Trials and tribulations of the KSR trail running team.
Mon 25th March
A better start to this fortnight – a running one! I got down to The Gap late, seeing the squad leave the school as I found a park. The first 6km of my 8km ‘tempo’ were run at nearly 10km race pace as I tried (successfully) to catch up to the lead runners. Luckily nobody wanted to push the last 2km. The 6 hill sprints at the end really took it out of me, felt nicely exhausting.
Tues 26th March
I recovered nicely from the hill sprints, which was a bit of a surprise. I was still pretty fatigued from the previous night’s effort, but fatigued runs every now and then are helpful. I ran half an hour hard with a little bit of trail thrown in to keep my feet on my toes. That phrase doesn’t really work in this context, does it? Actually it kind of does. Whatever.
Wed 27th March
I got out for an hour’s hilly trail run in the afternoon, feeling strong and surprisingly loose – but really fatigued. I kept the pace in check just in case I brought on a surprise injury.
Thurs 28th March
Expecting a big Friday, mindful of overdoing the fatigue and with my foot pain getting a bit worse, I took the day off. Had a quick physio visit to address the foot issue, then walked the dog like a boss.
Fri 29th March
Ben and I drove down the coast to meet up with our coast-based KSR teammates Caine and Dave for 2 hours of (mostly) the Kokoda Challenge course. After a day off I felt really fresh, which I needed on the super-steep stuff, both up and down. I was still a long way behind the other three on the descents, but I’d improved a lot since the last time we’d gone over sections of the course. Ben and Dave weren’t having the best day on their feet, but we still got to cover some of the tougher sections of the course, talk race tactics and try out the new KSR gear. The Ron Hill trail cargo shorts are awesome.
Sat 30th March
I was a little tight in the shins from chasing the guys down the steep hills the day before, but otherwise felt fine. I got to use my brand new Saucony Kinvaras (great shoe so far, a touch too narrow for my wide feet though) in the arvo for half hour tempo run.
Sun 31st March
I knew my good training streak had to come to an end. My throat was killing me overnight, and wasn’t much better in the morning. Got some quality sleep-in time.
Mon 1st April
Felt a bit better after a good night’s sleep. Got a surf in, then 20mins slow in the evening. Started up my new calf strength work as well – I’m hoping this will help me stay loose in the later stages of ultras, and on the hikes.
Tues 2nd April
Another easy 20mins on the road. Felt a lot better again, but I’ve tried to come back too soon from illness and paid for it before. More calf and balance work in the evening.
Wed 3rd April
Yet another easy one, 30mins this time. I went out with the intention of running 45min to an hour, but felt lethargic from the first step and never got into a rhythm. For such a minor illness the recovery is certainly dragging on.
Thurs 4th April
The cold is gone for good! Woke up feeling 100% for the first time in a while. Treated myself to two kilometre-ish efforts at 3km race pace over rolling terrain, and felt surprisingly quick. I didn’t take splits, but I can tell I’m in the best middle distance shape I’ve been in for years, even though I’m only getting one speed session in a week!
Friday 5th April
After such a lacklustre week I felt I owed my legs some mileage and some hills. But I also didn’t want to go out too aggressively and induce a relapse, so I restructured my long weekend (Fri-Mon) to build up some distance before hitting my long run. I drove to the bottom of Mt Coot-Tha so I could get to the hills straight away, then ran what turned out to be a very casual 55mins – I left the watch at home so I wasn’t tempted to check my splits and push the pace!
Sat 6th April
18 punishing hills over 18 kilometres of gruelling forest trails. That’s what Ben, Caine and Dave were doing, while I slept in. I made the trip out to Gold Creek just in time to see my KSR teammates’ alphabetically consistent domination of the Pinnacles podium, get some team photos done, then get out for a run myself. After seeing the guys blitz the field I was a little inspired, and ran my hour-ish (67min in the end) run at near race-pace, covering most of the first half of the loop then coming home the same way.
Sun 7th April
The surf was looking too good to ignore, so I got 2-3hours of paddling in first thing in the morning, then took myself out for 45mins tempo on some reasonably hilly local trails. Not the most orthodox training day, but a bit of cross-training to ramp up the fatigue before a pace-y run has been a staple session of mine.
Although illness took a chunk out of my fortnight, this was still a good stretch of training. Watching Ben, Caine and Dave take out the podium at the Pinnacles got me all inspired to race, although my next race will most likely be a 4km cross country relay – not exactly a classic warm-up event for a hilly 96km! Hopefully I’ll be getting some more races under my belt later in April.