Saturday, October 23, 2010

Change Nothing

These last few months have been the longest time I've gone without racing since starting under CR's guidance. That's all about to end in 7 days time with my first cross country race of the season. Last year I ran about nine of the damn things - this year it'll be a more respectable three.

First up is the Dublin Senior Championships. Last year I got blown away in a small, but top class field. This year it'll probably be the exact same again, although I'm hoping this time I can see myself in the top half of the field rather than the bottom quarter. My excuses are ready though if that doesn't happen - "First XC race of the season...", "my foot's been sore for a few weeks now...", "the spikes were digging in to me...".

October's training has been consistent though. I've run more miles than I've ever run in a month, while keeping the weekly mileage lower than I was running at times during the summer. A weekly tempo has been introduced to my schedule, a couple of core workouts, along with more recovery between key sessions. In a matter of weeks it's paid off as I'm finding that I'm running stronger and faster than before. A couple of weeks back I was stunned when my 5 mile tempo finished approximately 20/30 seconds slower than my PB. This on heavy legs, two days after a fast 15 mile run. I was buzzing, my legs felt great, I could have run further and what made it even better was the fact that for the rest of the week I was able to up the mileage. Then this week rolled around and I only went and equaled my 5 mile PB... on a bloody training run.

The key now is to keep things the same until I'm back on the roads again. As CR always says "Change nothing". I haven't looked at any calendars just yet to see when the next road race will be - for the moment I'm just waiting for next weekends XC to pass. What I want to know the answer to though is - if you can run times equivalent to your best race times in training, what kind of times can you hit when you race?