January is a great time of year. Tennis AND cricket are both flooding free-to-air TV and I’m into my normal summer training routine. It’s not the first time I’ve found a rhythm in summer and this certainly helps I think. My body knows it’s time to get fit and get itself right for another busy year ahead. It helps too after having a mini-reset through the Christmas and New Year period.
So what have I been up to? How are the shins going? Well after reporting some positive news about the shins and legs being relativley pain free in the forntight prior to Chrismtas we rode over the faint line a bit and had some painful days. Not to worry, a bit of loading on the bone and legs is necessary to get full health, it just means I’ve held an average of 85-90km’s a week of running for the past three weeks now with 90% of that being jogging at 4:40-5:00 min/km. To increase my fitness while maintaining this stable running load I’ve been toying with the practice of monitoring my calorie expenditure throughout these three weeks to ensure the amount of extra time I spend cycling, swimming, climbing, playing tennis doesn’t go over the top too.
|Week of Training||Total Running Km||Total Calorie Expenditure (inc. more than running)|
|1 – Pre Preseason||56.5||9,765|
|4 (this week)||99.6||11,149|
And it’s been good. Cycling up and down the ‘esplanade’ at Port Vic, out and back to Warren Gorge, a wee bit of sport climbing and finally some recreational tennis at both Eden Hills and in Quorn has all been very beneficial in shocking my body and getting some extra fitness. The extra work is good to re-build my aerobic engine but it’s also all very helpful to have my body moving in different ways for the injury resilience of it all.
Which segways nicely into the real injury prevention things I’ve been focusing on for almost two months now; regular stretching and weight training. This stuff isn’t rocket science and I was doing it at the start of 2022 but dropped off through the back half, and look what bloody hell happened, I got rusty and injured. So, stepping back into my normal January habits has been a helpful reminder that this 1%’er stuff does work and is very useful. My single leg squats are 90% of their peak strength and in only a few sessions my max pull-up strength is back at 75-80% strength too. A few more weeks of keeping my head down and doing what I’m doing and I’ll slowly be able to work on improving my ANaerobic endurance in all these activities. But for now, it’s great to actually feel confident in both my lower legs, and also my quads seeing as I can now sit down and stand up with ease.
To test where all this recent consistency in my training has led to, I combined both a trip to Adelaide for pleasure (watching the Adelaide International Tennis Tournament) and family obligations (Mum’s birthday) with some climbing and a Parkrun effort.
Firstly, rolling into Adelaide late on Thursday arvo and heading straight to the tennis was great fun, but probably not conducive to optimal performance for the next two days. But hey, life is to be enjoyed and the experience of going to the tennis was well worth it! Watching tennis is great on TV, good at the Aussie Open but doing it at the Drive with a classic Adelaide feel to it and only probably a few hundred people there is probably the best way to really engage in the match. But this isn’t a review of the tennis so all commentary ends there. What is important is that it meant I got to sleep around 12ish in prep for the next day of climbing at Redcliff.
Redcliff is pretty well what Belair is for my running. That home away from home place. Good to be back and have it all to myself along with friend of the blog Brodie. The aim was to re-tick an old 24 I used to cruise up, but, since tightening up in my hips from running and getting weak from not climbing, I couldn’t a few weeks ago. Cue the few weeks of consistent training, stretching and voila, I re-ticked it second go. Box two ticked of my Adelaide trip. Box three was a good dinner to celebrate Mum’s birthday that also wasn’t the best prep for a fast Parkrun but that’s alright, Mum’s birthday was the real reason for the trip back in the first place.
Onto Box 4 though. Three weeks of jogging around with no intensity whatsoever has meant I had no real idea of what speed my legs would feel comfortable at. My all-time PB is 16:00, last years time’s ranged from 16:04-16:30ish so any time around that range, or just slightly below would be a nice indicator I hadn’t fallen too far off the wagon. What I was really keen to test out though was my ability to push hard and run strong through to the end whilst also hoping that this first intense effort didn’t cook my shins again. Alright alright, enough setting the scene. Off we went at the start, and I went through the first few km’s at a solid 3:20-3:25/km average and wasn’t too puffed. Had some company from an old student I had on camp once (who’s now a much better runner than me) happy to pace me through these first few km’s to keep me honest. With just under 2km’s to go, I picked up the intensity slightly, held this for a bit with ease, managed the final chicane and then dropped the hammer pretty hard for the final 600m where I held a solid 2:50-3:05/km (dodging people) pace through to the finish without blowing up too much. From that breakdown it’s clear that I ticked the push hard, run strong box. It’s also clear that maybe I could’ve pushed a bit harder through the first few km’s but there’s always going to be another Parkrun to experiment with that. The time in the end was 16:39 which was good, 16:29 would’ve been nicer, but, considering that it’s my first hard run back in a while I’ll take that. As it’s now a day after Parkrun I’ll also mention the legs have pulled up fine so the progression back to full fitness looks safe to continue.
That’s a pretty quick update of all things Fraser and Fitness in the last month. In summary, the rust has been cleaned off, the body is getting primed for more training and the comeback to racing hard and performing well is getting nearer. Just don’t call it a comeback though, because in the word’s of LL Cool J, I’ve been here for years…