Let me begin by thanking everyone who took the time to comment on my previous post - either on this blog or on Facebook or by email. Anything which may be helpful is much appreciated ... especially if it can be backed up by experiences and/or evidence.
OK ... unfortunately I won't be taking in the club handicap race this month Richard. If I'm allowed to run by that time it will only be alternating running with walking for a total of no more than 40 minutes. You know what that's like from your own experience ...
Until the last few days it had never occurred to me that over the past 40 years (yes, I did begin my running career in 1972) I must have built up a massive amount of endurance/stamina. So, when it comes to running long distances, my body knows how to do that now. What I need to work more on are strength and maintaining my cruising speed. In terms of running, the most recent training schedule - ending with September's race in Poland - was much better than the previous one which ended with the 2011 Commonwealth Championships. I felt that after many years of tweaking things and trying new ideas I had finally found what works for me.
That is: weekly back to back long runs up to 27 miles (43 km) in length three weeks out of four. An extra long run (up to 41 miles/65 km) on the fourth week. Hill reps, tempo runs, short races and short intervals ... the exact ratio of these depends upon how many weeks there are to my target race. My weekly volume peaked at 100 miles per week (161 km).
Because I found this to work well the changes will be quite small:
- back to back long runs up to 25 miles (40 km)
- extra long run no longer than 38 miles (60 km)
- volume to peak at 90 miles per week (145 km)
- this will mean that recovery will be slightly better for the tempo, speed and hill work which will be very similar to what I have done recently.
I know that the weekly volume is slightly more than some other runners recommend (sorry Flyer) but I have to take account of my medical history - as a small child I was diagnosed with a recurrent papilloma on my larynx. Dozens of operations later I was left with a narrower than usual windpipe. Much later I had two bouts of cancer ending with the removal of half of my right lung. One result of these illnesses is that my average resting heart-rate is probably higher than other elite runners (in Aug 2012 the average, on waking, was 44.9). Another result - although I haven't been tested - will probably be a low VO2 max.
Strength work ... most of the stuff I've dropped were exercises that worked a single muscle group, and I've replaced them with compound exercises which work more than one muscle group. As previously there will be three groups: legs, core, arms and shoulders. Core exercises will be little and often and I guess the others (mainly using dumbbells) will be three or four times a week on average for about 25 - 30 minutes at a time.
First of all though I need to fully recover from this ankle injury. If it's no better by the end of next week I'll be having more tests to try and find out what's been missed.