Monday, 20 February 2012

Hoka's & stuff

Well the Hoka's are now well & truly part of my kit. After creeping through poo corner at the mucky farm yesterday they look & smell like 'real trainers'.
Last week on my LSR from Milngavie to the road at the end of the cycle track & back (had Munro) I wore my gortex asics & immediately regretted it. Now being so accustomed to my bouncy comfort I felt like I was banging the ground. OOOhh this is not good was my initial thought but after a couple of miles I had got used to the feel of them again. Must admit I now prefer the Hoka's .. feel like a turn coat. I was actually looking at buying another pair of the Lahar's in the sale, only £50 but think I'll just be keeping my money for the Mafate WP. Maybe next month or wait till the new models come out in March, then buy the old one in the sale!

So far my training hasn't been great but neither atrocious. I have managed to almost stick to the loose plan I made myself except for a few days when I was bad with the cold. Stopped me in my tracks. As always went back out running too soon, then drove 50mins home after a long run shivering in soaking wet clothes because I didn't want to waste time getting changed!! right back to where I started and probably deserved it for being so daft.

Have twice been out doing my interval and tempo runs and as soon as I work out how to work the heart rate monitor with any kind of success I'm sure these sessions will be good for me. Presently it's, oh crap haven't started it, aww naw didny hear it, oh man it's supposed to be six sets and it's finished at two etc etc etc. I even put the band on and went out my run without the watch.
Wait, that was the National Xcountry on Saturday. Had to run it without a watch, thought I doing ok and a bit faster than the year before but nope, 7 secs slower. Oh well I'm sure having a nifty time piece on my wrist wouldn't have made the slightest difference although it would have been interesting to see my heart rate. Thought I was going to burst a lung more than once.

Sunday I went up the WHW to meet a few folks who were doing a planned run. It was my weekend off and I wanted to make the most of it. The weather was lovely if a bit nippy to start with. I ran with Caroline as she was starting earlier and her pace suits me. Well 'used to suit me' if anyone has been following Carolines blog you will see she has been putting in the training. I was struggling to keep in touch on the downhill and flatter sections. Very good training for me as the pace was well quicker than I would have ran on my own. I had planned 25 miles with Caroline John and everyone else looking to cover 35. It worked well and folks ran in small groups and pairs to the pace that suited them. I gladly turned back at the picnic table on the Bogle Glen. 6 miles would see me back to the Drovers. Cow poo corner was terrible with the cows and baby cows blocking the path. Well over my ankles in soft squidgy coo poo. Lovely!! and it didn't smell too sweet either.

Photo's by John Kynaston

Today thankfully is a rest day, my legs are tired heavy and sore. I have 10 miles planned for tomorrow. Here's hoping for a massive improvement overnight. I have three rest days in this weeks plan hopefully allowing my legs to be good for 27 miles come next Monday. Rowardennan to Beinglas and I'm already looking forward it.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Training.. I admit to being lost

How long have I been doing this? really you would think I would have at least half a clue about where I was going or what it was about.

I found myself AGAIN trying to make a training plan after my marathon plan ended up in the bin. This fast stuff just doesn't suit me, I wasn't enjoying it and I think I am just a plodder, always was, always will be.

How weird it was that I had 'LSR with a shorter Long run back to back' written down and then it was all blank. What do I do the rest of the time? What are the distances, what sort of speed? do I go to the gym or do I cycle? As always I looked for motivation and help through blogs and postings and web based training plans.

I don't want to run lots of wasted miles, which for me is easy as I just tend to fill my training with slow runs with Munro. Looking back that didn't work for me last year so I feel there is no point in doing it again. There has to be a change. I only run because I really enjoy it. I'll never be a front runner so if I'm not enjoying what I'm doing what is the point in doing it? Maybe the miles aren't wasted, they are just not getting me fitter or faster and I need to focus them.

I did find this web site with a 100mile race training plan. Ok I thought, fill in the diary as it suits my shifts, get the back to backs on my days off, shorter runs on back shift, mid length runs on early shift and 2 days rest every week. Just fitting the runs round my shifts felt like a burden removed. Why didn't I think of that before!

I'm on my way .. great. Then I get the report from my fitness test. All is good and I'm healthy... but not 'Ultra race fit'. I guess I wouldn't be this early on into training anyway but it gives me a good indication of where I am (6% down on fitness required). Attached to my report is a PLAN. This plan isn't like my plan, it has figures, speeds, heart rates, VO2's. Ohh this looks interesting.

Tweaking plans, I'm getting good at it. So out go 2 of my plodding sessions and in goes a little bit of HR/VO2/time/speed. It is a 12 week plan to get my basic fitness to an acceptable level to run an Ultra. Unfortunately the report also points out that my diet is a problem. They are going to send me out a diet plan and I really hope I can stick to it. Just love my junk food.
Time will tell. I have managed 2 weeks of my initial plan. Starting off with the WHW weekend. This really got my deflated mood up. I so enjoyed it, more than Bryan who managed 10 miles. He says he just doesn't get it. He'll be sticking to the treadmill for the foreseeable future!

Being on holiday helps of course. I managed my first back to back last week when up at Peterhead. Cycle track one day (boring) then through lots of woods the next (getting lost) 29 miles over 2 days. This week Tim & I drove to Bridge of Orchy. Run to Glencoe and back. What a glorious day it was. Freezing cold barely a wind and managed to keep the feet dry.

Yesterday, the first in a long time I ran from home leaving Munro. Went out on the roads for 11 miles and actually enjoyed it. Surprising thing was my legs felt fine. I expected to be more tired but found I was running comfortably.
Rest day today which I was really looking forward to and I'm very much enjoying, then the Vets X country tomorrow in Kilmarnock which is handy as I'm starting back nightshift tonight but will at least get a decent sleep.
The real test is next week.