While I've been having fun running around in the 2XU Compression socks, there's also been some serious training going on.
A challenging 28km Two Bays Trail run is only a calendar month away. The nerves are starting to bubble about, as is the growing excitement of a return race. A return race? Have you been injured? What are you returning from? It's a return race because I have some demons to beat from last years run.
While I loved the run last year, I cramped up and hit the wall at about the 22km mark. I had ran at a hard but comfortable pace up until then before my quads and calves met Mr Lactic and his friend Mr Acid.
With 6 kms to go I had to revert to the run-walk-run walk method to finish the run. Yes, I was stoked with my 2:40 time, but now I'm hungry for more.
I'm hungry for more pace. I'm hungry for a stronger finish. I'm hungry for a finish closer to the single digits.
So what have I done differently this time round? For a start I had some professional technique coaching done in July this year. I feel a lot stronger with my running and a lot more efficient.
I've also been training under my amazing Sister-in-law, Bec from Staying Power Health and Fitness Coaching.
Running under a program devised especially for Thisfish, Bec has introduced me into a wide variety of run session throughout the week.
My LSD or EZ (slow) runs have been a mix of pure trail running with the Dandy Runners ranging from 75 - 120 minutes as the last three months have built. I've been running over a variety of terrain with a couple of flat half marathon distance runs at my 150BPM Heart Rate training zone.
My Tempo runs have started to really push me. Bec has had me running between 8-12kms once a week at paces varying from 4:30 min/k down to 4:00min/k or my own 'predicted' or 'wishful' race pace. If you want torture, try the 5 x 2km builds. Start at 5:00 or 4:45min km pace and increase the speed by 15 sec/minute pace every 2km. I ended up running my last 2km at 3:45 pace. Ouch!
I have done Wind Sprints - think about finding the steepest possible hill that is at least 2.5km or about 1.5 miles long and then run it for as long as possible at a the hardest sustainable pace. This is a killer on the legs but great for endurance.
She has introduced me to 1 - 1.2km hill circuit AMRAPS (As Many Reps As Possible) that last for 30 minutes. Yup, start that first rep quickly and then realise that you have to do it again and again, and then squeeze one more rep in before the clock stops.
Finally I have been loving my weekly or fortnightly track sessions. I have been able to get my sustainable 1km time down to 3:20 off 200m walking recovery.
I've hit regular 2:50-2:55 800ms with 400m float recoveries.
So, now to keep training smarter and that little bit harder for the next three weeks and get the right taper.
Two Bays, I'm coming for you!
You can also follow the training updates and find all the stats and distances on my Facebook page: Thisfishcanrun Come and join the conversation!
Cheers, and I hope to see you out there or hear from you soon,