Well after an epic year of racing and unexpected results that saw me tackle some of the biggest and hardest races in my life it was no surprise that after the disaster that was Hong Kong I was spent! Physically I was tired and mentally my mojo had packed up shop and gone on holidays.
After reflecting on my year and what I had asked my body to do, I decided to take a full 4 weeks of training and only do what I felt like when I felt like it, which in hindsight turned out to be absolutely nothing for 4 weeks.
While I usually wouldn’t advocate such a complete break from exercise or training (and my coach certainly wouldn’t) I am very conscious of the risk of burn out/over racing/adrenal fatigue in this roller-coaster sport of Ultra running. This “sickness” (for lack of a better word) has the ability to effect anyone from back of packers to elites alike and if you don’t catch it early the results can be devastating, just take a look at what happened to Geoff Roes (USA).
So after a good solid break from training (to avoid the above) the question that remained was “how do I get that fire back“?
For me the answer was very simple…new races!! With the release of the Oceania Skyrunning series made official and the development of brand new – hard core – races to fill it I was immediately interested.
Spurred on by this news and fuelled by my insanely competitive nature I pulled on the shoes and went/forced myself out running!
Initially my first runs where terrible, I felt terrible, was slow, each step was painful and uncoordinated like a child learning to walk, it was nothing like I remembered it. However I pushed though the painful Ego damaging runs one after the other and now 2 weeks later I am starting to come out the other side with the Fire Raging Inside…. the fire to train, the fire to race…the fire to WIN.
Below has been my running over the last two weeks and my progression as I developed that fire.
Monday 17th Nov: Rest
Tuesday 18th Nov: 16km/72min road with 15min barefoot -like a child learning to walk
Wednesday 19 Nov: 15km/96min/1000m(v) Trails getting dropped on an easy run by Duffus. (very demoralizing)
Thursday 20th Nov: 8km/51min/650m(v) Back up Trails trying to punishing myself for yesterdays horrible outing.
Firday 21st Nov: Rest
Saturday 22nd Nov: Rest
Sunday 23rd Nov: Rest
Monday 24th Nov: 13km/72min/750m(v) Steep Trails, feeling better
Tuesday 25th Nov: 20km/86min Long road run, cadence getting better
Wednesday 26th Nov: 16km/66min Road run, cadence much better starting to get that floating feeling back.
I will see one more week of this return to running training before I step it up and get back on a performance program with coach of the moment Andy Dubious from Mile 27 training.