Thursday, 12 January 2012

Revision timetables

Many years ago when doing my GCSEs and A-levels I seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of time planning my revision.  Developing a training plans for running has re-ignited that strange, creative passion for carefully categorising and then colouring things in. 

With the aid of Fetcheveryone and Excel it is much easier and I can even plan which route I'm going to run months in advance!  Of course with revision, my time spent planning far exceeded the time I actually spent revising. As I struggled to run last weekend, I started wondering whether training plans were just a new way of planning badly.   There's about 4 years worth of training plans lying around the bowels of my PC.  Looking back it's clear that despite some plans being more successful than others, my mileage totals do suggest training was undertaken.  Whereas my academic qualifications suggest that wasn't perhaps the case with revision.  

Smart training?
A colleague at work is always badgering me about being SMART about targets I set and that's certainly relevant to training plans but it's a different type of smart I'm thinking about.  As I've already mentioned I failed dismally to get out over the weekend which meant I ended up missing a longish run and then an 8 mile 'fartlek' session on Monday.  Over the years I've read various articles, and from that established that you can't 'catch up' lost training runs by doing more.  You just end up getting injured or over tired which then means you end up missing even more.  So Tuesday night I tried something a little different (for me).  I incorporated some hill work circuits into the early part of what was described in my plan (coloured in black) as - 10 mile 'general running'.  The logic being that the hills would help improve strength. After the hills I'd have to carry on for the rest of the run fairly fatigued and that would help with the stamina?  So in Ben's world theory I would get more benefits than just a general run.  Whether my logic is actually good logic remains to be seen but it certainly made me feel better for missing a few sessions.  

What do I call hill circuits?
After a warm up, I ran to an area where I could do a short hilly or sloped loop. As it happens the uphill section of the loop lasted about 50-60 seconds, I then ran downhill on another road and then completed the loop with a nice flat bit. The total lap lasted about 2m20s. I ran hard(ish) uphill, jogged down hill and then what you might call comfortable pace on the flat bit. After that I ran off and did 7.5 painful miles finishing off, by accident, doing one more steep climb to the end.  My conclusion today is that different bits of me ache which suggests that the session probably did some good.  Next time I'll try and find a longer but less steep hill which I think would be better.  I say next time because I'm going to try and be flexible with my training plan. There's no point worrying about sessions that I miss because life gets in the way.

In other news I've finally entered the Great Bentley half in Feb and sadly I had to miss the last Third Blind mice trail run. 

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