How to train a dragon.

How to train a dragon: The hidden world.

We went to the cinema to watch this film today.  Not much ultra running in it. 

If I was pretending to have a 12 week training plan, I’ve completed the first two weeks.  10 weeks to go.  

Week 1: 25 Feb – 3 Mar 19 Week 2: 4 – 10 Mar 19
Mileage: 31.7 miles Mileage: 43.8 miles
Ascent: 897m Ascent: 1370m
Training days: 4 Training days: 6
Rest: Mon & Tue  Rest: Mon
Weight: Mon 79.2Kg  Weight: Mon 78.6Kg
Weight: Sun 78.4Kg Weight: Sun 78.2Kg

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Week 1 started terribly.  I had just got back from my DBR day 3a recce and had struggled halfway round an orienteering event.  I rested on Monday and tried to get my inbox sorted after a week off.  Within 5 minutes of getting home I was on a diet accelerator meaning I needed to take Tuesday off to recover.  On Wednesday I felt much better and went for a sunny lunch run around the woods.  Despite being inside the M25 and within a mile of 3 tube stops you could be miles away.  It is the best way to spend lunch.  I want to treat this 12 week block like a marathon prep period so on Thursday I went for a steady 7:20m/m run for an hour.  The purpose of this run is to improve my aerobic fitness.  I took Friday off as my only window to run was early in the morning and I had a drive north later that day.  I also wanted to make the most of the weekend up near hills!  Saturday was a nice 1:17 at easy pace around Cannock Chase which still managed to climb 250m. 

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I had signed up to the Cloud 9 fell race weeks ago as an excuse to get hills into my legs.  I ran at race pace and surprised myself.  I had to fight for position in the first miles as it was a pedestrian pace on approach to Bosley Cloud.  I was pleased that I managed to keep pace and not lose any places on the ascent.  I was about 13th at that point.  The long descent was where my pace and lack of endurance speed (lactate threshold) was highlighted.  I pushed on and finished 20th in 66 minutes.  I was delighted I knew sub 75 and top 50  was possible but that time and position was incredible.  My training has obviously been going ok!  

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How good are fell races? £9. Free soup and roll.  Great course and company.  What no medal? No worries. No t-shirt? Yeah Marie Kondo that shit.  It’s hardly sparking joy, is it?  Oh and the cake stall was the best!  Donation based and all varieties!  

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I didn’t feel too bad at the start of this week.  I took Monday off as usual and then ran my easy 4 mile road recovery loop on Tuesday.  On Wednesday I’d had to dine al desko as I had a visit to deal with which meant I ran when I got home.  I left in the light for a longer 4.5 mile road loop again at an easy pace.  Steady Thursdays are starting to be a thing and 7:20m/m pace for just under an hour is starting to feel more comfortable.  I managed to get out for an easy hour on Friday afternoon although I perhaps should have waited longer after eating tomato soup.  Yesterday I returned to South Oxhey Parkrun for the first time in over a month.  I ran well and finished 1st by over 3 minutes which made pushing the pace tough.  I was happy with my fastest time in a while although officially the finish funnel’s strange placement meant I wasn’t actually that quick.  It’s a cross country style course over fields and a small incline which tests the legs on lap 3!  19:15 was my GPS 5Km time which means I’d like to think I could get close to 18:30 on flat paths.  Today I knew I needed to improve my ascent numbers.  Wendover Woods had an event on so I stayed clear and I’m also not sure I’m up for 34 ascents of Gnarking like James Elson!  I went to my local woods and did 15 reps of a 50m hill over 0.4 miles.  That took 2 hours and although I slowed down and was glad to finish I really felt like I could have kept going.  My recovery time was 43hrs which means I’d probably paced my effort about right.

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Weight loss has been positive with around 1Kg lost and post run weights being below 78Kg.  

More positive vibes – I’m 14m off the Strava hill climb challenge (new earliest completion) and halfway through the 200Km month challenge.  I’m very lucky!  I’ve also been watching hyper light tents on eBay but not found one yet so I asked on a forum

I now have two weeks with no racing before an important orienteering competition at the end of the month.  I would like to try to get a day’s recce in, probably day 5b, and also get some solid ascent at Wendover.  Keep calm have a cuppa and carry on.

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