Not that those actual details are a surprise to me, I’ve been banging on about it for months. No, the thought of 7th September has long been a source both giddy excitement and pant-wetting fear. What has been a surprise is the few unplanned hiccups over the last month or so which have made training a little more seat-of-the-pants than I intended. I’ll tone down the pants references now.
I’m not going to dwell on details as this post is meant to be about the next few weeks and the countdown to September so I’ll briefly summarise. It was all going as planned, popping in 20 mile long runs at the weekends. In early June, we did a 20 mile walk as training for Race to the King, a two-day 85km walk which was planned two weeks later. The change of activity and footwear, I suspect, then led me to pull my calf on the easiest of easy runs the following week. I went into full recovery mode and a week later it all seemed much better.
My pride had other ideas; Valtteri Bottas rounded some of us up at work for a charity run, which I gladly went on, thinking I’d take it easy. Clearly in the heat of the moment I wanted to put in a good show and promptly pulled my calf again. I know, schoolboy error.
I did nothing but rest and calf rolling and strengthening for the next week leading up to Race to the King. It was still a little tender going into the race on June 22nd. Lo and behold, 2 days and 85km of walking later and my calf felt stronger than it had done for months. I was more than a little surprised, if not totally delighted.
And that is pretty much where I find myself now. Race to the King was absolutely amazing and deserves an entire post devoted to it so I won’t dive into details of that now (apart from the teaser pic above). Since then though, I’ve only done chilled out, easy runs, slowly building up my mileage again. Do you know, it has been absolute bliss.
The weather has followed suit too by finally stopping raining so I’ve had a lot more of this:
And a lot less of this:
I do think the few weeks I had of calf recovery plus the strengthening with all the walking was actually just what I needed. Looking back there were some tell tale signs of overtraining (which may also have contributed to calfgate) but now I’m ready and raring to go again.
My plan for the rest of the summer is to run entirely within myself at all times. This isn’t some gruesome contortionist’s trick, I just intend to keep the pace super comfortable, the HR low and just enjoy being out there putting miles on my legs. And boy do I need to put miles on my legs. And boy should I not use phrases like that again.
There’s still plenty of time but I don’t want to ramp things up too quickly. I’m planning 24km this Sunday, making it about 60km for the week and I’ll creep it up week on week. The target is a 40km run in 3 weeks or so, upping the weekly distance to about 80km. If the weather stays like this and I keep things nice and easy, I’m really looking forward to pumping the miles in.
And you wait till you hear the parkrun-related plans my brother-in-law, Jamie, and I have for the night of August 2nd into August 3rd! You will actually have to wait as that will be a post if it’s own, so keep your eyes peeled but I’m very excited about this particular challenge which will hopefully be the perfect training for the 100km.
So it’s been a rocky few weeks, not exactly plain sailing but I’m back on track and thoroughly enjoying getting back out there. Will I squeeze all the training I want in before I start to taper down? Who knows? It’d be boring if it was easy though, wouldn’t it? Well no, boring and easy would be nice but that’s not how running works sometimes!
Have a great running weekend.