DIARY: Messy Training Weekend

This weekend didn't go as planned at all, and being a member of the efficient Borg collective, that's knawing at me obviously.

If there's one positive to take, though, it is this: I've survived two parties (company and Paul Mahon's leaving-do), keep extending my record for training days without a break, and I'm fairly fresh for the upcoming week.

Two Missed Races!
I was taking my new jeep, a great Mitsubishi Challenger 2.8TD, down to Rathdrum for it's first trip (read more about the jeep and see pictures on my personal blog). The trip didn't go quite as planned, I left is slightly too late, didn't find the race start, and missed it altogether.

On the good side, I found a nice forest on the way home and did a short run there, and encountered a few banks of drifting fog which gave me the chance to test my fog lights (woohoo!).

Saturday I did a rough training, session, running 20km in a decent pace (equivalent to marathon at 3:31). It was my first run in Marlay Park and I was happy with the pace as I was feeling absolutely knackered for most of the time.

Only Sunday morning did i realise what my recent problems have been caused by: Too heavy weightloss to quickly. I'm quicker, no doubt, but more prone to exhaustion and tiredness (easier to crack basically) than earlier. I'm going to indulge heavy eating for the next few weeks to have some ressources for the marathon, and will then spend the winter trying to reach optimal weight under more controlled circumstances (I'm burning off to much to build muscle efficiently I reckon).

I don't think I look entirely healthy anymore either, got a bit of a drained look about me, and sicne running is supposed to convey vitality not strip it away, I need to change my ways. "The mountain puts everything back into you that it takes out", I like to say, I have to make sure this stays true.

Croghan - Gutted
So it was inevitable that Sunday morning, I found myself in a state of being utterly unable to do the race at Croghan, much to my personal chagrin. Luckily, Mike Hanney has provided me the route from his Garmin, and I'll be using his statistics to do the race on my own when I have a free training day one of the coming weekends. For me, it's a way of making personal amends.

For while my tiredness and lack of recovery would almost certainly have meant that today's race would have left me in a worse state than before it, I chickened out. Too tired, mentally and physically, but if I am to have any hope at competing at the highest level and completing the daunting challenges I wish to do: Everest Marathon, Pike's Peak, Antarctica Marathon, Mountain Marathons, then I need to toughen up. And fast...

Technical Hill Training
As punishment, I drove down to Ticknock to do a technical hill session, my first. I had the following format:
  • Warm-up to foot of Boneshaker
  • Hill Sprints on ascent of Boneshaker and Fairy Castle - 1:30 minutes of uphill sprinting, 1:30 minutes of total rest
  • Downhill Dash from Fairy Castle to Carpark
  • Cooldown Run in Ticknock Forest
The training went quite well, I was suffering like a madman going up at the high speeds, the end of each 1:30 minute burst was as welcome as the first rays of Spring (or the first sightings of beautiful ladies in summer attire, for those less poetically inclined).

I managed to push my heart rate into the 180 area for brief spells and otherwise kept around 170, so a tough enough session, but I'll modify it with shorter uphill dashes and less rest for next time and see how that will feel.

The downhill run was enjoyable, I was doing good speed, though nowhere near my best times in the races, and didn't feel completely devastated after, which is good news with another hard week coming up...