Monday, February 27, 2012

For Once in My Life...

Verbal Kint had a plan and it worked out pretty darn well for him. Myself on the other hand, i've never really been one for planning things out. Sure i've taken the time and written myself training plans but i don't think i've ever really even been able to follow one for more than a couple days.

Verbal Kint knew of the benefits to a plan.
Friends usually scoff when i try to explain that i'm very bad at training. They mistake the fact that i have a pretty decent volume (4500km + last year) and a lot of time spent slogging around the Dandenongs for good effective training. The reality is that i wake up in the morning and do as i please, sometimes that means a hard 25km, others it means hit the snooze button and squeeze in a lap of Princes Park before turning up late to work (i'm talking about when i actually work).

Well, i figured that considering that i actually made a racing plan this year i might take it one step further and once again put pen to paper (keys to keyboard) and get down what i want my weekly training to look like as i head into the start of the years races. Its nothing very detailed, just a basic outline of something that vaguely resembles what i'd like to maybe do on each day of the week.

Now sitting here, one week on, i have my first pre-planned week of training in the bag and i've got to say i'm feeling pretty good about it. I know its early but I think that i've finally worked out a plan, that will get me doing what i want to be doing, yet is still loose enough that i can add some "off the cuff" variety into the weekly routine (routine used loosely).

Mileage (kilometerage?) wise, last week was high for me. It also had 2 sessions dedicated to speed work, 2 dedicated to hills and I got out for 2 rides on the bike in the Dandenongs. The week culminated in an (almost) 5 hour long, hilly run yesterday, and while i battled over the final 10km in the brutal early afternoon heat, my legs were more than willing to dispatch each and every 'pinchy' climb along the route without much argument.

Yes, this new found place i've found for structure in my running has come as a welcome surprise and i'm excited to see what effect it will have once the races start rolling around in April. Between now and then it's just 1 session at a time and work out what exactly tapering involves before jumping on that boat in Launceston on Good Friday.

Looking forward to spending another Easter onboard (and offboard) Peaccadillo. (photo courtesy of: YMCV)

Monday, February 13, 2012

With days like these on offer, motivation for finding a job is not high.

After coming into the Bogong to Hotham feeling wrecked on training that can only be likened to cramming for an exam I’ve been pretty happy in the weeks since that my next race isn’t until early april. This has really taken the stress and anticipation out of training and as a result I think I’m enjoying my running as much as I ever have.

I pulled up a little sore after Bogong to Hotham but returned to running after only 1 days rest (and wouldn’t have rested that day if not for being couchbound with food poisioning) and haven’t missed a day since.  Over the 5 weeks since bogong to hotham I’ve been mixing up my running quite a bit with hilly long runs, short tempo runs, intervals and everything in between.

This past week I was lucky enough to make my way up to Bright to spend a couple days in the Victorian High Country with Mick Donges. Mick took a camera along with him on a couple of runs and the following are a few photos we took over a couple of runs around Mt Buffalo and Mt Hotham.
Lake Catani - Starting point for the run at Buffalo and location of one of the best campgrounds in Vic. (Photo: Mick Donges)
Mt Dunn - Buffalo Plateau. One of many amazing views the plateau has to offer (Photo: Mick Donges)
Running the trail to the Cathedral (seen in background) from Mt Dunn (Photo: Mick Donges)
The scramble up to the cathedral. Plenty of similar scrambles around buffalo to mix up the running and provide an adventurous feel. Its a shame there isn't a more extensive trail network. (Photo: Mick Donges)
Getting ready to roll at Mt Loch Carpark for the second days run. (Photo: Mick Donges)
Mick charging down Swindlers Spur. Initially we couldn't stop commenting to each other how much fun this trail was. Much to our dismay we came across a trail crew half way down rebuilding the trail from Dibbins Hut all the way to Mt Loch.

Nooooooooooo! I get it that it's in Parks interest to make the trails more accessible for more people but a nicely manicured trail in the vic alp high country seems a little out of place. (Photo: Mick Donges)
Excluding the 1.5km of road from the start/end of the Razorback back to the Mt Loch carpark, this (about 3km in length) was the only section of the run not on singletrack. No complaints here. (Photo: Mick Donges)
Diamantina Spur. Steep, rocky, scenic. Cant wait get back up it again. (Photo: Mick Donges)
Mick on Diamantina. After a very steep initial km, it backs off, the trees thin out and the views open up.
The last 8km back to Hotham are via the Razorback. Definite contender for the best section of trail in Victoria. (Photo: Mick Donges)
Not too much of note for the coming weeks, just more training and hopefully trips up into the high country, I’m also pretty keen to get up to the Blue Mountains when 6 Foot is on to spectate that race and check out some of the North Face 100 course then back to Victoria in time to crew my buddy at the Alpine 100 on March 17. Fun times ahead.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

With a Little Help from My Friends.

So a month is a little longer than I had intended between posts and I’d given my current employment status I’m having a hard time finding reason for why I haven’t gotten around to posting sooner.

Probably the biggest news of note, which I am very excited about, is that this year I’ll have the support of a couple of companies to make a couple aspects of my running easier.

 The first of these companies is Injinji Socks. I approached Injinji in early Jan about representing the brand, and am glad that they were willing to throw their support behind me, as they were the first and only sock company that I was going to approach, as they are the only socks that I have used in the past 4 years, and the only ones I want to use for the foreseeable future. Wearing Injinji socks I know that I will be enjoying another comfortable and blister free year of running.

 The second company that I’m proud to have the support of is Shotz Sports Nutrition. For the past few years I’ve predominantly used Gu gels and for the most part have been very happy with them. The one criticism that I had was that they were quite thick, and while initially in races this posed no problems, it would take significantly more effort to get the gels down later (5+ hours) when racing at high effort. After sampling a range of the Shotz Gels I’m confident that this isn’t going to be a problem I’ll be dealing with this year as Shotz Gels are undoubtedly easier to get down than any other gel I’ve tried. Even their Lemon-Lime flavour (a flavour that I generally associate with gagging) went down without resistance at effort. Very important for me considering I get my calories almost exclusively from gels when racing.

I’ve also started using the Shotz Electrolyte tabs this past month and can’t be happier with them. I’ve never liked sugary electrolyte drinks as they make me feel bloated after constant consumption. The Shotz Electroylyte tabs are sugar free, easy to take down (they make you want to drink more) and easy to carry and mix into water on the go.

I cant stress how grateful I am to both these companies for supporting me this year and giving me the knowledge that both my feet and nutrition isn’t something I’ll need to worry about while training and racing this year.