Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Time to go Faster

It’s been a while since I written so let me start by saying that things are a lot better since my last post. I seem to have stopped getting ill then injured, then ill then injured. Because of this six week interruption I had to abandon a couple of shorter races that I had planned. This sucked but I simply wasn’t fit or prepared enough to complete them with any confidence. I think that being completely unsure of how my body is going to react in a race environment is the worst kind preparation.

Anyway, setback over. Since then my running has been going well. I have been ticking all the right training boxes. The speed and hill work is a bit of a chore but I enjoy the longer runs. My long run has been consistently around half marathon distance and my last LSD was at 14 miles, the longest I have ever run. Apart from a few hydration issues (needed to piss half way through) the run went very well. To be perfectly honest, when I got back I could have gone straight out the door for a five mile jog. My aerobic fitness is certainly improving and I seem to go through less physical problems throughout these runs. My other long runs (12-13 miles) were shorter but done in 25-30 degree (Celsius) heat. During these it was just a matter of hydrating well, taking in electrolytes and taking care not to push too hard. In general, I had no problems with the heat and completed the runs with no ill effect. I did start to feel quite cold near the end of one of these hot runs. This was a very strange although not unpleasant feeling in 28 degree heat. This was a sign that my internal thermostat was on the fritz and could have developed into heatstroke had the run been any longer. If this happens again in the heat, especially at longer distances, it would be good to stop running and cool off to avoid any adverse effects. I am pleased with these long runs as I have eliminated any walking and manage to do the distance at a pretty constant pace.

I have started doing core exercises almost every day. This is certainly helping to strengthen my abdominals and hopefully my back as well. I hope that down the line this will help improve my running form. Also, having got my diet under control I have started to lose some weight. Running is increasing my metabolism which is in turn making me very hungry. That coupled with the feeling that I deserved a few treats after training so hard meant that I just started to eat way too much. It’s early days but I think I have a bit more control over it now. This is important as I think that weight loss will have a big impact on my speed, endurance and resistance to injury.

I have to confess that I have missed a few workouts recently. This is due to life and general tiredness getting in the way. I feel guilty for missing them but every so often I have to remind myself that I am not an elite athlete and that the occasional lapse is allowed. I am training well at the moment and am doing three hours a day at the moment focusing on core strength, balance, flexibility, speed, endurance and running form. Having said that I do feel bad for missing workouts and when I feel guilty I make a list. So here’s my list:

If a session is missed then a substantial explanation of the reasons should be recorded in the training log. Whether the reason is tiredness, illness or a lack of motivation it will be invaluable information to avoid missing sessions in the future.
The goal here is to run the Snowdonia marathon in around four hours and to avoid injury and overtraining.

This is a matter of sorting out my diet. The diet log helps me keep my calorie intake down but I still eat too much rubbish. What is needed is a change of attitude towards eating. Food is the fuel for training and I need to select the right fuels to keep my energy levels up. So here are the diet rules:

• Cut out refined sugar
• Cut out overly fatty foods
• Avoid dairy produce
• Avoid red meats
• Increase fruit and vegetable intake

If I keep my calorie intake at about 1900kcal and eat healthily then I should be able to keep my energy levels up whilst still losing weight. The goal here is to lose a stone (6.35kg) by the end of the year. This will significantly increase performance.

Alcohol means a missed workout. Too much alcohol means two missed workouts. This is unacceptable. Drink water. The goal here is to abstain from alcohol until after the marathon.

Within reason, more is better. The average should be eight hours with nine before a long run. The goal here is to ensure no less than seven hours a night as this will affect training.

So, I have the Newark Half Marathon in two weeks and will write more on this next week to explain my goals and to set out a race plan. Just realised that I haven’t included my training schedule on this blog so here it is.