For someone with such an epic challenge coming up I seem to be taking things remarkably easy at the moment. Not only that but the Clyde Stride 40 (July) is approaching at great speed, so really, I should be getting a bit of a move on.
My training, events and downtime all share the same objective; to build miles, strength and endurance whilst remaining injury free. Falling victim to an injury at this time would be fairly disastrous, and so, I err on the cautious side.
Since completing the Hoka Highland Fling, I have taken 1 full week of rest and am now in my 2nd recovery week. Rest is just that: complete rest, no running, no cross training, no weight or strength training; plenty of stretching, yoga, sleep, and food with plenty of green leafy veg and protein. Recovery has been a case of easing back into a regular routine. It has consisted of some short runs of about 6 miles; cross training on the spin bike doing 15 – 20k rather than the more usual 25k – 30k; a couple of strength training sessions and the usual abdominal work; and a session with my sports injury therapist to work out the last of the tightness.
This weekend I will aim to do a couple of slightly longer runs of about 10 miles. Then it will be back to a more solid training schedule. The schedule is still taking shape but will look something like this. The long run will extend back out to 20 – 24 miles. I will start to do back to back longer runs too, and I will swap out some long runs for long treks. There will be a couple of strength training sessions a week, abdominal work three times a week. I will do 2, maybe 3 shorter run sessions of 6 – 8 miles, and one will be either speed or hill intervals. Finally 1 or 2 spin bike sessions. The shorter runs and spin sessions will be flexible depending on what longer sessions are planned.
Everyone trains differently and I know that many ultra runners go straight into recovery after events, especially when they are part of a build up to a key event, but this feels right for me: letting my body recover and adapt before starting to build up again. I can feel the benefits already especially in my speed and hill intervals. My stamina and endurance has gone up another notch. Dare I say it; I think I am on track.