20hr+ Training Weeks

9 days to Civil Service Road Relays
10 Nov – Civil Service 10km XC Champs (B-ham)
20 Nov – Brecon Beacons Ultra


That’s a picture of my typical breakfast:

  • A bowl of high bran cereal or muesli, mixed nuts and fruit, and natural yogurt
  • Cup of filter coffee (of course)
  • Whey protein drink (20g flavoured, with water).  Occasionally I’ll have eggs (3 white/1 yoke) on
    wholegrain toast, in which case I skip the protein drink.
  • Egg cup full of pills – depends on the amount of training I’m doing and how I feel but I’ll normally have 1000mg vitamin C, 250-500mg vitamin E (I’ve done plenty of research on anti-oxidants and this combination seems to do the trick.  High vitamin A levels are quite easy to attain in a balanced diet and shouldn’t require high dose supplementation), Elagen Sport (4-8), and Elagen Beta-Alanine (2-4) before or after races.  I’m really pleased to be one of Elagens sponsored athletes, as they have been really helpful providing information on their supplements and I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my recovery over the last season in particular from supplementation.

Back to the training:  I have an unstructured couple of weeks coming up with my parents visiting Teddington, and then having to tie-up work before going on holiday to Malta.  So instead of a lighter first week on the mesocycle (4-week progressive training block) I decided to crack on with my first autumn target of getting up to 20hrs/week.  I need to be doing at least this for three out of every four weeks as soon as possible.  Well, I just about managed it last week, and believe it or not I actually managed to put on 0.5kg weight in the process!  How’s that possible?  Well I wanted to ensure I was well fed for all training sessions so I could get through them without feeling too depleted. I can afford to put on a litte lweight occasionally and it always comes off quite easily when I plan my diet well.  So, more 20hr+ training weeks (and weight gain!) to come I hope….here’s how the last week panned out:

WEEK 38 – 20-27 September
AM  Run 1HR25 Easy (slight hangover)
Was supposed to do the all-night Ultra today.  Decided against it.  I wasn’t in the right frame of mind this year and would rather crack on with DoubleIM training
AM  Run 20mins (to/from Leisure Centre)
Swim 50mins Steady
Gym – Row, 30mins Core and Weights, XBike WD
EVE  Bike 2HRS Steady
AM  Run 1HR15 Easy
PM  Swim 35mins
Run 10mins Hard
EVE  Run 1HR35 Easy
AM  Swim 45mins (Open Water @ Liquid Leisure). Inc a trial of Jimbo’S SMT Blue70 Axis.  We have both secured a deal with them and I’m keen to make sure I get the right size.
EVE  Run 20mins (to/from Leisure Centre)
Swim 40mins Endurance
Gym – 30mins Core and Weights, 1HR25 XBike, 800m run-off all-out
PM  Run 30mins Form
Core 5mins
AM  Track 1HR – 30-90m sprints, 4 x 800m intervals
PM  Run 20mins (to/from Leisure Centre)
Swim 40mins
Gym – 15mins Core and Weights
AM  Bike 4HRS Easy-tempo
Really keen to get home and see Wolves v Aston Villa (free on Sky). Disappointing result with a rare goal from Heskey. Typical!
EVE  Run 30mins Easy
TOTAL: 19hr50 (who’s counting 10mins!)

I’m not sure I can keep this up.  Thanks to the Elagen supplementation, a decent diet and plenty of core and mobilisation, I’m holding up physically.  But whether or not any of the old injuries resurface (achilles tendonitis and shoulder nerve impingements) only time will tell.  I’m also not sure I can mentally handle doing 3-4hrs/day for 6-7 days/week.  Its fine when you’re in the mood and performing well.  But once it gets really cold the motivation may suffer.  

A few potential races in the next couple of weeks – a civil service road relays next week is likely (2.3mile) and I’m contemplating a Duathlon on 10 October.  Finalised Lanzarote dates – will be heading over on 27 Jan and staying at Puerto del Carmen with a friend for the best part of a week. Will then head over to the Playa Blanca race hotel to meet my crew from Wed/Thurs.  Race on Fri-Sat and fly back Wed 8 Feb.  There will be a week in East Germany with Yve again during Jan to get some last minute training in (albeit very cold hill running!).


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