Perfect week from a training perspective. I ran back from work on Tuesday evening, my first midweek 7 mile route for a while now, and ran back in the same distance the following morning. I carry my clothes, a wash bag, towel and a few other bits and bobs. Only about 2.5kg at a guess, and Wednesday’s run is a nice easy pace. Still it's useful to remind myself that I'll be wearing a backpack in the Atacama Crossing race, even if it's not the one I'm wearing to run to work in. The only time my pack weight will increase will be on events, such as this weekend coming when it will be around 4.5 or 5kg I'd have thought. I usually carry 1.5l of fluid with me for a 26 mile LDWA event, and supplement that with drinks from the checkpoints. Add to that I generally carry some required kit, such as waterproofs and maybe a lightweight fleece, so the pack weight will be around 4.5kg. I won't bother ever training with a heavier pack because it just risks injury, and leaves your pace stale. Better I think to train normally, dropping your high mileage in the last few weeks and picking up the speed work. The odd few short mileage sessions with your full weight pack, are a good idea to check you are comfortable and it's well packed and balanced, but bashing out 20-30 miles with a 7kg+ pack on isn’t going to do you many favours in the long term.
I did yoga in the week, which was alright, but i'll be changing class to a different day because the new teacher is a bit hippy and new age. Even though she has an awesomely cute French accent it's not enough to keep me interested, because she's into "OMMing". I'm doing yoga to stretch, and hopefully prevent injury, not chant "OMMmmmmm" for some pointless reason. This week she had us doing some action, and said "pretend you are hugging a tree". I almost walked out right there and then. Goddamn Hippies. :)
On Thursday I did my 3 mile speed session. At the moment I'm restricted to doing it on a treadmill, because I stay in the gym for my strength and core stability session afterwards, and the roads/junctions immediately outside the gym and just too busy to be able to run 3 miles non-stop. I find running on a treadmill mentally difficult, and it still drives me nuts that they are in KM and not miles. How hard can it be to have a conversion on them. I did a few maths calculations and worked out to run 7 minute miles I'd have to set it to 13.6kph. I ran at 13.4 for 8 mins, then up to 13.6, then with 6 mins to go up to 3.8 and then in the last 3 mins up to 14 and the last minute on 15. That just about came out at 3 miles in 21 mins. I was a little too comfortable, so I'll have to start it at 13.6 next week and crank it up for 14 at the half way stage. I have a lose goal of running it sub 20 minutes before I go to Chile. That is 6:40 minute miles, and would be quicker than I have done before (by best around 6:50 if I recall). Who know maybe I can do event better, but I'd be really happy with a sub 20 as a good marker that I am in peak fitness.
Today I ran a nice solid 12 miles. About 2/3 on rough grass, the rest on the road. There was 750ft of ascent. I wasn't running all out, just building up my stamina again, so didn't time it but it was inline with last weeks 10 mile pace. I'd guess it took me 1:35-140. I could do it sub 1:30 certainly, but my weekend run isn't about speed. It's about good solid pace, enough to make me stretch but not push myself too far. I ran the last two miles (uphill) faster than the first 2 miles and felt pretty fresh at the end. It was a satisfying feeling. I feel myself getting back to form again, now the knee is getting stronger. I've got to be a little bit cautious not to peak too early, but with Christmas coming, that will be a natural lull to some degree. I'll back off and then stamp on the gas for the last 6 big weeks of training before a small taper in February. I know I lose my peak cardio fitness very fast (a week off and I see it dip), so that's the reason I will drop off my big miles, but increase the speed work in the last few weeks before the event. I want to be on the start line, the fastest and fittest I have ever been.
It's all shaping up nicely so far. 26 mile Six-Dales circuit this Saturday, looking forward to it. Have a good week.