Track Preparation

After having a week of easy running following the Home Countries International where I knew I wasn’t fully over my chest infection that messed with the final few weeks of the winter season I felt healthy and ready to start building up towards the track season.

My first week back to proper training started well with a decent 50 minute run (with 10 x 1 min sprints in) and mile reps which were all at a decent level, despite having a month or so of disrupted training. It came to my Saturday session where I was jogging down to the park when I turned my ankle awkwardly coming off a kerb. It didn’t seem too bad initially, but walked back and iced it up.

The next morning it has ballooned up very black and meant I wouldn’t be able to run on it for some time. After a weekend of letting the pain and bruising settle, I made my debut aqua jogging in the pool. It is an excellent workout, which takes the weight and impact off your legs, but you seem to still get the same intensity of workout you’d expect on land. The speed you actually move in the pool is sluggish, and at times I was flat out to try and keep up with elderly swimmers paddling around! The aqua jogging lasted eight days, and twice a day for four of the days, until the physiotherapist finally gave me the all clear to start training again.

A flotation belt used to Aqua Jog.

I eased back into my training on land, by having four days of just easy running twice a day, also to just try and build a little endurance base. I then spent a week away in Portugal on training camp, which was the perfect way to focus on everything with no distractions or commitments. Our group back home in Bristol have come to the same sports resort in the Algarve for the past few years, just due to the accessibility of everything (track, cross-country course, gym, swimming pool) within a five minute walk, and the weather ain’t too bad either! It was great to be in a resort surrounded by performance athletes from across Europe.

The Algarve coastline made a welcome sight to wake up to!

The hours spent out on your own can sometimes become a bit monotonous, so it’s great to be in an environment where everyone is working towards a similar goal. The added bonus from a student perspective was all you could eat food in the resort, can’t beat that! My first session on land, since I believe early March was 800’s and 600’s on the track. I was expecting much worse than 2.17, 2.15 and 2.14 for the 8’s, which actually felt pretty smooth. I’m not sure what the 6’s were at, but they were much swifter than the 800’s. I then did a steady run on the Thursday, which was 30 minutes at 5:20 pace with 10 minutes easy either side of it and 9 x 30 second hills afterwards.

The cross-country course used for World and European Championships in years gone by was barely five minutes away and provided a perfect easy running venue.

I returned from Portugal to a weekend sprint hills session and a long run before heading back to University. It had been my first full 70 mile week (11 runs/session), with two sessions and a threshold for over a month, and hopefully this consistently can continue throughout the year.

This week has again been a resounding success, with a 600/300m session, ran at 1500m pace, and then same short sprints afterwards. Thursday was a bit of tempo work, and just some strides to get ready for my first outing on the track this weekend.

The preparation for this track season has been slightly disjointed, but hopefully the successes of the winter and the solid endurance base i’ve built should come in handy. I’m heading to Reading tomorrow, to race for my University in a varsity against Reading over 1500m, a perfect little tester for how everything’s going.

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