Trials and tribulations of the KSR trail running team.
Lately training has been a little hit and miss for me. After returning from the Oceania Championships with a battered and tired body I took a few easy days then decided I had best try and do something about my training for Kokoda.
I have been struggling with some niggles for quite some time and looking back on it I haven’t been able to train at more than 50-60% for about 4 months. So I faced the truth , things were not working for me and I needed help, so I contacted Andy of Mile 27 Personal Training and together we put in place a plan to fix my injuries and rebuild my body for running . So with some clear direction I now have a renewed focus and motivation for what lies ahead!…and what lies ahead is a 96km long, 5000m high, mud soaked, toenail destroying, soul crushing monolith called the KOKODA CHALLENGE!
For the rest of this entry I won’t detail my exact training as it has mostly be a routine of day on day off injury management. But what I will share is a fantastic run I did on Sunday with team mate Ben Duffus and good friend Jordan bishop.
Ben, Dave , Jordan and I had planned on doing about 4hours from the Pollys kitchen climb (pages pinnacle) conducting a loop that would take us up over and around the main climb, we figured 2 loops would be enough. As it turned out Dave was struck down with the dreaded and ever crippling “Man FLU” leaving Ben, Jordan and myself to face the climbing and descending on our own….and more importantly at our own pace!
Right from the get go I noticed our pace was much faster than that of last weeks 5hour run, Ben and I worked the climbs in a hike/run combination together. It was great to do this with Ben as his ability to switch from hiking to running is seamless and his hiking speed is astonishing so I was eager to compare my own hiking to his. On the climb we would drop Jordan, he hasn’t been running of late (anything longer than park run 5k’s) then turn and go back to collect him, he was never far behind. Once at the top we would then watch as Jordan danced off down the hill doing what he does best! DECEND! This was pretty much the routine for the rest of day. In total we ended up with 3.5hours/30km/2100m vert! A successful outing for everyone in my book and a good confidence boost too!
Today was also race kit testing day for me. I decided to wear my La sportiva Anakonda’s and assess their suitability to be worn during the Kokoda, I had previously planned to wear my La Sportiva C-lites but they have seen some serious mileage and with my improving foot I was keen to try something lighter. I was very pleased with their performance, the grip was outstanding (as expected) and the lightness of the shoe made climbing and dancing around rocks effortless, my foot didn’t complain during the descents and they drained well coming out of the creeks! The deal was done, I will wear the Anakonda’s!
I also tested out a new nutritional plan today, I had used the Science in Sport product Rego (a post run protein recovery drink) during last weeks 5hour run and was very happy with how well it sat in my stomach and how good I felt during the run. However the pace last week was very easy so I was keen to try it again on a faster run before making my choice. Again I found it worked a treat, sat really well in my stomach and I never bonked nor felt hungry. I also think that the extra protein I am eating during the run has been helping my recovery as these last two weeks I have had very minimal muscle soreness post run. I went with 1x 500ml bottle per hour.
Apart from that today I also tested and confirmed the following for my race day kit.
With 14 days until the race I am starting to get excited, this weekend we have the Gold Coast Marathon and I am glad for the distraction I will have by organising the Defence Force marathon champs and networking with various people over the weekend. I am not one to get nervous pre-race but then again I have more than just myself to run for on the day!