming around so quick I better start looking beyond May to see what I want to do next or perhaps I should just book some more races as training runs. After all you gotta have fun as well