DIARY: Training resumes...

So training has commenced in Borgville and with some positive signs. The major negative is my constant lower abdominal pains (from the muscles I believe) and a still dodgy right ankle/Achilles. Both will need to be checked by John in September and then the laser in October, which will hopefully loosen me up and allow me a good cross-country season.

When I started out this week after a reasonably easy few weeks, it came as a surprise that the body hadn’t fully cleared out all niggles, so I must monitor closely as it could be a potential worry.

I’ve got about 125km planned this week, which may well prove more than my body will handle, but the first few days have been promising despite the travails.

Day 1 – Recovery

Strange to start with a recovery day I suppose, but it was nice to ease back into things. Given I was jogging around the session I give; the run became a bit tougher than planned though with 11.8km and 540m ascent. On the plus side it was very slow!

Day 2 – Hill Sprints

Abdominal pain was very intense for the first 10 minutes today and I almost abandoned all possibility of resuming training this week. Then I thought of Lydiard and his idea of active recuperation and thought I’d try and tolerate the pain and see if I could do the session easy.

As I warmed up things got better and I managed 6x150m uphill sprints with 300m floats followed by 6x100m downhill sprints with 200m float. Both went well, only disappointment being that my 100m downhills were only in 16 and 17 seconds and nowhere close to my record of 14.88 seconds. Clearly my running mechanics on the descent still can’t express my full speed and that’s something to keep working on.

I fitted in an hour of running total with the session, as planned, but was mighty stiff after and the next morning. Battered in fact…

Day 3 – Medium Long Run

Once again I started with stomach pains and thought of abandoning the run, but once again thoughts of my competitors training hard had me shake off the notion and get myself warmed up. Once again, I felt myself running fine once my body heated up. My legs were actually perfectly fine and all discomfort comes from the abs and the right ankle.

I still seem to have some aerobic fitness left from the season, despite the rugged nature of the 18.5km loop I did around the trails of Glendalough, my pace generally went down around 4:46min/km for a standard effort. My heart rate does tell a slightly different story, though: I was felt comfortable but still had 158bpm average. To be fully fit I should be running paces like this at around 140bpm as I have done once upon a time. Still I got around in the planned 90 minutes.

Day 4 – Morning Jog

I’ve planned to ease in with 2 morning jogs this week and got my first 30 minute in this morning. “Snail’s pace”, Mark Ryan advise me and so it down the quietude of St. Kevin’s Way behind the house.

Again, whole core area was horribly stiff and it would be flattering to describe my gait as a “marathon shuffle” but it was job done and after I feel somewhat better. Hopefully, I’ll be able to complete tonight’s one hour marathon-pace run. The plan is to put in just under 15km for the hour but I’m willing to give in if the core is too destroyed to keep the form needed for this phase because a tough weekend lies ahead.

Day 5, 6, and 7

Tomorrow features another morning run and then another ninety minute run, this one easy and fully on trails. Saturday is the toughest session of the week when I attempt to break 56 minutes for the ascent of Camaderry from the Visitor’s Centre at half-marathon intensity. A jog down will follow before the very slow, but still monstrous, 21km circuit of Camaderry, Turlough Hill, Tonelagee, Scarr, and Paddock Hill (about 1300m ascent) on Sunday.

Weight Management

After my shocking discovery that I had bloated to 71.6kg, a regimented approach has brought me down to 70.6kg and I have reduced my fat percentage from 11.1% to 10.4% and increased muscle from 44.8% to 44.9%.

First objective is to return to the 68 kg I had hit at the end of my ten week base training in June and then see from there if I can make an assault on returning to 65 kilos. Hopefully continued sensible eating and the mileage itself will see the job done.

Medical Concerns

My quest for medicinal answers continues as I have scheduled time to have my testosterone levels checked by the doctor in September. Until then I can analyse the full results that were send to me. They were quite interesting: White blood cell count and similar tests clearly show that I am not over-trained for there is little proof of any stress on the body (from any source).

All values relating to blood and haemoglobin content are indeed within normal, but definitely in the lowest range of normal (and about to drop out), so I’ll do well to increase my iron intake in food over the coming months. WADA will be delighted to hear that my haematocrit value is only 43% and thus far below the 50% that causes the doping hunters to raise eye-brows.

So back in the fray, and a new season to look forward to, hopefully better than the previous one…