I resumed a normal training schedule last week. I did a speed session, with 400 and 800M splits on Tuesday. This didn't go as well as expected, after I missed a few splits by a number of seconds. I didn't get much sleep the night before, and it was my first speed session since before the Kalahari, so I they are the mitigating factors. My speed perhaps has lost a little of it's edge. I'm sure I'll be back to normal soon.
On Wednesday I did a 10k trail route, over the local hills and fields. I'm now getting used to having to wear my headtorch for these runs, as of course it's dark by 5pm. Again this session didn't go to plan. It was supposed to be an easy/steady pace but it felt more difficult that I should. Again a poor nights sleep didn't help.
On Wednesday night I slept like a baby, catching up on some missed hours. It showed on Thursday's interval sesion where I performed really well. So lack of sleep messes up my training sessions just as it does my performance on events. It was a 10k trail route. The first and last 10 minutes were a warm up/down, and then I would alternate between 3 minutes quick (roughtly 7 minute mile pace) and 2 minutes recovery (roughly 9 minute mile pace).
On all of the seesions in the week I had a slight but nagging pain from my hamstring, which I pulled a little during a run about 10 days ago. I decided to rest it and not run at all on the weekend, so I've had a fairly light mileage week; only 18 miles.
Still I hope I will be in good enough condition to enter the LDWA Six Dales Cirtcuit event on Saturday. It is a 26.5 mile course over plenty of hills, and as the name suggests a few dales as well!
My flights are all booked for the Atacama Crossing in March 09, and I will be looking at the compulsory equipment list in some detail over the next few weeks. I believe I need to carry more equipment, and I will need my heavier, warmer sleeping bag, but I am still going to strive for a pack as close to 8kg that I can get. I'll keep you posted on my equipment plans and decisions. One important one is hiking poles. Now, I never use these on training or events anymore, but lots of people are saying that for the Atacama they are important. They really help crossing the razor-sharp Salt flats and the many river crossings. So, I'll consider taking them, but will of course have to work them into my trainig sessions again to get used to them. I'll think that one over. If anyone has done the Atacama Crossing I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, as well as any other tips you can provide?
Have a good week.