Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Endure24 Part 3: Update on Training (and Tapering)

Training for the event has gone really well. I'd planned on spending most of June pumping in the miles with the aim of running more miles with less runs, thereby allowing me to run on tired legs. It seems to be working!

At time of writing (17 June) my mileage thus far for June totals 123 miles (197 km) over 11 runs. I'm pretty impressed with that figure with June looking to be the month I run most mileage in since I started running. 

However it is now time to start tapering. My left foot is suspiciously starting to feel like my right foot; my left tibia is starting to suspiciously feel like it has the beginnings of a small stress fracture; and my left knee is telling me it needs for more cushioning (i.e. new pair of road runners!). It's therefore time to rest my legs; maybe get into the pool a couple of times.

Legs aside, my general fitness is as good as it could be given the injuries. I seem to have lost the weight I recently gained and feel quite good. Just need to make sure I don't drink and eat too much between now and the race. It's my 40th birthday this coming weekend, so I'll treat myself to plenty of nice food and drink over the weekend, but that's it.

My tapering will consist of a couple of 5km jogs in the week leading up to the event (similar to what I did when tapering for the Manchester Marathon). This will be to keep the legs fresh and loose as opposed to any kind of specific training.

With that in mind below is a small analysis of the last couple of weeks' of training.

Week 1
As I wrote in a previous blog entry, after an initial period of getting my fitness levels back I then started to focus on mileage. In my first full week of training I ran 99.5km in 5 runs and although I had tendon twinges in the foot, I managed to adjust the running style and pace so I could continue. The good news is that there were no negative after-effects resulting from each run.

The first week ended with me running 31km around Greenham Common on the Saturday followed by a 24.5km run up the top of Combe Gibbet on the Sunday morning with Andy Woodman. It was such a lovely run and we reached the top by 7:30am. On the way back we passed the Furze Bush pub and although it was only 8.30am, we both really fancied a pint of cider. Unfortunately it wasn't open so we continued running for another 5km before finishing the run. I really do like this run because it combines flat road, gradual and very steep ascents, and some off-road. I ran in the new trail shoes I bought (NB Leadvilles) and found them to be really comfortable, even on the road.

Top of Combe Gibbet
Top of Combe Gibbet

Week 2
My second full-on week started in the same fashion as the first week, although in a little more tired state due to my son having an ear infection and both my wife and I getting very little sleep for 2 days.

Infamous Tesco-Garden Loop
The week's running began with the Tesco-Garden Loop on Tuesday evening (originally planned for the morning, but I just couldn't get out of bed due to a lack of sleep). This is a very hill route which when run at a past pace sap the energy by the legs. It doesn't help that the final couple of km is up Andover Hill which, after having run 10 miles, usually finished me off! I ran the 17.3km loop in a new personal best time of 1hr 37 mins with an average pace of 5:38 min/km. I've ran 17.3km in a quicker time; just not on this route. For some reason I felt good on the run. It was either a fluke, a realignment of the stars, or my training is starting to pay off. Either way I was happy after that run.

My Wednesday run was a loop around Greenham Common but at a slower pace. The weather was warm and, although it was a rather uninspiring run, I still managed to add another 14:39 km to my monthly mileage total.

Work route
Friday brought my very first lunchtime run whilst at work. It was a hot day and I managed to plot a route near to my work. It was a funny old run, but also a little dangerous. I ended up running down the central reservation of the A420. Although it was wide with plenty of protection, it wasn't the smartest move I've done. Thankfully I was only in the reservation for 5 mins.

I managed the 9.35 km in 54:44 and soon made the decision not to run that route again. Still it was yet more mileage under the belt, and along some completely different roads (which made a nice change!).

Saturday slog
Saturday morning however was a bit of an unnecessary slog. For some reason my body just did not want to run. That said I got up at 4:40am and was out the door and running by 5:10am. I set off with the intention of doing an run/walk strategy, very similar to what I'll be doing at Endure. This should have been an easy run, especially as I'd reduced the pace, but every step just seemed to further demotivate me resulting in every km seeming like it was taking a lifetime. I even texted Fran to ask for a bacon buttie and coffee while en route; but to no avail! I arrived back at the start 2hrs 32 mins after I started and had covered 22.20 km (so over half a marathon). This run wasn't about distance or pace it was about time on feet, and so the 2hrs 32 mins was good time on feet. My HR averaged around 142 BPM, so reasonably happy with that, although it would have been nice it had been slightly lower.

That concluded the end of week 2 in June and I'd covered an okay (but not great) 63 km (39 miles).

Weeks 3 & 4 - Tapering

So begins my first week of tapering. With my left leg feeling a little sore the tapering couldn't have come at a better time.

Tapering began in the Monday evening with a gentle 3 laps of the Wash Common/Wash Water loop. This 15 km run felt great. A nice easy pace and although the HR was all over the place at the start, after around 10 km (once I'd settled into the run) it soon started to settle down. I plan on running with the Newbury Runners on Wednesday night - a gentle 7 km. That'll be the last run for the penultimate week before the event. The week leading into the event will involve a single 5 km lap of the Wash Common/Wash Water loop, but that will be it.

There's not much more I can do now but rest and converse my energy for the event. Starting to get excited now!

No comments:

Post a Comment