Well, after the first week [and a bit ...] of training I can report that I feel fitter and healthier than at any time since early September 2012.
Let me briefly run through my recent running exploits -
MONDAY 13 JANUARY - in late afternoon it was 13 km fartlek,
TUESDAY 14 JANUARY - left home at 7.00am for a steady 14 km
as expected my calf muscles were a bit sore for a few days after this. Nothing major so I took things easy on
WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY - ran 3 km slowly but followed this with some core and upper body strength work.
THURSDAY 16 JANUARY - my first tempo run. I had absolutely no idea what time I should be aiming for so I simply used the times from 6 months ago as a guide (but I was prepared to slow down if necessary). So, I planned for 3 km at about 4:15 per km. The splits turned out to 4:09, 4:11 and 4:14 which I was pleased with although it was very hard work and I did slow down as the run progressed. Glad to have a running free day after this.
FRIDAY 17 JANUARY - only cycling and strength work. The training week ended on
SATURDAY 18 JANUARY - hill reps. Only two but a good start. I use Farnley Lane in my home town of Otley and hill is just over 700m long and climbs 35m. The climbs took 4:19 and 3:56. Not very consistent but again I had no idea what to expect. Enjoyed that and the added bonus was that my legs were no longer aching at all.
Many of you know that I designate every fourth week as an 'easy week' and aim to do only about 50% of my usual training. Working back from the Tooting Bec 24 hr race shows that my first easy week began on
SUNDAY 19 JANUARY - planned to cycle and lift weights but skipped the cycling after I felt nauseous and light headed whilst doing some minor plumbing repairs. Felt fine after laying down for a couple of hours ... very strange.
MONDAY 20 JANUARY - my first very long run (by my standards anyway). During these easy weeks I increase the length of my long run by 50% and only do one instead of the usual two. So, early this morning I went out and ran 22 km. It was exceptionally cold and icy in places but again I enjoyed the experience of just running for 2 whole hours.
Apart from the running listed above I also did a fair amount of cycling, strength work and stretching and - as mentioned earlier - I feel good.
Now I've begun the search for a warm up race in May, June or July to help get my ultra racing head in gear and try out the nutrition and other plans.