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Training Log Entry 29: December 18 - 24, 2023

Monday December 18


Tuesday December 19

I began this week still feeling somewhat fatigued from Sunday’s hard long run. Despite my legs moving decently, they were still quite sore, making it challenging to fully relax during the run. Although I completed the planned volume, my splits were inconsistent, and the effort felt more difficult than expected, considering the average pace.

I skipped doing strides, leaving the total distance for the day at 12.1km.

Wednesday December 20

This Wednesday workout consisted of a fartlek of 3x(10’ on, 2'30" float). This was a repeat of a workout I did a few weeks ago, but with a shorter float of 2:30 instead of 3 minutes. Given how well this workout went the previous time, I was keen to see how I would do after several solid weeks of training.

From the warm-up, I felt exceptionally good, particularly in terms of my relaxed breathing, which gave me confidence for the workout ahead.

The first 10-minute rep was very smooth, with a nice spring in my stride that felt effortless.

The second rep also started off well, but towards the end, my legs began to tire. However, thanks to me feeling aerobically amazing and taking the floats easy, I recovered quickly and felt good heading into the final 10-minute interval.

The last rep proved challenging, requiring me to push quite a bit the maintain the pace till the end. Interestingly, my breathing stayed under control throughout the rep, indicating a clear improvement in my aerobic fitness. Only my leg strength had issues, likely from the recent increase in volume.

The 35-minute fartlek covered 8.34km, with the average paces for the intervals being the following:

The overall average pace came out to 4:05/km, exactly matching the pace from the previous time I did this workout. While it’s slightly disappointing not to see an improvement, this was still one of my better workouts recently, with plenty of positives to take away from it.

Including the warm-up and cool-down, the total volume amounted to 15.5 km.

Thursday December 21

After the previous day’s hard workout, my legs were feeling understandably exhausted. Coupled with the cold and windy weather, this resulted in an all-round sluggish run.

I kept a low-intensity for the entire run, and by the end, I had found a decent rhythm.

Following the scheduled 10km, I ended with 5x100m flat strides, which only felt alright.

All together, the day’s total volume tallied to 10.6km.

Friday December 22

Since I enjoyed last week’s hill workout so much, I decided to repeat the same workout, comprising of 5x2’ hills and 5x45" hills.

Unfortunately, compared to last week, the 2-minute hills proved to be considerably more challenging this time. By the final 30-45 seconds of each rep, my form had begun to deteriorate, and I had to push hard to get to the end. Although the paces of all the 2-minute hills were faster than what I ran last week, it wasn’t to the extent that I should have been struggling.

After completing the fourth rep, I chose to cut the 2-minute hills and adjust the workout from 5 to 6 45-second hills. Overall, these shorter hills felt significantly better. My stride remained quick and powerful throughout each uphill, and I had no difficulties in completing any of the reps. Similar to the 2-minute hills, the splits for these 45-second hills were better than last week’s, but I could easily manage this increased pace and I felt more refreshed post-workout compared to the previous time.

Including the warm-up and cool-down, the total volume for the day amounted to 14.2km with 170m of elevation gain.

Saturday December 23

Despite my hamstrings being noticeably sore from the hill workout, I surprisingly felt quite fresh during this Saturday recovery run. As the run progressed, I was able to gradually increase my pace, and my legs generally felt really good after completing the run.

Following the 6km run, I did 4x100m flat strides, which all felt very strong.

Including the strides, the total distance for the day came to 6.4km.

Sunday December 24

My plan for this week was to do a long and fast long run. The route was a flat trail course, which was penciled to be one of the lengthiest runs I’ve ever attempted.

Feeling reasonably fresh going in, I tried to conserve energy early on and build-up to a fast final 8km. This strategy went well initially, as I managed to keep a controlled pace during the opening kilometers. However, by the 5km mark, my legs had already began to show signs fatigue.

During the middle portion of the run, which was mostly on a slight downhill, my pace naturally increased. I tried to remain relaxed, but the fatigue still continued to gradually build-up. At the 14km mark, I briefly stopped to regroup before heading into the final segment.

Unfortunately, the final 8km proved to be very challenging, with my legs quickly buckling in exhaustion. I switched to focusing on maintaining a steady pace, but I still required two extra breaks before ultimately completing the 22km run.

Thinking back on my training this past week, it’s unsurprising that my legs couldn’t handle this particular run. With two high-intensity workouts, and, for only the second time ever, reaching a weekly mileage over 80km, this was likely too much for my body to handle right now. Nonetheless, I’m optimistic about my ability to continue with increasing my weekly mileage and long run distances in the upcoming weeks. However, I’ll ensure that my Friday sessions are more moderate on weeks when attempting challenging long run.

The culmination of this run brings this week’s total mileage to 80.8km with 380m of elevation gain.

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