Having got back from the Lakes on Sunday I went out for the long slow run on Monday 14th January – knowing that the rest of the week was going to be a major training failure.
It was the third long run in 10 days so perhaps not too surprising that it felt hard, but I kept going and did 15.51 miles (24.97km) against a training programme target of 14 miles.
It was slower than my usual long slow runs – not particularly because I planned it that way, I’m just not sure I had much more in me. Pace is still a worry but perhaps better rested runs will be faster – and there are still 11 weeks until the marathon. Either that or I’ll be re-setting my targets and aiming to beat 4h 30.
I wasn’t ever more than a few miles away from home and so had to do a number of loops to make up the distance (six times along one bit of road). That felt mentally tough so I think I’ll have to look for a longer ‘out and back’ route for the remaining long runs.
The rest of Monday was spent hobbling about, as usual, and the same continued Tuesday morning as we left very early to get the Shuttle and drive to the Alps. No real problem with the Achilles tendons while driving but when we stopped I was certainly back to doing my impression of an 80 year old. It’s a depressing thought that I can do that for real in less than 17 years.
Although the drive is a bit gruelling – just over 12 hours door to door – I enjoyed it as it brought back happy memories of cycling the 550 miles (880km) out there, solo and unsupported, last summer. Although the route I took by bike was very different, save for the last 100 miles or so, I was surprised how much it brought it back.
Perhaps it’s just that Les Carroz d’Araches is such a special place for me – we’ve skied here for 20 years and I’ve cycled here for perhaps 10 , including my ‘everest’ in 2017: here https://theomil.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/so-apart-from-the-pain-exhaustion-and-mental-anguish-how-was-the-everesting/
Last year’s ride out to the alps is covered back in July, starting here: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/104665289/posts/4529
I like to think of the trip as altitude training – but suppose others would simply call it a skiing holiday. To be honest they would be right as our resort is at only 1150 metres and the highest skiing is at 2500 m.
We had a domestic day on Wednesday and then collected our older son and his girlfriend from Geneva airport. With Germany and Austria having had dangerous levels of snow, it seems that France had just the right amount. The skiing (and the holiday in general) was spectacularly good for the next 4 days to complete my training week, with just the one long run.
It had snowed on Thursday so it was on with the snow chains on Friday morning. I was surprised just how we struggled to get up to the lift station with them on – only to discover that one had fallen off. I ran back, retracing our drive, only to find the offending chain just metres from the apartment block’s garage. I don’t think I will ever get tired of telling people how much I dislike snow chains – truly the devil’s own work.
Apparently two wheel drive with winter tyres is more capable in the snow than four wheel drive with non-winter tyres. Of course, our rear wheel drive car with ordinary tyres is completely useless in the snow, so it looks like a change of car before next ski season.
Sadly, while I’m not sure if fell walking had any significant benefits for marathon training, I’m even more doubtful about alpine skiing. The only really beneficial bit would be the going uphill – and that is very much the province of the chairlift. However, it must have some effect as, despite having fairly fit legs from cycling and running, I was able to get a proper thigh burn when pushing hard to ski the resort from top to bottom.
I’ll clock it as a discounted 12 hours of cross-training, without much confidence in its value.
Perhaps I can console myself that the Achilles tendons are getting a bit of a rest.
|1||16.1m (25.9km)||9.8m (15.8 km)||2:00|
|2||18.5m (29.8km)||13.3m (21.5km)||2:00|
|3||20.7m (33.3km)||65.8m (105.9km)||1:00|
|4||22.2m (35.8km)||13.7m (22.07km)||1:00|
|5||24m (38.6km)||13m (21km)||1:00|
|6 (Christmas)||13.2m (21.3km)|
|7||25.6m (41.1km)||62.7m (100.9km)||3:00|
|8 (Lakes)||14.6m (23.6km)||13.2m (21.2km)||7.00|
|9 (Skiing)||15.5m (25km)||12.00|
|‘Running’ totals||130.2m (209.7km)||178.2m (286.3km)||29:00|