Day 169 – Up and Running

Posted: June 28, 2012 in June
Tags: , , ,

Due to my various leg ailments running’s been so sporadic since the Kildare Half Marathon that I think today will actually be my first ‘long run’ since then. With the London to Brighton ultra only a few months away though it’s time to get my arse in gear and start clocking up some miles. I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon drawing up a schedule for the remainder of the year, or from now until London to Brighton (30th September) anyway. It was a little tricky trying to combine a training plan for an ultra with training for a couple of adventure races, as well as a sprint distance triathlon, but I think I came up with a serviceable plan of action anyway (with many references to The Triathletes Training Bible and Relentless Forward Progress)

One thing I was careful to do was not just jump right back into where I previously was on my training plan. I did Belfast Marathon right around the point on the ultra training plan I’m using where there was a marathon scheduled, so ideally I should have been just carrying on from there. As it is I’m considerably behind that particular plan but I’m still going to just increase my mileage gradually so as to (hopefully) avoid any further injuries. I will be increasing it slightly less gradually than indicated in the plan though as I do need to catch up eventually. Between running and cycling I hope to be able to manage mileage, fatigue, rest, recovery etc. Lucho (the “Ultrarunner” on Endurance Planet’s Ask the Ultrarunner) is a big advocate of biking on days before or after long runs so as to get your long runs in on tired legs but without the impact and wear you’d experience if you were doubling up on your long runs, so this forms a large part of my plans.

This morning’s scheduled run was a very easy 16km, and so as to ensure a steady, easy pace throughout I stuck to the road rather than doing laps of the woods. It was a really bright and sunny morning, unexpectedly so considering how miserable the weather yesterday was, so it was an ideal opportunity to try my new scalp saver. I’ve never been a big hat wearer during the summer but considering the paucity of cover on my pate I thought it might be sensible to get something to go over it, particularly with the amount of hours I’m going to be spending running in the glorious Irish sunshine. With my run scheduled to take me just over an hour and a half I picked a podcast to suit (Urijah Faber on the Joe Rogan Experience), grabbed my Clip, Garmin, hat and water bottle and headed out the door.

I was barely half a kilometre out the road before I had a big smile on my face. I’d really, really missed running over the last while, and the long run particularly so. Throw in the great weather and a really interesting and funny podcast and I was happy as Larry. My left leg was still a bit stiff but not sufficiently so to ruin my enjoyment of the run. As usual it was only at about the 5km mark that I properly loosened up, my stride relaxed, everything felt much easier and it just reminded me how much I like and prefer running longer distances, which is a good thing considering some of the training runs I had to pencil into my schedule yesterday. At the 11km mark I was back in town and just trying to decide how best to tack on the extra 5km I had to do. As I was feeling so good I was contemplating heading out on a different loop out of town which would have brought me over the 20km mark, or heading up to the woods to do a lap and then home, which would have been bang on 20km. Sensibly though I decided to stick to the schedule and decided on a route which brought me up and over a hill alongside the woods, then cut back up a path through the woods that makes about one quarter of the 4km lap, and then home.

It turned out to be a good call on my part not to go with the longer routes, as by the time I’d reached the top of the hill my calves, which had endured very little hardship over the last month, woke from their slumber and asked me why I was deciding to make them suffer all of a sudden. They only had a couple of kilometres to put up with though and soon enough I was coming back out of the woods and heading for home. It’s exactly two kilometres from the entrance to the woods to my door and for the entire distance my pace steadily crept up until I turned the corner on to my street and sprinted for home. First long run in ages, 17km* in 1:50



*I checked my schedule afterwards and it turned out I was only supposed to do 12km. Still, it was a bloody great run.


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