Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Early 2019 Training and Racing

This year so far I have had more on the run-focus training program. Though, to be honest, I still always keep up with biking and strength training for injury prevention and variation to keeps things fresh.

Comox Valley 1/2 Marathon Recap
I went into this race with the idea of some marathon pace specific training before the Vancouver Marathon. I was going to run just faster than my marathon pace (3:45/km approx) then, if all felt good, going to push the last 3-5km. It was a perfect day with a good group of fast runners showed up for the day. I ran out to the turn-around point with a youngster to pace with plans to catch the top two guys in the last few km. I did not feel great at 18km so I cruised it in for a 1:16. The 18 year old I ran with, Anton, was a local who set a 6 min PR in the race and finished strong!  I was actually quite happy with my results but was wondering where my legs were later in the race. I had done more road miles than in a long time but it did not seem to translate to road race speed (this should have been an early warning signs for the marathon).

Vancouver Marathon
 In an amazing stroke of luck, I was selected as an "elite athlete" for the race and was able to meet the other elites and professional athletes at the meeting and dinner before the race. I really enjoyed this evening and was able to feel myself and have good conversations with top athletes. Everything in preparation went as plans; nutrition, hydration, and sleep was good compared to previous experiences. Getting to the race and my warm-up was normal and better than usual. Though, my performance leaves more to be desired. I was aiming for a 2:45 finish time (3:48/km pace) till 30km and then see how I felt and try to push it. I turns out, I got to 30km on pace.... and then rapidly blew up. Most muscles in my lower extremity took turns cramping, usually both legs AND at the same time. First hamstrings, then groin, then quads and followed by calves. I had to alternate between altered side-stepping gait and stopping to stretch out the spasm. I could run in 500m portions before muscular lock-down would occur. I finished in 2:59:11, I got my Boston Marathon Qualifier but not the way I wanted it.
At 25km & still smiling. Photo W. Crowe

I still don't really know what happened but it mostly has to do with my training leading up to this and not doing much intensity with volume. I would do long runs of 30km+ multiple times but not with any intensity and I would also do speed workouts with only 8-10km of actual "work". Possibly some dehydration or overheating was at play with this but I cant really say it was really that bad.

I'd like to redeem this in the future. Possibly the Victoria Marathon in October or something similar. I will keep the training moving forward with some more volume and intensity.

Cumby Trail Race

What a day! Perfect weather and awesome conditions for just an amazing day on the trails. I had an epiphany that I really enjoy running on trails and I feel I'm fairly good at it. I would like to explore the longer distances in the near future and test out a few 50km Ultramarathons. I'm not sure what will be first on the plan but a trip to cool places for these races might be in order.

It was hot and hilly but I didn't run into any cramping issues, even though it was only a week after the Vancouver Marathon where I exploded fantastically and dragged myself to the finish line. I will explore this further in the near future.

Moving into Summer months I would like to still do some triathlons to keep connected and hit some destination races in Whistler and Portland.

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