Thursday, 26 April 2012

Fone a Friend

I am at the pointing end to my training for TNF 100. The race is a bit over 3 weeks away so I am in the final stages of preparation. Just as a recap my campaign started in August 2011, some 37 weeks ago. It is certainly is a long time to be training and focussing on one event.
This week is my “last big week”. What exactly is a big week?
Before all of this craziness started, my big weeks consisted of about 60-65km of running. I ran 30km on a Saturday, 5km recovery on a Sunday, 10km of Speed Work Tuesday and 15km on Thursday. That was it. I had never run more than 68km in a single week, I also started to get injuries when I ran near 65km.
Now I don’t mean to use this blog to brag, but my big weeks now are in the range of 115km to 125km. This week will be my last 125km week before I taper.
Now before you all head out the door for double session days, 45km long runs, or triple Mt Archer summits there is a few key things that I have done to get me to this point.
1.    I went and spoke with Glenn from Vector Health. This is again a plug for the Strength and Stability program he put in place for me. Doing it solid for 16 weeks BUILT me a strong body to handle the kms, and it keeps my gait from deteriorating on those long runs when your body and mind are tired. I also complete a maintenance program to keep me tuned up.
2.   Slow down. I am training to COMPLETE a 100km Ultra Marathon. No speed work. Just lots and lots of steady km’s. I spent months not even worrying about how fast I was going, I was running for distance only. So for you that might be going up to 60-90 seconds per kilometer slower than what feels doable. This helped me build a huge aerobic base, it also taught me to enjoy the running. This is also a key running principal, you shouldnt increase both intensity and distance at the same time.
3.   Be consistant. By backing off the pace, it didnt matter that I was tired or fatigued, I just headed out for more miles. I kept logging them. Some runs were junk, others were awesome. Some weeks I ran doubles (two runs per day), other weeks I got up earlier and ran big mid week (25km), just to show my body I could. This was a change in perspective for me, no complaining, just do the work.

4.  Love Hills. Yep I used to hate hills. I run them now for fun. That includes double and tripple summits of Mt Archer. In one week I ran Mt Archer 5 times. I have worked hard on my hill form and also trying to have a really positive outlook of hill running, "I Love Hills" has became one of my favorite sayings.
The last point is to "Fone a Friend". That is I go and seek constructive feedback from people who will be honest with me. Here is a great visual example. These photos are exactly 12 months apart, Bel and my sister Monica think I look great in both of these photos. Thank god love is blind!

From one photo to the next I am 9kgs lighter. The top photo is King of the Mountain April 2011, 1 week prior to me running the Canberra Marathon. When I returned dissapointed with Canberra, Jason said "lose some weight". Enough said. I worked hard on dropping weight and this year have continued to lose more. The bottom photo is from last Sunday's King of the Mountain - 9kg lighter, I ran 9 minutes 10 seconds faster than my 2011 time!
Benny also has provided some good old honest feedback. You need to be running more - he said. Sounds silly - but in the past I was always trying to get by on running less. Mainly because I thought I was time poor. It was just an excuse. So I just invested more time to actually running and less time to sleeping in and dreaming about it!

Fone a Friend is also useful to gain positve feedback or to shape your weekly sessions. I have had a couple of rushes of blood and wanted to ramp up the training, Ben has said a couple of times "no need to do that - you are doing enough work". Which is reassuring. Pete has also been endless source of positive feedback - especially regarding the phases to my training and getting the right mix to my training.
The point of this blog is that I think you should regularly seek honest feedback to improve your running, it might be a visit to Glenn at Vector Health or a podiatrist like Anna to assess your gait, or just talk with a running coach or Fone a Friend about your goals and current training plan. By regularly assessing where you are at, you can identify keys to unlocking your running potential.
P.S - Speaking of last weeks King/Queen of the Mountain (which is a 7.3km race up Frenchville Rd &Pilbeam Drive with a 550m gain in elevation to the top of Mt Archer) - a big congrats to Jen Taylor for winning the womens event. Jen has not been well since running a Boston Qualifying time at Gold Coast last year - it was great to see her back running strong. She smashed it!

Thanks to the weather gods for the cooler weather finally today!


1 comment:

  1. So very true. You have been my guide, my coach, my trail blazer to follow on my path to run my first marathon at the Gold Coast. I also thank those who have strongly supported you, because through their knowledge that you have gain has in turn then help me out. May your hard work to get to North Face pay off so your can enjoy the experience of it all.