Looking at going into proper training this winter. Haven't really done it properly before, but doing a bit of research into what would be beneficial.
To begin with, the most obvious thing to do is to increase mileage. Its simple, but it has to be said, just increasing mileage works fine, but there must be more interesting and efficient ways to get better, rather than just running.
I've decided that my training is going to go on at S&P, working on strength and conditioning, but interspersed with that I will be increasing running distance.
I have a Heart Rate monitor and thats going to be incorporated into the training- interestingly though, just training on HR levels isnt perhaps the best way to do things, training at specific speeds is also a key thing to do.
However, when fell racing, its difficult to go at a specific speed at all times- youve got to think about changing gears, and so specific speeds over a long distance are more difficult to train at.
So I'm coming up with a bit of a plan for the next couple of months, to give me a fighting chance of being slightly competitive with a couple of the guys from Glossopdale next year. I know that there a couple of them who are out running a LOT. I need to train hard, but intelligently.
The first month is going to be a build up of mileage, but including a day of Hill training each week. There will also be a long, easy recovery day as well. Thinking about this, I might also include some road biking as well, if there are any good days... Im thinking they will be long days, but not too hard... rests from running, but keeping up the Heart rate.
Something else I'm thinking about is foot cadence. Speeding that up may well be a key to increasing general speed as well. My runs won't exclusively be about increasing foot pace (as it were), but it is going to be a bit of a focus over the first 4 weeks, just to see what happens.
After the 4 weeks, I'll see where I am in terms of mileage and ascent- and (depending on weather, of course) I might spend the next 4 weeks looking at sprints rather than hills- to increase sheer speed, and then go back to hills after that. At that point it will be time to reappraise and see what needs to be done next. I'm also going to start looking at what I can do in terms of diet- to see how that affects whats going on with my training.
(to be honest, I cant wait for snow.... hacking up a hill with boots on is going to do wonders for leg strength AND Heart rate threshold... but that will have to wait for the moment).
Anyhow, thats a bit of a plan, however, its NOT going to work without a lot of work and a LOT of recovery. That means foam rollers, that means Sports Massage and soft tissue work, it means looking after myself, stretching and muscle sling work. Its not about just making me faster, its about making me more efficient as a runner and an athlete.
Just as a bit of an experiment really, with me as the subject. Let me know what you think and I'll write about what I break in the process....