Breakthrough Week

Posted by Nik Cook
Monday 30th November 2009

I built a good base over the summer months but, since starting again with Marc Laithwaite , my day to day training consistency has improved massively. Knowing I have someone monitoring what I'm doing makes such a difference and, on those days when you're feeling knackered and the rain is sheeting down, it gives you the extra kick up the backside to get you out of the door.

 After three building weeks, the last week was a bit lower on volume with my tyre sessions going back to 60 minutes and my Sunday long run a "mere" 3 hours. Throughout the week I felt really good. Running, I felt light and fast on the flats and downs, my heart rate was much more controllable and I felt super strong and efficient climbing. In the gym I'm starting to lift half way respectable weights and my sessions towing "Terrence the Tyre", although not enjoyable, are no longer complete slogs.

For Sunday's long run I hooked up with my friend Jim and his two dogs. Jim's setting his sights on the Edale Skyline Race in March and he planned to join me for the first couple of hours. Our plan was to do the "Churnminator". This is a route that goes round Chinley Churn going up most of the ups and down most of the downs. Conditions on Sunday morning were foul and, by the end of the first ascent, we were battling high winds and horizontal rain and sleet. Because of the recent rain, conditions underfoot were appalling slowing us down badly and it was obvious from the start it'd be a real slog. Fortunately, things did clear up for the middle part of the run and my Haglofs Oz Pullover kept my snug and warm on the outside and cold cheese and tomato pizza kept me fuelled from the inside. Hitting the Birch Vale end of the Churn we noticed race markings and realised it was the day of the Famous Grouse. Worried the dogs might get under the runners' feet, we checked our timings and managed to avoid the bottlenecks but still cheer on some friends and clubmates. Jim peeled off after two and three quarter hours leaving me with a descent, climb and descent to go. I'd saved the "best" ascent route till last taking on my own Tracks to Trig fell race route (1.1 miles / 865 ft ascent) including the now infamous Chinley Wall. As I climbed the weather came in again, but I was feeling super strong, warm and as if I could keep going all day. Reaching home after 3:20 and how strong and fresh I felt crowned what had been a really good and confidence boosting week.

 Total Training Time: 11:07

Total Distance run: 71.38km / 44.33 miles

Total ascent: 3020m / 9906ft 

Grim weather and soggy trails made for slow progress 

Read more blog entries by Nik Cook

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