A digital landscape drawing of snow cover mountains taken during sunrise. Image generated from Stable Diffusion with the GhostMix - v2.0-BakedVAE checkpoint.

Training Log Entry 27: December 4 - 10, 2023

Monday December 4


Tuesday December 5

On Sunday night, we had our first snowfall of the year, and as a result, the trail conditions had deteriorated significantly. Fortunately, they were still runnable enough for me to use on this easy day, although the occasional icy patches and puddles slowed my pace slightly.

Starting off the run, I felt great and was moving well, considering the conditions. However, by the second half, my legs began to feel fatigued from the extra effort required to navigate the icy trail. Aside from that, I felt aerobically strong throughout the run.

After completing the 11km run, I finished off with 4x100m hill strides. Since I’ll be doing many trail races in 2024, I’m trying to sprinkle more hill work into my training. Thus, I’m experimenting with including faster uphill strides at the end of all my easy days.

Including the run and strides, the total volume for the day amounted to 11.5km.

Wednesday December 6

The planned workout for this day was 7km tempo at threshold pace. Given that the longest continuous threshold effort I had completed recently was only 5km, this workout was going to be a substantial increase in volume. Despite this, I felt relatively confident in my ability to complete this workout due to my recent fartlek performances.

Unfortunately, the recent snow forced me to move the workout from the flat trails to the slightly rolling roads. I began the tempo and quickly settled into a comfortable pace. I focused on maintaining a compact stride and not excessively pushing during the uphills.

Although my legs felt good, my breathing never fully relaxed. I blame this to a combination of factors, including the cold weather and the fact that I couldn’t zone out as well as I would’ve liked.

Given how I was feeling about half-way into the 7km tempo, I decided break up the workout into a 4km and 3km. I finished up the remainder of the 4km, took a 3-minute break, and jumped into the 3km interval.

While my legs were beginning to get tired, I overall felt more comfortable during the 3km rep. My had no issues with my breathing and my stride felt a bit stronger, allowing the workout to finish smoothly.

The average pace for the 4km was 4:12/km, and for the 3km, it was 4:02/km. Looking back, I probably should have started the workout a tad slower to help get through the full 7km tempo. Despite everything, I’m pleased with the results, but I’m planning on attempting the workout again next week, hopefully on the trails.

Including the warm-up and cool-down, the total volume for the session was 14km.

Thursday December 7

When I started this day’s run, I was surprised by how icy the trail had become. Compared to Tuesday, the ground was significantly more slippery, which slowed down my pace considerably. Fortunately, I was on the roads during the second half, where there was less ice to worry about.

Regardless of the route’s condition, I didn’t feel great during this run. My legs felt heavy, and were not moving as smoothly as I would’ve liked. As a result, I ended up cutting the run short from 10km to 8.5km.

Following the run, I did 5x100m hill strides. I went hard during them and they were quite fast, but I could feel my glutes tiring by the end of the strides.

The run and strides combined to total 9.1km in volume.

Friday December 8

This Friday workout was a threshold interval workout consisting of 7x1km with 2 minutes rest. The goal was to maintain a moderate intensity throughout the session and stick to the 2 minutes rest as best as possible. Due to the poor trail conditions, I opted to do the workout on the roads and tried out a new location in the process.

The first two intervals were somewhat clunky due to me needing to adjust the route to fit the entire 1km within the flat section of the road. However, the rest of the workout went by smoothly. I felt comfortable for most of the session and the 1km reps flew by surprisingly quickly.

The primary issue of the workout was my pacing. The 1km splits were as follows:

This averages to 3:54/km and exceeded my target of a 4:00 average, significantly. Aside from the last rep, I maintained a similar moderate effort level throughout the workout, so this variability in splits was surprising to see. I did notice some fatigue in my right glute during a few reps, which may have contributed to the decreases in speed.

As for the recovery, I followed the prescribed 2-minute rest for the three intervals before taking a longer 4-minute set break after the fourth. However, fatigue started to set in towards the end, resulting in closer to 3-minute rests for the final two intervals.

To conclude, this workout was a tad more intense than I had intended, but the would’ve gone smoother with better pacing.

Including the warm-up and cool-down, the total volume for the day was 15.6km.

Saturday December 9

This was a yet another standard Saturday recovery run, which felt great. I managed to stay relax and simply coast through the entire run. The icy trail significantly slowed my pace, but it helped me keep the effort level low.

During the run, I noticed some discomfort in the ball of my right foot, which I suspect is due to the recent runs on pavement and icy terrains. As a precaution, I opted to skip the strides for this session.

The total distance of the run was 5.5km.

Sunday December 10

I woke up this morning with a couple of nagging pains in my legs, specifically in my right foot and now also, my left hamstring. Because of these issues, I decided to modify my planned long run route from an entirely paved and hilly course to a flatter route on the trails. I didn’t expect the trail conditions to be great, so I went in with the goal of completing the target mileage at a relaxed pace.

Once I started running, my body felt good overall. During the first few kilometers, the trail was not in great shape, but it eventually cleared up much more than I had anticipated. I still kept the pace under control to avoid aggravating anything, but luckily my legs remained pain-free more the majority of the run.

Unfortunately, around the 15km mark, the trail conditions deteriorated again and remained that way until the end of the run. While it was still runnable, running on icy patches placed more strain on my hamstrings, which caused some discomfort in both of them. Despite this, I stayed relaxed and finished the run feeling strong.

Overall, the run went by smoothly. Aerobically, I felt extremely strong, and I never had any thoughts of taking a break. The run also passed by quickly, likely due to the controlled pace. Although I didn’t experience any issues with my foot during the run, it, along with my hamstrings, were fairly sore afterward, but not to a concerning amount.

The total volume of the long run was 20.8km, bringing the weekly total to 76.4km with 460m of elevation gain.

Next - Training Log Entry 28
Prev - Training Log Entry 26