Sunday, May 5, 2013

Recovery & Bathurst Half Marathon

The inov-8 Road X-Treme 178s are my new favourite shoe!
I've been putting off writing my blog for UTMF, I don't think I have the energy yet to write about the most brutal and beautiful of experiences...but it will be soon!

In the meantime, back at home, in the Central West I ran a new half marathon PB today at the Bathurst Half. The race was pretty uneventful as road runs tend to be, but what I would like to address is the topic of recovery. It is something that I've increasingly taken more and more seriously in the last couple of years and I treat it as a crucial part of my training cycle.

I certainly race a lot. It's what I do and love. Therefore I have a responsibility to myself and my awesome sponsors to be near my best every time I race. Of  course, realistically this isn't possible. So I have my 'A', 'B' and 'C' races. There are the ones that mean more than others where I will dot every i and cross every t and then there are races that I will use for a specific purpose and goal. Today for example the goal was to put my legs through the quicker motions and get back to running tempo pace again, but certainly I wouldn't be anywhere near my best. Or would I be?

Running 100 miles one week before a half marathon isn't something you will ever find in any running book program and rightly so! That's because running books are generic and take the 'common sense' approach and so they should.

What allowed me to get out there today and do what I love somewhere near my best was not superior genetics, ideal body shape or not being 'injury prone'. I simply don't buy into this at all. Yes it plays a small part but not as huge as most people would think. What does play a part in no specific order is;

1: Conditioning - a body that has over 6 years of 100+km training weeks year after year including over 30+ races per year over a range of distances and terrain
2: A finely tuned, individualised and consistent weekly training program that works for me.
3. A sound and reasonably correct running technique that I am constantly training and fine tuning based on principles of minimalist running.
5. Effective recovery.

It is this last point I'd like to just add a bit more to. Recovery incorporates not just what happens after the race but after each training session so should be always seen as a weekly, ongoing part of the training week. Get into a good routine with recovery, monitor and adjust if needed. Do the best for your mind and your body. While the details will be different person to person, the themes remain the same; sleep, good diet, compression, injury prevention, effective recovery sessions, stretching, hydration, self massage etc.

Oh, and don't always listen to the textbook!

Now bring on TNF100!