Sunday, 26 January 2014


At the start of this year I had more or less got my miles up to normal post injury but was just doing steady paced running.  My return to speedwork was delayed due to having breathing issues whilst running.  No idea what this was but it coincided with my return from holiday on Dec 25th so maybe a temperature change or a bug I picked up.

The last 2 weeks training have been really good and I am feeling like I am back on track.  In addition to lots of miles I've done intervals; hills; core work and weights.

Last week I did 100 miles - it wasn't meant to be that much but when I was adding my miles up on Sunday morning I was too close not to! My long run was 35 miles which went well, I did 3 loops so called home for food/drink top ups and managed a decent pace for an easy effort.

This week my interval sessions were a bit faster although not quite as good as pre injury but that should come soon.  Yesterday I did another 35 mile long run in horrible conditions - wind, hail, thunder and lightening.  Had to buy new gloves from the 99p store as mine got soaked and my hands were so cold I couldn't open my 9bar.  At least I was able to go to the gym for toilet/water top up and to warm my hands under the dryer!  Remarkably my pace was a bit faster than last week.  That is the nice thing about coming back from injury there are always quick improvements! My pace on both these 35 miles runs was better than a similar run leading up to my best 24 hour race which is reassuring.  Today I did 17 miles, that wasn't the plan but I was feeling good so thought I would get in another 100 mile week and a pretty decent 52 mile weekend.

Although I don't have a program I am trying to include the following in my week:

1.  Hard sessions
Some people do better on lower miles but lots of speed.  If I do a lot of speedwork, regardless of how many miles I run in the week I get injured/burnt out.  I do my hard sessions at lunchtime ( don't want to do them in the dark) this means time is limited so am going to try to do two hard (but fairly short) sessions per week.  
The last 2 weeks I have done 10x1 min hard 1 min easy and 4x4 min hard 2 min easy.  These might not be the best sessions for an ultra runner but they are my first since October so am building up.

2.  Hills
I don't like these, my target races are all flat but hills make us stronger.  I go through phases of hill sessions but never last long as they tend to cause my injuries/niggles. I have been doing hills on the treadmill the last 2 weeks as that means I don't have to do the downhill which I think is the cause of the injuries.  

3.  Weights
Opinion seems to be mixed about the benefits of weights for ultra runnning and whether to do low/high reps.  What I do know is that my upper body strength is rubbish so I need to do something.  Have done 2-3 short sessions per week in the gym for most of January.

4.  Core work
I can hold a plank for about 20s so clearly need to work on my core strength! A strong core is important for good running form.  No big sessions done just a little bit most days.

5. Running technique 
I have signed up for a runing technique course (see link on the right). There are 4 sessions a week which include drills to do whilst running; strenghtening exercises and stretches.  I am at the end of week 1 but have not done each day all at once I have focused on the drills on quite a few of my runs and done the exercises as and when I can fit them in.  It has highlighted a few areas of weakness already which I will be able to work on.

6. Foam rolling 
I have a love/hate relationship with my rumble roller which is like a foam roller but with nobbly bits on so it hurts a lot more but allows you to work better on the tight spots.  

7. Diet
Trying to cut the junk and drop a few kg so have given up chocolate /sweets etc except for long run days and am having more focus on fruit and veg.

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