Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Training log - 16.12.13 - 29.12.13: Work and Play

After an incredibly busy last week of work, it was finally time for the Christmas break. This year I have been playing leave catch-up and other than the odd day here and there, I haven't really had any time off so I was looking forward to getting out of town for a week to catch my breath and assess what 2014 will bring. Before I got there though I had to get through a really tight work deadline which meant a few late nights wreaking havoc on my training plans. Once I got through that, it was off to Plettenberg Bay with the in-laws for a week of intense relaxation. I had plans of running myself to exhaustion however I did not quite stick to this but still managed a few medium distance runs and even a couple of races.

Monday 16.12 - Rest day

Tuesday 17.12 - Run - Century City

A shortened route around Century City of steady running finishing with 6x 10 second sprints every minute on the minute executed with facial expression straight into incoming standstill Sable Road traffic jam.

Ave pace: 5:42/km
Ave HR: 156bpm

Wednesday 18.12 - Rest day

Thursday 19.12 - Run - Milnerton Beach

Due to some bad foresight, I did not realise this was a planned hill session until I was kitted up in Century City ready to run. As there is not a single hill within about a 15km radius of my place, I decided to do a beach session rather, my theory being that running on the sand is as tough as a hill. It turned out to be a lot tougher. I headed to Milnerton beach on what was definitely the windiest day in history anywhere on earth. I headed out for a 15 minute warm-up running with the wind and then turned for what was supposed to be 30 second pick-ups followed by 2 minute intervals. The head wind was so strong that to even move was a flat out sprint. I struggled my way home again wandering whether I will ever do one of those awesome desert races...ya still keen.

Ave pace: 6:59/km

Speed variations on my beach "run"

Friday 20.12 - Golf (it counts as exercise)

Saturday 21.12 - Rest day (partly due to the work Christmas function the day prior)

Sunday 22.12 - Another rest day (driving to Plett)

Total week running log
Mileage:    12.26km
Time:   1:16:24

Monday 23.12 - Run - Plett run on Robberg Road

A gentle out and back run with a steady incline. This was supposed to be done at a low intensity but half way through I got bored and frustrated with my slow pace so I picked it up a bit.

Ave pace: 5:36/km
Ave HR: 169bpm

Tuesday 24.12 - Run - Plett run along the N2 and up Piesang Valley Road

A flat run along the pedestrian track alongside the N2 finishing with a decent hill climb up Piesang Valley Road. It was about a 2km climb and I felt pretty good despite training mainly on flat roads lately.

Ave pace: 5:42/km
Ave HR: 158bpm

Wednesday 25.12 - Rest Christmas day

Thursday 26.12 - Hike and Run - Robberg and interval session

Robberg Nature Reserve
In the morning we went and did the Robberg Nature Reserve walk. It is about a 9km loop within the reserve which is basically the point of the bay. The reserve is thin so at any time along the route you experience incredible views on either side. It has some relatively challenging parts but can be done by most fitness levels and I would highly recommend everyone to do this. I have done some pretty scenic routes in the Western Cape but have not experienced anything as beautiful as this yet. The hike has everything from cliff faces and seals to watch to beach sections and even a coastal bush portion. Absolutely amazing and I will definitely be back to run it one day.
In the afternoon I headed out for a little interval session. A 15 minute warm-up ending with 30 second pick-ups and then 6x 2 min as fast as possible with 1 minute walking and 1 minute jogging rests. I did this run in my minimalist shoes as I didn't plan to go this far and it worked out really well. I naturally run faster and feel more comfortable in them but I was pretty stiff afterwards so I don't think I can go longer than 10km yet. The benefits for foot strength are great though so I will definitely do my interval sessions in them.

Ave pace: 5:20/km
Ave HR: 164bpm

Friday 27.12 - Planned rest day

Saturday 28.12 - Red wine induced rest day

Sunday 29.12 - Run - Sabrina Love Challenge 10km

Every year a whole heap of holiday makers in Plett are blessed with an array of sporting events to keep them wake them up after the festive season. The Sabrina Love Challenge is a 2 day festival of runs, paddles, mountan bikes and swims that raise money for the Sabrina Love Foundation (, a charity that provides financial assistance to physically disabled children. The main event is a 6km ocean swim which to me sounds like madness but incredibly there are people keen to do it, 2 of them being superstars Chad Ho and Natalie Du Toit. The first day I entered the 10km road run and the second day, a 10km trail run.

I haven't done a 10km race in a while so I was keen to see how quickly I could do it. I was hoping to come in under 45 minutes but I knew I was not in peak condition so I didn't take it too seriously. The race started around the suburbs for the first 5km. I stuck with Bruce Fordyce for a while and it was awesome to be able to share a piece of tarmac with the most legendary South African ultra marathoner ever. I kept it under 4m30/km for the first half and came in at 22m26 at 5km so was just inside 45 minute pace. We then hit the beach and the pace slowed significantly. I kept pushing and was feeling really good and even passing people but the soft sand was too much to keep at my goal pace. In the end I finished in 46m21 which I was happy with as it was a tough course so I am confident I can do better on a straight road race.

Ave pace: 4:38/km

Total week running log

Mileage:    43.76km
Time:   3:54:01

Some pics from Robberg (excuse the really poor quality, new camera on the way in 2014)

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