14 May 2013

Building Up to The North Face 50km

The past 2 months have been massive training weeks for me in preparation for TNF50 on the weekend.  I have invested much time, energy and effort into preparing myself physically, mentally and emotionally.  I have been lucky to have the support of my wife Kellie throughout this period and without her I would not have been able to get into top shape.

The last 8 weeks I have been aiming for 130-40km 9-12hr weeks of running plus all the core and flexibility work I could fit in around work and family.  I have raced my butt off and was able to get in some very good long runs and another valuable UTA training camp.  I have focused my training more specifically with the experienced I gained from my 6 Foot debut earlier in the year.

I general my weeks have included more controlled and slower longer runs that are either easy, recovery or endurance based.  I have kept 2 speed sessions in place in the form of tempo and interval sessions, only substituting the tempo runs with races when racing and shortening my interval ever so slightly to max out effort levels without totally taxing myself.  I also included hill work in the form of hill repeats ranging from 150m to 500m with as much elevation gain as possible on loads of ridges around Lithgow and the Mount in Bathurst.  I also ran a weekly ridge run when feeling up to it, this is a 4-5km trail run up a spur and back down, great practice and good fun.

I tried to run the track as much as possible during peak training as there is no better way to prep than to get to know the trail!  I completed the course in full once in just under 5hrs and ran several parts of the course on a number of occasions.  My big focus was to run from Jamison Creek to the top of Stuarts Rd in an out and back, this is the biggest climb and major part of the track so I wanted to know how it felt to hurt out there.  I did the stairs a few times and just to get more elevation in I included laps of Mount Panorama into my long runs and I believe this has been very beneficial.

My training included racing, often on tired and fatigued legs.  I ran at Bobbin Head, Narrowneck and in Bathurst and performed quite well gaining both experience and confidence.

Bobbin Head Race 2 - 46.15 6th overall.  I went out way too hard, blew up and had to recover for the rest of the race.  A good performance and a lesson allowing me to positively develop my race strategy down the track.

Narrowneck 20k - 83.01 2nd overall.  My first ever podium and a good solid hitout.  I dont remember it being that hilly in training but man it was good test.  I felt in control throughout the race and ran to the plan I had set before.

Bathurst Half Marathon - 75.55 2nd overall.  Another podium and a 5 minute PB.  I ran beyond my expectations and performed very well.  Brendan Davies took us out fast and I managed to hold on and finish strongly.  I hurt alot in the last 5k but I did not back off and was given loads of both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards from this race. I took 13 minutes off my time from last year, in what was my first ever race that I had prepared for in training.

Bobbin Head Race 3 - 44.31 5th overall.  A series podium in 2nd place and 1st for my age category as well as another PB.  I planned to run more constructively on the ups and it went to plan as I felt very strong up the hills, I did have a minor ankle roll that slowed my finish line push a bit but a very successful outing and enjoyable series.

This Saturday will be my biggest test to date.  I feel the strongest and fittest I have every felt and I am more confident with my endurance than previously.  I am going to run to my plan and push the whole way round the 50k track and hopefully I will walk away satisfied with my efforts what time or position I land in.

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