Whilst visiting family at the weekend I decided it was time to put the running training to the test at Parkrun again. My last time doing one of these was around October in Basingstoke before an IT band injury from hill-repeats in training put the brakes on running for the rest of 2016, with my PB sitting at 18:50 and a highest place of 7th.
Training from October to mid-Jan therefore consisted mostly of run-specific strength training with Savage Triathlon Club and very gradually building up the ability to a continuous (slow!) 5k pain free again. From the end of January these club sessions were converted into track sessions to start to build up some speed again, complimented with some longer easy/recovery runs exploring some more of the local area with Chloe and I am now back into the full swing of training (albeit only ~20km a week).
So tackling a new parkrun course I wasn’t sure what to expect. The start was pretty chaotic with a lot of jostling for position, but once things settled down I set about reeling a few people who had gone out too fast.I went out with a strategy of running even splits and that is exactly what I did (each 1km within 5 seconds of each other), whilst still managing to finish running at my limit and fully exhausted. I finished 2nd/450, time of 17:46, over a 1 minute PB. Training is working then…
To prevent re-injury I have had to be extremely strict with myself and hold back in training at times when I have really wanted to push hard. This has made my training into this season a very gradual ramp and I think that this has actually helped me to better periodise my training and not peak too soon. I am terrible at being injured normally and tend to end up eating a lot of Dominos pizza and feeling sorry for myself, or trying to train through the pain and hope it goes a way (note to future self – it doesn’t!). Thankfully this time it seems to have worked to my advantage.
More than a bit of credit for this has to go to Dave Savage for suggesting adaptations to sessions wherever possible and really understanding how frustrating it can be to be injured when all you want to do is hammer yourself in training. His club training program seems to have worked to help me recover and is now really starting to sharpen up my speed as race season gets closer. I cannot recommend joining a club (and specifically Savage Tri Club) enough – it has totally changed my outlook on tri training for the better.