Good to go

Uncharacteristically for me I managed to wait out the foot issue. Despite being nearly 100% certain that it was merely muscle strain I waited it out before running and ran for the first time today – five days after the race. The foot and fitness felt great throughout the nearly 19km I ran. All I have to do now is make sure I don’t get overconfident in the coming weeks and push it beyond my body’s ability to absorb the training and recover.

I’m in ok shape and I believe that ‘just running’ will get me to where I want to be in 38 days.

Run often. Run easy.

Foot …

The left foot is feeling strain after the race on Saturday. I first noticed it on Monday morning. Because there was a delayed onset I’m going to assume that it is muscular and is nothing to worry about. I have completely rested and massaged with a tennis ball every evening. I’ll probably give running a try tonight and see how it feels.

 

Midnattsloppet 2014

Most unprepared I’ve ever been for a 10km race.

My plan was to try to run the first 2km in 7 minutes and then try to manage the decline in pace from there. It was extraordinarily difficult from the 4th kilometer onward and by the 6th kilometer an unending wave of nausea hovered over the already near unbearable pain.

The time was 39:17 and most probably the most uncomfortable race of my life. Racing untrained is not cool.

XTERRA Sweden

I have been on holidays and have had a 100% media blackout during that time. No TV, Web, newspapers … nothing.

Just before holidays I did XTERRA Sweden. I had no goals going in to the race – in fact the race was an experiment of sorts. I wanted to put myself on a start line when I knew I was not ready; usually I don’t start so I though that if I enter a race that I don’t usually enter then there would be no pressure to perform and thus no need to be prepared.

I stood on the start line feeling relaxed, predicting a sub three hour finish time.

Swam easy – well within myself and came out of the water after about 23 minutes. Not too bad.

Transition was probably the longest transition that took place anywhere in the entire world in 2014. I put on socks and gloves and fumbled every step of the way – not slick at all.

The MTB course was what I was really looking forward to – I started a little too hard but soon settled into a nice rhythm. There was a nice mix of trail, gravel paths, loose rocks and technical sections – really enjoyed it and my confidence increased with every pedal stroke. Lap two the technical sections were easier (why didn’t I learn the course?!).

T2 was quick.

Hit the run with 2:03 on the clock. Sub three was in the bag… I thought. The run course was two 5km laps of which 3,5km was scrambling. Absolutely impossible (for me) to run. I think the run took 59 minutes…

Finished with just over three hours on the clock. Had a great day though.

Saturday…

I had a bit of a surprise on Monday. I went swimming with the club and because all indications to date suggest that my form is way off I decided to hang to the back of the lane. We started with the warm up and I felt good. Continued to the first of two sets of [300 Easy + 10×50 Hard + 200 Easy + 8×50 Hard] All 50s were 40 seconds and the Easy sets were at 1:35/100… this is not the form I expected to have. Assured that I would crumble on the second set I marched on only to find that I was still holding 40 seconds/50m. I have no idea where that form came from but it makes me feel a little happier about the upcoming race this weekend.

Which leads me to the course recon that I attempted on Saturday. I pretty much headed blindly out to Hellasgården to try the course. Upon hitting the trail the first turn I took was the wrong one and I ended up doing the first section of the course in reverse. I then proceeded to the second part of the course only to take an early left hand turn too early. All in all I’d say I covered 70% of the course – half of that in reverse. It mixes very high speed sections with very technical sections. The winner is expected to take 2:30 so I’ll aim for sub 3… It’s just for fun but I want to put a good time in anyhow.

Change of plan

It is no secret to say that this year has not gone well at all. Three injuries and a couple of bouts of sickness have put me in the worst June shape of my athletic life. As a result I have decided that I will not be on the start line for Stockholm Aquathlon.  Instead, I have decided to enter Xterra Sweden on the same day. One might ask why race a different and longer race if I am not fit? Well, the expectations from the Aquathlon would have been at least a podium place and racing for ‘the fun’ is nothing I am interested in. In Xterra Sweden I’m 100% certain that I am going to get my ass handed to me – so with that knowledge, I can simply race it for fun and see what happens.

Make sense?

It does to me.

Bike, Bike, Swim

Twice on the MTB and a late evening swim were on today’s list.

MTB was ok but I lost my nerve and didn’t attempt the drops.
Swam in the cold waters of Brunnsviken for just 1700m. Not bad but not going to help with preparation for the Aquathlon.

Let’s see what I can get done next week.

Run, Run

Had a double run day today.

Started out with a sluggish 4 point something km run to work. No mojo and I ended up taking the unplanned shortest route to work. I skipped my planned swim in favour of a longer run home. Started the run and felt great. 18 minutes later I was feel dizzy and legs seemed heavy… I fought through this and kept running and told myself to HTFU and just run. The last 3km I actually started to feel pretty good.

11,4km, 4.47/km, 144 av. HR

Not too bad after all.

I’m Back…

…but probably doing everything in my power that it is short-lived.

Having ran nothing for four weeks I decided to come back with a 50km week. To further increase my chance of injury I have also being in the forest throwing myself and the bike around. To date I have been unsuccessful in seriously injuring myself and I would like to keep it that way. Unfortunately I’m loving the MTB and running at the moment and finding it irresistible to not do either one of them.

As far as the Aquatlon is concerned, I’m so far off track that it seems silly to put myself on the start line. Nonetheless, that is what I shall do.

I’ll keep training and see.

Injured No More…

…I think.

I have done my third run in five days and today I felt great. Absolutely no sensation in the left foot at all and my running is approaching an acceptable level.
This morning’s run was a hot 11km at a pretty much constant 4:35/km and it showed me that I have fitness in the bag from earlier this year.

Trainingpeaks has many metrics that show me progress:
NGP for one – it calculates a normalized pace, the pace that you would have ran on a flat course.
IF,EF & TSS are also great.
However, when I am just developing base fitness, the best marker are the Peak Distance Metrics during a steady run.
See beolow, the metrics from this morning”s run:
Peak3The run had no surges – just running. See the difference between peek 10km and peek 5km: 8 seconds/km. That’s a good fitness marker.
Now if we compare it with my last run before I finally admitted I was injured:
Peek1Three seconds per kilometer between peek 5km and peek 10km.

Until I get ‘fit’, that’s the metric I’ll be tracking. When this normalizes over 5km and 10km, I’ll then start to add interval work.

#####

I’ve just come back from my first open water swim of 2014. Just a short one (about 1800m) but I threw in some hard efforts – the last 300m was at Olympic Tri pace. My foot is in pretty good shape still, despite 33km of running in the last 5 days. I can still feel a pressure point when I massage with a tennis ball but after about 1-2 minutes of massage there is no pain at all. I wonder what the problem was/is?

If things continue as they are I could manage to get a good week training done. Preliminary plan is:

Run tomorrow.
Swim + MTB Saturday
Long Run Sunday

Of course, that could and probably will change.