Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Optimizing trainings for Lidingöloppet

Once I was told from my trainer that for being a complete runner your body must be stressed for 7-8 years with methodic trainings. I don't know whether I spent such a long time and how scientific is that sentence (probably it was just a smart advice to never give up), but right now I feel that I'm able to do a higher number of hard sessions in a row without doing so many kilometers and without having so much pain. Of course, the recovery has been better couple of years ago, but it is a matter of age (23 < 27, it's math!).

This feeling has actually allowed me to plan my trainings for Lidingöloppet by using a totally different approach comparing to the one I was using before. In two weeks I will start competing and, basically, I won't stop until the end of September.
The second part of June, July and the beginning of August have been crucial for my preparation. I started two months ago trying not to lose focus on my goals. I've noticed so far that since two months ago my training session have become more and more interesting, and I don't feel that the gap between the time when I was running 160km a week and this time is so huge.

Back in the middle of June, when I started planning my trainings, I was pretty conscious that I would have lacked in training hours (and consequently kilometers). However, that was actually fair enough to be realized at that time, since I was kind of forced to increase the number of quality trainings, in order to optimize both time and energies. At that time, my thoughts were the following:

  • I had more or less one hour a day for training during the week.
  • I didn't need to spend so much time in running a lot of km with a slow pace, if I could run faster.
  • I could plan 3 sessions in the weekends, but usually I like to recover some energies, so I set my goal to 7 sessions a week.
  • During the week, I can run well between Monday and Wednesday, after it is pretty hard because I'm getting tired.
  • I didn't really have to work on high speed sessions, since the competitions I'm about to run are pretty slow (they are hilly and mostly on paths), and rather long.
  • I was conscious that I had to listen to my feelings really carefully because in the past I've never forced myself to do hard sessions unless I felt trained enough to face them...
  • At last, trainings are just a matter of cycles/sub-cycles, and training diaries look more or less the same all the time. The key is just to follow those cycles, once they are planned. 

So, these are the results of the past 8 weeks, where I ran most of the time on hilly paths:

  1. 16.06-22.06 5 sessions, 51km: just easy week (mostly jogging)
  2. 23.06-29.06 7 sessions, 92km, start first cycle (2 weeks): one long run, one fartlek, one circuit training
  3. 30.06-06.07 8 sessions, 123km: three fartlek, one short high pace session, one long run, every session with good pace
  4. 07.07-13.07 6 sessions, 74km, recovery week: one interval session on the track
  5. 14.07-20.07 8 sessions, 109km, start second cycle (3 weeks): one circuit training, one fartlek, one long run
  6. 21.07-27.07 8 sessions, 116km: two fartlek, one track interval high speed, one long run 
  7. 28.07-03.08 9 sessions, 129km: two fartlek, one circuit training one track interval, one long progressive run
  8. 04.08-10.08 6 sessions, 85km, recovery week: one track interval, one uphills session

The next two weeks will be easy and after that I'm going to train mostly by competing.

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