Thursday, 9 February 2017

A week in the sun

Recently I wrote about strategies how to cope with the winter as a runner and then escaped from it myself. Ironic, I know, but after a fair amount of compromises and small niggles I just couldn’t stand it anymore and headed to Fuerteventura for a week’s warm weather training camp. Our base was at Las Playitas, a wonderful well-equipped sports centre in the southeastern corner of the island, that I knew from previously would serve me well even if I faced some problems. On holidays I seldom want to go back to places where I’ve been before and rather seek for new places to explore. However, when it comes to training, it’s different, and it actually feels good to go back to a place that you know has got everything you need (see my comprehensive description of Playitas here)

My week was more or less a replay from last year. It was funny to see flashbacks from my own Facebook updates from exactly the same dates a year ago. It was like a tailored-made training plan. Just when I was about to go for a long ride the pictures from last years’ ride jumped into my face. Again, I gathered about 20h and 230km in a week, of which 80km cycling and nearly 150km running, and over 4000m vertical climb. For me it’s like two weeks training squeezed in one week. And the best of it was that it all came like nothing. In addition to actual training I took part to some morning yoga sessions and climbed about 720 stairs a day (that being part of living in the upper most house of the resort).

So here is roughly what I did. It was important for me to get a proper long run and I also wanted to get a longer tempo run and long intervals. Hill reps were a nice bonus. To play safe I took one day off from running and spent it in the saddle.

Day 1: A short jog on the hills after a long travel. Can’t describe the feeling of running in shorts and t-shirt again!

Day 2: Easy off-road run on the hills in the morning with some strides and 5x1600m intervals on the red carpet in the evening.

Day 3: 18km progressive run in the morning and 2km swimming in the evening. 

Day 4: 13km tempo run in the morning, then an easy off roader on hills in the afternoon, followed by a strength workout. 

Day 5: A day off from running. Just a short morning jog to the nearest hilltop before the sunrise, then a massive breakfast and a long ride on the mountains. Some relaxing swimming in the evening.

Day 6: 5x6min hill reps of varying length and steepness, followed by some short sprints. Quads were dead from the ride and some of the climbs felt too steep. I dig in but it wasn’t pretty. Some easy running and core exercises in the evening.

Day 7: Long run. I had my doubts about 32km on top of the week but it was pure enjoyment. Amazed that my legs didn’t protest. Very happy. 

Day 8: Last run to the lighthouse, 13km. Had thought about taking the ridge back to the village as suggested but it looked quite rough and I didn't have proper trail shoes. There were also dark clouds hanging low so I started to hesitate. I was tempted but at the same time it all looked very alarming and so I decided not to take the adventure this time. Instead I just ran the road down and when the first drops came I was quite happy about it. Coward, yes, maybe, but I just felt like acting sensible for once. I had a long day of travel ahead and I kind of wanted to feel reasonable fresh for it. Just avoiding risks at all costs. Next time…