Target: 352 Km
Training log – View here
How did the month go?
November was a game of two halves, firstly me deciding to try and integrate some more speed type work in to the plan after entering the Ultra Trail Snowdonia 100 (UTS100) but then rethinking that plan and getting a proper running coach – more on that later.
Around this time Garmin released an update for the Fenix watches which gave training advice with workouts each day, why not I thought. This led to some nice VO2 Max and Threshold runs in the early part of the weeks and to be honest I quite enjoyed it!
Running far is great but some times it is nice to run fast!
I continued a pattern of several times a week doing split days and doing one in the morning and one in the evening, have to admit I quite enjoyed that as well.
Enter Damian Hall – the man, the myth, the legend… and now the coach
Ok so first off if you don’t know who Damian Hall is then honestly this blog is possibly not for you or if you want to stick with this then go do a little Googling and find out more about this chap…
For quite a while I have been toying with the idea of taking things a little more seriously and getting a coach. No particular reason but decided now was the time to commit and give it a go. After some research and contacting some coaches to find out more about them, their style etc, I decided on the following criteria for an ultra running coach:
- Must be, or have been a genuinely good ultra runner – Now I know that some great coaches in many sports aren’t better than their athletes but this sport is unique in nature and I wanted to know that knowledge was coming from a place of tried and tested. This meant no “done one or two ultras and now thinks they are good enough to coach others”.
- Formally qualified coach – UK Athletics or something like that, so I know they have a solid foundation in both the theory and practice of how to coach someone.
- Share similar values in approach to running and training – what are those you ask? Important things for me are I believe in consistency, working on good form and efficiency and a holistic view to running. I spoke to a few and found that their philosophies were not going to blend with mine.
Damian ticked all those boxes and we began working together from mid November. This next 8 week block is going to focus on running economy – doing more for less energy. Whilst this might feel like a slight backwards step in terms of intensity I know that his structure is designed to balance the new loads being introduced whilst not causing injury.
Two big changes to the training… A proper rest day each week, what taking a whole day off?! Yep. Adding strength sessions 3 times a week.
Initial discovery – my left hand glutei is weak as shit, no wonder I have been having some issues with that ankle / foot!
The future looks bright, the future looks coached!
Now go on, just f’ing run!