Kokoda Spirit Racing

Trials and tribulations of the KSR trail running team.

Building A Routine On Chaos

No matter what sport you do, the start of a new year is always a tricky time for training.  Travel, holidays, excessive consumptive merriment (eatin’ and boozin’) and other routine-shattering events can throw you out of whack and wreak havoc on your fitness.  Throw in a move across the country and you can effectively wave any semblance of routine goodbye.

Travel like a trail ultra runner – go the way with hills, even if it’s longer.  Especially if it’s longer.

Travel like a trail ultra runner – go the way with hills, even if it’s longer. Especially if it’s longer.

Scarcely days into 2014, my partner and I (with faithful kelpie in tow) packed up the car and drove to Melbourne, our first attempt at living outside of Brisbane.  Most of the country was sweltering when we left, but thankfully the altitude of the New England region saved us from being cooked alive during the day, and offered some great opportunities to get out for a leg-loosening jog in refreshingly cool temps.

A picturesque morning jaunt around a small trail in the bustling ‘burbs of Uralla, complete with black cockatoos, wallabies and rabbits.

A picturesque morning jaunt around a small trail in the bustling ‘burbs of Uralla, complete with black cockatoos, wallabies and rabbits.

Having struggled with the Brisbane heat and being temporarily located in a flat side of town, the NSW southern highlands and northern Victoria provided a perfectly timed cold snap and some much-needed hills.

Goulburn is way too pretty to be bypassed.  And there’s just got to be some great trails nearby.

Goulburn is way too pretty to be bypassed. And there’s just got to be some great trails nearby.

Shortly after we hit Melbourne, my plans to hit the ground running by instantly restoring my old training routine were dealt a fatal blow by the longest run of 40-plus degree days in over a hundred years.  Early morning speed work was almost tolerable, but any efforts over 20mins became too much to deal with.

Ugh.

Ugh.

In addition to this, my new home is – by Bardon standards – dead flat.  Quick tempo runs and speed work have been a dream, but up until now I’ve been blessed with big (well, big enough) hills to train on just 10mins run from home.  In order to get some vertical into my quads, my weekends have been spent out east at Lysterfield and the Dandenongs, both spectacular running destinations.

Cruising through Lysterfield with Rich Bowles’ Melbourne Trail Runners group, as well as 500 million kangaroos.

Cruising through Lysterfield with Rich Bowles’ Melbourne Trail Runners group, as well as 500 million kangaroos.

Why did the chicken cross the trail?  Scrap that, why’s the bloody thing out on a trail in the middle of the Dandenongs in the first place?!

Why did the chicken cross the trail? Scrap that, why’s the bloody thing out on a trail in the middle of the Dandenongs in the first place?!

I’ll need to keep heading out to the hills – as I’m now out of the Buffalo Stampede due to a scheduling conflict (my brother’s wedding!) I’ve put myself down to race in another alpine ultra, the Razorback Run.  This race has been on my bucket list for ages, so this should help me deal with the disappointment of pulling out of the Stampede.  I’ve got a few less weeks to train up for this one, so I’ve also secured a late entry into the 36km race at the Mt Buller Sky Run event, it’s not a long outing but there’s plenty of vertical to enjoy early on.

Training in Melbourne’s going to be tricky, but the city’s produced more than its fair share of talented distance runners, so I’m sure I’ll work it out eventually!

You know you want to.

You know you want to.

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2014 by in Training Update.

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