RUNNING WITH THE KENYANS 3
No-one said this was easy - 27th December 2015
Forget the wildlife, the relaxation and socialising with high quality athletes from all corners of the globes. Since my last post I’ve been attacking the reason for my being here: training.
I write this having just finished my long run, an easy 10 miles which takes me to 60 for the week. That was supposed to be my longest run this week - I’m still adapting so we’re still building up the distance gradually - but my enthusiasm to meet people and join in saw me get sucked into a 12-mile hilly forest run with a group of Kenyans on Wednesday. A matter of hours after uploading this to my online training plan, Coach Roden was on hand to remind me of the risks of over-stretching too early. Point taken: stick to the programme.
In spite of that giddiness, that concludes a successful second week, one in which I’ve banked three tough sessions covering all the main facets of my training: fartlek, track work, tempo and hill sprints.
So far I’m pretty happy with the harder sessions. On Thursday, the average pace of my 400m track reps was only a second off what I run at the Wythenshawe track. Needless to say it was hotter too.
On Saturday I managed 5:41/mile pace on an eight-minute tempo effort, before attempting the same pace on another but blowing up after four minutes halfway up a hill. Heaton Park can be cruel but when I physically couldn’t get up this climb at a reasonable speed, I took an extra two minutes’ recovery and pushed for another four minutes. ‘It’s in the bank,’ assured Coach Roden, whilst overcoming the six nasty hill sprints gave further reason to be upbeat. This was graft, but that’s running: get out what you put in.
Throwing in 100 minutes of running between midweek sessions is daft, but adapting the hard efforts here is sensible and sometimes necessary. If your hands are on your knees and your lungs about to burst, you’ve approached it properly.
Resting on Christmas Day helped (not because of the occasion, Fridays remain a running Sabbath for me). The food was splendid – meat, veg, rice and fruit – whilst sporting autobiographies and my wretched fantasy football team keep me occupied between meal times.
It’s been fairly quiet here lately but I’ve mixed in with a warm and interesting Turkish group. Their athletes include a 3k steeplechaser, a marathon runner and an 8/1500m runner. They’ve made a great effort to include me in their group and I continue to learn a lot from their training methods, particularly the gym work and strength exercises.
I’m still adapting to higher mileage anyway, let alone at altitude. Weights can wait. I’ve just got to focus on running and recovering. Look after yourself and the running looks after itself.
Whilst my recovery runs are still modest (everyone here treats them gently anyway), the harder efforts aren’t too far away from sea level times. Hopefully that carries into Week 3, which would be impressive since it contains one of my most feared sessions: long tempo. Experience tells me 5:41/miles pace may be ambitious…
Posted 28/12/2015 12:24