Trials and tribulations of the KSR trail running team.
Still feeling the effects of the previous night’s Dusk to Dawn in the legs and stomach. Gave the couch a good sitting.
Mon 11th & Tues 12th February
My stomach calmed down enough to let me go out for a half hour trundle each day, Tuesday just a touch quicker than the Monday. I like my minimalist shoes, but I’m also prone to pulling up very sore from races (even if I don’t finish them!) so I’ve invested in some Hokas for some epic recovery cushioning. I don’t think I’ll ever take to using them full-time, but they’re fantastic when the legs are tight!
Wed 13th February
Just an easy 45mins for this morning. My calves took a little longer than expected to recover from the Dusk to Dawn, so I gave myself a sleep-in and halved my planned run. Luckily hills didn’t seem to be an issue for the calves once I got going, so my new hills-based diet got off to a reasonably good start.
Thurs 14th February
After weeks – no, months – of being unable to make my regular Ashgrove Rangers track sessions at The Gap, I finally got the chance to get away from work early and get a speed(ish) session in. Coach John Purcell had us doing 4x800m efforts – ramping up the effort from 70% to 100% of race pace through each repetition. Having not done any genuine speed work in a while, I was happy to get through the session averaging low 2:30s per rep. Not hilly, but good training anyway!
Fri 15th February
A nice easy day to make sure the speed work didn’t come back to haunt my calves. Got out to the local trails for half an hour to get a few hilly sections in before I ran out of light.
Sat 16th February
The Bureau was forecasting rain for the Sunday, so I moved my planned 2hr mountain bike outing forward a day so I could get the wheels out on some dry trails. It’s a bit of a ride to get to cycle-able trails from my place, but it was totally worth it. My quads got hammered, and my calves got a day off which couldn’t have hurt.
Sun 17th February
After a morning coffee that wasn’t quite right, I revised my run plans down a bit and opted for a speedy hour on some ‘douche-grade’ trails near home. My stomach hated it but the quads seemed almost refreshed by the previous day’s cycling. Weird.
Mon 18th February
I got out for a predictable 30min tempo run after work. Felt okay.
A bit of a late start to this one, it was virtually bedtime when I got in the door. Yet another 30min outing, this one a bit more surge-y, and with a lot more vertical where I could find it.
Wed 20th February
Got out the door nice and early for a cruisy 2hrs with my new neighbour – KSR’s own Ollie Zambon. The AURA Rising Star (that’s a title, not a folk band) has had some promising news regarding his return to competitive running, it was great to hear him speaking positively about training. This was easily one of the best runs I’ve had in months. The previous night’s rain had cleared, and we got an uncharacteristically cool, dry-aired morning, with just a touch of mud-cushioning under foot. We weren’t flying by any means, but my legs felt so comfortable and effortless it was incredible. If every run was like that one, I could do two 2-hour sessions a day. I spent the rest of the day feeling like I was floating. Glorious.
Thurs 21st February
I really wanted to get out to The Gap for another speed session, but the weather and work weren’t having a bar of it. Instead I took to the streets to do an old favourite session – sprinting four long neighbourhood hills with a couple of kilometres of flat or rolling hills in between, done at about half marathon race pace. I don’t like to give my legs too much rest after a sprint or hill (or both), so this is a good session for keeping the intensity (and lactic acid) right up.
Fri 22nd February
I actually spent a lot more time walking the dog than running on this day, but that was probably a good thing. My lucky pooch got an hour’s walk off me in the afternoon (on top of the usual morning half hour), then I popped straight out for an 30min. The legs always seem surprisingly fatigued after a dog walk.
Sat 23rd February
By the Saturday, the uncharacteristically cool weather had relented and we were left with typical February mugginess. I hit the trails with an empty stomach, and the hunger pangs hit pretty early. I considered grabbing a snack before I left, but instead decided to use the session as a bit of a carb-depletion outing. I used to do them reasonably often, but I found they were delivering diminishing returns after a while. I still like to do one every now and then, they always feel lousy but seem to help in the weeks afterwards.
I’d planned to meet up with Ben, but somehow missed him and ended up putting in a kilometre or two Duffus Snr, Andrew. I finished the session off with some long hills from Gap Creek up to Channel 9, which hit me harder than usual – something I hope was due to carb depletion and not lagging fitness! I ended up doing an even 3hrs – and managed to get a good hour’s surf in 5 foot swell at Straddie that afternoon. I slept for 11 hours that night.