Today will be a rest day apart from some light walking. Paying attention to my diet and fluid intake but also including small portions of the foods I’ve been avoiding.
Plan for tomorrow is another rest day with light walking.
Tuesday July 23rd. HRV=61 White.
Same as yesterday and finished the day with an Epsom Salt bath and 2 cans of beer but also had a generous serving of Cherry Active to keep the balance right.
Plan for tomorrow is a test run with an escape route…
Wednesday July 24th. HRV= 64 White.
Showing good signs of cardio recovery but legs feeling heavy so today’s run will be dictated by pace rather than HR meaning I won’t try to get into a HR zone that might put extra strain on still damaged muscles but instead will run slower than a pain inducing pace. If I feel any discomfort I’ll stop. I was hoping for some company but ended up running solo and took it nice and easy as planned with my HR staying below 115bpm. Finished the session with an even 8K at an average HR of 111 bpm and I’ll use this as a benchmark to monitor my return to full fitness by repeating a similar session in 1-2 weeks with an 8K track run in the zone of 109-113 bpm. Felt like I could have run longer but you don’t test the depth of the water with two feet. Went from my own training to a coaching session and ended the day with a few glasses of wine and a large bar of chocolate seeing as it’s my week off.
Plan for tomorrow will be the same as today depending on how I feel.
Thursday July 25th. HRV= 66 White.
Higher than expected but I can feel the effect of the wine so it’s self-inflicted. Took it easy for most of the day and then met Aidan for an easy run on the Track. My training partner Aidan (Blake) ran the 12hr race in Belfast and finished 1st with a distance of 115.916K and a new course record so he’s the ideal person to start back training with as we’re both starting from the bottom again. We didn’t have any pre-planned session and just ran at a zero effort and talked about the race and analysed our strategies. The weather is a bit unsettled at the moment and a heavy downpour ended our session at close to 8K. Finished the day with some good food and more wine plus a large bag of chocolate buttons.
Plan for tomorrow is a 5K race to support a local club and I’ll be there to complete rather than compete.
Friday July 26th. HRV= 62 White.
Again it’s lower than ideal but again I know the reason. Will stick with my plan of running the 5K. Got a lift to the race and didn’t bother with a warm up as I didn’t think it was needed and I was busy sorting out our club Teams. Walking back to the start line I found myself towards the front of the race but moved back a few places to avoid getting caught up in a fast pace as it’s a tricky course which I know all too well from the Donadea 50K which is 10 laps of the 5K route but in the opposite direction. I settled in with a small group and got myself comfortable running well within myself and became the pacer which suited as it stopped the temptation to run faster. Approaching a hill at 3K the group started to split and I was soon on my own with the climb feeling effortless. Still resisted the temptation to push on and held off for a slight increase of pace at the finish and crossed the line in 18:49. Much better than expected and before the race started I was thinking I’d be happy with 20 minutes so this is a good sign that the recovery is going well as the result was down to leg strength more than anything.
Plan for tomorrow is the Parkrun if I wake on time and feel up to it. Now is a good time to do a short race as I can use it as my benchmark for returning to form.
Saturday July 27th. HRV=54 White.
Woke before the alarm and feeling OK so I’ll head to the Parkrun to make up the numbers. Did a very short warm up as yet again I don’t think it’s needed as I don’t plan to race. Took it easy at the start keeping the heart rate below previous efforts and tried not to get caught up in those around me. Within the first 2K race positions seemed to be established and I could count 9 runners ahead and then I thought I’d try keep my position in the top 10 by holding off anyone behind. At halfway I got a chance to take a sneaky look behind and it seemed like I had a good gap between myself and the next position and then I noticed that the position just up ahead was getting closer. Probably a bad idea but I started to push just a little bit harder and by 4K I was in 9th position and in the homestretch I made up another position to cross the line in 18:35 and 8th place. A slight improvement on yesterday but it’s an easier course. Legs feeling great after the run but I’ll still take care and not get ahead of myself. Finished the day with an 8K Recovery run on the Track.
Plan for tomorrow is a lie in and training will depend on recovery and how I feel
Sunday July 28th. HRV= 60 White.
A good result and I’m feeling good after an early night and waking without an alarm. Knowing there’s a club Track session on this morning I decide to head over, not to do the session but to do my own thing with the company of the activity around me. Decide to do a Time Trial of 10K with my HR between 140-160 bpm after 2K warm up and with 2K cool down. Yet another good session and I now have a starting point from which to start again.
Plan for tomorrow is undecided.
Recovery seems to be going really well and having monitored my body weight before and after the event it appears that I’m getting back to my ideal racing weight which is a good sign as it’s taken a while to shift the extra weight I put on when training for the Siberian Black Ice Race. Felt like I was 2 months behind schedule going into the 24-hr Irish Championships and now I feel like I’m 2 months ahead of schedule. Tempted to do another 24-hr race before the year is out and take the risk I couldn’t take last weekend now that I have the qualification standard sorted.
Late night and early morning, far from ideal. Lunchtime sports massage which went fairly ok and apart from some expected tightness in my IT band and calves I seem to be ok.
Plan for tomorrow is an early gym session of mostly mobility work.
Tuesday July 16th. HRV= 64 White.
Feel like I could have done with an extra hour in bed so it’s an early night tonight. Gym session consisted of stretching / assisted stretching and foam rolling. No running today but instead I made some bars for use during the race and finished the day with an Epsom Salt bath.
Plan for tomorrow is a race pace test run on the Track.
Wednesday July 17th. HRV= 62 White.
Expected higher after rest but think the pre-race nerves might be kicking in plus I might be slightly dehydrated as my waking weight was 1kg lighter than my bedtime weight. I’m guessing it’s a combination of the bath and warm weather. Took it easy for most of the day and did a very easy 30 minutes on the Track working on my race pace before coaching and stretching.
Tomorrow is a rest day but I might do a few easy laps of the Track or just go to the Track and stretch. Being in the environment helps staying in the zone.
Thursday July 18th. HRV= 59 White.
Way lower than expected and I’m putting this down to pre-race nerves as I slept well and took it easy yesterday. My packing is more or less done so today will be relatively stress free.
Tomorrow is Race Day.
Friday July 19th. HRV= 49 Amber.
Woke early with activity in the house but stayed in bed to try wake naturally. Stayed in bed until 9 and then slowly started to get ready. Breakfast at 9:30 followed by lunch at 1pm and then it was a 2hr drive to Belfast. Arrived with 2hrs to spare and took my time getting ready for the race. The race started at 6:45 in very high temperatures and most of the first half was spent trying to control my body temperature by staying at a pace that was fast enough to stay close to my planned finish distance but slow enough to prevent overheating. Easier said than done as the mentality to race is always there.
Saturday July 20th. HRV=48 Amber. (Still Running).
Taken after travelling home from race. I was finding it hard to run slower than was comfortable and found myself sweating a lot so I went with the walk a lap option whenever it got out of control and changed my T-shirt as often as possible. After the halfway mark it was obvious that I was too far behind the lead runner to get into a race for 1st place but I stuck with my plan to ensure I was in a good position to kick if the opportunity presented itself. By hour 22 I was sitting comfortably in 2nd place and knew that even if the lead runner (Eoin Keith) was to stop running it was unlikely that I’d match his distance but I didn’t mind (too much) as my target was still comfortably possible. For the remaining time of the race I did just enough to hit my target of 220K which is the International B standard and it ensures my position on the National Team with the added bonus of a Silver medal in the National Championships
Plan for tomorrow is a lie in and total rest
Sunday July 21st. HRV= 37 Red.
Woke at 8am and couldn’t get back to sleep but stayed in bed. Legs feeling sore but the pain is bearable and manageable but my HRV tells a different story. Today will be a do nothing day and all effort will be made to rest the Heart. I plan to avoid any activity that will elevate my HR and this goes as far as limiting the amount of walking I do and I won’t even lift anything heavy.
Plan for tomorrow is rest but I might drive to the track and assist with the coaching.
By any measure of endurance it was extraordinary at the Mary Peters’ track in Belfast at the week-end as the records tumbled.
There were two national records and 5 new track records in the 24-hour race where no fewer than 22 runners topped the 100 miles mark.And, there were also records in the 24-hour relay and the 12-hour race.
The 24-hour was won by Cork man Eoin Keith,44 ,who set new figures of 152 miles(245kms).This broke his own Irish record set in London in 2008 by some 4 miles.Keith had gone through the 100 mile mark in 1 5hrs and 26mins breaking that record in the process.
Right behind him Ruthann Sheahan,38, was scattering records before her like confetti. Sheahan, from Leap Village in west Cork , in finishing second overall, did not so much beat the Irish record as demolish it.
She went past the best mark of 113 miles after just 18 hours and 48 mins and, despite the soaring temperatures, went on to record a distance of 140 miles(225kms) which will surely stand in the record books for a long,long time.
In a race started by Dame Mary Peters,it was the first national records to be registered on the reopened track indicating that even for the ultra runners - this is a venue designed for pushing the bar ever higher!
Behind Keith and Sheahan, two-time champion John O’Regan,44 from Leixlip in Kildare put up the bravest of defences of his title to finish third - his 137 miles(221kms) improving the all-comers track record he had set two years ago by 5 miles with the ever-consistent Belfast ultra-man,Madrid-based Eddie Gallen,50, also bettering the all-comers with a new PB of 134 miles(215kms).
And, there was a great family story behind them with Susan McCartney,36 from Belfast but currently living in Berkshire, posting remarkable new PB figures.Two years ago McCartney had collapsed on the track -this time she posted 122 miles(197kms) to take runner-up in the Irish Champs with, in a great battle,her brother Tim Brownlee just behind her in sixth with 117 miles(189kms).
In the 24-Hour Relay, Donadea Runners from Kildare, successfully defended their title improving their record by 4 miles to 185 miles(299kms) for the two men,two women combination each running three stints of 2 hours.
And, Aidan Blake,33, from Ballinteer in Dublin set new best figures in winning the 12-hour race covering a distance of 72 miles.
Even, Belfast’s Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir who,with Energia, sponsored the race, got in on the act joining the runners for the last hour.
Race Director Ed Smith says: “ The new track bore witness to the best ultra running ever seen in Ireland.There is a lot of blood,sweat and tears left behind but the result is a phenomenal roll-call of records and endeavour.”
A good result after a good weekend and a big difference when compared with last Monday (holidays). Legs feeling better than they did yesterday morning so the recovery is going well. Lunchtime session in the Gym of 3*3 Deadlift @ 95Kg which felt easier than expected considering it’s been a while. Finished off with a circuit of Hanging Knee Raises, Kettlebell Swings and Chin Ups * 4 rounds. Finished the training day with a short Interval session on the Track of 3* 1K @ 3:30K pace off 2 min Recovery with long slow warm up. Could feel the effects of the earlier strength session and expect to be sore tomorrow. Had a serving of Cherry Active before bed.
Plan for tomorrow is running commute to work.
Tuesday 2nd July HRV=56 Amber.
Lower than expected but stuck with the plan and left the house slightly earlier to allow for a slower easier run. Didn’t follow up with any other sessions.
Plan for tomorrow is a lunchtime run and an evening recovery run before coaching depending on recovery.
Wednesday 3rd July HRV= 81 Green.
Better than expected result and this changes today’s plan. Easy lunchtime run as I have the DOMS and followed than with a 1hr steady run over a hilly route keeping the pace no faster than 4:20 per k and no slower than 4:30 per k with a finishing average of 4:21. Went from there straight to a coaching session and an opportunity for a much neglected stretch.
Plan for tomorrow is a running commute to work and possibly a second run.
Thursday 4th July HRV= 69 White.
Stayed up late last night watching a film and found it very hard getting out of bed. Hit snooze a few times and then did my old trick of letting the HRV score decide what I do. Legs said no but the heart said go and less than 15 minutes later I was out the door at an easy pace that got progressively and surprisingly quicker. Didn’t run during lunch but stayed behind after coaching to join the senior athletes for a middle distance speed session. I was thinking I’d do 5*400M as fast as possible but knew after the first one that it wasn’t a good idea. The first 2 reps went ok with splits of 74 and 74 but the lactic build up slowed the next 2 reps to 79 and 78 seconds and that’s when I called it a day. These sessions are supplementary training and the trick is to do just enough or a little bit less rather than too much.
Plan for tomorrow is an easy day as I’m planning to make the most of Saturday.
Friday 5th July HRV= 63 White.
Wanted higher but in hindsight it could be lower. Legs feeling loose but also have some tenderness which I’m sure is a result of last night’s session. Lunchtime run of just over 11K which ended up slightly faster than I was planning or expected I could do. Hopefully this is a good measure of my recovery brought on by the increased leg strength. That’ll be all for today and this evening it’s couch potato time. Put the effort into your training but put more effort into your recovery as you can only do what you can recover from.
Plan for tomorrow is the 5K Parkrun and then I head for the hills.
Saturday 6th July HRV=62 White.
Happy with this result and woke before the alarm. Made a porridge breakfast and let it go cold to have after the Parkrun. Arrived at the venue 30 minutes beforehand and got straight into a 25 minute warm up to toe the start line just before the off. Positioned myself at the front and my plan was an even pace to finish sub 17:50. Started on target with a 3:31K and then I started to lose it as I was too far behind the lead pack and too far in front of the chasers to force the pace. Next split was 3:37 and then it was 3:38, 3:39 and finally a 3:43 to finish 4th in 18:10. It’s an improvement on last week’s Parkrun by 14 seconds but not forgetting I’d ran a 17:56 for 5K last Friday. I seem to be getting complacent with the shorter distances and not digging deep enough when on my own and I’m thinking the solution might be to stay with the lead pack and try hold on as long as possible. Had my breakfast shortly after finishing and then it was a short drive for a short but very enjoyable hill run with some good climbs.
Woke without an alarm and took my time getting ready as time is on my side today. Decided to start at the track with the intention being to finish on the track with a few easy laps working on race pace. Didn’t feel great as the run started with my legs feeling heavy and lethargic so I decided to keep it flat to start in the hope that I’d come alive. Started to warm up after 5K and then added in some hills but the tiredness came back and I made the decision to cut it short and took an early escape route. Finished as planned with a few laps of the track but the distance is well short of what I’d wanted.
Plan for tomorrow is a short Tempo or Recovery run depending on recovery from today.
Weekly HRV Summary
A good week with some decent session although I would have liked to finish with a longer run. Next week will be reduced volume while maintaining or increasing intensity.
A slight improvement and unexpected after the long day yesterday. Today is yet another long day as the journey home begins.
Plan for tomorrow is a return to training run…
Tuesday June 25th. HRV=53 White.
Not bad considering I only arrived home at 1:00 am after an action packed day trying to fit in some last minute sightseeing between a train journey to Milan and the flight home. Tried an easy run of 6K before breakfast and found it very tough mentally. Took it easy for the rest of the morning / afternoon and finished the day with a slightly faster 10K over a hilly route
Plan for tomorrow is to make the most of my last day off before going back to work but depends on recovery.
Wednesday June 26th. HRV=71 Green.
Back in the game and normal services will resume. Started the day with an easy 10K to test the legs and prepare for a more intense hilly 13K in the afternoon. Finished the day with a controlled Fartlek run of just over 5K as part of a coached session with the club. This consisted of 2*90 seconds, 4*60 seconds, 4*30 seconds and 4*15 seconds with same time as recovery between reps. Rather than running these as max efforts I stuck with my 5K pace based on my PB.
Plan for tomorrow is an early gym session and a lunchtime 10K.
Thursday June 27th. HRV=68 White.
Easy Gym session of back squats taking a step back but still doing enough to bring on an exercise induced training response and the DOMS. Skipped the lunchtime run in favour of a later 6* 1 minute interval session in advance of tomorrow’s race which I’ve still to enter. Session went well and was slightly faster than my race pace as I’m already feeling the effects of this morning’s gym session. The gym session may seem badly timed being so close to a race but this is a race of lesser importance as I don’t have the luxury of a taper being so close to my next 24-hr Race (22 days). Signed up for the 5K race before going to bed.
I’m expecting my legs to be sore / stiff tomorrow morning so the plan is an easy lunchtime recovery run to prepare for the race.
Friday June 28th. HRV= 78 White.
A great result and the baseline is heading in the right direction again. Easy lunchtime run of 5K in just over 25 minutes to loosen out the legs in advance of this evenings race. Not feeling great in advance of the race and I hate just running for the sake of it but will still give it a good shot and hope to go at least sub 19 mins. Decide to start slightly back from the start to avoid going off too fast and it works. I settle into a nice pace before the first K passes and running better than expected and from here to 4K I’m making up lots of places and think I was only passed once before the finish line. Official results give me a 17:56 and an unexpected season’s best. Don’t think I could have run any faster but I’ve no doubt that I could have maintained the pace for longer.
Plan for tomorrow is a local Parkrun in the morning followed by a short Trail Run in the afternoon but as always it will depend on recovery…
Saturday June 29th. HRV=69 White.
Perfect and I woke before the alarm. Stuck with the plan and drove to a local Parkrun (5K) with the intention being to run hard for as long as I can and then just hold on for a little bit longer. Found myself on the start line although I’d planned to position myself a bit further back but didn’t get caught up at the start and let myself settle behind the lead pack and over the first K I fell back to about 20th position by not chasing. Got comfortable quite quick and was surprised to see my 1K split of 3:33 and kind of guessed it might be hard to sustain so I decided to hold rather than try increase the effort. My pace did falter by a few seconds but I was also starting to make up places and by the time we started the second of the two laps I was in 6th position with all but the lead runner within reach. On the home stretch I managed to position myself comfortably in 4th position and think I may have relaxed slightly as it was seeming like a good result but then I saw the 3rd placed runner look behind which made me wish I’d kicked a bit more. Crossed the line in 4th and forgot to stop my watch but the official time has me at 18:25. Very happy with this result so soon after the last race. Finished the training day a few hours later with a shorter than usual trail run.
A great week and a good return to form after last week. My base line is moving upwards again and I think the right decisions were made last based on my training volume / intensity and race results for this week.