Trail Running in the Alps
My original focus for this year was the 24-hr World Championships in Brugg Switzerland which was cancelled so I then decided to sign up for a 24-hr Race in Belfast on July 22nd as it was a continuation of how I was already training. The training for this event consisted mainly of long slow runs based on a heart rate level well inside my aerobic zone and close to what I would usually class as a recovery run.
This all changed with my late selection for the Irish Squad to compete in the World Trail Championships as a chance to run for Ireland will always take preference over any other race. I wouldn't call myself a Trail Runner but I am quite strong in the hills as I make sure to include a decent trail run in my training routine at least once every 2 weeks and because I'm aware of these events and the possibility of being selected I always train to be event specific at short notice.
In between events I train at the higher end of my Aerobic Threshold and would train almost every day with as many double days as I can manage without actually planning them and taking whatever opportunity might arise. To make the transition from 24-hr to Trail Running I first of all substituted as many runs as I could with Trail runs and spent as much time as possible in the hills. To maximise my time I tried to run for maximum ascent with minimum distance to work on my climbing muscles and also included hill sprints on short hills and longer slower intervals on longer hills.
To peak with my training I had a massage today which went better than planned and I was very happy with the lack of pain which tells me I must be doing something right. Following on from the massage I did an 18K run at slightly faster than my Aerobic pace which also went well.
Last week I ran an un-tapered 5K with a new PB of 17:26 and the recent inclusion of running specific Crossfit training with Stephen Weinmann & John Belton at Performance Therapy Ireland has without doubt kept me injury free and made me stronger.