Return To Training And Back Up Plans: Training Log

Return to training. Back up plans. Smashing yourself at an ultra marathon and taking a full week off doesn't put you at your fastest. That's alright. It is part of the cycle of training. This last week I returned to running. It was great to be moving again but I was certainly slow. I learnt in training it is worth having back up plans.

Smashing yourself at an ultra marathon and taking a full week off doesn’t put you at your fastest. That’s alright. It is part of the cycle of training. This last week I returned to running. It was great to be moving again but I was certainly slow. I learnt in training it is worth having back up plans.

 

 

Work Within Limits

 

The body is still in repair mode. After some rest, movement is the difference between functional versus tissue. The trick is to move enough to stimulate the right repair, but not too much to cause damage.

 

How to do this?

 

First up impose an intensity limit. For me it was a heart rate ceiling. I use the Phil Maffetone’s Maximal Aerobic Function (MAF). This gives me a heart rate ceiling of 144bpm. All my running will be kept at or below this intensity. That includes walking when needed.

 

Set The Structure

 

⦁ Long (90min)
⦁ Regeneration (40min)
⦁ Easy (60min)
⦁ Regeneration (40min)
⦁ MAF Test (8km + warm up & cool down)
⦁ Regeneration (40min)
⦁ Off

 

Back Up Plan Required

 

Not all your plans for training will go perfectly. Every so often I like to plan a session down at the athletics track. For the MAF Test I wanted the exactness of the athletics track. As I finished my warm up arriving at the track I discovered it was occupied by school athletics.

Finding you can’t do your planned session, especially if it high intensity can really kill motivation. It is easy to just chuck it in and run back home. Take the excuse it was beyond my control. Not ideal but definitely a common response. It’s almost natural to pack it in.

It pays to have a back up session. One you can flip straight into.

For me that was simple. A paved and mostly flat trail comes off the track. Here I can run 4km out and 4km back. I kept to my heart rate within the MAF test range. While not as exact as the measured 400m, it still gives a GPS measured pace against the heart rate. In fact I can compare MAF tests performed both at the track and along the path. Similar testing measured differently may provide more insight.

 

Last Tip

 

If you have an interval session planned at the track. As a back up have a similar workout stored in your watch that can be done based off GPS instead. That way if the track is being used you have the same type of run ready to go. Make that change over easy to do.

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