Saturday, March 30, 2024

Longest Run of the Return

It took me a week to get over the Howling Bull race the week before last. Training last week was on the easy side although I enjoyed a solid Zwift group ride with a hill finish the Thursday before last. It was hard work to keep in the group for the first 30k. It threatened to drop me a few times, but I managed to stay on. Once at the hill, a cat 3 climb, and what I consider the strongest part of my game, that and sprinting, it was eyeballs out to the top. I reckon I was probably top 20% from the group.

There was no long run last weekend but I made up for that today with my longest run yet, 18.3km with 380m of ascent. I felt strong. My old climbing legs are, little by little, returning. I was able to grind the hills where a few months ago I would have been reduced to a walk. The rest of the week has been a mix of intervals and recovery.

And now I'm off to plan the route where I will break the twenty km barrier...

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Howling Bull Mudfest

Up Tuesday was a double header of the ol' down and up the ladder treadmill intervals. Intervals from 60s to 150s and back to 60s at fast to steadier and back to fast pace. It was straight off the treadmill into a 30 minute Zwift mass group ride where I started steady and finished hard. A good solid evening of training. Wednesday was a long day at work and I felt knackered. Thursday a Zwift interval session on the Bike. Thursday an easy 8k treadmill run - with Today's race in mind and yesterday was an easy leg turner on the bike setting me up nicely for today.

So, to today and the race, the Howling Bull Run. With it being only ten miles away I decided not to use the car and rode my bike there and back. The race itself was a total puddle filled mudfest - and I'd slipped down in it before the end of the opening field! My quick reflexes saved from a total wipeout and I survived with only the merest of contact with said mud on my left buttock.

The route was far more energy sapping than the 10k would have suggested. There was maybe 3k of solid going and the rest was a mix of slippery mud, boggy mud or totally submerged paths with about 250m of ascent - and the same of slippery AF descent. I was totally knackered by the end, trudging through the mud to the finish but you know what? It was kind of fun... Very happy with my 16th place (I think - not I think I was happy, I think I was 16th place). Best result of the return so far.

Saturday, March 09, 2024

Back Building the Long Run

After last week's snow filled long run hiatus, I was back on it today with 15½km. An off-road, uphill start (170+m of ascent) with an undulating road second half. I pushed it pretty hard and felt my lack of endurance in the last three or four kilometres, but I didn't fade off the pace much. Next week I'll be skipping the long run again as I have a race but following that, I shall be looking to go 17k.

Earlier in the week I ran some shorter, faster intervals. A really tough Zwift bike interval session and an easy, steady run Thursday. Tomorrow will be a recovery run.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Soggy Underfoot

So the long run wasn't such a long run. The unexpectedly snowy conditions meant it was soggy, boggy and slippy. My feet were wet through in the first five minutes - and four minutes of that was on the road. The steeper sections where energy sapping on the way up and 'fun' on the way down. To top it off, one of the main tracks had four large trees down, meaning a scramble in the boggy undergrowth to get around. All of which meant things started to ache, so I cut the run to just over 10k. Anyway, it was something a bit different to be running in the snow.

Up today, with the sun shining brightly, it would have been rude not to have got out there, so I ran a quick out and back of just over 6k in a decent time.

Earlier in the week, I ran my fastest set of six 1k reps at 4:08. That pace is significantly than my current 5k pace, so I'm happy things are moving a pace - boom, boom - towards taking my 5k into the 21's... Wednesday was a resumption of the monthly work run. For one reason or another it hasn't happened for a few months but hopefully back in the calendar now. And interspersed here and there a few Zwift sessions on the bike.

Looking forward to my rest day tomorrow.