So, where are we at? Well, this is what my training currently looks like:
At this point, we could break an audience in two. Those who know Training Peaks and those who don’t. Those who know Training Peaks are looking at this and saying ‘that is your TSS? But…its so…low?’. Those who don’t know Training Peaks have already switched on to another website.
The long and the short of it – for me at least – is the rise and the fall of the blue line, representing training load. Over the last year or so I have been, as you can see, up and down with my training. I do ok for a few weeks and then something comes up – PhD, boredom, injury, birth of child. But right now is probably my most sustained period of consistent and quality(ish) training for a long time. At least in over a year. And I can feel it. I can feel it in my legs, in my running, in my being.
It’s just under two weeks until the Great Aberdeen Run (GAR), my third race of the year and probably my least targeted one when I set the calendar out at the start of the year. GAR was intended as an excuse to go up to Scotland and see The Lady’s family, and perhaps knock out and ok time after I had (ahem) bested my personal best earlier in the year at Hampton Court. Because I didn’t focus prior to Hampton Court and follow through with my training, this now becomes my ‘A’ half of the year, and I’m starting to put some pressure on myself accordingly.
I will have greater training load in my legs than I did when I ran my PB last year, and I just generally feel a better runner right now than I ever have before. I’ve finally started throwing some speed sessions in to my training – 1km off/ons, hill reps, tempo runs and the like. Efforts that I used to find taxing I don’t anymore, so my overall ‘tempo’ pace feels better. My top end speed is getting quicker, and it all feels like it is coming together. I ran 74km last week, which betters my previous best which was the week before at 67km. I may even click over the 1000 miles for the year by the time I am done, as I’m currently at 1141km, and need another 459km to get over the line. So things are great.
I’m just putting myself in a hole mentally is all. I’m already starting to worry about how I will pace the race in Aberdeen (go out hard? try to run a steady pace?) and also inventing excuses in case things don’t go as well as I hope they will (its ok, my real ‘A’ race is Frankfurt). I will be disappointed if, after a year of focusing on running exclusively, I don’t get PBs in any of 5km, half marathon or marathon though. And I think that is fair enough. But I take this worry to an unproductive place, and it is something for me to work on for sure. I know I need to go out and run the best race I can and let the result fall the way it will, but the chattering voice in my mind won’t let me and instead runs through all of the potential permutations (since writing this blog I have considered that I haven’t investigated the elevation of the course, whether it will be crowded or not, whether the wind of the sea will affect my run and whether or not carrying music will be disadvantageous. Ugh.)
So that is where we are. My legs feel heavy today, so I’m taking a planned rest day – but I have some long sessions planned for the weekend where I will tail my training off before tapering next week before the race. This will enable me to continue to focus on my other obsessions in the world right now – Game Of Thrones and the start of Fantasy Football!
Listening To: ‘The Evil Has Landed’ by Queens Of The Stone Age